Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Jamesyco
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Jamesyco Forever a Student

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Torsten





He patted the air above Faline as she became quiet after speaking of a warrior. He smiled, "All greatness passes, like water in a river; it passes by quickly, but is precious to everything that needs it. But something comes better down the stream, like yourself, young Faline." He rocked a bit as he moved forward behind and to the side of her, "It could be considered pride, it could be considered a hardship... But, while grief can be good, be blessed to know that it is a part of your life, to begin with. Celebrate that, and hope that it shows in others around you Young Faline."

He just smiled down at her with rosy cheeks underneath that thickly bearded demeanor; he looked jolly with the intent of happiness, "It is like a fish trying to fly; only if flying is in its name does it do so, but they still try to fly, and they soar higher with each jump out of the water. It is a beautiful and hopeful thing to see something that would be hard to achieve tried so many times. But you can fly should you wish." He tried to joke if he could adequately make jokes, let alone metaphors that made sense to all but those who likely lacked good sanity.

He looked at the trees and frowned as he slowly placed his hand forward protectively; he noticed no birds. Birds were always a good sign; hearing them sing and listening to their beauty is priceless, but when they are gone, something is wrong. All warriors knew that, if anything moved, birds stopped singing. He saw the finger go to the lip, but also realized that if the birds had stopped, they were likely being watched or at least listen for too. He wanted to seem as if he was crouching down to clear brush or something so that he may sit, but in reality, he realized that this mission was likely to have problems from the first day.

He just stopped and crouched down a bit to place his hand to the ground, and he listened; he did not do much moving, "For those, who wish to take a break, I would suggest getting beside me. It will be cold soon." he said as he looked over at Faline. His other hand slipping towards his helmet under his cloak, as his other hand went to his sword. Not pulling it out completely, but then "Do you hear birds, or are they just listening to our song? So quiet and tender they are to let us have our way with the beauty of the forest."
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Ti
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Ti Memento mori.

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ꁲ ꂵ ꁲ ꋊ ꂠ ꂑ ꋊ ꈼ
ꋖ ꂑ ꂵ ꈼ
Day 2 [Morning]
꒒ ꂦ ꀯ ꁲ ꋖ ꂑ ꂦ ꋊ
Adventuring
ꉣ ꁲ ꌅ ꋖ ꂑ ꀯ ꂑ ꉣ ꁲ ꋊ ꋖ ꌚ
@WhiteAngel25 Faline
@Mechromancer Dorothea
@Jamesyco Torsten
@Red Wizard Simbelmynë

ꌚ ꂦ ꐇ ꋊ ꂠ ꋖ ꌅ ꁲ ꀯ ꀗ

Amandine came to a sudden pause when she noticed Faline's teary response to her comments. Her initial intention had been to strike up a friendly conversation, as most people tend to appreciate compliments. She briefly considered reaching out to offer comfort, her hand hovering close to Faline's back, but the girl didn't appear receptive. Amandine questioned whether this was the right course of action, and as Torsten stepped in, she ultimately decided not to complicate the situation further, moving away to create some distance.

Communication with this group proved to be challenging, and it felt like she was inadvertently isolating herself from them. Being thrust together by circumstance didn't seem to be a simple recipe for success. Additionally, the presence of the other group following them only added to the tension. Amandine hesitated to explain how she had detected their pursuers, given the difficulty she had trusting herself, let alone a group of strangers.

A new plan began to form in her mind. She decided to adopt a quieter profile and put in more effort to find appropriate pleasantries and compliments. Perhaps she could comment on how Faline's flaming red hair resembled a radiant sunset, how Torsten's beard resembled a lush bush that could host a family of birds, how Dorothea's smile was infectious and heart-warming when her teeth weren't chattering from perpetual fright, or how Simbel looked like a rich banquet of food. Amandine recognized that humans often used more muted descriptions like "nice hair," "nice beard," "nice smile," and "nice..." She paused to think, acknowledging that she had her work cut out for her in navigating the intricacies of these interactions.

As the group prepared to make camp, they collectively sensed an eerie atmosphere in the air. Amandine welcomed the prospect of a break from trying to decipher human interactions. She retrieved her rope-dagger and threw it high into a nearby tree. With swift agility, she ascended the tree, running up its trunk and into its branches while retracting the rope. Perched in the treetops, she had a commanding top-down view of the area and considered that it might be the ideal time for a bit of amusement.



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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Red Wizard
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Red Wizard Scarlet Sorcerer

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S i m b e l m y n ë


Simbel had just been about to speak when Faline indicated for them to be quiet. There was a scent to the air, a charged atmosphere of sorts, that made her skin tingle and her head perk up. Something was afoot, and Simbel suspected danger. She went up alongside Faline, searching the surroundings for traces or tracks. Without turning her head, Simbel tried to communicate with the half Elvian ranger. I sense it, too, she whispered, I will take a look from on high.

With that, Simbel transformed into the white eagle once more and took flight. It wasn't long until she had cleared the treetops, soaring ever higher in an upward spiral. She peered downwards, using her enhanced sight to try and pinpoint any ambush or following party. She would act swiftly and decisively if or when she saw anything out of the ordinary.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by WhiteAngel25
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Faline shrugged at Toren's comment about birds and their songs. She just hoped that she wouldn't have to use her song. While she was a rogue by trade, the redheaded half-elf was very much a bard. Inheriting her mother's abilities to commune and connect with nature through music. She took a deep breath and focused her listening.

