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Old 02-06-2012, 09:11 PM   #81
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Vakarr continued to row only half paying attention to the others. What did bring him back to reality so to speak was what Oleg has said. Vakarr glanced over at the dwarf that was with them and only shook his head at the man's ignorance. What struck his never was the thing the barmaid has said.

Half-breed echoed in his head, over and over again. The word was an insult used by the other children to taunt Vakarr, one he didn't like. The humans made fun of him for not fitting in...not being like him. They teased him for being part dark-elf, and how wrong such a thing was. Why would he want to be like them? Why would he want to be a race so full of flaws yet too proud to admit it?

Vakarr stopped rowing, dropping the pole altogether. He turned and in one swift motion drew his long sword with his right hand. He ignored Tegan's words and looked to the barmaid. Despite no one being able to see his eyes, they were giving the barmaid a most threatening death glare.

"You will retract your statement human...or I'll have the personal pleasure of bathing this floor in your blood," Vakarr said.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:50 PM   #82
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Ferry

All the sudden screaming and bickering woke Tael from his sleep. He grunted to himself as he stood up, leaning on the back wall.

"Why should I, when I'm not the one that sucks souls out of bodies?"

"Enough, all of you! Who cares how she helped the dwarves, as long as it can get us through? We have bigger problems than who did what in the past."

"You will retract your statement human...or I'll have the personal pleasure of bathing this floor in your blood."

He sighed to himself, rubbed his head, and turned around, gazing at the rushing river water. In the distance, he say Paryer burning. If he looked closer, he saw a cloaked Purge assassin - staring at him - and then swiftly running back toward the city.

City of Paryer

Athaso Yahaz sprinted as fast as he could away from the river. He couldn't risk being spotted by them, even though the odds were in the Purge's favor. He counted at least five of the heavily armed inhabitants of the Drunkard's Haven occupying the ferry. Clearing his head, he scaled up one of Paryer's walls, using his legs to propel him forward. When he reached the top, he landed with a thud. The guard had no time to react, as he already holstered his crossbow and fired an arrow right between the eyes.

He ran forward, not bothering to reclaim the arrow. He saw another guard, and he unsheathed his stiletto. In a quick movement, he drove the tip of the blade into the back of the guard's neck, between critical points C3 and C5. This fractured his spinal cord, killing him almost instantly.

He hopped down onto the cool grass. Sheathing his stiletto, he pulled out a vial of the highly explosive red phosphorus. He dabbed some of the powder onto the tip of his bow. He put the vial away, held out the crossbow, and pulled the trigger. The potential energy of the arrow flying through the air caused a chemical reaction inside of the red phosphorus, causing it to explode once it reached contact with a human civilian. It blew off a chunk of the man's arm, and he writhed on the ground - screaming.

***

Uradus Therayn LOVED being a distraction during a battle. It provided more slaughter for him, which was his enjoyment. He spun his chained meat hook in a full 360 degree spin, and then threw it in an overhead arc toward a guard. The tip of the hook tore through the guard's armor and flesh, and it rested in the notch between the collarbone and the neck. Due to the chain's length, it was relatively easy to swing a man with moderate effort. He pulled, and swung the chain, with the man screaming as he spun through the air. He made a sudden pull to his left, and the guard's body smashed into a concrete side of a building.

Parts of the limp corpse were crushed during the impact, and others flew completely off. He pulled the chain to his right, and the torso of the body flew into three other guards. He then pulled the chain backwards, into the air, and then slammed it down, causing an impact that killed one of the guards on contact. The other two ran in terror, but they were easily slain by other Purge soldiers. He laughed to himself as he walked forward, glee in his eyes as he saw his next victim.

***

Fa'ask Haek burst into the Drunkard's Tavern, blade drawn. Luckily, Athaso was entering in the opposite entrance - blocking off the civilians' only other escape route. Athaso dabbed beryllium onto the tip of his bow, and he released. The bow shot strait into the jugular of a frantic patron, and he collapsed onto the floor, dead. Fa'ask impaled his blade into one of the other patrons, and then used the body as a shield - from a rifleman who just-so-happened to be inside the tavern.

The only bad thing about rifles, was that even though they were more accurate and dangerous than a crossbow, they took forever to reload. The bullet went into the patron's limp corpse, and Fa'ask kicked the corpse forward into the rifleman. It was at this point that a window was sheared, with Uradus walking inside - gleefully. He threw the hook downwards, catching the rifleman by the ankle. He pulled, and the hook cut into the fleshy area between the joint and the main bone. He fell onto the ground, and Athaso fired a crossbow arrow into the man's neck.

Fa'ask delivered an overhead chop to a patron, moving diagonally, which cut the man in two. He moved the blade in a circle at two patrons, and then he threw it at another patron - much like a javelin. At this point, only four patrons remained. One of them threw his beer bottle at Athaso, who simply ducked and fired an arrow into the man's liver. He then unsheathed his stiletto, and sliced the man's neck. Uradus moved his hooked chain in a horizontal sweep, decapitating two of the patrons.

The last remaining patron was on his knees, begging for life. He even offered to help the Purge. Fa'ask simply looked at him, and spit on the ground.

"It's humans like you that make me sick. The world will be a better place without your wandering, cowardly filth.", he said, sourly.

As if on cue, Athaso fired an arrow into the man's skull, puncturing the brain and killing him instantly.

"The Tavern is cleared. Burn it.", said Fa'ask.

Athaso dabbed red phosphorus onto the tip of his arrow, and shot it into a fuel tank near the drink dispensers. It created an explosion, which created an inferno at the bar. The three walked outside, and turned around, watching the Tavern get engulfed in flames.



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Old 02-06-2012, 10:52 PM   #83
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Meara's eyes grew wide. "Retracted!", she shrieked while staring at the weapon with which Vakarr was threatening to strike her. "I didn't mean..."

