Death, Doom, and Distraction

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Kyon
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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Kyon » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:01 pm

Mikhail awoke to the smell of food preporation. It must be close to breakfast time. He swung his legs off the bed and stood. He stretched and yawned, then put on his newly acquired clothes. He shuffled down the staircase and toward the dining room. The servants were still busy preparing the food.

Mikhail grabbed one of the servants. “Could you get me a glass of juice, please? Whatever you have prepared.”

The servant nodded and took toward the kitchen. Mikhail sat down in the same position as he had the previous night. Suddenly a deep itch sprang to life in his back. He glanced around him. The coast was clear. He shifted his finger into a long claw and started digging at the itch. He heard the servant coming back with his juice and quickly shifted back.

“Thank you, sir,” Mikhail said as the servant placed a glass in front of him.

“My pleasure. Breakfast will be served momentarily.” The servant bowed and headed back to the kitchen.

Mikhail grabbed the glass and chugged the entire thing. A couple minutes later places were being set and household residents were seating themselves simultaneously. The head of the house took his place at the head of the table, then the staff seated themselves. A few minutes later Christof and his sister walked in, just as Mikhail was taking a particularly large bite out of a slice of ham. Annette passed within inches of him, sending chills up his spine.

Christof sat down a place to the right of Mikhail. “Well, Mikhail, I trust you slept well, and got yourself a new outfit I see. Much better than those drab rags you were wearing before for now, I guess. You almost look presentable.”

“Aye. A kind gift from a friend. Do not fret, I shall be back to my old self in no time.” Mikhail then took an overly petite bite out of his potato. It was at this point he'd noticed Anarawad, and the bags faintly forming under his eyes. “It's not good to go a night without sleeping when you journey.”

Mikhail enjoyed the food and idle conversation, but before long the trio was packed and out the door. Mikhail was free to let his mind wander as Christof had taken charge of navigation. He only needed to keep his senses open to the dangers around them. Once they had gotten far enough from the village Mikhail stripped off his constricting garbs and dawned his simple clothes once again.

Now all they needed to do was reach Trelham.

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Anarawad
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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Anarawad » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:13 pm

That first day had been a rough one, being as tired as he was. But, with the night and a good camp came sound sleep. Anarawad was feeling revitalized and ready for his biggest adventure. The wilds awaited and a journey laid before him.

He was beginning to recognize the countryside, some roadside shop carts had been there on the journey to Marn. The troupe had merged with a road that looked vaguely familiar and signs at forks told them all that they were heading in the right direction.

Anarawad spent his time talking with Christof, taking lessons in swordplay at night. He had begun to regularly clean his firearm very delicately. He was not nearly an expert at neither, but he was learning quickly as he tended to do at most things. Daydreams whirled in his head as his chest puffed with a sense of his adventures. After a thought, he stopped at one of the carts and purchased a decent amount of parchment and a fountain pen. Supposedly, the ornate pen held ink in it and somehow released the right amounts as he wrote. With these, he began penning the escapade.

Suddenly, as Trelham was in sight, he noticed something he hadn't before. Keeping to veil of hillsides, someone was following them. The man was wearing dark clothing that was tight, but obviously had some padding underneath. No indication of a weapon was on him and he didn't carry a pack, so he must have been somewhat local. The heart-stopping thought struck young Anarawad: Perhaps the follower was an assassin.

"Don't look now, my companions, but someone is following us."

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Christof
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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Christof » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:03 am

Christof always somewhat enjoyed leaving Helsbergh and the Manor, the fresh air of the country side always relaxed him a bit, though this time he wasn’t alone. Christof rarely traveled with companions and even when he did it wasn’t for more than a day or two, so the current company was somewhat welcomed. As the trio cleared the towns borders, Christof padded his pocket feeling the letters of credit securely in place, and started setting the pace towards Trelham.

Having “fired” Mikhail from navigation the group was making good time, and setting a good pace. Even at night they were productive, Christof helped Anarawad with a little swordplay and wrote in his journal, which he saw Anarawad had picked up as well. Throughout their travels Christof couldn’t help but think they were being followed, but then again they were on a busy stretch of road and chances are someone was going to the same place they were, so he shook off the feeling.

