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Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Rtron
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Althalus

"The college won't tolerate anyone souring relations with Eania because they couldn't swallow their pride long enough to be polite whenever a noble happened to speak to them. Which is doubtlessly the only reason a noble would want to fight you, since we're novelties at best. Mages from the famous College of magic. A curiosity to be satisfied. Nothing worth even playing politics with, much less challenging to a fight without being provoked. So, my oily troublemaker, I'd suggest that if a noble talks to you, you smile and nod. Because if you get thrown in jail for provoking one of the nobles you so despise, I doubt the College will bother trying to save you. Besides, for the vast majority of this festival we're just going to be 'among the commonfolk'. You should be totally at ease. Not to much though, of course. Representatives of the college, and all that. You're going to be watched very carefully.

Althalus spoke from across the carriage, leaned backwards against the wall. His eyes had been closed most of the ride, catching up on rest for the festival to come. He was dressed in rough, homespun clothes of simple tans and whites. For all the world, he looked like another Eanian farmer or laborer, coming to the festival for a good time. Of course, he still had his knives hidden carefully on his body. He wasn't foolish enough to trust a festival like this to go smoothly. He stretched, sitting up, and turned his attention to Lyn."Shimmerstone. The Light of Eania. I've been here a few times on business. Its nicer than most cities, the people are kinder. I suspect it has to do with the over-saturation of Billant temples in the city, promoting good will and kindness to all but a select few. The best time to be in the city is now, however. Dancers, acrobats, storytellers, merchants, tricks with all kinds of weapons, reduced prices at taverns and inns, and general good cheer all around. Once we get past telling them how honored we are to be invited to this honorable city by its honorable leader on this most honored of days, we'll have a great time. Who knows? Maybe there'll be some Herbamancers you can talk to. I hear that those in Shimmerstone are second only to the elves beyond the mountains." He smiled and winked at his daughter, settling back against the wall.

Aramir

"Of course!" Aramir exclaimed, peering out the window like a small child. She was ecstatic. This was her first time being to anything close to a festival, and it showed. She kept to her normal clothes, the only thing being different is that she didn't have her bow on her. Why should she? They were in the seat of Eania's power. Anything that could successfully attack here was much stronger than she could damage with her bow. And besides, she still had her magic. "Can't you hear it all? The bustling crowd, the laughter, the sizzling food. This is gonna be great. Well, after we go and talk to the people that invited us here. That's the important part, obviously. But the fun part will be after we get out of there and get to go to this festival. I don't even know what all goes on in it and I intend to find out thoroughly!"

She glanced over at Helena and then nudged her shoulder lightly. "You could probably even make a few coins selling your drawings. I'm sure they're are plenty of people who'd want to buy some."

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☆ Helena ☆


Helena glanced up from her work, looking at Aramir for a moment as she tried to refresh her brain of what she’d just said. “Oh I don’t know about that,” she replied with a little laugh, closing her little sketchbook around the charcoal she had in there. “I’m not all that good. I mostly just do it as an outlet. I’m sure there’s loads of other people already living here who draw and paint a lot better than me.”

She pushed her glasses up her nose some and looked around at her carriage mates with a small smile. "You all must be from some very small places," she said with a laugh. Even though she too was a little awed at the place.
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Alaira Taenn & Danica Ruzicka & Grey Onyx


Alaira glanced out the skylight with that prideful smirk of hers as the carriage rolled on. Ever since her 'operation', the woman had seemed... happier, though the difference was more pronounced to those close to her. The trauma she had experienced was not forgotten, but with the scars healed she seemed to finally be moving past it. She was more like the boisterous show-off of old, but tempered by the lessons she's learned. She wore simple clothing much like Athalus beside her, but in her case they were simply what she tended to wear outside of her armor. A simple set of trousers and a sleeveless tunic. She also wore a short sword on her hip, as she couldn't really justify a ten-foot spear as a weapon of self defense.

She heard Lyn speak, followed by Henri's answer, her smile becoming a frown. She kicked at the bench Henri sat on directly across from her, her foot thumping at the wood paneling just below his groin. "Behave." She muttered coldly as she looked out the skylight again, her point made. Some things didn't change. After Athalus was finished with his little spiel, she thumbed towards him over her shoulder. "What he said. You don't have to like the damn nobles, just shut up and mutter a pleasantry or two." She idly glanced over to the woman seated across from Aramir.

Danica, however, was very much unlike her usual self. She was dressed in her 'hunting' leathers, all sorts of bandoliers and belt pouches apparently empty (Though, Athalus could tell that many of her weapons were simply hidden). She had her mask on as per usual along with her hat, pulled down low. She sat in the corner with her cloak pulled tight around, like a child trying to hide. "It's... It's a lovely city." She said nervously, glancing out the window. "I have not been here in some time."

Her behavior was especially strange to anyone that had even met her for a moment. Simply put, she never seems to shut up about Billant, and for whatever reason she's conspicuously quiet at the biggest festival celebrating her goddess in all the land. She looked up to the snow elf, the subtle movement of her face mask implying a smile. "The music was always my favorite part." she added, with a very light chuckle.

For Grey however, things were far less interesting. He didn't have the luxury of conversation from his position atop the carriage. Unlike most he was allowed to carry his weapons, given his position as a bodyguard. That didn't extend to his armor however, as he was expected to wear his fancy dress uniform. He looked around, occasionally smiling or waving. As much as he wanted to relax though, the last time he was at any kind of festivities he got into a fist-fight with a demon fifty times his size, so it was best to remain alert.
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Ssarak Dyreackthanose




Ssarak could not help but to smile as he breathed in the fresh air through the window beside him. At least on the surface, the land seemed to live up to the reputation it held. He would not want to stir up any debate by speaking his thoughts aloud, but he felt that he preferred it to the destination of his previous mission. This festival seemed like something he might actually enjoy far more than the parties he had attended in Djarkel. For one, his clothes were far more comfortable than the strange attire he had worn to fit in among the Djarkel nobility. Not to mention, it was much more bright and vibrant in color. The oranges and reds of his tunic stood out against his black scales. He had with him his blade, though it was currently in the form of a simple knife that any common person would carry as a tool.

Also helpful was the fact that they were not really on an “assignment” at all. They had no tasks to perform, or objectives to complete. They merely needed to enjoy themselves in a way that reflected well upon the College. Just being present and avoiding causing trouble would suffice.