While Simbel flew overhead, a series of arrows would try to shoot her. Faline smirked as it was enough movement to be detected. She threw her daggers, and several cries of pain followed the sound of steel slicing flesh. The painful callouts echoed out mixed with the war cries of bandits. A few dozen soldiers charged at Faline, Toren, and Dorothea, headed under Amandine's perch in the tree.

Faline quickly drew her bow and began to fling arrows at as many men as she could. She knew that she was only slowing down many of the attackers. Faline didn't want to take anyone's life if she could help it. She kept walking backward as she about tripped over a passed-out Dorothea. Poor girl, probably hasn't ever seen this kind of action before, she thought. Faline fired a few more arrows as she kept a defensive stance over the mage on the ground.

"Simbel, are you okay? What do you see?" Faline called out to the druid, however, to Amandine and Toren it would sound like eagle screeches. She needed to get Dorothea to safety.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Jamesyco
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Jamesyco Forever a Student

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Torsten





With the hailing of arrows that were let loose towards the one above and the cries of those in front of him. He grew and rose to his feet as he moved in front of Faline, moving his sword around to the top of his sword as he stared at those charging, preparing for the first few to get closer.

"I will keep everything away from you and the magi if I can... Just make sure that nothing gets on my right side."

He focused on as much as he could before him and took a deep breath as the first several approached him. His sword went up, then swung back around until it rose towards the first man in hopes of striking him, and he let his shield or gauntlets take his opponent's weapon(s). He would ensure he did not give any ground or very little behind him.

Torsten slowly turned his hand about and let the sword shift in his hand as he relaxed it in hopes of letting it do.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Ti
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Ti Memento mori.

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ꁲ ꂵ ꁲ ꋊ ꂠ ꂑ ꋊ ꈼ
ꋖ ꂑ ꂵ ꈼ
Day 2 [Afternoon]
꒒ ꂦ ꀯ ꁲ ꋖ ꂑ ꂦ ꋊ
Bandit Ambush
ꉣ ꁲ ꌅ ꋖ ꂑ ꀯ ꂑ ꉣ ꁲ ꋊ ꋖ ꌚ
@WhiteAngel25 Faline
@Mechromancer Dorothea
@Jamesyco Torsten
@Red Wizard Simbelmynë

ꌚ ꂦ ꐇ ꋊ ꂠ ꋖ ꌅ ꁲ ꀯ ꀗ
♫*

Amandine observed the unfolding scene below her, her robes flowing silently in the breeze, her presence concealed by the rustling leaves. She was taken aback by the sheer number of adversaries they faced. Had they stumbled upon an army? Or did these bandits simply crave a taste of eagle? Her suspicions were confirmed when members of the gang unleashed a barrage of arrows, targeting Simbel, who soared above them. Meanwhile, others charged at those on the ground, with Dorothea's incantation cut short before she could unleash a powerful spell as she slumped on the ground. Faline, protective of Dorothea, struck out with throwing daggers, and Torsten valiantly assumed a protective stance. The tension in the air was palpable as the bandits taunted the group with lecherous and menacing tones.

Amandine decided it was time to intervene. She gracefully moved along the branch, using the branch's motion to descend from the tree behind the bandits like a ghost. Her feet touched the ground without a sound. Amandine's hand shot out, fingers encircling a bandit's throat, lifting him up as she choked him, rendering him breathless, then dropping the now-limp figure to the forest floor. Her actions immediately drew the attention of the bandits at the rear, who gasped in shock and splintered from the main group to confront her.

The splintered bandits rushed toward her with weapons drawn, and she began to back away, using her agility to evade their attacks. She skilfully positioned herself, preventing them from encircling her, making use of the terrain to her advantage. Once she gauged their abilities, she transitioned into her dragon stance, her hands forming claw-like gestures as she countered their moves with precision. She swiftly bent a man's wrist, snapping it and forcing him to the ground with a knee to the face, then delivered a round kick to clear her path as another bandit lunged at her. She sidestepped and targeted their vital pressure points, rendering the sword-wielder's arm limp and leveraged it, rolling backward and using her feet to propel him into one of his comrades. Each of her movements flowed like a beautiful dance, a choreographed masterpiece, spinning, ducking, and weaving, that incapacitated the bandits without the use of a weapon one-by-one.

In the distance, a bandit aimed a bow at her and fired an arrow, but she charged towards him. She deftly caught the projectile, spun around clockwise, and redirected it to impale the archer in the knee. As another bandit raised their bow, she blew a plume of flame from her fingers, igniting the weapon in their hands. As she closed in on them, she executed a sweep kick targeting the archer's injured leg, causing him to lose his balance, and then she smacked him with a powerful kick into the other archer, sending them tumbling down an embankment together. Their adventuring days were now at an end.

Amandine ensured to disable each one, incapacitating them from action as she went to regroup with the rest, and joined their fray.



