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Old 05-02-2007, 01:20 PM   #1
Black Knight of Keno
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When Peace Overcomes

'Sir Elwood! Sir Elwood!' a voice rang in my head. I sat up, still half-asleep yet still feeling my hand trying to feth the sword that should've been lying beside me. I had let my guard down for the night, yet it was a good thing that I did. Otherwise an innocent elven hcild might've died that early morning.
'Sir Elwood! I have a message for you' the yung voice rang again in my head. My armor clacked as I rose up, looking at the small boy running towards my camp. 'What's happened?' I asked, quite dumbfounded that I was so rudely woken.
'The birds. They are announcing a collection of adventurers to the Elven Palace in the Old Woods' the boy told me and handed over a piece of paper where the exact message was written in nearly all languages of the known world. After that, he disappeared from sight. Knowing well enought that it was a lost cause to try and find him, I opened the parchment.
"Good adventurer and fighter of darkness, you are hereby welcomed to the Adventurers' Ball at the Elven Palace where a suitable group will be decided upon for a great task. The Ball will be held on the 15th Sun of the 3rd Moon.
-Lord Ardinol and Lady Lillieth"
'I better go then' I spoke quietly to myself as I saw the names of the Lord and Lady at the bottom of the note. My eyes rose to look due West, where the Old Woods lay in waiting beyond a mountain range, a lake and a Wasteland. I wondered what this all was truly about and about how many others had recieved the notice, or rather request of presence.


------

Sir Mare Elwood, a Knight from the Guild of the Horsemasters, rode to the gates of Velenor, the city of the Elven kind. His light armor was shining bright in the light coming throught the leaves of the Old Woods In the distance beyond the gates, the large Palace of the Lord and Lady stood, lit with magical lights to point out to the Adventurers where the Ball was held.
"Halt! Who goes there?" a call came from the top of the great white wall infront of the Knight.
"It is I, Sir Elwood the Knight of the Horsemasters" he called back and the large oak gates started to rumble open.
"Then pass, son of the Horselords, and prepare for the Ball" the Guard called back as the white stallionstepped inside the city filled with Elven magic and artistry. He let his horse do the walking and soon found himself by the edge of a slow stream. The horse reached down to drink while the Rider stepped off and removed his traditional horseman's helmet. Not far ahead did he see an INN, so he took the reins of the horse and started leading it forth. He should rent a room and change his attire into a more formal one. For the next few hours the city would be busy with Adventurers coming from all corners of the world. That is, if they were curious enought to learn what the mission exactly was


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:46 PM   #2
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Tanin Bearclaw wasn't one to miss any detail on his land, yet there it was, a letter in his post box. An elf must have delivered this, and a good one at that, he or she,left no tracks. Tanin opened the letter to find the following inscription:
Good adventurer and fighter of darkness, you are hereby welcomed to the Adventurers' Ball at the Elven Palace where a suitable group will be decided upon for a great task. The Ball will be held on the 15th Sun of the 3rd Moon.
-Lord Ardinol and Lady Lillieth"
It'd been a long time since Tanin had gone adventuring, a long time since he'd seen anyone.


------

Tanin Bearclaw, Beastmaster from the Mok'Nathal, walked towards the gates of Velenor. He stood before the gate in his traveling gear, which was a large heavy cloak, walking staff and a bag over his shoulder.
"Halt, Who goes there?" A voice called from atop the gates.
"It is I, Tanin Bearclaw of the Mok'Nathal." Tanin's voice rumbled to the guard.
"Then pass, Beastmaster of the Mok'Nathal, and prepare for the Ball."
Tanin walked through the city. Tracks were everywhere, but he could easily pick out which lead to the nearest Inn, and he followed them. He soon found himself at the door of the Inn, where he would rent a room and change into his formal attire, to honour his clan and at least look respectable to the Lord and Lady.


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Old 05-02-2007, 06:56 PM   #3
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"Master Damascus, a courier has arrived for you!" announced one of the clansmen just as the handsome, clean-shaven faced man floored his opponent in a practice spar. He helped the fellow clansmate up and went to the messenger, who handed him a rolled up parchment. He looked at it for a moment, then back up. The courier was gone by the time he had. The letter read:
"Good adventurer and fighter of darkness, you are hereby welcomed to the Adventurers' Ball at the Elven Palace where a suitable group will be decided upon for a great task. The Ball will be held on the 15th Sun of the 3rd Moon.
-Lord Ardinol and Lady Lillieth"
He studied the names at the bottom for a moment, the nodded. He looked to his apprentice and said in a clear voice, "Pack my things. A journey awaits me."


------

Master Drake Damascus pulled up to the gate donned in black and gold armor on a great black horse. The guards stopped him and called down to him. "Name and business, sir!"

"Master Drake Damascus of the Honor Legion Village, here on business of the Lord and Lady!" he declared back.

