Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Marlowe
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Marlowe Exiled Moondrinker

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Balmung Castle’s banquet hall hung heavy with the sweet-and-savory aroma of alcohol intermingling with roasted meats. Goblets brimmed with vibrant drink, which glistened in the half-light as travel-weary and starving guests stuffed their faces with food. A myriad of culled beasts rested upon sleek, ornate platters that lined four long tables that were draped with delicate, olive-green shawls. Their golden-brown skins glistened with moisture and their flesh seeped in grease, dressings, and marinades. Alongside them rested trays that heaped with brightly-hued vegetables that had been seared, baked, roasted, or sauteed. Billows of thick rose up from the containers at a constant basis; their food never seemed to grow cold, no matter how long they laid upon their respective salvers. It almost seemed as if the tables and food and flagons decorated the very room itself, despite it being elaborate already. Its walls were painted emerald green and embellished with oil portraits of beautiful sceneries and stern-faced nobles whom she couldn’t name. Over their heads loomed golden chandeliers that brimmed with pristine crystals and the ceiling depicted winged deities fluttering between or resting upon dawn-tinged clouds.

Neve dropped her eyes from the ceiling and onto the roast quillback in front of her. The poor bird’s head hung over the edge of its tray, its blank eyes staring at her as if it dared her to slice into its flesh. She wrinkled her nose; a bitter film had befallen her tongue and soured her mouth. In the midst of all of the clamor, it was difficult to bring herself to eat something so… spontaneous. Quillback was a far leap from the delicate venison of Brightlam antelope back home. Ah well… at the very least, at least there were other things to eat. Like fish, she thought as she stabbed a fork into a small trout that had been baked to perfection. You can never go wrong with fish.

As she chewed carefully around the trout’s spines, she brought her sights up to the people milling about her table. When she had arrived, the servants had asked her to sit at the table to the far right– near the wall with the many portraits of noblemen and women. Neve didn’t bother asking why. Her gaze swept over their number. They appeared to be an interesting bunch. Though their weapons had been confiscated upon their entrance to the banquet hall, she took note of their appearance and clothing. One of them had flowing, crimson robes that looked to be from the north. Others had garbs that distinguished them as hardened warriors. She wondered where they hailed from and what kind of stories they carried with them. Perhaps their lips would be loosened by the assortment of drink and they would tell her.

A bout of laughter tore through the air and brought her gaze over her shoulder. A tall young man clad in a long, heavy coat was catering to a short Mystrel woman. Both were deep in their cups already. Neve couldn’t tell what they spoke about; the clatter of silverware and cacophony of voices drowned out their conversation. They looked friendly, at least. She wondered if they were to all work together. Something told her perhaps not– there were far too many people in the banquet hall, probably around thirty or forty. If she were Lord Leonhart, she would group them into teams and send them all across the continent.

Neve glanced towards the lord in question. He had been sitting at the head of the room ever since she got there. A long table had been stretched in front of four or five chairs that had been embedded with delicate, golden patterns. Though Lord Leonhardt’s chair– or throne– was the most beautiful of them all. Tall and plush with red velvet cushions, it was certainly fit for a king. Upon it sat the young lord himself. He was around her age and bore long, golden hair that was tied in a low ponytail and interlaced with verdant ribbons. His sharp, handsome face hardly had any facial hair, and his eyes were a deep, ocean blue. Leonhart’s face had been bright with a gentle smile as he feasted with the rest of the noble-blooded, and from what Neve could tell, he wasn’t the type of person that was keen on frowning. Just what was going on in his head? Was he worried like the rest of them? He had to be, right? Then why was he smiling and laughing as if this was all a typical party?

A brief sigh drifted forth from her lips as she looked back at her trout. There she went again, thinking too much. It was just like her. I should probably relax. She reached towards a flagon of honey mead. Leonhart will explain everything soon.

The flagon was further away than she thought. No matter how far she stretched herself over the table, she couldn’t bring her fingers around its metallic handle. Neve huffed as she leaned further forward. She was almost there…

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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Dezuel
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Dezuel Broke out of limbo

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Zeidgram


It was with a calm and assertive manner in which Zeidgram observed the vast room in which they were all gathered into, like sheep into a pen. The nobles and their overflowing display of wealth in decoration, food variety, expensive fabrics and clothing. It was enough to make him feel disgusted, it was because of pompous people too lazy to see beyond their own golden goblets that the world had gotten to the place it were in. Not just being taken by surprise by the blight, but by their wars that seemed to serve no purpose other than to waste lives for no other reason than possibly greed. Greed was such a dangerous thing, it was a thing which he had experienced himself, but never taken to that degree. While he had been eager like any young person in his younger years, he had grown much since then and were no longer tempted by things which could potentially destroy his body and mind alike.

But all those thoughts were to be reserved for later, as now there were more pressing things to concern oneself with. Having looked over the various people that had answered the king's call, he became pleased as his eyes wandered over them. He knew some of these people, he was certain of it. But it didn't matter, in time he would certainly get to know them all, much like they would come to learn just who he were. Right next to him sat a young woman, which seemed to have some trouble reaching what appeared to be drink that the more thickheaded brutes at the inn's would find themselves indulging in. Honey was one of it's ingridients. He was certain of it. Nontheless he still reached out with his arm and hand to take hold of the flagon, before bringing it in to hand it to Neva. It was then with a soft smile on his lips and a tilt of his head, that he looked her face over, looking at her reaction before he allowed his soft tone of voice speak out, it was low, like a whisper to her alone.

"Such a fair young rose does not need this honeyed drink to be sweet, for you already are. Take it from a man who can tell a diamond from the coal, a rose from the weeds and beauty from bleak." His lips formed each and every word in an elegant manner, his eyes looked over Neva's facial expression as if there were words written all over her face, which he could decipher with just a glance or two. He offered a slight upturn again, at the corner of his lips before he rose up from his seat, taking hold of his empty glass, clinking a fork upon it to get the attention of the people gathered.

"Your majesty, lords and ladies. They say the blight has vanquished the light, today we can clearly see that isn't the case. For here are capable champions from all over the realms, civil and martial both. Ready to do what is needed for the good for all the realms. At the very forefront of this grand task, before this blight upon our world, is you... your majesty and your loyal subjects. Which is no doubt more than enough reason to spark the flames of admiration in people across the world near and far, and for those who may still have their doubts of just what is at stake.

They need not look further than upon all the fair and brave young women which has answered such a grand call, pillars of shining starlight, in these darkest of hours. If men such as myself were not to be moved by seeing these wonders, and by your majesty's divine call, how could we ever be able to face the world as men? What say you men? We are not going to let these beautiful, yet capable young women do all the hard work all by themselves are we? What say you, Lord Caradoc?"
Zeidgram bowed gracefully with his head and upper body, before elegantly reaching out his free hand towards Galahad, his palm facing the ceiling of the large room. As if he was just handing over the attention of the entire room over towards Galahad.

'You who handle dragons, let see how you handle these...' The red mage thought to himself as he softly offered a polite nod towards Galahad and then towards the King and his entourage, before finally sitting back down. The moment had presented itself, and either one would seize it, or it would slip away forever. It wasn't about showing off to the pompous nobles, or the king. It was to guage how the entire room would judge him, and in turn what he could learn from them. Were the Lord Caradoc bold enough to speak up before the king, would he chastise the red mage. Many were the scenarios, but either way one would have to be prepared for either one.

@Ambra
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Ithradine
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Ithradine A Rouge Machine

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Location: Balmung Castle | Banquet Hall
Mentions: @Dezuel


Arton's gaze flicked from wall to wall as he entered the Banquet Hall after one of the guards let him in after a bit of hassle. It was his first time at an event such like this and no amount of imagination could have prepared him for grandiose it all was. A smile tugged at the corners of his lips as he took in the myriad of delicious aromas. The very atmosphere itself felt charged with an energy he found difficult to describe as he wandered further and further in. The luxury of it all was enough to overwhelm the senses and make it feel as though he had walked into a whole other world and, in a sense, he might as well have. This place was to be the start of his greatest adventure it seemed.

His amazement quickly surrendered to trepidation as he was seated a table with other guests, all looking like they were here for the same reason he was. Arton was quick to arrange himself a plate of mostly meat, picking from a variety of creatures he hadn't had the chance to taste. Nothing ventured, nothing gained after all. He wasn't sure if the food was really this good or if he was just hungry. His hand reached out for a drink from the same group as a girl siting across from him. As it reached his lips, Arton paused and looked almost longingly into the cup. The laughter, the aroma of food, the warm smiles that sat next to him...it began to remind him of home. The rim of the mug touched his lips and he downed a good portion of the mead, laughing inside his head at the weakness of the drink compared to the shine the last village made.

Arton steeled himself for an introduction to those around him before nostalgia took him away from the moment. Before he could do so, a man at his table signaled for attention from all the other guests. He watched with interest from the comfort of his seat, the grand speech lessening his nervousness "Are we all going to have to make a toast? Arton spoke soft enough not to undermine the one speaking, but to no one in particular. His skills on interacting with people of higher stature had gotten rusty after years working with the common-folk. Luckily, the attention was immediately drawn to another at their table that went by the name of Lord Caradoc. It was a name he was sure he had heard before.

