Beyond Light's Reach (IC)

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Beyond Light's Reach (IC)

Postby Tomia » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:08 am

Battle of Haden Hill


Sir Quentin "Wolf" Raeden
Quentin hated this type of weather. It was a foggy and damp day as Sir Quentin made his way across the would be battlefield. It felt likely to rain soon, and rain always meant more death in war. Fighting in the mud as three armies bared down each other was not something he looked forward to. That's why this will work. It has to. He thought to himself from a top his horse. As he rode he looked out across the field at the Athelan war camp. The sun had risen and so the camp was stirring. Smoke filled the air as hundreds of fires were sparked from within the camp. The "camps" that held the three armies were starting to resemble tent cities, as they expanded miles past the initial front lines full of soldiers. Nobles traders, mercenaries, even common folk who just found the prospect of battle to be exciting had been joining the camps, which had been increasing in size each day. Dascus had been running its army out of the local lord's keep, and had built camps outside its walls while Tashar was camped out along the nearby road, cutting off travel from the east. Finally Athela was camped at the foot of a small mountain range to the south, that ran alongside a dense forest. Together the three armies formed a circle around Haden hill, which was covered in a small forested area. From atop the trees could be seen a large stone structure peering out.

How many men might die for an old stone building?

Quentin thought to himself grimly. He hoped the answer was none, that was his goal this morning anyway.

"Sir, we have to go on foot from here." A guard next to him said as they reached the base of the hill. Quentin was riding with a group of guards as well as a healer from among the Chosen and a Dragon Killer just in case. He was representing the Knights of Shotarr in an agreed peaceful exploration of the temple. Based on the number of horses that were standing at the base of the hill, Quentin guessed that only one of the parties had already arrived. He frowned at this, they had made an agreement that no one would enter without all parties, present, but it seemed someone wasn't following that.

Quentin and his group walked up the path that was cleared and soon the temple came into view. "Wow, this is incredible." One of his guards said in awe.

"An impressive structure, but hardly worth dying for." Quentin replied.

They entered the temple and the narrow hallway soon opened into an expansive chamber. There was debris and weathered columns across the floor but the view was nonetheless breathtaking. A golden altar stood at the end of the room. The alter was a strange pyramid shape, and behind it sat a faded mantle on the wall. From what Quentin could tell, the painting depicted a battle between a knight wielding a hammer and some demonic creature. All along the walls were cryptic symbols and drawings, none of which meant much of anything to Quentin. He was far from an expert in the arcane or in ancient history. He cared much more for the living than he did the long dead. Behind the altar was set of stairs, descending down to where Quentin presumed the artifacts would be. There was only one man at the stairs, a foot soldier in the red colors associated with Dascus.

He wasn't surprised that Dascus had been the ones to break the agreement, they never had been a people that care much for rules.

He led his soldiers down, and found a Dascus noble who was flanked by an entourage. The nobleman was a middle aged man with greying brown hair and a bit of a gut. Quentin didn't recognize him but guessed that he was the lord of this land.

"You aren't supposed to be here." Quentin said sternly. "We had an agreement. The others might not take kindly to breaking that."

The lord smiled a polite but clearly hollow smile, as if a child was speaking to him.

"My good Sir, we meant no offense. In Dascus we take great interest in items of magical potential. I'm sure our genuine curiosity can be forgiven. And allow me to introduce myself properly. "I am Lord Sampson of Haden Town, Haden Hill falls into my territory and so by right I am representing my nation in this diplomatic exercise."

Quentin resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Commander Quentin Raeden of the Knights of Shotarr."

"I must say I am curious, what are the Knights intentions here?"

"To keep the peace, as always." Quentin replied simply.

"And should the peace break? Then what, where will your allegiance fall?" The noble inquired. Quentin was already tired of his double meanings and sly words.

"Against whoever started the fighting, I can assure you that."

The noble offered a tight smile in response. "Well, that is usually a thing open to interpretation no?"

"Only when you are the one that started it Sampson. Only the guilty play with definitions." It was a new voice, that made Quentin turn his head. It was a woman in armor, with a group of soldiers behind her. Quentin recognized her...

"Interesting coming from the people who have invaded my home." Sampson shot back, his usual smile twisting into a scowl.

"When a scorpion wanders' into a child's room is a parent "invading" by coming in and taking it away?" She asked coyly with a grin. Before Sampson could respond she turned to Quentin, her eyes sparkling in a fond way.

"Hello Quentin, it’s nice to see you again." Her smile was familiar as it was refreshing.

"Lena, it’s been a while. Tashar sent you?"

"Yes, I'm Knight Enchanter now. It's been a while since we were two freezing kids at Radiant after all."

Behind her another group was coming down the stairs, this one made up of elves in golden armor. Quentin knew from experience that they were one of the few things that could unite the Enchanters and the Magi in dislike.

There was a tense greeting given, but the elvish warrior in charge didn't say much, and since all three major parties hand arrived they descended deeper into the temple.

Similar to the upstairs chamber, the walls of the lower level were carved with symbols, and Quentin noticed Lena was taking an interest in them as well.

"What do you think they mean?" Quentin whispered to her. It was strange seeing her again. The last time they had met had ended a bit awkwardly, but this was business and he wouldn't muddle that with their past.

"I don't know, but I recognize the language. It's ancient Tularian. A very old language of the kingdom that existed in the east before Tashar." She said as they continued to walk. Soon the hallway open up into another chamber, this one smaller than upstairs. However it gave off a strange feeling to Quentin. It created a pit in his stomach, like a warning. He almost instinctively reached for his sword, but controlled himself. The last thing that was needed in this hostile crowd was the drawing of swords.

Still the quicker they could leave the better as far as Quentin was concerned. That feeling only intensified as he looked further into the chamber. In the shape of a square, were lined ten gem like objects that were all pitch black. In the center sat some sort of stone mechanism, a silver hammer resting on top of it. The hammer seemed to shine unnaturally.

"Magnificent", Lord Sampson said. That was far from the word the Knight would have used. One word echoed through his mind, even though he wasn't sure why.


The power I'm feeling isn't the Gods. Whatever it is, it's far worse.


Being undercover as a soldier was boring. Being undercover as an Athelan soldier was even worse.

Having spent the last few weeks marching and sitting in brooding silence, Brialya was beginning to question whether or not this mission was worth it. Then she thought of her parents burning to death in their own home and her resolve returned. At the camp things had been much livelier, to the dislike of the priests of the Light. For her cover, she was required to join in, drinking, telling stories, and dancing with other elves. It’s a strange feeling, playing pretend with people who had been your enemy since birth. Still Briayla played it well and she faded right in to the massive army of elves. She was certain the man she was looking for was here. He was a Guardian commander who went by the alias of Purity when giving orders to his lackeys. She needed to find him before the battle started, and she feared she was running out of time.

Brialya awoke early in the morning as she often did, the rest of the soldiers were stirring as well. She made her way to the cooking fires for breakfast, not that the army food was particularly appetizing. After getting gruel like oatmeal and some partially stale bread, she went back to the fire outside her tent and sat down. A few of the other soldiers whose tents shared her fire sat down nearby.

"Think it'll be today?" One of the men next to her asked.

"Hope not." Another said, "Too cloudy, its a bad omen. The priests would see that ya?"

Briayla suppressed an eye roll. One thing she realized in her time undercover was that elves from Athela tended to be terribly superstitious. Their priests often pointed to signs and omens as indication of the Light's favor upon them. Briayla might find that charming if they didn't often use these omens to stir people up into mobs against mages and non believers. Still, voicing these opinions would bring immediate suspicion and so she held her tone as she had been doing for a while. As those around her continued to chatter, she noticed people shifting behind the tents. She raised an eyebrow at this, considering the people she had seen were wearing armor she wondered what was happening.

No orders had come down the chain, nor did she see other throughout the camp readying themselves.

Something is up.

The elvish infiltrator thought to herself as she casually got to her seat and headed to her tent to think. She needed to know what they were up to, but how could she get close without them being suspicious. Just then she looked down at her armor and got an idea, a dangerous idea but an idea nonetheless.

Whatever they're planning I'll stop it. By Faenar's cloak I am shielded, by my faith I am reborn.
Last edited by Tomia on Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Finland SSR
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Finland SSR » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:04 pm

Theodor Arnulfsson

Today, they either manage to prevent the outbreak of the greatest war Eboris has ever seen or see themselves caught in the middle of its crossfire. After calmly assessing the situation, this is the conclusion which Theodor Arnulfsson, delegate from the Order of Evruin, came to.

Skirmishes and clashes between the great factions which compose the continent, or even small-scale wars, were nothing new. However, the forces which gathered today to Haden Hill and which Theodor had the chance to witness as he and the rest of the party rode towards the temple were not ready for a simple skirmish at all. If even a single misfire takes place or a single less carefully worded insult is sent, the uncertain peace could break into a hellfire. Meanwhile, a Dragon Killer such as himself should not be here in the first place. The Order of Evruin was comparatively apolitical, and its stated egalitarian purpose of protecting civilians from rampaging beasts did not clash with any of the three main factions - the closest they would ever come to participating in wars would be patrolling the corpse-littered battlefields to slay beasts searching for easy prey. However, their exploration party, led by a Knight of Shotarr by the name of Quentin, sought a Dragon Killer to bolster their ranks in the case of combat, and as such, Theodor was chosen to represent the Order today.

All three of the factions were willing to throw thousands of men off a cliff for the sake of a magical artifact hidden inside this temple. The solution, then, was to organize a search party from all of the factions involved, and find a solution which does not involve bloodshed. Everything seemed logical so far.

Theodor leapt off his steed in unison with the rest of the party as soon as they reached the base of the hill. He left his partizan hanging on his back, but held the pavise shield in his hand regardless. After all, he had been brought here to bolster the team's ranks in the case of an emergency - and while holding a weapon upon a surprise attack was not mandatory, having sufficient defense against the first blow was the difference between life and death. The party soon reached the entrance of the temple - and the Dascian knight's thoughts echoed that of Quentin as they approached. Those who built it knew their craft, but smearing its walls with blood would only make it look worse.

After making their way through a vast and ornate chamber, and pushing past an altar, the party was met with a party of Dascus, who had, for whatever reason, chosen to appear here first. Theodor stood his guard, awaiting further movement, while keeping attention to the scuffle betweem Lord Sampson and Commander Quentin with one ear. Not long after, parties from Tashar and Atheia joined them, and the united team moved on. The talks taking place between Quentin and Lena not far from Theodor confirmed further that they were dealing with something really really ancient, and if the feeling pulsating across his body had anything to do with it, then dangerous as well. Until, finally, the culmination of their brief adventure concluded before their eyes - the artifacts hidden deep within Haden Hill were ten pitch black gems surrounding a beautiful silver hammer, laying atop a stone mechanism.

Some of them were in awe. Some of them were buttering congratulatory words like "magnificent" and "amazing". Commander Quentin was grimacing. Theodor, on the other hand, was blunt:

"So does any one of you know what that is?"

Riki Farinhait

"Move, move, move!"

The soldiers assigned to looking after war prisoners knew no subtlety, using blunt shoves and kicks to force the line to move forward and finally stop by the wagons. Although, could you blame them? Tashar was a warlike nation, and in such a society, where war is in your blood, joining the army and then promptly getting assigned to towing some criminals instead of joining the front lines would feel like a humiliation.

"Alright, alright, I'm moving!" Riki finally yelled out in frustration, before getting kicked to the back and dropping to a small sandy field, surrounded by the Tasharian army wagons from three sides and several guards from the fourth. The young necromancer pulled himself off the sand and plopped down on his butt, staring at his arms, tied in front of his torso with a strong rope. Yeeeah... I'm not gonna be tearing this off by myself. Either they unbind me or I get someone with a sword to do it...

Thinking to himself about his predicament, Riki almost didn't noticed that one of his fellow prisoners, a man in his forties with an eyepatch covering the left half of his face, was talking to him.

"You don't look like a seasoned criminal. Why are ya here?" The man looked exactly like the type of person to be held under arrest. Riki didn't answer at first, trying to bite the rope holding his hands, to no avail, but the dozens of eyes staring at him finally got him to drop an answer:


The eyepatched criminal released a hearty laugh. "Everyone says that the first time they're caught! Don't worry, soon you start accepting the fate. And start making a list!"

