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2.1 Happenings as Usual


The sun was cresting the morning horizon, bringing with it light and warmth that those in the arboretum craved. Casii could feel the grass around her tingle in excitement as they began to gorge themselves on that sunlight. The roots of nearby trees that stretched below her stirred in life like they were waking. It was encouraging to see that these plants continued to thrive in spite of the yaniis around them. If they could do it, she certainly could try to. It’s like Isii said. It's just what we gotta do.

The Student Faire was meant to be the place to do it. Casii reached into her bag and withdrew a familiar seed, taking it and giving a whirl in her finger before tossing it to her side. She channeled through the seedling and it sprouted swiftly, roots embedding and a bud growing. In less than a minute, a brown head of what looked to be cabbage had grown. Of course it wasn’t as innocent as cabbage.

Casii turned over to her plant and plugged an outer leaf. It was thin but durable and very flat. She spread it out in front of her and turned her attention to the head of the clustered brown cabbage and tore into it, digging towards the center and most dense part. Here she’d find the richest part, densely packed layers of leafy goodness. She’d pull a sizeable amount of material and crunch it into her hand. With a touch of magic, she ground the material into fragments.

While she worked there, she had magic take over on the leaf she had flattened. Water was pulled and the leaf dried out becoming rigid like paper. The perfect vessel for the fragmented material allowing Casii to sprinkle it in. When she had used up all the particles, she rolled the leafy paper into a joint and placed one end into her mouth. She laid back again watching the sun come up.

A blue flame flashed on the end of her joint, igniting the end of her joint and allowing her to take a huff of sweet intoxicants. She exhaled, blowing smoke with a certain satisfaction before turning to the remains of the plant. She pulled from it one seed and stuffed it back into her bag before the whole plant turned to dust.

While the Societies for the Faire set up. Casii would bake in the morning sun like the plants and trees around her, too.


Interactions: None
2.2 Faire-ly Easy Choices


Casii turned and spat, the black tar of her Jamb’ysp coming out. A passerby nearly had their shoe spat upon and looked disgusted, jumping away and mildly cursing. Casii didn’t notice as read through her society list. Her scrawlings are written in yasoi, naturally.


She gave the nut in her mouth a swirl, shifting it to her other cheek in contemplation. Her head jerked up in recollection, scribbling another name down.

  • Essence Club


She had apparently been on their watchlist for a while. They were cool. For yaniis, anyway.
Camille de la Saumure

Interaction: None
3.1 A Bittersweet Arrival




The Eskandr had withdrawn by the time Camille, the Queen, and the company of knights had reached the city. They could have given chase, but it hadn't crossed the young paragon's mind as she charged into the city, racing Perrin through the rough remains of the tightly packed streets, she reached what would have been the front door to the keep first.

The great wooden doors that she had remembered had been splintered and broken, replaced the mound of rubble from the keep. Camille had stood aghast. She thought the worst had befallen those that she knew. Had the keep fallen before they got here? The weight caught her chest, threatening to topple her from the back of Perrin. It had only been a familiar voice that called to her that caught her attention, stealing her away from the dread she was feeling.

"Dame Camille! Dame Camille!"

A hand waving had in the pile of stones had caught her attention. She dismounted and rushed over, climbing the few chunks of rubble to reach the small window created in the debris. She peered in, catching the tired face of a man bearing patchy dark facial hair. "Chevalier Henri?" Camille couldn't believe the knight captain had made it. She looked past him, seeing others hurrying over to witness their salvation after three days from the bitter siege. Camille had heard them muttering, passing the word along.

"Dame Camille!"
"The Grand Armee has arrived!"
"Oh bless the Pentach for this mercy!"
"We are saved!"


Camille muttered a prayer to Dami to give her strength, throwing herself at the rubble to create a larger opening. She had managed to do just that, expanding the window Henri had been peering out of by using her enhanced strength to lift a partial pillar out of the way. Many of those inside had gathered to witness the great Dame Camille stand at the threshold, light of the sun illuminating her from behind.

Their faces… She could remember the awe in them… but she didn’t deserve it. She was far too late to save most of them. She would have looked away but she was looking for people in particular. They were all faces she recognized at some point but…

”Camille!”


Her eyes went wide as she witnessed two of the people she was looking for. Marc was there in front, waving at her. Behind him, Marion, who looked a bit shaken and the stain of blood down along the front of her dress were signs she didn’t make it out entirely whole.

Camille slid down the crumpled stone, nearly losing her footing in her haste. She wanted to see them! Ask them about what happened.

”Marc! Marion!” Camille’s lips actually curled into a timid smile as came to a stop before them. ”You are alive.. I-” She lunged for Marc, wrapping her arms around him. She couldn’t help it. For three long days, she rode alone without her friends. It was nice to see a friendly face. ”I’m so glad you both made it.”

Camille tucked her head into his chest. He had a tight, warm hug. Just like his father. Marion slipped in and the dame made room for the three to embrace in a tender moment. She’d pull away quick enough as curiosity got to her.

”Where’s your dad?” She held her smile like she was expecting a quip to come from behind her at any moment. Yet all she was given was a pair of disappointed looks. They couldn’t even look at her. Her smile faded.

”Where-?” Camille managed to get out, but never found the strength to continue.

”The Eskandr broke through. Papa threw everything he had into closing it and he was trapped on the other side.” Marion heaved a sigh, like she had long since processed the reality. Camille focused on the cloth wrapped around her eye. She had taken a cut that had been healed, but the crust of blood was still there. ”He sealed us in, protected us. If you didn’t see him out there then I fear the Eskandr might have taken him.”

Camille felt her heart drop. Claude being taken by the Eskandr… What would they do with them? She heard they weren’t kind.

The dame swallowed, feeling a lump in her throat as she finally approached another conflict. This wasn’t everyone that had been saved inside the keep, surely her parents were inside just waiting to hear about her return. ”What about my papa and mama?” She had a bad feeling.

”I’m sorry, Camille. I don’t remember seeing them come in here before we shut the doors.” Marion stated plainly. Camille turned to Marc, who shamefully shook his head as if he felt responsible.

That wasn’t fair to him. It was on her for failing.


Interaction: None
3.2 Fields of Fire || The Lament of a Saint


Camille had spent the rest of the day helping her hometown. She pulled survivors from wreckage and fires and laid healing hands on those wounded enough to need tending. The people she helped all uttered their desperate thanks and each time, it sank the dame low. She had failed them. If she were truly worth it, then she’d have stopped the Eskandr on the beach. Slain the wicked fire witch. Routed the enemy army off their land for good…

Yet each person thanked her and praised Dami for sending them a saint. A few, Camille had even outright refused but they only claimed her to be humble. It was exhausting and by the time the bishop began his sermon, Camille collapsed in a slumber only to be awaken by Marc with a snicker after discovery.

The next day, Camille had set out early for the beach. It had meant so much to her, the white sands of Port Morilles that she had carried a bag with her. That bag still sat tied to Perrin’s saddle, believing she’d never see it again. Yet here she sat not in relief, but in loss.

It was so easy for her to recall the time before when she sat on this beach. Armand, Claude, and her parents, Pierre and Berenice, were still alive waiting for her back in the town. Waiting to say their goodbyes together.