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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Herald
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Herald

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Conn leaned against the tree, his eyes half-closed as he pretended to be snoozing. All around him, men readied themselves for the ambush, their weapons drawn and arrows nocked. They had been working up their courage for the past twenty minutes by Conn's count, a common tactic among men about to go into a fight of life and death. The bandits were right to be nervous, even if they had no real clue as to the real threat to their plan. Of course, Conn had equal reason to be nervous. If he or Gus had made a misstep and tipped their hand too early... well, they would undoubtedly be dead long before the approaching mercenary party. He just hoped Sir Dorian's friends wouldn't accidentally... or purposefully... bleed him out before he had a chance to explain the ruse.

He opened his eyes and glanced towards the sky, smiling as he saw a white eagle in flight over the nearby path. A good omen, he thought to himself.

"It is time," Conn said aloud. He rose to his feet, brushing away the dirt that had gathered on the lower part of his robes and straightening his collar. Presentation was everything when meeting new people, after all.

"Armúr Draíochta," Conn muttered as he stretched. The arcane words vibrated the air around him, gathering light and energy for a brief moment before coalescing around his body. Magical barriers shimmered into existence, anchored to his physical body and taking on the form of plated armor. Conn rolled his shoulders and shifted his weight from foot to foot. The magic was practically weightless, and while not as strong as true steel it would deflect lesser strikes away from his body. It's true advantage however, was that it did not interfere with the sometimes delicate art of shaping magic into spells. Close by, he heard the snap of bows as arrows shot into the air, arcing towards the white eagle.

The next moments were a blur all around him. When arrows failed to bring down their prey, the bandits lunged forward with sword and dagger, further causing confusion among their archers as they now had to avoid striking their own. The mercenaries had no such qualms, as they were outnumbered six or so to one and so their attacks could go wild without endangering their own side. Still, the numbers and the surprise were on the bandits side, and it seemed one of the mercs had already collapsed to an unseen issue. Conn continued to observe as more bandits dropped from the mercenary attacks, only to be replaced by another foolish thug.

"Well?," a bandit said, holding back from the fight as he noticed Conn just standing there, "c'mon, get your payday!"

Conn turned to the man and gave him a sad smile, "for what it's worth, I am sorry about this. I did enjoy sharing breakfast with you all this morning."

"'Ey? Wha-," the bandit began, the realization beginning to fill his face. The man's turned to brandish his sword against Conn, but it was already too late.

"Codlata domhain", Conn's hands darted through a series of motions, tracing arcane energy through the air. He needed to clear space around himself if he was going to try to help the mercenaries. Glittering dust filled the air as Conn spoke the arcane words, falling upon the nearest bandits and causing them to suddenly become fatigued, perhaps even falling over where they stood even as the snores of deep sleep slipped past their lips. It would be only seconds before the bandits realized they had been betrayed from within and began to target Conn as well as the mercenaries.

Conn mentally reached into the well of his own being, drawing upon the warmth that had filled his soul since his days when he called the church his home. He had changed much since those days, but his faith had not.

Gods guide my allies blades to the hearts of their enemies, and may their feet carry them from harm., he thought to himself, reciting the prayer in his mind as he connected with the divine power behind his faith. He lifted his left hand up, and soft blue light began to radiate outwards, seeking the forms of the mercenaries as well as Gus to provide them with a blessing.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by jasbraq
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jasbraq The Youngest Elder

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The Great Gus



Gus loved to gamble with the simpler folk; it always turned a profit. ”Seems I win the entire pot again.” The man laughed contentedly as he collected his due from the table. "Damn you, maybe it would be more fair if you weren’t at the table," one of the bandits gave the dashing rogue a stank eye. ”Hey now, I’m not a cheat or anything like that. I’m not one of the dirty mages that would use their filthy trickery in a game like this.” Gus lowered his head, hanging in head in disappointment at the accusation.

It seemed like it was the call to duty as the various captains were drumming up the men for the attack. The main force had been stalking the quarry for most of the day, and now their little camp is going to provide the reinforcements to take down the group. Their foe was vastly outnumbered, and the job was sold as easy pickings. It was very easy to infiltrate; even the battle mage was able to glide within their ranks effortlessly.

Then he noticed Conn’s action with the bandits. It caused him to look rather frustrated; did he really have to do it just when it was getting good? ”I’m so sorry, fellas. I promise to buy you a drink next time we meet, ‘kay?” With a swift motion, he grabbed the back of the heads of both playing bandits and hit them against each other. He chuckled as the bandits slumped unconscious, their cards and coins scattered across the table. He made sure to grab all the coins he could, especially the one he wagered, which bore the mark of his mentor, a symbol of daggers and treasure.

”Well, that escalated quickly,” Gus remarked, flashing a charming grin at the remaining bandits. ”I would prefer it if you would just let me knock you out, but I assume you guys aren’t really for that idea.” The remaining bandits eyed Gus warily as he grinned at them. One of them, apparently the leader of this motley crew, scowled and spat on the floor.

"You think you can just waltz in here, cheat us at cards, and then play hero?" A hulking bandit approached him, cracking his knuckles. "You're gonna pay for that, pretty boy."

Gus maintained his easygoing smile, seemingly unfazed by the threat. "Now, now, no need for hostility. I am just doing my job, I’m sure you must understand."

