It Begins In Astereth

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It Begins In Astereth

Post  Sabrina on Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:44 am

It was a small town set between the hills. There was a lake a distance away and a river leading from it an even greater distance away, but there were houses and other buildings dotting the road from the town to the river. Regardless of the distance, it couldn't have been any further than just a mile or two. It seemed surprisingly simple. The more intricate house was closest to the north where the river was located, but still within the boundries of the town.

"Astereth," muttered a voice, announcing the town's name to herself aloud. Still, it was a quiet and neutral-toned voice, almost monotonous in its execution. Very befitting of such a drab individual. The cloaked figure began to walk past the crest of the hill and back down again, closing in on the town at a slow pace. It had no wall or gate or fence surrounding it, but instead a garden of flowers. "Well that's useful," she commented with heavy sarcasm.

The sun was setting in the sky, darkness coming early due to the large hills blocking the view of the sky for the dwellers of Astereth. Still, the quick-arriving nighttime darkness didn't shield the woman's alien appearance from the town of confused and frantic humans. Just as soon as she came in, she was driven out. Yes, with pitchforks held high and torches lit. It was gradual at first, the immediate exile, but as soon as one man grabbed his tool of choice and jabbed it in her direction, others followed, and soon the cloaked woman fled the town with a moderate sized group of citizens behind her. So instead of proceeding, she set up camp off the side of the road away from the town, just barely in the treeline.

Apparently this was one of those few towns who knew nothing of elves and it was safe to assume they knew nothing of many other races. Maybe even magic, too.
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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Rambunctious on Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:47 pm

Nighttime; a most wonderful time. Fear always held a greater influence in the darkness. A monster hiding in the darkness under the bed, a killer waiting in the alleyway. A demon, lurking at a crossroads, waiting patiently for a weary and desperate traveler.

And what more could a demon ask for than this? A lone traveler, a woman no less, driven from the nearest civilization? He had to know why. What was it about her that the wretched townsfolk feared? It was time to find out. The creature would not appear to her just yet; not in his true form. Instead he would whisper, an unnatural smoke billowing from his lips. It carried his voice through the brush and trees, dancing its way to the woman's ears. As it hovered around her form she would hear his voice, speaking as clearly as if he were just beside her.

"Child, what brings you to such a lonely place? It is not safe, here in the darkness. Monsters roam freely in the night. Surely you know that."

The tone was low, and a bit lazy. It sounded as if he had just awoken from a long nap. If she were to look around carefully she might spot the glow of two red eyes, hidden far off the road; watching.

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Sabrina on Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:05 pm

Flame spurted like a small geyser from her hands, lighting some kindling on fire and aiding the conception of a decent campfire. Her hood was pulled down soon after, body retreating somewhat from the flames in a manner that suggested intimidation. Eyes lingered upon the dancing red-and-gold before they shut and listened to the sound of nature. It was soothing, yes, but with that was the sounds of uproar in the town far off, the crackling of her fire, and... an unfamiliar voice?

Ears twitched as the elf reeled around, only to see nothing at first and then those two red specks across the way.

"Don't patronize me," the voice hissed. "I'm older than I look." She paused and waited in silence, aiming to pick out a figure or silhouette something. But no, it was quite dark. Not to mention the glare from the flames flickering nearby.

"Hiding isn't suspicious at all," she said, each word drenched in sarcasm. The woman turned back around to face the fire, giving that creature her back. Her hand waved the smoke away, trying to disperse it and continue with her rather irritating evening of being chased out of town. And for what reason? Simply because she was elven? That was preposterous!
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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  That One Guy on Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:07 am

At the 'Gilded Truffle' things were just reaching boiling point. While it wasn't rare that some of the more outspoken peasants banded together to drive out knive-ears by pitchfork or torch, it was completely unusual for said exile to remain nearby. Her movements had been clocked and noted by the guards.. basically glorified farmhands. When a fire had been sparked at the forest's edge, just a wavering orange flicker in the hills surrounding Azereth and then the news reached the innards of the small farming community, emotions went from dull annoyance at her intrusion to fear. The bar which held many of the laborors was in a fever pitch, accusations being thrown left and right.

"Obviously a witch! She seeks revenge for our treatment! She'll come when we slumber," Prophesized one drunkard, waving his drink carelessly in the air, "We need t' round up our bravest warriors. Pod, that fellow with the polearm! Maybe even Chrissa! She can hit a sprintin' rabbit with ease."

Some shouts and yells of agreement escaped the crowd. Most just started, that glossy look of apprehension painted on the congregation. The townsfolk kept spouting ideas, fueling the fear and the mistrust. All except a small cadre of armed men at a table in the corner. They kept quiet and just watched.

