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  #16  
Old 03-25-2019, 01:16 AM
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OphelyaOphelya eyes leave the paladin for the first time to glance at the female loner who decided to join the conversation. She thinks Romana could be a half-elf with those purple eyes like herself. The princess assumes she is some kind of rogue or scout, but since most of the current company have a lot of fighting and adventuring under the belt, she shouldn't be underestimated. - " Greeting miss, welcome to our merry band. " She quickly become uninterested of her for the moment.

- " Father Barqas words are wise. We all have a part to play here otherwise we wouldn't have been summoned for that task, that wouldn't be prudent to think the Overseers were wrong in the assessments of our skills. Don't you think master Lei? " Who would dare challenge their judgment she thinks. - " Some humility is quite refreshing, we can all use some. We come from different background, but we are all Wanderlords. Strength is relative, you could all break my delicate person in a few seconds if given the occasion, however, I'm probably one of the most dangerous of the team with a proper party to protect me. We are a squad and need to build on each other strength and support our weaknesses. "


 
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Last edited by MoonZar; 03-25-2019 at 01:39 AM.
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  #17  
Old 03-25-2019, 11:51 AM
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Haider and Leandra KeeneTension pulled at the tranquility of this otherwise serene burgeoning spring night as these soldiers took their mark and measure of each other by the flickering flames of the log fire. A large measure of its fuel having been expended by the Wyvaran's feat of magic, the flames danced lower now along the charred wood which still remained within the blackened circle of stones allowing the night to encroach that much more upon their lively gathering. Three men had sat somewhat apart from the others near the pile of logs which had been amassed as fuel for their bonfire and now one of them roused himself from his place beside his comrades and seemed to draw some attention to himself whereas before he had remained largely innocuous and unnoticed. Though the man wore a simple shirt of woven mail, the most prominent of his garments was the large worn cloak of blacks and blues which had covered the entirety of his body before he unwound it from himself to stand. He seemed to put some effort towards the act of standing and as the full light of the flickering flames reflected from the pallid skin of his face they saw that the left side of it was stretched smooth by a raw mass of thick scar tissue. Though one blue eye still gleamed from the depths of the deformed flesh, it seemed too still somehow as the man moved casually towards the pile of wood and it seemed fairly obvious that the man had lost the use of it. Several belts and buckles had gleamed momentarily from within the folds of his overly large cloak as he stood, showing several bandoliers which crisscrossed his thin torso. Dozens of glass vials and ampoules had also showed themselves and such was the workmanship of the arrangement that not one of them uttered a sound as the man reached for one of the logs on the pile and brought it carefully to the fire to replenish its strength and vigor.

After depositing the log, the man slowly brought his hands together and rubbed them slowly to relieve them of the dirt and detritus they had absorbed from the piece of wood. His left hand seemed as burned and twisted as his face had though they moved with a subtle grace which belied the fact that he had not suffered the slightest impairment to it from whatever catastrophe had so deeply marred their flesh. The man's name was Mordecai Vitalis, resident alchemist and healer for the Wanderlord 13th Platoon.

Thirteen. This was to be their number. Lucky thirteen, rebellious thirteen, Divine thirteen. Perfect thirteen. The insignia at Mordecai's breast seemed dulled by use and time as it sat prominently at his breast, pinned to a fold of his great cloak. The number was etched visibly above the crest as it was above all of the others'. He brought a scarred finger to the insignia and fingered it absently in such a way that suggested this was a habit of his, a tick of sorts. He seemed grounded by the gesture and straightened his shoulders as he bore the gaze of his fellow squad members. He started suddenly and his single functional eye darted upwards. His finger left the comfort of the insignia as he pointed it upwards though his arm never rose above shoulder height.

"Do you hear him? He wants us to know he is coming or we'd not know it before he was upon us. Mordecai's voice barely rose above a whisper as he spoke and it rasped in a way that suggested it would not be capable of utterances much louder than this one.

The Wanderlords heard it then: The unmistakable flapping of giant wings as they clove through the air.

