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Old 02-28-2012, 05:06 PM   #121
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The Forest of Trepidation had not earned its nickname for naught. Not only did it harbor possible scouts and assassins for the Purge, but also poisonous foliage and concealed traps. The Dark Elves used many of these for hunting game, but not the ones tipped with mercury and a native concoction called dur'natha. Animals were not the prey they sought with these particular snares. It was a well-known fact in Sazhen' that several races, including the Forest Elves and Umbermen, considered the Dark Elves evil to the core and sought to eradicate them. Thus, the Dark Elves fortified their homeland with every possible defense. Their imposing capital city, Tener'ixal, with the X making an "sh" sound, was actually a darker and more convoluted version of the Forest Elves' treetop home. Unbeknownst to everyone in this ragtag band of courageous adventurers, they were walking right underneath it until...

"Agh!" Per'dra gritted her teeth as a trap closed tightly around her foot.

"My lady!" Meara, the barmaid who had so far been bringing up the rear of the group, suddenly barreled forward and almost knocked several party members to the ground. "Is it--is it poisoned?" She'd heard rumors about such things.

"I don't know," the Bard replied, practically gasping the words, "but get it off!" As Meara frantically tried to locate the spring mechanism for the trap, the rest of the group noticed that, as they looked up, hundreds of bows were drawn in the trees above. All of them contained sharp arrows ready to fire...
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:45 PM   #122
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Tael gripped both of his swords when Per'dra was tangled into a net. However, as he looked up he saw hundreds of arrows pointed at them - with the archers undoubtedly lining up their shots. A battle they wouldn't most likely survive, he dropped both of his swords onto the ground, and raised both of his arms.

"Hold your fire - this doesn't have to end in bloodshed!", Tael shouted to the archers in the trees.



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Old 02-28-2012, 09:23 PM   #123
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"Hold!"

The voice echoing down through the forest's immense and gnarled trees was not only threatening, but loud enough to make the Dark Elven archers freeze. They remained poised like statues, bows still drawn, not daring to breathe. The wrath of the presence that commanded this voice was great and terrible. None dared oppose the Lord of the Hunt, Un'adrubin, Captain of the Guard of Tener'ixal. He stepped to the ledge of one of the treetop city's platforms--the one supporting the royal palace, which vanished into thick violet haze.

"You are trespassing in our homeland, the Forest of Trepidation!"

Wiping tears from her eyes, Per'dra coughed and cupped her hands to her lips:

"My lord, we realize this, but we have no other choice. We're lost, having been diverted from our course along the Auris River by...rather unforeseen circumstances. With our ferryman dead, now burning on the raft that he once commandeered, we have no idea how to locate the Intertwining of the Seven Snakes of the Riault River. We shall leave once we have new directions."

Complete silence. After sixty tense seconds, the Captain of the Guard said:

"Truly? What are these 'circumstances' of which you speak?"

"The Purge. They slew the ferryman, and are now coming for us all..."
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:59 PM   #124
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Emi turned sharply as soon as she heard Per'dra's painful gasp and was nearly tumbled on to the ground by Meara, who ran to her side as quickly as she could manage. Emi however moved quickly around her companions on to Per'dra's side and did not even look at the now menacing arrows that were pointed in their direction. She quickly eyed the trap, she pulled a small iron nail and cut a cord to loosen the trap, she then helped Per'dra out to take the trap off her foot and quickly wrapped her wound in bandages she had that smelled a bit funny, but that was only because it had essence of healing salves that she used herself for... her own personal scars.

"Is it... better now?", Emi asked.



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Old 02-28-2012, 10:50 PM   #125
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As soon as the trap had sprung, Akeirra ducked into the shadows, fearing an ambush. Instinctively, she thought only of her own safety. But she had barely left the group - could still reach out and touch two of them, in fact - when the point of an arrow was gently touched against her back. She froze, knowing the arrow would run her clean through if she dared move.

She turned her head slowly until she could see the Elf holding her at arrowpoint. He wore a grim expression, and the look in his eyes told her he wanted nothing more than to be ordered to release the arrow he held at her back. Still, he would not go against his standing orders, and Akeirra deemed it necessary to use that to her advantage.

Slowly, she reached back, a card in her hand, turning it so he could see what was written there. The archer's eyes narrowed as his sharp eyes took in the small slip. He was torn between keeping silent, as he was supposed to, or speaking up. It was important information, after all. Even the Dark Elves had made use of Zhannain's Network.

"Captain," he said at last. "This one bears Zhannain's calling card."


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Old 02-29-2012, 12:01 AM   #126
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Respectfully, Tegan spoke up in her native tongue, "They're right. The Purge is coming, I've seen it with my own eyes." She knew she was rusty in the Drow language, but they other Dark Elves would most likely take more kindly to being spoken to in it than in the Common Tongue.

"You have to be ready. You might be able to fight them off, but don't expect them to ignore you. They don't discriminate in who they kill. Let us in, help us, and we might be able to stop them." She pleaded with the leader.

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:00 AM   #127
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The voice of the Lord of the Hunt thundered through the trees once more:

"One of the True, our own sacred children, deigns to speak to me? Who are you, dark daughter, and why are you traveling with this band of the False?" A slight pause. "Why have you not been here with us all along?" Almost all of the Dark Elves referred to themselves as "the True," because they believed themselves to be the only real Elves and race blessed by the gods of Sazhen. Forest Elves, they believed in turn, were merely corrupted reflections of their own image. Forest Elves, incidentally, professed faith in the reverse doctrine. Who was right? None could tell.