”I would call myself excited, yes. It reminds me of my first time in Feldor.” Ssarak commented. ”It might not have been as vibrant or colorful as this place, but to a young Esyire who had never seen more than a somewhat large collection of huts and small buildings, it could not have been more alive. Though, I cannot say I have been to a festival like this before. Does anyone have any ideas in mind for what they intend to do first?”
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☆ Helena ☆


Helena looked between Henri and pretty much everyone else in the carriage and rolled her eyes some. She understood Henri pretty well. The two of them were very much alike in a lot of ways. She figured that if Athalus didn't have Lyn to think about, he'd probably like Henri a bit more. The three of them weren't all that dissimilar after all. But Lyn was there, and whether Henri was actually interested or not didn't matter, because Athalus had already decided he couldn't be interested.

"Or how about we all stop ganging up on Henri," she sighed, looking over to her friend seated not that far away. She gave him a playful little wink and a smile that let him know she was on his side. She understood what the other's were saying as well, but that didn't mean that they had to be so rude to him. He obviously had had experience in the past, where most of them probably didn't in the same way.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Konan375
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Leith Calder


"I think you'd have to be crazy to not be excited," Leith answered E'nasha's question with a smile. "Or a resident, I guess," he added thoughtfully. It felt strange to be going to Shimmerstone. Even though the college and all their inhabitants were welcome at the capitol city, they still had students that either had a taboo Blood, or was a vampire, or... Leith glanced at his hand, tainted demonically. Hopefully they didn't run into anyone that held the values of Eania as close to their hearts as some people he had the pleasure of meeting.

He shook his head of dark thoughts and made sure his had was covered by his cloak, now sporting another patch. Satisfied, he turned to Ssarak's question. "I don't know, really. Maybe we could see what they have for entertainment here, or find some food." He glanced at Helena, the corner of his mouth tugged into a smile. "Play some games." He decided to learn how to fight better than he could about three months back and sought out Althalus. Turns out the man had been training some of the other fellow students, and now he had a test in mind for their time in Shimmerstone, and it's turned into something of a game. One that he intended to win.

Leith glanced over at Henri. The man had the unfortunate luck to be seated next to Lyn, Althalus and Alaira, and because he was an unknown, that immediately made them protective of the hybrid, and while not necessarily hostile towards Henri, definitely quite heated towards him. Leith chuckled to himself before turning to E'nasha. with a smile. "So where's your shadow?"

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Lyn, Shimmerstone




Lyn fell into quiet thoughtfulness at Henri’s conversation, though she nodded at E’nasha’s question. Her eyes switch back to the city, noting its wonders and busy atmosphere woven through its streets. People from all walks of life tread here without a care. Thankfully they would be spending most their time among the common people rather than the diplomats. Unlike Lidda. At the thoughts of the vitamancer teacher, her eyes lifted upward and spotted a dark bird flying around the city. It was a raven. She recalled Lidda had traveled ahead of the carriage to connect with her father a few weeks back.

“Really? I would love that!” Lyn nearly squeaked in her enthusiasm at the notion. Then she caught her mother’s raised eyebrow and clashed her hands over her mouth, silencing it.

“Sorry,” she managed to say in a more appropriate tone.

She had missed Alaira’s kick at the bottom of Henri’s seat, but she did catch the comment, “I’ve never known you to be completely silent about what you felt was wrong, Alaira.”

Her attention focused more on the festive going on around them than inside the carriage. Gradually it came to a stop as she made her way onto the cobblestone street. The streets were so busy with life that she couldn’t help but stare, her eyes drawn to the activity so familiar to her. Her thoughts were broken by her father nearby causing her to spot him near the wall. She smiled a bit. Her feet cut down the distance between them while she leaned over, giving him an affectionate peck on the cheek before noting her mother wasn’t beside him.

Before she could comment on it, Helena’s word came to Henri’s defense. Lyn noticed the wink exchange and her gut churned a bit. She wondered if there was something between them. Not wanting to dwell on it, she moved toward the carriage where her mother was located. She stepped up high enough to peer in through the carriage window. Marya appeared to be just daydreaming causing Lyn to speak up.

“Mom, everything alright?”

“Um?” Mar said then faced her, seeming to slip out of her trance, “Yes, it is. I’m sorry, I was thinking about something. We’ve arrived?”

“Yeah, need help out?”

“No, I can do it,” Carefully Mar began to exit out of her side, standing now by the carriage. Her arms crossed over her front slightly defensively while she approached the group.

Naturally, Lyn looked at her father.

‘She alright?’ Lyn mouthed to him when mother’s back turned away.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Lucius Cypher
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Annabeth Gulch


Since their return from Djarkel, Annabeth has been training with Helena and Athalus. And nothing sexual either; while Annabeth still has regular contact with her lovers, she had been putting those off for legitimate training. Honing her skills and agility to be better prepared to face off against the creatures the college tends to pit against their students. Of course Annabeth in general has also tried to patch up her life. She felt that maybe she had gotten too... Eager with all her relationships. Not that she regrets any or intends to cut them off; but perhaps she had spent too much time playing around and not enough actually improving her skills. She had let her vices get the better of her. Slowly, she was trying to change that.

Annabeth rode alongside the carriages on her trusty steed Samson. Ever since their cooperation dealing with the roc, Annabeth and Samson had gotten to know one another better and they both improved. Using her magic she was able to train Samson to be quite a war horse; his strong body and great endurance was great when running from or towards threats, and his sturdy body would ensure that he can hold his own in a fight alongside Annabeth. Annabeth herself had also begun training her swordsmanship. She had mastered the basics but now needed to hone her skills to a more refine point; she can duel most people just fine, but when fighting monsters she needed to figure out what she was good at and worked on it. Thus she started to improve upon her agility and changed from a brute-force style of swordsmanship to a thrusting style; a mix between using a spear and a two-handed sword. And thus her weapon had changed from a regular longsword to an estoc; a thin but sturdy thrusting blade, like a heavy rapier. It's tip was sharpen for slicing but it's main attribute is to be a thrusting weapon capable of piercing armor or hides, or seeking out weak points in such things. While mounted it can also serve as a light lance.

Annabeth's armor had also chained from her heavy coat of plates to a lighter armored jacket. This time the armor was more evenly distributed over her body, making it easier for her to move around as opposed to having everything concentrated around her torso and turning into a more sluggish but enduring fighter. She still had a long way to go, but compared to before she had gotten much better. Annabeth's magic had also been improving; telepathy was much less of an issue for her now even when used over a long period of time and with multiple parties. She focused much on wide concentration spells allowing her to be more useful for others by becoming a mobile communication hub, as well s seeking out and detecting threats when she otherwise can't. Speaking of magic, Annabeth finally saved up money to purchase an enchantment for her sword. The enchantment itself makes her blade innately magical and thus more capable of harming her enemies and withstanding the strain of battle, but there was a specific enchantment that allows her to bypass magical wards and protection related to Psychomancy, so long as she cast her spell the same time her sword peirces the body. That should help deal with pesky people who actually have resistances to her magic.