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The sound reached them with the northern breeze and, as the platoon gazed up in that direction, they saw a large winged silhouette eclipsing Seren's pallid roundness. The Master Chief had come. The flying duo soon reached the waiting 13th Platoon and turned in a wide circle above them before landing a few yards outside the fire's circle of light. Haider Keene swung himself languidly and easily from the Sphinx's back and took the few steps towards the platoon which permitted the firelight to bathe itself across his features. He stood tall and wide, resplendent in shining mail which whispered softly as he walked. As he had dismounted, he had unclasped a weapon from Leandra's side and now held it casually in one hand as one might a walking stick, it's long curved blade reflecting ChandraOrigin's first moon* perfectly within its perfect sheen. Attached just beneath the wicked blade hung a half-furled banner and even distorted as it was, it was clear to the Wanderlords that their own insignia was represented there. For the briefest moment the Master-Chief's face seemed nearly somber with its gravitas but after the briefest pause where he let his gaze settle on each member of his platoon, he smiled and his face became as radiant as the sun.

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The Master Chief was handsome in a gruff way which seemed not at all affected by the dual scars which marked his nose and cheek side-by-side like two parts of a vicious claw attack which had not quite managed to find its mark but which had grazed him enough to leave this memento of its passing. His eyes gleamed with palest silver and his gruff beard seemed as untamed as the shock of dirty blonde hair which flew above the shaved sides of his large head. When he smiled his teeth seemed too white but the mirth the expression contained seemed contagious and infected everyone around him. Behind him, Leandra had just unclasped the saddle which had secured her rider and now came up behind him and put her arms around him, cradling his shoulders in a half embrace. Haider turned his face slightly and pressed his cheek to hers for a moment in affectionate acknowledgement then turned his gaze back to the platoon. Leandra's eyes gleamed with a silver sheen which matched Haider's but black lines contoured them and melded with lines which streaked down her face causing them to stand out starkly from her achingly beautiful face. Her long black hair hung mostly wild around her muscled shoulders though an ornate band of rubies kept its wildness from covering her face as she loomed over the tall Master Chief. Her arms became sleeved in tan colored fur just above the elbows but ended in pollical claws which seemed both feral and delicate in some paradoxical way. Leandra's wings had folded themselves easily behind her back, resting themselves against the flanks of her lion-like lower body. She moved with a languid grace which was decidedly feline but which possessed a sensuality that seemed disturbing in a subtle way that one could not quite explain.

"Thirteen!" Haider said, raising his free arm and erupting in a gale of hearty laughter.

"Welcome to my platoon!" he said, grinning.

"They seem a lively bunch." Leandra said in a low sultry voice which by its very tone seemed to elicit male desire.

The Master Chief grinned even more widely and nodded as he continued.

"My name is Haider Keene, Master Chief of Thirteen Platoon of the Wanderlord Division of his Majesty's Imperial Army. The gorgeous feline specimen by my side is none other than my wife Leandra Keene. We are delighted to meet you!"

Grif, who like the others had stood immediately upon the Master Chief's arrival, grinned nearly as widely as did Haider as he closed the distance between them and clasped his forearm in a warm gesture of welcome. The Skald was dwarfed by the Master Chief's six-and-a-half foot height, and his arm nearly disappeared when Haider grasped it in return.

"My second in command! How are you doing, Griffon my friend? Have you been keeping these Wanderbucks in line for me? They do seem a handful... What was that flare up we saw as we approached?"

Before Grif could offer up some reply to Haider's question, the Master Chief's gaze settled upon Zeek's Wyvaran form and he burst into laughter.

"Already burning things I see, Mr Zeek? Excellent! It's why we recruited you!"

Haider separated himself from Leandra as he sauntered among the men, taking the time to greet each man or woman with a firm handshake and a few warm words of greeting and appreciation. The man carried himself with the ease of long command and clearly did not feel the need to batter those beneath his rank with his authority. He respected his men and it seemed the easiest thing to return that respect in kind. He even addressed the Princess Ophelya with her requisite title and did not fail to include the proper etiquette when he greeted Sangrose-Toni and Zhang-San. For Barquas and Colby he had the firm grip which tested strength without diminishing with just the right pressure to show respect for the other's manliness and prowess. Leandra followed close behind the Master Chief and had a handshake and a polite greeting for each and her mien was as regal and commanding as Haider's had been humble. To the noble-born Romana Haider Keene offered the most gracious bow and when presented, he graced her hand with the chastest of kisses which nonetheless expressed the appropriate appreciation for her beauty and position.