When no one answered Un'adrubin immediately, he cleared his throat and said:

"True One, you and the Spy shall enter our city immediately and tell us everything you know concerning this 'Purge'. The rest of you shall be held captive underneath the threat of our arrows until I myself know all is well."
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:51 PM   #128
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At the captain's words, Akeirra relaxed a little. She smiled at the Elf behind her as he eased his arrow off the bow, as if to thank him for speaking up. He met her smile with a stony expression, as if he wished he'd let his arrow fly before seeing what it was she was offering him. Then, she glanced at Tegan and with a simple gesture in the direction of the captain's voice, she moved forward to obey his orders. As she passed by Per'dra, she dropped to one knee and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"Take heart," she said quietly, the pace of her words slower, the cadence smoother. "The word of one of their own will surely persuade them to authorize our release." She frowned darkly. "If I'm wrong... there may yet be hope." She tapped her forehead with a knowing smile. "Oh, the secrets I keep."


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Old 03-04-2012, 05:42 PM   #129
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"I certainly hope you're right," Per'dra told Akeirra, with her foot still smarting. So far, she didn't think that the trap that had ensnared it had been poisoned. If so, she would have experienced immediate symptoms. If not...how much longer did she have? The Bard dared not call out to the Dark Elven archers and tell them that she was injured. As far as she could tell, they still considered her band of brave adventurers to be invaders of their territory. Thus, she remained silent.

Two long woven nets, made of rhubarb-colored vines, were lowered down from the heights of Tener'ixal in order to transport Akeirra and Tegan. Once they had been caught and hoisted up into the hazy branches of the treetops, the Lord of the Hunt sheathed his broadsword and squared his shoulders at the two women.

"I consider both of you informants," Un'adrubin told them sternly, "and temporary guests within our city. Conduct yourselves accordingly." Social graces and common courtesies that most Humans took for granted, such as saying please and thank you, were utterly foreign to Dark Elves. It was not that they were intending to be rude, but those of their race preferred to get straight to the point. Etiquette was for diplomats, sycophants, inferiors and foreign visitors--such as these two. Even Tegan was under suspicion in Un'adrubin's mind, because she had chosen to ally herself with common rabble. Not only that, but she'd left Tener'ixal.

Once the three of them were inside the High Palace, Un'adrubin explained:

"Our Clerics of Moonshadow, who read the skies by night and see the future revealed within, have seen the face of the moon bathed in blood! It is not even autumn in Sazhen', and yet this occurs..." He trailed off, musing. "It is likely a sign that the 'Purge' of which you speak is coming to slaughter us, but when? How far have they spread? Tell me everything." He waited in tense silence for the two to speak.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:26 PM   #130
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At first Vakarr drew his mighty sword. Despite being surrounded, he was preparing to place a protection spell over himself and attack these archers. Then he saw more and more and quickly realized they would soon lose that fight. He put his weapon away as he slowly looked around, and to his joy soon found out who they were.

Dark Elves. Finally, some class amongst this mostly human group. He didn't blame the elves for keeping them like this. The group was mostly human afterall, they couldn't be trusted at the moment. He felt confident when Tegan spoke in the native tongue. He didn't know what she was saying, he just knew it was the language. What came next was dream crushing for Vakarr.

The Dark Elves were letting Tegan and Akierra into the city...but the others had to stay here, him included. Vakarr's head darted to Tegan, and now was tempted to remove his helmet. His hidden eyes pleaded for him to come as well. He didn't want to have to stay here, he shouldn't have to. Soon the three were gone and Vakarr was stuck with the others.

Vakarr couldn't believe what had just happened. They...they rejected him, just as the humans did. All these years he respected their race and finally he got a chance to meet his mother's people...and they saw him as nothing more than a threat, something different. The humans saw him as different, as a threat...even from childhood. He refused to believe that his mother's race could do the same...they just couldn't.

The armored tank looked around at the archers with a new hatred. He didn't need the Dark Elves. They wanted to judge him, well then he could do the same. He looked back to his own group, silently judging them. They were the same, everyone was the same. They feared him, they felt threatened by him, they hated him...everyone did.

"A real leader would have gotten us out of this," Vakarr said to Per'dra. "A real leader would have had two or three people take care of the ferry while the others slept. A real leader would have had the strength to carry her cowardly friend out of a bar. You have done none of these things. You are weak, pathetic! Following you will do nothing but get this group killed!"

Vakarr's hidden pain, and anger over what happened was not something he could simply ignore. Sadly it seemed he was going to take this pain out on poor Per'dra.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:47 PM   #131
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The victim of Vakarr's verbal onslaught listened to his words with a mixture of shame and rage. Everything he said was absolutely true: she hadn't protected Oleg, had the foresight to watch her own feet carefully enough to avoid a trap, or possessed the strength to rescue the unconscious Meara. However, she'd never asked to be a leader--only someone who stayed in front of the Purge! "I'm no telepath," she hissed through clenched teeth, "and cannot divine the future. All I have is my...connection," Per'dra said, pausing because she didn't want to reveal the name of the Great Wyrm while the archers above were listening. "All I want is to stay alive and ahead of the Purge!"

"SILENCE!" shouted a voice from above, and an arrow flew at Per'dra.

However, against the Dark Elf's wildest calculations, the Bard caught it.

Instead of tossing the arrow back into the treetops toward the archer who had fired it, however, she balanced it carefully in her fingertips, intending to jab it into the slit in Vakarr's helmet that revealed his eyes. If necessary, she'd gouge at least one of them out! An infernal fury coursed through her veins--the same fury that she'd felt when she'd been continually insulted and underestimated by her "betters" in the slums of Paryer. Was Vakarr the same as they were? He was certainly cold, disdainful, and calculating. However, did he possess the same cruelty? She suddenly remembered the noble who'd attempted to--No. Not now. We're under a stalled attack, fool!

