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Dorothea Hohnstein
von Albesatz-Danzau

This damned headache, why’d I even take that aberration? And what was going on with Ingrid that day too? Was it the same as I had? well whatever it may have been I’m just relieved I could stop her before something regrettable could happen.

A walk did help get her thoughts together some. Although the main part of the faire has completely slipped her mind, The societies. The perfect opportunity to make connections for later in her life.

Her first stop was the Drudgunzean union, it was the most obvious society to join if she wanted to make friends close by. It may also be a good way to keep an eye on Manny as they haven’t been speaking much lately.

After walking some more, her nose picked up the smell of something great being made. Ah, the pumpernickels must be busy. It might be a stretch to call herself great at baking but it might be fun to join and learn some new recipes and tricks to the craft.

Seeing the Mage Hunter Society flared up her excitement as a recreational shooter, although the voice of her mother rang through her mind as she signed up for it. ‘Joining such a boorish club? Did I raise a man by accident? I can’t believe my own flesh and blood could be such a disappointment of a lady.’ As that damned voice didn’t stop, the Feskan rushed out, trying her hardest to find more lady-like societies.

After a while she stumbled upon the Needle & Thread club. ‘See, that is a society more suited for my daughter. I can finally say that I’m proud.’ She quickly signed up as the voice in her head started to calm.

After that exhausting experience she strutted towards the guilds and signed herself into the society of the Gift. Her hand was still grasping a written signing paper that will find its way to the society that it was meant for.

Karl 1.0 is here, need to expand upon but didn't want people to wait.

Dorothea Hohnstein
von Albesatz-Danzau

Interactions with: Ingrid:@dragonpiece Ayla:@Ti

Ingrid has been overwhelmed with student life and has neglected parts of her social life but there was a part that she couldn’t ignore. Dorothea has been odd recently and it has been slightly worrying. Ingrid and Dorothea are part of Luna’s zeno group so she has been able to see every now and then that Dorothea has been off.

After getting Dorothea to agree to meeting at her dorm, Ingrid gets ready to go over. She put on some light makeup, and dressed lightly with some sleepwear in her bag in case it turns into a sleepover. In a small basket, she takes some pastries and some fine wine, and a strong spirit. At the bottom of her bag, there is some of Luna’s weed and some Eskandish psychedelics if she wished to partake. Ingrid let her servants know that she might be gone for the night but will check in with them by lunch tomorrow.

Ingrid left her dorm and headed over to Dorothea’s dorm and gave a knock.

"WHAT DO YOU WANT?" Dorothea yelled out as someone knocked on her door. To think someone wished to laugh at her failure in person now too.

Coming down the corridor is Ayla, coming a little delayed as she waves over to Ingrid, “Ingrid! It is good to see you. Are we meeting your friend here?”. She looks towards the door as she hears the distressed shouting coming from inside. “She sounds really upset”, allowing Ingrid to take the lead.

Ingrid waved to Ayla as she came down the hall, “You are looking wonderful tonight, and it does seem she is upset. Dorothea are you alright? Ayla and I are here for an evening visit that we planned.” Ingrid was wondering what would make her answer the door herself instead of her servants. “Are we still good for tonight?” Ingrid waited for Dorothea’s response.

The two could hear some rumbling from inside of the room and before long the door was opened. “We’re still good for tonight, hope you don’t mind the mess.” Not only was the room a mess, so was the Feskan that let the two of them in. “Make yourself at home… Sorry for all of this.”

Ayla smiles as she takes Ingrid’s hand, squeezing upon it warmly, “Good to see you too, let’s give her a warm hello.”. As Dory opens the door, opening her arms wide, “The greatest gift is friendship, and it is time for you to receive it!”. She moves to give Dory a hug, to wrap her within those arms of hers.

Ingrid waited until Ayla was done hugging Dory to enter her room. Looking around, Ingrid could see how dirty the room was. Not good, Ingrid thought, “Thank you for having us tonight! I brought some fun things for tonight.” Ingrid cleans a table and starts taking out the goods she brought for tonight.

The Feskan’s eyes opened wide as the stranger hugged her all of the sudden, making her show a slight smile for a short while.. “I’m really sorry for the mess…” Dory sat back on the bed as she looked at Ingrid cleaning the table. “What did you bring this time? Some alcohol again?” The Feskan looked from afar as she tried to peek inside the basket.

Ayla shows herself inside as Ingrid is sorting the drinks out with Dory. She moves the clothing into neat piles to the side making enough room for them all to sit comfortably upon the bed and various chairs in the room. She moves around opening up the curtains to brighten up the room, and using incense sticks to make a more pleasant aroma. The place is now acceptable at least. Moves to try to find the glasses and plates for the picnic Ingrid for. “Are the glasses through here?”.

Ingrid pointed to where the glasses were kept. “I brought quite a few extra things today.” Ingrid started to show the items one by one, ”This is a Torrogan wine that was given to me by a random boy.” She sat it on the table along with a cork popper, before continuing to a fine looking spirit, “This is an Eskandish spirit, it is typically drunk warm and well spiced so I brought some things for that. I thought about mixing some Feskan things in to see what it is like.” She set that aside for now as she has to prepare that before revealing some pastries, “I made these so take them as you will.” The pastries didn’t look great but Ingrid continued, “I have some other things as well that my people use recreationally along with some of Luna’s herbs.” Ingrid wouldn’t bring those out unless people wanted some first. Ingrid changes attention to Dory, “Soooo, how are you as of late girl?”

Dory grabbed one of the smaller pastries and ate them with no issue, did she like it or was she just trying to be nice?. "Could be better. Nothing has really been going well for me lately." The Feskan's expression worsened for a second before turning back to a fake smile. "How about you two? How did your missions go?"

Ayla looks at all the various gifts Ingrid are re-using tactfully, it appears she had many admirers during her suitors event. Realizing in hindsight with some embarrassment, she was kind of enrolling herself to be Ingrid’s suitor and even got an apple of approval. At least she made a good impression despite the circumstances. She reached for the Torragonese wine, looking at the bottle of Gran Reservas Rioja, whoever this was, they were pulling out the big guns. She popped the cork and poured a small amount for each to enjoy in the glasses. She does ponder on how to reply to Dory’s question, especially with how so much happened in such a short time, she attempts. “Well went. Freed a refuge from a tyrant, made a lot of great new friends, and slayed some dragons. Returned with a lot of spoils. How about both of you?”

Ingrid was slightly disappointed that Dory didn’t share her stories from her mission, maybe it was too traumatic to share. Well, whatever. Ingrid believed if she shared some of the bad moments of her mission maybe it would help Dory. Ingrid took a long sip of the wine that Ayla had poured for everyone, “Pretty good wine. Fruitier than I thought.” Ingrid swished the little bit of wine left in her glass, she kept her head down as she started to tell her mission. “Our mission was to rescue the princess of Segonia and to kill the captain of the Maria Nera…” Ingrid swallowed the rest of the wine. “We succeeded but it cost us someone,” Ingrid poured another glass of wine and swallowed almost the entire thing before looking back at them.