Before they knew it, Trelham was in sight, Christof almost didn’t notice it as he was buried in a book he grabbed form his library on Ayana ”Can you believe this? Apparently there are dragons in Ayana, ha dragons, they’ve been extinct for centuries, this book is most amusing.”

Before he could continue, Anarawad spoke up "Don't look now, my companions, but someone is following us." I knew it! Christof thought placing his book back in its place, and in one fluid motion he drew his pistol and spun around aiming at their follower.

”Who are you and why are you following us? he asked cocking the hammer back on his pistol into fireing position, ”Choose your next words wisely for they may be your last.”

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Kyon
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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Kyon » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:59 am

Mikhail was enjoying his lessened roll in navigating. He loved exploring the world, but it was easier when he was alone and had no particular destination. He did not enjoy inconveniencing his companions. Now that he didn't have to worry about such things he was relaxing toward the back of the group, keeping to himself mostly as Anarawad persistently questioned Christof about guns and blades. Mikhail enjoyed the young man's excitement. It reminded him of his first travels.

When they were nearly within sight of Trelham Mikhail began smelling someone behind them but, try as he did, he could not see them behind him. He decided not to pay too much attention to it, though. If it was an assassin or thief it would be suicidal for them to attack the group. Thus, as they continued, Mikhail ignored the scent. He figured it was probably a traveler keeping off of the roads. Then, Anarawad caught sight of the pursuer.

Christof took an aggressive approach to Anarawad's realization, immediately drawing his gun and pointing it at the person. Mikhail simply turned and smiled, resting his left hand on the hilt of his sword. Their stalker was now in plain sight.

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Anarawad
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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Anarawad » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:06 am

Christof wrote:
”Who are you and why are you following us? he asked cocking the hammer back on his pistol into fireing position, ”Choose your next words wisely for they may be your last.”
The follower in black stopped suddenly from up the hillside. Anarawad then looked closer, noticing that the short cropped hair had made it look like a man, but the slenderness and hints of breasts told otherwise. She chuckled a moment, then looked intently at them as she paced forward.

"My name is Cherish. I am formerly of Liberatus, but I've abandoned that now. They told me to kill him," she started while motioning to Mikhail, "but I don't think that that would be good for my health, now would it? From what I saw in the tunnels, one of you is a really good shot. One of my companions was hit in the neck directly in the vein while waiting for an opportunity to crawl out and ambush you."

"That was me." Anarawad spoke up and loosened the slip knot on his gun, "I don't know what you mean about a good shot, though. I was aiming for his head."

"Well, then, you are really lucky. Anyway, as I said, I was told to kill your shifter, there. However, Liberatus wants to break the seal and become more powerful than the Changers. They will be too ignorant to wield that power responsibly, so while tracking you I decided I'd rather help you."

Anarawad's gun was fully detached now. He couldn't trust anyone that claimed to be a former enemy, that would be a stupid mistake. A lot of the deaths of heroes in the books he had read had died in exactly this same way. This small hero, however, would not be so naive.

"I have a copy of the map of Ayana." the assassin continued, "I'm guessing that's where you're heading, since you are going to Trelham. I can lead you to them. Help me make right my sins, please. I have no other place to turn, Liberatus has no enemies in Ayana. From what I can conclude, you three are capable enough."

"If you wish to come with us, I say we should let you." Anarawad spoke without thinking to talk it over with his companions, "However, don't expect us to trust you at all. You will walk in front of us, we will carry your weapons, and we will be constantly vigilant of you. In fact, I don't trust you enough to leave you unbound."

She thought for a moment, finally nodding. "Fine, if that is what I must do."

Anarawad looked her up and down. Despite her boyish appearance, she was quite desirable. She was a half-elf from the looks of her. If she wasn't useful in any other way, at least she'd be nice to look at while they were walking behind her.

"Can I be the one to frisk her?" Anarawad whispered to the other two with a wide grin.

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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Christof » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:21 am

Christof lowered his pistol keeping his grip as he studied the elf. The boyish looking elf didn’t seem to give off any tell-tale signs of magic, but Christof was always on his guard about such things, for sometimes it could be easily concealed.