Her fingers curled, buried in the sand she strangled the clumps of sand she clung to. Her faith was being tested in her head. Why had Dami judged the good of her loved ones to be not worth it?

”I’m really trying but am I not good enough?” Camille muttered looking up to the dawn sky, expecting a sign. The rhythm of the waves rolling had been her only answer.

For a time.

”I knew you’d be out here.”

Camille jumped, knowing who it was and turning to face her father. She froze, not believing this was real at first. In fact, not even recognizing her father. He looked older, like the past four days had advanced his age by ten years. Dirt and grime covered his face and the lack of sleep had worn his features to look like they sagged with advanced age. The dim light of the rising sun didn’t help either.

”Bastards damn near chased me to Torragon.” He limped over to her side and collapsed onto his bum next to her. ”But when I heard you were here, I told them you’d be out here. Heh.” He forced a single chuckle before grunting as he leaned back on his hands. He looked exhausted.

He looked at her, his face unwavering in a steadiness but even Camille could tell, there was so much he wanted to say. She couldn’t figure out what to say either. Instead she quietly slid over to his side and leaned against him, tucking herself in a ball and making her as small as possible as one of his arms came around to her shoulder.

Her father had been pursued by the Eskandr ever since they broke into the city. Berenice and him had ran for the keep, having both volunteered to fight the fires during the siege. They were cut off from getting to the keep and tried to escape to the caves. The invaders pursued them, chasing them both into the countryside where they were separated. Pierre had spent the night searching for her. He never found her. He hadn’t slept in nearly two days and hardly had the strength to stay awake.

Yet that arm around Camille flexed enough to hold her tight as the two watched the sunrise and the waves crashed in.

No words were exchanged but it was enough.

Interactions: Ismette [@ForceandFury]
1.1 All that is Faire that Ends Well!


How long had it been since facing a Wyrm and surviving?

It already felt like an eternity. Somehow facing a lethal sand dragon was a little more comfortable than dealing with this. Yanii-land.

Life here was a slow, meandering existence of horrid urban life. She had forgotten how tight and closed in she felt in Ersand, having experienced the liberty of the Refuge’s openness as really the only collection of yanii buildings as far as the eye could see. Here, however, it was closed in with walls that felt like a cage for a fenced in animal.

She missed home.

It felt odd to think about it. Having desperately wanted to get out there and see more of the world, but having ventured through a portal on her trip only to return to a place that wasn’t really her home messed with her. She wasn’t returning to the familiar comforts like all the other yaniis were. It was like she was taking another trip to somewhere exotic. She sighed, turning to the wyrm pearl she had tucked under her arm. A rare, attractive keepsake that she had found on her recent journey. She didn’t really know what to do with it. Her grand na would tell her to bring it back to the Mette’stiroi but if her grand na was right about that, it hardly didn’t have the meaning it used to.

She threw her torso back in frustration letting her head thump against the branch she was lounging on. ”Ow.” She uttered rather plainly for just taking a lump on her head. At least she had enough sense to ask for help in this situation. Invited rather hastily in passing earlier in the day, Casii had asked Ismette to come find her in the park in her secret grove. It was open to all yasoi but she had issues with yaniis hanging around.

Ismette was… attractive, Casii had kept considering. Not just in her tall petiteness, mind you, but how she seemed to have herself all figured out outside of the homeland. She seemed so confident and assured. Ever since their awkward meeting of Casii coming down from her aberration thrill, Ismette had been there for her.

She needed it.

The aberration had been an impulsive decision. Indulging in it just like her kin back home had left a sour taste in her mouth. Figuratively speaking but in reality Casii was still feeling it. Her head seemed to have a gnawing pain like a stomach yearning for food. Energy seemed to be another symptom as lethargy slowed her for the following days where she even doubted she’d be able to lift herself out of bed.

Such a price for an aberration. If another one came by, she didn’t want it… How did Ismette manage to refuse? Casii needed to know…

A brushing of leaves sounded and Casii’s ear twitched. Someone seemed to be coming. ”Izzii, that you?” She called out in her native yasoi tongue.

“Dii,” teased the other, “Nax ya Papa Curliix. Rawr!” She hopped nimbly up into the branches and grinned impishly before letting it fade into something more appropriate. “Eleh uush joi, suunei?”

Translation: “No, I’m Papa Curliix. Rawr!” - “What bothers you, sister?”

”Vish nax, fo’senii yasoi pai’it selang fi’ela Casii vel Papa Curliix.” Casii mused, waving her hand but not stirring from her spot upon her branch. She did, at least, prop her head up to meet Ismette’s gaze, lifting her wyrm pearl. ”Nax wiip yuul eleh juu’juup sin o’panuu.” She let that hang for a moment before quietly follow up with an admission. ”Rey ela juu joi liisan’yanii pan? Nax wiip yuul…”

Translation: ”Lucky me, for now yasoi will tell the story of how Casii fought Papa Curliix.” - ”I do not know what to do with my treasure.” - ”And how do you live among humans well? I do not know…”

After a brief giggle, Ismette sighed. “Panuu ya posh.” she waved dismissively. “Eshe ap ol joi soceh ap; thrii ap ol el’muul ilac. Ismette ya el’paltha par’wes elai joi’ya dii’dolrey jiiruul yanii.” She cocked her head to one side, a bit concerned. “Joi tajuup yim Ismet, suunei. Pelosh ap ziib’it nax ziib’it joi.”

Translation: “The treasure is easy. Keep it if you like it; sell it if you want money more. I’m more interested to know why you’re uncomfortable among humans. You can tell me, sister. Maybe it will help me help you.”

Casii shuffled in her spot as she considered the yasoi’s advice on the treasure. The pearl was pretty but she didn’t even really have a home right now and she certainly didn’t trust her yanii neighbors to not go snooping. Selling it, maybe, but what did she want with money?

She blew air out of her mouth and returned to reclining, watching the wind blow at the leaves above. ”Suunei…” Casii began, continuing in her native tongue to try and outline it all. It had been awhile since she had spoken her natural language. It almost felt off at first but now it was coming back to her. ”... Do you feel comfortable in all those buildings? Ever been to Southern Mycormi? It’s so open and here it feels so closed. It ain’t just the people. It’s the whole thing.”

Ismette shrugged. “Sometimes it seems like yesterday when I left home. Sometimes, it seems like a century.” She let out a sigh, idly swinging a foot back and forth beneath the branch she was perched on. “I guess… you just have to find your space, go your places, adjust what you can change and accept what you can’t. Otherwise, yeah, you’ll go crazy.” She pulled a knee up to her chest and rested her chin on it. “Rooftops in a city like this are fun. Sometimes, at night, I treat the towers and spires like trees.” She grinned, but it faded quickly. “I think we’re a bit different. I’m… much more of a city girl than you, so the adjustment’s probably easier for me,” she admitted. “You’re from down south, after all, but some things are still the same. Houses for us are small things nestled in the branches: a safe and comfy place to sleep and store our junk. Yaniis live in them, like really live there: they occupy their houses much of the day and fill them full of comforts and other useless junk.” Ismette shook her head. “I don’t get it either, but we’re in a space that they built. It’s like transferring a plant to new soil: you’ve gotta find a way for it to take and grow, and maybe you bring a bit of the soil it came from with it to make it easier.” She sniffed. “I’m talking a whole awful lot and repeating myself.” There was an eyeroll. “Trying to get all philosophical on you. I dunno if it’s any good. I guess I just sort of kept what I could, adjusted some stuff, and learned to live with others. If you wanna travel, that’s what you’ve gotta do. Our ancestors did it,” she reminded Casii, “back in the good times. No reason we can’t.”