It wasn’t much longer when Gus broke out through the bushes, with a couple of arrows hot on his tail. He ran into the clearing, where the other team of mercenaries he was supposed to join were bunched up. He raised his hands towards Torsten, then flashed a smile at the red-headed beauty, Faline, behind him. “I signed up for the right side after all. I was starting to doubt myself for a good moment back there.” He flashed his special coin towards them as an arrow pierced his figure as the body fell on the floor and faded away, as he seemed to step out of no-where behind the illusion coin in hand, “I am led to believe you know where the old man vanished to.”

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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by WhiteAngel25
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WhiteAngel25 The Original Cupcake Queen

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Faline gazed up as Torsten took a protective stance in front of her. She quickly glanced at Dorothea before she nodded at Torsten when he suggested covering his right side. Together, the two of them had taken down at least six bandits. Amandine seemed to be bouncing from tree to tree, taking out enemies effortlessly.

Faline heard more cries of pain coming from the woods as half the bandits appeared to split up. Some still charged at them while others ran back into the forest. She quirked an eyebrow. That was an odd move for a bandit group. She kept on slinging arrows to keep bandits from flanking Torsten. Now that Faline was warmed up with her bow, her arrows hit almost precisely her targets. She moved away from Dorothea to get a better angle to cover Amandine as well.

The redheaded woman dodged and rolled away from an attacker. She gasped as she didn't have time to reload her bow. Faline bent backward as Torsten's sword sliced the man just in time. Blood from the attacker sprayed the two, but Faline sighed in relief. "Thank you, Torsten," she spoke a bit breathless.

Suddenly, a man with his hands held up came running out of the treeline towards them. Faline quickly disabled the bandits in the treeline that shot the arrows at the man. She blew a few pieces of her bangs out of her face and rolled her grass-green eyes at the flirting smile this man sent her way. Faline arched an eyebrow as the newcomer was shot. His image faded away and then reemerged from behind her. It was a typical illusion spell.

" And here I thought we were going to avoid pretty boys today," Faline spoke sarcastically as a wave of energy washed over them. "Who are you talking about? What old man?" She questioned the newcomer and then sharply inhaled as the pain from her wounds (thanks to arrows that nicked her) dissolved away. Who blessed us? she thought as the bandits weren't on their onslaught. Those bandits that weren't unconscious or dead in the meadow retreated from the fight.

Faline peered over the treeline and realized she lost sight of Amandine. She quickly glanced over the bodies and didn't see her lying on the ground. "Amandine, are you alright?!" Faline called out.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Ti
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Ti Memento mori.

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ꁲ ꂵ ꁲ ꋊ ꂠ ꂑ ꋊ ꈼ
ꋖ ꂑ ꂵ ꈼ
Day 2 [Afternoon]
꒒ ꂦ ꀯ ꁲ ꋖ ꂑ ꂦ ꋊ
Bandit Ambush
ꉣ ꁲ ꌅ ꋖ ꂑ ꀯ ꂑ ꉣ ꁲ ꋊ ꋖ ꌚ
@WhiteAngel25 Faline
@Jamesyco Torsten
@Red Wizard Simbelmynë
@Herald Conn
@jasbraq Gus

ꌚ ꂦ ꐇ ꋊ ꂠ ꋖ ꌅ ꁲ ꀯ ꀗ

Amandine deftly ducked to evade a blue magical blast heading in her direction. The bandits, it seemed, had a mage among them. With the element of surprise lost, the rustling in the bushes ahead intensified as they responded to her assault. Deciding to regroup, Amandine backtracked and swiftly climbed up one of the trees using her rope-dagger, aiming to regain her composure with an aerial view of the unfolding skirmish below.

Her eyes darted around, eager to catch a glimpse of Simbel and the impending transformation. Would it be an overpowering owlbear, a large lionbear, or perhaps a three-headed grotesque goatbear? The possibilities excited her. However, her scanning revealed nothing. Sniffing the air and peeling away layers of perception with her draconic eyes, Amandine could see the ongoing fight. A rogue individual wielded magic against the bandits, and even Faline seemed to have charmed one to their side. But Simbel, her beloved shapeshifter, was notably absent.

Compounding the challenge was the numerical superiority of the enemies, putting the party on the defensive very early on. Amandine, having taken advantage of flanking the unaware foes, knew she couldn't engage them head-to-head without enduring a severe beating in the process. Even if she did, perhaps even using her trump card, it might create far more problems than it solved. Resorting to another trump card, she decided to frighten them. Inhaling deeply, she unleashed a powerful ROAR, a dragon's rumbling, gurgling snarl that tapped into the primal fear of lesser beings, sending them scattering in disarray. She grinned widely as she witnessed their meanderings, releasing a playful “Rawr” as a follow-up.

As things began to settle, Amandine moved through the treetops, creating makeshift bridges with her rope-dagger to scout the area. It wasn't long before she found the location where the white eagle had last been seen, and swinging down into the undergrowth, she began to search. It was at that moment she observed the bird with an arrow sticking out of it, she felt a moment of grave concern.

She started to slowly approach the others, carrying the bird in her arms, a grey pheasant. "Do you think in her final moments, Simbel transformed into something tasty for us?" she mused, her stomach audibly rumbling at the thought of food.



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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Damycles
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Damycles The Narrator

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Fear. It's written clear as day on their faces. They're running, well, more like leaping, trying to keep to the trees as if the leaves are gonna be enough to save them from whatever it is that's gotten them this spooked. They're retreating at full speed. No care for formation. No care for stamina management. No care for even checking if they're being followed. It's a route, as standard of a route as it gets.