”I don’t exactly agree with you tagging along, what did you say your name was Cherish? But I suppose you could travel with us to Trelham, could always use a bartering piece if we run into Bandits or some other ruffians.

Christof motioned for Anarawad to tie up and search the woman, holstering his pistol when the task was done. The elf didn’t seem to upset about being bound, Weird things these elves are Christof thought walking up to her.

"Well, now that that’s taken care of, you mentioned a map I believe, if you would be so kind to tell me where you’ve hidden it I would be most obliged."


Cherish didn’t say a word she just glared at the Inquisitor with a look of disbelief,

"All right then, I see where you’re coming from, if we have the map then we have no need for you, had a problem like that once in a small village called Ostentaria…" he started to trail off before catching himself, "Well that’s a story for a different time, since you won’t cooperate I guess my companion Mikhail can get it from you, go on Mikhail I’m guessing your as excited to get at her as Anarawad was."

Christof then strode away back towards the city waving Mikhail on with little care of what happened to the new arrival.

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Kyon
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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Kyon » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:57 am

Mikhail’s heart leapt once he realized it was a woman and it stopped when his companions had agreed to bring her along. You must be joking. Fearful thoughts ran through his mind as he tried to think of excuses as to why they should ditch or kill the woman. He was eased at Anarawad’s enthusiasm for frisking her.

How many women has Liberatus hired in the past year? He was becoming increasingly frightened of the gang’s numbers. Could it be possible that in such a short time they had recruited a small army and are now creating an empire in Ayana? What is in the land that is driving whoever leads Liberatus now? Then he heard the woman say something about breaking the seal. Lore and legends ran through his head and a new fear started to take hold in the pit of his stomach.

“Since you won’t cooperate I guess my companion Mikhail can get it from you. Go on, Mikhail. I’m guessing your as excited to get at her as Anarawad was."

Mikhail stared at Christof blankly. “No, I believe I will pass. Let the boy continue with his fun.” He then turned to Cherish who was still about fifteen feet away. “You say they plan on breaking the seal. This cannot be allowed. In fact, it shouldn’t even be possible without some tremendous source of power.”

Cherish smiled at Mikhail as Anarawad continued poking around her person, seemingly in search of her map. “Such a power exists, sir. Ayana is teeming with magic. The most powerful mages here could not defeat an Ayanian child. I am not sure exactly what it is, but Liberatus is nearing it. They must be stopped.”

“I see. This is terrible news indeed. Anarawad, find the map and break her legs. We don’t need any complications.” Mikhail’s body quivered with his uncharacteristic demand, but it would be unhealthy for him to go on such a dangerous mission with a woman constantly at his side.

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Anarawad
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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Anarawad » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:34 am

Break her legs? I can't even break an insect! Anarawad thought as he kept up the futile search.

He thought for a moment of being a woman. Where would one hide things? He fondled around the crease in the leathery fabric underneath the woman's breasts, but to no avail.

"Getting a good feel, little one? You know, while I was following you I thought you were a teenage girl." the assassin jested.

"Shut up!" he raised his voice and shoved into her, only staggering himself.

"Wow, do you think you're a warrior?"

"I don't need to be one," he raised his gun from underneath his cloak, "to be effective at killing you."

"Really now?" the woman just chuckled, "I could have killed you at least three times by now by the blade sheathed in my inner thigh."

Startled, Anarawad took a step back, then quickly came forward again and felt the small dagger. Nervously, he reached down her trousers and began to work on unbuckling the blade. The half-elf was giggling mockingly. Annoyed, he finally broke the blade free and threw it toward his pack around which was littered with throwing knives, short blades, a few bottles of poison, and now two daggers.

"Anything else I need to be aware of?" he snapped.

"No more weapons, that was my last one."

"Where's the map?"

The smug woman tapped her temple with a wide grin. If there was any more of an irritating woman, Anarawad would rather stop chasing them. She was playing mind games with him and he didn't like it.

"The minute we set foot on Ayana, you draw the map and run. If you're lucky, I'll miss." he warned.

"Agreed." Cherish smiled.

"Well, Mikhail, I guess we have a straggler. I doubt Christof will be happy."