The arrow Per'dra clenched in her fist was a mere flick away from Vakarr's right eye. Surprisingly, he wasn't springing to attack her in return. Instead, his stance remained planted, as if to ward off a shield bash. Not even a gale could knock him over, the Bard suspected, if it suddenly happened along! Making a split-second decision, she snapped the arrow clean in half instead of using it to make her opponent lose half of his sight. Disgusted with herself, she flung the halves away:

"You say I'm weak and pathetic, Vakarr. Fine. At least I'm sensible enough not to wound someone who is supposed to be my ally, no matter how much I wanted to right now. What do you suggest I do?" Pause. "I'm asking honestly, since the Dark Elves didn't want to let me into their city either." She was shocked at how much she sincerely meant this; she'd intended to be as haughty as her friend-turned-foe. Still, her berserker's rage was not abating easily. Sweat beaded on her forehead.

"Milady?" That was Meara. "I could whip this arse-hole's hind end if you won't."

Per'dra's head swiveled nearly all the way around. "Sorry-no. Stand down."
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:57 PM   #132
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Vakarr stared Per'dra down as she began to speak. The two were toe to toe and practically nose to nose...helmet in this case. He listened to her words, and how she simply wanted to survive the Purge. An understandable goal, but not one strong enough to continue to lead on. This connection she spoke of, whoever was guiding her had gotten them away from danger and tried to set them on the path to the Dwarves.

The sudden cry of an archer hadn't startled him. The sound of him firing an arrow hadn't started him either. His armor was tough, a mere arrow wouldn't do anything to harm him. Per'dra catching the arrow? That did managed to startle him. He watched as she held the arrow, her eyes glaring at him. She wanted to attack him with that arrow.

Vakarr did nothing as she stared at him, arrow still in her hands. If she wanted to fight, he would certainly give her one. He never took his eyes off Per'dra's own, just waiting. He currently had mixed emotions. He wanted her to do it, attack him. He wanted her to stand up to him, to break free from fear. Perhaps he also wanted a reason to attack her as well.

His eyes darted to the arrow in her hands for a second, then they were locked back with her own. Did he in turn fear her? No, he couldn't fear anyone else. Earlier he had thought of her as different from her kind, something he still believed. Why did he want her to attack then?

He stood his ground, but did not reach for a weapon or raise his fists to combat her. He watched as she split the arrow in half and tossed it aside. He stayed silent, breathing slowly as she spoke. Why was she asking for his opinion on what to do?

Vakarr was taken by surprise from this as well. Despite what had just happened she still asked him. She seemed angry and perhaps a little upset when speaking that he was suppose to be her ally. She saw him as an ally? Instead of silencing him, she wanted his opinion...did she really value it? The question of why he wanted to attack her popped back up. Did he want her to attack because he was looking for a fight...or did he want her to because he was afraid. Not of her, not of anyone else. He feared he might actually be a part of this group, a valued member.

"Right now? There is nothing you can do. Staying silent was the best option for now," he said as he began calming down.

Vakarr continued to stare at Per'dra. She was close enough that she could see his eyes through his helmet. He knew this as he was certain she was choosing which eye to take out. His eyes had been fierce, menacing, threatening...just like him.

"Archer. Thei...our leader is still injured from the trap. She will require some treatment. We can wait until our allies prove that we are not a threat. However, your leader might find out about the attempted murder that went on here, and how an order to guard this group was blatantly disobeyed. You're a strong warrior though, and I know it won't need to come to that. Its a simple request, and this treatment could be preformed right here if need be." Vakarr kept a respectful tone, not wanting to ruin Akierra and Tegan's chances to speak with the Dark Elves.

As Vakarr spoke these words to the archer, his gaze never met the dark elf. They stayed with Per'dra most of the time, and only to Emi for a few passing seconds before going back to Per'dra. For a mere second or two, his eyes softened ever so slightly. He took a step back from Per'dra to further ease the tension in the group.

"You asked me what you should do next? I would try to contact this...connection you speak of, rather than keep waiting to be contacted. A more open line might be beneficial to the group." Vakarr suggested. "Oh, and keep your dog in line. If it speaks up again, I will smash its skull in."

The threat towards Meara was necessary in his head. All he did was fix the mistakes he made minutes ago, he wasn't getting soft with this group. He couldn't possibly, this was temporary. He was still a powerful warrior and would not be threatened by a common barmaid.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:06 PM   #133
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Meara, her hackles raised, glared at Vakarr. "What in Sazhen' did you call me?"

"Meara, please." Per'dra laid a quick hand on the barmaid's forearm before either she or the warrior could carry out their threats against one another. "Hush!" Only out of respect for her friend, Meara fell silent and took her place at the rear of the group. However, she was still seething with resentment. One day, she thought venomously, I'm going to teach you a lesson, helmeted brute! Still, she kept her feelings to herself for the continued safety of all concerned. Per'dra had backed down from a fight. She could, too.

The Dark Elven archer to whom Vakarr had spoken did not. Staring through narrowed eyelids at the "helmeted brute" who had requested treatment for Per'dra, he turned, hocked and spat, letting the glob of mucus fall to the dying forest floor below. Hardly any sunlight ever penetrated the canopy of the Forest of Trepidation, and this could be seen clearly. So could his frown.

"Do you think to extort me into silence?" sneered the archer. "You shall not. By the by, are you a coward who only wears a helmet that opaque because you're too afraid to show your face?"[/I] A hint of a smirk played at the corner of his lips. "Nevertheless, if the Spy and our True daughter prove themselves to be correct, you're going to need all the help you can get against those who pursue you." He slid his hands into the trees, retrieving a long vine net. Lowering himself to the ground, he strode toward Per'dra.