"No way, no bloody way, this wasn't what we signed up for damn it!" one of them shouts to his buddy running by his side.

"Look, they caught us by surprise but-" his friend starts before getting immediately cut off.

"BUT WHAT!? You heard that THING back there right?!" the first one shouts even louder than the last. Suppose stealth isn't on their mind right now is it?

"Look, I told you it's not a dragon! They're dead! They've been dead for years!" a third answers, trailing a little bit behind the first two.

"Well if it's not a dragon then it's probably something just as bad to make a sound like that. Either way, we're fucking leaving!" the first one says, the conversation seemingly ending there.

They're all dressed rather similarly. Ragged but effective clothing. Nice equipment from the looks of it. Though they are bandits it certainly seems they've had a bit of success in their time. Still, none of them stand out from one another. Meaning none of them are the leader. Turncoats. Something must've gone pretty bad for them to be having this kind of reaction. Still, they're calming down. Looks like they think they've gained enough distance, or the exhaustion is catching up to them. All three of them land on a sturdy looking branch on one of the larger trees in the area. Taking a moment to catch they're breath. They really do believe they're safe huh?

Well... They still don't know I'm here.

Single shot, an easy target, especially when they're still, sent flying all the way to the chest. As soon as it hits him he's sent flying off the branch tumbling all the way to the ground. If the bolt didn't kill him, the way he landed on his neck surely did, especially with that snapping sound it made.

"LEWIS!" one of them shouts.

He's in shock, clearly. Both of them are from the looks of it. Good, gives me time. Time to reload.

They're looking around, frantic, both incensed from the death of their friend but also fearful for their own lives. It happened too quickly for them to catch where the crossbow bolt came from and they're still too exhausted to run. Their eyes widen, mouths agape. One of them reaches for his sword but it's already too late.

Another shot.

Hah, a bit sloppier this time. I was aiming for the heart but I got him in the lungs instead. Still, the impact sends this one flying all the way to the ground as well. The crunch. Hm, must be his ribs that caved in. But I can still hear him, spasming down there like a newborn. From the way it sounds his throat must already be pooling with blood. Good, I don't have to worry about that one anymore. And that leaves the final mark for this job.

He's looking at me. Ah, he was paying attention. His sword's already out too.

"Y-you!" he shouts at me, loud, trying to hide his fear with the loudness, "You're with them aren't you!"

With them? Oh, I see. I can't help it, I start laughing my bloody ass off.

"Answer me!" he shouts.

I would but, I can't stop laughing! It's too funny!

"STOP IT!" he please to very deaf ears. "Why are you laughing!?" he finally asks.

It takes me a moment but I finally manage to regain my wits as I say "Ah, sorry mate. Just thought it was funny is all. I was wonderin' why this was goin' easier than I thought. Seems like someone else got to the mark before I did."

"Mark? Wha- what are y-" he starts but I'm getting sick of this conversation so I cut him off.

"Ah who gives a shite. You're gonna be dyin' here today anyways." I say, putting away my crossbow and bringing out from the strap on my back my glaive.

Two people, both on top of branches. He's got his blade out but he's a ways away from me and I've got the reach advantage. He should know this isn't a fight he can win but maybe hearing the deaths of his friends might be making his sense take a bit've a leave at this point. He's still tired, his posture's crumbling but the adrenaline seems to be kicking in. That look he has in his eyes. Fury, determination, drive. A snake backed into a corner. Oh... I see. He wants to take me with him.

Well, isn't that cute?

He takes the initiative. Big mistake. He leaps from one branch to the next but with each leap his balance takes a hit. The branches may look solid but they've actually got a bit of give to them. The slight wobble upon impact is what causes whatever semblance of grace he might have to rot with each advance. Still, he's not thinking about that, clearly. He's only looking at me. I'm sure his entire mind has nothing but the idea of making me fall all the way down to join him and his buddies in an early grave. And I let him keep thinking that.

My glaive may be positioned ahead of me but I'm not reacting to his movements. That is... until he finally gets one branch too close.

A single Cleave.

It happens in an instant. My feet already rooted down into my foothold on the branch, my arms raise up, back arches, legs fully engaged, taking a deep breath as I concentrate for this single, explosive moment. And then, the glaive swings. My muscles acting like the ropes of a crossbow send the blade flying straight through the branch this bandit was about to land on. It happens so quickly he doesn't have time to process what happened because he still tries to land on that branch... when it's no longer even there.

He looks at me. The anger is still there, but it's now paired with a fresh emotion. Despair. As soon as gravity begins to take hold of him he's well aware of his fate.

Thud.

And just to make sure... Another thud, as a crossbow bolt lands square in his back. If he wasn't dead before he sure as hell is now.

Well, I could go back, say they're all dead and take the pay for myself but... I do have standards, professional ones. And I'm sure if I didn't go to check up on the other blokes who made my job easier Garth would be starin' down at me with disapproval if he ever bloody hears about it. Even when you're missing you're ideals keep making shite difficult for me old man. I hope you know that. And so I make my way through the treeline in the rough direction that the bandits came from. That's when I see them.

Hm, quaint little group isn't it? Much more nicely dressed, that's for damn sure and... No, no now's not the time, you can schmooze off the job Rock.