Riki sent the man a glare for a second, before moving on and continuing to try different things in his binded state. Can I touch my chest while binded? Let's see... It's a bit difficult, but I can. Then I'll just need to search inside as soon as I find the chance... if I can bend my wrists enough to grab the handle...

"You're not the type to talk often, are you? Mind at least sharing your story?"

Riki finally gave up for now, resting his tied hands on the ground and staring longingly to the distance. "Not particularly... Not when I'm not planning to stay."
I have a severe case of addiction to writing. At least 3k words every day is my fix.

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The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune
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Founded: Feb 01, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:10 pm

Prax'ak Dor Molap

Humans had always impressed Prax. The Thalia had not favored them when the world was created. They were weaker, slower, and less durable than the other races of the world. They were small, but not to the point of the dwarves where it could be a true advantage. They weren't well suited to surviving in extreme or even rough enviroments the way the merfolk and Thalari could, and they did not have the strength of the elves. The one trait they weren't lacking in however was tenacity. When Prax was a cub, a human had wandered into the Trar's camp. He wasn't impressive, even as far as humans went, but he demanded to be allowed to join the Trar as a trar'lash. It was not unheard of for such an occurence to happen in his people's history, but the humans of legend who became trar'lash were far greater than the one who stood before the pride that day. Prax's sire had the human duel Prax to prove his worth, and Prax, not understanding the difference between Human and Thalari, cut his opponent's arm off with a single swing of his farx. The human however, despite suffering what would be a catastrophic, if not fatal injury for a Thalari, picked himself back up, and after being healed for a matter of monthes, was able to leave the Trar worse for ware, but with honor.

The Tasharians took human tenacity and pushed it to it's limit. They were unlike any warriors Prax had fought alongside or against before. Like the human race as a whole, they lacked the pure magical strength of Dascus or the population and militant peasantry of Athela, but they made up for it in pure ferocity and weaponry. Dwarven runesmiths crafted the finest blades and armor for the grand legions of the empire, and strategy was considered an art among the higher ups that Prax had met. It was good that Prax had the oppourtunity to fight alongside them before he fought against them. Not that he would have lost, but it would have been a long and trying combat.

Sitting next to a crocodilian Thalari who was in the same mercenary company as him, the Tharian Claws, Prax removed a small metal spike from a small pouch on the back of his belt, and stuck it with a small cube of cured meat from the same pouch. He held the meat over the small cookfire in front of them. All around them the Tasharians ran about, preparing for the upcoming battle. It would be a truely grand affair, one to put even the battle of the Crater in Eckers to shame. The crocodile looked up from a small drawing in the mud that he had been making and asked "Prax, you have been to combat before, right?"

Prax chuckled a bit before saying "You know this to be true Hsik. Why do you ask?"

Hsik shrugged and said "A little scared I guess. I've fought in a few small skirmishes before, but never a grand affair like this. It used to confuse me to imagine tribes marching against each other, but here we sit, about to witness combat between not two, but three nations. And not just any three nations, but the three nations, nations that could likely sweep the entire League into the beyond if they were truely dedicated. It is good that we do not share borders with Athela I think, for I have heard they would be most eager to."

Prax removed his meat from the fire and ate the cube in a single bite. Removing another cube from his pouch and skewering it, he responded simply "You need to remember why you fight. For everyone it is different. For these Tasharians, it is for the supremacy of their nation, for me it is glory. What is it for you?"

The crocodile gazed off in a vaguely westward direction, then towards the sky, then towards the ground. In a hiss so low it was almost a whisper, he replied "Most tribes in the League do not particularly care about each other. You know this. In the great swamp, where the turtle's reign supreme, nearly every tribe except their's suffers. While the other great tribes respect the autonomy of their neighbors within their regions of control, the Turtles rule the swamp with an iron fist, and have practically enslaved the whole area. My people were no exception. I fled my village after it was burned for daring to be free. I intend to build a company of my own, and burn down those who killed my people."

Eating his second cube, the scion of Molap patted Hsik on the shoulder and said "Then get your revenge. I'm going to see what they've hauled in with their most recent prisoner chain."

Walking the short distance from the mercenary camps, Prax walked forward towards where they held prisoners. Standing before two guards, he made an imitation of the Tashar salute and said "My name is Prax'ak Dor Molap, I act as an emissary of my people while I fight for Tashar. I would like to examine your prisoners for any that are wanted by my tribe so I may bring up the issue with your superior."

One of them raised an eyebrow "The Pridelord of Eckers?"

Pridelord was a somewhat basic term used among the human kingdoms for Prax's folk. Nodding, he unstrapped his farx and bow from his shoulders, saying simply "I shall go in unarmed if you wish."

The guard looked him up and down and shrugged "Eh, why not. It'd be suicide to do anything in there other than talk to em', and you ain't reputed to be a traitor. No funny business, understand?"

Nodding, Prax strode through the guards into the small circle of wagons they were holding prisoners in. Noticing a scrawnier young man talking to one with an eyepatch, the giant Thalari walked over and crouched down, looking them over. Grinning at Riki and the other criminal, Prax asked simply "So humans, what are we discussing?"

Natasia Calinov

Across the future battlefield from the Tasharians, the Dascians milled about. The sounds of spells and enchantments roared around the camp as the various Magi prepared the armies for war. A small group of them wearing the robes of Pyromancers rushed past the small pavilion set aside for Natasia. Though she technically had no official role in the Consortium, she had used a small number of cultivated favors and her own skill to win herself a number of privileges in the Dascian army. She was given her own pavilion in which to conduct her research and experiments, and a small honor guard of fellow Magi to defend her on the battlefield. Of course, none of them knew the true nature of her condition, but it mattered not. Someone whose body had been wracked by raw magic was hardly different than one of the undead in the Consortium. Unlike the traitorous order, they cared not the nature of someone's life, just that they were in fact in the realm of the living.

The Elf on the table in front of her groaned a bit. When she was a girl, she had objected to and even led a group of students against the use of live subjects as experiments at Ientry. She had been passionate about it, and they had almost given her a shattering for it. Even when they shut down her movement, she still held her convictions, and up until she joined the Slayers, she had been determined to become the Archmage and ban live experimentation. No longer. However, she had kept herself from flying completely over the edge. She took only the prisoners with fatal injuries, before they could become organ and flesh donors for the workshops of the ritualistic graduates of the school of Necromancy. This particular elf had a rather nasty cut on the inside of his leg and would have died if not for Natasia feeding him dark magic funneled from one of the various livestock she kept as living batteries. Taking intricate note of the various organic systems in the Elven body, she closed her notebook, and began to select one of her various surgical intruments to begin removing various body parts she wanted to take note of.

Before she could begin cutting however, Mathias stormed into the tent. He was a tall and somewhat nervous human, a fact that was offset by his good looks. Most necromancers lost any sort of beauty to the damp caves where they learned their arts, but Mathias had painstakingly managed to keep himself looking somewhat suitable. Without even looking up, Natasia said simply "I believe you have news." As she said this she began her dread work in the elf's chest cavity.

Mathia pushed his long and greasy black hair out of his eyes and said "We are mobilizing ma'am. The orders have come in for us to be ready to march."

Natasia placed the various organs she removed into preserving jars. After using a bit of magic to sew up the Elf, she cut off his connection to the life force she was feeding him. The elf made a terrible gasping noise before he died. Draining the rest of the life from the Horse she had been using from this operation, she raised the Elf as a ghoul to use in the upcoming battle. A soft groaning noise permeated the room. Mathias began to clean up the procedure. He had become a sort of apprentice to Natasia since he joined her guard and was the only one out of the group to know the true nature of her condition. As Natasia began to don her armor, Mathias asked "Why do you conduct these experiments, any book could tell you what you're recording."

"Books are fine for learning, but I'm not learning. I'm spellcrafting. For that, I need hands on knowledge of how every body part naturally works, it's intricate details and processes that allow it to function the way it does, so that I can replicate those processes."

"Why? Why go to that length?"

"What occured to me is perhaps the greatest feat of necromancy in recorded history. It is by miracle alone that the traitors managed to slay that monster without me, Ctholes praised, but regardless, if I am to figure out the nature of my condition, I must become the greatest master of necromancy alive, and for that I need a certain level of hands on knowledge of the physiology of all the sentient races."

"... simple enough reasons I suppose."

Natasia merely nodded and pulled the hood of her cloak up. Light bothered her and the hood not only blocked it, but also emphasized the glow from her eyes. Looking away from Mathias, she stepped out of the tent and into the chaos of the Dascian camp with not another word.

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Union Princes
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Founded: Nov 02, 2017
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Union Princes » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:05 pm

The Big Red Dog

Myriads of house banners flapped lazyly in the air displaying an abundance of house animals, symbols, and colors in the sky even when obscured by the fog. Among them, the banner that stood the highest was the flag of Dascus. The nation mustered up an army to take Haden Hill and now have put the place under siege. Sieging equipment may have to be built. Trebuchets, ladders, and rams are gonna be handy when breaching walls. That’s what the giant man dressed in armor thought as he walked past the tents, steeds, and men that made up the camp of the army. The man was Randolf Klefford, the biggest strongest knight in all of Dascus, and he has brought with him 500 levied soldiers from his family’s land.

Randolf walked past his men towards his tent while those soldiers became tense in their activities. The knight simply snorted as he continued on with his path; the levies behind gave a silent sigh of relief. Randolf always had a presence of a thunderstorm wherever he went ever since he was knighted.

His tent was very spartan: Only a bed, his armor, his greatsword, his heater shield, his horse, and a small wooden box. If there was one thing that always irked Randolf, it was his bed. It always feels a bit to small with his feet dangling over the edge but it was comfortable enough. Only enough. The knight glanced at his armor. It was too large, too thick, and too heavy for a normal person to use but just right for him. Next to it on the ground lying next to where the armor stands was a heater shield. Nothing to spectacular: just thick wooden planks held together and reinforced with an iron exterior. Randolf didn’t really need a shield for protection but in the past he had found it was useful for bashing opponents who got too close.

After he stepped inside, a messenger arrived behind him carrying a small scroll. The young man was easily intimidated by Randolf as he turned around with a scowl on his face. Even when out of armor, he manages to make the lad wish he wasn’t assigned this job.

“What now?” Randolf barked sharply, forcing the messenger to regain focus.

“A-a letter, m-my lord…” the messenger squeaked as he sheepisly held out the scroll. “It’s from, your home.”

The knight snatched the letter from the boy’s hand causing him to shake.


“Annnnnddd, the Commander Holland have placed you in charge of leading the assault to take the temple.”

Randolf grunted upon his appointment to vanguard position. He always gets vanguard, always assigned to make a breakthrough, always have to take hell.

“Anything else?” he shouted.

“No-no, my lord.” the messenger whispered.

“Be off with you then! Back to the Lord Holland!” Randolf roared, causing the boy to depart as fast as he can from the knight’s tent.

Once he was gone and out of sight, Randolf sat down on his bed and opened the scroll. A smile appeared from his face as he read the contents. It was from his older sister, the Lady of Klefford’s Hold, and she and mother wanted to hear from him again. He didn’t really talk with them when he got back home since he was in a rush in gathering the levied soldiers.

What should I write to them about? Randolf thought as he put the letter into the wooden box. It joined the other letters sent from home and the small drawing portraits of his family and his mentor. When he closed the lid, he put his big hand over the engraving of a red dog running across a green field. After gently tapping the lid as he pondered, Randolf finally made up his mind. He put away the box and stepped outside of his tent.

He pulled his squire over to him and asked him to retrieve pen and paper. The squire ran like hounds were chasing after him as he frantically looked for those items.

“Where’s a priest and a mage when you need one?” he growled at his horse. The beast can only shake its head in response.
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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The Republic of Atria
Postmaster of the Fleet
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Founded: Nov 12, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby The Republic of Atria » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:41 pm

Francis's journey to the temple was relatively uneventful. Not much more than a stray animal had bothered to cross his path. While great for having a decent meal on his travel, not so good for keeping himself entertained. What part of him wanted to see something that could threaten him with bodily harm? Was it the blood? Probably. He'd rarely been without another hunter to keep himself preoccupied. But, he was able to keep the urges in check, because supposedly the temple was ground to a few artifacts and several factions all itching to be the first ones to get their hands on it.