Casii slid her feet up so they bent at the knees as she lounged about, bouncing on her toes to make her legs shake idly. She listened carefully to what Ismette had to say. All of it, really. It seemed like she was reading right out of one of grand na’s lectures. She never really figured out the yaniis but just knew what they were like. Knew that they had to get along with them and it was all part of the adventure.

Patiently waiting until Ismette finished up her talking points, Casii remained quiet. ”I reckon any tree needs a bit of nurturing to get right comfortable in a new spot…” She mused, taking to the plant growth analogy quite well. It was what she loved, after all. ”...Guess that makes you my gardner?” She chuckled, turning over to give Ismette a grin.

Privately she mulled something in her mind for a moment but enough to be considered a noticeable pause. ”No sense in stopping now. With all your preaching, you might put me right to the best sleep I’ve had since coming.”

Ismette chuckled at the remark. “Harsh, suunei! Harsh!” She let the laughter fade. “But true,” she admitted mock-sheepishly. “I have a habit of preaching. You should see how it drives the yanii nuts to have a pointy-ear moralizing at them. Half the time, I do it for kicks!” She giggled, but it was not early, and it turned into a yawn.

Casii sat up, spinning on her branch to turn towards Ismette. ”Only thing is, I never quite found the trees here as comfortable. Not on my own, anyway.” She nodded towards Ismette, ”But looks to me that your lap is the best pillow around. Reckon you can spare me the time?” Casii’s feet kicked as she leaned forward, gleaming with her thinly veiled advancement.

Ismette blinked. That had been quite the… bold maneuver. Casii wasn’t half–bad to look at, though, and it had been some time since Ismette had been with another woman.“Mama raised a real charmer,” she joked, scooting into something cross-legged and leaning back a bit. She pulled Casii’s head down to rest on her lap, staring up at the canopy. “You got nice hair,” Ismette decided, starting to run her hands through it, “even though you don’t take care of it.” She smiled down, heartbeat quickening a touch.

Casii fell easily into Ismette’s lap, nestling in comfort. Her legs slide down the branch and dangled in the air, idly swinging gently. ”Well thank ya.” Casii hummed, watching Ismette endearingly as those hands ran through her hair. ”Ya know if yer particular to a certain style, I would not object. Maybe you have some advice there, too, suunei?” Casii teased, feeling a bit on cloud nine. It had been too long since she spent time with a yasoi. Longer still since she had the comfort of someone interested in her. At least it seemed that way, her heart swelled but the nerves crept in. Was she too bold and this was all humoring?

”Got a pretty smile, ya know. Might have to steal your advice on that, too… Err make it, three.” She softly giggled, though she mentally kicked herself for being a little lame. She sought to change the subject. ”Kind of a fun way to start at the academy. Fighting a giant dragon and all. Reckon the rest of the year will be like that?”

Ismette leaned down and planted a little peck on Casii’s nose. “You’re adorable,” she remarked. “And yes, there are things I would do with your hair that would be art, or so I tell myself.” She blushed and smirked at the same time. “No money back if I mess up, huh?”

Casii provided a stupid grin in response to Ismette’s kiss on her nose as well as the complement. ”Fine, I ain’t gonna charge you…” She muttered in quick reply.

It was not necessarily an early hour, and the slightly older teen took a moment to snuggle a bit more as she spoke. “You know, I was originally going to dip out of that.” She made an awkward face. “I just get a… vibe I don’t like from the Paradigm. Glad I didn’t, though. I think that’s where all the interesting things are gonna happen, and maybe I can make them a little less violent: a little bit more about love and a little bit less about “pew pew pew boom boom crash, hmm?” She shook her head and managed an embarrassed smile. “At least, that’s the big ideal.”

Considering what the other yasoi said, Casii nodded along, shifting her head in Ismette’s lap. ’Suppose that’s a good reason. Too many spooks runnin’ ‘round here. Some yanii with lifelike dolls approached me before that trip. Knew somethin’ private ‘bout me as well as gettin’ head yanii’s trip invite. She knew ‘bout the trip ‘cause she was on it before bowing out but no way she could threatin’ somethin’ private ‘bout me like that without somethin’ unnatural.”

Casii reached a hand up and caught one of Ismette’s hands, gently clasping the back of her hand and holding it to her own cheek. ”Bit why I’m runnin’ scared here. Yaniis seem to be wantin’ more out of life. Too much. Fightin’ and quarrelin’ like there ain’t ‘nough to go ‘round. Our people ain’t much better, mufflin’ in our own struggles, but some folks believin’ it all comes from the yaniis…” Casii sighed, closing her eyes. ”...Not sure what to think, myself.”

Ismette let out a long breath. “The world’s on fire again. A few people with all the power want it that way and it burns.” She shook her head and shrugged. “But I don’t think it much matters if the yaniis caused our problems or not. Wouldn’t put it past them, mind ya. It’s just that we’re the ones who’ll probably be left to solve it, and I dunno if we can. Truth be told, that’s why I’m here. If I can make some friends among them: useful ones and decent ones, maybe they’ll actually help.” On that note, she went silent for a moment, listening to the crickets in the grass and the bullfrogs in the rushes. “Now, why are we on such dark things anyhow?” She was massaging Casii’s shoulders now. She stopped and gave them a little squeeze. “You’re too cute for that.” She smiled. How nice it was to feel the warmth of another: how very central to Ismette’s existence. It had been over a week and the last had been a big Kerreman boy, about as tender and loving as an ox. She longed.

Casii lifted her shoulders in a weak shrug, trying to disrupt the message she was getting. ”Dunno. This sorta thing happens when I get nervous. Feel sorta anxious about it all. Scared…” She trailed off, lost in a thought for a moment… or it seemed so because she refocused on ismette, looking up at her with a goofy grin. ”I always get nervous when talkin’ with pretty girls.” She giggled at her own theatrics, shuffling some of her deeper thoughts under the guise of her own tease. Ismette was right, no need to stress about things now. There will be a time for that to come back.

”Naw… it’ll be alright. My grand na always said we’d pull through so we will. Just have to spend the time right. You’re a good messager, by the way. I think you missed your callin’.”

“Maybe,” admitted Ismette, “but you may find,” she continued softly, “that I have many callings, and the hours of Ipte approach.”

”Oh?” Casii perked up, almost leaving Ismette’s lap. Instead she found the other yasoi’s hands and gently seized them, pulled them down, inviting Ismette to lean down so their faces were hovering close together. Casii’s heart leaped as she took a breath in. ”Care to show me?”

It turned out that, as talented as Ismette was at telling, she was even better at showing.
Camille de la Saumure

Interaction: None
2.1: Fields of Fire / An Unexpected Farewell



"What?"

Camille found herself stunned. The first meeting of the Red Table had concluded, of which, she was shockingly a member of. Yet Claude believed it was right. He had even told her that he was proud of her for that just minutes before. She liked to hear that but now, he was telling her something she didn't want to hear.