"I think you did," Per'dra replied softly, "and I think you owe our fellow traveler an apology. I don't mean to sound preachy, but the Dark Elf is right--we must work together, no matter what our races or abilities, if we're going to stay ahead of the Purge." She coughed and held her nose. "I can smell Paryer from here..." Trying not to burst into tears, she concentrated on the river ahead.

"Dear gods! I'm sorry," Meara said slowly, "for everything. Meaning that if I hadn't passed out cold on that filthy floor back at the Drunkard's Haven, I might have protected ye. Please forgive me," she said and lowered her eyes.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:26 PM   #84
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The smallest grin made its way to Vakarr's face as Maera shrieked in fear. For a few seconds he thought about how easy it would be to strike her down. However he sheathed his weapon and began rowing once more to help keep the ferry moving. He did give a quick glance to Per'dra.

"I'll play by your rules for now," he told her.

He wouldn't call it respect, nor would he call it trust. Per'dra did have some special quality about her though. She certainly seemed different from the other humans he had seen. She actually was going to respect his request at the bar, had defended Emi, then ran with Emi and the tall being instead of taking two of her own kind.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:46 PM   #85
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The Bard glanced at Vakarr, because she did not have the strength to look him straight in the eye. Frankly, she was afraid of him, and his threat against Meara had only increased her feelings of intimidation. Thus, "My thanks" were all Per'dra could give at the moment. All other bets were off. Who were her companions, truly, underneath their various garbs and guises? She didn't believe that any of them would betray and kill her, as they were all keen to escape the Purge. What of V'toryv, however? What if the call of the sacred blood of the Great Wyrm was stronger than the calls of honor and loyalty? She herself had said that the blood of her slain children was what gave the members of the Purge their power! If V'toryv were killed and claimed...

Fear not, human child. You shall know what to do when the time is right.

I certainly hope so, Per'dra thought, but can we really save you?

You must try. If you do not, then all is lost before the battle starts!

Battle?

Oleg the ferryman startled her out of her reverie and contact with the Wyrm:

"Lass? Lass!" Per'dra's head whirled around. "I suggest ye sleep now, along with all you other riders on my ferry. Don't fret about me: I can go without slumbering for a full seventy-two hours. My heart is strong, and my frame is stronger! We'll be halfway to Borthar'nal before you even know it. There are three sections of the river, and three trials, that we'll have to pass before we even reach the mountainous entrance to the Dwarven capital, but those can wait. Lay your heads down, and leave all the rowing to me. Aye?"

"Agreed," Per'dra replied slowly, her voice slurring with exhaustion. Looking pointedly at the others, she announced: "This mission, this fatal calling, is ours whether we want it or not. 'Tis for all of Sazhen that we'll answer it!"

Unconsciously nestling her head against Emi's shoulder, Per'dra slept deeply.

In the darkness and stench of the midnight hour, an assassin's arrow found its way through forest, brush and leaves, through air, and through Oleg's muscled neck...

In the morning, the Bard woke with a piercing shriek. The ferryman was dead.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:53 PM   #86
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PART TWO: THE THREE TRIALS

Per'dra, her eyes wide, shook the ferryman's body frantically. "Oleg? Oleg!" He lay cold as ice, and just as rigid. There were two holes in his neck, made by the arrow which had plunged into the Auris River. Oleg had bled out during the night, whilst everyone else was asleep, and now all of them were utterly lost. Her leather armor stickily red, the Bard clutched her stomach and retched.

When her stomach had finally rid itself of all its contents, she shut her eyes.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:27 PM   #87
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((Sorry for the long wait, still busy.))

"Oleg? Oleg!"

Valron's eyes snapped open when he heard the woman shout and he quickly got to his feet. The ferryman was dead and whoever had killed him was an excellent shot, he hadn't heard any sounds that might have signled distress on Oleg's part.

"This will not go unanswered." He growled under his breath as he continued to look at the body. This man had helped them escape the purge and this was his reward? He had done nothing to deserve this.

He turned to look at Per'dra and sighed. He had seen quite a bit of death recently and it was only adding to his hatred of the purge. "We should pay our respects to him as soon as we reach land. And I promise you, if we do find his killer, I will let you deliever the killing strike."

He knew that he sounded strange but it was his best way of offering comfort. And he meant what he had said.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:02 PM   #88
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City of Paryer

After the Tavern burned to the ground, Ha'ask and Uradus walked into separate districts to continue the slaughter. Then, something hit Athaso as if he was struck by iron. The ferry! He distinctively remembered that the ferry held some of the runaways of the Tavern, and he realized the threat that they posed. Sprinting as fast as he can, he jumped from the city walls into a tree, and used his parkour abilities to try to catch another glimpse of the ferry.

Attaching a scope, he saw the ferry. It was impossible to kill them all, but it appeared that they were sleeping. Almost all - except for the ferryman. The best way to slow them down would be to kill the ferryman, as the others would be put into fright, as they probably don't know how to pilot the ferry. He pulled out his vial of liquid mercury, and he was extremely careful, attaching it to the tip of his bow slowly. He took aim, and fired. He saw it hit its mark; the arrow pierced the man's carotid artery, and the mercury entered his bloodstream. As it reached his heart, the man stopped breathing, and slumped over, dead. He looked over and saw Tael. He remembered how Fa'ask had a grudge with Tael, so he decided to kill him as well. However, the ferry was even more farther away, making the shot harder, and he was rushing it - forgetting to put the mercury on the bow. He fired, and it pierced his armor, resting directly below the left lung. Satisfied, he jumped back onto the wall, and continued the long, slow process of burning down an entire city.