He pushed her toward Trelham after making extra sure her bonds were secure. The shifter and him were keeping their distance about 20 feet behind her. Anarawad looked over at Mikhail, noticing the tell-tale signs of stress.

"You don't like women, do you? No, don't answer that. I don't need to know. I'm sorry, but this is our only lead to find the people you are looking for."

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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Christof » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:44 pm

Christof trudged behind the other two, somewhat irritated with this new arrival, for he never really did like elves, even though he was technically part elf. At least she isn’t a blasted spell tosser he thought judging from the amount of weapons she had on her, also she didn’t reek of the stuff, which was also good news for him.

Trelham was relatively close now, the smell of the sea air was nice something he often missed when traveling in landlocked aeras, though the smell of fish assaulting his nose wasn’t as pleasant. As the group continued toward the gates Christof thought of how they were going to explain this to the city guards, granted he could try to use his Inquisitorial power to attempt to bypass the guards questioning, but her lack of latent magic ability could easily put a dampener on that and could cause more unneeded questioning.

”How do you suppose we explain why our new, ahem, friend is tied up to the city guards, we don’t want to draw to much attention to ourselves, especially if she has any friends inside.” He asked the other two, ”ah and before I forget, did you get the map from her?”

Anarawad explained the map situation to Christof, who ran his hand down his face in disbelief.
”That clever girl, well I guess that means we have to avoid killing her for a while, at least until we can get that map out of her”

With the lack of a physical map, now having to readjust the formatting of supplies, and also having an assassian tagging along, Christof was now more irritated than before, and having reached the Trelham city gate without a plan to explain said assassin, thought to himself This is going to be a long voyage indeed

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Kyon
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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Kyon » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:06 am

“Behold! The great fence of Trelham!” Mikhail boasted as they reached Trelham's “walls”. Then he lowered his voice, “do not make fun. They petitioned for twenty years to have it put up.” There was one guard sitting in a chair leaning his head against the five-foot-high fence drowsing off. Mikhail walked up to the gate and pushed it open. He looked back at the group, shrugged, and walked in.

Trelham hadn't changed much since the last time he'd been through. Still a small fishing town. He had to reinsert his cotton balls because the smell of fish was torturing his stomach.

“What's the matter, shifter? Do I smell too sweet for you?” Cherish jested.

“I do not mind having no map, girl. I have no issue killing you here and now,” Mikhail said with a glare in her direction.

“Give it a go, then.” She stuck out her lower lip and blinked her eyes bashfully. When Mikhail did not react she smiled again. “Aw, what's the matter?”

“Dammit! Shut up!” Mikhail turned and continued walking. “We have to find a boat so we can hurriedly kill this witch.”

He walked quickly to the edge of the town, shoving food into his mouth as he did. He'd calmed down by the time they'd reached the docks. They found a man sitting on the dock fishing and whistling to himself.

“Excuse me, sir. We need a boat to Pretana.”

The man glanced at the group then back to the water. “We leave in an hour. It will be twenty bishani a piece.”

Mikhail turned to Christof. “You heard the man. Pay up.”

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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Anarawad » Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:59 am

"Twenty a piece? I wouldn't." Anarawad dismissed and spotted the so-called sailor down the dock.

He hurried on down, whistling to the portly old man to call his attention. The man looked at him dismissively at first, then a look of recognition struck him. He smiled greatly and nodded toward the tiny Anarawad.

"You going across?" Anarawad shouted.

"Anything for the Prince Gaelish." the sailor bowed sarcastically.

The man was some sort of transporter for the books Anarawad's father spent his life acquiring. When he'd mentioned his father's name, the man had waived his charges. Although his boat was small and precarious-looking, it had done just fine.

"Got room for three more?" the boy called again.

"Aye, lad."

Anarawad looked back with a triumphant smile. Bowing, he waved the others ahead of him in an elaborate "after you" gesture.

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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Christof » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:20 am

”some days I swear you just enjoy making me pay for things Mikhail” Christof said putting his coin pouch away.

Christof followed Anarawad down the dock toward the portly old man who apparently knew the lad from before.

”Thank you m’boy, saved us, well more of me, a deal of coin back there”Christof said bowing in an equally flamboyant gesture to Anarawad’s after you, ”thank your captain friend for me as well, I shall be at the stern of this….vessel… if you need me.

