Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by May
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May Just Damn Cute

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Helena raised an eyebrow up at Althalus totally unnecessary lecture. Though she did brighten on the inside at least when he praised her wit. Though it did occur to her that he had only implied that she was sassier than Henri, not that she was actually good. So the slight smile that had started to tug at the side of her mouth turned into a bit of a scowl.

“Thanks for that?” she murmured at Althalus retreating back, just loud enough for Henri to hear to hear clearly though it was likely that Althalus had heard at least some of it. She didn't care if he did though. She'd say it to his face too.

But then Lyn was there, and she was ashamed to admit she hadn't noticed her that close before. Too caught up in Henri and a little bit Althalus to notice the young girl had moved in so close. Close enough for her to insert herself between her and Henri. “Oh,” she said with a pout. It didn't occur to her just then that Lyn was doing that to purposely keep the pair apart. She'd been too busy befriending Henri to notice the way that Lyn had been looking at him.

She looked between Henri and Lyn and felt a frown cross her face. Althalus would kill her if he took his daughter with her a d Henri to the sort of places she was thinking about going. “Well I dunno if daddy dearest would be too happy about Lyn tagging along to where I had been thinking about…” she said, a hint of annoyance in her tone. She was feeling more like she was babysitting the two of them now instead of just happening to already be planning to pull Henri along with her. And she really wasn't certain she wanted to babysit right now.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Fallenreaper
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Lyn, Shimmerstone




Lyn had missed most the conversation with Henri and Althalus. She was driven to try to separate the pair before things escalated into a physical confrontation, especially here. As friendly as Eania appeared, her father wasn’t wrong that one wrong step could cause the College to cut all ties and leave them all to fend for themselves. She had hoped some time apart might help lower the tense situation. As her steps slowed, she recalled her mood flowers stashed in her pouch. Promptly she reached a hand into it then began to rummage around to show Henri and Helena. Her fingers had just grasped them when his serious expression caught her attention.

She rarely had seen him looking so... different.

Lyn frowned. She wondered if he was upset, now feeling the need to apologize. Her father could be difficult to handle, something she knew from birth, causing the young hybrid to decide upon talking with him later over this. Before she could apologize for his behavior, Henri’s words stopped her thoughts cold in their tracks. Her stomach bottomed out in her middle where it coiled in on itself. Breath seemed to flee from her very core seeing a rare venom seeping into the charming face.

For an endless moment, conflict wiggled itself into her chest. The threat knocked the wind out of her in one swift punch as it
caught her off guard. She knew he was likely upset, but she didn’t think he would threaten her family or ask her to deliver it. It wasn’t a secret among the college she was Marya’s and Athalus’ daughter. The impact of request seeped through Lyn causing her to step on reflex. Quickly, his dark expression vanished like smoke in the air.

Like nothing ever happened. Part of her feverishly wished she didn’t see it. She didn’t want to think that Henri and her father would kill each other one day, each laying in a pool of his own blood. Especially since she couldn’t just tell her own flesh and blood to stay away from her.

Lyn didn’t move as Henri addressed Helena, his suggestive wink missed by her numb mind. It was likely easily confused with fluster, but it was far from it in reality. Her mind was silently screaming.

Arcanite bursted through her fingers into the seeds. The vines, without control or focus, blossomed quickly along her arm. Their stems crisscrossed across her skin as they dug into the skin. All the thorns buried past the soft scales into the veins beneath causing superficial cuts. Lyn’s mind barely registered what she had done or Helena’s words until the liquid stained the pale rosy surface.

She hissed, then ripped her arm from her pouch to examine it. Her eyes widened in shock for the moment before she quickly excused herself.

“It’s alright, I’ll just… I need to take care of this. I’ll catch up with you two in the marketplace later. In a few hours?” Without letting either of them answer, Lyn then slowly pushed into the crowd. When she gotten far enough, she bolted off.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Freeshooter92
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Freeshooter92 Wasteland Scourge

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Alaira Taenn

Alaira smirked and crossed her arms behind her head. "Yeah, Yeah. I'm not really feelin' like cracking heads today." She said, looking up to the sky. It was... unusual for her to say something like that, but she had been rather less violent than usual lately so perhaps it wasn't so shocking after all. She'd... well, she'd wanted to spend time with Athalus today, but it was more or less impossible to do that without Mar around. She'd noticed Darius had arrived, apparently. She barely knew him, only that he still held a grudge from that disaster of a mission. "And I see you've still got that stick up your ass." She said flatly, rolling her eyes. She didn't really feel like fighting today. She just wanted to do something else for once.

She sighed, taking a step back and raising her arms. "You guys just... have fun, alright? I'm gonna take a look around." She said. She didn't really give them a chance to reply of course, simply walking away with the sort of blunt abruptness she was known for. She stuffed her hands in her pockets as she walked through the crowds, sighing heavily. It was funny. She knew so many people now, but she felt more alone then ever. Before she could wallow any further in her own misery, she'd noticed someone run past her, on the other side of the street. "Was that..." She started, staring after the figure... "Lyn..." She said, dumbstruck. What... what could she be running for? She started to follow, using her magic to scale a building, watching her to see where she went as she hopped from building to building. She wouldn't interfere unless she stopped or was in danger. Something was very wrong, obviously, but she couldn't just call for her or tackle her or something...
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Demonic Angel
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Location: Shimmerstone, Eania’s capital
Time: Solstice Festival (Year 3- Spring Time, 5-6 months later)

”Uh…” Keri listened while Leith’s voice lowered causing worry filled her dead heart. It wasn’t like Lieth to lower in volume unless something was wrong and by the sound of things something was indeed wrong. Perhaps it was due to Lyn’s newly formed crush? After all, every since person in the college was extremely overprotective of Lyn. Hell even her own father hadn’t quite figured out when his overprotectiveness becomes too much for a teenager, then again what father did? Her eyes focused on the young man’s actions. Searching for any sort of clue of what was wrong only to have the guy announce it outright. ” There’s a shapeshifter in the city, and she’s targeting the college.”

”Well then, as fun as this sounds Leith the information is nothing new. Granted if there is a shapeshifter around we have a huge problem. One I would much rather not repeat from the hunt.” She thought as her figure moved quietly towards the human while he continued to speak.

”I believe she’s associated with the same group that was at Lyn’s Hunt. We should get Helena and- where she go?” The man said before searching for the newly moved person. [color=cyan]

”The young student seems to be mainly thinking with her southern brain today.” The vampire mumbled as a yawn worked up from her chest. ” It sounded like she was near Lyn and the other one. Granted I could be wrong.”

”We need to find Helena. If this shapeshifter is anything like the last one I fought, Pyromancy is a real threat to her.”

The young woman sighed as she shook her head. ”I’m not really one for removing a flirting woman from a good time but in this case I’ll make an exception. Anything could happen in this place and I would much rather everyone be on guard. Especially if our enemies had friends with the same abilities. Besides it’s better to keep everyone informed just in case we’re ambushed for a third time.” The girl said with a small nod and a shifting of her parasol in order to lessen some of the unfamiliar weight.

” See if you can get Ssarak’s attention while I try to find Lyn. I really don’t feel comfortable with her being unaware right now. This way one of us can keep nearby without interrupting her fun.” She remarked as another person snared at Leith. Her eyes slowly followed the man, eyes shifting into a darker shade from his rudeness. Granted they were sort of in the way of others.

The girl’s lips opened in order to form an apology for interrupting people's exit route, closing again upon hearing their new comrade speaking, making it obvious this was about another misunderstanding, though there was one single line which caught her attention the most. It wasn't the fact the newcomer threatened Athalus. This fact was nothing new for the guy. Hell Keri has even threatened his life once or twice when Lyn wasn’t around. No, it was the fact he told the child to tell her own father this. Combine it with the male’s threat it would look as if Lyn was threatening her kin. Thankfully the college frowned upon any actions. The one reason the human couldn’t know would be because he was antisocial.

”What in the world? What the heck is going on over there? I’ll be right back Leith.” The girl said with a smile as she excused herself from the man. The good thing was that Athalus was finally proving to be the bigger man. A rare sight for her to actually witness though the feeling of dread still lingered in the air around them. Then comes the usual comment which would add fuel to any father’s fire.

“Well, I dunno if daddy dearest would be too happy about Lyn tagging along to where I had been thinking about…”

”Again. All she ever does is think with her lower brain. Wanting nothing more than a night filled with another’s warmth without a second thought. Though one of these days she’ll have much more to deal with. A baby in her arms without any thought about who the father would be. Granted I’m sure the young woman isn’t ready for such a thing yet. Each to their own I guess. Though I’m not liking where this heavy feeling is going. Where’s Lyn?” She thought as her eyes search for the girl closely. Keri continued to search around them, smelling the fresh blood from a person, and the kid’s fleeing figure. Now the young woman was beyond pissed off. For less than a few mere minutes this shit seemed to be getting worse and now these three “adults” were acting like nothing more than children. Her eyes darkened more as she listed off each person’s mistake. The girl’s figure finally catching up just as Alaira left the group. The vampire gave a crooked smile, fangs showing outwards as her pure black eyes glance at them.