All this indulgence was almost enough to forget the real struggle out there. The man's words were a sharp reminder of why everyone was actually here "Truth be told, I just want to hear what we came here for and start moving. There's people out there I know are waiting for us to do something." Arton said with a murmur of anxiousness. He mentally chatised himself for forgetting the people he had helped these years now living in fear due to this blight.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by vietmyke
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vietmyke

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Galahad Caradoc

Mentions: @Ithradine, @Dezuel, @Ambra

He was never big on pomp and ceremony- and thankfully, was not assigned one of the seats at or near the head table. Instead, a seat at one of the far tables suited the young nobleman just fine. Just as well, in lieu of the typical fancy frocks and frills many of the nobles bore, displaying their wealth on their sleeves, Galahad settled for a more modest look. In place of his finest robes and livery, Galahad wore a simple- though admittedly well made quilted surcoat, traveling pants and boots, the sort he'd wear underneath his armor. The only symbol of wealth he wore was a loose and flowing royal blue shoulder cape, his family sigil emblazoned on its shoulder in gold thread. Having returned from a round of pleasantries with the head table, Galahad frowned as he found himself staring at one of the many tall portraits of noblemen and women by his own table.

"Do I really look like that?" Galahad mused, more to himself than anyone else. The painting depicted him in his Dragoon's armor, standing and staring far too stiffly off into the middle distance for his liking. The armor lacked the scratches and dents of battle's past, and the dragon's corpse he stood upon looked nothing like a real dragon.

With an audible scoff and a shake of his head, Galahad made his way around the table and returned to his seat- across from a younger but fair seeming blonde woman, and a more extravagant man in red. Next to him, a man of more simple means, short dark hair and a rough, but earnest complexion. He sat down with a short exhale, taking stock of those around him. Unsurprisingly, the group was a disorganized and motley one, faces and accents that stretched from all across the continent. That was to be expected, he supposed, Leonhart had called upon the brave, the bold, and the willing- not his own personal armies. Perhaps he was in search of talent born of circumstance and spontaneity, something that his more organized and rigid armies could not match.

"What an interesting group are we." Galahad concluded as he too reached for one of the many flagons of honeyed mead sitting in the center of the table. He took a satisfying sip of the sweet drink- its warmth and sweetness reminded him of Midgar, and far suited his palate better than the wines the southern Edernians enjoyed.

Unfortunately, any moment of silent enjoyment of his drink Galahad might've had was interrupted as the man across from him abruptly stood and began clinking his fork against his goblet. His garb- and extravagance- marked him as a practitioner of Red magic. Veritable jacks of all trades, employing both magic and blade. A rare breed indeed, Galahad was beginning to see why Leonhart had sought out adventurers instead. "A bit early for toasts, no?" Galahad replied softly to the young warrior next to him, though he listened on with an eyebrow raised in slight amusement as the mage began to wax on honeyed words.

Galahad's wandering eyes eventually caught Leonhart's, the two cousins sharing a silent conversation in raised eyebrows, slight shrugs, and knowing looks. What the two had not expected was for the red mage to call on Galahad by name- Leonhart stifling a chuckle as Galahad returned his attention to the man in front of him, an outstretched hand waiting for him to respond. Galahad's eyes flickered from the hand, to the man extending the hand, a tired expression on his face replied with an unspoken question: 'Why?' The red mage spoke of women, and the duty of men to not allow them to take on the lion's share of the work themselves- words he didn't quite understand. Even in the tables of people, Galahad could spot more than one woman he would not have wanted to be on the opposite end of a duel with. Even if they were not all fighters like he, he had no doubt everyone in this room had talents of some sort- the sort that would set them apart as a useful aspect of any adventuring group.

Galahad remembered why he disliked the feasts and ceremonies his cousin so enjoyed. Still, as to not embarrass the man waiting for him to speak, Galahad reluctantly stood, his full height towering over many nearby that still stood, offering his cousin a slight, but dutiful nod.

"I'm afraid I don't quite understand- of perhaps see the point of such a question." Galahad replied calmly, his cool, silken voice still carrying across the room. "Those that are here, are here because they choose to be, whether for duty, for pay, or for reasons all their own. Fighters, mages, scholars, former friends and former enemies, irregardless. It is not upon us to coddle one another, but rather to each do our best at what we do, so that others are able to do the best at what they do."

With another slight nod to Leonhart, Galahad took a sip of his drink, and returned to his seat. Nodding at the blonde haired woman across from him, Galahad spoke, softer now that he was no longer addressing the group. "Would you be so kind as to pass the Quillback? I'd like to eat something from home before my dearest cousin sends us all to some far flung land and the comforts of Edren are far away."
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Psyker Landshark
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Psyker Landshark return to monke

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Ranbu no Izayoi


The banquet was certainly opulent. Generous, even. Considering that Leonhardt was hosting and feeding a host of otherwise itinerant mercenaries, thugs, and gods know what else. The food was certainly a pleasure. Izayoi couldn't deny that her old enemy set a fine table. She'd already ate a helping of boar, followed by fish. Certainly heartier than court meals she'd had to endure with the samurai. But above all else? This banquet was a waste of her time.

She'd come to see exactly what Edren's new king had in mind when he'd made an open call for aid, and yet all the little fool was doing was stall, socialize, and dine. Both Valheim and the Blight ate away at the continent, and he thought there was time for niceties? A few seats down from him was a familiar face. A middle-aged Faye nobleman, bearing an eyepatch and scars. Strange. Izayoi could have sworn she'd taken both of that commander's eyes.

___
"Is this all my prey has to offer?" Ranbu no Izayoi let a maddened cackle loose as a swing of her sword had the opposing knight scrambling to cower behind his shield, yet another crack forming in the targe. "Better than the gibbering fool that came before you, but still lacking nonetheless. If you have nothing else to show me, then you will meet your end!"

She leapt up into the air, gripping the hilt of her blade in both hands before sending it crashing down. The Faye knight raised his shield and tried to block, but Izayoi's strike shattered it and continued downward. Somehow, the man retained enough presence of mind to desperately jerk out of the way of certain death, to the point that her sword only grazed his eye. Still, it left him writhing in the dirt and muck as Izayoi stood triumphant before him, raising her blade for the coup de grace.

"Disappear from my sight, worm-" A flicker of movement from the corner of her eye told her all she needed.

"Protect the commander!"

A gunshot rang out from the side, and Izayoi turned, cutting the bullet apart in a vertical slice even as Edrenian reinforcements began to rush her. Contemptuous flicks of her hand sent her sword to take hands, arms, and heads, unworthy warriors cut down before her in an instant even as the Faye knight was escorted onto a chocobo, galloping beyond her range. How vexing. She'd claim his head later.

She never did claim his head later.

___

It was with a sense of dull surprise that Izayoi realized the memory held nothing for her anymore. Once, she would have felt satisfication or pride at the thought of the duel and how thoroughly the knight had been crushed before her. Now, its only significance to her was that the events within did indeed happen. It had been only a single eye. No matter.

Not for the first time that evening, Izayoi resisted the urge to reach for the sheathed wakizashi she'd tucked away into her robes and snuck into the banquet. Had she been confident that she was more than a match for the combined strength of the Edrenians in the hall, they would have been cowed before her might and acted as she bid. But her movements were still too slow, her muscle memory only just remembering the ebb and flow of the dance.

So instead, the swordswoman poured herself a cup of water from the jug on the table and let a deep frown show as some yammering fool at her table stood and began to make an ass of himself. Most of his speech was empty, and the rest? Deliberate provocation. Was this a gathering of champions, or a marriage arrangement? If the man wished to troll for women, he could do so without wasting the time of everyone else present.

The scruffy-looking Sollan next to her spoke quietly, and Izayoi huffed in amusement.

"At least someone here is capable of speaking sense." She replied to him in a low murmur as one Lord Caradoc at their table rose and replied. Caradoc...where had she heard that name before? It was during the war, to be certain. But who...? She certainly didn't remember one of that name as someone notable in her theater of war. Irrelevant, then. Still, if this was going to devolve into more fools prancing and posturing about, then she wasn't going to play.

"Enough. I tire of this farce." Izayoi's voice rang out across the hall as she stood, drawing attention to herself for the first time. No doubt a few would recognize her. The Limbtaker. Kaien's Revenge. The Emperor's Demon. And a myriad of other colorful invectives the Edrenians had for her during the war. "Are you so desperate, King of Edren, that you would simply allow thugs and brigands to feast at your table and take advantage of your largesse for a scrap of their service, or are you merely a fool? Speak of what you truly have in mind, or you waste the time of what few in attendance are worthy."
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Ogo
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Ogo oop

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Noelle Laurents

Location: Balmung Castle | Banquet Hall | Mentions: n/a




As light conversation rose amongst those gathered at her table, the girl calling herself Noelle had politely kept to herself, putting to use the proper etiquette that had been drilled into her by a most strict taskmaster. She was at the court of a lord and there were certain expectations to be followed regardless of the fact that she was there as a gun-for-hire. Good posture, elbows off the table, napkin placed across her lap, Noelle slowly began to do away with the cut of meat on her plate - Quillback she would learn from the discussion downtable.

As she ate, the girl quietly studied those gathered - by their tongue, Noelle would guess that Edren citizens made up nearly half of their number, though one of them had the remnants of a Skaelaen accent. Another still had the tongue of a traveler, bearing the taint of Skael, Edren, and what sounded like Osprey? It was a bit different to the woman seated across from Noelle, but there was no mistaking the Mystrel’s origin - she wore it plain. Which only left the timid woman. Noelle hadn’t had many opportunities to hear her speak yet, but her dress marked her as one of the forest folk. Curious that they’d be willing to threaten their precious neutrality by answering the summons of an Edren lord, but these were ‘unprecedented times.’

A couple among their number seemed as if they may be potential threats - most notably the northern woman - but the overall risk level seemed low. They were too meek, too foolish, too self-destructive, too trusting, or too detached to prove any significant danger. Judging from the sheer number of people within the banquet hall and the manner in which they were placed, Noelle wouldn’t have been surprised if the lord had intended to form multiple parties for whatever task he had in mind. If that was the case, Noelle would have ample time to devise contingency plans in the scenario that her peers needed to be neutralized. As Noelle brought a bit of Quillback to her mouth, her dead eyes sliding to the side, glancing toward her neighbors. Mages first, then the Osprey woman…from there the threat becomes negligible.