Dory’s expression only worsened after hearing these big events that happened when she was screwing things up, taking a sip from the glass. “We were supposed to stop a potential riot.. And grab an artifact… I thought I could control the riot… but before I knew it, the ship was sinking and people were dying..” Her eyes focused on the wine still left in the glass. “People died for my incompetence. I should have been better, I could’ve done it better…”

Ayla tilts her head to the side as she listens to Dory’s story. She is fighting the overwhelming urge of just butting in, but has to mentally sit upon her hands to allow Dory tell her story. “It sounds like you went through a very difficult experience, those emotions such as shame can be very strong.”, she disagrees with why Dory should feel this way, but how to communicate this in a way which is not invalidating to how she feels... “The Tourrare have a saying, to translate into Avincian, it means ‘There is no I in team’. Things go wrong due to many reasons, not one. It is a chain of mistakes done by many.” She smacks her lips as phrases the next part in her mind, “You seem like a very sweet person who takes on the responsibility of the world on your shoulders, and you do this because you care, but…”, she wiggles a little, growing anxious herself, unable to resist the urge to say her mind, “You were not the only one. You were with a team. There were many people making mistakes long before you went there. You tried your best, but you cannot use a bucket alone to try to save a sinking ship. It wasn’t because you were not doing it hard or fast enough.”

Ingrid sharing her own misfortunes seemed to get Dory to share her own grief. Ingrid understood Dory very intimately, blaming yourself individually when the actions were of a group. Ingrid still struggles with that today trying to process the mission. Watching Ayla so quickly try to comfort and dissuade Dory from that damaging thought pattern had Ingrid smiling a little. Ingrid rested a hand on Dory’s shoulder, “Ayla is right. You were sent there with a team because it required a team. You can’t hold yourself wholly responsible.” Ingrid wasn’t very good at dealing with this. But she wanted to be there. Part of being a better person is being someone that people can rely on.

Dorothea bit her lip from annoyance of these supporting words. Did they really get it? She let them to their deaths.. her team had nothing to do with her actions. "I WAS wholly responsible!... I was the reason the mission almost failed.. I was the only one that failed their part of the mission…" the glass in Dory's hand began to shake. "Understand that I was the one that made the decision that cost my own countrymen their lives… If I wasn't cocky… If I wasn't there… it would've been fine!"

Ayla realized her urge to try to correct Dory’s thinking is the wrong one, she could see instead of trying to make things better, it only made her more frustrated. It is easy to think we can fix things, fix how people feel. Encourage them to look at the silver lining, point out how others have it worse. All that a good friend needs is someone to listen to them, make them feel heard and understood. She got the wine bottle as she gave a more than generous top up to all the glasses, as she brought them all the bed, so they can sit in comfort and perhaps have more than a glass than they should. “You are right Dory, my attempt to solve it meant that you were not truly listened to and felt understood. Going to share a game Maura used to do with me when things were going bad. First, there is far too little wine.”.

She takes a big gulp of the wine to get things started, encouraging the other two to do likewise. “It is time for the Sob Pillow. Whoever has the pillow shares something they messed up on, or just wants to get off their chest. We take a big drink, then we pass the pillow on. We let it all out, get very drunk and pass out. We feel terrible in the morning like a rinsed out old sponge, then we get a servant to get us some sweets and fill ourselves with good things to replace the bad.” She takes one of Dory’s bedtime pillows and passes it to her to hold. “Finish letting it out, then pass it on”.

Dorothea looked rather confused about the concept of a ‘Sob Pillow’. What purpose would a game like this have past the point of getting gossip out of others? Well, not like participating would hurt that badly with just these two. The Feskan would grab the pillow and hold it rather awkwardly. “Well, I guess it wouldn’t hurt too much if you two know this, but..” Dory clenched said pillow, letting out a rather heavy sigh. “I don’t remember everything perfectly anymore as it happened so fast… I was supposed to talk the people out of rioting while having two people with me if things turned south… I succeeded! … Somewhat.. The people were starting to point their anger towards a point that would reduce harm to others… Then one man started berating me with questions…”

Her face grew darker as she took a small break from continuing. “He made an Aberration appear…. I wanted to have the others help keep me in check… But I had such a rush from it all that I could not dissuade them from consuming the Aberration… And to not be branded a traitor to them, I had to consume it with them… then it went dark for a while…” Her teeth gnashed as she thought about the others. “Where were they when I needed them?... I was never supposed to be alone…”

Ingrid had never heard of a ‘Sob Pillow’ but it seemed worth trying. Ingrid did worry about Dory becoming drunk as she was quite a lively drunk and Ingrid had no idea how that would mix with her current mindset. But it was worth a shot as Dory did share. Maybe it was the 3 glasses of wine but what Dory said angered Ingrid. Not at her actions but at her teammates for leaving her. It seems they may have had an understanding not to leave each other and she was left.

Ingrid just gave a hug to Dory to try to show her support for her. Ingrid didn’t know what to say, what would help Dory the most. But Ayla said that listening would be more effective than trying to solve things. Ingrid was more following along for what Ayla would do. Ingrid would want to say then fuck the people who left you. They left you in a situation where you were trapped. That is not your fault. But Dory hasn’t passed the pillow so maybe there was more she wanted to say then they could speak about it.

The Feskan was quite surprised from the sudden hug before squeezing out the pillow between the embrace, handing it to Ayla next.

Ayla claps her hands together, thanking Dory for her contribution as she takes a gulp of the wine, “A drink for gili team mates!” Now with the pillow in hand, she opens up with her own. “On the topic of unreliable, what kind of person leaves their best friend behind without saying a word? Seven weeks, and not even sent a letter.” She takes another drink of the wine, topping it up. “My father put me on house arrest, made me unable to see her, but there has been no attempt since then. Too busy being mopey and blaming my parents to even think about her. No excuse for my actions. She probably thinks that she has been abandoned.” She looks towards the other two as she now wallows in her own self-pity. “Probably best to kick me out before you two are abandoned as well.” She passes the pillow over to Ingrid, as she prepares for another gulp in unison with them.

It seems everyone has their own problems, Ingrid chugged the drink. The wine was starting to hit the Eskandish woman. Torragonese wine wasn’t as weak as she was told. Ingrid held the pillow under one arm and kept an arm over Dory, slowly leaning on her as the alcohol started taking hold of her body. Ingrid shifted her head from one side to the other, trying to think of what she wanted to say, “Ah! During my mission, I got scammed, burned, stabbed, and had cannons shot at me. Benny had threatened me and somehow we are on okay terms now and I even fucking kissed him.” Ingrid didn’t seem too particularly bothered by some of these things like she didn’t want to say the worst of the mission. “We arrived in the desert on a fucking hill dug underground. Had that bitch, I mean Trypano, fucking try to show me up in tunneling. Yeah, I know I wasn’t going the right way but I was trying to curve to the hill to not just pop out to the damn army. It was embarrassing.” Ingrid seemed like she had a lot of smaller things she could complain about. “When we got back I had to prepare for the speed dating thing. Do you know how many people tried to kiss me?! I love kissing as much as the next girl but Fuck off. Ah but I also made friends as well.” Ingrid gave Ayla a hug as well. Ingrid passed the pillow back to Dory, “Dory I still like you if that means anything. I got your back.”

Dory’s ears perk up upon hearing Ingrid’s story, taking another sip before poking the Eskandish woman. “Oh? Does a certain person like Benny?” Even if that wasn’t the case the Feskan couldn’t help but tease the other with it, it certainly helped with her current state at least. “Bah!... Even speed dating now? Seems like you’re really getting out there now, huh?” Dorothea once again took the glass and chugged whatever was left. “Ayla, is there still some more wine?.. Wait, speaking of love lives… How is yours going?”