”Sorry to interrupt you you two but I couldn’t help overhear there was some sort of problem here.” The girl said in an annoyed voice while a hand rubbed her eyes. It was clear the woman wasn’t a morning person at all. The small dark circles around her eyes confirmed it quite well though the steady swaying of the vampire’s body showed differently.

”In all honesty I have no clue what in the world started the disagreement between you and Athalus but try not to upset Lyn. This attitude of yours will also provide problems for us as well due to being around semi-baise people. With this in mind what Lyn’s father did was unexceptable and we do apologize of the lug head. Secondly I would like to address something you seemed to have missed.” The girl said growling a little from annoyance as she shifted from side to side.

”You were in the wrong too Henri. You could have walked away anytime yet you stayed. Allowing your anger to cloud your judgement. So, I’m going to ask you to kindly tone down your attitude for a while. ONce we’re back at the college feel free to use that roguish charm on whomever you want. Though you do owe Lyn an apology. One I hope you give to her in a gentle fashion.” With this said the young woman very calmly.

”Lyn was also harmed when you asked her to pass your threat on as well. From the habits you display it's not hard to see you have trust issues which is great until you’re alone somewhere you don’t want to be. Why don’t you try getting to know others before assuming they’re trying to be enemies with you please. After all you might be surprised at who’s willing to adopt an orphan. Then again I’m only assuming due to seeing me in you.” She said shifted towards Helena. ”Best be near someone else. Leith has information about another shapeshifter in the city. I don't want my family hurt and right now I’m anti-sun. Try to keep your vices down too because Colette seemed to have troubles sleeping.” With this said Keri walked away from the two. A small wave towards Ssarak and a tapping on her temple. This would tell the young man that reading the girl’s mind was allowed.

”We have a problem here. There’s another one of those shapeshifters around. As for the boy I’m done with him. If you think you can speak some sense into him fine. I’ve grown tired of playing nursemaid. I’m going after our loving overprotective father now.”
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by EliteCommander
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Ssarak Dyreackthanose




Ssarak chuckled at Althalus’ suggestions. He was not diplomatic, but Ssarak certainly understood his feelings. He did not need to read his mind to know the reason for them. Lyn was his first child, so any potential threat to her, even nonviolent ones, would be at the forefront of his mind. Even if it did make him somewhat overzealous, it was certainly better than not caring enough. “Well, that is certainly one option. Though, I think there are still options that lie somewhere between doing nothing and bleeding the young man out. He did save Lyn’s life, after all, so I reason that should award him some leniency.”

Annabeth approached them enthusiastically about the local tournament, as Ssarak might have expected. The city was her home, after all, so she would want to show them the merits of the city just as much as Ssarak would want to show his homeland were he in her position. It was unfortunate that they were already starting off their day on such a sour note, as he was sure that the festival could be something enjoyable for all of them if they would just allow it to be. ”I think I will hold off on any tournaments as well for now. I do enjoy things other than fighting, you know?” He added with a laugh. ”And just looking around, I doubt there is any shortage of entertainment in this place.”

Unfortunately, it seemed like the group was not going to be so lucky as to be able to fully focus on recreation. Ssarak had not been close enough to Keri to hear what she had been saying to Henri, but he did notice when he signaled to him to read her mind, which he did promptly. There was a shapeshifter in the city, and he reasoned from the way Keri had phrased it that this one was associated with one that had caused them problems in the past. A look into her more recent memories confirmed it. He let out an audible sigh, hoping that Leith was mistaken, but not counting on it. Ssarak closed his eyes and concentrated, singling out the minds of all of his allies within his range to send a telepathic message. ”Be alert. There may be a shapeshifter in the city; one with designs against the College. If Leith is correct, it could be associated with the one that disrupted Lyn’s hunt.”
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by 13org
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As Helena reacted to Lyn's presence, Henri couldn't help but notice the annoyed expression on her face. Did she possibly want to be alone with him? Henri let a mischievous smile out as he looked to Helena. It was also very clear that she didn't liked the way Lyn got in the middle of Henri and her, not even one bit.

"Oh, don't be like that Helena my dear, I'm sure we can all find a way to have fun together. There is no need to be jealous!" He said, gently grabbing her chin and making her look to him with a smile.

"Besides that... You don't seem to be the type that would hear what 'daddy dearest' says..." Henri said, laughing as he winked mischievously to Helena.

Henri was almost relieved that certain others were already gone. He was genuinely lost why so many people were antagonizing him like that... Or better, he was lost. Now he knew that it was exactly because he was near Lyn... She was already a lady, she most certainly knew what Henri meant like that. On every single occasion one of her 'parents' came to annoy Henri, she took no sides and said nothing about the situation. It was probably time for her to do something regarding that, after all, Henri was always receiving the short end of the stick just by being near her... He certainly enjoyed being around her but everything had it's limit and that situation was starting to get ridiculous... Henri knew that he was watched by Athalus & etc. even while he was on the college... It was sincerely irritating.

What he said to Lyn was meant to be only a warning because her parents were already threatening Henri. It was only meant to be a way to say that if they tried anything funny with Henri, he wouldn't simply stay still, by no means Henri would expect that kind of reaction... After he finished speaking with Helena, he looked again to Lyn, that was silent all that time only to see her expression filled with fear and panic, before she shortly hissed, taking her hands from her pouch quickly, as it something had happened to them. When she did so, Henri could see in the corner of his eyes, her arms covered in her own blood, with some things that appeared to be plants getting out of them.

“It’s alright, I’ll just… I need to take care of this. I’ll catch up with you two in the marketplace later. In a few hours?” Henri heard Lyn saying, with wide open eyes, but trying to hide her emotions.

Henri not only didn't understand why she overreacted like that, but he was in fact a bit angry with that reaction. He was the one that was getting jumped on by her babysitters, antagonized and threatened, having to live on the college knowing that there were possible enemies only a few rooms away from him. All that situation, even though Henri didn't show it, was driving him to the edge...

With a deep breath as he tried to calm himself down, he turned to Helena. It was very, very obvious that Henri wasn't ok. He wasn't trying to hide his stress now, it was almost as if he couldn't do so...

"Helena, what the fuck is happening on this college and with all those people around Lyn? Is she some kind of untouchable goddess? Am I committing sacrilege or something by approaching her? This is getting ridiculous..." He said, with a serious expression.

But before Helena could answer, another one came to speak with Henri... It certainly wasn't the right time for that... It was Keri. As she started talking, Henri knew that it wasn't good thing... After all, when it was something good? Other than Lyn before that day, Leith and Helena, it was never something good....

Surprisingly enough, the first words she said almost made Henri think that she was seeing the situation differently from the others, but as she continued that his attitude would bring problems to others and to 'tone it down' he knew where that was going...

”Lyn was also harmed when you asked her to pass your threat on as well. From the habits you display it's not hard to see you have trust issues which is great until you’re alone somewhere you don’t want to be. Why don’t you try getting to know others before assuming they’re trying to be enemies with you please. After all you might be surprised at who’s willing to adopt an orphan. Then again I’m only assuming due to seeing me in you.” Keri said.

After that Henri couldn't stay quiet anymore. It looked like everyone in that damned college was against them just because Henri was approaching their treasured little daughter... The calm way she was speaking was honestly... irritating Henri. He was in the wrong? For not lowering his head and doing nothing?

"Look at me, Keri... Where do you think my 'roguish charm' is? Do I look like I'm having fun with all this situation?" Henri asked, looking to Keri.

"Have you at least tried to see how many times I was threatened? Do you know how many times I felt I would have to defend myself from someone on the college? How do you think I could fight against someone as Tyrael, Keri? I can only get out of those situations alive because they are easy to manipulate. I don't know what Tyrael is capable of but I'm not dumb to underestimate any opponent. I never underestimate anyone. It's easier to fight against someone who isn't thinking correctly, blinded by rage... Talking about being prepared... Do you know how tiring it is having to live 24/7 around people that can possibly be your enemies? Knowing that there are only a select few you can trust if something happens? It's simply ridiculous, Keri. While Lyn isn't the one to blame for all this, she could certainly prevent all those problems I've been facing with nothing but a small talk with her 'parents'. Threat? What I said wasn't a threat. If you want I can go myself to Athalus, Alaira and Tyrael and tell them to kindly fuck off and leave me alone but I suppose it won't end very well... That's why I told Lyn that. She is smart enough to understand her place in all this. She is smart enough to realize that all those things are only happening to me because she stays quiet even seeing how I'm being treated just because I'm hanging around her. I'm honestly getting tired of all this... I never did anything to anyone to deserve this. In fact, If I'm not mistaken, Lyn would be dead if it wasn't for me. Hell, I don't even talk with Athalus, Alaira and Tyrael, yet they are always there to antagonize me. And don't try to tell me otherwise because I know I'm being watched by them even when I'm on the college. It's obvious. I can't feign being charming and happy all the time, Keri. Every fucking day that passes, It's getting harder and harder." Henri said, looking directly towards her. It was obvious that he was on his edge already.

"Trust issues? Haha...." Henri said, with a sarcastic laugh.
"You know... there aren't a lot of people who respect street artists. It doesn't matter how famous we are, we are still street artists, outsiders on every city we go who have no rights as citizens. We always have to take care of our own. I could never trust anyone but a select few and this time around is no different. I can assure you that Athalus, Alaira and Tyrael aren't amongst them, especially after all the threats I received from all of them. Try to put yourself in my place before assuming anything..." Henri continued.