Ferry

Tael was knocked out, and even as the arrow pierced his flesh, it did little to stir him from his stupor. After everything settled down earlier, he found himself drift into a long, enjoyable nap. He awoke, and heard screaming. He then felt a sudden pain in his chest. He looked down, and to his horror, he saw an arrow through his chest. It rested directly below his left lung, and he could feel his diaphragm brush up against the arrow with each breath he took. He pulled on the arrow, and he ripped it out. Blood began to flow from the wound. It wasn't severe, but it gave him great pain. He pulled off the armor plates on his chest, and he saw blood around the wound over his under shirt. He clasped his hands over the wound - wincing. He didn't want the others to worry. He looked over, his eyes widening in shock.

"Oh my Gods.", Tael gasped, seeing the ferryman and a pool of blood.

The others were probably looking at him and his wound, but he didn't acknowledge them. Instead, he paid his final respects.

"Rest in Peace, Oleg. Find your Gods, find Paradise, and be free from this wicked world.", he said, moving his left hand to close Oleg's eyes. He then made a gesture with his hands, and closed his eyes, obviously praying. He looked down, and saw more blood escape his wound. He promptly moved his hands back over the wound, still kneeling over Oleg's corpse.



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Old 02-08-2012, 10:20 PM   #89
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Emi had simply shut out the barmaid's comments, she was too busy keeping her rhythm to help Oleg steer, until he spoke up and told them to sleep. She did not fancy this idea, usually in her dreams, the souls she had absorbed began talking again, becoming a nightmare.

But before anyone did anything else, she felt Per'dra fall asleep on her shoulder. Emi's lips curled into a small earnest smile. She then closed her eyes as everyone else rested.

Deep in dreams she suddenly felt cold, a new image forming itself on her subconscious. It was the ferryman.

"But... how... you're...", Emi stopped herself and at that moment sharply opened her eyes to see the dead ferryman. She had absorbed his soul while asleep. He told her he had no way of knowing who killed him and before he could say, she could see the arrow.

"He... could not tell... where the arrow came from...", she simply said, not saying that she absorbed his soul, it was evident by her words.



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Old 02-09-2012, 12:59 AM   #90
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Vakarr said nothing as he found a place to rest. He went far away from the others as he needed to remove his armor, and for certain trusting issues. He had not forgotten Per'dra's response to him. He could almost taste the fear coming off her. It made sense though, as he did threaten to butcher her friend there on the spot. He might have actually done it too. He shook his head and soon fell asleep.

Vakarr found himself looking over a city. They city was filled with chaos and destruction. Bodies filled the streets, and fire covered the homes. He marched through the city, proud of the chaos caused. He was one step closer to taking over this land. As he moved he heard this crying sound, a woman's voice. He slowly walked into the room and saw a woman on the verge of death. Vakarr slowly walked over to her only to stop a few feet from her. She turned and looked at him...it was his mother...

The sound of someone screaming woke Vakarr up from his confusing dream. He put his armor on and made his way towards the others. When he arrived he noticed Oleg, motionless on the floor. It seemed the others were crushed...but what about him? He barely knew the man, and couldn't really be bothered to care about this event.

It wasn't entirely because Oleg was human. It was because they had only known him for a short while. Had it been some of the others in Oleg's place his reaction would have been the same. He made a small note to get his coin back, making sure he'd do that when the others weren't looking. His main concern was getting them back on the right track.

"The ferryman's dead, and his journey is over. Ours is still going...unless we keep wasting our time with this. We need to figure out where we are, and then get moving again," Vakarr said, not really caring if he didn't sound respectful or not.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:51 PM   #91
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Per'dra wanted to cry out, to roar like a wounded mountain lion, but she dared not do so in front of the others. Someone needed to be strong in the midst of this sudden crisis, and it might as well be her. After all, indirectly, she was the one who had gotten the others into this mess! Purge or no Purge, the Bard had been summoned by V'toryv, and it was for this reason they were sailing down the Auris River instead of one of the other Seven Snakes of the Riault.

That reminded her of something: "Wait! We need to check Oleg's lantern," she exclaimed. "If its flame still glows golden, then we're still on the Auris." Gazing down at the dead ferryman, she whispered, "Rest in peace, Oleg. You've gotten us this far, and it's up to us to continue the journey now. Thank you for helping us escape the Purge, and may you find solace in the afterlife." Finishing her speech--and ignoring Vakarr and his comment--she lay her hand over Oleg's lifeless heart, bowed her head, and then raised his lantern:

"Oh, no!" The flame, which had once been the color of lemons, was now blue-black. "We've gone off course, and are now on the Cherna!" If Oleg would have been alive, he would have foreseen the treacherous part of the Auris called the Intertwining of the Snakes. It was highly difficult to navigate, and local folklore said that the gods had done this in order to encourage harmony among the races of Sazhen'. The Intertwining of the Snakes was a popular meeting (and mating) place in early fall. However, it was not that time of year. Thus, that part of the Auris flowed silently on, resting in preparation for the vast number of people that would journey there to find their life mate.

Oleg would have known how to traverse the rapids, avoid shallow water, and find the Auris again. Since he was dead, however, he missed that chance...

Per'dra thought she heard someone on the ferry mutter a word that started with S-H and end with T, but she wasn't sure. Shaking her head, she said:

"The Dark Elves hate all other races. If the Dwarves are isolationists, then the Dark Elves are conquerors! However, they make their plans in secret. I hear that they torture prisoners, so we'll have to be careful while we're lost..."
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:51 PM   #92
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Vakarr watched Per'dra give her little speech to Oleg. It was clear she didn't seem to to hear what he had just said...or she feared challenging him on the matter. After giving her speech, he watched as she checked the lantern. He slowly took in the information that they were on a different path. Cherna...the Dark Elves.

Vakarr perked up at this realization. Dark Elves were certainly better than dwarves in his mind. That wasn't to say he hated dwarves though. He had no quarrel with dwarves, but no real concern for them either. Since his mother was a dark elf, he had more of an appreciation for elven kind.

