Happily Ever After

The farms and houses of Shim, a single inn known as the Red Chalice, and an old manor on a hill overlooking it all to the north.
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Derin Edala
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Derin Edala » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:34 pm

Derin ran.

Pain wasn't important. Exhaustion wasn't important. Fear sharpened her hearing as she strained for any hint that she was being followed. It was that that warned of somebody's approach, and she had just enough natural caution to slink off the path -- no witnesses to her escape would be better.

Huh. She knew that pale skin, that orange hair, that tattered old dress that went out of style before its wearer was born. Odd, she hadn't thought that Rosemary's shift started for another hour at least. Derin must have lost track of time.

The girl was lost in her own thoughts and didn't hear Derin as she dashed on ahead, trying to keep out of sight, and sheltered in a ditch where she couldn't be seen from the path. Very, very carefully, making sure that the metal remained in contact with itself forming a loop around her wrist at all times, she unhooked the bracelet around her wrist, stood, and flung out her arm, releasing it at the last minute. She didn't see whether the trinket flew true, because the minute contact between the two ends was broken, Derin Edala fell over dead.

-------------------

Rosemary May was early for her scullery shift. She'd left early on purpose. She often wished that she could work more hours -- not for the money, which went straight to her father's drink, but to have an excuse to be out of the house. The scullery was the one place that she was safe.

She'd considered leaving, just running away and never coming back... but how? She had no finances, no travel experience. She'd tried saving up part of her wages once, but when the stash had been found by her father the ensuing punishment for her greed had left her with two broken wrists. Besides, if she went, who would look after him? He was too sick and too addicted to do for himself.

Lost in her thoughts as she was, no girl who lived two bishani shy of begging could fail to notice the shiny piece of jewellery caught on a small bush at the side of the road. She picked it out... silver. Hmm. It had to be worth a lot.

A lot...

Rosemary clutched her fist tighter around the most valuable object she'd ever held. Yes! She would do it! She would go to market right now and sell the bracelet! No more dish-scrubbing for her! Then she could get some supplies and be gone by the time her shift was supposed to start -- by the time her father realised she wasn't coming home, she'd be long gone, forever out of reach of his violent temper and heavy hands.

A new grin spread on her face as she turned to march to market with a purpose.

She stared at the little trinket, and couldn't help wondering what it would look like on her.

----------------------------------

Derin looked up from Rosemary's hands... her hands... and nodded to herself. She was right; the girl's greed and stupidity had overcome her caution. What had she expected, just finding a valuable bracelet in the middle of nowhere? That sort of thing only happened in stories.

She hurriedly dragged some bracken over her old body. It didn't have to hold for long.

Now what?

The logical conclusion was 'be Rosemary', but Rosemary had been heading towards the inn. Switching bodies hadn't solved Derin's problem; there was a man out there who could sense her true nature. And he'd told at least one guard. That was a problem that had to be dealt with. How? What did she have to work with?

Saruna. Derin had already adjusted her plan to clear them both to apply to her new form -- it even worked better that way. Saruna would surely want her name to be cleared, and the only way it could work was with the guard and battlemage silenced. The woman would help her for her own safety; she'd have no choice. She needed Saruna's help to come up with a plan; she'd have to go rescue her from the guard.

Staying off the road, but where she could see it, Derin gave the inn a wide berth as she moved as quickly as possible towards Saruna's house.

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KoriStronghammer
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by KoriStronghammer » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:45 am

Kori tried to be sneaky. He really did. He was trying to find the women, and to do so since he had just hit a mage, required sneakiness. Which was definitely not his strong suit. Making his third loud noise by knocking something over, he said to hell with it. Putting his shield away and hanging his hammer on his belt, he strode into the crowded marketplace. He was mostly at least a head taller than many here, so his sight was not very obstructed.

The one called Saruna was who he needed to find first. The barmaid had ran, and he wouldn't chase one who could handle herself. But the older woman was with a guard, and if the guard was anything like the mage, she needed help soon. Stopping at a market stall, he politely waited until the proprietor was finished with a elderly pair of customers, before asking if he could be directed to Saruna's house. Thanking the man with a bishan for his help, Kori walked in the direction the house was to lay in.

What was he getting himself into? This was foolish. If the mage was right, he was helping a demon. But she had smiled sweetly, and tried to make small talk with a strange giant. He had not encountered that in a very long time. Even in the main city many had been afraid of him, even with so many other sights to see and ogle at and fear. The barmaid had shown him a kindness, no matter how small, and he would do what he felt was necessary to return that kindness.