"Romana?" Haider gave the lovely white-haired woman a smile which half conveyed amusement but which was equally tinted with confusion.

"Is that how we are to address you? Very well." Haider released her hand and let Leandra have her turn with the pallid-haired beauty from Soarta.

The large lioness Sphinx towered over the smaller woman and took her hand in turn. Leandra's smile faltered the slightest bit when their hands touched and she gave Romana an inquisitive look as confused as Haider's had been. The moment quickly passed, however, and the Sphinx returned to Haider's side near the fire pit.

"I apologize for the late hour, I know that this is an unusual call time, but I had matters which required my attention and could not convene any earlier. You have been told that we have a mission and though no details have been shared I trust that you have surmised that its nature is of the highest importance. If you have, you would be correct. Our task, is to be the following: We are to find, apprehend and return one Jahared Albright, traitor to the crown and enemy of the empire.

Alive or Dead.

Though his current location is not currently known to us, we do have a lead which may take us in the right direction. Our journey will lead us first to the small town of Strathwood in the north just East of Valejo. We leave in the morning. Any questions?"
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Last edited by LeoByron; 03-25-2019 at 12:22 PM.
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  #18  
Old 03-25-2019, 01:13 PM
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D'Agni
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The fire elf princesses' cheerful reply to D'Agni's comments made the ifrit appear as though he found the display either insulting or beneath him but his lips did not part with such confirmation; rather, the man simply gave a subtle nod as Ophelya continued to address him. As she brought up the subject of manners and language D'Agni seemed to find the request entertaining. "I did not join the Wanderlord's to teach Shaolin etiquette, but if in our travels you wish to hone your Minkaian I might indulge you should there be little else to entertain me." The man left no answer to Ophelya's comment about his supposed state of boredom, but with the introduction of another member of the group the ifrit managed to evade answering for the time being.

The subtle grace with which the woman Romana moved was followed by D'Agni like a cat upon a shiny bauble. Unlike many of the others, she had a certain air about her that the man recognized. Her movements flowed from one to the other with a honed control. Perhaps her appearance had raised D'Agni's hopes for as she spoke the intensity in his gazed waned slightly. She was certainly more than she appeared and the well hidden gleam of blades did little to dissuade D'Agni of that notion, but he had expected more. Perhaps he was getting bored as Ophelya had suggested if he was giving credence to the idea that his new Wanderlord squad might be of genuine interest.

As if plucking at the strings of irony, another as yet unspoken member of the group finally came to light when the the sparsely garbed oread man chimed in with the proper Shaolin title for one of Romana's age. He was obviously of Shaolin origin, but as he addressed D'Agni the ifrit found himself smirking. Though D'Agni began to form words within his mind in reply, he was caught off rather abruptly as the burly warrior known as Barqas interjected with his rather crude form of motivation. In silence, D'Agni found himself grateful that the warrior had such lack of tact for as the ifrit continued to listen to the monk's reply his smirk slowly twisted into a faint scowl. Once Lei had seemingly consigned himself to his meek place sitting along the dirt D'Agni chimed in. "It is a wonder you made it this far.... Lei was it? I should hope those irrelevant displays of skill that carried you here are of some use because while Barqas may consider you an equal I do not. If you possess strength but lack confidence in yourself you only doom yourself to failure." The demeaning tone somewhat spoiled the charisma that flowed behind the words spoken yet there was the slightest hint of a bitter resolve in D'Agni's tone that suggested his insult held more meaning than its face might suggest.

Time passed and D'Agni seemed not at all uncomforted at his rippling of the social waters. By the time the resident healer Mordecai spoke up D'Agni seemed to be drawn from his own internal thoughts. His gaze cast skyward and as the Master Chief descended D'Agni found himself entranced along with the others at the sight. Unbidden the ifrit rose to his feat and when the master chief broke the silence with his booming welcome D'Agni appeared to release the spell of awe that had come over him and watched both Haider Keene and his wife Leandra make their way into camp and greet the squad. Admittedly D'Agni was somewhat surprised at Haider's charisma. Upon being greeted with proper respect from both Haider and Leandra the ifrit returned the greetings with ones of equal respect. These two had not gotten to where they were by being weak and that was not even speaking for the charisma the seemed to exude from the duo. The fact that they were husband and wife did not even seem to strike D'Agni as odd as he realized how both had likely gravitated towards one another upon first meeting.