He was leaving her.

"That's the way it is. Gabriel wasn't too happy that the King was taking his best and with the Eskandr headed North, he's naturally concerned about Morilles."

It made sense. Somewhere in Camille's head, she could understand the logic behind it. Claude was being pulled to help the defense of her hometown, but she didn't want to be left alone. Her, Claude, and Armand... they always stuck together before. Why did he have to leave, too? She wanted to scream. Demand he stay with her. Do something other than stand there, dumbstruck and silent. Why couldn't she do anything? Was she really this pathetic?

Claude must have seen something in Camille's face as his expression softened, offering a sympathetic look. He reached out and gripped her shoulder. "It'll be alright, girl. Gabriel is pulling everything he can to add to the defense of Morilles. We'll hold if it comes to that. You and the army will catch up smash them from behind. You'll see."

She didn't believe him. He said several months ago that the Eskandr wouldn't attack with their full army. He said before the battle they would win. He said they'd all make it out of the battle alive. Now he was saying this. She couldn't handle it and found her hands curling into fists. "Liar." She muttered. Yet Claude didn't look deterred.

"Reckon my calling isn't an oracle." He joked with a light chuckle, but she was only finding his attempts at easing the mood to obstruct her real feelings. "Stop! Stop it! This isn't all some funny joke! Armand died. I almost died. Now you're leaving to what? Relax at home? Or maybe the Eskandr do attack home so maybe then you'll just die?" She protested, her face souring almost instantly at how crude it sounded. She saw it for a moment, Claude looked hurt but he quickly pulled her in to an embrace.

"I'm sorry this the way it has to be. I can't change that, but you'll be fine." He muttered, tightly squeezing his arms around her back. Her lip quivered but she didn't break down into tears, holding that urge back. She felt awful about what she had said but couldn't bring up any words to apologize. "I'll protect everyone back home and you, make sure you watch out for yourself. Come back to us in one piece."

Camille couldn't bring her arms up and around to return the hug. She felt frozen. Useless even now. She wasn't sure how long she was embraced but Claude pulled away, looking calm. "Goodbye, Puce." Camille stood there, looking defeated but she couldn't find the words. She didn't know how she felt. Angry, sad... It was all stirred in her, freezing her tongue.

Claude nodded, curling his lips in a weak smile. He turned quietly and grabbed his bag, headed out of the Cathedral. Camille was now alone.


Interactions: None
2.2: Fields of Fire / Siege of Port Morilles



THUUUM

The double wide doors of Gabriel's keep quaked from the Eskandr outside trying to break in. Claude had strangely found it be melodic like a drum considering everything else. He stood at the center of the entry hall to the keep. Shouts of panicked orders for assistance to sure up defensives. Chaotic stacking of debris and men to keep the door closed for as long as possible.

THUUUUM

Splinters of the door cracked and sprayed out into the hall. A Force mage was out there throwing enough behind it that it didn't matter. The double doors were being battered from both sides and despite its sturdy construction, certainly wouldn't hold. There was hope. The Grand Armee was approaching to reinforce and in a way every second counted that they could hold.

"Claude!" Remon, Gabriel's court mage ran up to him from behind, clasping a hand on his shoulder.

THUUUUUM

The bracing around the center of the door started to cave in. Claude could see the Eskandr outside, huddled and ready to kill the moment the door broke down. Claude turned from this and looked at Remon. He had with him. His daughter, Marion was with him. He gave her an easy smile though the return smile he got was uneasy.

"We had a lot of people run for the caves along the beach. They've been noticed and I think the bastards noticed and a portion of them have diverted to the beach."

Claude frowned, knowing what that implied. There was no escape in those caves and all those people would be butchered senselessly. He also suspected where this was going.

"You're going?" Claude asked. Remon nodded.

THUUUUUM

Wood shattered and men called out to keep that door closed. It was holding but they'd break in soon. Claude caught sight of his son, Marc, running past with a wooden bench help brace the door. "I'll go alone. You'll need everyone to keep the Eskandr out. The Grand Armee crested the horizon. They are close." A relief, however...

THUUUUUM

A bloodlusted Eskandr leaped through a hole in the deteriorating door, hacking at the first Perrench soldier he could. The berserker slashed into the man's neck before a spear from another soldier lanced him through the chest. "Go. We will hold." Claude called out, turning back towards the door. It was going to be blasted open in the next volley. "Sword in arms! Let them come through!" He commanded, and the men retreated from the door forming a line around him. Remon slipped away, as Claude glanced around.

THUUUUUM

The door burst open easily now that there wasn't the strength of man and magic behind keeping it closed. Bloodthirsty Eskandr rushed in. Claude swiped with a slash sending a lightning wave of magic through his sword towards the Eskandr. Two of them fried, staggering back. Claude felt the heat and saw the wave of fire spew out from Marion's hands, catching one Eskandr in a blaze but deterring the others to stay out of range. Instead, they funneled around to the sides, clashing with the line of Perrench troops.

Battle was met and the exchange of steel, blood, and magic happened quick. Claude was lost in the chaos for a time before he heard a dire shriek he didn't want to hear.

"Marion!" He called, knowing there weren't too many women in his battlegroup. He dropped back, glancing around the entry hall, looking for his daughter. There. She had shifted to side, back against the wall as an Eskandr raised a dagger. Claude shaped his free hand with two fingers pointed at man's dagger. He shot a bolt of lightning out that connected with the metal, zapping it from his grip. Marion, covering her eye, had enough time to realize she was in danger and lashed out with her Arcane magic, freezing the Eskandr's sweat, encasing him a layer of ice. She waved her hand as she slipped back to more friendly lines causing the Eskandr to burst in a collection of ice shards that back towards the doorway, showering the horde of Eskandr who were unlucky enough to enter in fragmentation of their former comrade.

"Marc!" Claude turned, finding his son by his side. "Watch your sister!" He nodded, moving off to find her.

Claude felt a lump in his throat. They were going to lose and he didn't want to lose it all. He looked back to the doorway, witnessing the Force mage that had broken the doorway. With him out of the picture, then he might just be able to buy a little more time. "Hold men! The King is coming to purge these invaders!" He found himself shouting, maybe he was heard. "Do whatever you can! Keep the Eskandr out! Dami guide us all!"

Not much of a final farewell, but to be fair, he didn't have much time to prepare.

Cranking up his Thunder Magic, he felt bolts arch around his body. He was going to overdraw for sure, but it would be worth it. "Rrrrrraaaaaaah!" He felt his body burning as she sprang forth, running towards the door. Electricity bounced from him to any Eskandr that approached him, frying them instantly. The Force mage easily caught sight of him and moved to blast him back, but he was far too slow to the draw.

Electricity pumping through his body, Claude's reactions were sped up. He felt himself juiced enough to slap his hands together sending a violent arch of lightning towards the Force mage. The Eskandr ignited in a burst of energy before falling gracelessly to the ground. Claude felt his body giving out and his dangerous aura of electricity was quickly closing in, letting the Eskandr get closer to him. He fell to one knee, cursing.

"Damn. Echeran... empower me." He muttered, glancing up at the doorway's threshold above him. With everything left, he channeled all his power into attracting the damaged doorway around him. Lightning shot out impacted the stone of the keep pulling in chunks to drop in around him.The debris of the keep piled around him, mainly behind him, forming a wall of debris that prevented access into the keep. One last act, he believed. One last attempt to protect his children and the people still inside the Keep.