As the resident fool rose to his feet and called for attention, Noelle ignored him, taking the time to survey the room as subtly as possible. While there were a not insignificant amount of guards present, she would have thought more would have been stationed with the number of rough individuals gathered. An attempt on Lord Leonhart in this situation, while difficult, wouldn’t be impossible. She had turned over the materia cannon and one of her handguns when she had arrived, but the remaining palm-sized gun stored within a hidden pocket on the inside of her leather breastplate would be plenty. The most difficult part would be drawing close enough to ensure the lethality of the shot as the ‘guests’ seemed to be kept away from the lord’s dais. Extraction afterwards may be unlikely, but it would be altogether a small price to pay to destabilize a realm. Had that been her mission, the parameters seemed acceptable…but regicide had been left out of the mission dossier.

The northern woman’s outburst across from her had caught Noelle unaware, but she maintained her composure, continuing to indulge in her meal as the woman displayed her impatience. Part of her was thankful - feigning interest in the whimsy of dainty men wasn’t exactly her favorite part of the job. When she began to call out the lord in question directly, Noelle grabbed her cup of red wine and began to sip, quietly amused and perfectly content to play audience to the disaster theatre being performed before her.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Lucky
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Lucky Claims Medic

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Arbora Silasdottir

Location: Balmung Castle | Bailey | Mentions: N/A


Tick tick tack tick tap!
A young Viera strolls through the quiet courtyard, stragglers and other late arrivals preferring their haste to warmth over such leisurely walking. Arbora's attention is rapt within her device, simultaneously recording and ignoring the world going on around her. Dozens of people, from all walks of life, passed her in the last half hour as she slowed to a halt several times. Most were courteous and gave her a wide berth, while others threatened to shoulder check her; however they made their way, it was of no consequence to her. People do as they see fit as aligns with their customs.
Tap tap tap. . . tip!
The cold is of no matter to her, even if she didn't wear her heavy coat. The Snowshoe tribe are nomadic, sure, but they spend the cold seasons closer to Midgar, careful to take advantage of the hibernating predators' absence. Dragons have their patterns and hunting territory, which can be rather expansive, leaving the tribe with plenty of breathing space as they moved about and made their temporary homes. Dragon sightings have occurred, however rare, though their attention to Viera was virtually nil, likely prioritizing the mines and surrounding towns to terrorize instead. Greater reward and all that.
Swipe tap!
Arbora's eyes finally scroll offscreen, her feet taking her to the first step of the large structure. However well-traveled she may be, in a sense, she is still not accustomed to the greater structures of civilization. She recognizes architectural strong points that largely serve some function in its defense, but the intricate carvings tell of some afforded opulence and grandstanding. She takes a moment to absorb the imagery, a presentation to the masses that the royalty are of every importance to their needs and wants. There's some truth to that, she considers, though it may be best shown through tangible contributions as relief to their chronic plight rather than symbolism; but what would a nomad such as herself know, who doesn't have to care for thousands, nay, tens or even hundreds of thousands?
Taking in a deep, quiet breath, she ascends the steps. Some amount of dirt from others left behind crunch between her boots and the sturdy cut stone. The din of performances, jovial conversations, and the occasional shouting meets her halfway up the stiga, accompanied shortly after by subtle scents of roasted meats until she makes it to the massive entrance. Guards await her, like they have with all the others, and request of her weapons. With a polite smile, she unshoulders her satchel and offers it to them.
"I can keep this, right? I would like to record this whole affair for posterity." Gesturing with her tablet in hand, she watches as the guard bearing a rifle looks to their partner and, with a few words and acceptable expressions, give her permission to hold onto the device. They warn her of not wielding it with any hostile intent, to which she gives a long-winded response of its multi-functionality and technical properties.

Location: Balmung Castle | Banquet Hall | Mentions: N/A


Inside the castle was even more wealth than she had imagined: high ceilings with precious metals and stones making up their massive light fixtures; emerald walls that convey natural soothing as well as its nation's symbolic colors; painted portraits and landscapes filling the walls that speak of importance and beauty; and what may be most impressive to Arbora is the sheer amount of food and drink, veiling almost every visible table top as crowds eat their fill.
A tap on her right shoulder mildly spooks her, but seeing it's another guard directing her to a table, she nods curtly and makes her way to the rumpus. Arbora hasn't had the chance to sit down before men in formal attire at the very table she's attending have taken opportunities to make some kind of announcement-- or is that what constitutes as a toast? Setting down the tablet beside the fine empty plate and cutlery, she takes a moment to observe the other individuals; a perfect time to do so as a loud and particularly aggressive Mystrel grabs the attention of most.
The most obvious one to start with being the rambunctious one currently challenging their host. Whatever their background, they clearly have an ego to take on the gods. She didn't even introduce herself to the room, as though everyone should recognize the warrior. Her physique is impressive, along with some of the other more martially-adept folks at the table, but it's the attitude of a challenger that appeals to Arbora most. Surely this one will serve as a study subject more than a collaborator, but sometimes looks can be deceiving.
The two that spoke before her, however, carry themselves like the few nobles Arbora has met before. While she knows that such words spoken should not always be taken at face value, there are still notes of truth of what is said even if she doesn't know the hidden intents (if there are any). Decorum, social aspects in court, and relationships definitely hold value even in her book.
A younger Sollan girl sits across from her, keeping to herself, giving almost no information away besides their ability to remain tactful. Smart, whether intentional or otherwise, and could be calm due to either experience or ignorance. Admirable trait, either way. A Sollan man closer to Arbora's age seems to be getting along with those around him, a familiar communal demeanor. First impression on him, however, is fairly lacking. Almost everyone else at the table is impressive in their own right, though the way her carries himself seems basic; a good thing, in most circumstances. Maybe not in a space with so many standouts vying for attention and assignment. Chirping Chocobo gets the greens, as the saying goes.
Arbora almost missed the Sollan girl at the other end and side of the table. Keeping to herself, reserved. If anyone stands out, it's her at this point. Almost nobody else is as quiet as she. Definitely an interesting cast of adventurers, and when considering the number of attendees, likely to be divvied up into troops of some kind, especially that she was directed to this table instead of choosing her own space. She observes the other tables briefly, a whole range of races and backgrounds. Some make her think she would have gotten along with them, using tech and magic as she does.
For now, she settles into her seat and reaches over to one of the abundant bowls of fruit, taking even portions of those, vegetables, and a few slivers of boar. Then a cup of wine. Without a word, she offers a small smile to the girl across from her before digging in, careful to not let the Mystrel bump into her.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Vertigo
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Vertigo five crows for silver

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𝔏𝔢𝔦𝔣𝔲𝔯 𝔊𝔲ð𝔪𝔲𝔫𝔡𝔰𝔰𝔬𝔫

__________________________________________________


The crown had spared no expense preparing today's banquet. In all his years, Leifur had never set foot inside a castle before, and yet all its decorative splendor paled in comparison with what the tables had to offer. Rows upon rows of food and drink, many of which the viera had never seen before. When he'd made his way to the table at the far right, he'd noticed some of the common folk hesitating to touch the food at all, as if afraid they'd ruin a precious work of art.

Leifur, as evident by his overflowing plate, had no such trouble.

They'd yet to be briefed on the details of what was to come, but that didn't mean one couldn't - shouldn't - start their battle preparations early. They said armies marched on their stomachs, and Leifur intended to eat enough to march straight to Valheim's goddamn capital if need be. At least some of the expenses spent would go to a worthy cause that way. Because as delicious as the food was, Leifur found it ridiculous that the king would sink funds into a feast while the world outside was struggling to survive. How many could this banquet have fed, clothed, and housed?

He'd eat his fill and take some food with, and gods help whichever guard tried to stop him.

The harmony of fork, knife and quiet conversation was disturbed when a particularly gaudy man stood and attempted a toast. How many heard him and how many cared, Leifur didn't know, but he wasn't among either. He was too busy cutting venison to raise his gaze, the scent of the peppered meat so strong it threatened to overwhelm all five of his senses. What bits and pieces of the man's speech did manage to reach the viera's ears were nothing but drivel, though. The man seemed to think they ought to be in awe that women had answered the call - to be moved by it, somehow.

Leifur did move, but only to refill his bowl of soup. Pumpkin; his favourite.

The boy must not have met many women in his life, the viera man concluded as he swapped fork for a spoon. No matter, he would learn what mattered in battle in due time - or die before he could. Either way, his ignorance was a temporary nuisance and safe to ignore.

A noble-looking sort - Caradoc, a familiar name - stood at the fool's beckoning to give a short, sensible speech of his own, and no sooner had he sat down than another stood. A woman whose likeness seemed familiar as well. Too many years, too many faces; Leifur had always been better at remembering names. Her speech was less sensible. She was right in one thing, though; the king was, without a doubt, a fool.

Am I a thug, Leifur wondered idly. But not for long, because the bread was fresh and enticing, and he was nearly done with his soup.

The gunbreaker sat a couple of seats away from the epicenter of the ruckus, but the constant vying for attention had made him look over more times than he'd intended. And so, he caught sight of a new face as she settled into a seat. A viera, but unlike the ones he'd met before. She seemed quiet, timid, hesitant; all traits Leifur didn't readily associate with the women of his kin. And then there was that device in her hands...

Leifur's eyes lingered on her. He was staring. A wiser man would have at least tried to hide it, but Leifur was not wise in the way of manners, and did not avert his gaze even as he stabbed into a piece of boar; he'd almost forgotten to finish it. His plate looked like a battlefield, bits and pieces of meats and sauces all intermingled and forgotten in favour of a new battle with a new dish.

