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Ouch. It has been a long time since I had one of those myself... The last time I think I was ... nine? I was actually put in the hospital just because neither of my parents could stay home at the time (hurray for free medical aid, though). The most memorable part of it, however, was how utterly boring hospital was. In the end, I even took off with all of the newspapers from the desk a couple of corridors away (which I'm still not fully clear on whether were meant for keeping in my room rather than being read on the couches next to them, but hey, they also anchored me to a drip for most of the day, and it was kind of annoying getting through the doors with that). Mind you "all" included not only the regular newspapers, but also the business/economy papers (the kind my grandfather read, printed on a specific kind of salmon-colored paper back in the day). Suffice to say, it wasn't until a bit over a decade later (when I had been working for a few years, and had begun to have spare money) that I took that keen an interest in the stock market again. Imagine that, a nine-year-old who was mostly interested in beasts of all kind voluntarily read about the stock market. Boredom is a powerful force indeed...
To be perfectly honest, the best approximation of most of Jordan's current thoughts [as of the end of the post] is whatever is the closest equivalent of "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck" is in Rodoria...

EDIT: For the reference, I imagined Sir Yanin to be approaching from the same direction Jordan's head is pointed.
Jordan Forthey

The stranger checked the street behind him - so he was afraid of being discovered, at the very least. He could perhaps use it to his advantage, to momentarily distract his foe? Maybe. But he'd rather there really was someone just about right now, and distractions would matter little if he were to be sliced to ribbons before any aid arrived. Were there any people in these buildings, at home and awake, who could hear him? Damned.
The stranger had his attention on him again. This time, he did not reply, and just rushed him again. He, at least, was done talking.
Yet again, Jordan did the only thing he could - attempted to evade by continuing in the direction his last shift in weight distribution directed him to, which was to the right. It was not quite as graceful as his last dodge, however. On a snap, it had felt like the mysterious figure could use his staff to hit him whichever way he sidestepped - the reach of the studded polearm was too great, and he was not trying to use it as a sort of lance now - and, well, as a response Jordan thus dove away from where he had been standing.
As a result of his dive, the stranger did not quite hit what he intended on either account - Jordan could feel the side of his left calf hit the stranger's arm, and the quarterstaff contact his sword - sharply, but as he did not brace against the other's weapon, it more swept his own blade aside than impacted his wrist.
The cobbled street, as he quickly found out, was a lot less kind. His right shoulder took the worst of the hit as it smacked against the smooth stones below, followed by his hip that had his dagger's sheathe with the smaller blade dig into it, and he could feel the side of his head contact with the pavement, too. Luckily not hard; his shoulder had taken that hit for his head. His hands stayed to desperately clutch the grip of his sword, knuckles white. He did not feel much pain for the time being; too much caught up in the rush of blood.
Away, was his most sensible thought as he distinguished the legs of the stranger past his feet through slightly blurred vision.
"STOP!!!" he barked, but yet also opted to have his sword do an almost half-circle as he did the first thing he instinctively got into his head and chopped at the other's legs. Not the most powerful hit - there was no way to put his body behind the hack here - but at least the edge was aligned correctly, and the blade had gathered a fair amount of momentum during its arc. There were only two options, really - either the stranger got further away, or he was cut. (Luckily for him, the very bottom end of the street was in shadow from the opposite building, so neither sun nor the reflections could hurt him here.)
Vaguely, some detached part of the squire recalled something about different grip types. Something about round grips being not preferable when it mattered which side of your weapon hit something. Suppose it was good his sword had an oval grip, then. Another part noted he probably had not outright snapped his arm off his shoulder or something, as it still moved.