With their mission finally being revealed, D'Agni could not help but feel the wind taken out of his sails as the phrase might go. His first official assignment was simply to hunt down a traitor to the crown. A light sigh passed his lips as he admitted to himself that he should not be surprised by such a menial assignment. His was a Wanderlord yes, but such titles were merely gilded dressings for servants of the Empire. Putting aside his disappointment, D'Agni spoke up as Haider asked for questions. "What do we know of this Jahared Albright?"
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Last edited by Eviltedzies; 03-25-2019 at 07:22 PM.
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  #19  
Old 03-25-2019, 01:19 PM
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Zeek the Unbroken(Fire affirmed.)
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The Beautiful Elf

Zeek looks surprised at the actions of Ophelya, and her fear of fire from his performance, Zeek seems to pull back, abashed at what he had done, and looks towards his feet as he wrings his hands together, his forked tongue tasting the air periodically before he makes a sincere apology; "Zeek is sorry beautiful Ophelya, I did not know you were afraid of fire... I am only really good at making fires, big fires, small fires, raging infernos. That is the only gift that Garyx has given me, and Zeek loves fire so very much. The smell, the sound, the heat, it is like being home and safe, it is. Even fire on living things can be funny. My last owner had me use my fires on things that were still alive. Zeek thought maybe that they turn to ash instantly, and sometimes they did. But when I did not use the biggest fires, sometimes they would explode! That always made Zeek laugh for some reason. It reminds me of the traps we set for bad Dwarves and bad Elves back in the deep tunnels of home."

Zeek then watches her to see if she laughs, and when she doesn't, he just looks back at the ground again, shuffling awkwardly; "Well, anyways, Zeek is sorry for scaring you."

The Fire Man

When the fireman spoke up, Zeek looked over at him and listened, he talked like he was really important, but Zeek did not understand why, or most of the words coming out of his mouth. He was just one of the fire born, blessed by fire. When he finished speaking, Zeek pipes up excitedly; "Ooh man blessed by fire! I don't know what Shaolin is, but I am blessed by the noblest of blood lines! That of Garyx himself! The mightiest of dragons, lord of Destruction and subsequent renewal!"

The Pale Lady

Zeek looks up at the pale lady, his eyes wide with surprise at her unceremonious disdain for his story, he then shrugs; "I am sorry you did not like the story, Zeek will try better next time and make even more amazing of a story for you to enjoy!"

He then cocks his head as he looks her up and down in confusion, before picking out a rock from the fire. He cups the rock in his hands, before heat begins to radiate from it as fire is transferred from his hands into the rock, until it is malleable. He then carefully shapes it into a child-like dragon figure and smiles a toothy grin before blowing on it and setting it down on a rock in front of Romana; "You are so very pale Ms. Romanananananana...." He seems to get somewhat distracted in trying to enunciate her name correctly before shaking his head and finishing; "That is a wellness statue! It will put warmth into you and take away your sickness so you won't be pale anymore! Zeek wants you to have it! My mother said it will also put color into your scales, so if you wish for the dragon you want to be, your scales will turn that color!" Zeek seems quite proud of his contribution to the obviously sick woman who was put into the wanderlords, he assumes she was forced into this just as he was, otherwise she would be home getting better...

The Rock Man

Zeek looks at the Rock man in complete awe, his jaw slack as he stares, completely not realizing that such a thing could be considered rude. Eventually, he manages to pull himself out and stammers a rather silly question to most people, directed at the monk; "You are one of the Rock people I have heard about in stories! You're people fight the bad Elves and the bad Dwaves, and the bad tentacle things, right?"

He then becomes almost giddy with excitement; "Ohhh is it true that you have rocks for blood and that none of the bad monster's weapons can hurt you, and that the rocks themselves fight for you, and that you can't be effected by the mind tricks, and that you can swim in lava, and that you...." Zeek then seems to realize what he is doing, and stops, looking somewhat embarrassed, before concluding; "Sorry, Zeek has only heard stories from the deep travelling Kobolds of the famed rock people, and does not mean to be prying..."

Friend Barqas

Zeek looks surprised at first when he is told that not everyone breath's flames, then realization dawns on him as he smiles and winks at him, whispering in the same conspiratory tone; "Ahhh Zeek understands, and careful but powerful applications of fire, when needed, will make me look much stronger in front of Ophelya! This is good advise, and I will try to do so. Sometimes the fire has to get out though, and Zeek has to let it out... but I will try restraint."