It was only once the man realized he'd ran out of butter that he tore his gaze away from the viera girl to search for it. There. Too far to the left, where all the noisy people were. Great.

"Someone not engrossed in theatrics," the gunbreaker looked at no one in particular, and addressed whomever happened to hear. One of his hands was extended and waiting, one still holding a knife - sideways, like a weapon, not like a utensil. An old habit. "Pass me the damn butter."
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Cu Chulainn
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Cu Chulainn nuts

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Balmung Castle - Banquet Hall
Grand Introduction

Mentions: @Vertigo

The young Faye fiddled with his bare wrists, clearly uncomfortable with the festivities. Between the banter being passed about along with the food, a lot of it was almost too much for the shut-in. He thought this would be a more... discreet affair. Maybe he just showed up to the castle, meet the lord or, more likely, one of his pencil pushers, and sign on for some adventure! To be honest, Aelphis wasn't quite sure what he expected, but a banquet full of distinguished warriors was not something he was prepared for, for sure.

The talking, bickering, shouting even, watching the food fly out of people's mouths as they spoke. The smells that filled the hall, the mix of fragrant aromas. The splattering of colors, the mix of strangers he was seated a bit too close to. It was all a bit too much for Aelphis. He already missed the quietness of his home, the mix of dark greens and browns, the tranquil humming of the insects and other animals that made their homes in the trees that surrounded his little hamlet. Aelphis thought of that feeling deeply, wishing for a sense of familiarity, once more.

A hit would be nice right now.

Aelphis shuffled underneath his robes, doing his best to maintain a sense of discretion. He poked at a strange glass device hooked to his hip, a contemplative look on his face. Maybe he should take a hit now. Maybe that'd help with the chaos, that loud grating noise in his ear. That noise, those colors, these people... They were staring at him, weren't they? Staring at him with disdain, with distrust, something that even a shut-in like Aelphis had gotten accustomed to. After all, he was a filthy witch, a dirty witch, a fiendish witch.

A witch, just like mother.

Aelphis pulled his robes fully over him and the device. It's best not to, with all these eyes on him. What he needed was to relax, to act natural. He grasped his utensils, resting the ends of them on the table eagerly as he looked at the food served on his plate. Quillback, was it? Aelphis wasn't exactly paying attention to what was put on his plate. He scarfed the morsel hungrily, smacking his lips exaggeratedly with every bite. It was... actually good. Aelphis continued to eat with genuine gusto, going so far as to disregard his utensils as he stuffed his face.

Perhaps this banquet wasn't so bad, after all. With a big gulp, Aelphis leaned over, hoping to grab more of that quillba-

"W-wah!"

The Faye jumped back, in surprise. That's... that's a knife! A dining knife, but still a knife! His head turned slowly as if on a rusty swivel, looking up to the Viera like a rodent cornered by a fierce, bunny-eared predator. This was the same man who was staring intently at him, Aelphis thought... or was it through him? Was it because he looked too eager to eat? Did Aelphis look weird, gross?

A sigh of relief was let out when the Viera simply asked for some butter.

"B-butter! Right, I can grab that! Butter!" Aelphis exclaimed, almost saluting the man as he would reach to the butter. Oh, it's awfully far, huh? The diminutive Faye struggled as he reached forward for the butter, a look of exertion on his face. He's... he's trying, that's for sure, but he struggled much more than the Sollan girl beside him who was reaching for some drink just a moment ago.

Oh lord, someone help him before he splays himself over the table...
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Marlowe
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MENTIONS: ...

Just as her fingers were about to wrap around the handle of the ceramic flagon, one of the table’s inhabitants– a dark-haired man with a delicate face– handed the container to her. Neve blinked up at him as he spoke to her with words drenched in honey. They were enough to dust her cheeks in a rosy hue. Warmth swelling in her chest, she turned her eyes back to the flagon as she poured herself only half a mug of the golden liquid. Neve placed it back down with a quivering hand as the red mage turned his attention towards a pale-haired man that looked very much like Leonhart. A nervous, dark-haired man critiqued the other mage for his pompous speech, and Neve gave the three men a small, lop-sided smile. At least they’re lively, she thought to herself as she nodded at the noble-looking man upon his request. She carefully handed him the platter of the quillback before she returned to picking apart her trout. The flesh was sweet, delicious, and melted in her mouth. It was enough to make her toes curl–

Neve flinched when the older mystrel on the other side of the dark-haired sollan suddenly rose up and lashed fire-fueled words towards Leonhart. Her eyes darted between her and the lord, who appeared to be as surprised as she was. The banter that had flooded the dining hall had dwindled to a few mere whispers. For a moment, she worried that the woman would be thrown out from the feast, but Leonhart had instead risen from his chair and took a few steps towards the head of the room. He swirled a bejeweled goblet in his right hand as he offered Izayoi a frivolous bow.

”My apologies, fair lady.” He appeared to be genuine as he smiled at her. ”Perhaps I should have made a statement before everyone became so engrossed with the festivities.”

Neve swallowed a mouthful of fish before she washed it down with a small sip of the honeyed mead. Now that he was closer, he seemed to be much younger than she previously thought. He couldn’t have been too much older than she was.

”As we all know, it has been some time since the Mothercrystal has fallen dark. Strange beasts lurk across the countryside and outskirts of cities alike and even now, shadows encroach upon the purest of soils. Every day, we lose more and more to this foul miasma, with little hope to defeat it– until now, that is.”

She was so engrossed with the king and his speech that she hardly heard the ruckus on the other side of the table. Absent-mindedly, she handed the robed man a small platter of butter before she resettled her sights on Leonhart. He had strode to the other side of the room and held out the goblet towards those who sat here.

”Feasting within these halls are those who believe that they can make a change– that they can save our homelands from destruction. Some might say that they are naught but thieves, brigands, wayward travelers… but all I see are warriors of the continent, fit to carry out a crusade against those who wish to lay waste to Ibros. That is why I gathered all of you within these halls– that you, the Divine Mother’s champions, will search for her Light anew and return it to the Mothercrystal.”

Neve blinked again.

”I have divided all of you into four separate teams,” Leonhart continued as he began to motion his goblet towards each table, starting from where he stood. “Unicorn, Seraph, Fenrir, and Kirin– the first who returns the Light to the Mothercrystal shall not only be seen as the saviors of Ibros, but will also receive a generous sum of ten million gil as a reward.”

The trout must have gone down the wrong way, because her throat stung with the intensity of a hornet’s strike. Coughing, Neve scrambled for another draught of her goblet. Ten million gil?! She raised her gaze to the others as murmurs of surprise and calls of excitement echoed around the hall anew. Did Leonhart even have that much money?!

”We will emerge victorious from this storm of shadows!” Leonhart’s voice became a fever pitch as he raised his goblet far above his head. ”We shall restore the Light to the Mothercrystal and purge the darkness from the land!”

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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Dezuel
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Dezuel Broke out of limbo

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Zeidgram


There had been a variety of reactions to his words, some were eager to simply get a move on already. While the matter was an urgent one, and he felt that the sooner they would be on their way the better. The darkhaired sollan on the opposing side of the table looked like he had seen battle and overall seemed to be a warrior in his own right. While he didn't exactly strike Zeidgram as someone remarkable, the red mage knew that looks could be deceiving and that his final judgements on the man would be done later. Lord Caradoc, the hunter of the dragons had stood up and offered his views on things. While his response had been a calm one, it was also filled with some useful information about what kind of man he were.

'A man hunting dragons, a path very different from one where you are hunting for words... or other things. A man who wouldn't coddle his peers, yet I suspect he has been the subject of pampering since his birth. A man who goes out to slay dragons to prove he's a man. I need not to climb a mountain to prove something to myself. For with the clarity of mine path being trodden, I already am above such.' He mentally mused to himself as he observed the tall and graceful dragonhunter straight across the table.

It was then that a mystrel spoke up, a stark contrast to the soft tone used by Galahad. Her mouth were spitting fire, which took the shape of words and went on to become sentences. Eagerness, anger and with such a defiant and unyielding tone. It was something which Zeidgram didn't enjoy being at the other end of, hotheaded people were harder to read than those of a calmer mindset.

'This one has a temper... a lack of self-discipline and there's a fire there. I wonder just what makes her... burn? I suppose I may find out in dear time, those whom are patient will be rewarded in the end. Yet those which do not seize a moment when it presents itself are truly fools. I do not wish to count myself amongst them. Despite it all, the old crone seems to speak directly from her core, that is more than can be said for most people. An admirable trait in itself, but a fatal weakness that others may exploit. Perhaps abit of... resistance training could do wonders?' The mage pondered as Izayoi finished addressing the room, then the red mage knew that if he didn't seize the moment, it would slip away. He couldn't allow that to happen with all the things stacked in his favor.

But alas the king, Leonhart had apparently been waiting for such a moment himself and seized the moment first. It was with some inner irritation that he had been prevented from hurling out some words towards the mystrel on the other side of the table.

'Oh what a pity. Oh well, I suppose it cannot be helped. But that mystrel is no lady at all. Claiming that these tables are filled with fools and brigands? Then would she not be the biggest fool of all? Because she would be sitting by the very same table as those she'd label to be that very thing... outmost laughable.' The sollan allowed himself a soft upturn at the corner of his mouth, his ear taking in what the king was saying, it wasn't necessarily a bad speech by any means, but to the red mage it offered nothing new than what he already knew. That the blight had to be stopped, and whatever thing was pulling the strings behind the scenes. The red mage had already his theories of what the reason could be, yet such a pathway was often forked, where the dark and the light could both render one blind.