"Welcome, Master Drake Damascus, Swordmaster of Honor! Please enter and prepare yourself for this evening's events."

The gates opened and he passed through. He found the same Inn, and made it a point to saddle his horse and rent a room. Drake was surprised to find any rooms open, as he gathered that many other adventurers would be arriving. He went straight to his room, passing other adventurers and dropped his things on the floor with a solid thud. He got out his bag and began to lay out his formal wear for the evening, wishing to represent his honorable people well.




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Old 05-02-2007, 09:00 PM   #4
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"Lady Kateri of the West, you are a very difficult woman to locate," the messenger said breathlessly as he sat down across the table from the one he had addressed. Arching a single, dark eyebrow in his direction, she frowned.

"There is a reason for that," she answered stiffly. "State your business and depart with all the haste you can muster."

The messenger bowed, handed over a slip of decorated paper, and withdrew. Kateri glared at the little page for almost a full minute before reaching out with a black-gloved hand and drawing it close enough to read:

"Good adventurer and fighter of darkness, you are hereby welcomed to the Adventurers' Ball at the Elven Palace where a suitable group will be decided upon for a great task. The Ball will be held on the 15th Sun of the 3rd Moon.
-Lord Ardinol and Lady Lillieth"

"Good adventurer," Kateri snorted, tugging thoughtfully at her long, brown braid, which hung over her left shoulder. "They must not know me, this Lord and Lady."

With an almost cruel sparkle in her pale blue eyes, she finished her drink, gathered her weapons and left the inn. If they thought they wanted her presence, then this Lord and Lady would get just that.


-----

She arrived at the gate, a black cloak masking any recognizable features, with the hood drawn up and hiding her face. Only her long braid slid snakelike out from the shadows that hid her.

"Halt and identify," the guards called. Kateri withdrew the hood and scowled up to the top of the gate, but before she could reply, the guards began speaking again.

"The newcomer is a lady!" one of them exclaimed. Kateri's scowl deepened, but she still said nothing. "Identify yourself, if you please, milady."

"The royal title does not apply," the woman answered. "The Lord and Lady have called for adventurers and as they requested, thus I have come."

"Quite evasive, this one," the guard commented to another. "Wonder what's got her so standoffish."

"She is standoffish because she is an invited guest," Kateri fired back. "And she doesn't appreciate being called she! So let her in before she lets herself in."

"The Lady's manners identify her plainly," the second guard laughed. "She is Lady Kateri, Wanderer of the Western World. Enter, Lady Kateri, for your name has been written upon our lists."

"Easy on the application of royal titles," Kateri growled under her breath as the gate opened to her. "They don't fit..."

With a sigh and a shrug, she entered and made her way into an inn nearby... a very full inn. In fact, she was rather surprised she managed to find any available rooms there, for the common room was more than full; it was jam packed, near to overflowing.

"This will not be pleasant," Kateri muttered to herself, shouldering herself forcefully through the crowd and up to her room, which afforded at least a little more silence.


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Old 05-02-2007, 10:56 PM   #5
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Elwood opened his door and stepped out into the hallway only to be stunned by the sheer number of people inside. And he had taken the more elusive INN that wasn't by the main street either. His crimson attire was decorated with golden inscriptions and with the image of a great white horse on his chest. There were only few things covering his belt; a sword with the pommel shaped into the shape of a horse's head, a small pouch that he did not leave behind anywhere and which's continents were rarely revealed, a dagger that was obviusly crafted by the elves and a silver belt buckle that showed also the White Horse of Haefstilyn. His shave was quite detailed in it's own right. There was not a hair on his upper lip or chin other than the traditional, puffy goatee the Horsemen usually wear and the brown hair that had been left long. His clear blue eyes observed the INN's common room as the man closed the door and started to alk down the steps and towards the bartender. If you hadn't seen it before, you owuld see it now. As he stepped down, a cape followed him and seemed to change in color at all times ecept for a small part that showed in dark imprints a horse.

Leaning to the bartender, he ordered an ale and went off to sit in a corner table. It was already occupied by some elven kids who wished to see all the Adventurers coming into their fair city.
"Scram, kids. Or I'll tell the barkeep there are youngsters here who're not buying anything" he said in clear elvish, causing the kids to look at each other, stunned, and then leave his seat. When the ale came, Sir Elwood was sitting comfortably on his seat nd watching the busy place. And it would be even more packed when the latecomers came in. It was only an hour for the Ball to start. Quite enought time for the Knight to drink his ale in relative peace


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:40 AM   #6
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'Um...Sir?...Sir!?' Came a call from behind Ilius 'Amber' Graham, who sat perched on a rock, facing away from the messenger that had stepped up behind him. He barely shifted his head to catch a glimpse from the side to see this person, who was just a young, female elven girl, who seemed rather nervous and frightened by the withered and dark forest around them.