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Fayane
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Fayane » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:43 am

Help." She whispered, disbelief and joy warring in the emotion of her voice. Fay couldn't help but to smile a small smile. Yes, she'd help. That was why she had joined the guard - to help. But the corruption had made help hard as few people trusted the guard.

We can't stay here. We must go. We can. . .we can find asylum with my family in Eyropa. I must collect my money, gather food. Derin will likely try to run away, but I know not where she will go. Likely out of town." Fay could see the pain the older woman was in and remained silent, quietly accepting the bags and going to the cellar as instructed, though she silently scoffed at the idea of something being too heavy.

Fayane eyed up the shelves, impressed that a woman of her wealth could afford such things. Quickly Fay packed dry hams, cheeses and other such things that were guaranteed to last them the journey. That done Fay dug around some more, finding the rope she was looking for she commenced to make the bags close enough to saddle bags that she could carry them in her half-fox form if needed... now that would take some explaining...

As Fayane headed up the small stairs she head Saruna murmur to herself.

"I first met Derin in the market. She might leave in that direction."

"That is if she escapes..."
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That fool... that cowardly, over-grown FOOL! Melagone was furious, to think he, Melagone, had been beaten in such a cowardly way! Fury darkened his eyes as he stalked through town, not noticing the way the crowd parted for him out of fear and respect. How DARE the giant buffoon simply swat him like a gnat? Oh he shall pay, and pay DEARLY. Oh yes, Melagone though with a smile, he will pay with blood

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Saruna
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Saruna » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:05 pm

Fayane's words drove a spike through Saruna's heart. She had foolishly assumed that Derin would somehow be able to slip Melagone's leash, and escape. Because. . .because that was how it must end, right? She escaped, and they made it out, happily ever after -- and then Saruna might introduce Derin to her children. And they would greet her with open arms.

She felt her face heat past comfort, and she didn't look at Fayane. But this was something they had to discuss, too.

"What if. . .she doesn't escape? Oh, Changers, what if he's hurt her?"

She felt her eyes water at the sudden thought of Derin splayed over the floor, hurt and unable to help herself. She had seemed so capable and wise when Gustel had been in Saruna's home, but what chance could poor Derin have against the battlemage?

"What do we do?" She felt her blood pressure rising, blood thrumming through her temples as her adrenaline kicked it into high gear. She had lost her children to Eyropa, she couldn't lose Derin too, now, right when things were finally clicking into place. She was so young!

Derin Edala
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Derin Edala » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:40 pm

Derin moved as quickly as possible back to Saruna's house, adjusting her plan as she went. She needed to take into account what that loudmouthed mage had said within earshot of Saruna and the guard. And that foreign man... another loose end. Maybe she should just pack up and come back in a century or so.

Despite the hurry, she stopped to compose herself and catch her breath before sneaking up to the window and peeking in. The guard was still there, of course. There had to be a way to get rid of her. Killing her wasn't an option; even if Derin was capable of such an act, it would bring far too much attention.

She watched them move around the house, packing things. Were they fleeing? If Saruna had enlisted the guard's help, that changed matters. But Derin didn't know Saruna's plan, nor how much Saruna knew about Derin herself.

This cursed scenario was pushing her into a corner. She was going to have to do something very risky, forced into it because it was marginally less risky tham telling the truth. Saruna's reaction could very well be as bad as a reaction to the truth, but it would be safer, at least. Derin had picked up quite a bit of history in her studies and she didn't expect her story to go down well.

She waited until Saruna was alone in the kitchen before sticking her head above the windowsill.

"Oi. Are you Saruna Rischett? She said you'd be with that guard lady." Derin wrinkled her -- Rosemary's -- nose. "Are you okay?"

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KoriStronghammer
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by KoriStronghammer » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:38 am

Kori stood at a crossroads, both physically and mentally. The left hand path would take him to Saruna's house, the other guard, and his actions from there on would most likely get him killed or in a prison for life. If he took the right hand path, he could hit the Southern Trade road and backtrack it to Eyropa, then to his Northern homelands, where he would most likely die as well, locked in titanic struggle with nature and rival men. Closing his eyes, he took a deep cleansing breath, filling his lungs with the early morning air. He left the man behind him alive, and if he was alive, that meant he was much stronger than he looked. So that man would be chasing him, intent on revenge as well.The feeling of the other guard were not known, she could be helping for all he knew. The look in her eyes was not of one who would be linked with someone like that for long. Kori thought deeply, casting his mind to the lessons he had learned from his father, lessons about the Old Way, before the Changers, when the Northmen believed in the Aesir and the Vanir. His father had always kept the faith, and believed in the old Gods. Kori had no where else to turn in his life, so he had kept the faith of his father as well.