Claude could feel himself collapsing, eyes closing with one last thought. How long did I give them?


Interactions: None
2.3: Fields of Fire / Close to Home



Smoke.

Camille could see and smell it. Riding up with the advanced Queen's guard, she was dreading the image of her hometown burning. Yet here it was. Had her parents made it to safety? Claude and his children? What of sweet El's bakery? Or Laurent's gallery? Everything she had cherished, could they all be gone?

Her heart sank, seeing her city like this. Queen Eleanor had managed to pull Camille's eyes from the carnage with her call to action. Ideas? Did Camille have any to be helpful? She was never too smart for tactics. Claude had always been the one to come up with strategies or ideas. So with him gone, what could she really do?

She glanced back at the city, remembering the last time her home was attacked. How that changed her fate bye hearing Dami's call. Maybe if she had taken a different route to the... keep!

"The keep..." Camille muttered, her admission settling in as she thought of what the keep meant to her. People ran to the keep that day over a year ago. Most of everyone would be there. Including her parents, Claude, Marion, Marc, and all the others. If they could get there then maybe they could be saved!

"Everyone tries to run for the keep in Morilles." Camille spoke louder, trying to catch the attention of everyone around her. "It is protected and stocked enough for a siege. There is an underground cave to keep more people protected than it looks. We should go there. We'll save as many people as possible!"

Perrin stirred under her, likely feeling Camille's tension. She wanted to ride now. Minutes wasted could mean everything!
Camille de la Saumure

Interaction: None
4.1: Siege of Relouse / Not an End



CRACK!

She could hear it. The breaking of her body as she was effortlessly swung around by the Silver-haired witch. In a blink of an eye, Camille had been full of life to being dumped to the ground unceremoniously, left to wonder. Was this worth it?

There was no glory.
Her death did not valiantly stop the witch's tirade and rampage. Many more of her people would die because she wasn't strong enough to make a difference. Perrance was retreating.

There was no dignity.
Whatever was left of her body was mangled. No one to honor her. No last words. She coughed, a mouthful of blood splattered through her mouth, only to fall back on her face.

Only the weight of a life cut short. Her eyes closed and the end, regrettable, embraced.


Interaction: None
4.2: Siege of Relouse / But a Beginning



Camille gasped, sharply inhaling like she was drawing a much-needed breath after waking from a nightmare. She had sat up a little too suddenly, a sharp twist to her chest and neck causing her to clutch at her tunic. Where was she? The ruined stone of the cathedral she had been laid to rest in had been cleared of the debris from the roof. This wasn't where she was because the last she remembered was...

"Girl."

Her head snapped to her other side, finally recognizing a familiar face, although she could tell by just the voice. "Wh-what happened?" She muttered, finding her first words after waking up to come a bit hoarse and requiring the clearing of her throat. Her long time friend did not look very pleased. Perhaps out of exhaustion but he had his head dropped low for an agonizing amount of time. He sighed, lifting his head. "Battle is over. Both sides are licking their wounds. You've been in and out of sleep for two days. You're lucky to have made it."

Camille frowned. His usual demeanor never slipped this low. Why was... Armand. The memory came rushing back in and she dropped her head. "Armand..." Whatever Claude's reaction, she hadn't been paying attention as she spaced out only managing to pick up on his response. "Killed, yup."

She didn't like this. Claude was usually so full of optimism and words. This wasn't the first time they had lost a companion and it always seemed like Claude was the one capable of pulling the rest of them out by just talking. It made it frustrating to her to hear him so short in his responses. So downtrodden. She glanced back up and eyed him. He was still in his armor sitting in the neighboring pew. He looked completely exhausted, like he went the night without sleep judging by how limp he looked. She didn't know what to say but wanted to protest the way he was acting. She was hurt too but he was always good at cheering them up!

Camille had opened her mouth but Claude immediately interrupted her, his voice raising and tone taking a sharp turn of anger. "Just what were you thinking, girl? Running off in a frenzy to what? Die by an Eskandr witch? You're better than that. You have to remember that!" He finally looked at her and even raised his hand, pointing at her. "Because the people who care about you, can't always protect you like that!"

He huffed in a breath and it was apparently enough for him to slide back into the pew. "We'll talk later, girl. A lot has to be said, but you've been summoned by the King. Not a very good look to be late. Go on. I'll be here when you are done." Claude muttered, closing his eyes and finally dropping into sleep. Camille wasn't sure what to feel but she didn't feel good.


Interaction: The Red Table
1.1: Fields of Fire / The Red Table


Camille arrived just in time, maybe the last to arrive at the meeting. She took her spot and glanced around. With her just in basic linen clothes, she couldn't look more out of place.

Collected under the King's command were a colorful cast of warriors and then there was little Camille who could barely fit in her chair. She frowned at the quick realization. This was a room of the Pentach's finest and if Claude's words meant anything, and they did, she was just a stupid girl who threw herself into danger senselessly. She didn't belong here.

The King and Queen stood proudly at the heads of the table with the King taking the lead to explain his plan. Camille couldn't help but sink in her chair, her mind drifting to thinking that maybe she should have cleaned up, too. Lords preferred those in their attendance clean up and look presentable, so she had always been taught. Now here she was. In the same room as the King and Queen, without having taken a bath and wearing her dull brown clothes with a messy set of hair. She could of at least brushed her hair.

She slide down in her chair, trying to barely appear. Hopefully she didn't have to say anything as the King finished up. Still something bothered her. The King was going on about taking the fight to the Eskandr but she disagreed. They had a duty to the people. To keep them safe. She had little love for the Eskandr but surely they should easily unite against the enemy in the lands, right?

Right?

Deserted 1.1: Fixin’ to do things Right this Time
Four Days Prior to 1.5





The Arboretum was the usual haunting ground for one of the only handful of Yasoi attending Ersand’Enise. Casii’fyret’alan had taken a big step in her life by becoming a student at the human academy. It was all alien to her. The stone grounds, brick buildings, and bustle of people, humans, everywhere had placed her out of her element. This wasn’t the thick woods of Mycormi that she knew and loved. This was the Yaniis' new world order if the folks back home were right and if they were, the world would be covered in stone and brick in a few hundred years. Maybe in her lifetime.

The, albeit weak, landscaping in the Arboretum was the only place Casii felt any comfort. Everything here had a real stink of being artificially made and it made her skin crawl. Even her dorm was uninviting and instead, she often slept out in the Arboretum. She even grew a cloister of native trees and plants, densely packing her own corner of the park to create her own room.

It wasn’t exactly sanctioned but Casii wasn’t going to budge. Any authority that challenged her had apparently given up after a while, maybe giving her a pass as one of the few Yasoi students. She wasn’t sure what the deal was. Regardless, she would have her peace after barking at any of the Yaniis who waddled over to her enclave like they were gawking at an exotic pet.

It made her right sick, same as the Yanii buildings. Thankfully they got the message she wanted to be left alone and they all stopped trying after a while. For a time she hardly braved a trip outside of her enclave but that was leading her down a path that wasn’t very fulfilling. Her grand na had told her to see the Yanii world and filled her with remarkable stories of what she could be experiencing. She wanted that and lately, she has been taking some big steps. None larger than this previous one: An invite to assist a group of students with their task elsewhere in the world.