"Foot." The archer said this without so much as a "greetings" or "hail", because such salutations were beneath him. Per'dra extended her wounded appendage, and the Dark Elf took two vials and a bandage from out of his ebony leather-tunic pocket. Removing her boot and unceremoniously tossing it aside, he sighed: "Dur'natha. I'm going to have to pierce the skin in order to stop the poison from spreading." Tipping another one of his arrows with green liquid from one of the vials he carried, he gently stabbed it into the wound. The pain was agonizing for a moment, but then quickly vanished.

"Th--thank you," Per'dra replied, suddenly feeling like her tongue was too big for her mouth. Was it only the pain, or had the venom not been counteracted quickly enough. "I thank you mightily as well, Vakarr. A question..." She trailed off. "Why did I not feel any immediate effects from the poison in the trap?"

"Dur'natha acts slowly," replied the archer, "as do its ingredients. Such things are sacred knowledge among our people, which you yourself will never be privy to receive. One thing I can tell you: you would have convulsed within three days without any treatment. Be grateful I have had enough compassion not to let you die, weak one." He straightened up and stared at Vakarr.

"As for you: I am skilled with the blade as well as the bow." Expressionless, he removed the gauntlet from his right hand and thrust it against the warrior's helmet. "I challenge you to a duel. If you win, not only shall I pay homage and bow the knee to you, but I'll convince Un'adrubin to let you all into our city. If not..." His white teeth glinted. "You shall kneel before me as the loser, and also as my slave. Are we agreed?" The archer fingered the hilts of his swords.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:28 PM   #134
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Emi watched as the whole scene took place in front of her. All the mistrust, all the judging, all the hatred and the pride of each race present.

"Why...?", she said almost in a whisper, her head bowed down as if she was looking at the ground. Her hood covered most of her hair and the right side of her face was completely covered by her long locks of bluish-black hair. She suddenly lifted her face to look at Vakarr, Per'dra and the present Dark Elf warriors.

"Why must you always seek to battle others over such trivialities?! Why can't we all live in peace and just respect the dignity of those around us?! Why keep drawing blood of those who aren't our enemies?!", she mostly screamed this, her eyes overflowing with tears, but not so much of sadness but most of all of rage; rage for being so helpless. She fell to her knees right after saying all of this, her hands on her face.

"No matter what I do I can't get rid of this... why can't I just fade... this world is horrible, all creatures are mean, evil, twisted things... is there no hope for peace in this world at all?", she said those words in the clearest voice that normally, anyone who had come into contact with her, would never suspect she had in her. She got up and placed herself in front of Vakarr to face the Dark Elf warrior.

"I made a promise to watch his back. I am going to keep that promise", she said firmly as there wasn't any indication that the Dark Elf would stand down. She didn't do this to upset Vakarr, nor to give any indication that he was weak in some way, but she had indeed promised to watch his back, and him hers and she would keep her vow. Even if Vakarr had only said those things to Emi to make her feel better, but to her, this was serious business.



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No puedo olvidarte
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sal de mi piel...

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Old 03-07-2012, 02:38 AM   #135
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Vakarr stared at Meara for a few seconds with his arms crossed. Had his helmet been off she would have seen a smirk on his face, for the armored warrior was amused at her response. He was mainly amused at how she feared him the first time he spoke to her and now she had an attitude towards him. He was also curious to this as well. Why had one death threat scared her, yet one accompanied with an insult didn't? Perhaps it was in his tone.

His amusement soon turned into anger as the Dark Elf spoke. He had the nerve to call him a coward? He had just attempted to shoot an unarmed Per'dra, but he was calling Vakarr a coward? Afraid to show his face? No, never...well maybe a little. It was more shame than anything at being half human. However as he spent more time amongst Dark Elves, he felt a growing disgust for him as well. Just as Meara had backed off of him, he did the same to the Dark Elf and let the comment slide.

His anger soon turned into genuine sadness as he heard Emi. He listened to her protest against the violence that had occurred and a desire for peace. He partially agreed with that, as he had come to like violence a little. He wanted peace though as well...just under his rule. His usual thoughts of power were pushed away as Emi continued her small speech. The next word only made him sadder, and soon he began to feel pity as well. She looked so helpless on her knees, he wanted to kneel down and comfort her. Comfort? Another being? Had the thought actually entered his head?

His sadness and slight confusion turned into something he hadn't felt in quite some time...genuine happiness. Not his usual happy over defeating someone, or doing something great. No, this was the type of happy he felt when he was little. When he had no clue of the world he lived on. Emi had not only remembered what he had told her at the bar, but was intending on sticking with it. In all his years of life, not once had anyone stood up for him. He didn't understand why he didn't feel insulted by this action. He knew he could fight this archer, yet she still spoke up. Surprisingly...it felt nice.

His armored hand slowly reached out to meet her shoulder. He placed it on the shoulder of the arm she gave him back at the bar, not the one she took away at first. Just as she remembered her promise, he remembered how she was hesitant about which arm to give him. He was curious as to why, but now wasn't the time for that. Besides, this was about respecting her as much as she was respecting him. Despite the gloves less than comforting touch, he did so as gently as he could.

"Emi, its just a duel...I'll be alright," Vakarr said in a soft tone that almost surprised him. "Thank you though," he added in.

Vakarr looked to the Dark Elf, glad he had requested this duel. Now they had a way into the city, as Vakarr was quite confident he could win this duel. His arrogance might be playing a role in this, but his brain was as well. Given his body shape, the elf saw him as the large swing sword until enemy dies type of fighter. Vakarr was a strategist though, and he wouldn't do something so stupid as that...or perhaps he would. Perhaps he would play the part, than catch his opponent off guard.