"No, no, no!" Saul the bartender came from the back, waving his hairy arms dismissively. "Y' start takin' th' law inta yer own hands, people gunna get 'ert! This ain't our quarrel. A job more befittin' th' crown an' his goons! Send a messenger to the capital requestin' aid! After all, Azereth dun gotta go th' way of Lotham.." A quiet hush fell over the crowd as the citizens were lost in their own ruminations. The bartender grinned, rarely finding a chance to be heard himself. "Aye, Lotham.. burned t' tha ground cuz some knife-ears got uppity. We attack, that'll give 'er reason to come back n' do tha same. We send word t' tha crown and it'll--"

"It will take too long"

A foreign voice. As if by some magnetic force, all heads suddenly turned to the table in the corner. Three men garbed in similar armor - lightweight boiled leather with gold threading about the shoulders and chest - were there, the meanest-looking of the lot now standing and addressing the crowd. His hair was short, skin paler than fresh snow and scars of almost every imaginable length and curvature were eched into his face. The one on his left was younger, sporting longer hail tied into a rogue knot. Somethings about his eyes however spoke volumes. The man on his right was of a darker complextion with a skullcap pulled tight. He was wearing a scowl that suggested his was born with it.

"We can hunt.. it for you. But we expect compensation. These dandelion chewers aren't much up close but are known to carry spells that could decimate a fortress. They carry old magic from the east, most of them. I have a feeling this one is no different. 15 gold scrounged up amongst you mangy lot and I'll bring you back a head for the mantle.."

The inside of the bar erupted with shouts. Some were rude, offensive. Others crying out for the mercs to move, do it now. Saul tried to quiet the rabble but to no avail.. he had his chance to speak. The man in charge looked to his men and grinned. They had seen this before. Sure, they'd argue and whine, maybe even start tossing around alternatives. But the end result was always gold, held in either a small satchel or a box. Fear-mongering was easy when the people did it to themselves.

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Rambunctious on Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:06 pm

What a bold little woman, speaking as such to an unknown being. For all she knew he could be three stories high and spout fire from his throat. At least one of these things was a possibilty. "She must be confident in her abilities" he thought to himself, inching slowly closer. Still, every being held a seed of self-doubt within them. It was his job to find and exploit it.

It was difficult to tell just how far off he was, his eyes the only visible marker of his location. "You know they will come after you." He spoke slowly, this time without the aid of magical smoke. "You are far too close for comfort. They fear your presence here," His voice echoed amongst the trees, "As they do mine." Despite his manipulative words, his voice was rather dull. It did not hold the normal seduction or allure expected from one of his kind. Instead, it was commanding; like a stern father, or war weary soldier.

He would continue to keep his distance, red eyes burning through the darkness. "Do you fear them as well? Or do you believe you are capable of fending off an entire village, alone?"

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Sabrina on Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:51 pm

And so they did pay! After debating and throwing fits and being otherwise unpleasant, the gold was given and the three men were eagerly told to leave right away. Their voices were laced with desperation, fear... They wanted this witch gone. The humans here feared anything foreign in appearance and ability, and this woman was a living definition of such.

Speaking of, she sat still now, listening to the voice in absolute silence. She had to focus a little bit now that the smoke no longer carried his voice to her. Was she trying to locate the source? Probably. A hand came up to brush a string of pearls away from her ear, allowing it to resume dangling from the circlet of pearls at the top of her head. There wasn't much color to her at this time of night, other than the red-orange glow of the fire.

"I can easily put out the fire, it's nothing to worry about. Besides, I'm a decent distance away from town. If I see them approach from afar, since I'm so close to the road, I'll just walk deeper into the forest. It's as easy as that," she replied. She lapsed into silence again, but remembered he mentioned they feared him as well. "Are you Elven as well? And you don't have to stay if you're afraid they'll catch up."

Silence swallowed her once more. Fending off a village? She grew nervous, yes, but not significantly. "I don't fear people," she muttered. "And I could fend them off, but I'd rather not. I'll just leave if they get too close. I've been on foot for a while now and would just like to rest."

Those moon-colored eyes of hers scanned behind her to try to see where he was once more, but she couldn't see much other than those eyes and she could only assume he wasn't human. Humans don't look so supernatural.

Humans don't summon smoke. At least not here, from what she's gathered.
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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  That One Guy on Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:31 pm

Once the sack of gold was counted in a tight puke-littered alleyway right beside the Truffle, the men steeled themselves and made their way towards the outskirts of town. The trio were much craftier than the normal rabble, including the mob who had chased the lass out in the first place. Plus they had small numbers in their corner and didn't make a huge disturbance when they moved. With that in mind and with weapons on their backs and hips, they exited Azereth.