Vakarr got a little insulted by Per'dra's accusations. However he wasn't too hotheaded to act upon them. He only knew his mother, who was kind to him. So what she was saying might be true...might be. Besides there was nothing wrong with being a conqueror. He turned to look at Per'dra.

"Then we are fortunate to have a dark elf amongst our group. I believe we should stay on the path of the dark elves...unless you wish to turn back and attempt to navigate back on the path of the dwarves," Vakarr said to her.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:30 PM   #93
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"It is highly dangerous for humans such as myself to traverse the Cherna," Per'dra replied, "but with your help, we might be able to find someone who will help us get back on course. It is V'toryv who spoke to me and told me to seek out the Dwarves. I do not want to distrust her direction this soon, or this completely."
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:01 PM   #94
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Emi looked up at Per'dra and Vakarr. Reluctant to speak but she had to, there was no time for hesitation.

"W-We could always... just... travel on foot from their realm", Emi said looking back as she heard the faintest "Hurry up the pace", she could tell it was Oleg's voice.

"Hurry up... we must... the ones who killed Oleg... may be after us too", Emi said as there wasn't any indication that would make anyone certain that they were or weren't being followed, but just in case, she had to put it out for consideration.



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No puedo olvidarte
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:57 AM   #95
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"A human such as yourself might actually stand a chance," Vakarr told Per'dra.

Vakarr went back to using the oar to row again. He still felt this task was beneath him, but he was capable at it none the less. Vakarr turned to listen to Emi once she spoke up and nodded his head in agreement with her suggestion. The second time he spoke, he quickened the speed at which he was rowing. He didn't do this because he feared the attacker. No, he wanted to be sure that if they were being followed then he would be ready for a fight. They were all stuck on this boat however and pretty much made easy targets.

"I have no problem speaking with the Dark Elves and asking for them for directions. If this V'toryv has gotten us this far, than it only makes sense to continue on the selected path."

Vakarr was not one to believe in fate. He wasn't a man who felt he had no control over his life. He believed he could do as he wanted, because he wanted to...not because a higher power told him to. In this case though it seemed he had to trust this V'toryv...for now at least. Vakarr sighed at this and looked over at Emi.

"If you wish to break, I have no problem taking another oar" he offered.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:27 PM   #96
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[We're entering the forest on foot so Writer's spy can meet up with us...]

After a few more minutes of rowing, with Vakarr at the oar, Per'dra spotted an embankment that looked safe to climb. "If our attackers are still looking for us," she explained, "then perhaps it would be best if we hide in the forest and look for someone who knows this territory more closely." Suddenly, she had an idea. "In fact, if we turn this ferry into a funeral pyre for Oleg, the one who first manned it, that might throw our pursuers off course and make them think we're dead! I hate to sound grotesque and morbid, but the stench of burning flesh might convince them..." After seeing nods in the dimness from several of her fellow passengers, Per'dra and her companions steered toward the slope.

Once all of them had clambered off the raft and stood on level ground, the Bard took Oleg's enchanted lantern, opened it, and lit one of the log oars. Tossing it on top of the ferry's planks, she gave a mighty push and sent it sloshing into the blue-black waters of the Cherna River: the Seventh Snake. She and the others watched the swift current engulf the ferry as it burned, tendrils of fire curling and then roaring around Oleg's body. "Rest in peace," she said again, and then rejoined the others. She would have sung a dirge, but who knew how much time they had before the Purge--or its spies--discovered them once more? Thus, she signaled for everyone to move out.

With Oleg's lantern in hand, and her two short swords sheathed at her sides, Per'dra had taken the lead. However, someone soon strode up beside her...
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:35 PM   #97
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"In fact, if we turn this ferry into a funeral pyre for Oleg, the one who first manned it, that might throw our pursuers off course and make them think we're dead! I hate to sound grotesque and morbid, but the stench of burning flesh might convince them..."

Tael looked over to her, and then looked at himself. Putting his armor plates back on, he noticed that his wound was still bleeding. Need medical supplies., he thought. However, he saw most of the others off of the ferry, and he knew that there wasn't enough time for him to rummage around the cargo looking for medical supplies. He winced to himself, as he clambered off of the raft, watching as Per'dra burned the raft and sent it downstream.

He began to feel dizzy, and he knew that becoming unconscious would be fatal. Despite the injury not being life-threatening at the moment, it could gradually become a serious problem within 10-20 minutes, even before shock sets in. He strode next to Per'dra.

"Do you happen to have any medical supplies with you?", he sputtered, his breathing becoming abnormal. Unbeknownst to him, when he pulled the arrow out of his chest, part of the arrow tip tore into his left lung. Not a severe tear, but a tear nonetheless.



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Old 02-19-2012, 10:08 AM   #98
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As Tael spoke, the group's path took them near a small fire. At first glance, it looked untended. A closer look proved it was not; a woman with youthful features knelt by its side, her long brown hair braided and dangling over her left shoulder, her gloved hands folded in her lap, her eyes closed. She was dressed entirely in black, her face the only skin left uncovered. She had weapons too, and though they were set aside, they were still easily within her reach.

"Bring your injured man to the fire," she said slowly, her eyes still closed. "You might better tend to him in the warmth it provides."


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Old 02-19-2012, 10:42 AM   #99
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Per'dra did so, guiding Tael toward the warm blaze and the campsite. Inspecting his wound, she cried, "Oh, gods!" In her line of work spinning tales, and even fighting duels, she'd never been so alarmed at the sight of blood. Of course, whenever she'd been hurt in the past, she'd been safe back in Paryer and in easy reach of bandages and salves. Now, however, she was out in the middle of a forsaken forest on the Cherna River...