"I accept your challenge. I will enjoy this," Vakarr said.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:01 AM   #136
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"As will I," replied the Dark Elven archer. "I am not only the finest bowman under my lord Un'adrubin's command, but the finest bladesman as well. In our native language, the speech of the True, my name is Zherybukh, or 'victor'. I swear to you that it will be the last word on your lips before you call me 'Master'. Pavas'te!" This, roughly translated, meant "En garde, coward!" Zherybukh unsheathed both of his long swords, crafted of the finest lunite--moonshadow metal, in other words. He parried Vakarr's first blow expertly.

As for Per'dra? She stepped backward, clearing a path for the two fighters.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:52 AM   #137
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Tegan had to fight the urge to scoff at Una'druban's arrogance. If there was one thing she could thank the Shadow Academy for, it was the cosmopolitan attitude towards other races.

"We saw their work first hand in the human city of Paryer." She explained. "They destroyed it in a matter of minutes. It wouldn't take them much longer to do the same to Tener'ixal. Sure, you may have better defences than the humans, but your city is a lot smaller, and and when they get through, and they will get through, it will take them a lot less time to kill every man, woman, and child in the city. Help us, and we might be able to stop them before they get here."


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Old 03-07-2012, 01:02 PM   #138
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Inside the High Palace of Tener'ixal, Interrogation Room

Un'adrubin smirked at Tegan's brief, urgent speech:

"My dear, dark daughter, I must inform you that even though you speak the truth about our sacred city and our numbers within, there is one final defense you've never seen. Our Forest of Trepidation is not just a collection of soulless rocks and trees, but a living and breathing Friend to us. When we call upon Her specifically, in the language of our ancestors, She will come to life and annihilate those who would dare to poach or destroy Her. The only reason why we haven't done so already, in regards to the band of pathetic misfits with whom you travel, is because we've sensed no overt threat to us thus far. However, that could change in a heartbeat. What say ye?"

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Old 03-10-2012, 08:16 PM   #139
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"By all means, do whatever it takes to defend yourself against the Purge, but don't think you can win a war of attrition against them. She may be powerful, but no power is infinite." Tegan responded. "It may take the Purge time, but their numbers grow constantly, and with enough time, they will burn this Forest to the ground."


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Old 03-13-2012, 02:20 PM   #140
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Vakarr stepped away from Emi, so that he and Zherybukh would have room. He was going to continue his plan of giving the dark elf a false sense of security. The elf saw him as a brute, he could see it in his eyes. Vakarr swung, and was parried almost instantly. Vakarr took a step back and let out a grunt, like a brute denied a one hit win. He grunted again and swung at the dark elf once more. He wanted to learn just how this elf fought, how he blocked, and how he dodged.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #141
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Up Above, in the High Palace of the City of Tener'ixal

The Lord of the Hunt blinked. "There is much wisdom in what you say," replied he. "Even our Mother, the Forest which surrounds us, must recover between thwarted invasions and great battles. Sometimes this takes decades, in fact, while we have been duly called to guard Her as She sleeps! If this Purge is as strong as you say, then we have ample reasons to let you acquit yourselves and aid our defense. However..." Un'adrubin frowned. "We Dark Elves have been blessed with the ability to know in a heartbeat if someone is being false to us. Daughter, I do not accuse you of fully lying, but you and the Spy are hiding something. You are indeed refugees, but your eyes...they contain a spark of hope that would be entirely absent in a situation like this. What else do the two of you know that we don't regarding the Purge?"

Down Below, on the Forest Floor

Zherybukh was a gadfly, floating like one of the denizens of the Forest in which he dwelt. Knowing that his opponent's armor was impenetrable, he focused instead on disarmament. If his foe's weapon was lost, he would win! Thus, his onslaughts continued, lightly but relentlessly, against Vakarr's blade. Round and round he danced, in the fluid steps of combat, until he pinned the mighty sword of his opponent between his own lunite blades. "Aha!"
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:52 PM   #142
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Vakarr continued his act of the brute with blade. His swings seemed barbaric in nature as he clashed with Zherybukh's own. The elf seemed to be falling for the act so far, as he danced around keeping his distance. Then the Elf made a bold move and brought his swords down on his own.So the elf was trying to disarm him to win. Vakarr's smirk was hidden by his helmet as he brought his heavily armored foot right down on the elf's foot. Certain the elf would be distracted by the sudden pain, Vakarr threw a punch aimed right at Zherybukh's face.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:36 AM   #143
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With a sickening snap, Zherybukh's nose and upper lip bone shattered. Vakarr's punch had not only connected, but sent his opponent staggering back. The Dark Elven archer made not a sound. However, everyone could tell--including the watching Per'dra--that he was in immense pain. Despite this, he did not drop either of his lunite swords. Instead, he sheathed them both.

Exhausted, he collapsed on the ground in front of Vakarr. "You've won," he rasped as blood poured down his face. "No coward are you," Zherybukh continued, "and thus I yield! All of you in your adventuring party shall...venture into Tener'ixal, if that be the last thing I can ensure. Know ye not what my lord Un'adrubin does to those who dare fail him? He exposes their guts with one long slit down the torso and hangs them from the trees of our Forest to die. This takes days."

With his voice trembling, he begged: "Grant me a warrior's death if you would! Remove my head as soon as you all stand safely within the sacred canopy of our Mother." Uttering a short phrase in the Dark Elves' native tongue, he called for the rhubarb-colored nets to entwine everyone and hoist them onto the dark wooden platforms of Tener'ixal. His fellow archers had long since withdrawn into the branches, waiting for more targets--perhaps the Purge?