He didn't respond, and after awhile the girl called to him again, 'Ilius? Are you Ilius?...I have a message for you.' The girl gave a start as she felt something crall around her legs.

She trembled visibly, holding the message out to the still figure on the rock. He reached around, retrieving the message without even so much as looking at the girl.

He opened it, looking at the message, glancing over his shoulder, his amber eyes glinting as he saw the girl still there, she seemed to be struggling to get away from whatever had wrapped around her legs.

'Is this your first time?' He asked in his deep drawling voice.

'Yes,' she told him.

'Then read this for me,' he told her, handing her the message. She took it, reading it aloud, '"Good adventurer and fighter of darkness, you are hereby welcomed to the Adventurers' Ball at the Elven Palace where a suitable group will be decided upon for a great task. The Ball will be held on the 15th Sun of the 3rd Moon.
-Lord Ardinol and Lady Lillieth"'

'The Lord and Lady of Elves?...' He questioned to himself.

He smirked to himself, 'if they're will to have such a, 'Barbaric Uncivilised Creature' come to their ball, then so be it.' He got up, looming over the girl turning around, he grinned a toothy grin at her.

'Come, I'll help you out of here,' he said to her, the tail wrapped around her legs dropping to the ground limply as he held a clawed hand out to her.

----------
"State your name, from whence you came, and your business," came the call from the walls that loomed before Ilius.

"I am Ilius 'Amber' Graham, Man-Hunter of the Amber-Eye Clan of the Forbidden Forest, I was...invited, to a ball by your Lord and Lady," he told them.

No words were uttered further by the men, and the gates creaked open. Ilius stepped through the gates, walking down the paths and roads until he came to an inn, bustling with people. Ilius stepped in, looking over the heads of most others in the crowd, for he was head-and-shoulders over most of them.

He pushed through the crowd until he came to the bar, where he was able to scare away most people competing to buy out the last of the rooms. He payed for the room and waded through the crowd like as if he were wading through water. He went upstairs and into his room, setting his things down, he began taking off his armor.


"But in you...I see the potential to see the Force die, to turn away from its will..."
"You are beautiful to me, exile. A dead spot in the Force, an emptiness in which its will might be denied."
"But no Jedi ever made the choice you did. To sever ties so completely, so utterly, that it leaves a wound in the Force..."
"I would have killed the galaxy to preserve you...You are more precious than you know..."-now...it's verbatim!-A quote from Darth Traya (Kreia)
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:48 AM   #7
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Tanin came back downstairs form hsi room in the most formal attire he could, which was his tribes ceremonial gear. He went to the bar and ordered the only thing without alcohol in it, water. The smells these people carried on them was so varied it was almost intoxicating. Horsemen, swamp dwellers, mountaineers, foresters, dirt dwellers and city slickers were just some of the few. Of course, no matter how well washed anyone was, the smell of dried blood was always there.


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Old 05-03-2007, 03:56 PM   #8
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"Where is he?" Thought the elven messenger. A twig snapped and the girl turned around, letting out a muffled scream. There he was, all 6'7" of him. His matte black armor not reflecting any sunlight, just like a large patch of nothing. "S-s-s-ssss-sir," The girl stuttered, "h-hh-h-h-h-here." She said, her shaky hand handing the parchment to the man. It read:

"Good adventurer and fighter of darkness, you are hereby welcomed to the Adventurers' Ball at the Elven Palace where a suitable group will be decided upon for a great task. The Ball will be held on the 15th Sun of the 3rd Moon.
-Lord Ardinol and Lady Lillieth"

The man grunted and took out a pouch. He pulled out a golden coin and flipped it in the air. The girl watched it, then caught it, and when she looked back down, Valkyr Alrekr was gone.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Valkyr stopped the horse in front of the gates, his horse giving a snort.

"Halt! Who goes there?" A voice from the gate tower said.

"It is I, Valkyr Alrekr!" His voice boomed out.

"Aye, welcome Lord Valkyr. Prepare yourself for the ball. It starts in one hour!" And with that, the doors creaked open.

He urged his horse through the doors, and walked down the crowded inner streets. He came upon an INN, and dismounting his horse, tied it to a nearby pillar. He pushed through the people and walked into the INN. He payed for his room, and took his satchel up to his room, where he would dress into his more formal attire.


"They are minor criminals! Marginal outlaws! You are inept!" ~ Darth Vader
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:43 PM   #9
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Tanin had to get out, all these peole made him edgy and irratible. He got up, paid for his water and-although he wasn't much taller than the average person he was a lot wider and much more muscular-easily pushed his way through the crowd to exit the INN. Outside wasn't much better, but at least here he could see the sky and was not limited. He meandered through the streets, constantly gettign wierd looks from people. Once a child ran up to him and asked. "What are you?" Tanin smiled and replied.
"I am a son of the Mok'Nathal, a tribe of half Orcs and half Ogres." The child went on his way to his friends with that child like innocents and exitment. Tanin continued slowly towards the Palace where the Ball was being held.