"Adopting? I why I would want such thing? Was that a joke? Because if it was, it wasn't funny." Henri said, as Keri walked away.

"I'm sorry, Helena. I don't think I'm in the mood to do anything right now. If you want to group with someone else I will certainly understand. You don't need to worry about me regarding the shapeshifter. After all, I'm not Keri's family. The only 'family' I ever had was the circus, which I was foolish enough to leave behind." Henri said, his face nothing like it normally was. The fox like smile and the mischievous and charming eyes gave place to a dark, serious expression.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Fallenreaper
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Lyn, and Alaira Shimmerstone




Lyn ducked and wove through the crowds. Her bloodied arm cradled to her torso protectively. They were nothing but superficial cuts, but they still hurt nevertheless. Just like her heart right now. The thing rapidly thumped in her chest, pounding against her lungs and chest. She continued to put as much distance between her and her anxiety’s source, Henri’s threat. Silently she prayed it would make all her pain go away. Deep down, her logic reminded her otherwise. Hot tears began to collect at her vision’s corner before she ducked around an alley’s corner leading to an isolated and abandoned courtyard.

There was a small, elegant fountain in its center surrounded by wildly grown flowers. Ivy trailed the stone walls along their gaps to the sun above. All of it appeared untouched by mankind on purpose to add a little wild beauty to the city. A fact lost on Lyn as she slammed her back against the wall, her face streamed with tears across the cheeks. She didn’t even care she was bleeding. Slowly her figure lowered into the ground where she wept freely for several moments. Gradually the sobs softened when the peak of her emotions faded, leaving her calm but feeling empty.

Something better than before, she supposed.

Lyn casually laid her head side against the time-worn stone, letting the chill seep into her and give her a cold comfort. At this point, she blamed herself for failing to pay better attention or step in between her father and Henri. If she had, maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so terrible. Gently she pulled her arm away from her body to examine it. Several vines worked their way along her skin, from fingertip to the middle of her forearm, leaving shallow scratches along the surface. While they weren’t dangerous, they bled pretty well. Realizing this, Lyn’s eyes glanced downward at her tunic finding a few lines of red staining.

Frustration threatened to replace the numbness as she began to reach forward then pull the vines off her limb. They refused to yield to her desires. They held fast and merely turned the small budding flowers upon each one into a dark black. She paused, sighing at her lacking strength.

“I’m so stupid…” Lyn whispered out loud.
------

Alaira watched her run through the streets, the poor girl definitely seemed upset... She was fast of course, but Alaira was faster, and the buildings gave her quite the view. Keeping up with her wasn't especially hard. She watched her duck into an old courtyard... it wasn't likely anyone on the ground would have been able to chase her this far, but nobody had pursued as far as she could tell anyway. She watched her for a while, just sitting against the wall. She seemed... hurt, and anger flared in her for the shortest moment before she saw the vines. The energy she hadn't even realized had been collecting on her arm dissipated with a sigh. Oh... she'd done it to herself... still.

She jumped down, aeromancy slowing her fall as she gently touched down. She approached and simply sat beside her without a word, gently patting her shoulder. "It's alright." She said, nearly a whisper as she looked at her wounds. She sighed in relief, they weren't so bad. "Here, I got it." She said, drawing her small utility knife and cutting at the vines. She was very, very careful, she hadn't even cut poor Lyn once. Once the vines were dealt with, she reached into a purse of hers for a roll of gauze. She used to carry it in case the coverings on her scars came loose, but now... well, it was a force of habit. It looked like it had paid off too. Carefully, she wrapped her small injuries up... she had nothing to clean them with, unfortunately, but she only needed to stop the bleeding. "There. Mar can fix those later no problem." She said, looking to her.

"Do you want to tell me what happened?" She asked. Her tone was... well, calm. She wasn't screaming at her to tell her 'who did this to her' or anything like that. Though Alaira was always rather gentle with her.
------

Lyn jerked, startled by Alaira’s abrupt arrival and her lacking awareness. Her head whipped about to give a loud warning hiss when it caught in her throat. The fear fell away from her intense expression as she sighed. She appeared to be slightly disappointed in herself at her reaction. She didn’t fight when Alaira began to wrap up her wounds.

“Myself, isn’t it obvious?” Lyn explained, her head twisted about to face Alaira. Though it was with only a half-hearted desire to do so.

When Alaira finished, she pulled her arm back to see the white gauze wrapped around it. She flexed her hand, then her arm to ensure nothing aside skin was wounded. After studying the wrappings, she set her arm down and pulled it into her lap. She didn’t appear ready to say anything else on the topic right now.

------

Alaira's expression remained thoughtful. Lyn's non-answer wasn't particularly reassuring; it was obvious what had happened to her, it was the why she was concerned with. Nonetheless, she couldn't exactly make her tell her. She smiled softly, crossing her arms as she watched her look at herself. "I've dressed a lot of wounds in my time, those are nothing to be worried about." She said, looking over her hand as little sparks arced between her fingertips.

"I used to burn myself a lot, you know. It's nothing to be ashamed of." it was highly unlikely that that was what Lyn was worried about, but there wasn't much Alaira could do to press the issue without making it worse. "You know I'm here to help you, you can tell me anything." She told her. She was more careful than usual with her words, that statement held no demands of any kind if she still didn't feel like talking about it.
------

“Well, I use to put thorns in my parents’ bed,” Lyn commented, then she looked at Alaira.

The expression said it all. No, she couldn’t or didn’t trust Alaira enough not to go do something rash. She sighed then pressed her back deeper into the ancient stonework. A calmness swept over her but she was flaring confusion and anxiety.

“I think things have escalated enough for today. Henri wants dad to stay away from him, which I have to tell him. Maybe if I had gotten involved sooner then it wouldn’t be this way,” Lyn concluded.
------

Alaira chuckled softly, tousling her hair some at the revelation. "That's not quite the same." she said, leaning back against the fountain. She listened to her finally give her an idea of what might have gone on. From what she could tell, Henri probably said something stupid, Lyn got upset and lost control of her magic, now here they were. The boy definitely hadn't done anything to warrant retribution, far as she could tell. "Some people... just don't like each other." She said finally, looking off to the blue sky, only a cloud or two drifting along. "Sometimes they'll butt heads, but don't ever think it's your fault, alright?" She gave her a little boop on the nose, a little tingly bit of energy harmlessly arcing and making her hair stand up a little... She used to do that a lot when she was a kid.
------

Lyn didn’t react when Alaira booped her on the nose. Her expression was unchanged for the moment before it cracked into a weak, budding smile. The features softened in gratitude.

“I know, but it’s starting to feel like everyone I love is butting heads with him. He’s not really that bad of a guy. Yes, he comes off as reckless, overconfident, and even defensive when you lecture him. Considering he didn’t grow up with parents like me, I would hesitate to make friends too. I just…”

Lyn sighed, her smile drained from her then leaned her head against Alaira’s shoulder. Her eyes stared off into space.

“The way he spoke, it sounded like he threatened my dad. I didn’t realize he was pushed that far. Then again, thinking back on the conversation… I can see how he could feel threatened. Dad’s humor isn’t exactly lacking when it comes to being morbid,” she let a bitter sigh, but continued, “However, my dad isn’t like that. I know he doesn’t like Henri, but he isn’t the type to kill anyone. Henri’s replies also didn’t help anything.”

She groaned in her head as her legs curled up in front of her, her head shifted from Alaira’s shoulder to press against her knees.

“I hate this.”
------
Alaira didn't really agree too much. She thought he was awfully full of himself, with a condescending insistence that he knew better than everyone around him. She'd only tried saying something because she thought his reckless, childish insistence on getting his own way could lead to disaster. But she'd keep that to herself, especially now. She put her hand on her shoulder, sighing. "He just... I just want him to know he's not alone anymore. Things he could afford to do before he just... can't anymore." She said, thinking on it. "I used to pick fights with everyone." She said, running her hand through her hair.

That was certainly not news to most people, and while Lyn had heard other people talk, she'd never really... seen Alaira's violent side much. She'd never seen her just attack someone. "Back then, it didn't matter. Either I didn't care what happened to me, or I could fight my way out. But now... things I do matter. If I just lash out at everything it won't just hurt me, they'll hurt you, and Athalus, even people like Leith or Ssarak. And they'll keep hurting us for a long, long time. And I have suffered for it." She said, sighing.

"I had to learn that lesson the hard way. I'm not that good with... words, but I just don't want someone else to go through what I did when it can all be avoided. You... you know?" She said... she thought he was a jerk, she wanted to punch him at least a few times... but she knew what horrors could be wrought with just a misstep in this world, and she didn't think Henri, for all his faults, deserved anything close to what she got.

She looked over when she put her face in her knees, gently patting her back. "I... Nobody's going to hurt Henri, okay? If anyone tries, I'll stop them. And I won't hurt them either. Okay?" She promised.
-----

“To be honest, I don’t think you put your best foot forward in letting him know that. Most of his reaction was self-taught and habit before he arrived at the college. The bad part, he encountered my god-father during his first visit and he was his charming, overprotective self,” She took a breath before continuing, “I just wish it didn’t get this way because I don’t want to tell my dad what Henri said or stay away from Henri. Usually, he’s more friendly then this and he reminds me of a younger version of my dad, not including the morbid humor.”