I let out a sigh. This is going to be annoying but hopefully they're not the type to kill folks who are on the same score. I can get out of it if they are but probably not without a few scrapes. And as such, I make my way down from the tree and lift up my helm as he put a few fingers to my lips and make the shrill whistle that Ash is familiar with. Soon, the sound of galloping hooves makes its way towards me and then, standing beside me, Ash, my trusty and absolutely beautiful grey steed is here. I get on, settling myself into the saddle before eventually calling out to the group, still maintaining a very healthy distance between us however.

"Oy! So you lot on the same score then? Was hired to take these fuckers out but it seems ya' beat me to it!" I shout to them. Now... let's see how they react.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Jamesyco
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Jamesyco Forever a Student

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Torsten





Torsten stood as he watched the rest fleeing, he stood by the unconscious mage on the ground. HE pressed his lips together and sighed a bit, he slowly placed the girl on the ground as he fixed the rest of his things together. He looked at the newcomer and sighed a bit before looking at Faline.

Then he looked at everyone else, then back the woman, then back at everyone else. He just stared at them as if they were asking some foreign questions, and as if he was in the middle of a store of bulls holding china. He pressed his lips together, "Miss Faline, do you have any idea what is going on, who these folk are... Also, do you need assistance with the wounds? It is something I can patch up relatively easily."
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by jasbraq
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jasbraq The Youngest Elder

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The Great Gus

[ Interacting with @WhiteAngel25 ]




Gus grinned, the sarcasm rather obvious. As she questioned him about the old man, Gus's expression shifted, the charm fading into a more serious demeanor.

"Well, you see, the old man's been something of a mentor for quite a while. Taught me everything I know about this trade – the art of illusion, the finesse one's hands can have, and the secrets roaming around with the dregs. But the bastard's usually never gone for that long..." Gus's eyes betrayed a hint of concern beneath his usual carefree exterior.

Gus sighed, running a hand through his disheveled hair. "He's got this knack for leaving without a trace, but this time it feels different, you know? Usually, he leaves some cryptic message or a hidden clue, but this time, it's like he just vanished into thin air. I can't shake the feeling that something's not right." His eyes, usually gleaming with mischief, now held a touch of vulnerability.

"I owe him a lot, more than just the tricks of the trade. He took me in when no one else would, taught me how to survive. Losing him... it's like losing a piece of myself. If you guys can help me find him, I'd owe you more than just a few drinks. I'm not used to playing the concerned apprentice, but when it comes to the old man, I can't help but worry." Gus's gaze lingered on the coin in his hand, a small, sentimental artifact that symbolized the bond between him and his mysterious mentor.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by WhiteAngel25
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@jasbraq, @Jamesyco, @Damycles, @Ti, @Herald




Faline's gaze flicked between Gus' face and the coin in his hand. The coin was of a similar origin as the tokens the rest of them received by their predecessors. His was of the Illusionist Rogue. This rogue spoke highly of the man who was his mentor. It was clear that he was an ally of sorts. "Dorian would be better at answering your questions than I would. We have been chosen in some odd way to pick up the mantle while our mentors figure out the Duskrot plaguing Vradia," she informed as she put her bow in its sling on her back.

The half-Elvian woman arched an eyebrow at the man on a gray horse, shouting at them from a good twenty feet away. "I am Faline, obviously an archer and dagger enthusiast. This is Dorothea. Although, I'm not sure if she will make the journey in this condition." She gestured to the passed-out mage on the ground. "We weren't hired to take out the bandits. We were headed to the ruins of the Hiemaquas Dragonian tribe," Faline replied to the horse rider and turned to see Amandine holding a dead bird in her hands. She squeezed her eyes shut and pinched the bridge of her nose.

"Amandine, that is pheasant. Not Simbel," the redhead clarified with a sigh as she glanced at the sky where Simbel had disappeared. She hoped that the Elvian woman was okay. "You can eat the pheasant. Just please roast it first. You don't know what that bird has eaten or where it has been," Faline explained to the little monk woman before she turned to Torsten.

"We should rest here, burn the bodies, and send word to Dorian. Someone will need to take Dorothea back to the tavern and let him know that Simbel has gone. Plus, if any of those bandits had Duskrot in them, we'd be fighting a whole different enemy in the middle of the night," she gazed out to the slough of bandits that littered the meadow and the treeline of the woods.

The fiery woman sat her pack down on the ground. Faline placed her hands on her hips as she whistled. A snow-white owl soon appeared and landed on her shoulder as she knelt down to rummage through her pack. She tore a piece of parchment from her journal to quickly write a message to the head of the mercenary group.

"Everyone, this is Athens. Athens, say hello, and no, Amandine, you can't eat him," Faline introduced the raptor bird to the group. She peered into her owl's snowy eyes. 'Give this letter to Dorian. Let him know that he needs to come to collect Dorothea. When we leave to continue, stay with her until he arrives,' she told the bird through her connection with him. Athen ruffled his feathers and let out a squawk as a response of acceptance. Once Faline tied the message to Athens' right leg, he took off, soaring back to town.