Ayla is probably a little left out with the love conversation with how none existent that was, but she has certainly heard rumors about the other girls. She fishes out another bottle that Ingrid brought, this time, it seemed to be some kind of Eskander spirit. “Looks out Ingrid brought us the good stuff.”, she giggles as she pours the spirit into the glasses. “My love life is rather absent, minus the token betrothals of those trying to get on my family's good side. Classed as the ugly duckling out of my sisters.” she mulls over the drink, sniffing it, though waiting for Ingrid to expand more upon that. “Not trying to fish for compliments, one even looks like a younger version of Zeno Afraval”, she laughs as she cups to her chest for emphasis, giggling, though becoming acutely aware of her smaller size compared to Dory and Ingrid, and the awkwardness of her comments.

Ayla changing subject, “Dory, heard a rumor that you are in a relationship with Marci’s brother. So you may be seeing your new sister soon.”, she beams a bright smile towards her. “ As for you, Ingrid, there is a rumor about a childhood sweetheart coming on the scene.”. She giggles as she moves to taste the drink, trying to turn to hide her face quickly and cough as it feels like it was peeling the skin from her tongue. That is a strong spirit.

It seems revealing Ingrid’s recent adventures in romance had caught Dory’s attention. “Oh Benny? Like is a strong word. He is strong and interesting. He has a surprisingly gentler and charming side. I don’t know if I could date him because I am still trying to understand him. My mission made me realize how small my world was and how much I need to still grow.” Ingrid, being emboldened by the wine, looked proud of what she said. Proud that she could openly admit she still had much to learn. But a sly smile did creep onto her face and she said, “But, I wouldn’t mind a more physical relationship with Benny, his strength and bravado are kind of hot.” Ingrid went red and couldn’t believe she just said that openly.

Ingrid heard from Ayla that she got no romance to speak of, Ingrid joked “Not even fake romances your family teaches you to say?” Then Ingrid saw poor Ayla try to drink the spirit straight, “Oh not like that Ayla, let me prepare it.” Ingrid grabbed the spirit and made her way to the kitchen to grab some things. As Ingrid was leaving she said, “When I get back in a minute or 5, I will talk about Shven.” Ingrid went to raid Dory’s kitchen for supplies.

Dory looked as Ingrid left for the kitchen, being unable to hold her own laughter in. To think she could just say something like that out loud. She might have to learn from her example. After a while of silence the Feskan realized the thing Ayla said, making her face somewhat red. “Where did you hear that? Manny did not want to show it off too much so I have tried my best not to show anything on the school grounds!” Dorothea forgot how scary gossip could be among girls. “I haven’t met Marciline yet but Manny did say that I will meet her soon enough….” She leaned in towards the other girl’s ear, a bit tipsy. “Can you tell me what she’s like? I’ve been worried sick.. What if she doesn’t approve of me?... What if she thinks I would not be worth it for their family?...”

As soon as she realized she was folding back into her state of thinking. She quickly snapped back, faking a smile. “Well, that’s not important! Tell me about the kind of person that is your type, Ayla!”

Ayla giggled a little as Dory wanted the inside scoop. “We found her in the refuge. Very sweet though likes to pretend to act mature for her age. If you are a genuinely nice person, she would easily approve of you!” She nods as she takes Dory’s hand and squeezes upon it, “Manfred is in my class, only had small exchanges with him within the group. He seems to keep his feelings close to the chest, and seems to deflect a lot with his humor. It is nice to hear he has found someone to be open and intimate with, dropping his guard around.”

She pauses for a moment as she considers the next question, leaning back upon the bed. “Honesty? Unsure. Not saying as a cop out answer, but…”, she pauses as she considers her next words. “You know when you see a flower, it is pretty, right? Can tell what is good looking, but… it feels like something is missing compared to other people. When thinking of others, just think about my friends, about wanting them close to me, give them a great big hug. Simply enjoy their company. Last week or so, Jocasta, Kaspar, Yalen, Zarina… even got excited about the new girl in my class with the pretty dress. Most likely feel the same when you two are not here either.” She snickers as she pulls herself up to give Dory a hug, and probably gives Ingrid one too when she returns. “We didn't answer your question.”, laughing out louder in a drunken manner.

Ingrid had plundered the Feskan kitchen for spices and sugar or in this case spratz! Ingrid grabbed some mixing cups and headed into the room, “Like my ancestors before me, I have plundered your homes for your goods. Now let me make you a treat.” Ingrid mixes some warming spices into the spirit and adds some juice and whatever other liquids that sounded nice in Dory’s kitchen. Finally, she drew some of the ambient heat outside of the building to heat up the liquid to where it steamed. Ingrid poured each girl some of the spiced drink, “And done. A Feskan twist to a beloved drink of my homeland.” Ingrid took a seat next to Ayla this time as she wanted a hug. Ingrid accepted the hug and returned a squeeze.

A moment of silence as they tried the drink, “I like it. The spratz is nice. Oh right Shven! Me and him were neighboring nobles. His land is considered worst than my own family’s but honestly only by a few degrees. I was surprised to see him considering the bad harvests that have been happening. But he’s sweet. He is essentially a big nerd like myself. He really loves dragons. And it’s nice having someone you know here. I’m going to be tutoring him in some of the basics of Atomic since he didn’t decide earlier on. Oh and since he is dragon obsessed, I asked him to help raise an egg I came into ownership of.”Ingrid seemed to speak of him only in positive terms.

Dory smelled the spiced drink and could immediately smell the prize of the spices. “Ingrid… What did you put in this and how much of it?...” Her expression was showing quite a bit of annoyance. To try and keep it to herself she did what any respectable Feskan noble would do and drink it away, downing the specially made drink in one go. It was visible that the drink kicked back against Dory for drinking so quickly. “Ah… That hit the spot… I should hire you to make these for me often.” A couple hiccups came from the Feskan as the alcohol really started to make its mark on her behavior.

“Wait, so… about Scheven or Sven… uuuh… that lover… I mean friend of yours…. Are you interested in him?” Dory crawled over towards Ingrid and began leaning on her shoulder, really eager to know the answer.

Ayla smiles widely, as she mirrors Dory, teasingly cuddling up and leaning upon her other shoulder. “Tell us. Is he the one?”. She makes herself very comfortable against that shoulder as she wraps herself in. If Ingrid is not careful, probably end up having a drunken sleeping lion cub attached to her. “Dory wants to know in case it all goes wrong with Manfred”, she snorts out a laugh as she opens her eyes to peek towards Dory to see her reaction. “So, Sven in the streets, and Benny between the sheets?”

It seems Ingrid has gotten 2 very gossip hungry and very drunk noble girls on both sides of her. And they want to know the same thing. Which one are you going with? Ingrid answered somewhat quickly, “Sadly I don’t believe any of them I could marry or let alone do anything official. Benny is a commoner and from what I know not that rich. Sven is a noble, and our families have some history but they are poor and my grandfather sees me as a big ticket with my RAS. So I have a new plan! Either I can become so rich and Independent I can tell my grandfather to fuck off, or I can take over my Family and choose for myself who I marry!” The alcohol has made each of these plans seem totally plausible. She is still trying to avoid saying who she was going to go for. Honestly, Sven is just a friend at the moment and Benny is just a good time and someone interesting. Ingrid hoped that her statement would throw them off the questioning of what she wants.