The Silent Man

Eventually, Zeek gets bored of waiting and had taken note of the only thing the silent man had said. The Colby had commented, incorrectly, that he had white meat inside of him. But Zeek was no longer a Kobold and was now a dragon of the true blood. But boring was boring and so instead he decided a contest was in order, and he stared at Colby in the eyes. Just stared, never blinking, unspeaking and unmoving, like a statue Zeek was. His cold, predatory, golden eyes staring at the Colby's uncaring eyes intently. He holds that way until Colby blinks, or the commander shows up. As a Dragonoid, he didn't have to blink, so he figured it was just a matter of time until he won. If Colby blinks, Zeek pumps one of his claws exclaiming his victory. If he does not blink, Zeek loses interest in about ten minutes and begins pulling twigs out of the ground and setting them on fire before throwing them into the fire before them.

The Grand Arrival!

As the great cat lady arrives with the shifting cat person on board, Zeek cannot help but let his mouth water a little bit. He loved eating cats. They were probably his favorite food. Catching them in the city had helped him hone his agility with the lack of his wings, and it had been so much fun as well. His master didn't mind, because he kept the alley cats from interrupting his experiments, so he gave Zeek a couple hours of 'cating' a day in order to keep the feral population down. He did his best to hide his hunger, but as the couple walked up to them, his stomach growled loudly, causing him to "blush" slightly, heat beginning to radiate from him in embarrassment at wanting to eat his new masters.

When he is acknowledged for his amazing fire starting abilities, he claps his hands in excitement for the recognition. He clasps the commander's hand "7 str tightlytightly" and shakes it vigorously; "Don't worry master, Zeek will burn everything you ask into dust and ashes, Zeek will leave no evidence from any crimes you ask him to commit, just like his previous owners liked! 'No evidence is good evidence!' The wizard would always say. I will be the best slave, so I can be freed! I am most eager to have my wings back, like a Dragon should have!"

When the Cat woman comes to shake hands with him, Zeek looks down bashfully, ashamed at his former urge to eat her, and holds his hand out shyly; "Zeek is sorry cat lady, for thinking about eating her before, Zeek promises to never eat the pretty cat lady..." Zeek does not have any questions for the Master on the mission, if they want him alive or dead, Zeek assumes cremation is an acceptable form of dead...

 




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Last edited by Unforgiven; 03-25-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-25-2019, 02:04 PM
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Jahared Albright
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Leandra blinked at Zeek when he uttered his gluttonous confession and pulled her hand from his abruptly. She did not seem entirely certain if the Wyvaran jested and something in her poise suggested she did not think he had. She took the comment in stride, however, after taking a moment to recover and gave the former kobold a suggestive smirk.

"You would doubtlessly find yourself with far more than what you could chew if you did try to eat me, Mr Zeek, but I will say that I am glad that you do not expect to try."

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Donato, meanwhile, asked that question which, of course, was most pertinent to their cause. Haider Keene turned his gaze to the noble-born Ifrit and let the full weight of his attention do its work for a moment before allowing himself to answer.

"What do we know? That is an important question. A pertinent question and an efficient one. I've watched you, Sangrose-Toni, as you trained. I've witnessed the efficient flow of your movements as you controlled the pace of battle and maximized your movement to negate your unarmed disadvantage. You are not one who likes to waste effort or energy. I like that. What do we know about Jahared Albright? We know one thing. This is an important thing. Paramount and most significant is this simple fact, and it should cast away all doubts which I have seen perched in the curl of your brow and the arrogant slant of your red lips.

Jahared Albright was an Overseer.

Do you understand now why they send us? A mere manhunt that should by all rights be relegated to mere bounty hunters? Does it now become clear why it is we, 13, who are sent to find this man who may no longer be a man if the stories are to be believed? Why us you might still ask? Why mere 13, newest and freshest of the Wanderlord platoons, why are we being sent? For as much as each of you has been hand picked as the best recruits that were on offer and that each of you is an elite specimen with abilities for combat and retrieval which might surpass that of almost any soldier in Kaine's mundane army, yet still you are the merest of us.