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Old 05-03-2007, 10:35 PM   #10
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After only twenty minutes in her room, Kateri cautiously opened the door and peered out. Her long braid looked freshly washed, was indeed still wet, and the traces of dirt were gone from her face, leaving a small white scar plainly visible on her forehead. With a sigh, she slowly stepped out, feeling very uncomfortable in the floor-length, midnight blue gown she now wore. As she made her way down and out of the inn, a small, cloaked man seemed to run into her by accident. With a forceful shove, she sent him sprawling to the ground, glowering at him.

"Apologies, m'lady," he said, loud enough for a few around to hear. Kateri glared at him.

"Royal titles do not apply!" she insisted. The little man smirked and passed a small slip of paper to her, bowing as he did so.

"Begging your pardon, miss, but they surely do," he whispered to her. Her face paled for just a moment and she stared, motionless at the tiny note she'd been passed. Then slowly, she opened it and read, "The world can forget you. The world can allow the Wanderer of the Western World to be what she is. But remember your place, Kathryn, and do not ignore its call until it's too late."

Slowly, methodically, Kateri tore the little note to pieces and continued on her way, releasing the note's little scraps to the winds as she walked.


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Old 05-04-2007, 10:25 AM   #11
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The Horselord slowly stood up from his corner table, having finished his pint and seeing that the sun was slowly acending into a position when it would be appropriate for the Ball to start. So he decided it was time for leave, just as so many other adventurers who either just now gathered into the last rooms to change their clothes or stumbled out with others of the crowd. Sir Elwood waited for the door to open enought so he wouldn't get bruised on the attempt to go throught and then left, tossing a gold coin to the bartender as a little extra. So the Knight proceeded not towards the Palace, but rather to the stables next to the INN so he could avoid getting himself too dirty on the way there.

Soon thereafter, he rode his horse out of the stables and wobbled ontop of the steed as it proceeded slowly towards the Palace via the smaller streets where there wasn't much crowd except for the local population. It was a surprisingly long way to the Palace, even if the building looked all the same as being not further than a few blocks ahead. However, when you did reach the gates, you could see why. The building was huge, wrapped around a large tree high enought so you could see it from each corner of the city as well as being very well lit. As the Knight approached the gates, he noticed he was still not first. Some early birds had managed to get to the gate before him and were waiting for the guards to open up the gates. As Elwood's hors stopped, the gates opened and the people were let into the courtyard and after a short name check, further inside the Palace itself.

As Sir Elwood reached the middle of the courtyard, he stepped off the horse and gave it's reins to a stableboy before roceeding towards the large wooden doors. A few guards stood by the door, checking names and the rather ignorant question of "Name?" came from one of the elven guards when Mare approached the door.
"Sir Mare Elwood" he said in response and was let inside. Guards further blocked all rooms and hallways where the guests should not go and so they were led into a huge Ballroom with great chandeliers, gold everywhere and the walls and ceiling painted to show great tales of elves and other races alike. The Horsemaster did not stun by the sight, even if he was curious of all the legends described by the paintings. Already as the first entered, an orchestra was playing as well as an elven choir singing in an ancient tongue just as ancient songs passed down in the world from generation to generation. The Knight stepped forth from the door, continuing his way further into the Ballroom while examining the people arriving. There must have been hundreds... nay, thousands of adventurers invited. When the door slammed shut, everyone who had been invited were inside and the mingling started. Discusted by the petty things spoken between the people, he merely took a glass of an elven refreshment when he was served one and stood by the choir, listening and enjoying the old legends even if he only partly understood the many sentences sung


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:42 AM   #12
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Kateri had long since learned that if you wanted to avoid long, pointless conversations in crowded places such as this, the best thing to do was to keep moving. And keep moving, she did. Occasionally, other adventurers would try to be friendly by saying hello, clearly hoping she would stop and speak with them. But she did not; with a nod and a smile that did not enter her eyes, she kept moving.

As she walked, she made a few passes by the refreshment table, each time picking something new. But on one trip past, a little bottle caught her eye and for the first time that evening, Kateri stopped and stared.

"Care to try some of the finest wine of the west?" one of the servants asked her. Kateri frowned and shook her head.

"I have had some before," she answered shortly. But the servant did not give up.

"Then surely you'd love to take another," he said, lifting the little bottle and extending it to her. If only to prevent a scene, Kateri took the bottle and moved away, glaring at the servant as she left. But when she was a good distance away, she found an out of the way corner and stopped to look at the bottle again. An inscription on the side said, "Aged Red Wine of the Grapes of the Western Kingdom of Marquette", and in smaller script below that, it read, "This wine bottled in honor of the Kathryn de Marquita, Princess of Marquette."