None of which Annabeth actually brought, for better or for worse. They weren't in Eania for a quest but celebration. She couldn't help but feel excited; they were finally going to her homelands after all, and she already knows that she'll be meeting her family in the city for celebrations. She wanted to show off all her friends to them as well as show them her new abilities. It almost felt like years since she has seen her relatives and she wonders how much they've changed since she left. When she saw the city ahead, Annabeth couldn't help but ride ahead and get the scent of her homelands back. The smell of hot oil sizzling doughy goods in the sun, fresh fruits being served and sliced for customers, the strong aroma of butchered meat that roasts on a split, and the occasion dog dropping. Fortunately, Eania does employ street sweepers. As the rest of the college students arrived into the city Annabeth dismounted and fed Samson an apple. "Follow the others and be good, okay? I'll come back with treats." She said affectionately to her horse before giving him a peck on the snout and meeting with the others.

"Ah, smells like home. Welcome to Shimmerstone! Capital jewel of Eania, and my city!"
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by 13org
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Henri didn't notice that there was a purple haired girl that she didn't know yet on the carriage with them. Maybe it was because she was so distracted and quiet looking through the window. But the second she turned, asking if they were excited about being there, Henri finally noticed her.
He didn't know her name or even saw her before. But again, he was just a recent arrival on the college. The least he could do to make up for completely ignoring her was to present himself properly, but before he could do that, he was interrupted by Athalus.

Henri was simply dumbfound as he listened Athalus giving him a sermon. It wasn't the first time that people acted like that with him, so he was already used in being disrespected. But that didn't mean that Henri wouldn't get irritated or talk back...

"Oho~ Believe me, Athalus..." Henri replied, saying his name slowly as he looked at him with a piercing stare.
"I know how to take care of myself. Otherwise I wouldn't be alive here today. And... I'm sorry, but I don't remember starting a conversation with you... You talk about being polite, but ironically enough, you're the one interrupting my conversation in an exemplary display of rudeness... Maybe it's not me who will have problems with the local nobility, eh?" Henri said, with a mischievous smile on his face.

"Oh, but I suppose I should thank you for speaking so highly of me! But I think I'll have some problems keeping up with your expectations... After all, you just assumed that I could affect the relations between the college and Eania just by myself!" He continued, with a mocking bow.

"But just as you said, you should watch me carefully... You might learn a thing or two if I'm as good as you say." He finished, before turning towards the purple haired girl... Or at least trying to as he was interrupted once more by Alaira, who just kicked the wood paneling just below his groin.

Completely unfazed by her intimidation attempt, he crossed his legs with an amused look on his face, looking to the girl as she spoke.
"Alaira, my dear... If you want to spar, be my guest, but I don't think it's a good idea to try to destroy the carriage or fight me here... You might cause a scene you know... And we're on a festival... There are a lot of eyes to watch us..." He said, with a provocative chuckle.

"It is probably a new record! Less than a week and I already have so many who dislike me... It's simply delightful how many arrogant people come flocking towards me expecting me to simply lower my head and listen as they continue to treat me like nothing..." Henri said, rolling his eyes.

"I never said I would actively search for problems... Unlike both of you at this moment... I will only stay away from nobles & such. I don't like them, and they don't like me. You don't know the nobility like I do... And believe me, you wouldn't like them as well if you saw their ugly side so many times..." Henri said, with a bitter expression.

"The only reason I would fight or argue with a noble is if he couldn't swallow its pride long enough to be polite if they ever happened to speak with me, which is highly unlikely if I may add, or at least have the decency of ignoring me, just as I will probably do with them." Henri said looking to both Alaira and Athalus.

When he was about to turn to the girl again to introduce himself, Helena's voice caught his attention. This time, it was a good thing.

"Oh, thank you! I was almost thinking that I would have to sleep with my knives under my pillow in order to defend myself in case someone tried to kill me on the college... It's good to see that I still have someone that enjoys my company..." He said, winking to Helena, before Lyn reprimanded Alaira for her actions, nodding to her shortly after, grateful for her words.

After that little discussion, the mood was undeniably sour inside the carriage, and the moment they arrived, Henri was one of the first to get out, stretching himself as he stepped out of it.

"Well... Let's see what we will find here..." Henri said, looking around.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Freeshooter92
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Alaira Taenn

Alaira listened to the boy ramble on, quietly. It was rather uncharacteristic of her. After all, a few years ago she might have simply punched him in the face. Though in fairness, even if she was feeling like violence it would be somewhat impractical in the crowded carriage. But for once, she decided to listen. Her expression remained... still. Not at rest, oh no. There was still a certain intensity, of sorts. She stared unmoving, much like a statue.

She was starting to get a picture of just who she was dealing with as he spoke. Someone who'd thought they'd seen it all, someone who didn't think they had to play by anyone's rules but their own. She'd met many like him of course. She herself had been frighteningly similar, albeit far more... coarse. But, she'd learned. She'd been through intense suffering, and it took far more than one incident to do the trick, but she'd somehow survived. Lyn's comment said as much.

"Now, you look here." She said, once he'd finished speaking. She cast her gaze out the window for a moment, before continuing. "You might be treated like nothing, because you are nothing. Basically. We get a lot of new blood. Most talk a lot. Most of them wash out, a rare few die, but some, some of them can back it up. You could be one of them, you know. I could be looking at a future master and not even know it. And that's just it; I don't know it. Nobody does. We weren't entitled to respect, and you certainly aren't either." Her words lacked... venom. Her gaze was hard but she spoke calmly, as if merely stating facts.

"Now, I don't know you, but unless you've really, really seen some things, I bet you that nearly every single person in this damned cart has already had more suffering than you can even imagine. So don't talk to me about arrogance. You want respect? Prove you're worth it. You're gonna have to learn things one way or another, and your first lesson?" She gestured to the others. "We ain't gangin' up on you because we have nothing better to do. If you make an ass of yourself, it ain't just gonna be you that gets in trouble. Besides, you seem to be the type that provokes people and blames them when they get upset. You can't fault Athalus here for givin' you a warning."