Casii reclined in thought, sliding deeper into the great oak’s trunk as her continued to swing idly in the air. She ain’t ever seen a desert before and now she was going to experience it.
”Better be watchin’, grand na.” She muttered in quiet prayer to her passed mentor.

A nearby crow squawked in response and, for a moment, Casii mused if she was hearing her grand na, but she was attuned to nature well. Something about that bird was off. She turned her gaze towards the sound, catching a glimpse of the black feathered bird. Her eyes squinted to slits, studying the thing.

It wasn’t a bird.

There wasn’t life or warmth pumping through that tiny body but magic. Casii clenched her left hand into a fist, drawing magic but directing it towards the tree that the crow was perched on giving it life to and chemical direction to grow a sudden branch to impale the intruder. The bird made a distressed sound but it wasn’t the sound of flesh being impaled but wood being shattered. A soft voice projected itself just loud enough for Casii to hear coming from beyond her enclave.

”My, my. Perchance you could extend me an invite to enter your domain, then? We need to speak.”


Deserted 1.2: Deserted Lands
Interactions: Jocasta @Force and Fury
Two days prior to 1.5

Casii arrives to the Refuge and is greeted by Jocasta. She is shown the Great Path. Casii decides to make it her home for the next few days.


Deserted 1.3: A Lion and a Deer meet
Interactions: Ayla @Ti
Evening of 1.2

Casii is about to fall asleep and Ayla was practicing her dancing. Casii thinks the little Yanii is silly but Ayla is very sensitive.


Deserted 1.4: Tangling with the Yaniis
Interactions: Zarina @YummyYummy
One day prior to 1.5

Casii ambushed Zarina outside of her room in the morning. They suck on breakfast melons together. They clash over spitting versus swallowing and sasuage.


Deserted 1.5: Call to Action
Interactions: The Deserted Group
Present




Casii felt the world around her rush into view as she awoke. The Great Bath was still cloaked in the veil of night but she had a feeling that dusk would be arriving soon.The yasoi stirred to life, uncurling herself from her nest up in the Gran Nan orange tree. She threw off the blanket she had helped herself to the previous night. As it turns out, the desert gets cold at night but nobody ever talks about that.

Rising to her feet, Casii stretched her long body out and moved to get herself awake and to check to see how the rest of the Refuge was doing. She navigated the branches to face more into the Great Bath’s alcove, making sure to give each of her newly planted orange trees a once over. Several new orange trees were introduced as noninvasive as she could help it. They made the Great Bath feel closed off with the new additions acting as a perimeter wall. These trees weren’t as impressive but they did bear fruit and Casii would use them instead of Gran Nan if she required the mass.

It helped to have another greengrowth and teaching Luisa the intricacies of managing her family’s gift had afforded Casii the ability to go wild. Looking beyond her new trees, the Refuge seemed to be stirring to life this early in the morning. A night’s watchman ran past, his lantern weakly flickering from lack of care to add more fuel.

Casii squinted, crouching low as she considered the sight. They should be sluggish at this hour, not that energetic. She mulled it over in her head and decided to slip away from her commandeered nature reserve to further investigate.

She moved, light on her feet, to furthest branch reaching just enough to packed wall of orange trees. Leaping onto one of those tree’s branches, she moved from tree to tree until eventually reaching the staff’s patio. From there she climbed up to the roof of one of the buildings and ran across towards the front of the Refuge.

It wasn’t hard to notice in the great distance of nothing but sand, a few lights on this still dark morning. A collection of Yanii soldiers marched, lanterns held by some lighting their way. They were making no secret about their arrival, likely messengers arriving. A prelude to the soldiers she had been briefed about.

Quietly, the yasoi exhaled coming to a stop and turned around. She reached into her bag and pulled out a roll of smokeleaf sticking one end into her mouth while she climbed back down to the staff patio. A lantern had been graciously provided and present for her to take the smokeleaf joint, light it using the flames of the lantern. She took a great puff, smoke exhaled through her mouth as she climbed to the patio railing. She sat on the edge, looking out at the Great Bath that had pretty much been her home this past day, admiring the bits of overgrowth she and Luisa had done. It felt a bit like home and this felt like one last admiration.

It was going to be a long day.
Camille de la Saumure

Interaction: None
3.1: Siege of Relouse / Why Her?



Camille wasn’t sure where Claude was taking her but she went with it, her mind felt glazed over enough that she passively followed. His arm wrapped around her back, hand pulling her in felt too comfortable for her to leave anyway. Although as the furied lightning behind them faded behind them, thoughts of her friend Armand began to gnaw at the back of her head. What did Claude mean? He was still alive, right? Just left the area when things got bad… but she knew. The pain in Claude’s voice was there. She was stupid to think that her friend was…

Her mind drifted but eventually they had reached a point where Claude stopped and withdrew his hand from her shoulder. Camille absently looked around, settling her eyes on the river headed towards the sea. Her greatsword slipped from her grip, clattering to the ground on the edge of feeling something she didn’t want to. She wanted to ask what happened but she never found the right words and the two stood in silence.

She finally braved a glance at her companion, noticing instantly that he was nursing his hand. The very same hand that had been clinging to her shoulder. His whole hand was charred black, the leather of his glove burned away and the metal of his gauntlet was smelted and fused to the discolored flesh from a strike of great heat.

”Claude! You’re hurt!” Camille cried out, throwing off her helmet as she rushed over. Claude forced a chuckle. ”Heh. Funny story, that. One of those bolts was close enough to arc towards us after impact. I could feel it in my hand, the ricochet.” He huffed, wincing, as Camille wrapped her hands around his hand. ”Gods, the power that wielder is throwing. I deflected what I could but my hand.. Well that’s the result of playing with Thunder magic.” He chuckled, only this one sounded more sincere.

”Dami, please, heal my friend’s hand. Judge him kindly for saving me.” Camille chanted under her breath. She thought of removing the burned metal and healing his skin. The energies Dami bestowed her, quickly ran from her and into Claude’s hand. The metal seemed to burn away while the burned tissue seemed to quickly be replaced by new flesh growing underneath, dissolving away the damaged flesh. It only took a minute but his hand was nearly good as new when she heard Claude speak up again.

”I’m sorry, girl. Armand didn’t make it.”

A lump hung in her throat. She knew what he meant, even before he uttered the words to end any doubt. It wasn’t what he said but hearing his normally chipper voice waver as he passed the news was what made Camille break.

Her eyes welled up with tears, keeping her head down focused on healing her friend. She shouldn’t be crying like this. She had to be tough, inspire others as people often told her. Her role didn’t allow her to be soft. Maybe she might have managed to shake her grief but Claude knew better than to let her. ”It’s okay to cry, Camille.”

From all the time she had known Claude. He never did two things. One, willfully called her by her name and two, he always told her to play up this saintly, above everything attitude. She had to be stoic for the people and inspire them.

Camille whimpered as her lips quivered. Claude reacted immediately, withdrawing his now healed hand and wrapped it up and around the back of Camille’s head, pulling her into a kiss on her forehead before holding her tightly to his chest. She immediately broke down in a wail. Why did she have to be so weak? Maybe if she didn’t have to cry, she might have saved Armand.