With a faint scowl, Kateri turned the label in toward her body and opened the little bottle to take a drink.


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Old 05-04-2007, 12:08 PM   #13
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"It's rude to drink straight from the bottle at a place like this. Here, use this" a voice said from behind the woman. The man had noticed her manners at the refreshment table and so held the glass, a clean one which he had snatched from a waiter circling around the Ballroom and which's contents now sank into the roots of a plant neabry, in his left hand while keeping his right hand free to block and incoming slap or something of the kind. Sir Elwood stood there quite calmly, knowing very well who she was even if she did not know that little fact. You see, it was the job of a Knight to know the royals of the world by at least looks and name. As the woman finally turned to see him, he bowed his head slightly and smiled.

"What may I call you tonight, runaway princess?" he asked in her own language as his posture straightened and the smile widened. His blue eyes peered into the eyes of Kateri, which were roughtly half a foot below his. His left hand extended, offering her the clean glass while the white horse on the Horselord's chest glared bright because of the elven lights.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:17 PM   #14
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Kateri took the glass without a word. The bottle was small enough that the entire contents fit inside the glass. As the Horselord asked her in her own language what he ought to call her, her eyes narrowed ever so slightly and she glanced around to see if anyone else was watching.

"I am called Kateri," she answered in the common tongue, this time with a distinctively western accent. "Kateri the Wanderer of the Western World." Then, she shifted seamlessly into her own language and asked, "How does a Horselord know the language spoken in a small western nation?"


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Old 05-04-2007, 12:34 PM   #15
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"It's my job to know" he answered swiftly in her tongue also before bowing again and presenting himself:
"I am Sir Mare Elwood, son of Stillos Elwood, Knight of the Guild of the Horsemasters and the proud caretaker of an ancestor of the White Horse of Haefstilyn" he said, then as he straightened once again he stated the short version:
"You can call me Elwood of Goprios" he said and nodded.

Goprios, a nice little nation filled with rolling fields between a forest and a mountain range, the home of the Horselords and where Elwood of Goprios was from. Now, who exactly was Elwood of Gopros then? Certainly not Sir Mare Elwood, but his ancestor, Lord Haefstilyn Elwood, the first Horselord and the famous General who set to destroy the oppressive Dragon Riders of Grumm and helped five nations become free of the constant Dragon attacks, one of them being his own Lordship. Now that the brief history lesson is over, we can continue with the main story.

Elwood smiled at Kateri and looked at the bottle.
"Drinking the very wine that is dedicated to you? How ironic in a way" he noted before noticing some of the adventurers had started to dance to a more melodic music.
"May I have this dance?" he asked and offered his other hand towards her, placing his free hand behind his bak and bowing deep as was the custom.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:40 PM   #16
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Tanin took a place right near the band. He was always fond of intruments. He appreciated every note that was made, for he himself used to do the same. He was the musical leader in his whole clan and regularly played for the cheif, which although was a great honour, Tanin enjoyed playing infront of him, he would have evnjoyed it just the same playing for anyone else, or for no one else.
"A drink sir?" a waiter asked as he presented a tray of drinks.
"None for now." Tanin said in a low but respectful tone.


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Old 05-04-2007, 12:42 PM   #17
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Kateri smiled faintly, glancing down at the wine. "Yes, ironic... almost like going to your own memorial service once you're thought dead," she agreed. Looking up at him, she added, "And no, I didn't do that."

When he asked her to dance, she set aside the wine and took his hand, deftly curtsying in return to his bow. "It didn't take you long to deduce that I am Kathryn de Marquita, of Marquette," she said in her own language. They began to dance. "So I must ask you, Elwood of Goprios, have we met?"


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Old 05-04-2007, 01:10 PM   #18
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"Possibly. I have traveled the lands many times both with and without my father. I remember my father was fond of traveling the Western realms, even if he always complained the lack of good horses there" he answered in her tongue as they danced. You could notice he was a very conservative and polite man from the way he danced. Unlike some adventurers around them who got close to their partners and fumbled a bit, Sir Elwood never hunched his back or looked down at his feet nor did he move his hands anywhere where it was inappropriate. He even kept the proper distance between himself and Kateri at all times without looking like he had to even think about him. He seemed like quite the veteran ballroom dancer.

"Don't bother yourself too much with the speed of my recognition. As an ambassador of sorts of my homeland, it is only natural I have learned of the royal families of each nation. And if you think you know me, it might be that you have met one of my brothers. We're quite similiar even if they have turned their posts in the Guild of Horsemasters for more governmental positions" Elwood said before looking down at her and smiling kindly.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:16 PM   #19
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Kateri was quite the accomplished dancer as well and she nodded as Elwood suggested she might have met one of his brothers. "That is quite likely," she agreed. "Marquette in particular is a key point in the West for wine trade, and more specifically, the capital, Marquita."