After a half-hour of silent stalking through the roving hills, they camped at the crest of a knoll on her far left. Instead of marching straight into the fray, they had made an executive descision to try and flank.. it opened up tactics. Adonato, the short-haired leader and experienced war veteren, raised one tight fist into the sky. Nevan and Xezat - Ponytail and Scowly, respectfully - paused in mid-step and dropped into the lush grass. In the far off expanse, that fire of hers had grown from a pinhead in the distance to a wavering beacon. Either she was extremely foolish or extremely crafty. Adonato took a second to gauge the campsite with due scrutiny before looking to his men.

"I'm thinkin'.. Lacoste?" His two underlings exchanged worried glances, Nevan's hardened eyes becoming somewhat duller.. muted. It was him who first retorted. "Addy, didn't work too well back then if you care to remember. I nearly got eviscerated. You and Xez were too far away, the wind was strong.. it was a poorly-formed plan and was shabbily executed. Why don't we just pick her off from afar or rush the camp?" Xezat grunted when his younger companion finished, mirroring his concern.

Adonato shook his head. "Can't risk it. It just looks too convienient, too ballsy for an elf. I'd bet my cut she was a few of her friends in the trees, posted up and just waiting for a reason. We'll mimic Lacoste but I ensure you both.. it'll be alot tighter, alot smoother this time." Seeing no alternative other than whining like a newborn babe, the two fighters begrudingly agreed.. and so, preperations were made.

One hour later, Nevan came shuffling along the forest edge in a simple cotten tunic and burlap trouser combo. A thin iron dagger was on his hip, a paltry form of defense. Left hand was glued to his forehead and once he started to get closer to the elf, generic moans of pain escaped him. "Ooooh, damnit.. those bastards.." Thankful for the fire since it showed the main selling point. Blood from a diagonal tear leaked downwards and dripped off his jawline, the actual gore of the cut hidden by his left. "Ma'am.. ma'am.." He stagger-stepped into Luna's camp, unaware of her 'guest'. "Can you help me, please?! I've been robbed on the path to Azereth! They took my wagon in the forest.." With that, he broke down into surprisingly realistic sob session. He dropped to his knees, burying his face in the crook of his free arm's elbow. So far, Adonato and Xezat were unseen..

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Rambunctious on Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:35 am

Still the demon stayed hidden in the nearby brush; perhaps he was not as threatening as he made himself out to be? "You think the will allow you to just walk away? You are a fool, then. They will hunt you down and string you up." The real question was did he know this? Or was he simply trying to frighten her? She would not have time to figure it out, as the hunt had already begun.

The approach of an injured man had the demon's full attention. How suspicious. "Do not trust him." He spoke once again through his supernatural smoke, which made its reappearance just beneath the girl's nostrils. This would ensure that only she could hear his words. "He hides malicious intent in his heart." He was at the ready now. The demon would happily lend his aid.

For a price.

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Sabrina on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:19 am

Most of that hour was spent in silence, although she likely retorted a time or two to the demon who was bugging at her. Ah, but he shouldn't be offended - everything irritated her! "And you're a fool to think I don't know that! If it gets to that point, I will run away. I have legs, you know. Or maybe you don't actually know, considering you're hiding away." Again, she lapsed into silence. This time, the silence was broken by someone other than she and the hiding demon.

Her eyes stayed locked on his ragged form, watching and waiting. However, when he began to speak and fell into tears, she could no longer feel without a doubt that the demon was correct. Sure, he could be, and she recognized that, but these were actual tears and that was actual blood. She expected some sort of confrontation, as her luck always sort of threw her amid the worst of things, but probably not as carefully planned as these three had done. "Well, what can I do? I'm just a woman. You're better off heading to the town and--" she cut herself off to listen to the quiet words somehow concentrated in that smoke. It had to be magic. It just had to be.

She gave it thought, sitting there in silence for another few minutes before rapidly wiping beneath her nose in hopes of dispersing that strange smoke. Finally, she stood up, grabbed her belongings, and poured water on the fire from her canteen. The rest of the flames were snuffed out with her cloak.

"I'll come," she sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. If anything, she just wanted to have an excuse to retreat away from the presence of the stranger, if only for a moment. Knowing him, he'd likely follow, but still. He forced his presence upon her in that odd way, and it was annoying. Why couldn't he just show himself already?

"You're an idiot, you know," she began, hands habitually resting on her circular blades at her hip. "You're better off just accepting the fact your stuff is gone. Me, too, but-- ah," she clipped her sentence with another sigh and walked along with him in silence for as long as she could.

Eventually, she'd spout, "How far do you think they got?"
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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  That One Guy on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:01 pm

Nevan was totally ignorant to the demon shroud in the dark expanse behind them, focused on the plot and his guise. The head wound - a byproduct of a dagger's edge and alot of scar tissue - had stopped weeping, now hardening to a congealed mass. Her attitude and paltry barbs rolled of his back. He had been subjugated to much worse within the 'Feranus Guard'.. a past that was only touched on when he slept, when memories were allowed to come out and freely roam.

