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2 mos ago
Current Back at the guild after a long absence. Much changed since I was gone?
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Medical student living in Scotland, a lover of beer and steak mostly - but also writing, and politics. Because why not make myself even more divisive.

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@Void What can the mages tell of the woods?
Felix's eyes narrowed slightly as he relinquished his grip on the gun. Usually he was discreet enough for his carry piece to go unnoticed - a necessity, firearms laws in Utopia being what they were. Either he was being unsubtle, or...

"Very perceptive." He nodded politely in Simon's direction. "I'm used to going unnoticed, even by the police. You've been doing this for a while, haven't you?"

Felix's eyes shifted to the others, reexamining them. He knew them both well enough now, and it dawned on him that what the third party was saying was true. Sandra, though not without issues, was oddly athletic, coordinated, and quick witted. Tavish was likeable and social - and capable of packing heat too; Felix had no illusions about the man's own illegal firearms ownership.

The only really unknown factor was their new contact.

"So what are you? Employer? Leader? How does all this work, and what do we get to know?"
Alfred cursed in Welsh, the thread of ice snaking up his spine quelled only by the heat of his anger at having been deceived so easily - the Annwn, magic, the paranormal, it was his domain, his area of expertise, it was what he did for crying out loud! But then here he was, one moment having been watching Ser Giles grow more frustrated by the second, the next contemplating the effect of emotion on the ebb and flow of mana, and then alone in the cold of the woods. He had known something was wrong, but somehow he'd not had the initiative to act upon that knowledge, nor had he seen more specifically the nature of the wrongness.

He drew his sword. Nothing that affects the perception of an entire party like this could possibly have anything good in mind, so it was best to be ready for it.

In the distance, he quite possibly heard shouting - from which direction was hard to tell, who, as well. It sounded like a man. Alfred may have heard his own name being called, it was hard to be sure - the forest was a woolen blanket over his senses. What wasn't so hard to hear, however, was the sounds the followed - the unmistakable roaring of trolls. Instantly, the thread of ice won the battle, and Alfred felt chills dominate his nerves as he reflexively reached into a pocket and brought out a pair of iron cubes - reagents, a temporary source of power and augmentative factor for certain spells. Finite in nature - at least when they were as processed as these were - and limited in their ability to truly help, but when you're dealing with trolls you need just about everything you can get.

The cold iron in one hand, the grip of his sword in the other, he scanned the woods around himself looking for threats, or friends, or figures, or anything else obvious.

And then he closed his eyes, and felt the embrace of the Annwn rise about himself - sight, but not as most know it. What would he see of the woods when looking like this?
discord.gg/ENT79sK

Got the original damsel in distress and hero boy combo. She's even a princess.
I'll see about setting up a discord server. Anyone got any particular ideas for the server picture?
How strictly will we be sticking to the post order? Also, shall I set us up a discord chat?
I agree actually - and it gives Alfred all the more reason to be wary of you all. This isn't the first quest he's been on, and it's not the first noble he's served either. He knows what to look for, and he's seeing it *all*.

Aurelie in particular has earnt his notice. Nobody who describes themselves as 'a fighter' and naught else is ever really a fighter and naught else. Especially when they don't try to big up how good they are at it.
Alfred's eyes widened a little in surprise at the Knight's tale of crusade and conquest - that being, crusade against Sussex, and the conquest of his attempt. It was impressive that he had survived - even Alfred Grimm would have thought twice about confronting druids on their home territory. Not quite impossible, but more than daunting. His talk of pagans was concerning in its tone, however. Alfred resolved to try and keep a lid on his own views, for now.

Then, he suppressed a chuckle - a practice he had become adept at during his time at court - at the sight of Concordia. A spy, apparently, but also a spy with no taste for the wilderness, and no love of the darkness in the heart of the woods. He trusted that she would prove useful - but he trusted equally that when she did, it would probably not be at foraging for food, lighting fires, or stalking prey in the forest.

"I am Alfred Grimm, and I serve as advisor in all things arcane to our mutual liege lord, Ser Giles. I come from England, where I was originally trained as a Mage and had originally practiced as a magician. I am also familiar with the pagans you speak of, Ser Hugo - druids, mostly. Their connection to the natural world is remarkable, and it makes them fearsome opponents on their own land. Your crusade was brave, and your survival very impressive."

For a moment, he paused, stretching and turning away from the now empty bowl on the ground by his feet. He had been stretching often over the course of their journey, more to feel the rainwater on his skin than anything else. He was no Druid, but magic was as natural as anything, and most mages draw great enjoyment from the environment. Alfred was no exception.

"I follow the Hermetic tradition of sorcery, and am also capable of arcane study, ritual magic, summoning, and some degree of alchemy." He drew a hand up in front of him, closed his fingers into a fist, and then gently spread them again to reveal the warm glow of flames in the palm of his hand. "Perhaps most importantly, I am quite adept at counterspelling. Should we encounter other mages whose goals counter ours," the flames went out, their bodies turning green as their presence on the Annwn plane was dispersed, "I should be able to handle them." He smiled broadly.
Aye, that they are. My exams are in two weeks and ain't nobody on my course ready.
Aha! No one expects the Hermetic Inquisition!
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