She grinned playfully. "Apologies to your father for our lack of horses," she teased, still using the language of her country. "We are far more comfortable on foot, at any rate."


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Old 05-04-2007, 02:18 PM   #20
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He smiled at her teasing before stopping the dance and nodding towards the door that had opened and an elven couple entered. The Lord and Lady had arrived and the music changed also to fit the pair's walk throught the Ballroom. When the elves reached the choir and stepped onto a slightly raised podium, the music stopped and the adventurers turned to see them.
"I might introduce you to the pleasure of riding a quality horse on long voyages sometime" he said still in her language before standing straight to see the Lord and Lady who began to speak.

"Many of you probably wonder why you have been invited here. There is a simple reason for that. Not only to bring many great adventurers together, but also to find the most suitable of you for a quest that might just be too much for some of you. After this Ball is over, some of you will return to your previous lives, some will sleep their night in the palace an leave early in the morning towards a place that will not yet be given. Good luck in trying to persuade us of your skills" The Lord said and sat down with the Lady. Some adventurers rushed to try and speak with the Lord and Lady while Elwood looked at Kateri and smiled.
"This might just get interesting"


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 05-04-2007, 02:32 PM   #21
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Kateri smiled faintly. "Never be too eager to impress," she said in the common tongue, gesturing to the people rushing forward. Then, glancing over her shoulder, she nodded in the direction of a few who were leaning casually against the back walls. "And yet, neither ought you be too slow to approach. If you are too quick, you'll be dismissed even quicker. If you are too slow, the party will be chosen without you."

Kateri shook her head, chuckling. "You are right, Sir Elwood," she said. "This could be interesting indeed."


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Old 05-04-2007, 03:36 PM   #22
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The doors to the ballroom opened slightly and Valkyr slipped in. There were thousands of people, most towards the thrones of the lord and lady. He walked up to a pair of people. One had a white horse on his chest, the other a braid in her hair.

"Excuse me. If you don't mind my asking, what did I miss?" Valkyr said, looking down at the two.


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Old 05-04-2007, 05:35 PM   #23
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Kateri glanced back at the newcomer... and then up to his head without blinking. She shrugged and turned back to face the Lord and Lady and the eager adventurers gathering before them.

"You haven't missed much," she answered, taking on a distinctly southern accent as she spoke to the tall man. "The Lord and the Lady have merely repeated what their invitations informed us of. We are gathered to a ball, at which the Lord and Lady shall pick from our midst a group of suitable adventurers for a quest."

With a faint grin, Kateri gestured forward and glanced up at the stranger. "I suggest you go speak to them... if you desire their attention and hope to be considered for the quest."


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Old 05-04-2007, 08:06 PM   #24
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"My father always said, 'Never be too eager to impress'." He said, giving a shrug. He took a dark flask and popped the top, taking a sip from it. He grunted and replaced the top and put it back in his jacket. "A wonder if we ever get there at all," he said, gesturing to the horde of people.


"They are minor criminals! Marginal outlaws! You are inept!" ~ Darth Vader
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Old 05-05-2007, 03:31 PM   #25
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The swordmaster had been quietly mingling with the other adventurers, not saying much of his own adventures, but merely listening to the others. Gathering information, he reminded himself. He finally departed and made his way to the table where some of the other more noticable adventurers were making acquaintence.

He stepped up to the counter with his black and gold embroidered outfit, a bloodred vest, a rose on the collar of his jacket, an oriental Dragon on the back, as well as an oriental symbol with a dragon wrapped around it on the front on the right side of his chest.

"Evening lady and gentleman," he said softly, ordering a drink. "Master Drake Damascus, and you all?"




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Old 05-05-2007, 03:58 PM   #26
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"Excuse me, but it's getting rather too crowded" Elwood said before bowing to Kateri and walking off. Not soon after his departure did a waiter come to the three with a tray. He handed over three envelopes to them and then left to find others who he was supposed to give an envelope to.

Sir Elwood watched as the adventurers rushed towards the Lord and Lady when he was suddenly surprised by a silent waiter handing him a sealed envelope. The Knight opened the envelope and took the letter out, reading it silently to himself.
"Sir Elwood the Horselord, you are honored to be invited to join the quest after the Ball. Please go and retrieve your belongings and return to the palace before midnight"

He looked at the letter once more before nodding at the waiter, giving him the letter and starting to walk to the door of the Ballroom. He presumed everyone who got the envelope would get a similiar letter and by the looks of the tray there were still adventurers who hadn't gotten their letters. The Knight left the Palace and mounted his horse waiting ready by the main door before heading off to the INN to fetch his stuff and turn in the key.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 05-06-2007, 01:40 AM   #27
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"Kateri, Wanderer of the Western World," the woman introduced herself to Drake. At that moment, the waiter arrived and delivered the envelopes, one to Drake, one to Kateri, and one to Valkyr. With a frown, Kateri accepted the envelope and opened it.