"Oh, come on, don't fret," the barmaid Meara interjected. "This tear is bad, but it's not the worst I've seen. Drunken idiots have suffered more than this, and you're no drunken idiot." Without another word, she ripped a strip of cloth off of the long sleeve of her dress and began to tend to Tael's wound. Her friend lent a hand, although she was rather inexperienced as a medic. Still, dueling had forced her to learn the basics of first aid.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:03 PM   #100
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Once the group had more or less settled around her fire, the woman opened her eyes and watched each member in turn for a few moments. When at last her gaze landed on Per'dra, who was kneeling between Tael and the woman herself, she watched in silence, curiosity sparkling in her violet eyes. As soon as Meara and Per'dra finished with Tael, the woman spoke, rather faster than she had when they first encountered her with her eyes closed.

"Scuffles?" she asked. "Arrow shot. You're all worn. Seen a loss recently. It shows. Your eyes, they ache. Hmm..." She pointed at Per'dra. "You. You seem to lead? What brings you so far off the beaten path?"


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Old 02-19-2012, 06:56 PM   #101
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Two words immediately flashed through Per'dra's mind when the mysterious woman spoke: V'toryv and no. She feared that too many strangers--who had now become acquaintances, but were still strangers nonetheless--knew about the Great Wyrm and the mission to which she herself had called the Bard. Instead of mentioning anything about her nightmares as she had before, or what the Elf had revealed to her at the Drunkard's Haven, Per'dra spoke of more immediate matters. What were they now but a band of misfits on the run from something they couldn't defeat?

"We've all come from the city of Paryer," Per'dra explained, "which has just recently been destroyed by a vast army calling itself the Purge. Its goal is to wipe out everything and everyone in Sazhen', unless they convert to the Purge's cause. It's ironic, because the Purge claims to want to rid this realm of all evil and wickedness. They cannot see the darkness within their own hearts." Pausing for a moment, she continued, "I guess you could call us refugees. We have experienced a loss recently, that of our ferryman, and we've burned his raft as a funeral pyre. And to throw the Purge off course."
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #102
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Tael couldn't help himself but smirk at the strange turn of events.

"How ironic. First I save your life, then you save mine.", he said to Meara. "We're even.", he added, with a smile.

Tael glanced around, unable to recognize where he is.

"Where are we?", he asked, looking at Per'dra.



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Old 02-20-2012, 10:15 PM   #103
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Sighing, she informed him: "Our ferryman, Oleg, was shot through the neck last night by an arrow from a Purge assassin's bow! No one noticed his passing until this morning, and by then we'd gone off course from the Auris River. We're now in a forest along the banks of the Cherna, in Dark Elven territory..."
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:52 PM   #104
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At this new information, the mystery woman's eyes lit up. "The Auris! Towns along its banks, nothing special. Where it ends, special."

She began pacing. "Our paths. Same direction, same destination. Dwarves await." She stared at the party curiously. "They don't take kindly to strangers. How would you gain entry?"

But before anyone could answer, she shook her head. "Doesn't matter. I can help. Dwarves contacted the Network. Want information. Classified, can't say what. I have it."

Her pacing stopped and she grinned widely at Per'dra. "But why trust me? Why trust you? Purge makes an easy scapegoat. I can prove us both trustworthy to one another, Leader. Telepathy-by-touch."

She pulled the glove off her right hand and wiggled her fingers. "But dare you risk it? You show caution. Good. But if Purge after you, you have little time. Choose quickly."


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Old 02-21-2012, 09:05 PM   #105
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Leader? Per'dra wasn't sure she liked the term, or if it suited her. It fit like a too-large set of clothes, leaving her to stumble and trip over the sagging parts! After all, wasn't a leader a hero--someone who was mighty in battle, almost invincible, and so righteous that he or she wouldn't even think of doing wrong? Wasn't a leader someone that the Purge might very well torture to have on their side, instead of kill outright? Wasn't a leader someone far stronger than she?

I'm simply fleeing for my life, she thought, a slum-dweller sent on a mission by an unknown force. Who knows if we'll even succeed? A true leader knows we will, but I? I did not face the Purge with any courage. I just ran...

"What's the Network?" she blurted out, not even realizing she was clearing the previous thoughts from her mind. "And what kind of information would be so classified that a beautiful stranger here in this forest knows it, but not a King?" She withdrew her hand at first from the vicinity of the mysterious woman's fingers, but then reconsidered. "I think all of us could use another ally against the Purge, because we need all the help we can get against an army that size..." Hesitantly, she placed her palm within the stranger's own.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:09 PM   #106
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"But why trust me? Why trust you? Purge makes an easy scapegoat. I can prove us both trustworthy to one another, Leader. Telepathy-by-touch."

"I do hope that the question is merely hypothetical in nature.", Tael said, glaring at the mystery woman. "But you and Meara saved my life, so hopefully that doesn't mean that you would seek to kill us." Tael paused, and took note of the current state of the group. "And I don't think we necessarily have a leader. We're merely a rag-tag group of individuals trying to survive from the Purge."



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Old 02-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #107
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Vakarr never took his gaze away from this mysterious woman. He found it quite odd that she was out here, all alone. Her eye color was one thing that made him raise a brow. She was human, wasn't she? That wasn't what bugged him though. What bugged him was that she had found this group in no time. Things seemed a little too... convenient for his tastes.

For the time being though, he followed the group to the fire she had. His gaze met hers for a few seconds as she looked around at the group. Was she silently judging him, like he was judging her. The others began to speak about a few things that didn't interest him...mainly the ferryman. What caught his interest was the mentioning of the dwarves. Per'dra didn't bring them up, this mysterious woman did. This only made Vakarr even more suspicious of this woman.

What he saw next took his completely off guard. The woman removed her glove, claiming this group could trust her simply by touching another's hand. The very thought of it was so silly that Vakarr almost broke into laughter. What did take him over the edge so to speak was that Per'dra actually went for it as she clasped hands with the woman. He let out a deep laugh which was just a bit eerie to listen to.