Unproven. Unworthy? It is my hope that you are not. That you are considered expendable by those who have chosen you should come as no surprise. However, I do have faith in you. I watched all of you as you trained."


Haider paced now as he spoke and paused as he made this last revelation.

"Oh you did not see me. They shielded me from view but I sparred at least once with each of you or watched as you wove your magics and proved your worth in one way or another. It has been an honor to aid in the choosing of you even if the final choice was never mine to make."

Several whispers had erupted when the Master Chief had revealed that Jahared had been an Overseer. Everyone here understood the implications. Overseers were universally feared and as shrouded in mystique and mystery as the emperor was himself. Few had not seen the Emperor's adjudicators in action. They dispensed Kaine's justice with efficiency and brutality and none had ever been successfully challenged no matter how large a number a single one of them had faced. Had anyone ever faced one and survived, let alone defeated one? It was widely believed that no one had. And they had a way of knowing things, of being where they needed to be when they needed to. No one could conceal the truth from them no matter how powerful the magics they possessed. They saw straight to the heart of truth, or so it was said, and effected Kaine's justice with swift and inevitable retribution.

Now one of them had betrayed the empire.

"I trust that you understand the significance of what we face. We have a contact in the town of Strathwood which may lead us to learn Jahared's whereabouts. We have been assigned a secondary task which will be revealed at the opportune time but this one is far less significant. Nothing else that we know should be relevant to our task at hand. It is my hope that my confidence in you all will be justified and that we will bring this traitor home."

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"Why should I play the Roman fool and die on mine own sword? Whiles I see lives the gashes do better upon them." ~William Shakespeare, Macbeth.
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  #21  
Old 03-25-2019, 04:44 PM
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Barqas Ultha
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Barqas could only roll his eyes and wave his hands in a futile gesture as Zei starts apologizing, clearly the man had long ago accepted his place so who was Barqas to interfere? He'd learn soon enough that he either had the potential or not, so would all of them he mused to himself.
Then Ophelya speaks and the priest almost chokes on her words "Hey there Valiant, no no no, not Father. Please! I am not your father, I am pretty sure I'd remember!" he exclaims with arms wide and a painful look on his face "I am simply Barqas, not Father not Brother, but Barqas. Perhaps one day Friend, but now just Barqas, yes?" he chuckles, vigorously shaking his head.

More speak and he listens, Sangrose spoke and Barqas shook his head. Clearly the man would take some time getting used to, definitively not friend material, that one.

There is a swift change of mood in the camp when Haider and Leandra finally appear and even though Barqas is struck by the beauty and fierce appearance of Leandra he feels a bit let down by Haiden, he'd thought him to be bigger. Yet when the man spoke, Barqas was in no doubt that there was a leader worth following. Old habits kicked in and he went straight into company mode, standing silent and listening. He knew nothing about this Jahared Albright, he barely knew the emperor's name for that matter, and he had little insight into what an Overseer might be, although he could only imagine it was a powerful position from the whispers around him.

They were to bring him back alive or dead, fair enough. He'd been in his fare share of such missions before, mostly the dead part "Does it matter what he did?" a strange question for some perhaps, but for a soldier who had been a part of the Empire's most notorious regiments it meant simply if they were to be in the know of what crimes this man had committed.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:18 PM
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Lei Zhang
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"No! I would not dream of such impertinence, Valiant-hime! The hands of the Immortal Emperor do not make such mistakes!" Another bow (How many had it been now?) from the now slightly panicked Lei Zhang, fearing he may have said something to upset the princess. "No doubt that whatever methods were used to determine who would be in this platoon, there was a balance of taking into account our differences in station and skill. Though faith in me has been misplaced before..." A shake of the head from the shorter, grey-skinned man seemed to cut that train of thought short. "No, I mean yes, yes! That is to say, as you and Barqas-san have so wisely stated, the Overseers saw a place for even one such as I to aid in the grand design of the Empire's defense. Of course, what strength I have will be utilized more properly under the guidance of such an experienced institution as that of the Wanderlords than whatever I could have done on my own. And you being as truly powerful as you say with a group to defend you, Valiant-hime, I can see my role will include being a wall between yourself and whatever enemy we face, so that you may work your magics to their fullest extent. I do look forward to seeing the fullest extent of your capabilities." Again, bow. "That extends to everyone here as well, of course, as I wish to know where I can be the most help when we fight as one. If my purpose is to stand beside you and give you all better opportunities to fell the Empire's foes, then it shall be so."