She had nothing further to say on the matter. She very much didn't care for him, but until she was sure he'd either wise up or leave Lyn alone, she was stuck keeping an eye on him. She hopped out of the carriage, doing a few stretches. "Ooooh, that's it..." She muttered, finally able to stretch her legs. She supposed the ride might've been more uncomfortable for an Eysire or something, but she was certainly glad to finally be out. She watched Lyn run over to speak to her mother, sighing some. She wasn't a little girl anymore, she didn't need to be watched like a hawk. She'd never truly stopped protecting her, the only thing that changed was how closely she watched.

When Athalus left the carriage, she gently grabbed his arm, and muttered quietly. "I get the feeling that boy's going to be trouble." She flicked her gaze towards Henri. "You should keep an eye on him, you're a lot better at the whole... subtlety thing." When Lyn stepped back over however, she smiled warmly. It was... difficult to resist the urge to kneel down and tousle her hair like she used to. She noticed Lyn speak... or rather, not speak. She alright? She was probably referring to Mar, who seemed a little... out of it. She supposed that it was best to let Athalus address his daughter on this one.
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☆ Helena ☆


Helena just rolled her eyes at all of them as she climbed out of the carriage and stretched as well. She looked around when she was done, shifted her bag on her shoulder and double checked that everything was put away and she wouldn't drop anything out of it.

She watched Lyn go off to see her mom, the girls father nearly glaring daggers at anyone who he thought might be in to her, and the rest of the others sort of mill around and stretch after being cramped up for the long ride.

When she caught sight of Henri by himself she started towards him, stepping in front of him and smiling brightly. “Come explore with me,” she said, grabbing at his hand and tugging him towards her a little bit. “We can get away from all these party poopers and have a bit of fun, yeah?”
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Rtron
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Althalus

He merely raised an eyebrow at Henri as the boy went on a spiel of what, Althalus supposed, Henri thought were scathing insults and sharp witticisms. They were more like a child's blustering attempt at returning perceived insults with flailing taunts. All it did was solidify the idea that Henri had no true idea of the situation he was now in, and that he would cause problems because of his pride or machismo, or whatever it was the drove him to act the way he did. Truth be told, when he turned the same heavy handed and childish taunts and replies onto Alaira, Althalus was surprised she didn't punch the boy's teeth back through his throat. Guess we've all done some learning since we first met. He mused, waiting for the carriage to stop. Lyn and Helena's defense of Henri wasn't unexpected. Helena wanted to sleep with the boy and Lyn was experiencing her first crush. A prospect that was, if Althalus was honest with himself, a major source of his dislike of Henri. Still, it didn't mean any of the points he had made were wrong.

As he got out of the carriage, Alaira stopped him. He looked up in mild surprise at the half-elf, having never known her for whispering much, then shook his head "No. He'll be more likely to do whatever we don't want him to do out of spite if he thinks he's being followed by us. Hypocrites are like that. I'll tell Helena to keep him out of trouble and do whatever necessary to do that. I'll stop to chat with him again, since they're so close."

He made his way over to Henri, sighing as he did so. Why did Lyn have to have a crush on an arrogant fool? When he reached said arrogant fool, he began talking once more.

"Since you seem completely oblivious to the College's political situation and your roll in it, allow me to explain. The College doesn't have any allies. Oh, Eania and Djarkel and all the rest make great big shows of support for it, and say they are allies all the time, but they all really want the College to side with them more than just 'magical aid and benevolent neutrality'. They want the College to send its mages to war with them, against their enemies. As I'm sure you know, Mages change the course of war. And no place has more mages, much less master mages, than the College. So they are constantly maneuvering to get the College into a more war time alliance, and the College is constantly maneuvering to stay in the current agreement.

"Where you fit in, my oh-so confident boy, is that once you leave College grounds to go do a mission, which is what we're in right now, you are a representative and diplomat of the College. You wield the immense responsibility and consequences of being able to influence entire nations policy and leverage on the College. That means if you do something violent, stupid, kind, smart, so on so forth, it will reflect upon the college and affect the grounds on which they can negotiate with whatever nation it happens to affect. For here, it means that if you are unfortunate enough to encounter a noble and you aren't smart enough to swallow your own pride and be polite no matter what, because make no mistake they will try to get you to make a fool out of yourself and play into their hands, and you get yourself thrown in jail for attacking a noble, the College will either disown you entirely and leave you to rot or it will have to acquiesce to Eanian demands that might just get it and every student it has embroiled in a war. So when you have an insult on the tip of your tongue, or a dagger on the tip of your fingers, try to remember that there is far more at stake than your pride."


Althalus looked over Henri. He assumed the boy was going to take what he said as an insult, again, and make more childish fronting, but it was worth a shot. "I'm assuming you want respect, given your little speech about arrogant people and how they think they can talk down to you. What Alaira said was right. None of us care who you were before you got here. None of us are impressed by your stares, puffed up reactions, and flippant remarks. You want our respect? Start by proving you know when more's at stake than arrogant people stinging your pride, and that you can actually let things go without saying something. The rest, courage, skill, calm under pressure, all that good stuff, you can prove on other missions." He shrugged.

"Or don't. I don't particularly care what you do so long as it doesn't get my family or the College embroiled in your mess. Also, your insults need work. You sounded like a blustering child rather than someone with a sharp and biting wit. You could actually learn something from Helena in that department." He looked over at the other woman, smirking at the look in her eye. "Keep an eye on him. I don't trust him to see past pride and hold his tongue if a noble pisses him off. We'll all be considered accomplices if he does something stupid, and you don't want to go into jail during the festival, hmm? If you get him through the entire festival without him doing something to a noble, I'll give you an extra point. If you actively stop him from doing something to a noble, I'll give you an extra three points. Do whatever you deem necessary. Have fun, kids." He left, ignoring whatever remarks the two of them made at his back, heading over towards Mar.

He walked over smiling at her, before leaning against the wall, noticing Lyn snapping Mar out of her trance, he grinned and winked. "Still entranced by my beauty, I see. Don't worry, a few more years and you'll be used to the effects." He sighed dramatically. "What a painful loss that will be, when I no longer daze you with my beauty." He glanced at Lyn, making a subtle gesture to the city around them and then back at Mar. 'Makes her nervous' he mouthed back. "Do me a favour, my Maniacal Gardener." He smiled at Lyn. "Keep an eye on Henri and knock him out if his pride gets to big for his britches again. I've already explained the situation he and the College is in, but I'm afraid his pride will interpret it as 'someone is talking down to me again, so I should flail verbally like a child.'"