Once everyone had been disentangled from their leafy harnesses, Zherybukh knelt for a second time before Vakarr. "My lord is not here," he said quickly. "Slay me, before he decides to emerge from the High Palace and investigate!"
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:34 PM   #144
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Even before the duel was over, Tael was already gone. The bickering between them had caused Tael to simply walk away and clear his head. He wanted to comfort Emi - but he knew that he shouldn't. As the archers were too focused on watching the duel, Tael had disappeared unnoticed. He walked until he saw a lake - the blue waters reflecting the orange-yellow glow of the sun. He laid down, the grass cool and green. Never had he felt such peace and serenity in his life - and he simply wanted to remain here, untouched, undisturbed.

Still, he felt guilty with abandoning them. Well, he didn't abandon then per se. He was only one man. Would one man really make a difference? Traveling with a band of misfits who have tensions between one another? He never thought like this before - but he doesn't know if traveling with them is the best course of action to take.



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Old 03-17-2012, 11:41 AM   #145
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What else do the two of you know that we don't regarding the Purge?

Akeirra traced a rough map of the continent in the air, knowing the Dark Elf's memory would be good enough to maintain it without a physical representation.

"The Network has been able to confirm they spread from this region," she said. "Their current front lines range along this line," she drew another, jagged line across the continent. "In some places, they advance more quickly than others. By Network estimates, Tener'ixal will be hit within a week."

She frowned thoughtfully. "I was on my way to meet with the Dwarves when I encountered this band of refugees. The Dwarves told the Network that they had a myth that, if proved true, could utterly destroy the Purge. I have been sent to deliver this information on the Purge to the Dwarves, and to see if I can verify the validity of their claims."


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Old 03-17-2012, 11:31 PM   #146
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In the High Palace of Tener'ixal, War Room (Adjacent to Throne Room)

"It shall take more than myths to destroy this advancing army, even though I can discern you speak the truth," replied the Lord of the Hunt. "We must prepare our defenses--not only those of iron and steel, but those of our Mother! There are precautions we have to take immediately to prepare the Forest of Trepidation for this coming onslaught. As for you, Spy, and those with whom you travel..." Un'adrubin paused for a moment, calculating his options. "I will give you directions to the nearest tributary of the Auris River so all of you can be on your way. Almost all of you." Folding his hands in front of him on the dark wooden table of the War Room, Tener'ixal's Captain of the Guard was fully in his element. From a silver goblet, he took a sip of wine mixed with absinthe--the essence of wormwood:

"The Dwarves are isolationists; consequently, they are idiots! They seal themselves off from the rest of Sazhen', slaves to their own insane logic. Even we are more tolerant of others, although not by much. You are all fortunate that I did not order my archers to slaughter the lot of you! Nevertheless, we find ourselves in a nearly-untenable position. As it is, we have barely heard of this 'Purge', and so..." Un'adrubin's eyes gleamed with the cold fire of the stars in winter. "In exchange for instructions on the correct course to the Auris, we shall require at least one of you to stay here and acquit yourself by aiding our defenses. I know in my soul that if Tener'ixal does not survive, neither will the Dark Elven race as a whole. What is your answer, Spy? I daresay you've given quite a bit of information thus far. Support it! Bring us your blades and your strategies. We'll need them."

This was as close to humility as the Lord of the Hunt was ever going to get.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:01 PM   #147
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For several moments, Akeirra did not speak. Then, she nodded. "The Network is not known for warriors, but strategies, we have. Unfortunately, I cannot be permitted to remain here, and I cannot think that this band of refugees would take kindly to one of their own remaining here while I'm allowed my freedom. If I may, I think there is a third alternative."

She pointed to a spot on her air-drawn map, no more than an hour's hard run from Tener'ixal. "The Network has someone here. If you would permit me to send a message to her, she can be here in just over an hour. Then, you will have the Network's best strategies for repelling the Purge and this group may continue on, with your direction to the Auris River."


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Old 03-20-2012, 01:52 PM   #148
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In the High Palace of Tener'ixal, War Room

If there were two things Un'adrubin despised, they were being thwarted in having his way and having to admit that someone False--someone not Dark Elven--had made a salient point. However, he masked his emotions carefully, as he always did. A natural consequence of the Dark Elves' being able to tell innately if someone was lying was that they were far better than most races at hiding what they themselves thought. The Lord of the Hunt answered:

"Agreed. I will not risk our people, or our Forest, to inadequate preparation when the Purge reaches Tener'ixal. Send your contact to me immediately." He slid a roll of parchment toward Akeirra and Tegan. "To the Auris..." For a warrior, and Tener'ixal's Captain of the Guard, he was a remarkably good artist. His depiction of the route to the tributary that led to the Auris River was as accurate as if the finest cartographers in Paryer had drawn it. Un'adrubin explained the landmarks and convoluted forest trails carefully.

Suddenly, the High Palace itself began to tremble. Was it an earthquake?

Un'adrubin didn't think so. "Our Mother stirs," he said slowly.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:10 AM   #149
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Vakarr was surprised by the amount of damage his punch had done. He was certain he hadn't used that much force, and it was with his left hand too...or maybe he had. He soon found himself smirking slightly at the victory he got over the dark elf. That would teach him to dare ever underestimate him. Before he could reply he found himself in their city.

He looked to the dark elf, who was begging for death at this point. He stared at the elf for a few seconds. Part of him didn't want to after he called him a coward. Still...he did cause that very painful wound. Perhaps letting him die with honor wasn't too bad. He slowly took out his sword and prepared to do the deed. He hoped Emi wasn't watching as he swung his sword down, taking the elf's head clean off. He looked around when he felt a sudden shake. He looked to Per'dra.

"You wouldn't happen to be thinking the same thing as me...would you?" Vakarr asked believing the Purge might have gotten to them sooner.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:28 AM   #150
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Akeirra closed her eyes and exhaled slowly until she could breathe out no more. Then, motionless, she listened. With her eyes closed, she stopped all other senses but hearing and therefore heard much further. Her brow furrowed as a familiar sound came to her ears. Her eyes snapped open and she inhaled sharply.