He wander into the notable damp encampment, the telltale signs of soldiers prepping for war. Ironically, he never found himself a fan of organized armies. The idea of dying for some massively overweight noble did not appeal to him that much. Who knew why? It didn't take long for a few of the camp's higher ups to notice a man with a large weapon and rather elegant clothing wandering around the camp. Francis noticed them approaching and turned to face them. "Good morning gentlemen."

"Fair morning to you as well stranger." Spoke the captain that approached him. A quick glance at the man made it clear that he had no immediate ill intent. Though the strange weapon on his back made wonder what and where exactly the man came from. "You should clear out stranger. Unless you're looking for work. Are you some sort of mercenary?" He asked. "If not, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

Franics nodded upon being asked. "I am." He replied. With practiced efficiency he pulled out and locked his massive weapon into place. He folded and put it on his back after demonstrating. "Half up front and half when the job is done." Francis spoke. Every hunter had their own method of getting pay. Some preferred the money upfront, some preferred to get it after, but his, and most others, like the half and half. Money to encourage the completion of the job, and to discourage being stiffed. They were almost required to be strict with their employers when it came to money. After all, they more or less had to take care of themselves the entire way.

"Fair enough. Fifty silver now. Fifty silver when the job is complete. Plus a place to stay and food if needed." The captain offered.

That seemed like a fair payment to stand around and look intimidating. Lots of places didn't always offer a place to stay. "Deal. My name is Francis. I can start immediately. Just tell me where you want me."

The captain was counting out the silver coins and tied them into a small bag, which Francis politely took. "Head into the Temple. Tell anyone who gives you trouble that Captain Roth sent you. Make sure trouble stays away. If there's trouble. Well, you seem more than capable. Try to avoid killing, but if needs must. Dismissed."

Francis immediately started to make his way into the temple. He couldn't help but wonder what could have so many people worked up.

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New Neros
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Founded: Mar 14, 2015
Left-wing Utopia

Postby New Neros » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:50 pm

Aleksander Zog
Battle of Haden Hill

He had awoken before sunrise, the humid atmosphere putting a nauseating feeling deep in the pit of his stomach; the tribal leader cared only for the cold. He had spent the moments before sunrise giving praise and offerings to his ancestors, as the Eshonie tribes did not adhere to the Pantheon as most other humans did, but once he was finished, he exited his tent in order to rouse the men. Used to the schedule of their commander, the mounted men of the Confederacy were already awake and preparing breakfast, the men forming tight circles around the morning fires as breakfast was quickly made up.

Things were different in the north, as Zog squeezed his way into a circle and sat with legs crossed between two other cavalrymen, who all eagerly waited for food with wooden plates and utensils. Zog produced his own plate and fork, and offered his plate to the server when he made his way to the ruler of Clan Zog. He slapped on a greasy helping of grits and crispy pork fat, Sasha taking the food with a stern nod and an utterance of thanks, and began to eat aggressively with the rest of his men. A mounted courier rode in briskly, however, weaving his way through the Dascusan tents outside of the local lords' keep. "Aleksander of... Clan Zog?" He stated abruptly, unsure of where the leader for the Eshonie regiment was, as his tent was vacant.

Scarfing down the last bits of his breakfast, Aleksander uncrossed his legs and stood, wiping off the bits of food on his mouth and turning to address the courier. "I am Zog." He announced in the common tongue, his cavalrymen stifling a laugh at their commanders' accent outside of the Eshonie language. He approached the mount as the courier leapt from his horse and met the clansman halfway, "Good morning, messenger." He stated sharply, a thick accent still penetrating his words, "Any news from the Temple?"

"Afraid not." The courier replied, thrusting a letter into the Eshonie's waiting hand, the man staring up for a moment at the large commander and admiring his size outside of the armor he wore. "Orders to mobilize - Ready your Moose Cavalry. You will charge in at the behest of Sir Randolf Klefford, as ordered by Commander Holland." Zog snatched the letter from the messengers hand and scanned the document with narrowed eyes, translating the paper as he read. "Do you understand?" He asked, wondering if the Eshonie cavalry commander could comprehend the order, as common tongue wasn't his first language.

"Yes," He nodded, "Make ready for war. Await the trumpets, meet with Sir Klefford at his discretion. I shall make our alliance proud." The courier nodded, watching carefully as the leader returned to his clansmen and bellowed in their language, the soldiers quickly eating their plates and jumping to their feet, returning to their tents to change into their riding gear. The courier jumped on his horse and turned it around to leave, but found himself staring eye level with one of the Eshonie's unarmored moose.

"By the Gods..." He muttered, moving his hand to close his nose, "It's absolutely massive, and smells even worse." Out of it's signature armor, the beast was immense, the scars across it's body singing a song of battle and experience, and it's horns seemed to straddle the skies. A sharp whistle filled the air, and the giant bull moose stepped to the side of the courier, lumbering it's way over to Commander Zog. The Eshonie reached up his hand, the moose lowering it's head to meet it's rider, the tribal leader petting and cooing at his mount. Riding away swiftly, the courier felt his fear dissipate the further he was from the tribal encampment and their Moose Cavalry, thanking the Pantheon that such beasts of war were on their side.

The sun had made it's full appearance by the time Aleksander was fully armored, his hardened steel plates showing a dullness that came with exposure, as well as carrying the battle scars of past conflict. Still, he possessed a regal appearance, the war band clearly identifying him as leader. Their stable boys fitted the moose with their own armor, turning the behemoths into gargantuan tanks of muscle and steel, Zog taking his mount first and adjusting himself in the riders' seat. His cavalry did the same in near unison after him, their notions of equality fading away when it came to combat and respect was given to their elder.

Forty mounted moose in all, the regiment made it's way to the campsite of the Big Red Dog, a fearsome combatant whose reputation even reached the frozen tundra. The low rumble of the mounts' footstomps were unmistakable, and for that reason, Zog kept away from trampling the outskirts of the melded together encampments. Stopping at a respectable distance, Aleksander unmounted and slammed his heavy weight onto the ground, two lieutenants following suit and accompanying their commander as they approached the large tent of Sir Randolf.

"Sir Randolf Klefford!" One of Zog's flankers hollered, the trio stopping several feet before the front of the Knights' tent. Zog had heard much of the Red Dog, chiefly of his immense size and strength, Zog himself was large and powerful, but even at six-foot-six, the Knight would still tower over the clansman as he was at least eight foot tall. Zog wore his armor with pride and distinction, and hoped to make a good impression on the Knight, while his two subordinates did their best to hold their respect for Dascus, as their alliance is perhaps the only thing keeping the Confederacy alive.

"We are at your service by order of Commander Holland, Sir Randolf." Zog said, raising a fist over his chest and thumping his armor, "I am Aleksander of House Zog, and I represent the Eshonie Confederation in this endeavor between our nations. I have brought forty of my dreaded Moose Cavalry to do with as you please. My War Band is experienced and committed to our continued alliance. Shall we discuss this at length?" Though he spoke with an accent still, Zog tried his best to appear sophisticated and in-line with the language of nobles under the common tongue.
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Postby Skyggeheim » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:55 pm

Danica Tryss, The Dragoness of the East
Haden Hill

The fist hit Danica hard in the gut, forcing her to backpedal as another strike flew forward towards her face. Deftly leaning back, she shifted her weight and slammed her extended leg into her opponent's thigh. He grunted in pain, trying to step forward to pursue Danica, only to find his leg non-functioning. Almost comically slow, he fell to the ground, and Danica pounced. She cracked his ribs with a knee, carrying her momentum to fall on the enemy. He threw his arms over his face to protect from the flurry of punches that Danica unleashed, leaving his stomach exposed. Leaning back, she landed a thundering strike into his gut. The man shifted to alter his guard, and as he did Danica snapped her head forward, bringing her razor sharp horns mere centimeters away from her opponent's throat. Yet she stopped, almost as if to goad.

"Yield." She commanded, watching her enemy's fists for any sudden movements.

"If only," Came the rasping voice underneath her. Danica's enemy bucked his hips and twisted his weight, simultaneously shoving Danica's stomach. The raw strength and speed of the movement sent her briefly airborne, and she thumped hard on the ground. Rolling several times, she found her feet and stood quickly. The thal'gol dragon-man stood only a few meters from her, breathing hard. Suddenly, he let out a vicious roar and charged forward, intent to finish Danica. Never to be deterred, she matched his roar and rushed to meet him. He raised his clawed hand skywards, and Danica lowered her body weight and bent at the waist. When they were merely feet away, she lunged forward, slamming her shoulder into the man's waist. He was propelled airborne and flipped, seemingly stunned by the impact. The dragon-man landed awkwardly on his shoulder, letting out an inhuman hiss and slowly backing away as Danica approached.

"Alright, alright, I yield!" The beastman exclaimed through bated breath. He hung his head - half shame and half annoyance - as Danica stopped her advance. She seemed to ponder a thought for a moment before extending a merciful hand out to her former enemy, hoisting him upwards and patting him on the shoulder. At 7'1", Danica was no midget. In fact, she was fairly tall for female Ko'el. And yet, the beastman stood a full head over her. He was one of the more impressive warriors of the Fangs of Hercynia - the most elite fighting force from her proud nation - and she had handled him like a child with a tantrum.

She supposed that being the Ascendant had its perks.

"Come now, Qor'nath, you owe me something," Danica said, now smirking at the dragon-man. He sighed, and then lifted a massive bone necklace from his shoulders. Fumbling with it for a moment, he then held up an impressively large fang. It was about the size of a human hand, but in Qor'neth's massive paw, it looked the size of a toothpick. He threw the tooth to Danica, and she caught it with little effort, stuffing it into her pocket. This tradition among Ko'el, to trade trophies with one another as a form of respect and recognition of authority, was a practice that was seen as "savage" by the Eagle-kin masters of Hercynia. It had been banned outright in most areas of the Hercynian military. This, naturally, did nothing to stop Danica from re-instating the practice when she was appointed Dragoness of the Fangs. In fact, she had done almost everything in her power to defy the policies of the Eagle-king since she had been named the Ascendant. What could he do to stop her? Removing her from command or attempting to assassinate her would only spark civil war between the Dragonfolk and the Eaglefolk. And so, she persisted in her defiance.

"Is there anyone else?" She shouted, raising her arms in challenge. Her taut muscles seemed to pulse with anticipation as she surveyed the faces of the hundred-or-so warriors who had formed a circle around her. Yet, no others voiced their desire to spar. Satisfied, she nodded and turned to two slaves the Fangs had captured on one of their raiding runs just outside of Hercynia when departing on this mission.

"Fetch me my armor and weapons," She said with a snarl, and the two men - slight in frame and fearful in face - scurried off to do her bidding. Suddenly, a blast of hot air at her back signaled the entrance of somebody she was joyful to greet: Tayne. Turning, she flashed her toothy smile at her dragon, running a hand along its scales. The dragon purred in response, and she spoke soft words of praise to it it Draconic. Yet, she still felt eyes that seemed to be burning holes in her back. She turned once again, to find half her company was still staring at her. Some looked in jealously, some simple curiosity.

"Are you all soft of mind? Gear up and mount up, it's time to fly!" She shouted, and received cheers of excitement in response. She was sure that some of her companions would be disappointed that they were simply going on a scouting run of the battlefield, to truly estimate numbers of each army, rather than riding into battle. However, Danica had a sneaking suspicion that the sight of Hercynian forces would worry many. Perhaps, if she was lucky, it would even provoke a response from one of the armies. She tingled at the thought of spilling human blood, and she wouldn't mind a smattering of Elves either. In the end, meat was meat.

Violent thoughts from a violent upbringing. Danica said to herself, suddenly suppressing her bloodlust. This, of all things, was the struggle of being a Ko'el. She was plagued with unquenchable lust for combat, for war and death. However, unlike the Ga'el of the League who fight for pride and honor, the Ko'el often seek to kill and consume. She had seen many of her tribe fall victim to what was only described as "Gnashing Hunger". They fell so deep in their battle rage that they could never rise from it, killing indiscriminately. It was often seen as a curse, and it would forever earn Ko'el the label of savages.