They hit the winding path that led back to Azereth, the town just a myriad of small flickers on the horizon. He kept his whining short, preferring only the occasional moan or titter. When she asked about the bandits and their escape route he sniffled some and gave his answer. "Not sure. They kidnapped Percy, my friend and longtime road partner and absconded to the south. In the direction of that shabby excuse for a town. You ask me," He glanced to the elf, "They got a deal cut with one of the shops in town. I know they've been trying to undercut our prices for years, even back when my pa ran the caravan.. all this for baubles and.. and.."

Only a few feet in front of them was a dark round mass discarded on the side of the road. Not much could be seen. A cloak made of bear fur covered the bump entirely. The scent of spilled blood was prevalent, meandering in the air. Nevan froze, letting shock cross his face at an alarming rate before his voice came out in a ragged gasp. "That's..Percy's cloak!"

He rushed from the elf's side and knelt down at his downed friend. "Oh gods, it's horrible!" Hands dipped underneath the cloak, searching for life signs. Head canted down to hear his breath. "He's still breathing! Please," He looked back to the elf wanderer, his eyes bulging to the size of saucers, "Help me. We need to close his wounds and carry him into town! I'll pay you whatever you need when we arrive.. I have a few jewels back home from my pa I can hawk at a good price. Please, please.."

Around them were the jagged dips and swells of Azereth's surrounding plains. A few trees dotted the landscaped but not much else. No wandering farmers, no others to offer aid..


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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Rambunctious on Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:40 pm

The demon would follow the pair at a distance, though he chose to keep himself shrouded in the darkness of the brush. He knew this man was up to no good, and while the demon had no real place to judge, he did it anyways! Eyes remained glued on the man and his injured friend. Was this a genuine accident, after all? No, it couldn't be. There was too much malice and deceit hanging in the air.

Time to stir up some trouble.

Emerging from the bushes he made his first actual appearance, though his appearance was perhaps unexpected for the elf. He was a normal man, albeit a bit tall. Red hair, green eyes, and a dashing smile. "'Scuse me!" He spoke up, sounding much more jovial than he had in his earlier whispers.

"I'm a little lost, and I heard some voices nearby. Thought you all mi-" He paused, a look of utter shock on his face. "By Gods, what happened? Are you all alright?" He proceeded to rush to the two men's side, though his gaze fell to the woman. "Did you see what happened?"

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Sabrina on Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:37 pm

The elf followed him, remaining silent even when he spoke. She didn't really feel like talking, and honestly didn't want to help with the likelihood the town would go after her. It was dangerous. More-so irritating, but still dangerous. As the unconscious body came into view, she didn't run toward it - the man leading her beat her to it. As he began to beg, she grew uncomfortable. "Look, I can't. I wouldn't mind it, but I can't. For some damn reason, they don't take kindly to my race." The elf pointed to her ears and frowned even more than she had been already.

It was then that the perfect diversion presented itself. The man emerged from the brush, allowing the elf to sort of back away a few steps. "I didn't see anything, no," she answered. Her eyes were narrowed somewhat, feeling quite conflicted. Sure, she was selfish normally, but should she risk it for this stranger?

"What am I supposed to do about it though? Really? I mean, if I get any closer they'll freak the Hell out and bam! Suddenly I'm dead. Or their town is burning. I don't exactly want either to happen, personally," she added. Her voice sounded just as conflicted as her expressions portrayed. She didn't have anything to hide, really. She had enough faith in her abilities to defend herself if there was some ballsy man hiding in the woods readying himself to hunt down this 'witch.' Honestly she didn't see why the town was so upset about her being there.

She bit her lip. "I'll help you carry him most of the way there. When we get too close I'm running for it. Keep your money. Deal?" She glanced between all of them, from the body to the injured man to the lost individual.
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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  That One Guy on Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:37 am

Nevan grumbled, still stooped over the downed body of Xezat. The blood had been supplied by the same cut on his forehead, draining just enough to make it believable. Now they would have to deal with this interloper as well, making their mission harder than needed. Where the hell did he come from anyways?! As Nevan faked checking the man's chest for wounds, his fingers slipped onto the grimy hilt of a iron-based cudgel, meant for braining and bashing. Underneath that he could feel the rythmic breath of Xezat. Constant, strong.. anticipating. Slowly, Nevan craned his head back to the purple-haired elf. A smile came. "Sorry.. no deal."