Dory pouted at Ayla upon hearing what she said. “Well, if it did go wrong with him I guess it leaves me no choice!” She clung her arms around Ingrid, drunkily spouting nonsense. “... Then I’ll just have to marry Ingrid over here!” Seems like she might have drank a bit too much, although not enough for her mind it seems as she grabbed Ingrid’s glass and took a sip. “And if I do become Feska’s leader I’ll marry you too, Ayla! Traditionalists be damned!” Her mind was very much in a jokey mood. “Not like my family has any other candidates to become the head by the time my father croaks.” Another sip from the other’s glass was needed. “Well, the other two are never going to be accepted. My cousin will never stand strong… because he can’t… And little Floris is just way too sweet to ever rule properly…”

Ayla giggles as Dory makes her advances upon Ingrid, “If you two get together, will you grant me the position of chief bridesmaid?”. She breaks away to lean across the bed to try one of reportedly better tasting Ingrid spratz cocktails. The rich spirit pours in, the taste is dramatically changed as she feels the addictive sweet taste cling to her taste buds. “This is not sugar”, she suckles upon her own tongue to savor the taste. She moves to top up the glass some more to taste it, “Never tasted anything as sweet as this before where does it come from?”. Trying to return to the conversation, though blushing as Dory proposes to her as well. “Is this the point where we declare what happens in sleepover stays in sleepover?”, she grins as she ruffles Dory’s hair as she is cheering up. “Glad your mood is picking up!”.

Ingrid has realized that Dory is really drunk. The phase of being drunk means that some bad decisions can occur. Normally, Ingrid would only see this every now and then and she would have kept her wits together and not drink as much but Ingrid has drunk the most out of everyone. Ingrid looks at Dory and “If you do break up, I promise I’ll take you, you’re quite the catch after all. Beautiful, fun… ambitious” Ingrid was getting closer and closer before the responsible side pulled her up from a terrible choice. “I’m ducking shitface.” At this point, Ingrid is like fully cuddling Dory slowly giving her sips of wine. “I’m sure you will rule fine, Dory. And Ayla” Ingrid looked at her, “I mean we can turn this into something that stays here if you're interested.” She leaned in a little and it was hard to tell if Ingrid was serious or not, “I am a little greedy after all.”

“Then it’s settled! If it fails with Manny!...” Dory looked Ingrid in the eyes, is it just the alcohol making her say this or is there something more. “I’ll make you a Hohnstein!...” She looked towards Ayla and smirked rather smugly. “Well, that’s my family’s own Spratzpepper! It’s the best thing you’ll ever taste!” The Feskan proclaimed proudly. “Spratz is the reason we have the best pastries in the world!” On that note, Dory tried her best to stand up. After wobbling a bit, Dory walked towards the kitchen and came back with a small container. She opened the container, revealing small sugared cookies. “You two want to try? I baked them yesterday so they should be plenty fresh!”

Ayla happily put her hand into the container to pull out the small sugared cookies. “Are these Feskan Stroopwafel?” She bites into them, feeling it break into her mouth as the gooey insides ooze out. She lifts it up with praise, having a newfound love of this Spratzpepper. “Heard about Spratz but never imagined it would taste so good. Here Ingrid, put your lips to this.” She takes another two out as she paces one in each of the girls mouths so they can enjoy the taste. “Spratz makes everything taste good.” She looks over to answer the previous questions. “It is good not to share ‘Sod Pillow’ stories or drunk ramblings, which only leads to embarrassment and awkwardness. So we keep it between friends and enjoy having a good time together.”

Ayla didn’t even acknowledge the flirt. Well, alright. No fun kissing for me tonight. Ingrid listened to Ayla, “Yeah, it would be for the best to not bring up the pillow talk.” As quickly as those wants came they left. The Fesken Stroopwafel was so much better than Ingrid thought it would be, “Dory how are you such a good baker? Do you think you can teach me sometime?” Ingrid had nothing to do besides eating and chilling. Honestly, Ingrid wants to bring out the weed but thinks that the alcohol should start knocking all of us out soon. Ayla appeared to be one calm moment away from clonking out and Dory. Well, Dory was a random card if this would be the end or the beginning of a long night.

“My mom forced me to be taught all kinds of skills that would make for a good suitor….” She took a bite from the Stroopwafel, happily smiling at her successful pastry. “But baking is the only thing I enjoyed, so I tried my best to be able to do at least that.” She looked towards Ingrid, confused at her question. “I never thought you wanted to learn how to bake, but if you want I can easily teach you!”

Ayla smiles as she leans against Dory, “Dory would make for a good housewife, feeding us all the baked yums filled with love and spratz.”, she brings Ingrid close to peck them both upon the cheek. “There you go. Really enjoyed spending time with my friends, this has been fun!”. She gives them both a big Ayla hug.

Ingrid is thinking that these are pretty nice. They are very sweet and they go with drinks very well. And the filling could be filled with honey. Hmm. I should talk to Zarina about this. Ingrid giggled a little at the peck on the cheek. Then the big hug. Ayla was the right person to bring here, she is wonderful with people. “I enjoyed spending time with you a lot as well. We should do it again.” Ingrid left it off on that.

The peck on the cheek was a little surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. Ayla really did bring out smiles out of even the toughest people. Dory looked rather concerned. “Are you really going to be able to reach your own room like that?...” She knows Ingrid could get in weird situations from time to time and now with her being drunk it might end up worse. “You two can sleep in my bed, I’ll sleep on the carpet!” The Feskan offered confidently.

Ayla drags Dory playfully down onto the bed. “Don’t be silly, there is enough for all of us, you’re not running off. It is your bed after all. Ingrid and myself only live a few doors down if you want us out” She reaches down to pull up the Feskan patterned blanket, the material being rather coarser than she is used to, but not complaining. “Come on Ingrid, time for you to go down with us. Would be nice being at a height where your eyes are the focus for a change”, tugging upon the tall Eskander girl to join for a soon sleepy rest.

It seemed it was going to be a cuddle session to end the night. Ingrid felt that she could make it home but cuddling seemed much nicer. Ingrid got into bed with them without any fuss. As she laid she took some heat away from her pillow because she knew that her face always feels hot after wine. Ingrid slept on the outside of the bed cuddling whoever was in the center. The soft bed knocked her out faster than any spirit.

Dory never really had any others in her bed past perhaps her servant back home. She might have to write Karl a letter to see how she’s doing, as for now she has two friends to keep her company for the night. “Thank you for this visit… It’s been really nice.” The Feskan chuckled contently as she was sandwiched between the two.

Hildr the Red

The bastard’s speech

Hildr, along with a company of Krissian knights were sent to raid along with some of the Eskandr, arriving later due to Wulfric’s speech “Do not disappoint Hrothgar, I wish to stay in his good graces for a while longer, you all got that? Don’t embarrass me in front of the Eskandr.”

The fields of despair

Was this the glory Hrothgar promised? Burning houses, viewable from miles. Corpses, some even deviled to the point even the gods wouldn’t recognise them any longer. “All of this is appalling, these men, women and children have nothing to do with this Crusade. . .” The knight mumbled to herself, using her foot to check if some of the bodies still had a semblance of life in them. ‘Is this truly what the Father wanted? Is this justice against the non-believers?’

‘No, there has to at least be some survivors around somewhere. I have to repay the mercy I have been granted a thousandfold’ “Ma’am, what are your orders?” One of the knights questioned her, snapping her out of her thoughts. “Look for survivors! There have to be at least some. . . There has to be. .” “What do we do with them, finish them off?” The same knight questioned their commander with a confused look on his face. “No, I wish to see them alive. They shall become prisoners of war, do not treat them with hostility.”