Her quest, her burden, was to rise from that curse. She was the Ascendant, and so she would raise herself and her kin back to greatness.

Danica was quickly snapped out of her thoughts when the servants approached with her equipment. They struggled underneath the weight of it all, and one of them lost his grip on the gear and let her helmet fall into the mud. She saw red briefly, and raised her arm to backhand the pitiful man. But, as he recoiled, she stopped herself. Snarling, she jerked her head, allowing the two to approach and fasten everything in place. Her armor was imposing, and would be almost too heavy to carry even for some of the strongest of other races to carry. Her right pauldron was decorated with the symbol of the Ascendant, while her left pauldron was unmarked. The center of her armor bore the standard of the Fangs of Hercynia. Tayne's armor, however, was much less decorated. It covered vital areas, and tipped his already sharp tail in a vicious steel spike.

When Danica was satisfied with the slaves' work, she shooed them off and did her own checks on her equipment. Contented, she ran her hand over Tayne's spine before taking one leap to seat herself on his back. As she watched, the rest of the Fangs prepared for flight. Some simply flapped their already-present wings, some others concentrated intensely and sprouted them, and even more changed before her eyes into their beastly alternate form. Soon, they all looked to her for orders. Danica simply raised her sword and pointed to the sky. Then, she turned Tayne towards the cliff that overlooked the battlefield. With one spur, the dragon sprinted forwards and flapped its massive wings. She felt the ground fall away, and she stole a look behind her as her comrades followed.

The Fangs of Hercynia had taken to the sky.
Last edited by Skyggeheim on Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby Galnius » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:02 pm

Tenna the Daggermark

While the majority of focus was on an ancient temple that stood awe inspiringly in the middle of dense foliage, something else of interest lay hidden in the moss and woods surrounding the decrepit ruin. It had been lying in wait for days, moving to the temple faster than most armies could and more slyly than many a forest creature days before. If one investigated the area in which it made it's temporary lodging, they would notice an almost humanoid shape covered in moss, twigs, and bark, it's eyes narrowed to further avoid detection.

While the figure paid attention to its surroundings, it focused primarily on the temple. For quite a while, no over seemed to dare enter within. A few scouts travelled to search the area, but none had gotten close enough to force their hand.

Hours passed as armies arrived after the mysterious being, and days passed as the armies built more and more. The scouts became mor frequent, and a handful of times the humanoid was almost caught whilst eating or taking care of other needs. Patience was not something they enjoyed, but it seemed to be working in this case. Whatever was in that temple was valuable to a lot of people. A heavy price was likely to be paid in coin or blood for anything that left that place. And, should they and their faction get their hands on such a treasure, it could be used as quite the bargaining chip.

On the third day, as the disguise was threatening to fall apart and a single silver hair poked through, something began to happen. The first visitor to the temple itself entered through the walls. Their clothing pointed to Dascus, the party with the largest and, likely, most legally legitimate claim to the area. Legal claims, however, mattered little here as the elf woman (as that is what the hidden figure truly was) knew.

They were followed shortly after by a representative from the Knights of Shottar. The elf, known by those in her local areas as Tenna the Daggermark (or Tenna the Mute, though it was not wise to say that in earshot), rolled her eyes. The pompous, 'righteous' group was likely here under the pretense of peace. Being fair, their virtues weren't bad. Just foolish, naive, and quite frankly not uniform up to the top brass from what the silver haired elf knew.

Following in was a group Tenna couldn't help but hold in disdain. Elves, specifically the piously extreme group from the nation of Athela. Being an elf herself she knew that she wouldn't have too much issue just walking past them, but their views of others just made her stomach churn.

Others joined shortly after, staying outside of the temple prepared for war. Tenna found herself quite glad that she had scaled up a smallish landing that may have at one point been an outer wall before making her hiding place, as she did not feel comfortable with the sheer amount of hostility. There would be a battle, that much was clear, but not only was she out of the way and mostly out of sight (hidden not only by her camouflage but laying just underneath a dying, decrepit shrub) but she hoped they would try to keep the stray attacks to a minimum in order to preserve the structure. Regardless, a small hand moved slowly, almost unnoticeably so, to a blade hidden near her hip. Better safe than sorry, especially when being a witness to what could only become a bloodbath and aiming to rob the victor.
Last edited by Galnius on Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sarderia » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:07 am

Dascus War Encampment, Haden Hill

It has been a long week, or rather, a long month for Calt. He had to left his prized profession in the Mage Consortium, and the safety of his imposing stronghold on an assignment, and a pack of young mages scurrying like ducks behind him. Not that he hated the notion, of course. The temple of Haden Hill was said to have over hundreds of ancient magical artifacts, very potent and powerful. He could imagine how much the wealth and potential that could be done by those items. His own arsenal of magical items were still the most useful and prized for him, though. The Rune of Mind, for example, could create a myriad of illusions. But for now, his main priority is getting first to the temple and salvaging any speck of magical items before the damned Tasharians found those out. He had in mind the idea of traps, though such schemes must put the Temple's situation first.

He entered his camp with a goblet of wine in hand. The sweet, strong one, and he drank the cup's contents with a single gulp. His tent was common in appearance; there was almost nothing that differentiate it from other soldier's tents. One could though that a Mage's tent was full of strange items and glowing things. But he wouldn't take a risk of showing his tent out for parade; a raiding party was particularly attracted to such places. In the cloth wall hung his only weapon, the Swiftwind - a sentinel bow shining with a crimson hue. Several axes and swords laid on the floor, though he had found no use of it. Calt was never the one to charge forward with sword in one hand and screaming glorious shrieks - he despised it.

His bed was nothing more than a stack of cotton, still clean. Calt rarely sleeps, as he took sustainity from the arcane items surrounding him. It has consequences, like the times he cannot even eat normal food. His desk was the only thing glamourous about the tent, covered in extravagant ornaments. That, and the ornate chair, had been the only property of the Consortium he used for his stay here, in the accursed camp.

A young mage walked to his tent; a girl by her seventeens, he supposed. The Consortium had taken a liking of sending young recruits off to be slaughtered nowadays, himself had been one. It has something to do with humans having their most potent magical ability when in young age. Contrary to what most people thought, bearded old men with pointy hats can do nothing more than mutter words and offer cheap tricks. As age progresses, your ability to cast magic wanes over time, though your knowledge do not, he thought. After all, that was the reason he'd ascended to Vice-Mage only in his twenties; another old jerk dies or his magical ability wavers.

"My Lord Vice," the Mage said. "How do you fare, on this bright day?" Calt let out a sigh. The Mage had the courage to bother him with simple courtesies.

"Do you need to even ask?" The sarcastic comment made the girl flinched. "What is it?"

"There has been a decision. This day is time the vanguards move. Commander Holland had announced it in front of a crowd," she answered.

He rose from his seat and adjusted the Rune. "About time they did. What did the Commander said about it?" he responded.

"As far I know Sir Randolph had been placed in command, my Lord." Calt did not bother to hide his disappointment with another sigh. "You are placed alongside the Knight as the main ranged force," she continued.

The brute of a man had it again. He had always wondered why the Commander won't put the knight right in the center instead of losing the momentum as a vanguard, though. Being a rabid beast as he was, Sir Randolph could cut through the enemy's soldiers with simple ease, maximizing the potential of Dascusian legions to push through. Maybe the Commander was just a pompous fool, or maybe the Knight himself asked for the glorious position. As far as he know, the Dog had always been placed as vanguard commander. And now he was stuck with the beast, much to his chagrin. Not that he feared the man, though - a simple binding spell would put him back in his cage.

"Another day, another trouble. And now I'm stuck with that brute." He snatched a quill and put its tip to an ink bottle. He grabbed a parchment and began writing. "Lord Commander, it is with the utmost respect that I must disagree with your decision. As the representative of Dascus' Mage Consortium in His Majesty's army, I am in charge of the legion of Mages sent officially by the King's advisors, and I am in charge also for the discovery and handling of arcane items found." Calt smirked when he wrote that. "If, however, the need arises for you to put mages in the open battle, I will stand and await your wisdom. Until such need arrives, however, I will take the Mages further to secure a stronghold in the Temple. I am afraid that we will leave your vanguard and Sir Randolph behind. Sincerely." And I hope in your foolishness you understand that pairing me with the brute won't work out was left unwritten.

"Give this to the commander." Calt buttoned his shirt and raised his green hood. He then closed his eyes and waved his fingers subtly. Through the nerves of his hand, he could feel the Magicka energy running. He waved his hand, the right over the left, and pulled both hands away from the other, creating several strings of magic energy out of his fingers. He then clapped his hands and closed his fingers, rubbing it a little, before then unleashing a spark of magic energy in his surroundings.

"Hnn." The show of tricks was not more than a mere show, he was relaxing his hands and magicka to better cast spells in the field. He looked again to the young Mage in front of his tent.

"Are you just going to stand there like an idiot? Run off to the Commander." He sent a blast of magicka from his left hand, dashing several pebbles on the girl's feet. She looked terrified of him now. He returned to his camp, once again making sure that nothing would be left behind.

He made several magicka strings again with his fingers, and then gently touched the Rune on his neck. He raised his right hand and snapped his fingers. His mask of black steel rose and flew from his bed, moved by magic. It fits perfectly on his face, clasping with the hood and his neck. He could feel the ice-cold metal touching his skin, and his scar near the ear. Contrary to the sight, the small slit above his nose is actually transparent, allowing him a wide sight, though not so much. For the many blind spots of his masked sight, he had to rely on magic. And the stupid goons that called themselves mage too.

He walked out of his tent to the stables. Here and there soldiers were scurrying and running off from one tent to another, and some to the Armory. The decision to attack first had came all of a sudden, and the soldiers had little time to prepare, he thought. He spotted some of the Consortium's Mages-in-training at the camp's outskirts. As the Vice-Mage, he was held responsible over the ragtag band of Dascusi arcane-practicers.

Calt gestured his fingers again, waving it against one another. With the tendrils of magicka in the tip of his finger, he made a sparkle of golden circle in thin air, and snaped his fingers to make a square formation, and then a diamond. He cupped his hands and sent it forwards, releasing a blast of magic. While it was certainly not enough to move a person, the show of tricks was enough to wake up the mages from their morning slumber.

He shouted not-too-loudly. "Listen. While I do not know for sure when the main army will strike, and my own troops among them, we must ready our preparations nonetheless. But on the other hand, we will launch the first-ever strike of this battle. We will go straight to the Temple. Behind us would be the King's vanguards," the implication of who would lead it left unsaid, "and we would secure a stronghold there before any other magical faction. Make it fast." He was a perfectionist; that much was implied. After his whole affair with the Consortium, murdering a Grand Mage, hells, even murdering his own mother - Calt had nothing more to lose. His life was very broken from the start, and to frankly say, he don't have any clear reason not to release the Rune and his bow and let himself bleed to death from every hole. Well, he had one - his love for shiny arcane things and sweet order reigns in Dascus. Despicable as he was, at least Calt still longed for the slaughter he had seen while still a boy, not to happen again to anyone. Though, it did not prevent him from running away out of the camp and screaming loudly in the night, with only the moon to hear.

Calt took off his metal mask; he needed to be aware of all things around the path. He took his pale, white mare by the leash and mounted its saddle. The young girl had returned from her affair, he saw. She mounted another horse just as Calt saw the others did so, and the rest of the vanguard preparing to go. Not far from him was the tall figure of Sir Randolph.

"My Lord," the girl curtseyed. "The Commander agrees. Though he'd much prefer if you would stick with our charming knight here," she said.

The sarcastic remark made him chuckle a little. That was when he realized it - he wasn't supposed to laugh. Laughter always made you seem insecure. The girl realized this and responded with another chuckle. "You laughed."

"I don't give a fuck" was all the response he could say. As the group rode out of the camp, the young mage grinned widely, the sight of her superior being awkward too much of a victory. Calt made yet another finger gesture, making a bracelet of green magicka on both his hands.