Aramir

The snow elf practically bounced out of the carriage, ignoring the tension among some of the others. They'd figure it out, or they'd just ignore each other. Right now, she had a whole city to explore and she wasn't about to waste it. She looked right to left excitedly, trying to figure out where to go next, when her eyes settled on Danica. She skipped over to the masked woman, grabbing her hand and bouncing up and down energetically. "You said you had been her before, right Dani? Can you take me on a tour? I have no idea where to go and I'm really interested in seeing all of the best parts and the music! Can you, please?" She did her best pleading eyes up at Danica, hoping they'd work.
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Ssarak Dyreackthanose




At first, Ssarak did not pay too much attention to the conversations of the others as they finally stepped out of the carriage. The city was too much of a sight to take in, especially for a first time visitor. He shared some of Annebeth’s enthusiasm for being here, albeit for different reasons. Shimmerstone’s fame was world-reaching, even if it was not universally believed. Some, especially in Djarkel, might think its reputation to be overblown, if not outright fabricated. But, the rumors were known regardless. Having just arrived, Ssarak supposed he could not make any accurate judgments about the merits of its reputation, but he could at least see that its beauty was not a lie. Perhaps it was just because of the festival, or the part of the city they were in, but the streets were cleaner than in many cities he had visited.

Of course, Ssarak could not ignore his companions forever. Hardly a few steps into the city, and there was already an argument. Althalus was not happy with Henri, to put it mildly. Granted, there were many good reasons for him to take this trip so seriously. They may not have been on an official mission, but the weight of representing the College was still on them, and they would be likely to meet some important people in the city. Ssarak was quite cognizant of the fact that this was the first time College mages had been invited to the festival. Still, Althalus was not the most…diplomatic of individuals, so Ssarak doubted that their issues would suddenly be gone just from some strong words from him.

Deciding not to escalate anything further, Ssarak elected to wait until after Althalus and Henri had separated to stop observing the city. Althalus eventually stormed off from the argument, and Ssarak sauntered up to him and Mar soon after. ”Perhaps I am being cynical, but I doubt that will work on him. Maybe there is some hope that Lyn might influence him to be more patient, instead of…the other way around.” He commented to the two of them. ”Is everything else well with you, aside from the obvious?”
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Location: Shimmerstone, Eania’s capital
Time: Solstice Festival (Year 3- Spring Time, 5-6 months later)



Keri’s eyes slowly fluttered open, arms around the figure of her sleeping lover, before the top one was removed. How long had it been since they had this conversation? Was it after the carvings were placed in that area or was it just before this rather childish party that college was invited to? Either way this was the first step into moving on. It was strange to think of all the times the vampire was being a child, only to meet these people who changed her life for the better, yet something was missing. For now the young woman couldn’t wrap her fingers around it.

Her arms slowly moved upwards to allow herself to stretch out the sore muscles. In a way Keri didn’t what to get out of her hiding hole, mainly because of what Althalus’ creative game, or as he called it seemed to call it Assassin Training. Though the extra money would definitely help here due to the ever loving people’s attitude. From what teh girl could tell so far was anyone who looked different would have a massive chance of being ignored. A massive plus to this was no one would be asking about Colette’s ring.

The young woman shifted to the left, allowing her to place the ring and a spare bag of candies inside her boot, just in case something bad happened before deciding it would be best to have someone else to hold it. Better safe than sorry when it comes to ignorant humans such as the ones who lived here. At least these thoughts were based from what her adopted father told from when he was a child living here. Making the sour taste inside her mouth that much more apparent. ” I guess I should grab something to help shield us from sunlight. Perhaps we can also keep our weapons with us as well. After all we’ll be targeted by the others in training.” She said grabbing her shield, sword, and a parcel before checking to see if the red cloth hanging from her wrist was still there. After this was done the vampire exited out of the carriage to join the others.
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Samson, Shimmerstone


Samson munched the apple. His soft lips brushed her fingertips then shoved the fruity morsal between his teeth, chunks being taken out of it each time it moved. It was obvious he was enjoying it fully until it disappeared. He then reached out his nose to press against Annabeth’s check, stroking it briefly before she left. It was his way of getting her to give him a good scratch on his neck where itched. He didn’t like being away from her, but he trusted her assurance that she would be back.

“Alright, but I never liked it here,” Samson begrudgingly agreed then began to trot off. His large form fell into pace with the carriage horses, following alongside them. Spotting the large horse, the carriage driver promptly leaned over then reached for Samson’s reins. The horse immediately step away and snorted a warning. His rein tip darted just out of reach. Noticing this, the elderly man returned to ushering the horses into the stables while Samson returned to his position.

The small group quickly vanished out of sight.

Lyn




Lyn sighed quietly under her breath. She was beginning to become irritated with the trio’s exchange. She didn’t understand why they couldn’t get along when she was around, like her presence specifically sparked issues. Already the atmosphere around Athalus, Alaira and Henri had escalated into a tense one. It picked at her anxiety budded by her mother’s strange behavior causing her heart to sink a bit. It bottomed out when she spotted Helena’s hand reach out then tug Henri’s figure closer, whispering for him to come exploring with her.

Confusion swept over Lyn’s expression briefly when her heart flared with pain. It disappear as suddenly as it began, fading from her chest when she looked away. She was confused by what caused or why it happened. Even more, she was disturbed by the fact it hurt far worse than she expected. Pushing the shock under her heel, Lyn had caught her father’s explanation on things.

While she could easily see his point of view, she felt he could’ve put it less like a lecture. However, asking him to do that was like asking the sea not to be salty. It was impossible. She supposed it was because he had been a father for far too long.

When he mentioned about his beauty entrancing her mother, Lyn smiled when Mar turned then frowned at him. It was signs that whatever bothered mother had passed and things were normal once more. Feeling some of her anxiety fade, Lyn’s eyes lit up when she heard him ask her to keep an eye on Henri. Her lips curled into a smile. She placed her right arm underneath her waist and made a small bow before she shot back upright.

[color=pink] “No problem, but I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. We’ll try to steer clear of any nobles,”[color] She promised.

She promptly stepped toward Henri and Helena, her figure slipped in between the two. Her arms reached out to pull the two alongside to the opposite direction of her parents. She wanted as much distance as she could get before someone opened their mouth to retort and ignite the fight all over again.

Mar



“She does have a way to influence others,” Mar agreed, pausing long enough to absorb what Ssarak was asking.

She had crossed her arms over her torso, though they visibly relaxed now, while she considered what to say. Of course the truth came to mind as she shifted from one leg to the next. No longer did she struggle for balance thanks to the months of practice. Marya sighed then admitted the truth.