She hadn’t considered the fact he might stay away from her, though it lingered at the back of her heart.
------

Alaira winced. Tyrael was... uh... "That's, uh. Oof." She said, looking off to the side and rubbing her neck some. "Tough break." She said with a shrug, taking a coin from her pocket. Well, it wasn't a real coin, it was just a bit of iron in the shape of one. She flipped it, using her magics to make it hover in place in the air, spinning for a moment. "Heads or tails, you reckon? she said with a smile. She used to play this game with Lyn when she was younger. With her magic, she could make it land on whatever side she wanted anyway, and the girl was so mad when Mar told her. Of course, Alaira knew she knew and all. She didn't really know what to say... or rather, there was nothing to be added with just repeating something. She just wanted to cheer her up, if only a little.
------

Lyn lifted her head from her knees, her head turned to Alaira. She wasn't smiling, though her mood had lightened up with the burden lifted and secrets eating her up exposed. It didn't solve anything though, she knew.

“I love my godfather, but sometimes… he goes a little overboard. Like he believes the world is out to kill me whenever he 'screens' everyone,” Lyn said as she pointed to the tails symbol. She knew that one would be what it hit upon since Alaira could control it.

“Tails. You know I’m too old for this game, right?”

She propped her hand on her knee while she rested her chin on it.
------

"Hrm, I don't know..." she said, pointing off towards... something. The coin dropped, landing perfectly balanced on its side, right on her fingertip. She chuckled a bit. "Now, what do we call that?... Cheating, probably." She said, pocketing the object.

She sighed quietly, looking off to the sky again. "Well, a lot of it is, ain't it?" She said, in regards to her statement about Tyrael. "That's why I'm around. 'Course, I don't threaten everyone that so much as looks at you with actual death." She said with a little laugh, stretching her arms. "Still... we should probably go 'fore someone shouts at us for trespassin'. You wanna head back and see if everything's okay, or do you want to see some of the festival first?"
------

Lyn thought a moment over what she wanted to do. On one hand, she didn’t want to return and find everyone bickering or shouting. It didn’t help the thought of interacting with Henri right now just confused her. The other was she wanted to spend time with everyone, from her friends to her parents. It was a tug of war between the two options causing her arms to clench her middle tightly.

She curled upright, then stepped onto her feet.

“Honestly, I’m worried about them. I’m pretty sure someone lost their temper over my little incident and pinned it on Henri, putting him into an even more sour mood. Or worse, provoked him into a fight with them,” her mouth curled up into a frown at the thought, “I’ll be surprised if he wants to interact with me after this event…”

She scratched her head back before making an official answer, “I want to spend time with everyone, but I’m scared of what I’ll come back to. Know what I mean?”
------

Alaira stroked her chin... Yes, wanting the truth, but also fearing it was something she was familiar with. She considered their options for a moment... It took a little longer than it might for someone else. She'd been going with her gut for so long that stopping to think was something she was simply not used to. But it had been working out lately, nonetheless. "I understand. I think, personally, that we should head back first, if only so that everyone knows you're okay. You know how your father'll be when he hears that nobody knows where you went." She said, stretching.

"Once we're there, and everyone's all on the same page, you can decide what you want to do next." She said, holding her hand out. "...Remember? You don't have to be scared of anything, as long as I'm here."
------

"I guess. No point in putting it off as I will never address it if I don't face it," Lyn said grudgingly as she gestured for Alaira to lead the way back to the group.
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Althalus

"Who? Alaira? Nah." Althalus waved a dismissive hand at Darius. "She only does that to people who try and fail to be subtle about insults."

"Aw, come on, think of all the money we could make Alaira! We could establish you as the cha-and she's walking off. Well. There goes my master money making plan. And you're save Darius, she must be feeling merciful." Althalus mused, rubbing his chin. I'll have to put my money on Ssarak now. As Ssarak spoke up on the matter of Henri, Althalus pretended to be offended. He knew Ssarak had a point, and was perhaps the most diplomatic out of all of them, but it didn't mean he had to like it. "He wouldn't have died I would have had Mar close up the wound before he bled out all over the ground. It was more of a 'man maybe I shouldn't get angry at everyone and think about what I'm doing first' wake up call. He tried to fight Tyrael, Tyrael of all people, his first day at the College remember?" He gave a light shrug at the Esyire mentioning Henri saving Lyn's life. It had already been addressed when she told him and Mar, and had no bearing on the current issue.

"Mar and I already thanked him for that. And that's not the problem here, even if he seems to think I do have issues with him being around Lyn. The problem here is that he seems to think that any of his actions, his precious 'I must retaliate against any and all perceived insults real or not' code, will only affect him if he uses it on Eanian nobles, or that he can even out run the consequences. Which are both blatantly wrong. If he pisses off a noble, all of the College suffers. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be kicked from this festival or spend it in a dungeon because Henri's mouth went off. Plus, he's with the College. There's literally no where to run because all escape routes lead, quite publicly, to Twilight College."

He swatted at the hand of a child, reaching for his coin pouch. It didn't have anything in it, of course. He wasn't dumb enough to leave coins where they could easily be snatched, but it always helped to have a decoy. "Alright you little rascals, get out of here before I steal your souls and eat your eyes!" He dramatically raised his hands, shadows spring forward like claws from them, and jerked towards the children. They scattered, in shrieks of both fear and laughter.

Althalus held his hands up to ward off Annabeth's excitement, shadows dissipating from them, laughing softly. It was nice to see that someone was enjoying the prospective day. "Easy there miss champion-to-be. I'm no duelist, can't fight properly with all their rules, so I think I'll have to bow out of the fighting ring. You and Ssarak however, you two I'm more than willing to bet on. I'm sure you both could be champions, and make me money in the process!" His face fell as Ssarak bowed out of the Tourney as well. "Oh come on. You're gonna make me bet on Darius? Darius of all people?" He gestured towards the Yarosmerian, grinning at Darius and winking. He turned back to Ssarak, a hopeful face and sugary voice turning on. It worked on Mar, sometimes. Lizards and Snakes were close enough, right? It was worht a shot at least. "Just one little tourney? For that time you drugged Mar and I against our will?" His wheedling voice and hoping face dropped at the mental message Ssarak gave him. The experience still made his skin crawl, anxiety and mistrust from Satori's first demonstration rearing their ugly heads, but the contents gave him even more concern. His daughter was in danger. Again. He swore quietly, looking around. Lyn was gone, and he'd just have to trust Helena would put her training to good use and Henri could repeat his status as Lyn's saviour.

"Well, we need to find Lyn then, and stay in a group. Can't take our form and pin something on us if we're all publicly together. And its harder to get Lyn if she's in a crowd." His eyes landed on Keri as she approached. "She looks mildly annoyed." He glanced at Mar. "And she's headed right for us. This should be fun!"

Uicle

"You know Tyrael, as much as I so enjoy standing menacingly here with you, what if we switch it up a bit hmm? How about we really scare them and sit menacingly in the cathedral? What do you say? No? I figured. You were always particular to the tried and true 'stand menacingly' tactic." Uicle spoke dryly, standing next to Demonomancy master. He was with Tyrael for two reasons. The college both wanted someone to who could stop Tyrael if he went on a wild hare and tried to do something violent during the festival (and Uicle being the most unkillable teacher besides Tyrael himself got the lucky draw) and it wanted two teachers in a central location, should something go horribly wrong and their students needed a safe place to run to.

Personally, Uicle didn't even want to be in the city. He wanted to stay back at the College with Khan, and make sure the idiot didn't do something stupid like make a pact with Kudd while they were gone. But nooo someone had to be with Tyrael, because Tyrael just haaaaad to follow Mar and Lyn. It wasn't all bad. Uicle did get some grim amusement out of the distress they must be causing the local priests and Paladins. A half-demon and an undead immortal former servant of Aaarem, both possessing incredible power and a history of intense violence, casually standing in their temple. It was enough to make him chuckle, if only for a moment.

So here he was, trying not to go mad from boredom, waiting for something interesting to happen. He had Golems all over the city, of course. Masked as gusts of wind, they followed the students around and generally floated throughout the city, keeping an eye out for trouble. As the situation with Henri, Lyn, and the rest escalated he sighed. This was going to be trouble, and not just for the students involved. He took a step forward and put a firm hand on Tyrael's chest. "Let the students handle this Tyrael. They're all adults, even if Althalus and Henri refuse to act like it, and the latter hasn't done anything to make good on his threat. He might just be blowing off steam and we don't need you running around Eania with a scary look on your face. " Uicle paused, considering the demonomancy teacher's face. "Scarier look on your face." He conceded, continuing. "So why don't we sit down, and you not make me put any actual effort into stopping you. Just this once."
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Leith Calder




Leith nodded as Keri walked away to find Lyn. The vampire could probably find her faster than he could. With a sigh, he turned back to the carriage. He grabbed the scabbard with his new sword inside. Six small pouches and a small sheath for the handle. It was an idea he had a few months ago to utilize his Hydromancy a bit more effectively. He removed his cloak and strapped to his back with the handle sticking over his right shoulder. He put his cloak back on and made sure his sword was hidden well enough.