"It's okay, Calt," she answered. "We'll do good to let our emotions. My mother-"

"I said I don't give a fuck," Calt responded, leaving the girl with a startled look on her face. "I don't care what your mother or your father or your friends say about this or that, blabbering about. You follow my orders and I am your Lord. That is enough." His words were enough to lock the young mage's mouth shut. "And don't you fucking dare to adress me by name again, bitch."

"My Lord… yes, milord." His sharp glare sent the young mage terrified. She wouldn't dare to bother him again for the rest of the journey. But for a second Calt thought about what the girl had said about earlier. Her words brought a rush of bitter memories back to him, something that rendered him sleepless for nights.

Mother. The memory still haunted him all over his life. He hold no love for his mother, yet he had no hate either. She only wanted what she thought best for me, he thought. That was her mistake, and he has to remove all hindrance on sight. He deeply regretted it, of course. He wanted to go back to the past, and blast whatever demon possessed him that time apart. Hell, he even chuckled when his mother died. Calt would never forgive himself for that. But he always calmed himself down with the notion; that disaster made what you are today. You had a hindrance and you removed it with a stroke. No-one would have a courage like that.

Calt did not realize that he sent a particularly large blast of magic while in deep thought; there was a hole in the dirt path, and his horse was terrified enough to shriek. The horse was more terrified of him and his magical aura, though; that keep the beast silent. Truth be told, the blasts wouldn't be enough to kill a person, let alone an army. No, he would use his bow and spells instead. The blasts may be strong enough to push, or even struck a blunt, but against a warrior, there is no point.

He glanced at the company of Mages and the Vanguard behind. He saw Sir Randolph talking to some warrior; he wasn't sure of who that man is. Well, Calt was in the front of them all now, with his bow lying in his back. He ran his fingers around the horse's mane, calming the animal down. With a stroke, he paced the horse forwards, away from the march behind. He could only hope that the vanguard would be fast enough to reach it before the other two armies did.
Last edited by Sarderia on Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Auropa » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:11 am

Cyradil Vask
Beneath the temple

That was what the once noble knight of the honor guild thought of the lord she now protected. Sampson was meant to be a respected and intelligent master of his lands but so far he had only shown himself to be cocky, reckless and foolhardy. Despite her protests, he cheerfully made his way into the temple ahead of schedule with little, to no regard for the previously made agreements and the already high tensions between the neighboring forces. While even she had to admit that the old structure held a certain natural beauty to it, all she could focus on during their approach were the many plumes of smoke rising from the not-so-distant campsites dotting the hillside around them.

“We should expect others to arrive before long m’lord.” She announced from beneath her blackened helmet, the dull metal covering giving her voice a low growl to it as it passed through. Not too surprisingly though, her charge proceeded to ignore both her and her warning as he continued forward, deeper into the temple. Suppressing a frustrated sigh, Cyradil lowered a hand to the mace by her side and followed the lord and the rest of his escort. The temple’s interior proved to be just as impressive as its exterior and while its age showed through the dozens of cracks and moss lined walls, ornate depictions of battles against ancient evils still decorated the main chamber, and highlighted the golden altar that still stood proudly at its centre. Pausing for a second to give a silent prayer, Cyradil continued to follow behind the other Dascians as they journeyed onward.

While working together, most of the other members of the escort tended to keep their distance from the armour-clad warrior. Whether from her admittedly less-than pleasant attitude or the rumors circling her quest and past, they tended to keep her at arms length and preferring to keep to herself, she happily did the same to them. In the end, she was only brought on the expedition through her reputation and need for coin, once it was over she fully intended to either help where it actually counted, maybe by joining the medical guard or recovery teams, or else move on altogether. Bringing her attention back to the present however was one foot soldier moving a little too close to the golden altar and watching it a little too intently.

“Don’t.” She stated simply and clearly after approaching from behind.

“Ah! l-lady Vask. I was just, admiring the-ugh the thingy.“ The soldier began to say as he moved away from the altar. Already tired of his excuse, Cyradil simply glared through her visor before turning away and walking back towards their lord.

Before long the party continued downward, descending to lower levels and closer to the artifacts within. Catching her attention however, were a number of unknown but seemingly ominous symbols decorating the walls. Soon enough though, the inevitable came to pass and as she heard the telltale sound of plate armour above, she pushed through the entourage and towards Lord Sampson.

“Company” She said flatly as her hand wrapped around her mace’s handle.

Not long after, the knights of Shotarr descended into the cavern. As much as she may have respected their ideology of peace, Cyradil couldn’t deny a twinge of concern as she studied their armaments and compared them against her group’s own, if something sparked a conflict between them, she doubted things wouldn’t get messy. Upon being caught out however, Sampson proceeded to admonish those that caught him rather than admit his own guilt. When the apparent leader of the knights responded with words instead of steel however, Cyradil relaxed her guard a bit and moved to lean her frame against one of the nearby walls as she crossed her arms and waited for the situation to resolve itself. Even with tensions as high as they were, Shotarr knights wouldn’t start a conflict without warning or reason.

Re-sparking her concerns though was the arrival of the elven group and a single human woman from Tashar. As nice as it was to see that Sampson had more attitudes than smug satisfaction, his instant disapproval of her arrival and the clear bond between her and one of the knights could spell trouble if mishandled, the well-armed and armored group of elves were just the cherry ontop of this disastrous meeting. Thankfully, the situation did steadily deescalate and after a few more glares between the different party members, the group untied and continued onward. With potential dangers all around them, Cyradil wordlessly moved up to her charge’s side as they went, opinions of the him aside, it was her duty to protect him and with new dangers surrounding them and an undeniably ominous atmosphere within, she made sure to stay ready.
Last edited by Auropa on Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Finland SSR
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Finland SSR » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:17 am

The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune wrote:Prax'ak Dor Molap

Riki Farinhait

The silence which ensued in the prisoner's quarters after the first scuffle did not last long. A deep, grinning voice suddenly spoke from behind the young necromancer, and as soon as Riki turned around to see who was trying to ruin his day, he flinched at the sight of a massive lionkin Beastfolk. Though he did not completely go into panic, his shock was enough for the eyepatched criminal from earlier to release a hearty laugh.

"Whatcha so scared about, kid? You found yourself a kitten!"

Riki released a sigh to calm down. "Tsk..." he scoffed. Though Beastfolk were not exactly the most common sight in the towns and fields of Tashar, and the Order of the Fading Butterfly did not have a single one among its members, Riki had seen enough of them to not get startled by their often intimidating and inhuman appearance. But in this sort of situation, where he doesn't even know if his head will be on his shoulders by tomorrow, seeing a massive lionkin warrior crouching in front of him can get pretty damn... scary.

Who is he kidding, though? His head is going to stay on his shoulders, he's going to escape from here. He has a plan.

"Sorry, buckaroo, the kid doesn't talk all that much. It's mostly just me telling him tales." the eyepatched prisoner continued, staring at the Thalari warrior. "I'm sure he'd love to pet you, but his hands are kinda tied. So are mine. But ya know, if you took a dagger and cut them off, you'd be entitled to plenty of them kitty pats."

After a brief fit of coughing, the criminal continued. "Though I guess, if you ever considered it, this would be a bad time to tell that I got thrown here for robbing one of your kind. Not far from this camp, too. But, to be fair, that kitten was so naive that he might as well have been asking for it."
I have a severe case of addiction to writing. At least 3k words every day is my fix.

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The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:54 am


The grin faded from his face. Turning his attention from Riki for the moment, Prax straightened some of his armor. He began talking as he did so. "You know thief, where I am from, we do not believe in prisoners. No. We hold captives for but a short time, and then we either ransom, enslave, or release them. If we find out one of our kind has perpetrated a crime, we either have them duel the victim, or banish them on the spot. When I first left the Wastes, I could not understand the practice of imprisoning criminals. It seemed like a waste of resource and time. But then I met your kind. The common thief. No honor, no glory, just shrivelling little cowards. Then, jail made sense. You are undeserving of fighting for honor, and that includes an execution. The only thing you're good for is rotting away while you think on your sins."

Prax had gotten around to adjusting his gauntlets when he let a single, long, serrated claw extend from his right pointer finger. Crouching down again and holding it under the criminal's throat, his grin returned. "I care not for other Thalari. They are as different to me as a dwarf is to you. You do not see the difference, for the human mind is anything if not stubborn, but it exists not the same. I however, will not stand here and be insulted by one like yourself. I am Prax'ak Dor Molap, the Pridelord and Hero of Dascus at Eckers. I must have killed at least three hundred elves that day. What will one more thief on my conscious be."

Turning his head back to the silent one in black, Prax nodded behind him and said "I like you though. Nice and quiet. Plus, you have some sort of power to you. What say I get you freed from here, and then you can do me a favor or two eh?"

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Finland SSR
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Finland SSR » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:55 am

The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune wrote:Prax

Riki Farinhait

Seeing the towering Thalari warrior lose their smile, step towards him and extend his long, sharp claw towards his throat instantly erased all of the bravado which the criminal held. Instead, it got replaced by an instinct of self-preservation. The criminal started quivering in his boots, his mouth gaping and, as soon as the Thalari relented, he released a deep thankful sigh. Nobody else in the entire small group of prisoners wanted to even open their mouth now, so it was apparently Riki's turn. Surprisingly, however, the warrior complimented his calmness and power within, even offering to have him freed in exchange of a favor.

The young necromancer raised his eyes, staring at Prax with a confused scowl. The fact that the Thalari managed to figure out that he holds magical abilities immediately was not the worrying part - this seemed to be pretty common, and it's not like Prax suspected of what his art of magic may be. But freeing him in exchange for a favor? Something's not right here, there has to be some hidden intent behind that smirk...

"What do you want me to do for you?" Riki opted to be straightforward and asked. "If you want to do me a favor, you can kill three hundred more elves. For Tashar, or whatever you fight for."
I have a severe case of addiction to writing. At least 3k words every day is my fix.

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Ihsalihna » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:57 pm

Sayyida ul h'Ehlam
Beneath the Clouds, Between the Armies

The figure walked quietly through the mist, the dew on the grass clinging to the edges of their robes and glimmering along with the silk in the fires of the camps. The sky was overcast, the clouds heavy and fat with rain. A good omen - mud might have dirtied the hem of their cloak and sullied the wrappings around their legs, but water was the eternal lifebringer, a promise of prosperity and fertility. These lands were so full of life, so full of promise...

A shame this would be a place of blood, they thought to themselves. Rings of fires encircled her promise, fires and iron.

Keepers of light, scions of war, and dwellers in mystical paths, and many others... which was she then? Sayyida shivered for a moment, the damp having seeped through the layers she wore, and wrapped her chilly hands beneath them as she looked over the forests from the grassy outcrop. She had followed the downtrodden, wet grass that marked the soldier's trails for some time before finding this vantage point. Men carried bundles of firewood and barked at each other in the distant encampment, the tent canvases billowing in the breeze as the wind picked up and set the boughs surrounding the ancient ruin swaying.

She loved that. Not just the grey, aging stone poking about the green with so much history written in its walls and waiting to be discovered - that filled her with an excitement that rose in her chest. But the trees were something else, and their leaves in the wind, the noise it made... it was difficult to understand why the people who lived here went to war when there was so much beauty and black, fertile earth for everyone, but then again... it kept her in business.

She didn't voice their concerns during transactions, as long as she received her payment up front.

After all, we all follow the path worn by Fate and those who come before us. If we should slip from the well-trodden ways down dangerous, foolish paths to brighter destinations, all the better. Many simply would not. She just wished, when the steel and gold had traded hands and both had went on their way, that the road was not so wide, and well-traveled, and so finely paved by those with the best of intentions. Sayyida knew she was far too small to stand before the marching legions, so she did what she could. She sold bandages, drink, blankets... small comforts in a big world.

Idly she rubbed two silver coins together inside the silk blanketing her hands, slipping the two pieces free and peering down at the strange, foreign symbols upon them and the features of the man stamped into the faded metal. Her thumb brushed aside the clods of dirt dug into the sternness of his brow, the crevasses of the beard, the blackness caught in the spires of his crown. Those didn't come loose, so she simply closed her fingers around the coins and tugged up the veil covering her face. The dwarf had been a fair and honest merchant, and a good brewer - his drink had gotten her in the battle lines and brought her much business from the thirsting dogs of war ringing the ancient ruins, and so far they were confined to sit and eat and drink, leashed by their commanders.