Sir Yanin Glade

Trouble. The boy had found trouble, the knight noted to himself as his ears caught a familiar voice, and he exited the cross street - right after the "trouble" had glanced over his shoulder to check behind his back. From what he had gathered over the past five years, Jordan was not the sort who specifically went out of his way to make trouble for trouble's own sake. It was logical to assume, then, that his opponent was the instigator.
The boy could be inquisitive and persistent, that much was true, but normal people hardly went for a full-blown assault just over that. The Falcon had noted that Jordan was perhaps also more daring than most people. Personally, Sir Yanin quite liked that his squire was quite straightforward with his questions; some others would indefinitely dance around what they actually were going after, and you try to figure out what in the planes they wanted of you. More often than not, he did not even bother. If they wanted to get something, they could say it, too.
Just eighty yards separating him and the two combatants at that point. Sir Yanin did not quite run. He strode forward, fast. For a man his side, he could be very quiet in motion, if he so desired. Quiet for any human, in fact. Quiet, but for the time being, not necessarily hiding his presence.
A bit further away, he could see Jordan dive to the side and land hard on his side as the trouble rushed him. Just don't snap your spine or crack your head open, the knight mentally noted at his apprentice. Or have your heart torn out like those poor sods in Nemhim. Most other things were fixable. If you were going to get gravely injured, it was doubtlessly preferable to do so in a large city with its own resident high priests of Reina.
Well-coordinated. Very fast. Very strong for his size. But reckless, untrained and straightforward. Uses a quarterstaff. Possible smaller blades. Jordan shouted, and attempted to hack at the trouble's legs or feet. Sir Yanin Glade drew his own sword, its blade half the length of the thus far unidentified individual's polearm, its hilt another foot.
Sixty-four yards to go.
Hmm, I'm not entirely certain I've gotten the various details right in my head - Morgan is going into a slide forward feet first (for all intents and purposes, he's lying flat on his back at the end of his maneuver as intended). He will let go of his staff with one hand to try and punch Jordan, rather than use the staff against him. But I kind of can't really tell where the quarterstaff itself is at that point. Morgan is still holding onto the quarterstaff with his left - I imagine he was seemingly going to have it connect with Jordan's head or either shoulder, had he been any closer (fake aimed at the chest/abdomen?), but I can't really figure out where the following upward arc took it relative to Jordan. Probably not too far out so as to not make contact with the wall before his feet, but as for the rest? Would it be to Jordan's right or left before that point? At about which height? Is it still perpendicular, or is it parallel to the wall behind Jordan? A bit unsure.

As a sidenote, Jordan's sword isn't that short - 93 cm is still over three feet, and that's just the blade without the hilt, so it's still within the appropriate range for a longsword (the blade was originally maybe 100 cm, before the grind-down).
Don't worry ... I went a bit over, too. But then again, I had a mini short story to write, and a fair quantity of my roleplaying posts are over a thousand words. I'm a bit on the verbose side as a writer. (I could give you a much shorter synopsis, but I doubt it'd be half as interesting a read.)
Two days ago, he had crashed his car into a lamp post. Second one to the left on the old bridge, coming from the center of the city. It had been an accident, he had said in his statement. It was raining heavily, it had been dark, visibility had been low, he had thought he had seen a figure in a gray raincoat amid the downpour, made a sharp turn to swerve around the supposed person, his car had gone hydroplaning... The next thing he had known, a crash and a short metallic grinding, then stunned, numb silence. It had taken a few moments for him to realize that the rain drummed on, pattering against the roof and smashed windshield of the fresh wreckage.
He had ended up repeating the statement three times. Twice to police and once to his insurance company. Poor conditions, figure in the rain, swerve, hydroplane, crash. Nothing more than a few bruises on him. Blessed be crumple zones and high safety ratings. For a car as old as his had been, anyway - the electronics in a new car would have stopped the impact from ever occurring in the first place. His car itself? Totaled, of course.
The wreck was gone now; the local tow company had unceremoniously dragged the remains of his old companion off after he himself had been taken to hospital for a checkup. The man felt kind of sorry for his car... It had been aging and ailing, the transmission would soon have given out entirely, and replacing that would have cost more than one of the car's cousins, but had been his first car of seven years, and people tended to grow kind of attached to their first and long-time rides alike. He had been no different.
Incidentally, the crash had also taken out the only camera overlooking this side of the bridge. The city was yet to replace it; it usually took at least two weeks of bureaucracy before they managed to send out a guy with a new one to hook up.

Two weeks ago, he had been let go from his job. It had been a dead-end one - being an office accountant, to be more precise -, but it had brought the cash in. Enough for his mother's (and, as an extension, his own) rent, to buy them food, to cover their utilities. It had been not much, but it had been enough to maintain the status quo and just have a little bit to put aside. He had intended to eventually buy a new car with that. And perhaps a washing machine for his mother (and, as an extension, himself).
If it had not been embarrassing enough that a guy his age - thirty! - was still living with his mother, he hadn't even lost his job to another person. He had lost it to a computer program - one of those newfangled things which went over the company account and POS systems, compared everything, ordered new stock, paid bills, handled salaries, and spat out the overview of everything for the boss to peruse - all for the measly running price of the extra thirty kilowatt-hours of electricity to keep the computer going. He and a few of his colleagues cost much more, so his company, being a company oriented on profits like any other, had made them all redundant. It had been happening more and more lately, automated systems replacing office workers. The chances of getting a similar, no-diploma, non-physical job with comparable pay were quickly approaching nil. Even this job had been too good, for suspiciously long.
He had went and ordered new documents for about a quarter of all of his money the very same evening, before he even went back to his mother and his little apartment with his head down, and conveyed her the sorry news.
It was his mother because of whom he felt the most sorry for... That it had come to this, that he felt it was the best thing he could do, given everything. His father, he had never known, and he did not have any siblings. Nor a girlfriend. His mother, though, had always been kind. She had tried his best. Attempted to see him through university. Doctor, she had insisted. And he had failed... Burned out and dropped out fourth year.
He had left two thirds of his remaining money for her to find.