'Ten million gil? Hah... no doubt such a sum would sway many a heart to such a cause, to the point their minds would lead them down a path of corruption. They say wealth is a sort of power, used by those whom have it against those which do not. They would likely even try to buy themselves out of death itself if they could. People's hearts and minds are too easily swayed. My heart cannot be bought by such a thing.' He mused to himself waiting for the king to finish his speech and the onlookers to have a moment of whispering and gossip. He knew all too well just how fond the rich were fond of doing that, and no doubt those which were not would be overjoyed by promise of wealth. But life cannot be bought. What use were coin to the dead? He chuckled to himself, before taking hold of his goblet and standing up again to support Leonhart's inspirational speech, offering a nod to the king first and then to others present, til his gaze finally settled on the empty goblet he had lifted up.

'If the goblet is half-empty, or half-full. That is what most ponder. But what if it is empty? Ever pondered on that have you? The power behind the blight, I shall grasp it with my own hands.' Zeidgram allowed his eyes to wander to Neva.

"Red suits your cheeks well, pretty missy." He said in a quiet and soft manner towards Neva, his lips forming a soft smile, his eyes trying to lock into hers. He seemed to blow some air from his lips out into the room, as if he was sighing or from relief.

@Ambra
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Ogo
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Ibraham : Part 1

Location: Balmung Castle | Banquet Hall | Mentions: n/a




“That’s bollocks.” the Faye nobleman cackled, the tint of his cheeks signifying that he was well into his cups by now. Beside him, a scruffy man sputtered and shook his head, gesturing across the room with his mug.

“No no, I swear it on me life - hells, I swear it on me mum’s life. Fuck a Blight, I found the Mother right then and there. Thought she was gonna crush my head with ‘em.” he said, drawing another fit of laughter from the well-dressed drunkard and a rolling of the eyes from the women across the table from him before she turned her head away from the conversation. The scruffy man noticed her avert her gaze out of the corner of his eye. He brought his mug to lips as the laughing waned, the mead only splashing his closed lips before he pulled the mug away and wiped his forearm across his mouth, which prompted the Faye to follow with his own drink. Ibraham then turned in his seat closer toward the man, laying a hand on his shoulder and looking at his face.

“Stop. Stop. You did not bed the Limbtaker.” the man said, shaking his head with a grin.

“Hear me out: she does this thing with the ears-” he started which spurred another fit of choked laughter and a strained gasping of "Earfucker" from the mark. The man turned his body partially toward Ibraham, who dropped his hand. Ibraham shifted his eyes toward the next table over and reached across his neighbor, pointing with his mug at the sullen looking robed Mystrel woman as he nodded towards her. As he moved in, his free hand found its way to the strings attaching the obviously wealthy man’s gilpurse to his belt. He pinched a string, only beginning to pull lightly when the man moved to follow Ibraham’s gesture. As the man’s body turned in that way drunken folk tend to when they’ve imbibed enough alcohol to make moving one’s neck too daunting a task, Ibraham deftly tugged at the knot, freeing the gilpurse that he pinched with his remaining fingers, stopping it from falling to the ground. He moved the purse to his own coat, storing it inside before returning his free hand to his own side, undoing the knot on one of his own pouches before palming it.

It would be about that time that the woman in question would speak up to insult every person in the room. As the conversations in the room died down due to the outburst, Ibraham leaned towards his drinking buddy, “Bet she’d slap the piss outta me if I went over there.” he said quietly to his mark with a chuckle. When his companion didn’t immediately turn to respond, instead seemingly fixated on the woman, the pickpocket moved the dummy pouch to the man’s side.

“Then do it.” the man said. For a brief moment, Ibraham froze, thinking that he’d been made, but then he relaxed again as the man turned back toward him snickering. “Fifty gil says she doesn’t even give you the time of day.” he challenged.

Ibraham laughed, hiding his relief. “So either I get slapped, or I give you fifty gil? That’s a pretty shitty deal, don’tcha think?” he asked.

The drunk grinned. “That a no, then?” he asked.

“I never said that.” Ibraham grinned back.

About that time, the king gave his response. Blah blah blah shadows at the gates, blah blah no hope, blah blah -

Ten million gil?

Ibraham’s eyes shot over to Leonhart. He blinked, stunned at what he had heard. Ten million gil? As the excitement spread over those gathered, Ibraham’s eyes flicked over those seated at his table. They seemed capable enough but…

His gaze flickered back over to the walking war crime that had been his distraction for the evening. She had a reputation. He had heard the muttering when she first entered the hall and then during the outburst. She was a known quantity. By that alone, it seemed like she might give the best odds of actually doing this…whatever the fuck it was. The gears began turning in his head as he altered his plan. He had originally intended to just hit what marks he could and be out of the city by sunrise but now…

Ten million gil. What a ridiculous amount.

Fuck it.

Ibraham bumped his knee against the Faye’s leg to disguise his snaking one of the strings on the dummy purse past the man’s belt. Luckily, the man seemed to be too engrossed in the chatter that had erupted around the table to notice. With one hand, Ibraham raised the mug to his lips and took an actual drink. With the other, he deftly tied the strings into a knot, securing the dummy bag full of mostly sand along with a few spare junk metal disks to clink together to the other man’s belt.

“Alright, I’ll do it. But that fifty gil’s bumping up to fifty thousand if she knocks a tooth out, so you better pray you win that money.” Ibraham said as he clasped a hand on his drinking buddy’s shoulder to support his rise from his chair. The Faye man hooted and said something unintelligible before he greedily sloshed down another gulp from his glass, blissfully unaware that he had just made a wager with the man who robbed him.



Noelle Laurents

Location: Balmung Castle | Banquet Hall | Mentions: @Lucky@Psyker Landshark@Dezuel@Ambra




Noelle met the smiling Viera woman with her own smile in return. She had started to say something when the king began his speech.

As Lord Leonhart spoke, Noelle first watched him with disinterest. The grandstanding aside, he hadn’t been wrong about the beasts. They were making travel rather complicated. It could be good for business, but…Noelle would prefer them gone. She was better geared toward felling man than monster, truth be told. Certainly had more of a stomach for it. Monsters were little more than creatures of instinct. Men…men chose their actions. It sat better with her when she knew her target actively chose to do something that put them in her sights, knowing full well the potential consequences of their actions. Of their greed. In a warped way, monsters were pure. Ruthless, brutal even, but there was still a purity to the simplicity.

But there was little room for idealistic fantasizing in her world. Assuming the reward was split evenly amongst all members of the team and assuming that all members survive, a million gil was more than enough to justify working an unofficial assignment. She would need to treat this as any other job she had been assigned to. Reporting to Xu was a priority, but there was a strong likelihood that the handler was already well aware of the terms of the job when she directed Noelle to attend the gathering. Noelle softened, allowing herself to appear intrigued at the proclamation. She didn’t join with the cheering or hooting that had begun to rip through the hall, but she wore excitement nonetheless.

She turned to look at her new companions, sizing them up now as allies rather than potential targets. There was…potential. She would needs discover their strengths and weaknesses, but overall there didn’t appear to be any overt weak links. If she needed to use them to achieve her goals, that suited her just fine.

“The meal’s quite good, actually. I’d almost argue that it alone was worth the trip.” Noelle offered the Mystrel woman in between bites. “Would be nice if our task was a little less vague, I’ll admit.” She continued, more for herself than the others. Stopping to take a drink of her wine, Noelle turned her head to the right, posing her next question to those downtable from her. “Any thoughts on how to turn the Light back on?”

Not quite a question she ever thought she’d ask in this context, but here she was. They would do well to pool their knowledge, establish what they did and didn’t know. Her gaze went to the standing man, who had just said…

Wait.

What?

She turned her head towards the woman across from her, visibly confused as she mouthed the phrase ‘pretty missy’ silently. Had…had she heard that correctly? She didn’t make out everything he said, given he was a couple seats down but…pretty missy? Now, Noelle had about as much romantic experience as your average rock, but even she knew that that one was just…awful. What? Was this really the time or place for…whatever that was? Absolutely shameless. He’ll be dead in a week.



Ibraham : Part 2

Location: Balmung Castle | Banquet Hall | Mentions: @Lucky




As he crossed the hall, Ibraham swiped a chair out behind a portly man attempting to sit down, who then stumbled back into a man in furs who in turn swung around then swung, sending the portly man to the ground. Luckily enough, neither of the men seemed to have noticed who caused it.

As Ibraham approached table Kirin, he pulled the chair in front of him and plopped down at the head of the table.

“Heeeeeya buuuddddies~” he lilted, flashing his smile to the rather dour collection of faces seated at the table. As he scanned each, his eyes settled on an older man at the end of the table, across from a Viera beckoning for butter. “Daaamn, Gramps, what’d these folk do to you? You look miserable.” he called across the table. The older Mystel man scrunched his face indignantly before scoffing. “My table’s a bit more…mellow if you’d wanna trade.” he continued, hiking a thumb over his shoulder.

The Mystel man squinted at Ibraham before peering past him. After a moment of consideration, he harrumphed, got to his feet, gathered his belongings, then wordlessly accepted the offer by striding across the hall.

Ibraham smiled at the man as he watched him go, waiting for the man to leave earshot before he spoke up again to nobody in particular without turning. “I was standing near him earlier and noticed he had fallen asleep, right there on his feet.” he explained, before finally turning back to the table after the old man found a seat.“I was just about to wake him up when he cut one and spooked himself awake.” he continued, helping himself to an empty glass and the bottle of wine in front of the redheaded woman. “No joke, he must have jumped ten feet easily. Damn near gave himself a heart attack, I’d say.” he said as he tilted the bottle, unleashing a red waterfall into his glass. “So, you’re welcome.” he finished, turning towards the Viera woman to his left and raising his glass before shooting the red liquid back.