But then, hungry dogs must be watched carefully. This any wisefolk knows.

Sayyida tensed her shoulder and appeared to stiffen as the large, dirty hand clapped against her, unclean fingernails digging into the silk as she shifted her hand slightly and slipped the silver out of sight. She could tell by the man's breath that he was an experienced connoisseur of the finest cheap, stale, watery liquors, and from the looming danger in his body that he wasn't yet drunk enough to pose no threat. Two other pairs of boots scuffed across the muddy grass behind her. No matter. She'd dealt with unhappy patrons before.

"Oi, sweetheart, you got any more of that ale? Lads were just wonderin'... ah, all out?" The man, a corporal by the marks on his arm, grinned and leaned over her shoulder, nothing resembling a general respect and investment in the well-being of his fellow human beings to be seen in his eyes. He hooked a thumb into his belt and dug his fingers harder into her shoulder. Sayyida turned her head slightly to look blankly up at him, a pair of curious blue eyes peering out from under a hood. She tilted her head and he nodded in understanding, glancing back at the other two soldiers standing behind him. "Oooh, that's right, you ain't speak th' common tongue all that well... Here, lemme put it this way-"

The soldier placed his hand on the pommel of a sæx tucked into his belt and raised his eyebrows. "How's about if you can't hook me up with any more of that ale, you hand me back my boys' coin, eh? Little refund?" He flashed his yellowing teeth again and nodded slowly, feigning contemplation for a moment. "Aahh... better just hand over th' coinpurse, just t' be safe, aye? Then you can be on your merry way, sweetheart. How'sat soundin'?"

Sayyida spoke up as she placed her own slender, tan fingers on the disheveled corporal's shoulder, dark orange dyes tracing out intricate patterns against her skin as she tapped him softly, as if in thought. "Ah, refund? Not happy with merchandise, yes?"

"Aye, aye lass, that's it, knew you were a smart-" the man's voice caught suddenly in his throat and his watery, yellowish eyes widened. Sayyida watched him with her warm sleepy gaze and smiled as she lifted the rest of her fingers one by one, revealing the sickly venom-green of the snake's head cupped beneath her palm. The soldier's Adam's apple bobbed beneath his pale hairy skin as the serpent's unblinking eyes staring up at him, slowly rising up, fangs sheathed in taunt skin. As the two curved blades disappeared back between its thin slit of a mouth, the snake flicked the air, tongue brushing against the holes in his greasy tunic.

Sayyida nodded once more, peering back at the two confused soldiers standing behind the man. "Refund, yes, yes? Is there problem?"

The serpent began to hiss softly, a whisper full of fatal promise growing slowly louder and closer beneath her hand. The woman narrowed her eyes and murmured softly up at the frozen man, a slight song in her voice as she gave her fingers the slightest wiggle. "Venom antidotes are only three silver, habibi~... Special deal, just for you...~"

"R-right, my mistake, here... " The man shakily slipped the coins into her pocket and took the offered vial, released her shoulder and stumbled backwards a bit. Sayyida lifted her hand gingerly away without a serpent to be seen, watching him go curiously. As the grimy corporal yelled at his questioning men to stop their badgering and staggered away with them in tow, downing the vial and glancing back at the merchant woman from time to time, Sayyida smiled softly.

As they disappeared back to camp the woman parted her silks and cooed softly as Vahid the Asp rose out of her sleeve to drap himself across her shoulders, enjoying her warmth and soft caressing fingers against his scales. "Good boy."

A Tashar war camp was a fine place to deal with coin, for those who knew how to deal with the military customer and all the risks that accompanied the market. She'd been selling her quill to write letters home, replacement mess kit to prevent thrashings from quartermasters, and kegs of ale to under-supplied regiments in dire need of a drink - but she hadn't come here to line her pockets with pitiful soldiers' wages. She'd gathered rumours, overheard scouts, picked up commander's discussions from outside of their tents - she'd passed as victualer and vivandière for long enough now. She'd come for wealth, be it revealed secrets to sell or arcane artifacts of lands lost to time, and every trace of hearsay and whispered words led to the Temple of Haden Hill as the place she sought.

She turned away from the camp and slipped into the long grass, wandering down the hills towards the camps and trees beyond. The glimmering of her silks faded to a dull greyed blue, even as the clouds above her darkened with the weight of their burden. Today was filled with Fate, she could feel it - the eyes of the Gods looking down and playing their hands as the world unfolded beneath them. She set out to see if she couldn't slip in and join the envoys while things were nice and peaceful, wondering vaguely if they watched her too...
Islamic Visadahyum of Ihsalihna
ویسداهیوم اسلامی ایهسالیانا
Visadahyum-i Eslāmi-i Ehsālihnā
Current Main Canon: [Silk Roads Fantasy] [Strangereal Middle Eastern Democracy] [Post-Modern Islamic Golden Age] [Caliphate in SPACE]

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Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:21 pm

Bethelomet Marter

“Careful! Careful!”

“Watch the counterweight!”

“Keep it level, damn you! Level!”

Bethelomet Marter, commander of the Tasharian artillery contingent, let out a low growl as he passed each of the siege engines being prepared in his artillery park. A mixture of trebuchets, ballistae and catapults stood arrayed on an elevated part of ground, overlooking both the flats around the hill as well as the hill itself. It was not the ideal spot; there were other heights that would have offered better vantage points, and the current position was well out of range of Haden Castle, but Bethelomet could only make the best of whatever plot of land the commanders allocated to him.

The dwarf was shadowed by a group of about six noble boys, recognisable by their shining, pristinely kept armour, their colourful scarves and mantles, and the dumb look on their faces. Bethelomet did his best to keep his eyes front to prevent himself from embarrassment, but the rustle of expensive mantles flying about in the wind and the sound of scabbards striking metal greaves could hardly be ignored. The noble boys, around the ages of eighteen to twenty, were whispering among themselves as they looked towards the horizon. Many of them had never seen an encamped army before, let alone three massive armies readying for battle. They mostly sounded excited, with hints of fear in their young voices, two emotions that Bethelomet despised before a battle.

“Hey! You!” one of the boys cried out. He had detached himself from the group, and was now publicly berating one of the trebuchet crew.

“Why have you not unloaded those boulders from the cart yet?” he said, pointing at an ox cart filled with large, rune-covered rocks. The man gave him a questioning look, as well as a few sideways glances to Bethelomet who was shaking his head.

“Make sure they are unloaded and put as close to the trebuchet as possible!” he then commanded. The man wanted to give a stuttering reply, but the angry look on the boy’s face made him reconsider. He was about to open up the loading hatch of the cart when a rune-engraved cane stopped his hand from doing so.

“You will do no such thing, Robert. Please go about your business” Bethelomet said, nodding sagely at the man. Robert gave a quick, curt nod before running off to the rest of his crew. As soon as he was out of earshot, Bethelomet started shaking his head.

“Karsten, if you have dumb ideas in the future, either filter them through me first or keep them to yourself” the dwarf said sternly, before continuing on his way. His cane tapped the ground every time he made a step, his slight limp clearly visible as he proceeded on his round. Karsten quickly followed in his footsteps.

“But… But…” he said, tripping over his own words as well as his golden-white mantle. “Now they will have to walk twenty yards at least to reload! It would be much quicker if they…”

“Aye, Karsten” the Dwarf interjected. Karsten was taken aback, not ever having grown accustomed to being berated or interrupted. “It takes a man five seconds to walk this distance, and fifteen to walk back with a boulder. It takes a trebuchet arm seventeen to be brought into launching position. It takes a second to load a stone into the trebuchet and secure it. So if anything, that cart is two yards too close to the trebuchet”

There was a whispering among the boys. Bethelomet didn’t see, but Karsten’s face was running red with anger.

“But…” he tried, but Bethelomet cut him off again. This time, he was so quick that it appeared as if he had been waiting to interrupt the lordling.

“Furthermore” the Dwarf continued “I doubt you would want these incendiary boulders to be anywhere close near an operating trebuchet. Or would you like to see our whole battery go up in flames the moment an arm snaps at launch? I guess you would love the fireworks. A child’s mind is easily entertained”

“Now listen here, Dwarf! You should talk to your superiors with some respect!” Karsten spat out, now fuming with rage. Bethelomet just continued on his merry way.

“I really should. I don’t see why that is relevant here, though”, a remark that caused a little snicker with the other lordlings.

“You should at least address me appropriately!” Karsten said, now with a bit of humiliated despair in his voice. It was more beseeching than angry now.

“Calling you a dunce in front of your peers seemed rude to me” the Dwarf replied, “but if you insist…”

Before Karsten could offer some form of retort, Bethelomet suddenly stopped. They had arrived at the road at the edge of the artillery park, where companies of soldiers were still marching into camp. This army was one of the largest ever assembled, and getting all troops in took days of management. In the distance, coming up the road, the group could distinguish some rune-covered banners, and songs being sung in deep, gravely voices. Bethelomet let out a breath of air, but no-one could tell if it was a sigh of relief or another bout of anger. Bethelomet then pointed towards the encampment with his cane.

“Now, shoo, all of you. I have more important things to do than lecture newborns. Go find your friends and play ball, or whatever it is you do in your free time. Be ready at dawn for range-finding practice” he said, not even giving them another look. The group quickly sped off, Karsten being the last one to remain. He knew he wouldn’t get another second of the Dwarf’s attention, though, and after angrily staring at him for a few seconds he also sped off. Bethelomet had forgotten about them about as quickly as they left his immediate vicinity. There, by the side of the road, he waited until the rune-covered banners reached him.

A Dwarvish column on the march is an impressive sight to see. Although they are small, their armament more than makes up for that. A Dwarvish company will often consist of one third shield-armed swordsmen, one third pikemen, and another third armed with heavy crossbows. These groups, called ‘regiments’, each carry their own banner and are led by a lieutenant, chosen by the soldiers themselves. Their shields carry a large rune, both as an identifying mark and for its magical effects. Bethelomet knew this one all too well. And the commander of the company, who always marches in front of his men, recognised him too.

“Marter!” he exclaimed. As he thrust his arms wide, his mantle began to wave in the wind, almost flapping in the face of the soldiers marching behind him.

“Rhogar! You devil!” Marter shouted back.

An hour later, the two Dwarves were seated in Elkreed Rhogar’s freshly-pitched tent, just at the edge of the artillery park. Outside the company was still settling down, but Rhogar had already helped himself to a bottle of wine, and just as quickly he had poured two goblets full of the stuff.

“It’s a 1264 Bagonian. Not bad if you want to get drunk quickly and taste nothing but iron in the morning. Cheers”

“To your health” Marter responded. Indeed, the Bagonian had barely any taste but the first sip already kicked like a mule.

“Is this still that casket you got after the siege of Whistleton?” Marter inquired, to which Rhogar shook his head.

“We passed Whistleton on the way here, and I had a feeling they’d get you for this job.” Rhogar replied.

“Shame. Would’ve been quite poetic”

“I see they gave you more toys to work with as well. Those are some good damn crackers you got arrayed there” Rhogar remarked, pointing in the direction of the artillery park. Marter smiled and shook his head.

“Three times the capacity we had at Twenningdale” Marter said, causing Rhogar to make a low whistle.

“But half the mental capacity in my staff. Young noble lads, all of ‘em. Command insisted I take them on. Orders from higher-up”

“The bigger the battle, the more parents want their brats to keep safe. My guess is they think artillery is safe” Rhogar replied.

“Not what the poor bastards at Twenningdale thought” Marter said, leading to a roaring laugh from his friend.

“And even then…” Marter continued “It won’t be safe with those hare-brains trying to turn my park into a bomb”

“It’s that bad, eh?” Rhogar said. He shook his head. “Why are we even here?” he asked. “I bet they tell the artillery commander more than some mercenary captain”

“Didn’t they tell you? They ought to tell a king that sort of business” Marter wondered.