Satisfied, he left the carriage and made his way towards Ssarak, but from the way that the Esyire sighed and shortly after the other students stiffened up, he figured that Keri had let Ssarak know of the situation. Now that that problem had been dealt with, there was another problem that needed to be rectified. He looked down at the yellow gemmed ring on his hand and tapped it once. He needed to find Henri.

The gem blinked as he turned around and walked into the crowd. Soon enough he heard a voice.

"I'm sorry, Helena. I don't think I'm in the mood to do anything right now. If you want to group with someone else I will certainly understand. You don't need to worry about me regarding the shapeshifter. After all, I'm not Keri's family. The only 'family' I ever had was the circus, which I was foolish enough to leave behind."

Leith frowned. What? What did Keri say to Henri? He rubbed his forehead with a sigh. Maybe he should have been following the conversation in the carriage. No matter, he needed to make sure everyone was on the same page before they went out into the city.

"I'm glad that Keri thinks of me as family, but that's not what's happening. The college is being targeted. That makes you a target as well. It's being targeted by a shapeshifter, so they could become anyone. But before I say anything else, can you tell me, as best as you can, without bias or paraphrasing, what's going on right now? We have a situation right now and I believe this misunderstanding, or argument, or whatever it is will hinder us from working seamlessly against our enemies."




Darius Jura


Darius crossed his arms as the half elf walked away. He was sure that the woman would try and challenge Darius in the Grand Melee. He shrugged, oh well. He was still going to join anyway. Less people in his way. Ssarak declined the Grand Melee as well, and Althalus complained that he'd have to place his bet on Darius. Darius grinned and took a few coins out of his pocket and held them out to the man. "And I expect you to place my bet as well. I cannot do it myself." He paused for a moment, eyeing Althalus carefully "I expect to get my winnings back after the fights."

Then Ssarak spoke telepathically with them and Darius sighed seeing the look on Althalus' face drop. He put the coins back in his pocket and folded his arms. "What should we expect from this?" He muttered under his breath used his Aeromancy to carry his words to Ssarak. Too many ears to converse in normal tones.
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Ssarak Dyreackthanose




Given that they likely needed to stay together, if possible, Ssarak decided to reach out and probe around for the minds of some of the other students that had walked away. Fortunately, a few of them had not gotten far, so they were quick to find. Unfortunately, what he heard was not exactly encouraging. He had heard the argument between Henri and Althalus before, and it seemed like the matter was only getting worse. Now, there were arguments between him and a few others. Now with a shapeshifter in the city, they could not afford any divisiveness within their own ranks, so that was something that would need to be dealt with right away. Ssarak was perhaps the most qualified to address it, for a few reasons, so he decided to act quickly. Though, he first sent out another telepathic message to the others. I am not completely certain what to expect from the shapeshifter, but I do agree that we should try to stick together as best as we can. Fortunately, while a shapeshifter can mimic our bodies, they cannot copy our minds. Myself and Annabeth should be able to positively identify anyone we meet. At least among each other. We can try to see if we can find Lyn and any of the others who may have left, but there is one issue I need to deal with first. I will try to be quick.

Fortunately, the crowds of children around them were dispersing to some degree, so it did not take more than a moment for Ssarak to approach Henri, Leith, and Helena. To say that Henri was upset would be an understatement, but he hoped to fix whatever issued had cropped up. Ssarak approached from beside Henri and gave him a gentle tap on the shoulder to grab his attention. He was interjecting in whatever conversation had been going on, but at this point, that would probably be for the best. ”Excuse me, Henri. If you do not mind, I would like to pull you away for a moment and speak in private. There is something important I would like to discuss.” He asked politely.
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☆ Helena ☆


She flushed a little when he told her not to be jealous. She wasn't jealous. She was a little frustrated perhaps, but not jealous. Jealousy would imply that she cared if Henri was interested in Lyn as well. Even if he was only interested in Lyn she wouldn't be jealous. Well at least not for longer than like a day. But it would never be enough to make her bitter or angry with either of them.

She looked to the other girl when she hissed, noting that it sounded painful, pulling her face free of Henri's hand. Her brows furrowed slightly and she looked at Lyn with confusion and concern. “Lyn…” she started before the other girl quickly excused herself and took off. Helena took a small step after her, calling her name again, but she didn't make it far before Keri was stepping in to reprimand Henri again. And a little bit her.

“What the…” she started, but didn't get the chance to say more. She stood there, almost a little opened mouthed as both Keri and Henri went at it. Not one of them let her have a chance to say something that might have helped lessen this whole situation and instead just had the same conversation again that had already been had not more than five minutes ago.

Even when Henri spoke to her she didn't get the chance to answer him before someone else was cutting in. Again. But at least this interruption came with less lecturing and more support of Henri. “Leith is right,” she agreed, taking Henri's hand again and stepping closer to him again. “Mostly. I just think at this point it's wiser to just let things go until tempers have cooled.” She looked up at Henri more, giving him a soft smile. “I also think you're more in need of company now than before. You can't shake me that easily.”
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Henri's mischievous and charming smile was gone, giving place to a hard and serious expression. It was clear to anyone who saw him right now that things were most definitely not ok. He felt like as the time passed, there were fewer and fewer people he could really trust if something went wrong. Reliable companions. Helena, Leith... And about Lyn... He wasn't so sure about her anymore... She was a good girl but...

"Ridiculous... Henri thought to himself, referring to that whole situation as he sighed deeply.

Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately another voice interrupted not only his thoughts but Helena as well... It was Leith. Apparently, he had heard what Henri just said to Helena and wanted to know what happened.
Henri knew about the situation with the shapeshifter already, so it wasn't that big of a surprise when Leith said he was targeting the college.

"You surely heard what happened back in the carriage? How I was treated and threatened. And you surely know what has been happening between me and Tyrael since the very moment I put my feet on the college" Henri said.

"You want the short version, right? It won't help you at all to understand the situation but there ya go: I asked Lyn to give Tyrael, Athalus and Alaira a message for me. It was basically "Fuck off or else". Lyn isn't the one to blame regarding all this bullshit with Tyrael, Athalus and Alaira, but she is the center of it. The only reason I'm being threatened, antagonized and disrespected like this is because I'm hanging around her. Apparently this offends her daddy dearest and it's goons." Henri continued.

"After that, Lyn freaked out, her arms started bleeding due to her powers and she ran away. That's it." Henri said, looking towards Leith.

"If you want to hear a bit more about it, the situation with Tyrael has been driving me on edge. It's not exactly comfortable living nearby someone who is your enemy, someone who is a threat to you, knowing that if something happens, no one will be on your side. Athalus and Alaira were the last drop. Do they expect me to be threatened like that, treated like that and disrespected and simply lower my head and accept it without saying anything? That won't happen. If they want to say whatever they want, they will hear what they don't." Henri continued, as he pulled one of his knives and started twirling it on his hand.

"The same goes for Tyrael. Have you ever asked yourself how I'm still alive? How do I always get out on top even when fighting against dangerous enemies? My tongue is as sharp as my daggers. In many ways." He said, still twirling the knife on his fingers.

"You say about working against our enemies, but I can't help but consider Alaira, Tyrael and Athalus as my enemies after all this. I was repeatedly threatened by them. I don't know if they will attack me or when they will attack me. If something happens, they're definitely not trustworthy. At least not for me." Henri completed.

Just after Henri finished speaking with Leith, Helena finally was able to talk something. Stepping closer to him and taking his hand on hers.

“I also think you're more in need of company now than before. You can't shake me that easily.” She said after agreeing with Leith.

"Yeah... Even if you didn't say that, I don't think I would be able to let you go after seeing this smile." Henri said. Even though he was still pissed off with all that situation, his expression became a bit softer after Helena's words.

"Thanks. I promise I'll make it up for not giving you the attention you deserve." Henri said, with a discreet smile.. Even though he was still upset, his expression was a bit less threatening than before. It appeared that Helena's words were effective.

But before he could say anything more they were interrupted once more. This time it was Ssarak. While Henri had never really talked seriously with Ssarak, he knew Ssarak was a serious guy, and definitely wouldn't put even more fuel on the fire.

Something serious he wanted to discuss with Henri? Henri simply raised an eyebrow after he heard that. He was obviously on the defensive after he heard that. After everything that happened, it would be weird if he wasn't.

"Is it really something so private and important that Leith and Helena can't hear?" Henri asked, looking to Ssarak as he analyzed his reaction.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Konan375
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Leith Calder


Leith went whiter than usual when Henri told him that Lyn had run. All the things that could happen to her ran through his mind. Yes, while she was no longer a child, she still had very little life experience outside of the college, and in a city like Shimmerston, even though it had prettied up for the festival, it still had some pretty dark parts. He realized that if Keri saw or heard about Lyn running away she would have gone after the her unless someone else had. While he still worried about Lyn, it was less so.

As Henri explained what was going on in the exact opposite way that Leith had asked, a crowd of children had gathered around, awed by Henri's knife skills. They clapped and cheered once he had finished twirling his knife. They quickly dispersed with giggles and screams once Henri started flirting with Helena.