"You can't be serious about this? Am I the only one who finds it odd that we found this woman so quickly after being attacked? That perhaps she's a spy working with the Purge? That we're really suppose to believe she is trustworthy because she can touch hands? I'm sorry, but I find that very hard to believe," Vakarr said.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:58 PM   #108
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Tegan thought for a moment about this strange woman's offer, and then spoke up,

"I don't trust you. A skilled telepath could still deceive others through the link. Vakarr's right. You could be a spy, but you're being too obvious. Maybe you're not with the Purge, but that doesn't make you an ally."

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Old 02-21-2012, 11:14 PM   #109
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"If it makes you two feel any better," Per'dra replied, "I didn't feel or sense anything when we touched hands. Perhaps the link didn't work. I was rather expecting a warm, fuzzy sensation, or maybe a brand on my palm. Instead, I only felt the smooth skin of your hand, good woman. I appreciate your trying to help us, especially with Tael being wounded, but Vakarr's right. The Purge has spies everywhere, and who's to say they haven't already ventured to this forest on the Cherna River? They've been trying to slaughter or capture everyone for a while now, although bit by bit instead of a sudden assault like the one on Paryer." Stifling back tears, she said, "How far have their forces really spread?"
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:01 AM   #110
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At the physical contact, the woman winced, but did nothing until Per'dra released her hand. As the murmurs of discontent and distrust rippled through the group, she began massaging her forehead.

In reply to Tael, she said, "Leaderless? No. You have destination. Destination suggests leadership."

To Vakarr and Tegan she offered a smile. "Skilled, I am not."

Turning to Per'dra, she said, "You got nothing?" She murmured a few words in her strange language. "Your name, I now have. Per'dra." She smiled faintly. "Beautiful name. Only information I learned from you."

She began pacing again. "Purge has spread far. Yes, even here. Heading for Dark Elves next, if information accurate."

Her gaze turned back to Per'dra. "You asked earlier. The Network. The Spy from Nowhere. Zhaanain. All are one. I am representative. Akeirra, my name."


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Old 02-22-2012, 03:57 PM   #111
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((OOC: In my next post, I'll have the Purge continuing to burn up Paryer. I promise! ))

"Leaderless? No. You have destination. Destination suggests leadership."

"For some reason, I doubt that. Destination suggests the place where we have to go. Leadership is determined by who has the best leadership traits. From what I observed, Per'dra, me, or him, would make adequate leaders for the group.", Tael replied, making a gesture towards Vakarr.

"And he's right. Even though you saved my life, this is WAY too convenient for my tastes. And no, I don't believe in coincidence.", Tael added, agreeing with Vakarr.



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Old 02-22-2012, 05:52 PM   #112
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Emi was kind of hiding behind Per'dra while everyone else was talking to the mystery woman. She looked at her for a moment and then back at Per'dra and the others.

"I... think that... Per'dra should lead... after all... she's the one that... knows the way", Emi said simply talking about how Per'dra was the only one with the link to V'toryv. She was the only one who could communicate with her, so it made her the logical choice for leadership.



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Old 02-22-2012, 07:59 PM   #113
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The Bard gave Emi's hand a slight and hesitant squeeze, along with a smile. "Thank you for the vote of confidence," she told the Reaver amiably, "but, whether I'm the leader or not, I'm afraid we'll have to make a decision if we're going to outrun the Purge. As for you, Akeirra..." She trailed off. "I have never heard of this Network or the Spy from Nowhere, except in rumors about town spoken in dingy taverns. If you speak the truth, then apparently those rumors have some veracity. For all I know, you could be a spy for the Purge itself, although I sense none of the..." She was about to say mark of dragon's blood, but revealing that piece of information would betray V'toryv and the secret Per'dra had sworn to the Elf to keep. Coughing, she continued:

"As I was saying, I sense absolutely none of the aura that surrounds any member loyal to the Purge. It's a pull of subtle strength and power, much like the force found in iron ore which makes compasses point. Also, the more people that they kill, the stronger their bodies become. If they take prisoners and convert them, however, their souls absorb the converts' 'fifth essence', the ability that gives them the power to make decisions freely. It's a terrible fate for a Purge captive either way. In regards to this pervasive aura..."

Blinking, Per'dra let her mind slip into the vastness and beauty of the universe.

"If I suspected that you had it...I'd kill you. Not even Emi, the Reaver by my side, has full control over the power she wields. It grieves her, I do believe."

Stepping back, she raised her head and said: "Despite the fact that none of us, including myself, trust you completely, we do need a guide through this forest if we're going to find the Auris River again and get off the Cherna. I know next to nothing about this territory, because I fear the Dark Elves. It's no use to any of us if we go tromping through the brush and trees not knowing whither we wander! Besides, I think that for saving Tael's life, we shouldn't leave you here to be ambushed or slain by the Purge. Thus--"

She took a deep breath. "At least for right now, welcome aboard, Akeirra."
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:41 PM   #114
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Vakarr smiled a hidden smile as he looked around at the others. He was glad to see that people agreed with them. What he was most appreciative of was Tael's claim at him being a potential leader. He would make an expectational leader, one they needed. Not that he didn't have faith in Per'dra. She was proving to be competent enough.

Suddenly Vakarr found himself somewhat irritated with Per'dra. The slightest growl suddenly emitted from his throat when she spoke to Emi. His annoyance grew when she welcomed Akeirra. Vakarr still didn't trust this woman, and a few others didn't either. He shook his head in disapproval.

"I'm still not convinced, and don't think we should welcome her just yet." Vakarr said.

He looked to Akeirra before slowly taking off one his his gauntlets, revealing a gray hand. He slowly walked over to Akeirra, only needing to move a short distance as he was on the other side of Emi. He held his hand out to Akeirra. He soon however took it away.