“I’m not a king in their eyes” Rhogar said bitterly. “Diasporas have no king, they say”

“Alright” Marter said, already regretting bringing it up. “Some temple complex has been dug out of Haden Hill there” he said, pointing in its direction. “And everyone wants their grubby little hands on it.”

“Do you expect there to be a battle?” Rhogar asked. He seemed nervous, which was the first time Marter had seen him nervous. Even when the medicos threatened to cut off his sword arm after a wound sustained at Harridan, Rhogar hadn’t moved a muscle. He’d even kept his arm, even though it almost killed him. Now, the Dwarvish king, ruler of a people without homeland, was biting his lip.

“Oh no” Marter said quickly. Then, he added sarcastically “If the three realms can peacefully solve their differences and allow one of them to get the spoils of that temple, we will be fine”

“Funny…” Rhogar said, draining his goblet to the bottom. He quickly poured himself another goblet, although his hand was shaking as he did so.

“What’s the matter with you?” Marter asked bluntly. “You’ve never been scared before a battle”

Rhogar put down the casket and brought the goblet to his lips, without taking a sip. The Dwarf sighed, his greyish-black beard bristling as he exhaled. He then put down the goblet as well.

“This is different, Marter. Men I can handle, I don’t care. I can take on a hundred shit-brained conscripts from any nation. Those noble lads of you, I could kill a thousand before they bring me down. But they, Marter…”

He pointed in the direction of where the enemy armies were arrayed.

“Dragons and beasts and mages and sorcerers… Temple knights and college vanguards and moose cavalry. We are not sacking some border castles or raiding a few cities. We are arrayed in open battle against everything they can throw at us. Lion-men seven feet tall…”

“6’6” at most…”

“Don’t joke now, Marter. If we lose, we’re all dead. If we win, half of us will be dead. It’s madness”

With a single motion Rhogar emptied his wine, pouring it down his throat with a few big gulps. Marter sat there, still on his first goblet, quietly swirling the dark purple liquid. Rhogar was right, of course. It was madness. Open fields, dozens of different companies and factions all engaging in combat, it would be slaughter. A battle of such magnitude that all would fight to the bitter end, as if trapped with their backs to the wall. No nation would be kind to their retreating soldiers. The whole thing was a proud madness, and there was nothing they could do about it.

“Well… Little we can do about that now” Marter said, now too emptying his goblet and motioning for it to be filled again.

“I bet a lion-man mantle makes for a very good battle prize, though” he added, grinning.

“And otherwise…” Rhogar added, starting to get a little intoxicated. “… We’ll probably have a grand feast in the Deepholm.”

“Deepholm Come when Deepholm May” Marter said, repeating the ancient saying of Dwarvish warriors.

“It Will and It May” Rhogar answered, likewise repeating an ancient phrase.
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.

Lack of a real name means compensation through a real face. My debt is settled

Part-time Kebab tycoon in Glasgow.

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The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune
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Founded: Feb 01, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:07 pm


The Thalari sheathed his claw again, and rose back up to full height. His cat's grin beaming wide towards the small human robed in black, he snorted a little before saying "Well, I'd have to get to know you better than just looking at you crawl about in the sand with scum like this. Regardless, the fact that you sit in the scum at all is a problem. I may not be Tasharian by nationality, but they do pay me, and they pay me to win. So, way I see it, I can't let them waste an asset like this and perhaps ruin our chance at victory. We'll talk more once I get you out of here."

Prax turned his back to the group and strode over to the soldiers guarding them. Gesturing to one of them, he asked plainly "Where is the one in charge of holding these prisoners. I would have words with him." The guard gestured over towards a nearby officers tent, and Prax walked over to it, indicating his presence and waiting for his turn to enter.


The camp fell silent as she and her bodyguards marched around. Mages and mages with terrible disfigurement weren't a particularly rare sight in Dascus, but Natasia had a reputation of her own. As secretive as the Slayers were, word of their tragedies spread and even if Natasia wasn't linked to it for most people, the air itself seemed uneasy around her. Even without her condition, she certainly had a strange air around her. Compared to the bright robes of blue, red, and purple of her honor guard, Natasias cold metallic armor and cloak seemed to cut through the camp like a blade as dread as the one she carried on her back. Mathias spoke up from behind her "They truely don't like you do they."

"I hear the nicknames. Fallen Lady, Dark Queen, Betrayer. They don't sting. Nothing does."

"Aye ma'am. Where are we going anyways?"

"Our presence has been requested in the Vanguard of our assault on the temple."

"I see. This is it then."


The small group walked through the small camp where the forces of the Big Red Dog had made camp. Natasia was unfamiliar with Dascian military, her expertise lay more with the various clans and semi-noble traders that made up the aristocracy of Treodor. Still though, she had heard tales of the Big Red Dog and his exploits even at home. Recognizing the nobleman speaking with another armored man, she stepped forward to the small group and said in her strange echoey voice "M'lords, I am Lady Natasia of Clan Calinov. You may know me by other names, but they are of little import at the moment. I have been ordered to assist in your assault, along with my honor guard. Consider this the official backing of the Consortium."

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Union Princes
Posts: 3315
Founded: Nov 02, 2017
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Union Princes » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:22 pm

New Neros wrote:Aleksander Zog


The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune wrote:Natasia

The Dogs of War

What strange company Randolf had to command: a lord, a mage, and a dwarf woman. And with them their personal retinue of bodyguards and followers. He wasn’t used to such exotic troops placed under his leadership. But more soldiers is more soldiers and anything that can help supplement the frontal assault is welcomed.

“My Lords, My Lady.” Randolf bowed to the three leaders, now his officers, “If that’s all of you, we can begin.”

He gestured them to follow him as he made his way to a much larger tent that housed a flat wooden table with two maps of the temple on top of it. His men quickly departing the area in order for the discussion to take place as they have better things to do. If it involves maps, they better get their arms and armor ready.

“This is the current position.” he pointed with a thick finger on where the Dascus army had set up camp. On that marker was a small wooden sculpture of a dog painted red. That obviously symbolizes Randolf’s army. Contrary to popular rumors, he wasn’t as idiotic as some commanders would think as even he spent time pre-planning his engagments. After all, surviving a 1000 battles can turn the dumbest soldier into the smartest tactician.

“From this starting area, the vanguard would be able to capture the library first at the cost of losing the main entrance and the second courtyard to Athela and Tashar; assuming they depart at the same time as us.” Randolf stated, scratching his beard. “Plan is that we send our fastest and lightest troops from our vanguard to secure as much of the hill and the buildings as fast as possible before we send in heavier units to defend the enemy’s counter attack.”

He looked at his 500 troops. Word spread quickly and men hastily sharpened their weapons in preparation. “I have 80 archers, 20 crossbowmen, 30 light cavalry, and 70 light infantry that can serve as our fast troops.”

“Lord Zog, your 40 Moose Riders will help the light cavalry screen the skirmishers.” Randolf ordered the Lion Lord, “If our foes charge cavalry at their position, engage but only if the light infantry is nearby to assist.”

“Lord Mage,” Randolf turned to Calt, “How many mages you have brought, bring them all. Those who can ride on horseback will travel with the cavalry and those on foot will be part of my heavy infantry.”

“Lady Natasha,” he moved to the dwarf woman. “Same order applies: bring every man you have and split them between cavalry and infantry. I have 300 armored men-at-arms to serve as my armored core.”

The knight picked up his dog marker and put it on top of the library. “The woods and close-quarter fighting will render our cavalry arm useless. Either they dismount and engage on foot once they reached the library or they stay near the edges of the woods to act as our messengers to the main army." he said as he pointed to the second map.

Randolf looks back Zog, “I don't know how effective Moose Riders on foot, but if you’re willing, there’s a special task that they could do.”

“This is a siege first and foremost.” he lectured to Zog. “Everybody and their mother will be building siege equipment: towers, trebuchet, ladders, and rams. The task for your Moose Riders will be to use the fog to mask your advance and to lay waste to the enemy’s contraptions. Since we are closer to Tashur, you can strike them first. The goal is simple: kill the crews and set fire to their machines. My light cavalry will assist you if you go that route. If the Dascus Army manages to secure the temple, our enemies cannot breach the walls without the proper tools.”

“Now,” Randolf concluded. “If any of you are worried of the vanguard being outnumbered, I can request Commander Holland an additional 500 troops to bolster the assault. If any of you have questions or suggestions, say it now before I submit my plan to Commander Holland.”
Last edited by Union Princes on Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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Postby Sarderia » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:16 pm

Dascus War Vanguard, Haden Hill

"Understandable, commander, Sir." Calt looked through the battle plans and the Temple's layouts as had been drawn by the knight. The parchment was a rough, hand-drawn map, but although he cannot be sure where is the exact positions of which building, at least this sufficed as a guide. He can see where this planned attack will go. It was good, he thought, but for one point; the plans did not state what to do when the moose-riders had finally screened any skirmishers. In short, once they entered the temple's vicinity, they had to plan again quickly, which group secure what building and what defenses should be staked. Calt cupped his hands, unknowingly producing some strand of magic in his fingers. He adjusted his coat and hood in the back before continuing.

"However, I sense something is missing from our plans." He grabbed the map parchment and studied it again. "There might be someone, or something, already present and lurking in that damp building. I would rather we send a scout first to confirm who and where they are, instead of charging blindly. Even mages could not boast omniscience." He took a glance at Natasia. "Giving that this temple is particularly large, we could split our troops instead. One-third would be under my command, and the Mages of the Consortium." The right title is a Sorcerer for his branch of magic, but everyone simply called a mystic practitioner Mage these days. "Those under my command would go straight to the library. We will try and force a stronghold in the part. The other two - well, I suppose we would be better split thricewards - would go to the remaining buildings; the Main Courtyard and the Second. Tasharians are in the vicinity, though, so it would do well to be aware."

Calt's mages, a dozen of them, had been waiting for ten minutes. They are currently in the camp, and it would not certainly do well to keep waiting and waiting, until the Tasharians and the Athelans scrambled over that hill already. He grabbed the second map, and made a picture in his mind of how the temple might looked. "I will be in charge of twenty archers, five crossbowmen, and ten light infantrymen, in addition to the Mages. Those under my part would strike the Library building first, and estabilish a foothold there. It is expected," he turned to Natasia, with a knowing look, "that other mages may join us. Once this matter with the Library is sorted out, we will regroup with the rest in the main courtyard, right in the inner gates." He pointed on the gate under three square blocks, what he thought as great pylons or statues. "Sir Randolph, it would be good if we have reinforcements waiting on the hillfoot…"
Takkan Melayu Hilang Di Dunia

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Postby The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:33 pm


The Dwarf woman shook her head simply and said "You seem to be mistaken about the nature of my involvement m'lord. I have no retinue or levy with me, just myself and the three you see with me. I assure you however that what we lack in numbers, we more than make up in ability. Boasting is not in my vocabulary, so know it to be true that I am considered one of the best cryomancers of the age, and that each of my associates are quite adept in their own respective arts. With respect, I would take my spot among the main assault force and enter the temple in first waves."

Natasia then turned to Calt and said simply "No, I think I shall remain an independent unit for this operation. To be frank, your unit is not quite up to strength that would compliment my honor guard, and I am operating on a mission that requires a degree of autonomy during the fight. If there are any other questions about my intentions, I shall answer them now. If not, I will take my leave and prepare for battle.

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Postby Tomia » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:49 pm

Now dawning her armor, Brialya causally weaved through the tents, moving briskly to catch up with the others but doing her best to raise as little suspicion as possible. She followed them to the edge of camp and into the nearby forest. She wondered where they where they could possibly be going. Soon the soldiers stop, and Brialya looked around to see nearly a hundred other soldiers, and a horse for every man. They must have been sneaking out in waves all morning to avoid detection. Brialya came to a startling realization.

They intend to break the truce

As the others moved to mount horses, an elf with grey hair and a scruffy beard approached her, his face in the form of an appraising scowl. "Damn that Larity, he miscounted again. Well no worries, we brought a few extra horses in case that whore's son made a mistake like that. We'll be moving out soon enough, make sure you're ready.