Leith rubbed his face with a hand. Even though Henri had done the opposite of what Leith wanted, he got a good enough idea of what was going on. He chuckled as something that Henri said registered. "I think Althalus will get a good laugh out of being called an it, but in my honest opinion, I really believe that no one at this college is threatening you near as seriously as you think they are, except maybe Tyrael, but Tyrael threatens everyone. None of who you mentioned would actually do harm to the person who saved Lyn's life. It would destroy her. I actually didn't overhear what was going on in the carriage, which was why I asked, but you have given me enough information for me to say-"

"Excuse me, Henri. If you do not mind, I would like to pull you away for a moment and speak in private. There is something important I would like to discuss."

Ssarak had approached the three of them. Leith had been too busy talking to Henri to notice the Esyire walk up to them.

"Ah, perfect!" Leith said with a smile. "A better mediator than I ever could be." He bowed his head to Ssarak. "I'll leave Henri to you and head back to the others." With that said Leith went back to the group.

"So, I don't think that Henri actually knows you're Lyn's father." Leith said to Althalus as he approached him, a smile on his face.

Althalus would feel something wet on his sleeve. Water mixed with mud for visibility scrawled out a message. Keep a close eye on your hand. The shapeshifter is The Eternal Hunger's sister. Once Althalus had read the message, the water-mud writing wicked away, leaving his sleeve dry and unstained. Leith chuckled nervously. "He called you a goon, too, I think."
1x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Konan375
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(dbl post)
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by EliteCommander
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Ssarak Dyreackthanose




Ssarak gave a thankful nod towards Leith for his vote of confidence, and retained his friendly demeanor towards Henri. “You will have to trust me when I say that it is best if we speak in confidence. My words could end up being vital to you, for the sake of your own safety with the shapeshifter about.”

For a moment, Ssarak gave a glance towards Helena. “Do not worry, I shall endeavor not to occupy your companion for too long, if I can avoid it.” He said reassuringly, though his attention was soon back on Henri. This time, he made sure to maintain their privacy by exclusively speaking to him telepathically. ”I know you have encountered trouble with some of the others. It is hard not to know at this point, even without mind-reading. But, I feel some of this stems from…unfamiliarity with one another. You are new here, having only arrived within the last few months. There are many people here that you do not really know, nor are you truly familiar with the College itself and why we are doing the things we are doing. Why it is all important. Myself, on the other hand, I have known most of my fellow students for years. For a few, I know them better than I they know themselves. It is unfair for you to be thrown into the middle of all of this without the depth of knowledge that you would require to make proper judgments. I can give you…context, about the others, and about the College itself. I can help you understand why people like Althalus, Alaira, and Tyrael act the way they act, and why they make their choices. Firstly, I would like to ask if you are aware of the demon attack that took place at the College a few years ago. News of it has spread all over Tiien by this point, but everyone might not still be aware of it.”
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☆ Helena ☆


Helena’s smile shifted a little bit at the compliment. But only the slightest bit over to something a little more saucy than sweet. But it didn’t linger long. Lyn wasn’t the cause of this. She was just icing on the cake really. She understood totally where Henri was coming from. She understood where everyone else was coming from as well. She had learned that sometimes, the best course of action was just shutting your mouth even if the people who were talking to you are wrong. And this time, it didn’t matter who was right or wrong, this whole thing was getting way out of hand.

If he had asked her to deliver the same sort of threat to her own father, she probably would have punched him in the face. No matter what she might have thought of him before, even if Henri had been in the right, you don’t tell someone’s daughter to tell them to back off or else. Lyn’s reaction was still a little extreme, but anything that did the growing like that girl had physically in the last year (let alone the few years before that she was sure) was bound to have something of a turbulent time with emotions.

Her lips pursed some at the constant shift in people who felt they needed to come over and interject. Thankfully the last two had been at least understanding if not actually supportive. She held her tongue though, for now, hoping someone less tied to Lyn would be able to get everyone to see some sense. Ssaraks had always seemed rather level headed, so she was willing to wait out what it was that he might say.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Freeshooter92
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Danica & Aramir


Danica adjusted her hat with a smile. the Elf's enthusiasm was, in a way, infectious. Others in the college had not been so... receptive when Danica chose to speak of her home. Others she'd met had been either terrified, annoyed, or otherwise wary of her, but Aramir was always kind. "I suppose it's best to start with whatever's nearest, in that case." She said, thinking on that one for a moment. "The shops are probably a good place to start." She said, though she was unsure if the exact places she still remembered were even still there. She hadn't been home in a long time, and her memories of times 'before' the new her were always... fuzzy.

She looked down to her arms, tightly wrapped in her leathers. She knew that people simply accepting her was a foolish hope. It would... hurt to be refused service, that was for sure. She did hope that, despite her unsavory appearance her well-kept ceremonial scarf would mark her as a Hospitaler, with its white silk and silver-threaded embroidery. It was rather easy for an Eanian to tell the real thing from a knock-off, and they didn't just pass them out. "Aramir, if anyone asks... I'm not from here, okay?" She said, looking off to the clock tower. "I was... not the same when I lived here."

-----

Aramir's grinned widened and she hopped up and down. "Perfect! We may not have any money but we can keep things we like in mind and then take it to the college and we can have it made there! It won't be exact but it will look great on us!" She exclaimed cheerfully, beginning to head in the direction Dani had indicated the shops were. She stopped and looked up at Danica when the woman spoke again. "Alright. If anyone asks we're masterful mages from the Twilight College, here to judge their standards to our clothes mages that we keep in secret in the darkened halls of Twilight Tower!" She declared, taking Dani's hand. "Don't worry, I won't let them do anything to you." She smiled up earnestly at Danica. "Trust me."

She lead the way towards the shops, eagerly looking through the parts of the crowd that she could see, looking for something that would indicate a dress shop. Once she spotted it, she exclaimed in triumph and pulled Dani through the crowd towards the door, eagerly walking in and looking around. It was a small shop, with only a handful of dresses available for selection. Many were designed for balls and formal events, with large, flowing skirts and bright colors radiating off of them.

"Hello and welcome to Mary's Myriad! The best dress shop in town!" The shop owner, presumably Mary, walked out from the back, hidden behind a pile of dresses she was holding. "I must confess, I'm a bit surprised to hear anyone coming in! Usually during the festival everyone is out celebrating or getting free things, and only give me things to repair, as you can clearly see." She put the pile of dresses down on the table with a huff, revealing a freckled face with bright green eyes and shoulder length red hair. "Now, what can I do fo-" At the sight of Danica' scarf, she gasped and then curtsied suddenly. "Hospitaler! I'm so sorry, I had no idea you were in the shop. Thank you for blessing my humble shop. Can I get you anything?"

Aramir looked from Danica to Mary in confusion. She had always thought Dani's scarf was just something with a huge sentimental meaning, rather than anything denoting faction or rank. "Er...what's a Hospitaler?"

-----

Danica had to take Aramir's hand as she lead them through the crowd, their difference in height made it rather easy for the tall woman to lose track of her. Then again, she was taller than the average citizen so navigation was much easier for her. She chuckled softly at the elf's little plans... she had plenty of money herself, easily enough to buy at least one dress. "Ah, but what if they ask us to demonstrate? Honesty is a virtue, little one." She said, though it wasn't really much of a scolding. She looked down to her again, smiling. Yes, she'd be fine.

Despite her height advantage, Aramir found the store first and nearly toppled her in her haste. Once inside, she'd found the selection a bit wanting, even for the store's modest size. It only made sense: All of the good business would naturally take place before the event itself: One tended to prepare for such an occasion. That said, the dresses were of rather high quality... probably how such a small business could stay open. The apparent owner sure said as much, once she arrived. The woman had indeed noticed her scarf, so it was good for something. "At ease, I am just a customer today." She said with a grand bow, looking down to Aramir.

"A healer, more or less. We are typically deployed as disaster relief so some of us are powerful fighters as well." Danica said, quickly and quietly. There were a few more nuances, but that was the quick version. "There's more to it than that of course, but nothing that can reasonably be explained quickly." After her little explanation, she looked over to Mary. "I am certain you do not currently have anything in her size in stock, but I would very much appreciate it if you could tailor a dress for my companion. You will be compensated fairly."

-----

Mary rose from her curtsy, awaiting Danica's explanation to finish, before looking over Aramir with a practiced eye. "You're right, I don't have any in stock for her. We almost never get Snow Elves this far south, and those that do tend to go to the specialty shops on the other side of the city. However, I can have her measured and a dress tailored for her within the hour, if you could just give me the time?" She looked expectantly at the Snow Elf, who was busily looking up at Danica.

After nodding in understanding of Dani's explanation (grateful to finally know the meaning behind the scarf and that it could be useful in Eanian negotiations) Aramir frowned in confusion at the next words. Weren't they just here to look? And didn't Dani only have enough money for one dress? Understanding dawned on her face as she realized what the human woman was doing. She shook her head and hands vehemently in response. "No, no no. What about yourself? It'll be both easier and more practical for you to get the single dress we can buy, since mine would have to be specially made. Even if yours had to be made as well, it would be cheaper to just increase fabric length than to create a whole new dress. You should be tailored. I'll just look." Aramir wasn't very sure if anything she said was right, there were no dresses in the Frozen Plains and she certainly had no experience with fabric tailoring on her own, but it sounded right and she wasn't going to just let Danica buy her a dress and not get a dress for herself.