“I’m still rattled from Yarosmere. It’s been difficult to adjust and I can’t help but feel tense in a crowd like this, especially when Yarosmere was nearly as crowded. My mind is still crawling after that… mage tried to invade it,” she swallowed a bit then added, “It will pass at some point. I just need a distraction.”
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Alaira Taenn

Alaira stood with her arms folded in a relaxed sort of way, shrugging at his response. She didn't need to say anything else, she'd already said her piece to the boy, and Athalus had followed suit. Instead, she watched Lyn. She saw the girl's expression, and when she turned to see Henri and Helena, she knew exactly what Lyn was feeling even if she didn't. It made her drop her smile for a moment. Darker thoughts she fought so hard to repress would always come flooding back every time she was reminded. Though she loved her very much, Lyn was in many ways the greatest emblem of Alaira's failure. And she definitely didn't want her to go through what she currently suffered.

She didn't like Henri at all, of course. But who Lyn spent her time with was none of her business. Before Lyn could rejoin the other two she pulled her aside. "Hey, just a sec." She said, somewhat quietly. "I'm not gonna lecture ya or anything, just... You like him, yeah?" She said, flicking her gaze over toward Henri and Helena. "Spend time with him, talk to him, just... don't hesitate, do something. If you don't, someone else will..." She took a moment to make sure she was listening, though she probably was. Alaira didn't usually sound serious, but when she did Lyn knew it was best to pay attention. "Here..." She fished around in her pocket some, pulling out a small purse with ten gold coins in it and offering it. "Here, in case you see something in the market you want. I was gonna give it to you on the way but it kinda slipped my mind." She said with a small chuckle, rubbing the back of her head as warmth returned to her demeanor. "Now you have fun, okay?" She told her, seeing her off with a little head pat, as she was so fond of doing.

She turned back to the others after Lyn ran off. Ssarak seemed to have stopped by. She used to have a bit of a problem with him, but she'd mostly stopped caring. He wasn't so bad. "Well, he's still a dumbass and she's still a bitch, so all's well." she said with a facetious grin. Her expression turned a bit more serious when Mar spoke. She hadn't been there, and she didn't pry a whole lot about what exactly happened in Yarosmere, but some of the results were painfully obvious. She'd obviously never experienced it, but having your body forcibly altered into something completely alien couldn't have been an enjoyable experience. "Hey, we're gonna be fine, alright? I'll make sure of it." She said, patting her on the shoulder.

Alaira was never that close to Mar. The two more or less put up with eachother, but they were basically opposites, right down to general disposition. Apart from that, spending time with her just tended to make her sad. It was probably for the best that Ssarak couldn't read her mind, wasn't it? "Well, it's big-ass festival day so they gotta have something to do around here, yeah?" She said, folding her hands behind her head.

Danica Ruzicka

Danica was a bit slower in exiting the carriage, her long limbs made climbing through the doorway slightly irritating. She adjusted her hat as she took in the sight... It was just as she remembered, and it brought a smile to her face. Well, not that anyone would see it. Aramir certainly seemed excited to be here. Several of the others were eager to enjoy the festival but she was clearly the most. "Yes, I used to live here." She said with a soft chuckle as Aramir took her hand. Her little puppy eyes routine was hardly necessary, even if she wasn't fond of her she'd barely need encouraging to take someone on a tour of the place. "Of course~, now, there's several places of interest..." She said, looking u to the sky as she tapped her chin in thought.

"We can't go... well, inside obviously, but there's a plaza with a wonderful view of the palace. Oh, then there's the clock tower. I'm sure you'd like to see the opera house, but it's best to wait a bit to see that one, it's usually closed during the daylight hours. The Grand Cathedral, the bathhouse, the Royal Gallery... that one is open to the public, despite what its name might imply. Oh, and then there's several bakeries, and this tailor shop. It's far outside our price range of course but I did always love to look at the dresses..." She spoke of various tourist destinations one after the other, tapping at her hand.
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Althalus

"alright my Maniacal Gardener, go have fun." He kissed her on the top of the head before Lyn sprang off, heading towards Henri and Helena. But not too much fun. He thought silently, willing her to get over this crush soon. She wasn't old enough to have a crush yet.

Althalus shrugged at Ssarak. "Could be worse. Would be a lot better if, someone would let me just nick a vein in Henri's leg." He looked pointedly at Mar. "But alas, I'm informed that would be 'wrong' and 'get us kicked out of the College'. So I'll just have to settle for waiting till his pride makes him take a swing at me, then nicking a vein in his leg. Its only a matter of time before that happens. He seems to think any time someone suggests that his way might not be the best way is a personal attack. Unless you wanna drug him? That seems to work wonders for calming people down." He looked over at Mar and smiled. "As we both know. Overall though? I'm good. We're here in a relatively safe city, surrounded by friends and one annoying person, and at a festival? What's not to be okay with?" He heard Mar's comment and grinned at her.

His eyebrows waggled suggestively. "I could think of a few things to distract you. We'd have to rent an inn room, and miss out on all the festivities, but I'd be able to keep you distracted for hours." As Alaira walked up and spoke, he mock swooned. "You wound me, dear Alaira. I happen to think I am one of the most intelligent people in this area. And Mar's personality and social skills with new people and areas? Absolutely sparkling. We're offended. If you're so bored, I suppose there is some sort of duels and sparring going on somewhere. You and Ssarak could join one together, beat the Pit out of some poor local guardsmen." He shrugged again, pulling out a coin and flipping it between his fingers. "Mar and I are probably just going to wander, and see where the road takes us. Unless you want to take me up on that 'distracted for hours' offer?" He looked over, eyebrow raised.

Aramir

The little snow elf practically jumped up and down as Danica listed off all the places they could go, the things they could see. If she was being honest with herself, all of those places and ideas sounded amazing. She really couldn't decide which was the best to go to first, and frankly, she didn't care which she went to first. There was plenty of time, all day long, for them to see all of them. There was no need to rush, move along, or even hurry. She didn't even know what half of those things were, but figured there wold be more than enough time to get a crash course in it. "Whatever you think is best!" She declared, dancing around Danica. "The Plaza, the tower, the cahtedral, the dresses, the gallery, the bakeries, whatever you want to go see first! Because all of that sounds like things I would enjoy immensely. So take you're pick! I'm sure I'll love whatever you choose!"

She grinned up at Dani's mask, eager to get going.

GM POST

A small bird, one leg half missing, chirped to itself. Its eye fixated on Henri, Lyn, and Helena. It ruffled its feathers in satisfaction, taking off towards the inner city. It had a mission to complete.