After some time passed a couple women, some boys and girls were rounded up. “Is that all? Is that truly all that’s left?” Hildr questioned in a rather irritated tone. “Yes, there have not been any more among the living here.” One of the knights replied. Hildr sighed before confronting the survivors with a soft smile and the little broken Perrench she learned from a time past. “Not worry, are safe now. I not hurt you.” that damned language is such a pain to speak. But it seemed to do the trick somewhat as most of them calmed down enough to escort them back to the camp.

There was one boy that looked at her with more than just contempt. It was more akin to hatred. Did he lose his family? Poor kid must try his best to act tough. “What about this one? where did you find him?” Hildr pointed towards the boy. “We found him hiding underneath a trapdoor, he was quite the pain in the ass to get him to comply.” “Any other survivors?” “No ma’am, we only found more bodies in the home.”

Hildr squatted down in front of the child and tried her best to comfort him. “Parents gone? kept you safe? Parents good people.” It was with that something in the boy and caused him to go in for a jab right against the knight’s face, causing her nose to bleed from the impact. Hildr smiled and did not retaliate. “Good hit for child. What your name?” The boy, shocked at the fact he wasn’t cut down on the spot calmed down somewhat and replied. “Aldéric, my name is Aldéric.” Hildr patted the kid on the back. “Strong name you has, Strong man you will be. I protect you from evil men.”

Hildr the Red

A Fallen Friend

The main battle concluded, all that remained was either dead or dying. Parrench and Eskandr share the same mud to die on. After roaming for a while longer on this field of death, Hildr found something that made her blood boil. A skirmish between Drudgunzean knights. She could barely notice the subtle differences in armor. To think brothers and sisters have slain each other for others. Did they even know what they were fighting for or did Wulfric fill their heads with grandeur. The elite Kressian knights, felled by their own brothers.

Among the bodies was a younger man, wearing more regal armor with an insignia all too familiar to her. It was the captain of Kressia’s Rote Blattes, Claus. The woman could feel own magic boiling up once more, trying her hardest to stay calm. “You damned fool… How dare you die before me…” Hildr, at the brink of tears, took the body of her deceased comrade and walked back to the ship.

All the while thinking about her brother, praying he wasn’t slain in this carnage. He might be a Quentic but he’s still her brother after all. What little affection she can give she will grant.

What truly was the point of this?


The knight’s expression grew dark upon seeing her liege celebrating with some of the Eskandr. He was quick to notice Hildr and the corpse she was carrying. “Ah, if it isn’t my favourite knight! It seems they weren’t strong enough to kill you.” The man laughed as he drank before examining her further. “But what’s this here? Did you actually get hurt? That’s a first.” Hildr laid down the body. “Claus didn’t make it..”

Wulfric looked at the body. “A shame, now I have to look for someone who’d take the mantle of knight captain again. Perhaps this is your chance to become the captain. I am nothing if not generous after all.”

“Wulfric, I won’t take his place, I wouldn’t be able to do it any justice.” Wulfric shrugged before patting her on the shoulder. “You survived, take pride in that… And tend to your wounds.”

Growing Doubts

“I am powerful, but artless.” Hildr repeated to herself, remembering the dialogue she had with the laughing knight. He seemed weirdly sincere with his words. Those words burned into her mind. "not in control of your own abilities. You've relied on raw force for too long instead of learning how to actually apply it." Has that been the case? Was she too confident in her own power that she grew complacent? Then the line he told her after hit her "Truth is, I could've killed you, back at the court, and perhaps now. I mean that not as an insult, but as a truth.” It caused her body to shake from fear. Was she really that dumb that she couldn’t even notice how unmatched she was against him.

Why would he want her to be on the side of the Parrench? What could she learn if she did? “Do not remain beholden to the people of your past” What were his end goals with these words. Were they just to confuse her or was there truth behind it? And that name, Branimir… How would he know someone that’s important to her that she wouldn’t know?

It just didn’t make any sense. Maybe talking with Hrothgar would get some sense into her mind

Dorothea Hohnstein
von Albesatz-Danzau

Looking around the halls, only to see a bunch of fallen bodies laying around. Some look dead, others look fine enough. She really wanted to close in and help some of them to recover but Eun-Ji wished for her help and if she can save the ship she might be able to save most of the lives she put in danger. Thoughts about it being all her fault pass through her mind as the corridor now presents an even larger density of bodies. Her resolve to help turned rather dangerous as she thought to herself:

I must right my wrongs even if it may cost me my life.

Finally noticing her fellow student after a while, she steeled herself to not show any weakness in her expression. “Whatever I can do to help, I will do it.” She looked away for a little while before facing the other again. “I may not be great at magic but I do know a little Arcane magic, yes.”

She looked worried about the fact she might be of little use but however small her worth may be she needs to help. If only Karl was here… She always knew what to do… To think she has been separated from them for quite a while now. However, they’re not here so she might as well try and think about what she might do.

She spilled no words and simply nodded as the Feskan and Eun-Ji rushed through the rest of the entertainment deck, finding Leon and an unknown person. He looked to be okay enough to not really need her help, quickly making it past him to the outdoors. I would most likely make the situation worst anyway...

As they ran for the outdoors thoughts began to hit her again. Would Manfred hate me after what I've done?... He usually doesn't like stupid people.. and I am the dumbest of all... Did Carmillia really abandon me or was I just wrong with that?... Am I even worthy to be in Ersand'Enise? I haven't been able to master of the more advanced techniques... Maybe Feska would be better off without the legacy of the Hohnsteins dragging it down.. Her eyes began to show signs of sadness as even her own thoughts were beating her down. No time for that! I need to keep going.. I need to. She smacked her cheeks, making her determined face return once more.

Hildr the Red


A sudden blow of air hit the woman, granting her hyper focused attention towards the axe that laid in the soil. Was she being warned by an equal or another ploy by a sly bastard? Standing still, being unable to do anything after that forceful blast against her.

Noticing that the man that had warned her picked his axe back up as his focus turned towards the older man helping the Nashorn while she was too doubtful to act. She was letting worthy prey go just because she’s scared that she would be played around by someone that doesn’t fight with any ounce of respect. All of those thoughts would completely evaporate as Hildr noticed one of the people she really hoped to see now shared a battlefield with her. That filth of a cheap knight was here as well. It got her blood boiling, it made her feel something she hasn’t felt since her brother shamed her all those years ago. True, unchecked hatred for the person who made a fool of her in a court of imbeciles. Shaming should be followed by death or the person that was shamed shall return it twofold.

A Fateful encounter

The Drudgunzean would rush towards him, dragging the zweihander behind her before swinging it onto the soil with a full blow of uncontrolled force energy, trying to get his footing off before engaging.

The Bitch Knight raged at him, slamming her sword into the ground in what looked to be some sort of tantrum. So much power, Rodric thought, so little skill. He was nowhere near the massive furrow that she gouged in the ground. In fact, he was behind her. Was she truly so blind to anything but rage that she hadn't reached out and sensed his energy? The Laughing knight appeared behind her and stuck a Force-empowered dagger into her kidney. "Surprise!" he shouted, with a wicked laugh, Boosting himself immediately away and already drawing from the rain and the wind to create all sorts of illusions. This was to be a bullfight, and he had struck the bull first with what the Tourrare called the 'Vara'. Next, would come the 'Banderilla', and then, finally, the 'Estoque'. How he would bow and flourish before the crowd. First, however, he had to see just how this bull would charge. Before that, he decided to create five false Rodrics. They all bowed low. "Welcome to the show, milady!" they taunted, "you're the main attraction!"