The next few moments were chaotic but precise in their execution. Nevan jerked first, pulling his weapon from its leather home and swinging it once at the close stranger's jawline. When the cloak was pulled off in the unsheathing it exposed Xezat with his hands on a bulky crossbow with one in the pipe, face contorted with concentration. As soon as air touched his skin he rolled to the side opposite to Nevan and the stranger. When the gravel path gave way to overgrown grass he hopped up to his feet, still somewhat crouched. Bolt's tip was pointed at Luna, assuming his young cohort could handle the helpful man. "Hands off your steel, knife-ear."

That's when Adonato made his appearance. Nestled behind treeline he had heard the approach but not the faces.. one of them he knew all too well anyways. As Nevan attempted to silence the interloper and Xezat kept crowd control, he gauged the scene they had caused. Though a normal man from the looks of it, something malicious resided past the facade. Being an empath only gave a small shred of the person past the skin and flesh but it was enough for a synopsis. Luna on the other hand, was harder to read.. to discern her true intent and feeling. She felt neutral, a monotonous soul. Eyes squinted but no vision came to him. Still, he needed to make himself known.

"You," He bellowed, pointing the tip of his longsword at Luna, "Stay.. right there. You are hereby a captive of the Galnaltos Band. You keep yourself calm and you'll keep you head." With that he began the walk down the steep hill towards the conflict, spiked targe's round edge bouncing against his thigh. Nevan's form of instilling conform was ignored for now. The boy was wild but did have skill to him. If the newcomer relented, he would be spared. Maybe.


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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Rambunctious on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:18 am

The man would continue to stare at the elf with his look of concern, bright green eyes seeming to glimmer even in the darkness. "You shouldn't stress yourself, little woman. I'll help him carry his friend into town, don't even--" It was then he was so rudely interrupted by the swing of a trusty club, though his swift movements seemed to hint that he'd been fully aware of a possible attack. Was he really a lost traveler?

Quick reflexes might be an understatement when it came to what he did next. Arm was brought up quickly to shield his face, allowing the bludgeon to hit the lateral part of his foreman. Surely that hurt! "I don't know what you're doing stranger." He said, his tone of voice and expression swiftly darkening. "Here I am, a lost traveler, offering you help. And you attack me?" If Nevan didn't act quickly, he'd find his club in the other man's hand. Once (or if) he had it, he would proceed to twist it in a short but quick spiral, in hopes of snapping Nevan's wrist. He was stronger than he looked.

Whether or not poor Nevan was injured, the demon in disguise's attention would be drawn to the approaching Adonato. "You must be the leader of this merry band. Your men are incredibly rude." That's it, get him where it hurts!


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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Sabrina on Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:43 pm

Luna glanced to the stranger when he spoke to her. Good! If he'll take care of it, then she could just turn tail and walk away right now. And she would have, too, if that Nevan fellow didn't turn around, grin, and decline her deal. Everything that followed was almost too fast. After he declined, she expected something to happen, but there was much more than anticipated. The once dead body jumped up and added to the violence, whereas there was another approaching eventually from a different direction! But let's work with this one step at a time.

Without more than a breath taken in that time, she now had a crossbow aimed at her. For a moment, she did look shocked. Scared, even. She couldn't cast a spell without causing pain to herself once again, and that may make things worse if she was trying to get away. Unless she somehow managed to kill all three in one attack, but she knew she couldn't do that without screwing herself over, too. Luna's arms lifted away from her chakram, eyes glancing over to the scuffle between the stranger and Nevan.

"I'm not even going to pretend to think you're doing this out of your own free will. You came from Astereth." This was said to Adonato as he approached. "Fine, take me to town. See what that accomplishes." Luna seemed really sure of herself, but when didn't she? She was glaring now, not even paying mind to the scuffle behind her. This plan was carefully laid out, so she needed to be careful in return. She couldn't just go throwing spells around unless she wanted a bolt in her chest.
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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  That One Guy on Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:22 pm

Nevan, who didn't relinquish his weapon, felt his wrist turn at a horrible angle. The man's reflexes were top notch.. perhaps a ex-legionnaire? He squawked in surprise but jerked his hand away, able to keep the club and remain unscathed as far as broken bones went. Left hand dipped to the dagger on his hip, tugging it free from his sheath. He was about to formulate a counter strike, determination etched into his features.. until Adonato spoke.

"Enough, Nevan. Seems our situation has changed.."

The scarred leader had his targe held up high, trying the signal to his younger cohort to yield with the shield still attached. He was now level with all the participants and could surmise the stranger isn't who he said.. just a passerby? Still, considering the information the captain had now, creating more of a hassle simply over a witness would be.. counter-productive. Xezat kept his aim on Luna as Addy began to move. Nevan had now relented his assault, completely deflated at the robbed chance to prove his worth. He just stood there with a confused look on his face with both dagger and club in hand, the expression mirroring a child told that 'Santa Claus' isn't real. If the stranger allowed, the merc leader would come close to them. And.. smile?