Today, he was standing on the same bridge that had witnessed the demise of his car, staring over the railing into the white rushing waters below. Staring and contemplating. The simple electronic watch on his wrist stated 3:12 AM. No reasonable soul was out at three in the morning. The last car had passed him over twenty minutes ago.
The man's eyes moved up his arm, to where he knew a microchip was buried. Traceable via satellite. They had become standard practice not long before his birth. The theory had been "for the good of people", as always with such things - no more missing children, no more men frozen dead, no more speeding on the roads! In reality, it meant that kidnapping victims - if they were found - were usually found with hastily gouged and poorly bandaged holes in their arms, or their entire arms missing, men froze to death before people drove over to where they were, and speeders signal-proofed their cars, even when it was illegal. That is, until car-makers starting making cars that pedantically drove themselves, and only somewhat allowed people to play drivers. As an end result, the chips were discontinued eight years ago, but he still had one.
And now, it was time for the owner of the chip - the almost-unhirable nobody with no car, job, wife, children, friends or own apartment - to die.

The man flicked open a knife in his left, and carefully placed the razor-sharp tip near the nook of his elbow. He'd seen his X-ray images - he knew where it was. He swallowed; it'd hurt. Breaths were drawn in through gritted teeth as the blade sunk in and hit something hard that wasn't bone, blood rivuleted down his arm, knife was pulled out and cast into the river beneath. It had been a gift - too identifying. Some mucking about with pliers, and he had the damn thing ... little green-copper rectangle with a black serial number on it. It followed the knife. So did the simple electronic watch.
From the satellite recordings, it'd look just as if he had jumped off the bridge and gotten pulverized between the rocks in the rushing waters. The missing camera would neither confirm or deny it.
Hissing, the man wrapped his jacket around his bleeding arm as he attempted to fish out a small tube from another of his pockets. He knew enough from his unfinished medical training to miss significant blood vessels and nerves, but damn... He felt slightly faint. He unscrewed the tube with his right, unwrapped some of his makeshift temporary gauze, and holding the wound closed as much as he could with his pinky and ring finger, pressed on the tube with his thumb and index finger ... just about doable. The tube emitted a clear liquid that solidified, sealing the injury. Medical glue ... possibly a bit past best before, but that probably wouldn't kill him. (The super glues of old had started out as medical glues, too, some part of his mind reiterated a bit of trivia.)
The bloodied jacket followed the knife and chip. So did his T-shirt, jeans, shoes and socks. And his high school ring. Now he was feeling cold, too, rather than just faint... And in hurry. There were spares in the bag next to him, along with some electronics he was supposed to be returning to the rental tomorrow ... lent for "finding a new job", which, if someone managed to fish out the devices, he had been doing. And little else. Just reading mail and watching some videos. Boring search history, all undeleted (except for that one link which was, on purpose, porn - he had thought it might seem too odd if he were entirely a saint for two weeks and didn't give the recovery team anything to find).
He pulled on a new pair of jeans, followed by first one set of sock and sneaker, then another. A small plastic bottle full of water was used to wash off his arm and hand, leaving just the pucked-up red-orange streaked patch of hardened medical glue. Half-full bottle was returned to bag. T-shirt, jacket and wig were picked out and donned. A quick pat to ensure that his documents and last quarter of money were still safely in the pocket of his jacket. Bag went the way of his previous attire.
If they found any of the things, the better for the him, and the theory that he had jumped off the bridge. No actual body? In these waters, entire people, if any bits all, were rarely found to begin with. For all legal purposes, he was dead now, just five minutes after flicking open the knife. His old, real documents had drowned with the jacket. The ones in his replacement jacket were fabricated. The diploma, ID, work record, everything. Better yet, there were government and company records of his entire existence. The gal had known her job - and all the law knew was that she had a little bar with the rights to sell booze, and host two slot machines and billiard. Cameras specifically did not cover one table right by the front in her establishment, even though it was within an arm's reach of the front. Brilliant.