Being stabbed combined with that horrid laugh almost set the woman off completely, although the cold steel that was momentarily into her back was a slight wake-up call. The woman stood still as she rhythmically tapped the zweihander on the soil. "Does your head still remember my sword? I would love to let you two meet again, however I had to leave them behind." A sly grin covered her expression.

"Hey lady!" shouted five Rodrics, "What's with the little tappy-tap-tapping?" They all stuck out their tongues. "You scared to come out and fight big bad nasty wasty Sir Wodwic?" They threw back their heads and laughed. Now! Hildr thought to herself as she increased the force behind the taps massively to get the laughing knight off his footing.
The ground shook and all five of them seemed to waver, as if he was having trouble maintaining the illusion, but one of them was the real him. "By the Gods," the Rodrics exclaimed with hysterical laughter, "I am so much better than you it almost hurts." Five arcane lances converge on Hildr, fast as a cobra striking, but they have little power behind them. Her armour melts a bit from the one real one and she lets out a yelp of pain. "Fight back!" Rodric demands, appearing in front of her. "Hit me, for Eschiran's sake!"

Pain, Hatred, Unbridled rage

It was then that something inside her snapped, the reason for her title wasn’t anything grand or honourable. Her name was nothing but the color that was left after her rage had burned out, a field of crimson red, friend and foe alike. She was nothing but a curse.

Hildr's rage boils up into a eardrum rupturing yell, the force energy of it was enough for the knights fighting around them to either stagger or be knocked out from the blunt trauma. Though her target, the mocking knight, was nowhere to be spotted. Did she take too long or was he just too quick. "BASTARD! COME BACK HERE!" Was all that she spoke as her yells had substantial power behind them as of now.

Rodric wasn't hiding. There were no illusions, no tricks. He just absorbed the force from her little tantrum and used it to leap far back. He yanked a half-dozen arrows from the battlefield and sent them for her head with what energy he had left.
The woman easily shrugged off the grazes the arrows left and continued using all she had. "STOP HIDING BEHIND THESE TRICK ATTACKS!" It barely mattered if it was friend or foe, these blasts did not discriminate as there was no control over the output any longer.

"Ah right," Rodric replied, "you'd prefer I stand there like a target dummy so might actually hit me. That's just called being a shitty warrior. No thanks!"
"IT'S CALLED BEING A MAN OF HONOUR!" Hildr swings her zweihander into the ground of the general direction of the laughing knight.
"There are lots of honourable corpses around here," Rodric said, almost conversationally. She slammed her sword into the ground for another of those shockwave attacks, but he'd seen that before and was ready. He absorbed what came directly at him and let the rest dissipate harmlessly. "Not very creative, are we?" He sent the energy back at her in a Force shove that smacked her in the helmet and forced her to stumble back, but she recovered momentarily and he didn't press his advantage. Instead, Rodric pulled upon the threads of light to create another illusion.

Hildr's mind was at its breaking point as she saw herself in that bastard's skin. There was no chance to win any longer. Her body tires from the yelling as it couldn't keep up with her own body's output any longer. Her own attitude would calm down from her body failing to keep up. "Bastard. . . You win, I give up. . . I surrender. . ." She kept her own senses on point as her eyes were failing here due to this illusion.

A Different Side of the Knight.

"Ah!" said all of the Rodrics, "So the old dog can learn new tricks!" A Rodric appeared right in front of her. "Well, colour me impressed." The entire world wavered: its colours inverting momentarily.

"Lemme let you in on a little secret, Hildr-the-Red: I actually adore your king: he has style, presence, panache! Alas, he worships false Gods and, well, I'm locked into mine along with my king, you know how it is. Oh, and you can drop the act, by the way. I won't be falling for it. I don't actually really want to kill you. You have such... power and so little control." The Rodric in front of her lowered its guard. "We're a bit away from the thick of it, don't you think? Why don't we sit and have a little chat, you and I?"

"Then.... let's chat for a bit, although I do need more than just words to fully trust you..." Hildr was still on guard but decided to not attack her foe. If he had something to say of substance... then she's willing to hear him out, his praise of wulfric was a point of interest that immediately resonated inside her mind, this sudden change in attitude made her almost physically flinch "Speak your mind then."
Rodric sits down beside her. There are still many Rodrics. She is still Rodric. "Why is it that you fight against us, Lady Hildr?" She tried her hardest to ignore the illusions as she sat down as well. "Because Wulfric told me to. Otherwise I would have most likely not bothered with it." A tired sigh was let out from the knight. "And to protect my blood brother, although I have yet to find him."

"So you're here out of obligation." He tilted his head to one side and spat. "I'm here because I like to fight. I could give a toss about Gods or kings. I wanna master my craft, you know?" He shook his head. "But not you maybe? Is your heart really in this?"

"I couldn't care less about what this is about. I love to fight, I am thrilled to test my skills although all these knights were not even worth killing... That one girl using illusions pissed me off..." the knight remembered the face of Osanna well, that grin as she mocked her.

"You are powerful, but artless," said Rodric bluntly, "not in control of your own abilities. You've relied on raw force for too long instead of learning how to actually apply it." He shook his head. "Truth is, I could've killed you, back at the court, and perhaps now. I mean that not as an insult, but as a truth. You should be on our side, Hildr. You could learn much. Do not remain beholden to people who are a part of your past." The lines were breaking. Someone high up on the Parrench side had panicked and sounded an urgent defense of the walls.

"It looks as if my fool allies are falling for your king's trick. Hrothgar is a wise man, even if cruel, but there is only so long that he can keep this up. The Parrench are not warriors by nature, but they are proud and they are very many. They will not let you take and hold this land." He started to rise, to leave.
"I can't just abandon everything I know, right?... Even if what you say is the truth, your king still made me an enemy for no reason." Hildr stood up, making sure there was no trick behind this. "If you truly wish for me to be an ally, then we shall talk it out." She looked him in the eyes, unwavering as she looked at the battlefield for a split second.

"Alas, milady, time grows short. The horns are blowing and fools are leaving. Think on what I've said, and you may want to look up a healer known as Branimir of Aldpest should your travels take you back to Kressia anytime soon. He may have much to tell you." With that, the many Rodrics disappeared, except for the one standing in front of her. He took a brief bow and left for the Parrench retreat.

Branimir of Aldpest?.... What would she have to seek with a healer? Does he know her? All of this left the warrior with many thoughts and doubts. Were the Eskandr in the right to waste so many lives for land they can’t keep? What was Hrothgar’s great plan after this?

Hildr walked away from any sort of danger towards the Eskandr’s landed fleet. She needs time to rest and think about what happened.

Dorothea Hohnstein
von Albesatz-Danzau

Interactions: Herself?, Zarra:@BreathOfTheWoof

“The ship is sinking? Did my reckless actions really get this bad? Maybe that man was right and I don’t deserve my people’s faith” Dorothea’s expression would worsen even further. “But if they need me, I can’t sit here doing nothing…” The woman was in a state of deep thought as everything in her close vicinity burned and flooded.