"We are sorry for this.. we must resort to these type of tactics to keep the element of surprise," Adonato explained, "But when dealing with celebrities such as Luna Song over here, we get a little a little antsy for conflict before there's a need for it. Nevan can get a bit crass in his delivery. I'm sure you'd like to keep yourself whole just as we would. You see," The merc gestured to the elf lass a few feet away, "We've been on her trail for nearly two months. An 800 gold bounty has been offered for her noggin on a pike.. some business about a horse cart and a eunuch, don't ask me. She alluded us at the docks of Noromir, again in Limberry but we followed the trail here.. and now, not only are receiving collection from the crown, but also dumb town yokels as well. I think you and I could come to an arrangement, lad.. name your price."

Whilst Addy, the stranger and an extremely dejected looking Nevan worked out a silence price, the darker of the trio had edged closer to the infamous elf. Crossbow still at the ready, he had taken up examining what 800 gold looks likes in humanoid form. "Heard you cut some feller up in Nullforth for two copper.. that true?"

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Rambunctious on Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:20 am

While the strange traveler had failed in in wrist-breaking endeavor, he was still satisfied with the reaction he had garnered. Drawing out the leader? What an accomplishment! He would choose to continue appearing offended, as if he were truly startled by the surprise attack.

His eyes would follow the leader as he approached, narrowed like a hawk homing in on a field mouse. "You're sorry? What if he'd broken my jaw, would you still be sorry?" He asked bluntly, imagining himself languishing on the ground like some pathetic mortal. Wouldn't that be a sight to see? "Celebrity?" The man's interest was piqued, made evident by his softening expression and quirked brow.

He knew there was something he liked about the elf, though whether or not these men were telling the truth was yet to be discovered. He listened intently as Adonato relayed their little tale. "Sounds more like a criminal." Steely gaze looked just beyond the leader to the popular woman. "If what you say is true, I have nothing to lose by helping you apprehend her. What exactly are you willing to offer?" He leaned in close, the bitter hint of greed lacing each of his words.

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Sabrina on Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:33 pm

Luna just sort of watched as the situation unfolded before her. Great. Now there's another one willing to help ring her in. Oh well! Looks like someone wanted to burn today! She sighed and watched in silence, hands up in the air and away from her blades. Luna's ears twitched noticeably when she heard her name. At first, she was surprised, but when the bounty was mentioned, everything made sense again. "Two months? Goddamn, you guys aren't too bright, are you?" Yes, even with a crossbow aimed at her, she was still a smartass. Why not?

When Xezat grew closer, she narrowed her eyes. "No. I did it for free. The asshat was irritating me and another lady at a bar. She gave me two copper as payment and insisted I keep it."

Luna shifted her weight, keeping eye contact. "Imagine: if that rumor spread to such an extent over some man making passes and getting his ass handed to him, what will become of you? What rumors will they make of you when I'm done here? And believe me - oh ho yes - you'd best be careful. Or you'll end up being part of a story way worse than the 'horse cart and eunuch' one." A wicked little smile crept up on her face, mostly because she was taking advantage of her reputation to try to shake them up. She wasn't intimidating up front, but apparently the stories of her were. However, the world criminal struck her the wrong way, and soon she found herself glaring at the stranger.

"I'm not a criminal! Is there something wrong with taking up for yourself? Damn it!" She crossed her arms without thinking about it, keeping them high on her torso so her hands wouldn't touch her blades. Yes, she was pouting.
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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  That One Guy on Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:59 pm

Adonato smirked as Nevan joined his side with a look of pure dejection, the boy's posture now slumped as if he was shaped with wax. Dagger and cudgel were re-sheathed as he turned to view the stranger. Seemed everyone had their price. The leader grinned - exposing a myriad of rotten, black teeth - and tossed a goatskin coin purse at the stranger's feet. It jingled from the silver inside once textile met dirt.

"What we got from the townsfolk in Azereth. Mere peanuts compared to what we will get when we go to the capital." Nevan spat onto the ground with disgust but knew better than to speak up. Addy gave him a stern look before looking back to the unknown man, his features lightening some. "It's all yours. You will only accompany us to the town.. we will not split the final bounty with anyone who was not worked for the privilege, unfortunately for you. Take it or leave it." Addy gave one final nod and turned his back on them. The crunch of gravel was heared as he left the stranger, Nevan remaining behind and just glaring at the red-haired man. His voice dropped to a conspiratory tone. "Coulda took care of you right quick had he not stopped it. Just 'member that.."