"Lady Kateri," the note read, "with your past forgotten by the world at large, you have only the present to concern you." At this, Kateri rolled her eyes and muttered a few choice words in a Western language. Then, she continued reading, "You are invited to join the quest after the ball. Retrieve your belongings and return to the palace before midnight."

"Wonderful," Kateri muttered to herself. Then, she looked over at Drake and Valkyr. "If you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I have business to attend to." With a graceful curtsy, she departed, going back to the inn for her things.


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Old 05-06-2007, 05:31 PM   #28
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At the thoguht of a show and tell competition, Tanin shook his head in disgust and was about to leave when he was approached by a waiter who gave him an envelope. Tanin took it and read it. It read:
'Tanin Bearclaw, Cheif beastmaster of the Mok'Nathal, and once a loyal friend and ally to us, we invite you join the quest after the ball, gather what you have and return to the palace by midnight.' Tanin nodded to the waiter. After thinking about it, he decided to acquiesce with the invitation. Tanin left the palace and walked back to the INN. Once there he gathered his belongings, packed up and left the key and payment with the Innkeeper.


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Old 05-06-2007, 10:18 PM   #29
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Valkyr opened his envelope. It read:

'Lord Valkyr Alrekr, you are invited to join the quest after the ball. Retrieve your belongings and return to the palace before midnight.'

Valkyr grunted. Well, at least they spelled my name right, he thought to himself. He headed out of the ballroom and went for the INN. He took off his formal wear and donned his matte black armor. He found the key and left the payment for his room at the front desk. With that, he went out into the cool night air.


"They are minor criminals! Marginal outlaws! You are inept!" ~ Darth Vader
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:09 AM   #30
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Ilius remained alone during the ball, not many approaching him during so, which he nderstood, because of his nature. The few that did approach him were the few daring people to make conversation, which often ended quickly, or the waiters that had no choice but to approach him.

He was clad in the most formal wear he had, his ceramonial tribal garb. He wore a strange beaded headdress, decorated with pearls and rare feathers. Strapped on his chest was a woven chestpiece made of polished, cylindrical, small bones, from that of animals. He wore brass cuffs on his wrists, and hordes of golden leg rings that piled ontop of eachother to hi knees, while he wore simple Geta's for footwear.

He looked around at the frantic adventurers trying to impress the Lord and Lady, while some stood nonchalantly back, some even socialising. He noticed a few leaving before he wirled around at the approach of a waiter.

The waiter gave him a letter without a word and departed.

He opened it, staring at it a moment he scowled, 'curse you Lord and Lady of elves, even now you taunt me by sending me a message in the common tongue, even when you know I can only read western tongue and the hyroglyphs of my people.'

He stormed off towards the same waiter, snatching the waiter by the shoulder and twisting him around he asked menacingly, "what does this say?"

The waiter took the message shakily reading it aloud nervously, "Dear Bolgrub....you are honored to be invited to join the quest after the Ball. Please go and retrieve your belongings and return to the palace before midnight"

Ilius cocked a thick skinned eyebrow at the name on the message, he spoke in a more calm tone, "my name's not Bolgrub....perhaps you mistook the wrong message."

"You're right, I know who Bolgrub is, and he was slain a short while ago on mount Verden....let me go see if there's a message for you," the waiter said, turning to leave.

"Yes, but I think I killed Bolgrub, because I remember killing that orc on mount Verden...look on the back, maybe there's more," Ilius drawled, annoyed at the whole ordeal.

"Sir, I can't read this, there's some strange symbols on here," the waiter said confused, as he handed Ilius the message.

"Dear Ilius 'Amber' Graham, we had a spot open for Bolgrub, but you slew him, even before our messenger could find him, therefore, you are honored with a position on this quest, do as the message on the front says, and sorry for any inconvenience with the letter," Ilius read quietly to himself.

Ilius scowled, chosen only out of the need to replace Bolgrub with his better, which would obviously be the one who slew him. He balled the letter up and placed it on the waiters tray.

He stalked out of the palace and back to the inn, where he replaced all his armor and gathered all his belongings. He left the inn, no need to pay as he had already payed for the room upfront.


"But in you...I see the potential to see the Force die, to turn away from its will..."
"You are beautiful to me, exile. A dead spot in the Force, an emptiness in which its will might be denied."
"But no Jedi ever made the choice you did. To sever ties so completely, so utterly, that it leaves a wound in the Force..."
"I would have killed the galaxy to preserve you...You are more precious than you know..."-now...it's verbatim!-A quote from Darth Traya (Kreia)
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:19 PM   #31
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It didn't take long for Kateri to finish her business at the inn. She removed her dress and tucked it away safely in a small pocket in her bag, a pocket easily sealed from any prying eyes or damaging elements. Then, she redressed in her standard black leather armor and donned the black cloak. Finally, she strapped her weapons belt on and lifted her unstrung bow and quiver strapping them to her back.