An image of herself with a wicked grin appeared in her mind. “As if you could ever live up to your family’s legacy. It’s a futile struggle, how can you even think that under the Rednitz you could even regain a small bit of the family’s former prestige?” “Shut it, Why would I think that?” A sigh came from the image “Accept it, you are only the heir of the Hohnsteins because your brother is more worthless than you and the only other candidate… well let’s just say you took care of that yourself.” “That was a mistake! I never thought he’d try to break the rules in a duel.” “Yet you crippled him for life for a small cheat, was that really worth it?” the true Dory's expression became more and more melancholic “I… I have nothing to defend that, that is why I want to lead this family to some extent to greatness.” The image began to get impatient with the self to cope with her circumstances. “Believe it or not but this joke of a noble family you call great will be nothing but a speck of dust once you fail once more and get married off to, what was his name again? Oh right, Alfred. You know, becoming his wife might not be the worst. It beats trying to save a dead family.” Dorothea remembered one thing that caused her to smirk. “If you truly think that, you aren’t worth my time.”

Opening her eyes once again the Feskan stood up. “If they truly need me, I should at least try. Giving up is not a thing I was taught after all.” standing up, not with the best mood but at least she stands again. The Feskan rushed towards the door of the cargo hold before turning around and looking at Zarra. “Thank you, for taking care of me.” Now turning back towards the door and running out. If she could help in any way she will.

Hildr the Red

The caravan had the woman on edge, being in this feminine attire didn’t help with her feeling off either. Her thoughts about it all came to a halt when someone approached her. “By Ipte, what have I caught here today? A fair lady.” Hildr was visibly disgusted with the man. “Could you please refrain from this, I do not wish for any trouble. . .” the man closed the distance further with intent in his eyes. “Oh, miss. I do not wish for any trouble. I just wish for some fun.” It was then that the man touched her, causing the warrior to grab his arm and slam him down, shaking the cart. “Dare to speak to me like that again you Quentic dog!” Just moments later the cart was silent and the man sat far away from the woman, clenching his arm.

A couple days have passed and the caravan hit its destination of Salterburgh. Hildr took a deep breath as she stepped out and looked upon her kingdom of origin. going through the capital to search for a place to stay the night, she could hear whispers about her. Had she done something that caused trouble here or had Kressia become Quentic too? She couldn’t care about that for now, all that was required now was a peaceful night’s rest. Finding an inn and rather swiftly hitting the hay. The same couldn’t be said for the morning as two Kressian warriors waited for her outside. “Hildr, Duke Wulfric wishes your audience.”

Wulfric, that man probably summoned her to ask for her hand in marriage once more. He wasn’t even that bad of a man either, liked and approved by her father as well. Yet something about him sets her off. Like the passionate attempts were more cold and calculated. Once arriving in the court the duke welcomed the knight with open arms. “HIldr, it’s been too long! Have you reconsidered my offer?” Wulfric stood up from his stool and hugged his guest.

“I have not, Wulfric. . . However it is good to see that you are well.” Wulfric would fake a pained expression. “Oh, Hildr. How you hurt me so!” There was a twinkle in his eye, but this play ended rather soon as a serious look replaced it. “This was not why I summoned you here. Have you heard the news about Hrothgar?” The woman nodded. “Of course I have, it’s spread to every corner in Drudgunze.” Wulfric extended his arm towards the other with a confident smile. “I want you to join me in aiding his assault.”

“I accept.” The warrior smiled warmly, shaking the duke’s hand. “However, you might need to wear the armor of one of my knights. . I have plans for you, friend.” Hildr would look surprised. “one of your knights? This isn’t a trick to get me stuck in Kressia again, right?” Wulfric let go of her hand and faked a shocked expression. “You know I wouldn’t trick you into working under me. . . However, I do have some gifts for you once we return.” A sigh followed the warrior’s breath. “What is it this time? A piece of land? Becoming knight-captain?” a sly grin covered the duke’s face. “No, no, nothing like that. I want you to take your father’s place as my personal aide. That Quentic idiot brother of yours has been pestering me for this position and I would much rather give it to someone who isn’t ‘the lesser’. You know your father’s spent from ever fighting again, this is why I need you, Hildr. . . What do you say?” The conflicted Hildr nodded. “It’s quite dirty to bring my father into this. . . However I agree Siegfried isn’t meant to be in that position, especially after converting. .”

“Wonderful! Now that that’s sorted, we have to discuss my plans. I will plant you into my forces wearing our attire. We wouldn’t want them to know a dragonslayer was within our midst, you’d become an instant target and you’re worth more to me alive then dead.” “I see, that makes sense. I don’t think I’ll be able to move as comfortably in it however. .” Wulfric laughed. “That is the point Hildr, to not catch too much attention! If a knight suddenly starts fighting with the same force behind their hits as you they’d immediately realize something is off.” With an arm over the other’s shoulder the duke showed much confidence in his plan. “I will make sure the armor is fitted for you before we depart. Be sure to be ready within four day’s time.”

As some time had passed a rather annoyed Hildr would look upon the fleet that she was among. “I never thought Hrothgar would be this serious about it. . However the battle will turn, none will be happy with the results.” the Red now in Kressian knight attire would be approached by the same duke that had coerced her to join. “Isn’t this great? This will be our great triumph over those Quentic swines, hah!” Hildr was hesitant to be too excited. “Will this really be a triumph? Word has probably already spread and I am sure they wouldn’t be dumb enough to not reinforce it. . Hrothgar’s a smart man, but this will just get good men killed.” “I’m sure he has a plan that would be foolproof.” The duke laughed before returning to his men.

I’m sure you’re also going to be there, blood brother. . And I hope you were wise enough not to have Vali join you. That boy is perhaps even more talented than us both, but he is not ready for a battle like this yet. .

Hildr the Red

It took her quite a bit of courage to even have the gall to talk back to him. With a rather shaky voice the knight responded.

"I only believe because of the man who gifted me with a life worth living..."

She tried to swallow some lingering saliva as her throat felt dry after the king confronted her about her blood brothers. It was then that a reassuring memory of her first blood brother, the death hand from their time slaying the beast. Hildr let out a soft smile.

"Do not worry your highness. If I meet them as enemies... I shall sent them to their grave honourably... More than I would give the Parrencemen."

Otto paused for a moment, seeming to consider. If anything, his scowl only deepened. "Clear a space," he commanded, drawing a mighty longsword. "Bard, let us see how well your music might follow the cut and thrust of battle." The king squared himself up. "It is clear to me that you cannot be trusted," he told Hildr. "However, I am nothing if not a fair man. You heeded my summons in good faith and so I shall give you a way to leave here in spite that you are my enemy."

He cleared his throat. "Sir Danneman, step forward." At that, a small, nimble-looking man emerged from the pack of guards. His armour was lighter than most, only covering vital spots. He held a number of daggers strapped to his person and a bastard sword in his left hand. He began circling wordlessly, eyes fixed on Hildr and yet darting about his surroundings, taking them in. "This is Sir Rodric Danneman, a... knight in my service. I would fight you myself but, sadly, I now have higher responsibilities as a king."

The guards had cleared a large space in the center of the great hall. "This shall be a duel," declared the king. "Combatants shall fight to first blood and no further. Fatal blows are to be discouraged but, in the heat of the moment, we shall acknowledge that accidents happen." Otto glanced at his chosen champion. "Should your hand slip and this pagan goes to meet Eschiran and know the error of her ways, you will not be counted a murderer."