Down beneath the ground, a figure walked around a chess board, moving one of its constantly changing pieces through the city of shimmerstone. "And the final pieces begin to fall into place. We're in the end game now, siblings. Soon, soon. Soon it will be time rise again. Everything is coming. Soon."

Leith's ring whispered in his ear, breaking the long silence.

The shapeshifter is in the city. She has fixated on your firebrand. Careful, careful. She has plans for you and your cohorts, and will never forgive you for murdering her sister.
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Leith Calder


The carriage had stopped. They had arrived at Shimmerstone. Leith watched as everyone piled out. The conversation had been getting quite tense. Hopefully the bright and colorful city and festival was enough to lighten everybody's mood. Leith checked his supplies for the festival. Coin purse: check, waterskin: check, lifeline for Althalus' training game: check. The red cloth was tied around the clasp of his cloak. He double-checked to make sure that his gauntlet was covered by his cloak. It still pushed out against the fabric, but unless he uncovered it, it wouldn't scare the locals.

Leith chuckled at the thought as he left the carriage. It had been a long time since he had been in such a populated area of Eanians, and it was the first that he actually had something that made their fear or distrust of him valid. He had spent his entire life surrounded by that mistrust, so he could handle it. He glanced over at Keri, who had just exited out of the carriage. He wasn't sure about the others, though.

He approached Keri with a smile. "So, is this your first time in-"

The shapeshifter is in the city. She has fixated on your firebrand. Careful, careful. She has plans for you and your cohorts, and will never forgive you for murdering her sister.

Leith's smile dropped and he looked at the silver ring on his left hand with a frown. Shapeshifter? He hadn't murdered anyone. The only people he killed were trying to kill-

A shudder ran through his body. The Eternal Hunger had a sister? And she was a shapeshifter as well? Not good. She could be anyone. She could cause so much trouble as one of the students of the college, and it would be hard to disprove that they were the ones who did it. The conversation in the carriage sprung to mind, or she could force one of the students to do something rash and there would be no denying that it was a college student that did it.

Leith realized that he had been staring at his hand for far too long and looked back up at Keri. "Uh..." He lowered his voice "There's a shapeshifter in the city, and she's targeting the college." He glanced at the ring again. "I believe she's associated with the same group that were at Lyn's hunt. We should get Helena and-where'd she go?"

Helena had disappeared into the crowd. Henri and Lyn were no longer with the gathered students, who had also started to disperse into the crowd. The game was on, but now it had another objective: make sure that nothing came of the shapeshifter's meddling. "We need to find Helena. If this shapeshifter is anything like the last one I fought, Pyromancy is a real threat to her."




Darius Jura


"Out of the way." Darius growled at the pale man who deemed it necessary to stand just outside the door to the carriage to talk to someone.

The man looked up. "Ah, sorry. He moved out of the way and stood beside the pale woman he was talking to. Darius shook his head. Some people needed to gain some situational awareness. It wasn't healthy for people to be oblivious to the things going on around them. He was here to enjoy the festivities, not lecture someone about their awareness. Darius grinned. Where there was festivities, there was a selection of ales.

As he was leave the group to find the closest tavern, he caught the words of Althalus. I suppose there is some sort of duels and sparring going on somewhere. You and Ssarak could join one together, beat the Pit out of some poor local guardsmen." Darius looked over and saw the elf. His mood soured.

Darius had made it a point to not go anywhere near Alaira after their mission to Djarkel. He didn't think that he'd be able stop himself from starting a fight with the berserker. It was hard enough being in the same carriage with her. With Althalus' words, a thought popped into his head, and he grinned again. He approached the group.

"I would not do that. The elf might start a fire or start fighting you instead."
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Henri was starting to seriously doubt of their mental sanity as he heard their inflamed, arrogant speech. He already had his fun but it was starting to get annoying... It wasn't that entertaining to talk to someone that lived in their own happy little world, without opening their eyes to the reality that was in front of them. Alaira was simply... well... She was a bitch. There wasn't any other word to describe her. He already had dealt with many of those type before... People who think they are always right, who think they have the right to speak in a condescending way to everyone and put themselves in a pedestal as superior to others... It was always irritating to hear them trying to belittle others for so long.

"Oh my, such a hypocrite! I don't get why she is talking so much if she doesn't know nothing about me..." He thought to himself, looking at her with a mocking grin as she talked to him. He wouldn't even give her the pleasure of paying attention on what she was saying, instead, he would only silently provoke her.

But unfortunately, the little doggy's master was also upset with Henri and came to aid its little puppy.
Ironically enough, or maybe it was exactly why they were so close to one another, Athalus was so similar to Alaira. The same pretentious and arrogant attitude, the same irritating way of belittling others, living in its own world of fantasy where he was god in person...

"Ugh... I grew tired of entertaining you on your little game..." Henri said, simply turning his back to him as he continued talking.

"I guess that asking you two to act in a civilized manner is indeed too much... Oh, and please, put your little dog in a leash. If she tries to kick me again, the outcome won't be pretty." Henri said, with the same mocking smirk but with a piercing stare to both him and Alaira.

"Oh, but before I go, I need to tell you one thing: I don't care about you, about your little puppy or the college. I have nothing to prove to you all. Don't be fooled if you thought I'm acting like this to impress you lot... I worked in a circus. Being charming is in my nature. If you don't like it, too bad for you. There are a lot of others who like it." He said, opening his arms in a mocking bow as he said that he worked in a circus.

"Oh, but I suppose i should take my leave... After all, It's not that entertaining trying to interact with the mentally impaired." Henri said, with a cruel smirk.

"It's so ironic! He is acting like that and still, I am the child here..." Henri said laughing as he walked away, completely ignoring the speech he was still giving.

As he got closer to Helena, who was trying to get his attention since all that situation began, he gave her a smile.

"I'm sorry my dear. Now that the arrogant little master and it's puppy are gone, you have my complete attention." He said, with a bow.
"Are they... you know... 'slow' or something like that?" Henri asked, twirling his finger besides his ear with a funny grimace and a chuckle as he tried to make Helena laugh, just as Lyn arrived, pulling them away from the rest.

"Oh! What a pleasant surprise! Are you joining us too?" Henri asked, looking to Lyn.

He saw both Alaira and Athalus speaking with her for an awfully long time before she came... They seemed unusually... close... to her, almost like if they were overprotective parents... Henri was wondering if him being near Lyn was the reason for all that...

"I didn't know I was so popular with the ladies!" He said, laughing, before he turned to Lyn with a serious expression.