Why was she chosen at all when she couldn’t even save people she cared about?



Interaction: None
3.2: Siege of Relouse / Dami’s Answer



Camille wasn’t sure how much time had passed. The sounds of battle and frantic activity persisted all around and yet, she wanted to continue to let herself go in Claude’s tight embrace. Her confliction about it was there but she felt too weak to push away or find her resolve until she was served a reminder of her duty.

Merde.
She heard Claude utter as heat soon kissed the back of her neck. It was strong enough for her to finally peel her head away from Claude’s chest and look to the source. Fire. A great burst that had ignited the infirmary tents just beyond the river. Tents burned, people were crying out at least those unlucky enough to survive the initial burst. Camille’s heart clenched at the revelation in her head that this was no accident.

No, this was a move made by the Eskandr. A heartless, wretched move to slay the sick and wounded and the very good souls that did their best to preserve their life…

Camille felt her jaw tighten and fingers curl in a low burning frustration. This. All of this was their fault. The war. Her life being stolen. Countless people dead. Armand…

What did they get out of this? She didn’t have the education to understand the answer to that. It wouldn’t make sense but there was one thing that did. Her creed and her role.

”It’s their fault, isn’t it!” Camille spat, her frustration starting to boil over in a rage. She pushed away from Claude, striding over to her greatsword.

Dami, give me strength. All of it! Let me protect your people!

She recited in her head as she picked up her sword. She turned and took a few steps before looking back at the river. She strode forward in a sudden burst of speed. Claude called out from behind. ”Wait now, girl! I don’t–” He started but Camille wouldn’t be around to hear what he said next. Instead she leapt, Dami’s Strength coursing through her muscles as she easily cleared the river. Not missing a stride, she landed and continued in an olympian pace through the torched tents and dying wails of the burned Perrench.

She knew this was caused by someone and she didn’t need to search for long.

There she was. Laughing. An Eskandr who would give no mercy to the sick and dying, would now be given no mercy.

”That’s enough!” She shouted though she doubted the savage could understand her. Her hands curled around the grip of her greatsword. This was clearly going to be no simple matter and nerves churned her stomach with a tinge of regret. She might have started shaking, both in rage and fright standing alone here, if not for the fact that she had a tight grip on her sword.

Now wasn’t the time for regret. Now was the time for bravery. She had the Pentach at her side and there was one prayer she had that wasn’t directly praying for Damii’s intercession. It meant so much more to her. It was focused on the image of the setting sun piercing through to light the banner that had set her on this path. It was everything to her conviction and she would put all of herself behind those words. The sun swept away the darkness of her doubts.

As the image settled in her mind, it ignited her determination and her drive. She was Dami’s instrument and Dami would protect her. It was all she needed.

A golden glow began to emit from Camille’s whole body. It was dull at first, merely a candle’s light. Yet as her mind grew more focused, the light around her began to grow brighter.

”Dami.
Be.
My.
Light.”


She proudly proclaimed her prayer and her golden aura shined like it was barely contained by Camille’s control. It radiated and pulsed like her heart. She became untouchable!

”Pick a god and pray, heathen!”

My Dearest Patrons,

The conceptualization of my experiment began at a young age for me. Our lives are a fleeting concept, carried on the whims of our fickle creators. I sought the ambitions to be the one to escape the limiting workings of this world. Overzealous, I overextended and yet with the nurturing hands of your encouragement, I kept my aspirations enough to proceed. The initial experimentation was trying and yet I had vision of something extravagant planned.

How imprudent was I to contrive such an end without first understanding the beginning? The Doll is dead. In a deathrattle, she preserved the secret I have so carefully kept. A parting letter bequeathed on the Deserted bed where she had last been seen. Hidden from their view, I have made a request to a Confidante to retrieve the vessel and be returned. They need not be the wiser to my macabre experiment and my more, eccentric machinations.

I conclude my letter with an assurance. I shall toil away, shrouded from view. This was initially a haggard experience but one to be learned from. Murmurs of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

I will return.

In Confidence,

Camille de la Saumure

Interaction: None
2.1: Siege of Relouse / Let them Come


The enemy forces dwindled
Trickled,
Then stopped coming.

This was just the beginning.

Claude had told her to stay, and she would. His instincts were too reliable to persuade her otherwise. Even among the shouts and orders of those around her, she held her ground as Claude clasped a hand around her arm. "Girl, we are going to lose a lot of people in this confusion. Try to do what you can." He sounded steady despite the commotion, Camille thought as she glanced to the raining sky. If only she could be like him then maybe she'd be worth all the admiration, praise and handshakes she has had to endure these past few days.

She closed her eyes and let a familiar prayer come to mind.
Dami, guide your flock and steel their hearts for what is to come. May they stand firm.
There so much noise. People shouting in triumph but others in confusion. Orders being barked by superiors and mummers of hesitation in response.
May they stand firm.
The voices around her quieted. Enough to hear the rain bouncing off of metal and sand. Grips tightened on weapons.
May they stand firm.
Boots dug into the sand and despite the calls and cries around them, those close enough to feel Camille's influence felt their hearts bolster. They didn't have to be told they were in the right spot. They felt like they were. Let the Eskandr come. They were ready to meet them.

Camille felt a squeeze on her arm, Claude letting her know that he approved. "Good. We'll need their help but if we all stick together, there is no Eskandr that can break us." He always sounded so sure, Camille mused with amazement. She might have been the one with Dami's Gift but he acted like he didn't even need that to be strong. It made her think he should have been chosen because who was she? "You're sure we will all make it out okay?" She muttered but Claude's attention shifted.

"Armand, what news are you hearing?" Camille turned to see Claude clasping his hand around the leather of Armand's shoulder. The younger of the two, shook his shoulder free. "Riders from Cap are returning. I couldn't hear why but they aren't dead so. Take that for what it is worth."

Claude let out a laugh though Camille thought it sounded fake. "Ha. Coming back from sniping King Hrothgar, no doubt. Wouldn't that be a sight, eh?" Camille and Armand both exchange a look. Claude had a habit of noticing that from them. "Oh come on you two. Have a little faith." He reached out and wrapped his arms around the both of them. "You'll see. We'll be back in Au Diable Roux, wondering what Alain put in his stew again. I'm already betting potatoes and pork to celebrate."
"Oysters." Camille chimed in, her mouthwatering at the memory.
"Carrots." Armand spat like he was disgusted by the very word.
"Heh. If you go and order the stew, you'll doom the three of us to that. Every time."
The three shared a laugh, however brief that might have been.

The clap of thunder from a bolt striking the wall had sounded for the next phase to begin.

Interaction: None
2.2: Siege of Relouse / The Storm Arrives



Camille had raised her arm, ducking her head to try and better weather the howling storm. Wherever this storm was coming from, she now knew it wasn’t natural. The town of Relouse was being battered by commanded lightning while she and the rest of the Grand Armee were battered by the winds and rain. The darkening sky was lit up by the occasional glow of magic which was an impressive array by itself.

The storm worsened as rain turned to hail and clanged off of her armor. Ships, real ships, were now appearing along the beach and landing. ”This is it! This will be the battle!” She heard Claude yell behind her.