Lei would not admit it, but contextualizing his placement in the Wanderlords in such a fashion had actually managed to make him feel a bit better about his place there, even if it had not been entirely in the way Barqas and Ophelya had meant. It appealed to his faith in authority, and though the fear of his inadequacy would not be so easily set aside, it allowed him to place faith in the judgement of others, and who's judgement was there one could trust more than one of the Emperor's own eyes and ears?

"It is a wonder you made it this far.... Lei was it?"

Then the oread was brought right back down to reality.

"...while Barqas may consider you an equal I do not."

Lei did not even bother looking in D'Agni's direction. He simply sank down into another bowing position as the Shaolin noble graced him with precious time and attention that could have been used elsewhere.

"If you possess strength but lack confidence in yourself you only doom yourself to failure."

The young noble was, of course, correct. But on the flip-side of that coin, Lei had been doomed to failure even when he had possessed a modicum of confidence in himself. When faced with those two paths to disappointment, why not just take least painful journey and keep your expectations to nothing?

"Everything is as you say, Sangrose-sama. Of course, many pardons for upsetting you with my words." When no more words came to him from the red haired warrior, Lei felt comfortable enough with himself to raise his head yet again, though in decidedly lower spirits than he had been in going down. He had been content to just wait some more and enjoy the night air when Zeek appeared to take an interest.

And oh, the dragon-man seemed to have many things to say. Much of it went over Lei's head (Bad dwarves? Tentacles? Lava?), but the monk seemed to get the gist of what the former kobold was referring to, that being Lei's elemental heritage.

"Zeek-san, the world you seem to describe is very, very different from anything I have ever experienced. Though I possess Gaia's blessing, I can assure you that the 'rock people' your fellow kobolds spoke of have no direct relation to me. I was born of humans and grew up among humans, and had never met another like me until I had visited Shaolin city for the very first time." Truth be told, despite being something of a novelty among the children and the occasional visitor to his village, his elemental nature had never been much cause for concern among the locals. On the contrary, seeing in the dark and greater than average strength had been nothing but a blessing while working in the mines. "But if you ever have the time, I would be grateful to hear more about these 'rock people', Zeek-san. They sound fascinating."

Finally, Haider Keene arrived to greet his new platoon, his manners impeccable, as if he had made himself familiar with each and every man and woman who had been assigned under his command, able to greet them as if they were old friends who had met for the very first time. And his wife, the Sphinx Leandra, Lei could not help but stare at the majestic being as he rose to his feet, the winged being exotic beyond anything he had encountered up to now. It filled him with the same sense of wonder he had felt on the day he had seen Shaolin-city's walls for the first time, or the day he had first arrived and beheld the even more grand city of Dusk.

So that is a 'Sphinx'... truly, the wonders of this world are beyond measure. The grey-skinned villager realized that he was staring far too intently at the bizarre and fascinating merger of woman and beast, forcing himself to look away lest he cause offense.

The bow offered up by Lei Zhang as he greeted the Master Chief was returned perfectly in kind before a handshake was offered. Lei took it without hesitation or even thoughts of protocol, partly due to being blindsided by the appearance of the commander's companion, but also due to just how absolutely friendly and approachable Haider seemed to be. It was but a few short moments, and a few words of encouragement here and there, but Lei already felt that this was a man he could trust with his life. When Leandra came up to greet the monk next, Lei was definitely not as calm when taking her... paw in his hand, the fascination with what he was witnessing in no hurry to fade away. His grey flesh was visibly shivering as he shook her hand, and he did not trust himself to say anything to her, even something as simple as a small greeting.

It was a relief when the pleasantries were over with and they began speaking of mission details. And they were grave details, indeed.

An Overseer? Betray the Empire? Gaia's breath!

"For determining whether or not to bring him to justice, it may not matter so much, Barqas-san. But perhaps... perhaps if his crimes are not so heinous, and he can be convinced to throw himself to the Emperor's mercy, this Jahared Albright can find the opportunity to atone for his sin and serve the Mandate of Heaven yet again, though the shame of betrayal would follow him to his dying day. I leave that decision to my superiors, of course."