Mary turned her expectant gaze upon Dani, awaiting the Hospitaler's response.

-----

Danica was somewhat surprised. She had expected the dress to be done long, long after the event. Though she was no tailor, she didn't know how long such work took. She knew that as much. She'd never even seen a snow elf for much of her life, certainly none in the capital. "Ah, excellent. That is most gracious of you."

Aramir seemed... well, reluctant. Danica of course, couldn't wear such a thing. Currently, she preferred her leathers... there were other reasons, however. She was certain that it was no easier to make a dress for her. Much of her height was due to her unnaturally long limbs, she was a bit out of proportion. Nevermind how a dress would look with her face mask. "Aramir..." She said softly, turning around so Mary couldn't see what she was about to do. She removed one of her gloves and her hand began to rather slowly change. Dark nails pushing out into claws, her hand itself growing larger, silvery fur starting to grow... and then it all began to revert before she slipped her glove back on. There was a great risk she would... change, and the fancy, expensive dress would be simply torn apart. "You know I can't." She said softly, turning back to Mary. "Give her a moment to decide just what sort of dress she wants."

-----

Mary shrugged. "I'll be over here sewing when you two decide." She whistled quietly to herself, picking up a thread and needle and a dress from the pile. She worked quietly while Aramir turned back to Danica, arms stubbornly crossed, unfazed by the change. She had seen way to many crazy things during her time in the college to be horrified or shocked by someone who could turn into a wolf and rip things apart with their bare hands, laughing maniacally.

"If you aren't getting something, I'm not getting something. I'm sure she makes things other than dresses, or can make them to suit your needs." Aramir looked over her shoulder, calling out to Mary. "You make things other than just dresses right?" Mary called back, a needle between her teeth. "Yeah! I'm the best tailor in this city!" Aramir gave Danica a smug look, calling out again. "So you'd be able to make something for Dani here? Dresses aren't her style, but she could use some more leathers and such that would be able to resist damage."

A few seconds passed of silence. Aramir looked at Dani in confusion and then opened her mouth to call out again, only to be cut off by Mary's nervous voice. "Of course! But you should really go to Michelle's down the way. He is much more experienced in combat clothing than I am. Dresses and pretty things are my realm, but leathers and knives!" She gave an awkward laugh, returning busily to her sewing.

Aramir gave Danica a look of bewilderment, but shrugged. It wasn't any of her business why Mary would be so strange. "So we'll go to this Michelle's first. Then come back here if you want. Thus, we both get something and you don't spend your money on just me. Its perfect, really."

-----

Danica clicked her tongue... She had a much larger amount of money than one typically expected. She often accumulated quite a large sum of money through her work, often because those that hired her refused to let her go without compensation. She very rarely spent money at all: She tended to catch her own food, and only occasionally did she need to buy new clothes. Indeed, most of the time she simply ripped bits and pieces of clothing off various bandits. On an unrelated note, said bandits tended to make good food themselves...

Danica tilted her head, crossing her arms. "I have no need. I have nearly worthless currency, and a chance to finally unburden myself of its weight in a manner I find meaningful." Her expression softened. "Knives and boots are a necessary expense, but ugly and unexciting. I would rather have a work of art, and as I cannot myself do such an ensemble justice, well, this falls to you. I can find something to fight in any time I want... how often do you find yourself in a position to have a fine dress?" She said, chuckling. The festival was a time for revelry, not war after all.

-----

Aramir scowled up at her much taller companion for a few moments, before reluctantly admitting that Danica was right. "Never had a chance for a dress, actually." She said quietly, before looking around. They were very pretty dresses. And she probably wouldn't get another chance to get one, much less some fine as these... She shook her head. No. It wouldn't be fair to Dani.

"Alright fine, then why don't we go get something nice, a piece of art, that you do like? A statue of Billant, perhaps. Or a painting of a famous Hospitaler. A very ceremonial and intricate dagger! Something like that. Its not right for you to spend all of your money on me, and then get nothing for yourself. Especially at a festival like this. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can't just let it past by because you're buying me a dress I'll have incredibly rare occasions to wear."

Aramir took Danica's hand. "Its not a festival unless all of us are getting some enjoyment and happiness out of it."

Mary made a small snorting noise, as if she had a different definition of festival, but chose not to add her opinion and kept sewing away at the dress she was working on.

-----

Danica took a moment to process the elf's words... She was mistaken, of course, though her sentiments were at once flattering and appreciated. Dani adjusted her hat by the brim, clicking her tongue as she thought about it. "I do not purchase any more than I can carry at once. I buy only things that are practical, and only when I absolutely must. For the most part, I am self-sufficient. Besides, my order is known for humility and charity above all else... To that end, there are no individuals that are particularly revered, lest one cast a shadow over those of later generations." She said softly.

She dropped to a knee, carefully placing a hand on her shoulder. "I know that you do not wish to feel like a burden on myself, but please understand that I do not need or want such luxuries. I would much rather use what is available to bring happiness to another. Besides... this festival is not so special to me." She said with a small chuckle and a boop to Aramir's nose. "I lived here once, remember? I've seen everything here at least twenty times."

-----

Aramir scowled for a moment, staring up at the equally stubborn eyes of Danica. Eventually she acquiesced, reluctantly looking over at Mary. "I guess we'll get me sized for a dress and everything. Since someone," She glared pointedly at Dani, "doesn't seem to realize that living on a College means she can keep things she likes in her room. Crazy idea, I know, but she should try it out sometime."

Mary shrugged, bustling over to Aramir. "If your friend buys things she likes that aren't dresses isn't really my concern, my concern is getting you measured and fitted and then making you the best damn dress in Tiien so you can look gorgeous. Come along dearie, and we'll get you all sorted." Aramir looked nonplussed, glancing uncertainly at Dani as Mary hustled her towards the backroom.

Idle chatter floated from the backroom as Mary queried the Snow Elf on her tastes and wants.

"Flared, Sheath, or slip?"

"Er..."

"Do you want it to be poofy like the ones out front, or do you want it to be more form fitting an elegant?"

"Oh! Uh, simple and elegant. I need something that I can move around freely in if things get ugly. College life is never dull."

"Hmm. I can do that. Preferred color?"

"Snow white, please."

"Alright, I can do that. All done measuring, lets go see your friend and then I'll tell you both when to stop back by.

Aramir practically skipped back towards Dani, a smile on her face. She quickly hugged the taller woman's leg. "Thank you for this. Truly. It means a lot."

Mary was busily sketching a design on a small piece of paper. "Come back in about an hour. I'll have everything done by then. You can pay me when the product itself is done." Aramir and Danica said their goodbyes, the former grinning like a child who found the last candy, heading out into the street and looking for something else to kill time for an hour. As Aramir skipped forward, leading the way once more, a fine horse being ridden by a man in rich clothing suddenly spooked, neighing and racing towards the Snow Elf as she turned to move out of the way and slipped on some spilled drink of a reveler, eyes wide with fear as she attempted to scramble out of the way.

-----

Danica couldn't help but chuckle at Aramir's reluctance, taking a moment to count out the likely price of the garment and set some of her money in a separate pouch, placed high on her person under her coat. She was tall enough that height alone would be enough to deter pickpockets. She couldn't pay the woman now, of course. She wouldn't know how much the garment would cost until it was finished. She busied herself by patting her clothes down, checking to see if she was missing anything. It seemed she had lost one of her silvered daggers to a pickpocket, damn. She supposed she should consider herself lucky to still have her gold, then.

Once Aramir returned she found herself on the receiving end of a hug. Hm. "It is no trouble." She said quietly, patting her on the head. "Very well." She told Mary, following after Aramir. She frowned a bit. If the elf didn't slow down, she'd... That thought was interrupted when she heard a horse start freaking out, turning to find the source was, in fact, a horse, spooked and barreling towards Aramir, who must be some cosmic plaything of the fates to have fallen right there in that spot. She didn't really have time to think, rushing forward and shoulder-checking the elf out of the way.

This left her right in the path of the horse, unfortunately, which stepped right on her left shoulder, prompting a pained grunt and a sickening crunching noise from the huntress. Once the horse had passed, whether the rider managed to reassert control or not, she laid there for a short time, blood obviously pooling a bit. She looked dead for all the world, before she began to rise. Aramir might notice that her breathing sounded much deeper, somewhat bestial for a short moment, before apparently regaining control. "Do try to keep better control of your animal." She said loudly, her arm hanging limp as a sickening grinding noise could be heard. She dusted her shoulder off as it apparently began to repair itself, her fingers flexing as she worked her shoulder. "Others are less durable than I." She looked down to her scarf, pleased that it was not bloodied. She took a rag of hers, wiping off the relatively small amount of blood that had seeped through. She seemed more annoyed than anything.