Thinking on this, Kori nodded his head and released the pent-up breath. Stepping off the main road, he placed his shield, cloak, and pack on the ground. Rolling his armored bear cloak up like a bedroll, he tied it down the the top of his pack, and the placed the pack back onto his back. Hanging the shield from its customary position, he pushed Bearpaws handle through it's customary loop as well. Taking another deep breath, Kori looked to the sky and thumped his closed fist against his mailed chest three times. Turning, he began walking down the left hand path to Saruna Rischett's home, he watched as a girl poked her head over the window and spoke.


He stayed back, he didn't know what was going on, and didn't want to disturb or possibly be trapped.

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Fayane
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Fayane » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:19 am

"What if. . .she doesn't escape? Oh, Changers, what if he's hurt her? What do we do?"

Fay contemplated the reply. If they went to help Derin they'd risk imprisonment themselves, not to mention a battle with Melagone she didn't want... maybe she could assassinate him but... no he knew her strengths as it were. Fay's eyes darkened with frustration. What to do... Fay was about to open her mouth to suggest that they simply scout out the inn and find out when another voice cut the silent tension.

"Oi. Are you Saruna Rischett? She said you'd be with that guard lady. Are you okay?" She? Who's she? And the guard lady? Fay's eyes narrowed. How would Derin, the only 'she' that Fay could think of that was at the scene, talk to another woman... unless... the giant had actually beaten Melagone? No... temporarily she could see, Mela would take more than just one man to take down. Silently she kept still, instinct telling her that she would not obtain information if she came out.

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Saruna
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Saruna » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:07 am

A small animal noise of surprise escaped Saruna before her presence of mind kicked in, and she snapped her mouth shut and took a step back from the window. Normally --was there such a thing? -- she would assume the girl a messenger for a friendly face, or at the least an acquaintence, sent to fetch her out for some matter or another. But now, apprehension clutched tight at her gut and the only feelings she could ferret out were a queasy suspicion that made her heart break for being there at all.

"I. . .I am." She said, holding up her head and looking straight on at the girl instead of shrinking away. She had to be strong. Strong, for Derin. Motherly intuition kicked in (the only other 'she' that should be looking for her at that moment was already there, with her, in her home), and she blanched in sudden gut-gripping fear. "A-are you here. . .for Derin?"

Derin Edala
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Derin Edala » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:43 am

Derin nodded. "Derin said you might be in trouble. Made me promise to come help you. Name's Rosemary." She lowered her voice. "You need help escaping? I can distract the guard."

She hoped she wouldn't have to distract the guard. No, things would go much more smoothly with the woman's cooperation... but only if they could take that damn battlemage out of the picture. He knew way too much, he'd blow the whole thng wide open. She automatically brushed her hand against her sleeve to ensure that her bracelet was covered. Rosemary had always preferred long sleeves despite working up to her elbows in water, and Derin quickly found out why; the girl's arms were covered in bruises. That would make things easier in the short-term, but probably harder in the long-term.

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KoriStronghammer
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by KoriStronghammer » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:48 am

Kori squatted further down at the edge of the house. He wished he knew what was going on, battlemages, demons, guards. Shaking his head, he sighed. He'd rather deal with crazed Northmen ax wielders. At least then he knew what was going on. He doubted the guard was in the room, otherwise the girl wouldn't still be talking to Saruna. Kori began watching the road, listening to the house for information. If the battlemage came, he'd be the distraction to get everyone safe and clear.

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Fayane
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Fayane » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:43 pm

Fay vaguely wondered if she should come out and say that there was no need to distract, rather Fay was now helping. She quickly decided against this and allowed Saruna to do the talking, so far as she knew the girl would only share information with Saruna, Fay's presence would only disrupt the exchange. Shifting silently Fay moved into a more comfortable position, knowing she'd come if Saruna called for her. As an extra precaution Fay shifted partially. Her claws extended slightly, hidden by her gloves, and her ears shifted into a smaller version of her own fox ones, though it did help heighten her hearing sense.