"Forgive me Miss Akeirra, but if your trust though touch truly works I wish to see this for myself. " Vakarr said as he stuck his hand back out.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:12 PM   #115
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"I think that to be on the safe side, we should be wary of her.", Tael said, trying to draw a compromise.

City of Paryer

Uradus swung his chained hook, killing two civilians. As he walked forward, he heard weeping in the building next to him. A child. A look crossed his face as he turned, seeing a little girl, roughly six years old, standing in the doorway - crying. As he rose his chain, he heard the unmistakable click of a loaded crossbow.

Don't even think about it., a voice intruding his mind said.

He turned his head to see Athaso, holding his crossbow in his outstretched right arm, finger resting on the trigger.

"What?", Uradus asked bitterly. Athaso always did bother him.

Are you so fallen that you must take the life of a child, one who has just lost her family?, the voice replied, coldly.

Athaso never did speak directly. He always preferred to speak telepathically - a technique he learned from some old book.

"She just lost her family! I'm doing her a favor!", Uradus shot back.

It is morally wrong for one to take the life of a child, no matter what position they might be in. The Purge should not stoop so low to take the life of one who hasn't even had an actual life yet - but alas, animals like you do it anyway!, the voice said.

"Your validity is unneeded. We're Purging this world of the evil and the wicked, and killing her would spare her from the memory of watching her whole family slaughtered!", Uradus said, gripping his chained hook.

You easily fall into the category of evil and the wicked. I've watched you kill. You enjoy the bloodshed as if it is a wonderous feast for you - the glory you get from the lakes of blood on your hands, the piles of bodies inside of cities scorched from our eternal flames. I merely kill because I believe that it is necessary - you kill for glory, and you lust for wanton slaughter., the voice paused, then continued.

The Purge does not need a liability like you, you wicked animal.

It was then that Uradus noticed the glint of mercury on the tip of his arrow. He would easily be able to shear the arrow with his chained hook once it was in the air, but Athaso had a stiletto, and was much faster than him. The odds were stacked evenly: Athaso had speed and flexibility, while Uradus had size and strength. But before either could fight, however, he felt his whole body slam into a wall. Strangely, it happened to Athaso as well. He turned to see Fa'ask, who used telekinesis to slam each other backwards into opposite walls.

"You two on the verge of nearly killing each other, again?", Fa'ask asked, obviously knowing the answer. Noticing the child still standing at the doorway, he made a swift motion with his hand - a knife plunged into her neck, killing her instantly.

"Save your anger for the rest of the wicked in this city.", Fa'ask said, walking away.



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Old 02-23-2012, 08:28 PM   #116
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"Forgive me Miss Akeirra, but if your trust though touch truly works I wish to see this for myself. " Vakarr said as he stuck his hand back out.

Akeirra looked down at his hand, a little uncertainly. "Didn't say trust. Said telepathy. I'm in early stages development, manifests as telepathy-by-touch only. And even then, not much information. We exchange names, scattered images, fragments of surface thought, snippets of native language."

She glanced again at Per'dra. "Curious Per'dra got nothing. I had hoped..." She sighed. "My connection to the Network, my aversion to the Purge, these things I hoped would transfer. But they didn't. You're different somehow."

Turning back to Vakarr, she sighed. "I honor your request."

After one final moment of hesitation, she placed her bare hand in Vakarr's waiting one. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, a faint tingling sensation rushed up Vakarr's arm and things he had never known were suddenly there in his mind.

Zhannain translates "unknown"... Spy from Nowhere... ally... Akeirra... Dwarves seek information... avoid the Purge... sacrifice life before delivering Network information to enemies...

With a yelp of pain, Akeirra drew her hand away, bringing both of them up to massage her forehead. "Sorry, Vakarr," she groaned. "I had to terminate connection. For you, a slight tingling. For me, raging headache."

Perhaps her pain fueled it, but she seemed even more agitated now. "No time to lose. Purge will be drawn aside by ferryman's pyre. Not long though. Time to be moving."


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Old 02-25-2012, 03:21 AM   #117
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Empty....Yes, the great city of Paryer was empty. Void of all the life it once had, it was a cryptic, hollow world of shadow and silence now, only offset by the glow of spreading flames.

A large, cloaked figure rode throughout the streets on the back of a hulking horse (if it could be called that), covered from head to hoof in old brass-like barding, and draped in a faded trapper, with designs of unknown make, meaning, or origin; slick black eyes the only indication that the creature this equally hulking figure now rode was alive at all, or even remotely a horse.

The figure stopped, looking down at the smoldering remains of a building, the distinct shapes of lanky, black-boned corpses lay about under the the charred remains and ashes, a fading but still pointedly pungent smell of burnt alcohol in the air. The figure dismounted, striding cautiously over to the blackened remains of the building, stooping down near one of the burnt corpses, a gauntlet appearing from under the cloak, reaching out to touch the skeletal remains with the bare tips of it's metal covered fingers. The figure tensed, reaching out, it pulled a crossbow bolt out of the skull of the blackened corpse with a hard jerk; raising the object up to it's hooded face, it's grasp tightened, and nearly snapped the bolt, but instead replaced it's hand back within the cloak, the bolt disappearing with it.

The figure stood, moving off down the street at a ponderous pace, the hulking horse tromping along a distance behind the figure.

Coming close to the edge of the city, the figure paused, looking out at the see of life outside, distant shapes, tents, fires, the Purge, resting from it's recent endeavors to destroy one of the largest cities that Man had claims to. Then it's hooded gaze turned, staring at the hushed devastation about, the empty buildings, creaking, cackling, and whispering in the breeze that was spreading the massive fires of the Gold District throughout the rest of the city, bodies of bystanders strewn about, it's head lowering shaking in the absolute slightest that one would think the wind were simply playing with the figure's hood if they didn't know otherwise. But nobody was there to see, nobody knew otherwise.