As the group rested and the bodies of their enemies burned, Faline couldn't help but get the strangest feeling that they were being watched. Not in a physical sense, but almost as if someone was scrying them, watching from afar. With Dorothea and Simbel both gone, the two members seemed as if they weren't ready for the responsibility bestowed upon them. Not that Faline felt she was any more worthy of being a part of the Oath of the Concealed.

Faline saw Dorian ride up with a few extra men. She stood up from the rock she was sitting upon and strode over as he hopped off his horse. "A pretty amazing feat for a group that hadn't met each other before. My men and I will finish up here. You lot continue on," he instructed as he bent down and picked up the still-sleeping Dorothea. Dorian carefully placed Dorothea in the wagon brought by one of his men.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Ti
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Ti Memento mori.

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ꁲ ꂵ ꁲ ꋊ ꂠ ꂑ ꋊ ꈼ
ꋖ ꂑ ꂵ ꈼ
Day 2 [Afternoon]
꒒ ꂦ ꀯ ꁲ ꋖ ꂑ ꂦ ꋊ
Bandit Ambush
ꉣ ꁲ ꌅ ꋖ ꂑ ꀯ ꂑ ꉣ ꁲ ꋊ ꋖ ꌚ
@WhiteAngel25 Faline
@Jamesyco Torsten
@Herald Conn
@jasbraq Gus
@Damycles Rock

ꌚ ꂦ ꐇ ꋊ ꂠ ꋖ ꌅ ꁲ ꀯ ꀗ

Amandine tilted her head as she gazed at Faline. "Having a stick up there can become very uncomfortable, you know," she winked toward the red-head, then shrugged her shoulders as she gathered some twigs and dried leaves to create a makeshift fire. Amandine began to prepare the prized pheasant, looking pleased with herself as the bird crisped over the flames. Overhearing the comment about Athen the owl not being on the menu, she stuck her tongue out at Faline. "One less invited for the pheasant party if you’re not going to share," she hummed to herself with a smile.

While the bird roasted, she seized the opportunity to investigate the others who had joined them. She started with Gus, the one who had been giving Faline bedroom eyes non-stop. "So, pretty boy," she moved up toward him, getting into his face with a huge smile. "We're trying to find a cure for the Duskrot pandemic. Your old man is working for the Emperor to help with the problem. He wants you to help him out by working with us to raid some old Dragonian tombs looking for a pretty necklace." She plucked the coin out of Gus’s hand. "And this thing gains you entry into the… secret Emperor club led by Faline over there," she jabbed her thumb backward, pointing toward Faline. Flicking the coin up with her thumb, she leaned in, whispering with a nudge to his side, "She has been very tense with the whole ordeal." She left him with those parting words, allowing him to collect the coin.

Next on her agenda was the naked wizard, but he seemed occupied behind the bushes. She turned her attention to the other newcomer who approached on his grey horse. Facing him, she eyed him and his steed, giving a wave. "No siree, it seemed they had a score to take us out, or at least the pretty one with the red hair at the back. Don’t let her coy looks deceive you; she is as strong as they come." Glancing around as the others disposed of corpses, she pondered if she did the right thing by simply disabling them instead of killing. "But you can take the credit and help yourself to any bounty. As the saying goes, we were never here." She tapped a finger against her nose knowingly. "But you can join us for some roast pheasant if you have the time."

Torsten, hard at work, received a visit from Amandine. "Don’t forget to enjoy some pheasant when you're ready. I've saved a leg for you. Perhaps say hello to these new people."



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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Damycles
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Damycles The Narrator

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Hm... Seems like they're friendly. Friendly enough. They're not making any threatening movements. They're relaxed. Maybe a little too relaxed all things considered but that's not my problem.

I nudged Ash forward towards the group. Might as well introduce myself properly at any rate. As I get closer my eyes begin to squint. Bloody hell, kid wasn't lying. Red hair really is a looker, though so is that other fella they're with... honestly the kid probably would be a looker too if she wasn't young enough to be my younger sister. Are all of 'em pretty? That's when my eyes glance over towards Torsten. Ah, that's a rugged face alright. Least I'm not too out of place.

Eventually, when I'm within a meter or two of the group, still on Ash, I move to take off my helm. Not only to get a better look at 'em but so they can get a decent look at me as well. Only courtesy.

"Well... all t' myself ey? Rather generous aren' you?" I say to the short white haired one. I catch a glimpse of the pheasant they have. Not a bad catch. "And I think I'll take you up on that offer then. It'll save me a bit've coin on the supplies I'll need for the trip back anyway."

I then turn my head towards the rest of the group, flashing them one of my signature grins that will definitely get me on their good side. Never failed once... Except the times it did but those don't count.

"Name's Rock. Just Rock. Wanderin' blade fer hire but I've got as good've a pedigree as any other sellsword you'll come across I can assure you that much." I say. Red hair does look like she's in the money... might as well see if I can snag another contract while I'm here.
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The Great Gus





Gus listened intently to Faline's explanation, the gravity of their mission sinking in. The Duskrot pandemic, Dragonian tombs... and a secret Emperor's club? – the hell has the old fart gotten himself into? As Amandine playfully confronted him, Gus couldn't help but smirk at her boldness. He chuckled at her words, appreciating her straightforward approach.

However, when she plucked the coin from his hand and mentioned his old man's involvement in a mission for the Emperor, Gus felt a mixture of surprise and concern. He glanced at the coin, now held by Amandine, and couldn't help but feel a deeper connection to the cause. The mention of a pretty necklace and a secret club led by Faline added layers of intrigue to the already complex situation.