Closing her eyes Fay listened for heartbeats and breathing. The wild heart-beat and harsh breathing nearby was Saruna, the other, more father away and controlled was Rosemary. But who was the other? Her ears twitching slightly Fay listened to the stronger heartbeat, the deep, controlled breathing. Her first thought was Melagone, but that didn't make sense, Mela's heart was less strong. No this was the heart of a warrior, of a bigger species than Mela's and Fay's own. And why was it just sitting there, whatever it was. Fay frowned, she would find out soon enough. She turned her attention to Rosemary and Saruna's conversation.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Melagone was furious, here was this idiotic man trying to tell him where Saruna's house was, but he kept giving different directions! Melagone hadn't been paying attention to which of these identical, idiotic, pathetic houses was Saruna's. Growling once more he asked the direction-giver if he was SURE the house was just on the outskirts of town...

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Saruna
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Saruna » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:05 pm

"No." Saruna said, shaking her head. "The guard is with me. She's helping me -- where's Derin?" She moved closer to the window, Fayane nearly forgotten in the sudden rush of foreboding that all but dizzied her.

Derin Edala
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Derin Edala » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:43 pm

Derin bit her lip. "There's... there's nothing we can do to help Derin now. We gotta help you. Derin told me most of what was going on before... well, we gotta get the battlemage on our side or off the case before we can do anything. We should leave... this is the first place he'll look."

Curse that man! If only he hadn't seen...

He hadn't seen Derin's bracelet.

He'd sensed it, certainly, but it had been under her sleeve the entire time. He didn't know what it looked like. And... the magic didn't make sense here, did it? It did strange things. It had only been for a moment...

Forgetting for a moment that she was playing a local girl, she set her jaw. "There's a way around this. It can't be that prominent a case... How long do trials usually take? Because we need to keep the mage distracted the whole time. And we need beads. Do you have any wooden beads?"

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KoriStronghammer
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by KoriStronghammer » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:45 pm

Kori hunkered down. Looking towards the road, he grabbed a braid in his beard and chewed on it for a moment. He was in deep shit, this was true. If the tone in the barmaid and Miss Sarunas voice when they said battlemage was any indication, he had hit the wrong person to hit. As if thinking of the man made it happen, his biceps contracted, just like when the mage casted his spell. He had been struck by lightning once, when he was about to break all bonds and destroy the tribe who had raised him, and the Old Faith men had said it was Thor stopping him. Kori had thought it nonsense at the time, as much as a beast was able to think, but now with his new found faith and resolve, he thought differently. Now, he believed that he had been guided all his life, protected by the Gods.

Spying a nice bit off wood on the ground, he picked it up and began carving quietly with his small knife. Every few seconds he would look towards the road. He wanted to talk to Miss Saruna, protect her like he had failed to protect so many others. He didn't know the disposition of the small guard still. Was she in their with Saruna now? Had she switched sides, or was she still wanting to take Saruna to jail? He didn't really want to fight her, she looked capable, but he wasn't a woman hitter. Carving still, he sighed. This was taking very long. He knew the mage would be coming, and coming soon. Looking down at what he had carved, he put a few finishing touches, such as using his knife point to carve a hole through the top. Taking a leather thong from his pack, he threaded it through the eye of the wood and placed it around his neck. It was crudely carved, and not very large or ornate, but it was a hammer, and it had Thor's Rune carved into it. That was good enough for Kori.

Turning, he heard the young girl ask for wood beads. He didn't have time for pleasantries and idle borrowing! walking forward to the window, he spoke. "Excuse me young Miss, but I need to talk to Miss Rischett immediatly."

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Fayane
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Re: Happily Ever After

Post by Fayane » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:55 pm

"No. The guard is with me. She's helping me -- where's Derin?"

"There's... there's nothing we can do to help Derin now. We gotta help you. Derin told me most of what was going on before... well, we gotta get the battlemage on our side or off the case before we can do anything. We should leave... this is the first place he'll look."

Fay's ears twitched, the girl was right. But still something wasn't right. Fay peeked around the staircase and narrowed her eyes. But what? Suddenly the young woman, once a timid country girl, now was suddenly demanding and determined...

"There's a way around this. It can't be that prominent a case... How long do trials usually take? Because we need to keep the mage distracted the whole time. And we need beads. Do you have any wooden beads?" Wooden beads? Why on earth would the girl needs beads? Fay stood silently and was about to move out of hiding when she heard the giant heart move. Fay's eyes widened, the being had heavy footsteps, so it was no small being.

"Excuse me young Miss, but I need to talk to Miss Rischett immediatly." Fay's ears once more twitched, deep voice, very urgent... why did he sound familiar? Wait... the tall man who stood against Mela! The man was alive?!? Fay was shocked into stillness. Who was this man? Even more so, what was he? Grinding her teeth silently Fay decided to stay hidden, the more she knew before they knew she was there, the better.

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