“Call me Ibraham and let’s all get rich together, eh?” he announced to whoever happened to be listening, leaning back in the chair smugly.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Ithradine
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Location: Balmung Castle | Banquet Hall


It became quite evident to Arton that he would find no trouble fitting in with this group. With this colorful cast, he would find no trouble remaining under the radar...at least for now. The background of a travelling adventurer was simple enough for your average commoner not to pry any further. It would suffice for their first interactions but he would need to construct a better history for himself or find a way to avoid investigations into his person. The past needed to remain buried deep in the frozen ground of Skael. That was why he was most cautious about the Sollan woman sitting at the table that had taken their time to get involved into the overall conversation.

"Try telling him that." Arton replied cheerfully to Galahad, gesturing loosely with his fork towards Zeidgram.

The man's response to his apparent challenge suggested a noble lineage, not wishing to discredit the other while refraining from indulging him any further. Thoughtful and precise. Arton snatched a baked potato from the vast assortment, unable to resist the temptation of one of his favorites. He half-listened to Galahad as he went about adorning the baked spud with the perfect amount of accessories. Did he lack ambition? It was a question that had been daunting him for too long. Perhaps he was far too eager to throw himself headfirst into a problem that would take time to solve. Mirth brimmed in his eyes at the first bite of the decorated potato, cheeks rising in delight.

"I just like to speak my mind." He said amused but it was clear to him she was not.

While her outburst surely caught the attention of other guests, Arton was happy and content to continue eating what he had already gathered on his plate. Overthinking every detail would be so easy which is why he was going to enjoy this meal amongst friendly strangers. Be present in the moment, not trapped in the past. Wise words from his master that helped him keep his focus. That was the idea at least. It was a constant tug of war to keep himself in the moment and he was never far from the pit. While a few at the table handled an apparent crisis of butter, Arton finished his plate as the King rose to speak at last.

Arton felt a lump in his throat that made him grateful he was not in the middle of drinking. He soon recovered and beamed brightly at the King's proclamation "Hear, Hear!" It was the first time he projected his voice amidst the party but he was not alone in the hall. The dark-haired Sollan leaned back in his chair, lips still curved into a excited smile as he looked up and down the table. The number of tables for the champions matched the number of teams. It seemed these were the people his shield would protect. He felt eager. Excited. Anxious. Guilty.

He refilled his cup while he listened to the young Sollan woman "Haven't the faintest clue. I'm sure we'll find a lead. It might help to know each other's name so I'll go first. Name's Arton. Pleasure to meet all of ya." His voice carried across the table.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Psyker Landshark
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Ranbu no Izayoi


Leonhardt's seemingly genuine apology, of all things, only had Izayoi's glower deepen as she sat back down. That was it, then. The man truly didn't have a plan. Instead, he would throw a pack of adventurers and mercenaries out into the wild with only the promise of ten million gil to motivate them. It may have worked for the majority of those gathered within the hall, but at this point, Izayoi cared nothing for riches. The Emperor of Osprey had once gifted her an estate with her noble title after her ascension to general, and yet she'd never stepped in it once. As someone who'd once pored over sheets of troop movements, supplies, and budgets, ten million gil was a downright bargain compared to mobilizing and supplying an army.

"Tch," Izayoi murmured spitefully, still able to be heard by most of the table around her. "Not a month will pass before at least one of these 'teams' attempts to murder another to eliminate competition for the gil."

With that said, she leaned back and took another sip of water, coldly observing the immediate situation around her. After all, it seemed she'd be stuck with these people should she actually deign to stick with this nonsense. The idiot who'd spoken first earlier seemed to be fixated on flirting with a robed girl now, and doing so terribly. Followed by some scruffy, gil-obsessed ruffian barging in on their table. She just...wasn't going to deal with any of that right now. Gods help her, being surrounded by this much idiocy was exhausting.

Instead, Izayoi focused on what was to be more pertinent: sharing information. Once the Sollan next to her said his piece, Izayoi sighed before beginning to speak.

"I am known as Ranbu no Izayoi. Call me Izayoi if you wish, I care not. As for the Light..." She inclined her head briefly in the redheaded Skaelian's direction. "Unless one of you possesses an insight that I lack, I would take the fight to the occupiers from Valheim. The Blight began in the wake of their arrival. I would see what the godless foreigners know of it."
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Galahad Caradoc



Galahad nodded in thanks as he took the Quillback, though falling silent as a mystrel stood to begin berating the King and those that had gathered in the banquet hall. Had they been anyone else, Galahad might've stood up and told them to mind their insolent tongue- but it appeared they were in the presence of a legend. A dark, deadly, cruel legend, but a legend nonetheless. The bane of many an Ederian soldier had appeared in the midst of their banquet hall. The hall was quiet, the silence palpable, tense as a bowstring. Galahad noticed a few of the guards stationed within the feast hall tightened their grips on their weapons. A futile gesture ultimately, Galahad had heard legends of how fast the Limbtaker was- the guards would've been no match.

Still, ever the showman, Leonhart managed to flow into his speech so well that this entire thing might have been rehearsed. Much of what he heard was already much of what Leonhart had told Galahad in private- save for the division of teams and the reward. A sizable sum indeed, at least for an individual or group of individuals. Already Galahad could hear the murmurs. A sum that large could more or less propel any common man into the ranks of nobility through means alone- an excellent motivator if he'd ever heard one. While not as motivated by money himself, the offer was still no small feat. Unfortunately it seemed Leonhart as well didn't exactly know where to start, instead opting to just split the gathered travelers into teams to send off into the world.

Already, those at his table began conversing, introducing themselves and discussing first steps. The man next to him introduced himself as Arton. He looked younger than Galahad, but seemed pleasant enough and had the broad build of a man used to fighting. The next to introduce themselves was the Limbtaker herself, Izayoi- not that she needed much introduction. The woman suggested moving north to Osprey to take on the men of Valheim. Galahad had a feeling that her desire to go north was more of a personal matter than one to potentially restore the Light to Ibros, but she wasn't exactly off in her calculations.

Galahad lifted his head as well, setting aside his drink. "I am Galahad Caradoc of Midgar." He stated simply, omitting his titles from the introduction- just from what he'd garnered from the folk around him, titles mattered little. To himself as well, actions carried a greater weight than lofty words and titles.

"I am inclined to agree with a move towards Osprey." he added, The Blight appearing around the same time as the Valheim is suspicious. The Blight beasts aren't like any of the monsters I've seen before- it is possible that the Valheim could've brought them with them, either through accident or intent. We know scant little about the capabilities or the motivations of the Valheim, it is entirely possible that these beasts are man-made."
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Cu Chulainn
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Cu Chulainn nuts

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Balmung Castle - Banquet Hall
Butterfingers

Mentions: @Vertigo@Ambra[@honestly everyone lets be real here]

Aelphis was focused on one single thing. Not the flowy speech by their gracious host, nor by the rowdiness of those who feast alongside him. No, he had a single-minded goal for the butter. Yes, just one block of larded up fat that he so desperately needed, else he'd get shanked! Or worse! He wasn't sure what Viera did when they were angry, but he did not want to find out.

Thankfully, the Faye did not need to climb onto the table to grab the butter for himself. A plate of butter appeared before his very eyes, given to him by the blonde-haired woman who was seated to his left. Graciously, Aelphis bowed his head in thanks as he slowly grasped the plate.

"T-thanks." Aelphis muttered, his shaky hands holding the plate. Finally, the butter was his! All he needed to do now was pass it to the Viera and rejoice in his guts remaining in his body for another day! Aelphis's eyes were fixated to the Viera's knife, the plate of butter moving in accordance to his own will.

However, before he could fully let go of the plate, Aelphis froze, his knife-shaped ears twitching as they keenly picked up on the Lord's speech once more. Did... did he just say ten million gil? Ten million gil?! That's... that's a lot of gil! Assuming it's evenly distributed among, say, everyone on this table, that's still more than enough gil to buy all the ether Aelphis could ever dream of!

As Lord Leonhart concluded his speech, goblet raised in honor of all those who have gathered today, Aelphis could not help but literally jump out from his seat, standing atop his chair. His fist was raised in the air as he hollered in celebration, striking an almost dramatic pose as his hood flew right off his head.

"For the Goddess! For the Mothercrystal! For the Gil!"

Aelphis stood (relatively) tall and proud on his pedestal, in something of a victory pose. The Faye, in his excitement, did not realize the skeptical he made of himself, though it probably was not too egregious given the rest of the festivities. To be honest, this was the most motivated Aelphis has ever felt! For this one brief moment, all his worries began to wash away, his eyes settled almost firmly on the prize!

Almost, of course, as a glint of white and pale yellow caught his eye.

"... Oh, shi-"

Aelphis reached his hand out, but to no avail...

CRASH!

The plate of butter had found itself shattered on the floor, spared naught by the Black Mage's hubris. He stood there on his pedestal, frozen in both fear and shame. If they weren't already, all eyes were surely on him now, especially those of the particularly vicious Viera seated next to him! Right, suppose it's time to save some face, then?

"Aelphis Vres-Lii. Practitioner of Black Magic." The Faye said, giving a formal bow to his new colleagues, trying hard to avoid eye contact with anyone. "I will be in your care." Without a moment of hesitation, Aelphis readjusted himself to a seated position, straightening his clothes and doing his best to subtly kick the mess of butter and the shards of the shattered plate under the table.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Lucky
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Arbora Silasdottir

Location: Balmung Castle | Banquet Hall


Processing the words spoken around Arbora aren't a big ask, but with so many people talking and a feast much more grand than she's ever seen, almost everything is going over her head unless her attention is brought to something specifically. Even the new arrival at the end of the table had little influence over her at first, her being so absorbed within the aromatic meal and flickering tablet.