"At stake is your freedom as an enemy of this kingdom." He turned to Hildr. "Win and you shall be given provisions and four days to cross the border into your native Kressia. Lose, and you shall be imprisoned as an enemy national." The king stepped back, surrounded by a dozen royal guards, and raised an arm. They began shouting words of encouragement to Sir Rodric: "Eschiran empower you!", "Slay that heathen!", "We shall feast after this, Rod, I know it!"

After a moment of tense silence, Otto dropped his raised arm. "Commence!" he shouted.
All at once, there was a large intake of energy. Sir Rodric disappeared and, surrounding Hildr were five of him. Each began stamping his lead foot, and the sound seemed to come equally from all directions.

Hildr could feel the stamping of that lead foot resonate through her entire body, the thrill of the coming battle overtaking her. It was invigorating, although the way the opponent was fighting got the hire blade rather annoyed.

"Rodric was it?... May I have the privilege to ask what kind of parlour trick this is? I thought this was meant to be a battle, not a dance." To think someone would dare use illusions in a duel. It made her all the more mad thinking about it. "To think Otto sets the bar for being a knight so low, I almost pity the other knights for being grouped with you." A sly smirk covered her face as she showed herself in a false sense of being open.

There was not a word from Rodric. Instead, one of the five of him plunged right for the opening, while another, moving perhaps slightly faster than the others, circled around to the precise opposite side, trying to hide his half-step forward and tensing up to strike.

There it was, that rush of adrenaline, the man didn't even try to hit her in a non-lethal spot. Hildr picked up a divergence in the sound, it wasn't only the one in front that stopped circling her.... There was also one that deviated from the other side. seeing there wasn't any more time to respond, the knight moved her body slightly to swing the arming sword while aiming for the temple, hoping she calculated his steps well enough.

There was nothing that motivated Sir Rodric quite like a good insult. Nothing more enjoyable to take down than a haughty knight who judged him based on his fighting style. That this pagan would think him so predictable!

Hildr's sword flashed through the shadow clone that he'd set up to give the the appearance of being his true self, sneaking in from behind. Meanwhile, the assassin came at her from the front, his true self the obvious 'decoy'. His sword plunged into the gap beneath her armpit and struck true, drawing a small trickle of blood from beneath her armpit.

Yet, then, something crashed into his head with stunning force, and he staggered backwards, blinking furiously.

The stinging pain of being struck hit the knight as she realised she had guessed wrong, angering her to no end.

Using force magic to draw the blade back with unexpected speeds for such a blade. Hitting the knight of trickery in the head with enough force to draw blood, her pummel barely stained from the quickness of it.

The woman goes in to strike the disoriented knight once more before realizing she had already drawn blood.

Rodric staggered back but quickly caught himself, automatically warping the light to disappear from sight, and not a moment too soon. She had one in for a second strike, the filthy pagan, intent on unnecessary bloodshed as they all were. She was quick as she was wicked and uncocuth, this Hildr: the work Force magic, Rodric knew, an 'honourable' type of magic to the haughty types, while his wasn't. He was used to the double standards by now, of course.

He reappeared some distance away and bowed. Imperfection on his part, but he had learned much. "It appears she drew blood at nearly the same time as I," Rodric admitted. "I apologize for my failure, my king." If he'd faced her the way that he preferred, of course, without the formality of a duel in King Otto's great hall, she wouldn't have even seen him coming. The pagan bitch would be lying in a pool of her own blood, mewling for her heathen Gods to take her soul to their green groom or whatever it was. As it was, he had embarrassed himself utterly by not making sport of her. Such strength and reflexes, he acknowledged to himself, and the former for a woman!

Sir Rodric Danneman knelt before his king and bowed his head low. "I shall compensate for my failure by going in person to Relouse, should your majesty allow it, and leading our mission there."

King Otto stepped forward, now that the duel had reached its unsatisfactory conclusion. "It appears that Dami has spared you for the time being, but as halfheartedly as possible." He addressed Hildr now. "For what purpose, I cannot say, but I bow to the wisdom of the Pentad." He cleared his throat and twisted. "As for you, Sir Rodric, you shall accompany our contingent to Relouse. You shall fight in that conflict and you shall return here and advise me as to the strengths of the two armies involved. We shall speak at length this evening.

He regarded Hildr once more. "As for you, woman, Sir Rodric struck simultaneously and, had he not been aiming for a wounding strike, doubtless could've sent you to your death. Thus, coupled with your behaviour and refusal to disavow false gods, the initial generosity of my offer has been rescinded. You are to leave, immediately, with but the articles in your possession. On my honour as king, you will be given two days to remove yourself from my kingdom, unharried. Should you return, however, I expect it shall be among the Eskandr, where you shall be shown no quarter nor mercy." His guards formed up around him. They parted only to let her pass out the door.

"She will have none from me," said Sir Rodric quietly. Then, more loudly. "I look forward to seeing you upon the beaches of Relouse, my lady, though I doubt you will so much as see me before meeting your gods."

As the battle had come to a close and the tension left the room, Hildr’s normal attitude returned. Coming off much weaker as before.

“Then I thank you for your accommodation… And hope to the Father to not meet you in battle, your highness….”

Being escorted out of the hall seemed rather unnecessary to her as the knight already planned to leave. Kressia… She hadn’t been there in a while and it might be worth some coin to be hired there once more. Lindermetz, however, was a lost cause. They’d been wary but open last time. Now, a kind of dogmatic inflexibility had taken over and they were kicking her out as if she were a criminal after having invited her as a guest.

She brushed out of the doorway and there stood an array of commonfolk being ushered away for the day. One woman, however, remained, hands posted on hips. “I heard what happened in there, Lady Knight.” She was middle-aged and a bit overweight, with a leathery face and hard, flinty eyes. “It ain't right what they done to you.” She shook her head. “But they been doin’ it more an’ more lately.” She glanced sourly at the door and, rather presumptuously, reached out and took Hildr by the arm. “Now, they given you two days because they know it in’t enough time to get outta this place, but that’s if you’re you.” She grinned, displaying a crooked, yellowed, but generally well-cared-for set of teeth. “We fix you up with a traveling cloak or a nice dress - on your coin, of course - hide the weapons in a bag… nobody’ll be the wiser. I know a caravan leaving for Salterburgh* ‘round about dinnertime. We hurry, we can getcha on it and somewhere safer.” She paused, forcing Hildr to do the same. “Name’s Frida, by the way. Already got yours. Now what say you?”

"Why would you help a heathen?... Shouldn't you hate me for following the old ways?" Even though she herself wasn't even that religious, she did get the downsides of it. "But if you truly offer it from the bottom of your heart… I can't refuse… I'll pay for it all.. and I'll be in your debt.." Hildr let out a soft smile towards the woman.

Frida quirked an eyebrow. “All muscle and not much brains to you, huh?” She shook her head and lowered her voice. “Not all of us are on about Ipty, Damy, Shoon, and whatever the other two are, you know.” She sniffed and shook her head tightly. “We should be looking out for each other jus’ like the Quentists do. Anyways, fair’s just fair, you know, and you didn’t get ‘fair’ treatment at all. Bugs me.” She pressed her lips into a line, businesslike, and nodded. “Now let’s get you dolled up and on your way. You’re a pretty young thing beneath all that armour. Shouldn’t be hard.”

Hildr would blush slightly as the other complimented her appearance. "You're not a Quentist?... I never would have guessed... Alright, let's go with your plan. I Will promise to pay you well for your efforts." It seems that the woman was true to her word and after a small redressing in more feminine attire, Hildr set off to Kressia in a newly made dress. It had made her feel rather awkward.

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