A man who had not existed two weeks ago wandered off the cameraless side of the bridge, crossed the street to avoid another camera, inched under the view of the next one, then turned into a narrow street that was uncovered, strolled behind a conveniently (for him) parked bus, climbed over a fence, moved behind a hedge for a few hundred meters, and helped himself into the small unlocked shed of a rich person. Perhaps he should not have thrown the water bottle away so hastily ... the blood-loss or shock from the injury made him thirsty. Too late now; he'll have to buy a new one tomorrow.
Come morning, he will come out of the shed, try to sell those people a few nonexistent vacuum cleaners, be rejected, find a bus, let himself be taken over to the next city, find a new job (his old hobby, and new diploma and CV should help with that bit ... with all the other jobs taken by machines, the man whose job was understanding and giving meaning to the machines still had his), stay in a motel until he can get an apartment, maybe get a girlfriend...
Would it be too suspicious to arrange it so that his mother just happened to win one of those magazine competitions for various appliances? She filled those out, sometimes. And he had intended to get her a washing machine...
Jordan Forthey


The stranger halted, first turning his head to look at him, and then facing him fully.
"You think you know so much, assuming that I have someone to meet or that you could be useful in the event I was meeting someone..." The mysterious figure's movement had changed again. It was now ... stalking. Yes, stalking was an apt descriptor. Like a cat closing in on a sparrow. So, he was appraising him? Preparing to attack, and just stalling with his words until he can find the best angle?
Jordan's eyes moved from the figure, to the horizontally poised studded staff, to the narrow passage between the two residential houses the stranger had trying to flee into - he was pretty much still out in the wider street himself, and back to the figure who was now approaching, rather than distancing himself from him. Half-instinctively, half because his training told him he probably should, he took a step back at this point, and carried his weight over to that back foot. He had not let go of his sword's grip after the stranger had grabbed him and insisted he did not know anything, and still he kept it there.
"I have no interest helping you, your master, or the law, but you would know this--" the stranger rushed him; as a response, Jordan did the only thing he had the time and mind to attempt, and abruptly twisted his torso to the right while lifting his right foot for another step back, and this time to the left, so his feet formed a line one behind the other.
He had reacted as soon as he saw the stranger begin to move, from what had seemed to be quite far away, yet he couldn't quite finish even this comparatively quick maneuver. Though, he wasn't hit in the chest, and the staff instead made contact with his triceps. It seemed like enough force that, had it hit his upper arm full-on, rather than glancingly, it might have cracked bone, and even now it probably left a nasty bruise, even through the sleeve. Pain radiated both up and down his arm. (He had been hit in the upper arm ... his shoulder he could understand, but why did his wrist hurt?)
Even before his right foot had made contact with the ground again, the stranger had gone into a strange flip ... with his staff still in hand ... and landed to what was now his right side, back on the street they had first started out on.
Without wasting any more time, he finally drew his sword, baring all of its ninety-three centimeter blade to the sunlight, which reflected off the refurbished, but meticulously sharpened and cleaned weapon. His right hand felt slightly numb now. His left hand joined the right on the sword's grip as he quickly diagonally retreated three more steps, watching the stranger. His heart was beating hard.
The stone wall of the closest off-white building was now right behind his back, the closest corner of the building at an arm's length to his left. Well, there would be no flipping past him, unless the stranger wanted to faceplant the wall... The stranger who now undoubtedly was not a normal person. Too fast. Wardens could make themselves unusually fast, right? Fast and resilient. If the stranger had been any closer, or telegraphed his moves any less, Jordan knew he'd have gone down, no questions. Had the stranger wanted to whack him over the head when he had grabbed him ... well, he'd have been done. If the stranger actually gets close to him ... or uses some kind of trickery, he is done, no questions about it. He had picked someone who was too much superior to him indeed.
"--If you really knew anything." Well, he thought he had discovered quite a lot by now, at least...
"Shoot the messenger, will you?" he half-shouted, half-said. Maybe if he keeps speaking, the stranger might stall a bit? What now ... prepare to dodge? He must not be let close. Jordan carried his weight over to his right foot and bent his knees slightly, keeping his sword in middle guard. Predict. Yeah. Predict.
Provided the stranger didn't launch at him again immediately, he continued. "I'm the least of your problems." Well, attacking people in the middle of the day simply because they wanted to find out what the heck was going on was certainly a problem. "Interest doesn't matter, sometimes. It's just not how things are."