"She stirs with good reason," she said. "The Purge has not yet reached her, but they are within sight."

She looked up at the guard captain. "Is there a horse I might ride? Sending a message to my contact will not bring her hear fast enough. I must go for her myself and bring her back immediately."

To Tegan, she added, "You and your friends must take this map to the Auris River and leave immediately. I will catch up with you once my promise of aid to the Dark Elves is fulfilled."


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Old 03-23-2012, 03:04 AM   #151
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Emi was not looking at the scene unfolding infront of her, but only because she knew she had to be ready. The elf's soul was absorbed by her at the moment Vakarr sliced his head clean off.

This power, she could not control it. She had never learned how and it was one of the things that made her disgusted with her own existence. She dropped to her knees while she regained composure and stood up once again, her right hand on her belt just incase she needed to defend herself.

She then looked at Per'dra and Vakarr, unsure of what would happen next.



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Old 03-23-2012, 11:35 PM   #152
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In the City of Tener'ixal, Outskirts

"If you're thinking the Purge has reached the Forest of Trepidation faster than any one of us could have ever calculated, you've read my mind," Per'dra said. "Methinks we're going to have to unsheath our weapons here in Tener'ixal, whether we like it or not." She took a deep breath. "By the way, well done against that archer, Zherybukh! I would have hated to see you lose, especially to such a sniveling coward as he was." Squaring her shoulders, she then looked at Emi. "I'm--glad you're all right," she stuttered, at a complete loss for words since she couldn't congratulate her on having consumed a soul...What was worse, if the Purge arrived, there would be more deaths!

Squinting into the treetops a little bit further, she spotted two familiar figures dashing toward her. One was a full-blooded Dark Elf lass, and the other a mysterious humanoid female. The former carried daggers, and the latter a parchment map. "Tegan? Akeirra? What have you found out? Did you manage to convince Un'adrubin to let us go, and get directions to the Auris River?" When Akeirra nodded and handed Per'dra the map, both of them suddenly turned their heads as they heard loud whinnying sounds in the forest below.

One of the archers who had been under Zherybukh's command dashed up to the members of the group. "Away with you!" he cried, pointing to the rhubarb-colored vine nets that had hoisted them all into the city. "Our lord Un'adrubin has summoned several of his finest steeds--those that our scout patrols ride. Our sacred Mother is preparing for war, and it won't be long before our enemy is upon us. If She knows this, then so do we, the True! Hasten towards the destination that awaits you, False Ones, or else there's no way you're going to make it out of the Forest on foot before you're slaughtered. Go, now. Go!"

Per'dra made a quick move to grab one of the nets and descend to the forest floor. As the archer had said, there were several thoroughbred horses standing nearby, tensely waiting to be ridden. All of them seemed perfectly tame, and yet the Bard sensed a blazing inner fire within each of them. She approached a black stallion, petted its neck, and climbed on its bare back.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:33 AM   #153
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Akeirra climbed aboard the horse to Per'dra's right and drew it around closer to Per'dra and her mount.

"My path lies in a different direction, mi'lady, for I have made the Dark Elves a promise to secure your party's release," she said softly, her speech slower and smoother than it had ever been before, with a hint of a foreign accent that could not quite be assigned a home in the known world. This must be how she truly spoke, its sound fit her appearance far more than had her previous way of speaking.

"I have committed the Dark Elf's map to memory," she went on, "and I know your destination, for it is my own. We will meet again, fair Per'dra, and when that time comes, I welcome the challenge of earning your trust."

With that, she spurred her horse away into the darkness of the forest, and was soon out of sight.


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Old 03-24-2012, 03:59 AM   #154
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Vakarr nodded his head at Per'dra seeing that they were thinking the same thing. Her next words came as somewhat of a surprise to him. He hadn't expected congratulations from her...especially after their little argument. Then again both were stressed out from what was happening around them. He wondered if she too thought he was a simple brute with a sword as he did. That had been the dark elf's undoing, and Vakarr baited him with it. He gave a second nod to her in thanks, as he prepared to unsheathe his sword again.

He hadn't expected one of the dark elves to appear however. He listened to the elf's words, but wasn't sure how he felt. A ferry was one thing, but a horse? Chances were his horse wouldn't go as fast as the others given his heavier armor. He was certain he'd be able to get to their destination though. Still...he felt something wasn't right, then he remembered what he told Emi at the bar. He asked for her protection which she took very seriously...what if she tried to go back.

"Emi," Vakarr said approaching her. "I feel my armor will slow my horse down slightly. I'm certain I'll be fine, but if something is to happen...don't go back for me, keep yourself safe. At that point I'll hold them off as best as I can, if something like that were to happen...and be careful," he added onto the end after a few seconds.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:04 PM   #155
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Emi looked at Vakarr but meerly smiled. The small curve on her lips was as earnest as ever. She nodded at him but then looked away for a moment.

"We came together... we leave together", she said in her usual low volume. She was starting to think that maybe Vakarr thought she wasn't as skilled so as to defend herself, much less defend someone else, but she understood how he could come to think like that, since she always looked as frail as glass. But she would soon show them what she was capable of doing. She had to help this party properly. The ones who did not turn her away, nor abuse her like many before.



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Old 03-26-2012, 10:42 PM   #156
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Vakarr stared back at Emi taking in her brief yet strong words in. She was willing to protect him, even if the thought of him getting caught was still in his head. No one had gone to lengths of that for someone like him, and that meant a lot...the fact that it meant something to him was significant in itself. He continued to stare at her until he found himself smiling which caused him to turn his head away. After a few seconds he remembered she couldn't see that and turned his head back to her.