"Hommes et femmes de Parrence, tenez ferme contre l'ennemi! Les dieux sont avec nous!"
”Je n'ai pas peur! Dami, mon Seigneur, c'est pour cela que je suis née!1
Maybe it was hearing the King but Camille felt steadfast all of a sudden. She wasn’t going to turn back. She couldn’t do that and let others die needlessly in her stead. This was going to be a fight and if this was a predestined path that she had to walk, so be it. She was going to embrace it because right now, her devotion would be the only thing to see her through!

The line of charging Eskandr closed and she shouted, joining the shouts of her comrades in arms as the battlelines met once again.

Camille moved effortlessly, her sword cleaving an overly zealous warrior in two. A crackling wave of lightning slipped across her right side and arced into the raised weapon of an unlucky Eskandr. He dropped his axe only to be met with a greatsword being brought back around. A third warrior approached, more measured as she raised his shield to meet Camille’s blade. He knew better to take the force of her blade and ducked under the swing to advance suddenly.

It would seem that she was left open but removing one hand from her greatsword, Camille reached for her shortsword and drew it in a swift draw to thrust into the warrior’s leg, halting him. She twisted and rammed her shoulder into his shield, knocking him clean off of his feet as she withdrew her shortsword, cutting effortlessly across any flesh the blade touched, half severing his leg by the thigh.

A whirl of her greatsword with one hand kept others, daring to take her on at bay. A crossbow bolt fired and caught one of them who had been more focused on Camille’s blade and got his neck, entering a coughing fit of blood as he collapsed. Her team was well versed in working together and would give any opposing force real pause, Claude always boasted. Camille never wanted to test their limit but they would have to eventually against the Eskandr.

She had a bad feeling in the pit of stomach. Destiny was calling.
1: I am not afraid! Dami, my Lord, I was born to do this!”


Interaction: Hrolf Bloodaxe
2.3: Siege of Relouse / A Blood Price



A break in the Eskandr waves had given Camille the opportunity to glance down the Perrench battle line to see how her allies were fairing. They were holding but around twenty meters down their line, a brute of an Eskandr creature was cleaving through Perrench soldiers with frightening efficiency. Bodies of full soldiers sent flying with a single axe swing, half bodies sent even further. The violence that monster caused was becoming a cacophony to the shaking wills of her people. If they survived encountering them.

Her feet moved without a thought.
Dami, lend me your strength.
”Girl! Wait” She heard Claude holler from behind her but she was already committed, closing the line towards the Eskandr brute swiftly. A circular area around the man existed where Perrench soldiers were too fearful to approach the whirling orbits of crude axes. One Perrench man in particular had Hrolf’s full attention, his panicked jabs with his spear doing little to deter the giant of a man. He didn’t even spare a gesture as a floating axe came and shattered the spear just beyond the man’s grip, leaving him defenseless as the Eskandr raised his axe like an executioner. He brought it down..

Clung, Clink

Camille’s upward slash of her greatsword met the axe before it could fall on the Perrench man. Her strength was enough to deflect the blow but an axe came around.

Dami, protect!

Her shield, strapped to her back swung around, pulled towards the incoming axe to deflect the blade from hitting Camille. She holds herself firm, realizing that she had saved the poor man who was threatened but she was now in this monster’s sights. His great leap coming to bear down, she didn’t think of anything other than to trust in Dami’s protection, leaping back herself however to try and keep him at a distance. She swung her sword again, trying to catch the Eskandr before he could land.

She watched her sword bounced off the metal of his axe but the tip of her blade catching his stomach enough to make Hrolf howl. He draws from a nearby corpse to pull material to close his wound in an obvious scar. Now faced with the man, Camille was sure she had his full attention for that and quietly cursed under her breath. She keeps an eye on Hrolf but she catches the movement in her peripherals. Whirling axes were coming around from all sides to try and cut her. She dove, instinctively to the Eskandr’s side, letting her greatsword lash out striking one axe away as she moved. That was one but she was watching the nearest axe follow her, set up to cleave her across her neck. She didn’t even have time for the full prayer.

”Dami!”
She pleaded, begging for her God’s intercession. She wasn’t sure how she was going to escape with her life but then the obvious sign of Dami’s favor was bestowed. The axe in her sight was blown away suddenly. Dami protects! She praised, rising to her feet catching the movement of her companions in the corner of her eye. She knew they would follow and with the Eskandr focused on her, she hoped their surprise would be enough.


’Damn that girl! Taking on the biggest Eskandr she could find. Take your shot and slip away. We’ll have to catch him not looking, I think.” Claude commanded as he ran with Armand, given only a silent nod in return. His sword began to spark with Thunder Magic as she let out a downward slash, sending a crackling wave towards the back of Hrolf. Armand slid to a stop and hastily aimed for the brute’s spine before firing his crossbow. He moved after firing, trying to duck back into the Perrench lines…


Camille hoped quietly but those hopes were dashed quickly as the lightning was scooped up in the invisible vortex of Hrolf’s axes and the crossbow was deflected by a wayward axe. The brute turned his head to catch Armand before he sank back into the Perrench battle lines and felt himself halted as the pull of Hrolf’s drawing began to decimate his armor, clothing before starting to dissolve his flesh.

His cries of anguish were obvious enough to Camille who screamed in a panic as she brought her greatsword up and attempted to thrust it into the Eskandr’s side. Hrolf wasn’t a fool and attempted to dodge out of the way but desperately, she pursued leaping with her thrust to catch his flesh. Her blade sank up into his abdomen, the brute of a man giving a very human howl of anguish.

Yet he didn’t relent. Armand’s screams grew louder and Camille found herself joining the chorus of desperate cries. She wailed in a desperate rage as only one thought came to her mind.

”Dami! Kill him!”

Her sword began to glow as if showered in a golden light. There was intensifying pain in Hrolf as his wailed. It was over almost immediately but the moment felt long in her head. Hrolf’s center mass burst in a shower of blood and gore and the once great man of the Æresvaktr fell in two, his last words something that Camille couldn’t understand. She kept her sword elevated, its golden glow illuminating the darkened battlefield for a moment before it faded as her mind focused on the only thing that mattered. Armand.

She turned and ran to where she thought she had last saw him. Where was he? Was he alright? Maybe she could ask Dami to heal him and then…

An tight grip caught her arm. Camille turned to try and slug whoever it was but found Claude was holding her. ”He’s gone! He’s gone!” He shouted at her. She thrashed in his grip. ”Let go! No!” She rasped, her voice already showing signs of strain.

The resolution to her struggle was put on hold as the area just ahead of her flashed and banged with the force of a thunder spell. It wasn’t just the one. It was a barrage of bolts, igniting the beach around them. Camille could barely hear Claude’s voice above it all. ”We have to go! Come on!”

Camille felt herself being tucked under his arm and pulled along. The lightning artillery battered the area. She caught a glimpse of a few Perrench soldiers too grouped up being blown apart by the sudden crash of a bolt. The flashes made it difficult to see and the percussion of thunder made it difficult to hear. Wherever Claude was going, she couldn’t tell, feeling the sting of something pierce the back of her leg. She hobbled slightly along, feeling like she was barely keeping up with Claude. Again, it was a few seconds of real time that seemed to drag out but they had managed to retreat far enough away.

Claude kept them going, however, towards the back lines of the Grand Armee.
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