Sir Yanin Glade


There were many almost, but quite not like the anchor. Similar enough for the anchor's image to act as amplifier ... to almost, but not quite register as the same thing binding to anchor had attuned one to. What was permeated, could be sensed, and those feelings did not belong. So withdrawal into the anchor and the stable upper earth it was; the anchor was familiar, and the upper earth did not feel or shift quite as violently.

Not much. The first things he had learned were not much, and so he was told to come back once there has been a little more time for research. He did get a new nickname for his new friend, though. "Void beast" was perhaps more apt than "demon".
Meanwhile, he should probably find his squire and let him know about the change in plans. And have lunch. Evidently, the boy had lingered by the gates for a while, and then headed towards the city center, accompanying one of the refugees. He had managed to locate the man, and from him gotten the general direction the squire had headed. Before he moved on, he had handed the man the package he had been carrying under his arm. The man had stared at the package, dumbfounded, and then shuffled in to awkwardly untangle it with a single hand.
Sir Yanin himself continued down the designated path, heavy hiking boots hitting the cobbles, mail west upon his gambeson and his signature sword on his side. Today, he was not concealing his person, so he went without his cloak.
You're an evil person, Legion. (Never mind that I just might have brought it up myself first. Might.)

EDIT@Rhae: How long is the quarterstaff Morgan uses exactly? Also posted; let me know if I'm otably off with something.
Think it would work best to me, too. All Dom (and I imagine Iridiel) is doing before setting off is running about and picking up things, after all, and that's not anything that needs too much describing, or its own post. Just would need to decide how we're fitting five people on three animals capable of carrying people - Itanale (Aemoten's horse), Immanuel's donkey and the paladin's big white one (unless we're being suboptimal and just have some humanoids walk ... in which case we'd need to decide which ones).
Gates should work ... if for no other reasons, then because of what sorts of people they'd be passing upon closing in. (There is more or less no one left to recognize there, and thus little to talk, unless they feel like asking whether a large stalking best came through with two people half a day ago, so might as well just stay with Angora's family at this point.)
A couple of additional reminders: Claw will say goodbye before city gates. Iridiel also has a wolf with her.

Will certainly try to type up something for Jordan today; I fell asleep yesterday. Long day.

May make myself go through the Aemoten-timeskip, too.
Don't worry, Rhae - post length should be relative to what's going on foremost. You'll probably naturally end up a lot when you time-skip over a lot of activities or a character has a time to think and muse, but actual dialogue/combat would obviously leave less opportunity to cover a lot of thought or action (unless we want some unfortunate time-shearing to occur). Of course, the exceptions to this rule are giving background information and describing scenery ... which can be useful to do in some detail just to ensure that everyone imagines the same scene (tree? what tree? oh, we're in a forest, not on a town square? whoops).

Just to note, Jordan isn't quite as hopeless as he seems to think he is - he is at the very least better than the average town guard, courtesy of Sir Janin Glade (and over a year). He is a bit worse than Aemoten (when healthy) is, though, and obviously with not nearly enough practical experience.
Aemoten, while more experienced, has always been slightly worse than Jaelnec in at least the terms of speed and strength, in my mind (so if they were to fight, and Jaelnec didn't make any moves that registered as actual mistakes in my mind, Jaelnec would have probably won).
Domhnall is very quick and agile, but pretty much all his combat experience is from hunting, so might be better off staying back and crossbow-bolting things. Even a fairly inexperienced person with a spear can be rather annoying, though, so at least he has that going for him when it comes to polearm fights. With sword he's quite useless, and I doubt he'd get close enough with a knife to anyone with reach advantage once they have spotted him. He can be sneaky and/or set traps, though.
Etakar is, due to what he is, an absolute physical powerhouse, and has a fair amount of potential to master at least earth elemental magic. (Ironically, unless we count Aemoten's divine bargains, Etakar is my most magically talented narrative character - so leaving out various mentioned characters - to date to be included in this RP. Well, I suppose you could count Nkaa Raakan as "narrative charater", though that one is technically a NPC and, well, an actual god to boot, with everything that comes with the status.)
Sir Yanin Glade is by far my strongest humanoid physical fighter in the RP (even prior to the, uh, "demon problem", which comes with its own set of useful-once-mastered ... which is, in by far most aspects, "not yet", meaning the only pro and con at present is the passive effect provided by presence alone), and the most skilled one. Sir Yanin is also notably less reckless in combat than Aemoten, for the matter...
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