-----

Aramir cried out as she was launched out of the way and through the crowd by Danica's shoulder check. As she rolled against the ground, quickly getting to her feet, she groaned in discomfort. Bruises were sure to form all over her body now. I know you meant well, but couldn't you have just pulled me out of the way? Any thoughts and pain she had were banished at the sight of Danica. The tall woman's shoulder was destroyed, and while Aramir knew that Dani was healing as she watched, she still felt terrible. She rushed over to her friend, both because of her concern, and the worry that the injury might trigger Danica's more...violent side. When she reached the other woman, a stream of questions and apologies rushed out of her mouth. "Dani, are you okay? I'm so sorry, I should have been paying better attention, is your scarf okay? Did anything get ripped?"

The stream of words were cut off as the rider finally got his horse back under control. He was a middle-aged Eanian man with brown hair, a neatly trimmed goatee, and green eyes. His noble face was currently horrified as he jumped down. "No, it is I who should be apologizing. Losing control of my horse like a boy of 12 on his first ride, and hitting a Hospitaler no less, shameful!" He knelt in the muddy street, head bowed to Danica. "Please, accept my utmost apology, and allow me to escort you through the festival and pay for anything you or your companion may desire. It is the very least I can do after such a disgraceful display."

Aramir looked between Danica and the noble (so she assumed, given his dress and manner of speech), clearly confused by the display, but intrigued at the idea of someone paying for everything. "I say let him do it."

-----

Danica probably could have pulled Aramir back instead of shoving her, but she thought of shoving first and hadn't had time for more careful deliberation on how to act. Nevertheless, nobody was seriously injured. Well, She had been, but it was a temporary inconvenience at best. Whatever momentary lapse Danica might have had, she seemed to be under control. 'Episodes' were far less common since she came to the college, as they had a habit of keeping her well-fed and reasonably entertained. She took a moment to unravel her scar, checking it over... yes, it was all intact. She rolled it up and tucked it into one of her pouches. She was obsessive about it. And why not? Not only was it important to her, but it was not as if she could simply get a replacement.

She'd decided it would be best to hide it for a while. She had been lucky so far, but the last thing she needed was to come across another from the church. They'd ask questions. She said nothing to Aramir, merely smiling and patting her on the head. She was fine. She watched the rider approach, arching a brow. The effect was a little less pronounced with only one of them visible, however. She heard him out, mulling it over. He was likely only offering out of fear of retribution from the church. Well, mayhap a little was a genuine desire to make things right. It wouldn't do if the church found out he'd trampled a nun. Not that she was much of a nun these days. "All is forgiven." She said, with a slight bow, hand over her heart. Aramir might notice she did that exact gesture a lot. Possibly another habit from her time in the church.

"If you must though, there is one thing you can help with." She looked over toward the tailor's. "The woman inside the establishment is currently designing a dress for my friend here. If you still feel the need to make amends, tell her you will be covering the costs." She said. She nodded through any other words he might have had to say on the matter. He was polite enough, but nobility was terribly dull. She preferred it when people spoke more plainly to her. Once he'd gone, she looked down to the elf. "Shall we get..." She trailed off as she caught sight of... something. "Hrm." She knelt down beside her, pointing off past the crowd. There was a womman in a dark coat, knocking on a door. She seemed to be wearing a hood and cap, but what was more notable was the scarf draped around her neck. It was almost identical to Danica's save its black coloring, with the same silver thread along the edges.

"See that woman?" She asked, clicking her tongue. "She's a Vindicator. They're the ones that investigate corruption. And if necessary, seek retribution." She said, standing up again. The woman backed off from the door, waving to some guards. One of them proceeded to barge the door down, storming inside as his partner followed. The woman casually strolled in after them, hefting a mace over her shoulder. Whatever the poor bastard inside had done to attract such attention, she didn't envy them. "I'd rather not stick around. Their order is not known for their gentle disposition."

-----

The noble looked like he was about to protest, before seeing the look in Danica's eye and deciding not to press the issue. "Thank you for the chance to recompense, madams." He gave another bow, before heading towards the Mary's tailor shop, a group of men and guards following him.

For her part Aramir kept lookin over Danica, making sure that the woman wasn't simply pretending to be okay, as so many warriors of the College tended to do. Satisfied that Dani wasn't just pretending out of some misplaced need to reassure Aramir, she turned her attention to the other woman Dani was gesturing at, shuddering. She didn't like the vibe that woman gave off, cold and dark, in stark contrast to Dani's warm, if eccentric, aura of friendliness and strong faith. She nodded in agreement with Dani's expressed desire to not be around when the woman left the room.

"Unfortunately you're going to have to lead the way, the crowd has only gotten thicker. I'll hold on tight and you just push your way through the crowd, yeah?" Aramir declared, looking up at the taller Eanian woman as she gripped her leather coat tightly.

As the two women left, a man left Mary's dress shop and started following them, staying a short distance behind. He made an effort to not appear to be following them, not a difficult proposition given the sheer amount of people going in any direction through the streets of Shimmerstone.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by 13org
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Henri respected Leith, he always had a cool head, but still he didn't know very well if Leith could really say anything regarding that. Sure, he knew the other students and professors for much longer than Henri, but he wasn't feeling on his skin what Henri was. Despite disagreeing with some things that he said, there was a point that Leith seemed to agree with him. Tyrael was a threat. Henri wasn't comfortable around him. Not even one bit...

But before Henri could say anything more, Leith was quick to leave things on Ssarak's hands, claiming he was a better mediator. Henri didn't know Ssarak that well, but since Leith recommended him and say he would mediate things better than he could, it was worth a shot.

"Sorry for all this, Helena. And thanks..." Henri said with a honest smile to the girl before he turned to Ssarak again.

Carefully hearing Ssarak's words, he raised an eyebrow when he mentioned about the Shapeshifter. Sure, someone who could change forms at will was rather annoying... Especially because it could potentially disguise itself as one of the other students and most would have a hard time differentiating it from the real one.

"Yes. Don't think I haven't heard what you guys said about the Shapeshifter that are after us. I am aware of that fact." Henri said.

After Ssarak gave a quick word to Helena, saying he wouldn't take long, he started speaking to Henri telepathically.
"I can see your point, and yes. There are only a few individuals I can say I know 'well'. Regardless, I don't think there is a valid reason for someone like Tyrael to threaten my life like that without reason or for many others not giving me an ounce of respect." Henri said.

"Don't they know how to act like civilized beings? Is it too much to ask to be treated fairly? I don't believe its... polite to interrupt one's conversation in a rather rude manner, without even being asked anything. Or even trying to kick someone, don't you think?" Henri said, rolling his eyes, obviously irritated.

"But I will let you talk. I am rather curious about what will you say. Also, I've heard about the attack. Only rumors though. Hard to say what is only exaggeration and what really happened." Henri replied. He couldn't help but to wonder. What that had to do with the situation at hand?

Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Rtron
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Althalus

"You don't trust me Darius? I'm wounded. To think that I would ever keep some of the winnings for myself. For shame, good sir. For shame!" Althalus pocketed the coins despite his drama, eyes turning to watch as Leith now made his way over from Henri. We're just becoming oh so popular aren't we? It'll be a wonder if we ever leave this area. Aramir and Danica had the right idea, bailing immediately. He thought idly, waiting for the albino to get closer.

"Okay? What does that have to do with anyt-" Althalus stopped as he felt something soaking his sleeve. Looking down at the message he felt a brief flash of panic at the mention of the Eternal Hunger, the bitch that had eaten his hand then left him for dead. He still got nightmares from that mission. As the message disappeared, not even leaving a trace behind, he looked back at Leith. "Ha. Ha. I thought we were past the hand jokes? Regardless, message received. As I was saying, what does me being Lyn's father have anything at all to do with the current situation?" His face fell as he connected the dots and he sighed rubbing a hand across it. "Is that what he told you the reason for Alaira and I being so 'rude'," he gave air quotes to emphasize how wrong he thought Henri was, "to him? He's either even more of an idiot than I thought he was or he's a liar, and I genuinely hope its the latter, because liars are at least smart enough to know what's going on. I don't care that he's hanging around Lyn. I haven't cared for the months he's been around her before now. I do care that he doesn't seem to understand that his actions affect all of us, and that he thinks he can just treat nobles as he likes. That will get him, and us by association, in jail or worse. And if goon is the best insult he can come up with, he needs work on that. A lot of work."
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Leith Calder


Leith chuckled nervously at Althalus' comment. "Sorry about that. The thought of that Vitamancer has me stressed." He looked at the gathered group and sighed as Althalus talked about Henri. "I don't understand where this whole issue came from, but I don't think that should ruin this trip. I say once everyone gathers together we go out and explore Shimmerstone. Besides," he glanced at the ring on his hand. "I'm pretty sure I'll get a decent warning about the Shapeshifter, whoever she appears as."

Isn't that right?
Leith directed his thoughts towards the ring.

Darius grunted in agreement. "Sounds good. I have some fights to win." As the man crossed his arms, Leith caught a flash of blue fabric affixed to a part of the Yarosmerean's clothing. An idea occurred to him.

Leith leaned towards Althalus. "You've got those cloths on everyone here for our game, right?" he asked as he nodded towards the cloth attached to Darius' shirt. "That could be another way to allow us to identify the shapeshifter. What say we call the game off and keep the cloths where they are?"
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