Whilst Addy had been hammering out the details of their agreement with the newcomer, Xezat had been absorbing the elf's malicious way of recounting her tales. Her attempt at being tough was met with an internal grin.. but the facade faltered when he spotted her wicked grin. Something about it struck him wrong, bringing a chill with more force than a winter wind could ever conjure. Eyes had lifted from the sights, resting on the lass with a mix of wonder and fear.. but the moment ended when Adonato came, longsword now unequipped and an iron set of wrist clamps in his withered hand. Xezat's cheek returned to the crossbow as his leader spoke. "Need you to put these on your wrists. After your done, I'll check the fittings. No sudden moves," He lobbed the bindings to her where they landed at her feet, "Or else Xezat will give your face another orifice. Hurry it up, I want to reach the town before daybreak."


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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Rambunctious on Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:46 pm

The mysterious traveler stood idly by, listening with arms folded boldly as Adonato made his offer. His eyes traveled momentarily to to Nevan as he retreated to his leader's side, and he would share a teasing smirk. "Mmm." He mused as the bag of silver fell to the ground before him. "I suppose that's fair, I really didn't do much but happen to stumble upon your little ambush." Hand was brought to chin, tapping it lightly as he thought.

Hearing the going-ons nearby drew his gaze over to Luna. The elf was more powerful than she was letting on, he was sure of it. Bringing her into town could be disastrous. And who loved disaster more than a demon?

"Very well." He said sternly, crouching over to snatch the bag up. "I'll accompany you all into town. I was heading there anyways, I just lost my way. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise." A blessing indeed. Hand would be brought out to seal the deal. "What did you call yourself again, good sir?" Asked with a deceitfully welcoming smile.

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Sabrina on Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:43 pm

Luna reluctantly put the clamps on her wrists. She'd been in binds before, for years at that, and had went about life just fine. This would be no different. Perhaps the fact she felt nothing toward putting the things on said something in itself. It was pretty obvious, too - even while he was telling her to put them on and explaining what he'd do next, she was already putting them on, expressionless and silent.

To the stranger's question to Addy, Luna answered for him in that distant, monotonous tone, "It's Asshole. Right? Hm. Well. That doesn't seem right. Seems like it'd be worse." Luna put on a faux expression of thoughtfulness before glaring over at the demon and the others. The red-haired one was given special attention during that moment of calm. angry glaring because he had, from time to time, glanced over to her. She didn't like being watched.

She struggled with describing the things she was going to do to them when they got to town. She almost didn't want to seem too intimidating, otherwise they may take advantage of the situation and render her unconscious or kill her or something, and that would ruin everything. So instead, she'd keep quiet about it and wait until they got there. Something was confusing her, though.

"I have bounties in another town or two? AND one here? I barely set foot in this town!" she fussed.
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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  That One Guy on Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:55 am

Dolan was never going to shake the world up. That had been determined at a young age thanks to his blank stare and drool-laden lips. He heard the rumors and the comments.. he was slow, a bit touched. A dunce. He had tried his hand at butchering animals under Defren but found the knife always slowed to a stop right at the cow's throat.. not to mention the damp spot that formed in his groin. Disgraced, he then sought to cut something less daunting. Hair. But the creations he made were less than worthy of praise, looking like a blind man went nuts with shears. Azereth collectively cast the farmer's son as a pariah, left alone in the small world the town encompassed. But it all changed to a degree.. a slight reprieve from the sadness he felt. In the distance he saw them approach like soldiers. He was at the forefront, the fringes of Azereth. His voice rang like a church bell.

"They approach! T-the mercenaries d-did it!"

The peasants who had stayed awake - not the angry mob one would expect, rather a collection of men and women urged onward by fear - congregated to his spot and watched with awe-filled eyes. The man-child felt something akin to pride as they finally listened to him.. a smile surfaced. Out of the darkness came Adonato at the forefront, marching proudly. Had their trip gone smoothly, Luna would be behind him in chains with Nevan and the Stranger on either side. Taking up the rear was the crossbow-wielding Xezat, bolt still aimed at her back. When they reached the congregation, the leader lifted a balled fist to signal them to slow to a stop.

"We have here the elf you requested. But I am sad to note that you'll not feel the strength in her meaningless death. She has a date with the crown," Adonato explained, "That will end at the end of a rope. I am sorry to have decieved you but.. the gold you gave is forfeit. If any wishes to challenge this, step forward and reach for your blade. I won't waste 800 gold on a superstitious town filled with yokels.."

No one moved. Even the outspoken barkeep, now drunk on his own supply, just stumbled on the spot with a blank stare. Dolan grimaced though and stepped forward. He was still flying high on his small but signifigant victory. He was so brazen to even poke a finger at the scarred leader.

"B-but.. you said! You'd b-bring her b-back and let us decide what to--"

The fist flew quick. It was a snap jab but the effects were much more profound. Addy's meaty fist connected with the boy's jaw flush and made him drop like a sack of potatoes, effectively dropping him down to the status he knew all to well. As he snored on the muddy ground Adonato looked back to the crowd. "I think that'll be the end to outbursts, yes? We will need a ship. You will be paid for the service but not for this job. Anyone else have any objections?"