With his final remark Christof boarded the ship and made his way to the stern, finding a corner to sit in and lowered his hat over his eyes to catch a little snooze before they reached their destination.

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Kyon
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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Kyon » Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:53 am

Mikhail rested against the wall of the boat and started feasting on the food that he'd collected from Haustanzer Manor. He thought of a witty quip about how Christof's house was run and inhaled to say it aloud. As he turned, though, he'd realized his companion had taken to rest. Mikhail sighed heavily and went back to his food. He stood and turned his attention to the sea. It was calm, the breeze was light. He was not accustomed to traveling by boat. He'd only briefly visited the islands off of the mainland a few times. Being on a boat did not necessarily scare him but they seemed... unsafe. He did not like the idea of a ship breaking down in the middle of the ocean nor did he care to think about what lay in the deep waters between Eyropa and Ayana. The calmness of this short trip felt like the prelude to a much more chaotic suite. As Pretana's shore came into view he prayed to his ancestors that the uneasiness he felt was just the cause of a new journey's anxiety.

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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Anarawad » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:03 am

The ride was an easy one, Cherish cheerily insulting the three on the way while the "captain" gleefully steered through the strait. Christof had slept most of the trip and Mikhail seemed resigned to his thoughts. Anarawad, too, thought. Not of the perilous journey or Marn or even the present company. He thought of his father. He had left Pretana for a reason, there were many painful memories there. Yet, the young man was returning one last time only a short while after departing.

"Land, lads. Perk up now!" the portly haggard gentleman spoke.

There it was, the shores of Pretana. A port town called Sysern, to be exact. It was only a short distance home now. Well, what was once home, anyway.

"There it is, my fellow travelers. Pretana, my home land. I don't believe there's any reason to travel into my home town, the captain we seek lives south of it. There's a beaten path that leads directly to his hovel. I'll show you." Anarawad spoke very solemnly.

As the small boat slid ashore, a pain came into his stomach. Looking down, he spied a small knife sticking into him. At the handle, the mouthy Cherish's bound hands held tightly. With his last ounce of consciousness, he swung at the assassin and connected squarely with the side of her face. The last he saw was the woman being held down against the sand of shore before the world faded into darkness.

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Re: Death, Doom, and Distraction

Post by Christof » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:43 am

Christof slept most of the trip, occasionally waking up to Cherish’s cackling as she poked fun at one of the other two, possibly him, but he didn’t care to much seeing as there might not be another chance. After what only seemed like a few moments, Christof awoke to the shores of Pretana, and what appeared to be a town of sorts, he couldn’t really tell with the glare of the sun and sleep clouding what was left of his vision. If it is a town chances are we’re going to be headed there for this captain of Anarawad’s, whoever the man may be. Christof thought as the boat landed on the shore.

”All right lads and….whatever you call yourself assassin for your hardly a lady, let’s try to get to this hovel by sundown, I’m a bit tired of camping out in the woods.”

As Christof turned around to see if the others had followed him up the shore, he saw Anarawad hit Cherish in the face, knocking her to the ground and then falling over himself.

”Well she may not be a lady but that doesn’t mean you can hit her Anarawad…”

As Christof spotted the knife in Cherish’s hand, he realised what just happened and had drawn his pistol, leveling it at the assassin’s head saying,

”So Mikhail, do you want to kill her now? Or shall we kill her later in a more appeasing way such as dropping her off in the middle of the ocean?”

Christof walked up to Anarawad, keeping his pistol levelled at the incapacitated Cherish, and nudged him a few times with his boot.

"Well he’s still alive, for now at least, doesn’t seem to be too much damage, might be a poisoned blade or something will have to check into it when I get the chance…haven’t seen one of them for several years, I wonder if it’s a new design, oh that would be just wonderful could use something to get my mood up….wait why was I upset again? Oh right Anarawad just got stabbed by that thing, right right right, well lets get him to a doctor or something, should be one in that town or at least one would hope so...

Christof tossed Anarawad up on his shoulder with relative ease and started to walk to the town. After about fifteen steps he stopped turned to Mikhail and said,

”you know if he dies we could drown Cherish using him as an anchor, Ironic don’t you think?”

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