"Very well," he said. "Just don't blame me if we get caught," he said a lighter joking tone.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:30 PM   #157
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In the Forest of Trepidation, Underneath the City of Tener'ixal

Per'dra couldn't help but smile at the interaction between Vakarr and Emi. She was glad that both of them seemed to be looking out for one another, because in these dangerous times, no one could afford division in their ranks if they would make a stand against the Purge! Nevertheless, she admonished:

"Speaking of 'getting caught', I think we'd better hurry if we want to reach the Auris River before the Purge's soldiers get here. Hyah!" She gave a light slap to her horse's right flank, and the stallion reared slightly. Before anyone else could react, he sped further into the forest, carrying the Bard. The others followed behind as quickly as they could, trying not to become alarmed as they heard the sounds of the Forest of Trepidation preparing itself--Herself, according to the Dark Elves--for battle. Leaves rustled. Ravens cawed. Vines twisted themselves across the forest floor, coiling around tree roots in order to ensnare unwary travelers--such as they had once been. The trunks of several trees began to coat themselves with sticky and poisonous sap. Almost all of the bushes revealed sharp thorns that they only used when an herbivorous predator came along and tried to eat them. All was not well...
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:49 PM   #158
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His serenity was interrupted by the shifting of the forest. Rising to his feet, he saw two Purge soldiers walking into the clearing. Scouts no doubt. Here to recon the area and report back to the others. Killing them will grant himself and the others a few more minutes - but after so long, the Purge will know something is amiss.

"Hey! You! Halt!", one of them said.

Tael walked towards the two. They grabbed their crossbows and pointed them at Tael.

"Don't move any closer, Tael.", the other said.

Tael kept walking, not heeding their warnings. They both fired their arrows, both missing. Now running at them, he grabbed the first scout's crossbow and yanked it to the ground. He clenched his right fist and broke the scout's nose. He unsheathed one of his swords, and overhead chopped the other scout- the scout using his crossbow to block the attack. The blade cut through most of the crossbow, and the scout kicked Tael in the shin. Not losing balance, he pulled the sword, and jabbed it into the scout's stomach. He pulled it out, and proceeded to grab both bodies. He pulled them to the lake's edge, and threw them into the water.

Now he realized he had to leave. NOW. Running back to Tener'ixal, he noticed the others leaving on horseback. Jumping onto one of the stallions, he hit its right flank and it reared. It then galloped, following the others through the forest.



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Old 04-01-2012, 04:02 PM   #159
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(Tell me if any of this needs to be changed)

Xalek, a middle aged human walked down the corridors of the Shadow Academy searching for the office room. He never understood why people felt the need to build buildings in such confusing ways. "If I knew who planned these things I would kill every last one of them" he mumbled to himself. He paused beside a door way and looked through, a group of men were training with jagged assassin knives, they could be very deadly if the wielder knew how to use them.

He continued to walk through the corridors until he came to the room he was searching for. He opened the door and walked in, a cloaked man was sitting at a desk studying something. "Your messenger sent for me, I believe he said you had a job." The cloaked man looked up from his studies. "Ah Xalek, the great mercenary, It's truly an honor to see you in person." he said as he stood up. "Don't waste my time fool!" Xalek spit out. "I didn't come here so you could stare at me. You said you had a job, what is it?" The cloaked man smiled "you may be the best mercenary there is, but remember where your standing. It wouldn't be very smart to have a entire academy mad at you now would it?"

The cloaked man talked with a happy tone in his voice, but Xalek could see the dangerous look in his eyes. "Now the reason I've called you here is about a dark elf named Tegan. She was an assassin and was one of the best we ever had. unfortunately she decided to run away. All that was a few years ago, I've tried several times to bring her back but the assassins I sent ended up dead." The cloaked man was about to say more when he was interrupted. "I didn't come here to get a history leason about one of your pathetic assassins! If you want to hire me tell me what the job is."

A brief moment of anger swept across the cloaked mans face, but then quickly disappeared. "Yes yes of course. I need you to bring her back, shes an assassin herself and knows how to fight us, but you...She won't ever be expecting an attack from someone like you. track her down and bring her back to me, can you handle that mercenary?" The cloaked man waited for Xalek to anwser. "It's not a question about if I can handle it, It's the question if you can pay for it. Incase you didn't know...I don't do jobs for free."

The cloaked man smiled again. "Of course! You will be rewarded greatly for your services. So is it a deal?" Xalek just stood there a moment and then anwsered "I'll bring the girl back...Just make sure my moneys ready for me when I return..Or I'll kill her then you." After that, Xalek walked out.




Lets rock and role play!

http://xat.com/TSLModding

Last edited by Warlord664; 01-08-2013 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:55 PM   #160
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((Yes, I was the one that allowed Warlord664 to join. He's shaking things up already, I see! Please welcome him to the world of Sazhen' and "Purge". LDR, my sympathies for what you're going through. No rush, and no worries.))

In the Forest of Trepidation

The Bard had never driven a horse so hard in her entire life, especially one as well-bred and swift as her stallion! She absolutely hated what she was doing to him, but she knew that if she even slowed for a moment, she would be lost. The Forest of Trepidation rushed by in a blur all around her, and the only sounds she could hear were the pounding of steeds' hooves. The others were certainly following her--or, at least, she hoped and prayed that they were. If not, then who knew how far the soldiers of the Purge were behind them? The Forest of Trepidation was certainly preparing itself for battle, or Herself as the Dark Elves said. Hopefully, the armaments of Nature would not turn against them...

"There!", she cried, pointing. "Up ahead, there's a riverbank!" She inhaled deeply, and the slight scent of minerals was surprisingly intense. "Follow it!" The rush of water roared commandingly as Per'dra turned right.
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