"My dear Lyn, Athalus and you seem to be very close to one another... Can I ask you to say something to him for me? I grew tired of speaking with him. It's just like speaking with a door..." Henri said, looking to her with the same fox like expression he always had.

"Tell him to stay away from me. If he doesn't, he would do better to watch his back..." Henri said, suddenly his expression changing radically to a much more darker one, with piercing eyes.

"Aah~ But now that the problems are gone, we should talk about other things, right? It would be rude of me to not give my full attention to those two stunning beauties next to me. I guess I really am a lucky guy, after all." He said, with his expression changing to normal in the blink of an eye.

"Helena my dear, would you mind including one more to have fun with us?" He asked, with a suggestive wink to Lyn and looking to Helena with a mischievous smile as he knew Lyn would be flustered by what he said.

"So with that Ladies, I am all yours. Where are we going?" He asked with a laugh.

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Annabeth Gulch


Annabeth sighed as people went their separate ways, a few with negative feelings for eachother. It wasn’t hard for Annabeth to discern their feelings; Psychomancy is good at sussing out people’s hidden emotions, especially when they try to hide it. But being able to sense these things wasn’t the same as being able to do anything about it. A tough lesson Satori had to hammer into Annabeth’s head; as she improved her Empathic abilities, she’s grown more sensitive to people’s shifts in mood and their subtle and hidden feelings of doubt and insecurities. Of course she’d want to help, but too often she’d try to do something and just confuse the person who she was trying to help, or worse sour their mood when they figure out she’s been in their minds.

Letting people deal with their emotions and problems themselves, instead of trying to help or coddle them, wasn’t something Annabeth liked doing. But she had to. A bitter pill to swallow. Everyone was going their separate ways and Annabeth was debating if she should go see her family or follow some of the others. When she heard Athalus about looking for fights, Annabeth looked shocked, but then her eyes lit up. ”The grand melee!” Annabeth interjected between them.

”Near the town square they hold the Grand Melee, where anyone who is willing and able to get into this big brawl! Prizes, money, prestige, a lot of young men and women participate! And not just you average thug either, often students and masters of the various martial schools will participate to represent, as well as soldiers and knights. It’s a test of physical skill and might so no magic, though sometimes they do have Wizard Duels too!” Annabeth looked pumped as she looked towards the town square. ”My teacher, who first taught me of swordsmanship, was a three year champion of the Grand Melee when he was younger. Though he doesn’t fight now, many of his students represent his school! I would’ve been one of them if I wasn’t so new. But now… Now I’m almost certain I can compete with them. I’m sure you guys can too!”

Tyrael Marchosias


In the distance a shadow was watching Lyn as she walked into the crowds. A demon monitoring the precarious college student. Of course Tyrael had a hand in this; as the Demonomancy master teacher he had to make an appearance, as superficial as his involvement is. Unlike other teachers who bothered to foster positive relationships with Eania, Tyrael was rightly hated by most of the Eania ruling class and peasantry; before he was made officially a teacher he had often raided Eania lands for precious resources or simply hunting down enemies. Many saw his alliances and tenure with the college as him escaping his crimes. Nevermind the reasons behind his actions and who his exact victims were, since the truth didn’t fit Eania’s narrative. Still, Tyrael was known by many and if they knew that he actually had people precious to him they would target them.

Some would call him paranoia. Tyrael is fine with this; he’d rather be paranoid and wrong instead of cocky and wrong. The shadow followed Lyn from afar, keeping an eye on her as Tyrael stood defiantly in one of Eania’s temple to Billant. It was as much an act of defiance as it was of peace; the fact that a demon like him could stand safely in a building meant to be a sanctuary against his kind without any ill effects was certainly a slap in the face of those who put much faith in the gods. But at the same time, the fact he was here instead of sulking about in other parts of Eania brought peace of mind for those who feared his mecanations. At least if he was in this temple he could be watched and monitored. And indeed, there were guards from both the college and Eania at this temple, mainly to protect it’s clergy and followers, but also to ensure Tyrael wasn’t going to try to summon an army of demons to take over or start an orchestra.

Other

As the college students were entertaining themselves, there was much revelry to be had in Eania. As Annabeth mentioned there was a Grand Melee going on in the Town Square, with an entire half squared off to serve as the makeshift arena. Various matches were going on from free-for-all brawls, various one-on-one duels, to even knightley jousting. There was an admittance fee to cover the cost of equipment and medical treatment afterwards, even if the participant doesn’t need any healing or borrows any equipment. Of course when so many warriors gather, various merchants and performers also appeared.

Bards and minstrels hyping up fighters and the crowd alike with their music, or hiring themselves out to personally sing praises and accomplishments. Plenty of merchants and smiths offering their goods or services to warriors in need of new equipment or repairs. Even a few who sold magical goods, and of course Lucilia’s own Caravan was here as well. The Scarlet Rose Caravan was selling healing potions and equipment like cool water in a drought. Potioned personally made by Lucilia, blades crafted by Tyrael, and armor forged by Val. Granted none of them were actually magical, but most people just assumed they were due to the college being their source.

Of course Eania wasn’t without it’s darker side. Though they like to boast a better quality of living than the likes of Djarkel, there’s no denying that Eania has a home for thieves, vagabonds, and miscreats as well. And during a time like this it was especially hard on them, as they are forced away from their usual places in the city to be corralled in the ghettos and alleyways like trash. After all, Eania wouldn’t want to besmirch such a festive occasion with crippled beggars and madmen panhandling for coppers. Though some at least use this opportunity to help these poor and downtrodden with various charity events, and it’s usually these men and women who have been hired to set up most of the festival booths and constructions, at least those of able body and steady minds.

But that doesn’t change that there was still thousands of these people forced out of sight. And despite being lower than the dirt on one’s shoes, the guards are all too familiar with them. Thus whenever one tries to sneak into the festival, they’re often watched by the guards closely. And if they try to beg or steal, quickly apprehended. Just to even enjoy walking around the streets they have to pose as street merchants selling flowers, old fruit, and colorful rocks. Typically children. Dressed in their best (i.e. they might have washed their clothes this week) they would go to various travelers and tourist in hopes of selling their trinkets and knick-knacks, or be very fortunate and get the sympathy of a particularly wealthy stranger.

As for how all of this related to the college, well that was fairly obvious to most: The college was a land of magic where the lowest of the low can rise to greatness. So when the college carriages arrived they would be quickly swarmed by various children trying to hawk “magical runes” and “unique plants”, generally trying to get sympathy and coins from the college students. And pickpockets if they don’t notice.
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