Gus's mind raced with questions, but he kept his composure. Amandine's whispered words about Faline's tension didn't go unnoticed, and he couldn't help but be intrigued by the dynamic among this group of mercenaries, seemingly more like a group of misfits than a true band of mercs.

As he reclaimed his coin, Gus wore a pensive expression. "So, the old man's involved in something big, huh? And here I thought he was just off chasing women again." His tone was a mix of amusement and concern. "If he's working for the Emperor to tackle this Duskrot mess, count me in. Plus, it's bound to be more interesting than being stuck here. Let's find this necklace and whatever else you would need me for."

"Lead the way, Faline. I'm ready for whatever surprises this journey has in store for us. And, hey, if you ever need someone to lighten the mood or cheat a few bandits for a good cause, I'm your guy." He performed a bow, soon pulling his head up to wink. "People have also said that I'm a very good masseur, if you would ever find the need for it."
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Jamesyco
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Torsten





He watched Dorian and his men, and relaxed a bit as he looked over at Faline, "I am going to assume that is the last time we see anything like that, also the bodies should be buried not burned, they are of these lands, burning would harm their spirits most likely. But, we should continue to move Miss Faline, with those new who are to accompany us."

He looked down at Amandine and nodded with a slight smile, "I thank you for your kindness Miss Amandine, but we should eat, but move some more before nightfall. For the most part, the new additions will serve well. But, we have lacked out in abilities with the reformation of our group. We work well, but we are all similar in skill sets in a fight, and where we are going, there may be more dangerous things about. But, the small one seems to be useful, either that or a man of confidence; the one in the back is rather stoic, but he seems to be a good man. I like that one. The other one I am unsure about."

Torsten smiled a bit, and started forward, moving his bag around his side as he made sure his weapons were back in their sheathes, or hanging off of his belt. His shield hung beside his helmet as it padded against his right thigh as he shifted down towards the small woman patting her on the head.

"If anyone is hurt, tell me, and I will take a look at it. Small wounds, even cuts can become big problems anywhere you are."
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by WhiteAngel25
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Faline rolled her emerald hues as a small smirk grew at the corners of her mouth at Amandine's tease. She shook her head as Amandine's appetite was going to eat them out of house and home if they didn't stay on top of it. The young woman was so petite, that Faline didn't know where Amandine stored it all.

The redhead turned to Gus as he bowed in a showy manner. Her smirk grew a bit but a raised eyebrow joined her expression in amusement. "As always, Amandine is being too kind. I am not the leader, that is Sir Dorian. I just have my uncle's journal with his notes and theories," Faline spoke as she crossed her arms when Gus offered a massage. "I don't know with that one, Pretty Boy, it might have you falling in love with me and we can't have that," she teased with a wink before she walked away to Amandine's roasting fire.

Faline looked up at the mercenary who hopped off his horse. She smiled at the horse and gave the equine a polite bow before she gently touched the horse's soft nose. "Nice to meet you, Rock. Welcome to the chaotic party known as the Oath of the Concealed," Faline introduced as she gestured with her free hand to the others. She softly chuffed at the horse, who replied with its own gentle huff. Her green gaze traveled to Rock's.

"I apologize, but animals can tell a lot about their owners. Ash has nothing but good things to say about you," Faline explained as she let go of the horse when Torsten made his way to speak on behalf of the dead.

"I don't disagree with you, Torsten, that burying them is the right way. However, burning is just the only way to prevent the ground from becoming blighted with the Duskrot," Faline tapped on her lips in the thought of how they could get around this conundrum while she followed him back to Amandine. "Could we bless the corpses on a pyre? Like the Elvian do for their dead? Would that solve the issue of preventing spirits from lingering?" She asked after thinking for a while.

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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Ti
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Ti Memento mori.

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ꁲ ꂵ ꁲ ꋊ ꂠ ꂑ ꋊ ꈼ
ꋖ ꂑ ꂵ ꈼ
Day 2 [Afternoon]
꒒ ꂦ ꀯ ꁲ ꋖ ꂑ ꂦ ꋊ
Bandit Ambush
ꉣ ꁲ ꌅ ꋖ ꂑ ꀯ ꂑ ꉣ ꁲ ꋊ ꋖ ꌚ
@WhiteAngel25 Faline
@Jamesyco Torsten
@Herald Conn
@jasbraq Gus
@Damycles Rock

ꌚ ꂦ ꐇ ꋊ ꂠ ꋖ ꌅ ꁲ ꀯ ꀗ

After indulging in her share of the roasted meat, the party seemed to ready itself for the next leg of the journey. Amandine waited for the signal from Faline, who was making the rounds, overseeing preparations and assimilating the new party members into the established order with Dorian.

Her gaze wandered toward the forest. Following the encounter with the bandits, their path led to the long-lost ruins, where the hope of securing the amulet resided. Amandine pondered whether they might encounter any Dragonians there, or perhaps the descendants of those who once safeguarded the lands of their ancestors, intermingling with local populations.

As the party set off, Amandine took on the role of a scout, venturing ahead and using her heightened senses to scan for any lingering threats—bandits who might be lying in wait to ambush their group.


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