A figure moved in the crowd. He was garbed in green, the hood pulled down so only his mouth was visible. He was a newcomer like Luna.. but not in the same circumstances obviously. His wrist were not chained, after all. "What is her crime? Being different?"

Nevan edged closer. "SHUT UP! This is our prisoner! We earned this bounty! We need to--" Addy just looked back and stared. Nevan canted his head low and backed away.. he knew that look meant pain. Whilst he did so a live wire of whispers ignited in the crowd. Postures became more relaxed, more indignant. They had raised the coin after all. It was shaping up to be a powder keg with an increasingly short fuse...

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Rambunctious on Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:23 pm

The Stranger had followed alongside the band without dispute; why fight when you can make coin by walking? Sure, money had less value to the man than...other things, but that didn't mean he wouldn't take it when offered. He had attempted to make light conversation as they made their journey towards town, offhanded jokes and jabs, but was unanimously rebuffed by the crew. Seems they didn't care for him much.

One of the advantages to being a creature of his nature was telepathy. In close proximity, he didn't need his magical smokey aid. The man would glance towards Luna with a warm smile, perhaps a signal of what was to come. "You look upset, my dear." He said, watching her the gauge her reaction before looking forward once more. Whether or not she responded, he would continue.

"I assure you, this night is only going to get more exciting. I can taste it in the air."

He would continue this sort of conversation for a while, stopping once the village came into view. No more words were spoken as Adonato dealt with the villagers. He was pleased with the violence. Escalating this to a riot would be simple enough.

"Be ready, elf. This is where things get fun."

It was when the stranger in the crowd spoke up that he chose to act. A perfect distraction if ever there was one. Things were already tense, and they were about to explode. The man would spin with incredible swiftness, lunging at Xezat in order to take him to the ground. If he were successful he would aim to lurch the crossbow from his hands, using it to gracefully bash the man's face in.

This was Luna's chance, if she chose to take it. If that didn't start a riot, he didn't know what would.

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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  Sabrina on Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:13 am

Was he speaking through her mind? Was this like the smoke? She just sort of stared, eyes wide and accusing, lips barely parted like she wished to speak, but she couldn't risk it. Exciting? Fun? Being cuffed and taken to a town full of angry people wasn't fun for her.

A date with a crown, he said? Wait, does royalty request her presence? Shit, was she gonna be publicly executed in some fancy part of a town? Now she was thinking ahead and way too negatively. But then the newcomer showed up, his face hidden and his words siding with her. She would've smiled had it not been such an awful situation. Everything else, however, happened too fast for her to fully grasp what happened until she was among the action. Now was her chance, indeed.

During the entire trip, Luna had been preparing to the best of her ability a spell that would assist in breaking free. This distraction made it easier for her to toss the spell at something flammable. Her arms flung forward, still connected to one another via cuffs. From her hands emerged a decent sized plume of fire, which she released with a mighty wail. It was aimed toward the top of a nearby building and passed through it. Was it the inn? Probably. It caught fire, but didn't spread immediately. And then... she ran. Or attempted to, rather.
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Re: It Begins In Astereth

Post  That One Guy on Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:22 am

Suddenly, the powder keg burst. First, the lurch on Xezat caught him snoozing; with his crossbow aimed at Luna, he could not compensate for the speed at which he was attacked. He spotted the movement, turned to get a bead on the stranger and pulled the trigger prematurely. The bolt went high when the demon hit him, flying off into the night air. When the stranger wrested the crossbow from his control and buried the butt of it into his nose, blood splurted out in twin jets of gore. Xezat flailed dramatically, fingers grasping at his ruined face as he breathed hoarsely through the claret. Nevan reacted on instinct, pulling his cudgel once again and charging. Unfinished business, one could say. When he got close he swing hard at the back of the man's head, hoping to expose brain to the night sky.

Addy, while his cohorts dealt with the stranger's deception, watched the town's collective rage boil over in a flurry of anger. When Luna let the fire fly into the church's roof - not the inn - and they saw the stranger assault the mercenaries, they surged forward. Luna got lost into the crowd, another bobbing head in the sea of faces. Adonato pulled his blade and started swinging; the first victim was Norris, the butcher and secret lover to the baker Anita. He caught the blade high, its sharp steel cleaving deep into his skull. With a tug he fell to his knees.. ten more pissed villagers converged with an army of chagrined citizens behind them. Addy had no choice to run, angling his gait towards a skinny alley behind the local fletcher. His plan? To circumvent the carnage, lose the rabble and return to Luna, one way or another. She could not leave out the front. These were not her people. But there was the docks..

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