"Red suits your cheeks well, pretty missy." That phrase didn't register to Arbora until after the woman across from her repeated the last few words in silence and disbelief. Mid-chew with a healthy serving of meat, she stops to glance down the table. Other sorts of adventurers and veterans are introducing themselves to the table, a proclamation of the ten million gil reward, even the first and next steps what they should all do together as a team.

Her eyes dart between everyone as they speak now, resuming her mouthful consumption to completion. Clearing her throat with another swig of mead, she returns her gaze to the one across from her and the man beside. Taking a moment as if to collect her bearings, Arbora finally speaks aloud, first at the sollan girl (and to whoever will listen).

"Well, the girl in question is pretty, but I take it that missy is an unacceptable turn of phrase in this environ? If so, the gentleman should acknowledge the misgiving and apologize at once, in order to rebuild the perceived loss of respect, especially if we are to team up together. A foundation of trust will go a long way in keeping everyone together, which in turn will provide us with ends that we, as individuals, would not be able to meet otherwise." the young viera speaks matter-of-factly, as if the red-haired woman requested a whole report. For the first moment since she sat down, the tablet is dark and quiet.

She continues, this time eyeing Ibrahim yet speaking loud enough for all to hear, "My name is Arbora Silasdottir. I come from Clan Snowshoe, a nomadic tribe of Edren who, like many, have experienced hardships thanks to the Blight and concerns over the coming oppression of Valheim. My role in this company, should you all accept me, is to serve as your summoner, engineer, and field researcher. I am not physically able like many of you seem to be, so I entrust the labor to you all while I promise informed decision-making, logistically speaking."

Shifting in her seat, Arbora turns all the way around and looks at Galahad and Izayoi with nary a suspicion or fear, or reverence. "I would not have recognized you without your introductions, although I know your names by records and tales. I'm not intimately familiar with your exploits, though your reputations are more robust than most. I suspect your histories alone will open and close doors for us as a collective, and it's best to accept that now." She sniffs, bringing up a gloved hand to rub her nose before removing the glove.

"While Galahad makes an excellent point, I will retain that, until otherwise proven, the circumstances of invasion and the appearance of the Blight are separate matters entirely. A woman who is stabbed the same day she shows symptoms of a cold is not indicative of the same source, but rather an underlying issue that occurred at the same time as another isolated event. I am open to pursuing clues, wherever they may take me, but this could be a dangerous assumption to begin with. All that being said," she gives a gentle shrug as she looks at Izayoi directly. "Heading North is as good of a plan as any unless presented otherwise."

Seemingly content with her side of discussion, she picks up her tablet and sinks into her chair more comfortably, tapping away.
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Vertigo five crows for silver

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𝔏𝔢𝔦𝔣𝔲𝔯 𝔊𝔲ð𝔪𝔲𝔫𝔡𝔰𝔰𝔬𝔫

mentions: @cu chulainn
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Leifur wasn't sure who he'd hoped to heed his request, but the fidgety child to his immediate left was not it. The kid had practically frozen in place when he'd looked past him earlier, and didn't seem to be faring much better now. Why the faye had agreed in the first place when he was clearly too far to reach the damn thing was a mystery. Exasperated by just looking at the other's struggle, Leifur was just about to tell the boy to forget it, when the king rose from his seat. One long ear twisted towards the voice before the rest of the viera's body followed suit, sitting upright and at attention.

Unfortunately, Leonhart seemed to speak a lot yet say little, a frustrating trait shared by people with more money than sense. Impatiently, the viera flicked the knife in his hand. Warriors, crusaders, champions, yes, yes, quite, but what the hell were they expected t--

The silence, maintained by bated breaths and mouths full of unchewed food, shattered all at once.

The knife in Leifur's hand stopped, and his ears twisted forward as if doubting what they'd heard. But even if someone had missed the king's words, they could not miss the echoes; whispers of disbelief and awe, repeating the three words endlessly. Ten million gil. Compared to that, Leifur supposed, the expensive banquet today was little more than a beggar's brunch. But how the hell was the crown so rich? The war must have eaten at their wealth.

Among the whispers, Leifur could make out battleplans. Names. Complete strangers, now split into four seemingly arbitrary teams, trying to gauge who among them was an asset, who a hindrance. Among it all, Leifur heard a familiar name: Ranbu no Izayoi. Most who'd fought in the war were aware of her. To think this is where she was now, feasting at an Edrenian table... the Blight truly was a unifying threat.

Just then, somewhere in his peripheral vision, a plate of butter approached. The child had gotten his hands on it, somehow. Having already forgotten about it, Leifur turned, ready to take the damn thing off the other's hands, when--

The boy stood, sharply, suddenly, arm raised - and butter swung.

Leifur's sensitive ears flattened at the deafening crash, but the rest of him stayed almost unnervingly unmoving. Ever so slowly, his eyes trailed to the remains of what was once a platter. A moment of silence followed, whether to mourn the loss of the golden spread, to decide which of the boy's hands to cut off first, or to contemplate the king's offer.

Then, in one sudden motion, he thrust the knife into the table, dangerously close to Aelphis's wrist - a coincidence, surely - and spoke.

"Leifur, a sellsword," he offered, forgoing a surname. It was doubtful the others could pronounce or remember it anyhow. "I'm not much for introductions, but I can handle myself in battle. Point me at a target, and they'll be no more." His eyes trailed to the faye boy - nothing but another coincidence, of course - before he continued: "Lacking any other clues, a move against Valheim seems like a good enough start."
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Marlowe Exiled Moondrinker

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MENTIONS: Zeidram [@Dezuel], Arton [@Ithradine], Arbora [@Lucky], Galahad [@vietmyke]

Pretty missy?

That in itself was enough to make Neve blink. She had been the target of certain… flirtatious men and women back in Cascarona Landing, though she never expected to be honed in on during a prestigious ceremony. Nevertheless, Zeidgram’s words further darkened the crimson that had tainted her cheeks. No words dared to leave her pursed lips– that was, if she even had any words to spare him. She wasn’t keen on figuring it out. Instead, she spooned the rest of the lemony-brothy trout into her mouth as her gaze shyly swiveled towards the rest of their number. Someone else– another rambunctious, flamboyant man– had tumbled to their table in order to join them. Was that even allowed? She sent another glance towards the lordling as if in silent question, but he had since returned to his jovial tidings with the rest of the nobles at the front of the room. Leonhart didn’t seem too bothered… if he was ever bothered by anything to begin with.

Table Kirin turned to introductions. Her curiosity peaked as she realized that they actually did come across all of Ibros– from Osprey, from Midgar, from the west, and so on and so forth. Several of them had already been hardened by war and battle and grief and strife. She suddenly felt out of place; what made her so special? She could cast magic and mend splintered bones, but that was all, and there were a handful of others that could weave spells. Neve shrugged away the thoughts as they came. If the Grovemasters believed she was worthy enough to accompany their troupe, then they were far from wrong.

Soon after the commotion with the passing of the butter, flagons were drained and platters were scraped clean. Little by little, bellies swollen with drink and warm meals were guided out into the polished olive malachite corridors and ushered towards the upper floors. Awaiting them there were dozens of decently sized dormitories that had been clearly reserved for esteemed guests– each of them had shimmering wooden floors and cherry-oak beds that were lined with fine fabrics and ruby-hued covers. Their respective luggage and weaponry had been neatly piled up in the corners, near the cabinets and away from careless and befuddled footsteps. Each bedroom had only been built for three or four people, max– that much Neve could tell, for there were only four beds in each room– and heavy curtains that obscured views of the midnight-cloaked grasslands and hills that stretched far beyond the walls of Balmung.

Neve stared out into the darkness dotted by the lights of the city, amazed. Back at home, most of the homes were lit by candlelight and fireplaces. Here, it was obviously different. She had heard of the marvels of electricity and how it was much more powerful than the light of fire. Even now, the stars seemed to have fallen from the skies and landed in the midst of the lands below the heavens, leaving the sea of black above their heads untouched by any remnants of their previous inhabitants. There was something haunting about it, and to be honest, Neve wasn’t sure what it was. If Balmung was as beautiful as this…

She pulled the curtains shut as she turned to the others. She had been boarded with Gal, Arbora, and Arton, to which she didn’t have any complaints. It wasn’t rare for her to sleep in the same room as a man, especially when such a man was ill or terribly wounded and it was of utmost importance to be at their bedside. Neve cast a tender look towards Arbora and gave her a smile. She hoped that the Viera was as unbothered as her– besides, if the men did try something, she was sure that the guards stationed in the hallways would be quick to intervene.

”Best to get some rest,” she murmured as she shuffled towards them. ”We’ll have to wake early in the morn–”

Something loud and violent tore through the hallway outside of their room and left behind a monstrous echo that droned on and on. Bristling, she stared up at the others in alarm. What was that? Though no answer came to her mind, she couldn’t help but creep towards the wooden door. Neve swallowed as her trembling fingers curled around the knob and cracked the door open. A form sprawled on the floor right next to where she stood. Though the light was poor, her nose twitched with the all-too-familar scent of blood. Already, she could see the fluid, thick and black, pool underneath the armored man.

”My staff,” she breathed out, her right hand reaching behind her to grasp at the air. ”Someone pass me my staff.”

A long nozzle materialized from the depths. Sleek and crafted of cool, malicious steel, the gun edged closer and closer– and with it, the heavily armed and armored figures of faceless individuals. Their features were partially hidden by helmets dotted with red lights, though the rancor behind their scowls was enough to convey their intentions.

Like a frightened beast, Neve took a step back into the room. The five strange men followed, their guns raised up to eye level, their sights trained on them, their fingers flush against their triggers. Neve’s gaze searched them for their identities, their reasoning. No matter how much her breath burned in her throat, she was only met with silence.

Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Dezuel
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Dezuel Broke out of limbo

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Zeidgram


Neve's cheeks had gotten a hue which the red mage found most suitable, and while that colour was fine to behold...

The table of the kirin had begun to reveal it's many other colours. Galahad and Izayoi had suggested that the group would move towards Osprey, while it wasn't necessarily the worst choice on the list of things, it wasn't the place which he had held in first place himself. The ruins of Lunaris had much more alure. But he knew he would have to chose his battles in order to win the war, thus Osprey would have to end up being the destination.

'Ranbu no Izayoi. I know this name... the limbtaker. She's the one who sent all those men and women to the healers, and even more to the graveyard. Seems the rumors of her death were false after all, but I am not one to believe fully into mere rumors, gossip and hearsay. Fairytales are a completely different matter though. This woman is akin to a beast, yet even a beast has right in their basic instincts. Her statements of the other groups waiting to lunge at oneanother rings true, for such is greed. I know it all too well. Her desire to go to Osprey is a personal matter no doubt, just how many lives have she ruined and what has she to show for it? To ultimately find herself at the doorstep of her old enemy? The irony would be sweet, would it not be so tragic. Even a broken clock shows the right time at some point during the day. Time will however tell if the furious feline will bend or break... a little poking might yield profitable results.' The bluehaired man pondered as he observed those by his table, his attention setting on Galahad momentarily.

'As expected from that man, he is going to follow in the wake of the closest thing resembling a firebreathing dragon. That feline woman. But he does bring up a fair point, which is likely one half of a broader truth. That the blight is manmade, or as I would label it. Warped. Changed. Manipulated. The silence of the light as these people label it is no doubt connected to the blight. Someone has found a connection between the worlds of mortals and gods, a gateway into the very ether itself no doubt. And in their arrogance and greed, tried to become like gods by using an artificial device to attempt to control it. Which has led to the world becoming blighted. A lesson for the mortal realms, an expensive lesson, but a lesson nontheless.' The man's judgemental gaze continued on it's way, looking over Ibraham, which had recently joined them by the table.

'A fortune seeker like many others, but this man is dangerous. Those who speak alot or not at all, those are the kinds one ought to be wary of. This man seems much like the gil-hearted mercenaries, the type who will change his footing depending on where the wind blows. His words are no doubt as reliable as the black mage were in fetching butter, or sending the limbtaker as a diplomat to Valheim itself. Still there may be some uses for the man, for someone who knows where to twist... and turn.' Zeidgram had offered a friendly smile towards Ibraham, a greeting gift and promise of times to come, then the red mage offered a polite nod to Arton, allowing his piercing gaze to attempt to borrow into the man's own eyes.

'This man shows much promise, out of the ones present, he and the blonde woman bears the most promise. They appear to be genuine, if they are not then they've play the game better than I. If such is to be my loss, then there's no more fitting an end. It takes a master, to stop a master.' It was with calm expression on his face that his gaze wandered over to inspect Leifur and Aelphis, the latter which had so ineptly dropped the butter and proclaimed himself a black mage. There was something about the black mage that made him feel instant contempt for him, such a seemingly carefree and panicky figure, so reckless in his proclaimation of being a black mage. It had made the red mage's skin crawl, and would his own master not have been struck down, and had been present he would no doubt have died from embarassment alone.

But all things considered, Zeidgram still knew that whilst the sharp-eared faye did indeed seem completely useless... looks could be deceiving, and if he would take the boy lightly it could prove fatal. The dark powers were potent and to not be taken lightly, even in the hands of this... child? He should know as he wielded that power himself, even if such were not common knowledge. Black mages were feared for a reason, his master had hid his powers for a reason and so had Zeidgram followed in the same steps. People were quick to judge those who wielded those powers, even more so than whose who used white magic. People like his father and the self-rightious fools would never have understood such a pathway, even if the red mage only chose to tread upon it half-ways.

While he had not pondered on it much, he could ultimately only pass his complete respects to someone who walked at the edge, someone who strode into the twilight zone. His father and his mentor, white and black, light and dark, both had gone far enough that it had blinded them. Like nature, magic... the ether was meant to be kept in balance.

That said, even the red mage couldn't stop a chuckle when he heard the black mage dropping the butter. It felt like such a primal thing to do, laugh at someone else's unfortune, but it did pack quite the punch. The whole idea of humor made him think of Galahad, did that man even have an ounce of it in him? He didn't seem the sort. Neither did the sellsword viera, Leifur. A simple man, if one were to trust his introduction. A man who went where he was told to go. If there was something the red mage could not stand it were those kind of people, not because he didn't see them as being useful or capable, but it made him think of the mindless guards that patrolled the various settlements. People who didn't think for themselves and instead let others do it for them. What made the matter worse to him were that often those people which did end up making the choices for them were often even more the fools. Compared to the guards however, this viera sellsword seemed capable, his words were not elegant or refined, but they were more beliable than most.

Then there were the flamehaired young sollan lady which had been for the most unremarkable in her words, but remarkable in the manner that she stood out amidst the table for that very reason. She was asking others for what they thought, a good idea if one wishes to know the thoughts of others. Zeidgram knew he had to keep a close eye on her, much like the overly talkative one named Ibraham.

It had also been with a slight smirk that Zeidgram took being refered to by Arbora.

'Such an inquisitive way to arrange your words, too bad that you are wrong. The girl is in question, a young woman, besides eavesdropping is such a unladylike thing to do. So take that hippety-hoppety and turn it into quippity-stoppity. Speaking of foundation of trust, I shall remember to summon that one for later. I wonder how you'd fare in a true joust of words, surely a different flavor than farming for carrots amidst the tribes.' The man mused in his head, before he stood up to introduce himself.

"The name is Zeidgram, I am a mere caretaker and a mender of the great cathedral of Lunaris. Unlike so many other capable champions here, I find myself insufficient in your esteemed presence. Thank you for allowing someone as boorish as myself to join such a prestigious quest." He had offered a bow to those present, his hair falling over his eyes as he did, obscuring his ambitious gaze, and the glimmer in it. He could feel his very core laughing at his own display. But it didn't matter, it all served a purpose. Whereof they label him a fool or some noble-want-to-be, they would gradually show to him their true selves whilst his true self would remain shrouded, amidst the blinding light and the engulfing dark. For if they would find out his intentions, no doubt they would attempt to stop him. It couldn't be helped, because people could only understand that which they have experienced, wasn't that so? Perhaps a few of them would see through his guise, if so they would be rewarded well.

As inquisite as Arbora and Galahad had been, neither one had been able to see that what he had shown them was a display, an act. At least that was what he could tell. To most present, they would simply see a world of raining gil or a big table with food. What the red mage saw was greed, gluttony, poison and underlying ambitions. The king himself is after the source of the blight. The power to subdue the world. What caused the Edren and Osprey war to begin with? Were it just for abit of land? Some insults or mistakes? Or was it because of something that was found. Something precious, something priceless. Something which could upset the balance of the world. Whatever would lie ahead, there was only one person he knew he could trust fully with this quest. Himself.

Some time later...

The kirin group had been given rooms and split up into smaller groups, when the red mage finally saw who he would be spending the night with he was met with disappointment. Out of all the people available, these two were about the two worst options present. The two quiet types, he couldn't learn a thing from them without prying, and if one were to pry then one would reveal oneself to such people.

Zeidgram found himself looking out the window of the room he had been assigned to, the view was different from Lunaris. It felt far too artificial, but knowing fully well where he were and how people had flocked to Leonhart's call, he had to take in the view abit. How many of those that had answered the call had been genuine and who amongst them were agents serving foreign powers? The man shook his head softly as he walked over to inspect his gear which had been delivered to the room, making sure everything was there, and sniffing his waterskin and supplies for traces of poison. He could have sworn he packed a red hat with a feather? Oh bother. He allowed himself to take abit of jerky into his mouth after some consideration and some water, after all he had not eaten anything at the feast below, neither drank anything. He did however prior to his arrival, it was all a precaution.

'It doesn't matter. Edren, Drana Asnaeu, Osprey, Skael and Valheim. Neither shall seize the power behind the blight. The balance of the world lies in the hands of the grey, guised under the blood-red moon. Like the double-edged sword, my Kiltia. The path trodden is narrow, cold and sharp, yet one must thrust forwards if one desires to pierce through the deceptions and illuminate the truth... isn't that right, Danube? The current of the river may be strong, but blood is thicker, and isn't it far more interesting to see one wade against the current than simply allow oneself to be swept away by it?' He allowed himself a few silent moments to himself before hurling glances to Leifur and Noelle, he however chose to remain silent. That's when there were sounds of a commotion outside of the room.

'This better not be the black mage again. No. It sounds louder...' He furrowed his eyebrows while grabbing hold of his sheathed sword.

"Missy and gentlebunny, we have company." He said aloud as the door was opened and some figures came into the room. They were most certainly hostile. Like he had previously made clear to himself, it didn't matter who or what these things were. No matter who had sent them, the quest would remain the same. With that in mind he drew his sword and pointed it towards the uninvited guests. What or who were they? It didn't matter. They would dissappear forever.

The red mage began to quickly cast his spells in quick succession, the first [Stun Cloud] spell was hurled at the closest enemy, temporary paralyzing him. The following spell that was hurled shortly after targetted the man next to the first target. [Spirit Surge] A beam of light shot straight into the other enemy's chest. This had been the most potent white magic spell he knew, it was used to end fights in a swift and merciful manner. Much unlike the black magic which his mentor taught him, but in the current company, for the time being these powers would have to be concealed. At least to these two whose nature he had yet to discern.

@Ambra@Vertigo@Lucky@Cu Chulainn@vietmyke@Psyker Landshark@Ithradine@Ogobrogo
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