The figure raised it's head, the hooded facade angling this way and that as it silently observed the cobblestone covered graveyard with the buildings as it's oppressing wooden headstones. But the hood suddenly halted, the figure's body tensing; with it's head still stooped down somewhat, but looking out to the side, it was a deterring sight as the hulking figure stood paused in it's actions and observation.

Moving as if incoherent, the figure strode up to a small form in the doorway of one of those wooden giants that laughed like a crone when the wind caressed it. Falling to it's knees with a 'thud', the clattering of metal could be heard as it did, the gauntlet appeared once more, joined by it's sibling, the figure reaching out to the small form, lifting it's head in one of it's hands. Brushing aside thin wispy hair from the still form's face; the girl's eyes still open, grey and filmed over, thin lines of moisture barely evident anymore could be seen trailed down her pale white cheeks, metal fingers traced her cold blue lips. The figure stooped over the dead child, slowly, ponderously, scooping the child up in a manner almost obsessive, bringing it's hooded face near the girls own, a single dark drop fell on her forehead, the red bead of liquid running off into the lining of her hair. As the figure began to straighten up from it's near fetal position, it began to tremble, then shake violently, an unnatural guttural sound like that of a terrible beast of pure wrath and enmity rumbled from the figure like thunder during a great storm.

Standing, girl in arms, the figure stormed off in long strides that carried it towards the Purge encampment. ((Imagine Darth Vader when he walks))
______

"Sir! We weren't expecting your arrival so soon! But I am happy to report that nearly all who were captured have joined the Purge, Sir! We have thousands, uh......" The Purge Lieutenant paused, his face lowering, and look going plain. The minor officer looked back up at the hooded figure's shadowed and covered face, his own face growing stern as a slow realization came over him and the surrounding soldiers at their campfires who'd been watching, now all silent and still, a growing sense of dread clinging to the air.

Another bestial sound of primal spite and rage could be heard rumbling forth from the ominous figure, the men freezing in shear terror of their leader.

"Bring me Fa'ask!!!"

((Wanted to do more, post as my Elf and Dwarf, etc., but it was late. Also, killing children is a no-no, even for Purge, Papa Poteryannyĭ spank rebellious Fa'ask. ))


"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 02-25-2012, 10:33 AM   #118
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"Bring me Fa'ask!!!"

Fa'ask heard the words reverberate in the air - the unmistakable voice of Poteryannyĭ.

He strode towards the entrance to the camp, walking with a brisk pace. Stopping a few meters away from Poteryannyĭ - Fa'ask was flanked by Uradus to his left, and Athaso to his right. Poteryannyĭ's authority and intimidation could only be rivaled by Fa'ask's own - and even then - Fa'ask was paled in comparison.

"You summoned me, sir?", he asked - barely any twinge of fear or emotion in his voice.



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Last edited by LDR; 02-25-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:12 PM   #119
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In the Forest of Trepidation, along the Cherna River

Even though it was still daylight out, Per'dra moved among its trees and brush as cautiously as if night had fallen. The Dark Elves were renowned for their stealth and assassination skills, with camouflage being a close third. Hired killers and lookouts for the Purge could be everywhere--not to mention hostile and territorial locals. That was why she and the others only dared to speak to one another if it was absolutely necessary. Still, the unique sounds of their footsteps in the forest were as unmistakable as messages in code.

The Bard's own tracks were fox-like, hesitant: Slip! Slip! Tap! Slip...

In contrast, those of Vakarr were forceful: Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!

The Reaver's footfalls were light and nervous: Skitter, skitter, skitter...

Tael, though a warrior, made each step deliberately: Crunch, crunch...

Hopefully, any strangers that they came across would take them for a band of hunters, although who would need this many people along to go hunting? If all else failed, Per'dra would tell any who encountered them that they were refugees from the Purge. This was true, and besides, who else needed to know about V'toryv and the fateful mission upon which she'd sent them? In a sudden flash of insight, Per'dra realized that was the reason why Akeirra had not been able to perform telepathy upon her as easily as she'd expected.

The Great Wyrm was protecting her consciousness from intrusion. She had to be. Otherwise, Per'dra knew that she herself could easily fall victim to torture or mind-reading tricks from skilled mages affiliated with that wicked army. In spite of Akeirra's helpfulness so far, and skill in helping to save Tael's life, the Bard still didn't trust her completely. She'd just have to wait and see...
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:01 AM   #120
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Vakarr had a hidden smirk on his face as he too felt nothing but her bare hand against his own. Then he felt a tingling feeling in his palm. The feeling moved from his palm, down to his fingers and up the rest of his arm.

Images began flashing in Vakarr's mind. He didn't know what he was seeing at first, but soon heard Akeirra's name. Something about the Network, and the dwarves. The most important bit he saw was the warning of the Purge, and to avoid them. She couldn't be working with them.

Vakarr took a step back when she let go of his hand and held her head. He quickly put his gauntlet back on, wanting to move out as well. He had gotten images from her, and knew she had gotten some from him. He knew exactly what she got too.

Images of his mother and a younger version of him were the first things she would see. The death of his mother and him crying would come next. His hatred of the Purge, proving his loyalty, came next. His desire for power was thrown in as well. Lastly came this little group, and what he thought of them. Some were put up...much much higher than the others...and now Akierra probably knew that.

Vakarr stayed silent as they walked. His footsteps were much louder than the others. Given his height and armor, it made sense. He followed Per'dra, still recognizing her as the group's leader. He never spoke to her about the growl from earlier, and was certain she let it pass...or she feared bringing it up. He glanced over at Emi for a few seconds before looking away. Did she fear him as well? Vakarr sighed quietly as they continued walking.
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