With almost an hour to return to the castle, Kateri paid for the room, though she'd barely used it and bought a drink. After finishing the drink, she headed toward the castle, still half an hour earlier than the note requested.


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Old 05-09-2007, 04:19 PM   #32
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Tanin was now back in his travelling gear, which was light leather wrist guards, sandals, leather kilt, light leather pauldrons, and all of which was covered by a heavy cloak. He arrived back at the palace, it was still a little bit before midnight, but was allowed in the main foyer.


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Old 05-09-2007, 05:33 PM   #33
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Valkyr leaned against a wall in the foyer, his black helmet hiding his eyes. The doors opened and Tanin walked in, his sandals slapping against his feet.

"Hello, Tanin. Get caught in your cloak?" Valkyr jested.


"They are minor criminals! Marginal outlaws! You are inept!" ~ Darth Vader
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:28 PM   #34
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The noble swordsman from earlier also arrived in the evening, after paying for his Inn and redressing in his armor. He wore black and gold-lined armor, suited for the night setting, his sword sheathed at his side.

"Evening, fellow adventurers," he said softly, looking amongst the group. "I miss anything?"




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Old 05-10-2007, 12:02 PM   #35
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"Watch your mouth Valkyr." Tanin said slowly but firmly to Valkyr. Then turning to Drake. "You haven't missed anything, the Lord and Lady have yet to present themselves to us, though I doubt they'd do it here. Knowing elves, they will take us through thier halls and show off their history subtly before taking us to the grand hall." Tanin said. "But it's been a while since I've interacted with them, or anyone for that matter, so I could be mistaken."


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Old 05-10-2007, 03:23 PM   #36
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'Touche my little friend," said Valkyr, giving a booming laugh. "Aye, those elves, always ready to show off."


"They are minor criminals! Marginal outlaws! You are inept!" ~ Darth Vader
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Old 05-10-2007, 03:40 PM   #37
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The Horselord entered in all the glory his light leather armor with metal shoulder pads and some other small pieces of metal around to enforce the armor without limiting his movements. Still a horse shone on his chest as well as on the dark, thick cape. As he walked inside, the guards finally closed the doors, counting that everyone was inside. Indeed, a swordsman, a knight, a scout, a lady, a brute, a mage((Who has no RPer at the moment)) and a beastmaster were there. The Horselord looked at everyone before letting out a grunt and finding himself waiting alone for the Lord and Lady to see them.

However, the elves surprised them as suddenly without any notice or fancy stuff, the elven Lord and Lady entered the room and walked to the center of the room.
"We are sorry of all this mystery, but we had to make sure you were the right people. We are also sorry to have to do this, but we must hasten your departure. We recieved terrible news of your quest. Your quest at first was to go to the Misty Island located South of Hidalgo's Archipelago and simply collect a magical artifact stolen from us by the islanders, but now we have heard the Island has been pillaged. We fear our artifact, our heritage is gone forever. You must help us find it once more. If you have any questions, ask them but hurry. The further we drag your departure, the further distance the pillagers get from the Island. We will offer our armories for your use if you wish to improve your weaponry as well as our stables where horses wait for those of you who have not one"


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 05-10-2007, 03:43 PM   #38
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"There's nothing wrong with a little pride in a history as rich as the Elves'," Kateri said sharply. "Allow them their... rituals without complaint."

With that, she fell silent, observing the others gathering and chattering. It seemed that the two who called each other Tanin and Valkyr knew one another, which struck Kateri as a little odd, for at least in appearance they were very different.

Then, her eyes fell on Drake and she recognized him as the man who'd approached and introduced himself at the ball, just before Elwood departed. He had an air of honor about him that reminded Kateri of the Western royal courts... for the moment, not a pleasant memory.

But for now, she dismissed all her thoughts of the past. She was beginning to grow impatient with the Elves... but she wouldn't say so, even if asked.


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Old 05-10-2007, 04:23 PM   #39
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"Thank you for your offer, but I need neither your weapons nor your horses." Tanin said to the lord and lady with the utmost respect. "I shall await the rest of the group at the gates I presume." Tanin said, then turned and headed for the door. Before he reached the door he turned around and said. "Please, excuse my behaviour. I have not interacted with any civil creature in many years."



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Old 05-10-2007, 04:35 PM   #40
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((Dude, it's in the middle of a frigging forest... No lakes, no rivers, nothing but trees and a stream going further downstream into a lake and then into an ocean. How come a huge urge of skipping a vital journey to the nearest docks that would bring the whole group closer?))


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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