With that he left Brialya to her own devices, and her mind was reeling. Was this attacked ordered by high command? That seemed unlikely, given the sneaky nature by which they had gathered. So that means that someone had broken ranks, and in order to pull this off that person would have had to be a high ranking officer, maybe even a chancellor. She wanted to stop it, but doing so would almost guarantee her death. She considered warning the other camps but that seemed fruitless. She was an elf in Athelan armor, she'd be lucky to make it to them alive let alone be listened too. For now the best she could do was stay where she was, even though she was starting to realize she might have just walked in to a suicide mission.
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Postby Absolon-7 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:16 pm

The Republic of Atria wrote:Francis

Rudolph Thorbecke
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of waaaater
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling af-

"Shut up you stupid bird!" rasped Rudolph from his makeshift hammock at the creaking voice of his Nightshade crow.

Rudolph flailed his arm in the bird's direction as he laid on his makeshift hammock. His impromptu resting area was located in the gap between several large tents where two dead trees were so conveniently placed for his hammock. It was right outside the Dascan castle in the tent city surrounding it. Thankfully everyone seemed too busy to snoop around to find his admittedly poor hide out. He got off the hammock and proceeded to follow his morning routine of stretches and eating bread and dried fruit before he put on his armor. How long had he been here already and still no sign of the priestess. Perhaps it was time to move on to one of the other two camps if his luck had dried up here. He'd have to be more careful in the elven encampment. He couldn't afford to be as sloppy as he was here considering those elves didn't like mages.

"Puk!," whispered Rudolph at the bird perched on one of the dead trees, "Why don't you circle around the temple and see what all these fools are doing?"

The bird didn't budge.

Rudolph's face warped to a frown as he began packing his belongings into his backpack. He reached inside to grab a small pouch and he stuck two fingers inside to grab a seed. With a flick of his wrist he threw it at the crow who happily gulped it down and finally flew off to follow his order. he looked at down at his belongings and by Chtholes will he wished he had a mule or horse so he could carry more living essentials. Hopefully with another mission he'd have enough money to buy at least a donkey. He fastened his helmet and finally swung his robe over himself. The cloth itself was ragged, worn, and faded in several areas but nevertheless it still had the look of being well taken care of; especially as he had washed all his fabrics and himself just last night.

He threw his backpack on and slipped into the small space between two tents but he waited for a large group to pass by. As the minutes passed one came by and like a viper he sneaked behind them before as smoothly as water being poured from a vase he let them ago once they were at a crossroads in the camp. Was there anything else he needed from this camp city? Maybe he could check around the physician's area once again or wherever makeshift shrines were but he shook his head at the thought of it. He had already checked each likely area she could've been at least three times each day the past week. Time to move on to the Tasharan camp I guess. As he kept walking he eventually came to see a man with a quite odd weapon: a scythe of all things. Maybe it wouldn't hurt..

"Good morning!" waved down Rudolph at the stranger, "You wouldn't happen to know any priestess of Oadot would you? Or know somewhere they might be? I just need to find one before the bloodbath begins."

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Postby Theyra » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:56 am

Ivaran Miaris

Sitting on the ground in front of a tent with a group of Guardians was an elf sharping his glaive. Using a whetstone, Ivaran was doing careful strokes with the whetstone to make sure that he did not harm the blade. He wanted to be sure that his glaive was ready for when the battle would happen. Whenever it would start that is and stopped to inspect his glaive. Putting it close to his face, "hmmmm, just a bit more and it should be good", he said in a low tone. While he was sharping his glaive, he listened to what his fellow Guardians were saying.

"How much longer do we have to sit in before the battle starts? Said a rather young Guardian in an irritable tone. "We did not come all this way just to sit around."

"Shut your yap Tathaln, an older elf with a scar on his face, "If our orders are to sit around then we sit around." Besides the truce is in place and as long as it is in place there would be no battle".

"Why are we even doing here, anyway? If that temple holds a magical artifact, then it is useless to us". The youth crossed his arms; why should we take the temple?

"To deny it to our enemy Tathaln," Ivaran spoke up and finished sharping his glaive. "If that temple holds a powerful magical artifact then it would be better to keep it out of the hands of others that may do harm upon Athela."

Tathaln looked at Ivaran, "That makes sense though how can we deny an artifact to the others if we follow the truce?

"Tathaln, just be patient, and we will find out," without another word Ivaran got up and walked away from the tent. He had enough of Tathaln for the moment and walked till he got found a vantage point overlooking the temple. He planted the end of his glaive into the ground and surveyed the temple. "What could be so valuable in that temple that could warrant three armies? "He thought and wondered, Ivaran reached for his pendant and held it tightly. Though he is a Guardian of Light and has seen action, he had never had to face trained soldiers before. He was nervous, and he did his best to hide it. "Remember breath in and out," he said to himself and followed his instructions. He lessen his grip on the pendant and looked down on it. One of the few items he had left of his father, and it has always given him strength. He let out a deep breath and calmed himself. He was ready for the battle now, he needs to remember his training and he should be fine.

Ivaran gave one last look at the temple before heading back to the camp. Letting go of the pendant and holding his glaive in one hand. Now all he had to do was wait, for the battle to happen and to get this over with. Despite the omens, his gut is telling him there will be a battle today. Whether it will remains to be seen.

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Postby Finland SSR » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:05 pm

The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune wrote:Prax

Riki Farinhait

Riki continued to follow Prax with his eyes as the tall Thalari warrior stood up and departed from the group. It was still difficult to trust his intentions, especially when he made the offer of freeing him pretty much out of nowhere... but Prax also had not given him any reason to not be trusted, either. His intentions were sound - he was a warrior, he sensed that Riki has a some sort of ability and he didn't want to waste this potential asset in battle.

What the Thalari did not account for was that the prisoners held by the Tasharen army may be held for a reason. You don't know how hostile they may be to their "allies" upon release. Not that Riki was planning to go that crazy... but, honestly, he awaited the opportunity. A less risky and more fulfilling escape, with potential allies by his side as well.

The line to the tent of the nearby officer took a mere half a minute to go through, and Prax would soon be faced with a pompous blonde officer sitting behind the table, his eyes gazing through a gap in the tent's structure, supposed to be a carved out window at the side of the tent.

"You must be here to talk about the prisoner." the officer immediately stated, having heard the exchange through the very same window. "In truth, that specific boy is not under our jurisdiction. The Enchanters want him, say he escaped service, and they don't want to hear anything from us."
I have a severe case of addiction to writing. At least 3k words every day is my fix.

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Postby Utceforp » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:10 pm

"Oh Great Creator, font of purity, light of lights, hear my prayer. May I have happiness and prosperity, and the charity to share your gifts with my brothers and sisters. May I have strength and glory in battle, and the humility to dedicate my deeds to your grace. May I have victory over those who plot evil, and the mercy to spare them and instruct them in your wisdom. Oh Great Creator, font of purity, light of lights, hear my prayer..."

Knight Commander Yaleth Yshfaethel

Haden Temple

Yaleth muttered the words under his breath, careful to ensure his men would not hear them as they followed him into Haden Temple. Yaleth, to his concern, often found himself detached and unfeeling when he prayed. That was the downside of routinely doing it - it became nothing more than a routine. This was not the case for the prayer he was speaking now, however. His failure at Eckers was still fresh in his mind, and he was sure his comrades and subordinates also still thought about it. Yaleth hoped to redeem himself in battle and prove his worth once and for all, and over the past month his prayers had been desperate and genuinely agonized. For now, though, these plans had been scuppered by his assignation to this "peaceful exploration party".

After the party passed through the gate of the temple, Yaleth turned around and addressed the other Athelan soldiers.

"Listen to me closely. It may not seem like it, but we will soon be in grave danger. This place was built by and for humanity, not the Elvesh. A deep and terrible wrongness saturates this place. You can feel it in the air. Our hosts, the Knights of Shotarr, are as human as this temple's builders, and they have no love for our order. If a fight breaks out, Dascus will side with Tashar, and the Knights will join them. Trust nothing and no-one in this temple, and have your weapons ready at all times. Understood?"

"Yes commander!"

Yaleth's men shouted their response in unison. The scholar attached to the party, a young priest named Idlaish from the capital, was slower to react, although no less enthusiastic. As the party passed through the highest level of the temple, alternatively marveling at and suspiciously eyeing the golden altar and faded paint, Idlaish caught up with Yaleth.

"May the Creator guide your steps." Idlaish spoke.

"And yours as well." Yaleth responded, completing the customary greeting.

"Did you really mean what you said? About this place? I would like to study some of these artifacts, to understand our foes and-"

"No." Yaleth said sharply, as he and his men descended down the stairs behind the altar. "This whole temple is saturated with demonic and human taint."

"Then why are we even here?" Idlaish responded indignantly. "We can't use the artifacts, you forbid us from studying the temple, and you yourself said this is probably a trap."

"We must deny this place to our enemies. There are many evil things hidden here that Dascus and Tashar could use against us. Besides, it's the principle of the thing." Yaleth added. "This temple is an abomination, but the land it sits on belongs to us, as all land in Eboris does. Everyone else is merely squatting on it."

Yaleth stopped talking and gestured Idlaish to do the same as they approached the waiting humans. There was no point in revealing his suspicions. As the unlikely group of explorers progressed further into the temple, Yaleth kept his hand on his sword's hilt, drumming his fingers anxiously.
Last edited by Utceforp on Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Signatures are so 2014.

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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Gudmund » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:35 am

Talion Hurst | Haden Hill, Dascian Encampment

Gathering around the soothing warmth of a small campfire, several Dascian mages cheerily interacted, their jobs for the moment all but finished. The battle for Haden Hill would no doubt be ripe with oppotunity, allowing many to rise up the ranks to match their apt performance, should they actually return alive. Unlike the vanguard, these mages were tasked with standing far behind allied forces, slinging wave after wave of destructive magic at their enemies. Needless to say, they were all too confident in keeping safe, not even bothering to fully prepare magical shielding.

Walking towards this group was a masked man, a floating black spear trailing behind him. The Dascian mages ceased their merriment, turning their full attention to the new visitor. Despite their hardened senses, it was as if the masked man had simply appeared from thin air, seeing as there was nothing in twenty paces for one to hide behind.

"Greetings, stranger, may I ask what you're doing here?" one of the mages asked, silenty preparing a spell behind his back.

The stranger chuckled, his spear suddenly accelerating into his open palm, "No need to get all nervous, how about you stop forming that attack spell and calm down," he responded, gesturing towards the mage's back, surprising the group with his keen senses, "I'm just a passing mercenary of sorts, mind pointing me towards someone in charge?"

Walking over to his compatriot, the leader of the group slapped the spell out of his subordinate's hand before aswering the stranger, "Of course, can't hurt to have another soldier in our ranks, just head further into the camp until you find the recruitment officer. Should be around the larger tents, he handles most of the mercenaries, otherwise I'm not too sure."

Nodding his head, the masked man walked downhill and further into the camp, vanishing into the bustling crowd of the amassing army. After a moment of silence the commander aburptly whacked his subordinate over the head, "you damned fool, had you fired off that spell you'd be dead where you stand!"

The scolded mage rubbed his head, staring off into the direction the stranger had left, looking back at the commander in confusion. Sighing in defeat, theleader explained, "that feller was a mage hunter, and a good one at that if he managed to fool you. Whenever a bunch of mages go wild - becoming deserters, bandits, whatever the case - he's the type they call in to clean things up."

The soldier's face blanched, swearing under his breath the rest of the circle laughed at his misfortune. Meanwhile, the mage hunter - known formerly as Talion Hurst - was walking through the rest of the camp, searching for the the recruitment officer. After asking a few people for directions, Talion soon found his way, the procedure swiftly being complete. Now fifty silver richer, expecting another fifty after the job, Talion left for the temple as per his orders. It was common knowledge that mercs would be paid well for important battles, leaving Talion to ponder as to what exactly lay hidden in the temple. His enhanced magic sense prickled whenever it lingered over the ruin, leading him to believe that a powerful magic artefact was stored within.
Tier 8, Level 3, Type 7
An 8.625 civilization - according to this index
Leader: Albani Gudmund
Setting: FT (2060+), the ruling nation of a non-human, low population, galactic Empire spanning just beyond its solar system. Primarily using advanced, mass-produced droids to handle most menial tasks and to fill the ranks of its military alongside living soldiers.



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