 

Last edited by Crocodile; 03-25-2019 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:09 PM
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Colby accepts the unspoken challenge issued by Zeek’s glance, and while he returns the creature’s gaze with an unwavering and impassive expression of his own, he is only mortal. It would never have occurred to Colby blinking had anything to do with maintaining this particular stare, and the first blink occurs early in the engagement. Zeek’s victory gesture elicits another rapid, confused, blinks. Colby looks Zeek up and down, but find the little lizard has already moved on. Colby’s head swivels in a slow and controlled way back to the fire, especially as their alchemist adds fuel to the flame. Again Colby’s head swivels in the calculated and ominous way a tank’s turret brings its massive gun to bare, following the line made from Mordecai’s pointed finger. As soon as the Master Chief set down, Colby got to his feet, brushing the ground off his pants. He stands where he sat, his legs shoulder width apart, his hands clasped before him one hand over the back of the other.

Haider’s speech draws a soft snort of derision as it commences. Colby is tired of waiting, and he has no interest in the boss’ oration. Without a word he returns the man’s handshake, and much to his own distaste, he doesn’t find he loathes Haider as much as he wishes he does once eye-to-eye with him. Then, Haider got down to the actual purpose for his visit, and their mobilization, and Colby growls despite himself when he hears Jahared’s name and their objective. Staring up at the sky above the flames of the campfire he emits a heavy, angry sigh. He shouldn’t be surprised, he isn’t surprised, but he still doesn’t like it.

 
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Old 03-26-2019, 02:00 AM
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D'Ambra
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Barqas gives “Romana” a curious look when she first introduces herself. All the others seem to accept her fake name without question, like stupid babies accepting candy… But Barqas seemed to spot something out of place. He then invites her to sit next to him!! --She’s flustered further. Her temperature rises a few notches. She is only 25 years old after all, and her 50 year old woman ruse is holding up nicely. ’Well done Masky. You are quite handy indeed with your veiled magic!’ But back to Barqas; he’s such a strapping man-- Swoon, Swoon! D’Ambra stumbles for a split second at his invitation, then collects herself, then gracefully slides over and sits next to her interest. ’He knows something is off with you…’ --’I don’t think he does… Gosh he sure smells good though-- All grisled, and rugged, and Manly. I bet his blood is thick and rich with Iron!’ --’NO More thoughts of Blood, young lady! If we are to work together, you need to control yourself.’ --’I don’t know if I can guarantee that, Masky.’ She then meets Barqas’ eyes swiftly and coyly, at which point she diverts and subconsciously plays with her hair benignly.

- " Greeting miss, welcome to our merry band. " The Princess chimes in when D’Ambra and Barqas are connecting, then quickly becomes uninterested. In response, the disguised woman of 50 Shoots a scornful gaze at the elf with dagger eyes! ’Calm yourself young lady! You only just met! Now’s not the time to already make enemies. She meant well… somewhat.’

____


’I have to say; I like this greyskin man.’ D’Ambra has seen her share of arrogant, entitled and power-hungry “boys with swords,” passing her eyes across the other two... but this humbled monk from Shaolin is somewhat refreshing. He can be trusted more with power, for he is very careful as to not to go overboard and accidentally kill everyone in sight, and justify it as culling the weaklings. No Lei, I think you are perfectly fine the way you are. And we shall indeed see what becomes of our teamwork. --’Well said D! You are starting to get it. Maybe our union has not been all in vain.’ --’Thanks Masky, I guess.’

Zeek too is adorable. D’Ambra shots him a very subtle wink of amusement and approval. His display of “Fire Power” in conjuring a cute little trinket-- is quaint. D’Ambra accepts his gift awkwardly.

____


Then the Commander arrives…

He is impressive to say the very least. Maybe the first time D’ambra feels somewhat inadequate. And his Flying Cat Mistress is staggering. D’Ambra stands tall and proud when Leandra takes her hand. But the Catwoman flinches and recoils at the touch, strangely. ’This is not good D. Something is up. We should not be deceiving your new commander in the Wanderlords, definitely not. --Better put your hands out and CATCH ME!’ With this, D’Ambra braces herself suddenly. In that very moment, in the center of the attention; a magical shimmer shifts and washes over D’Ambra’s face. POP! A slab of white porcelain instantly appears before D’Ambra’s eyes, and begins to fall from her face. She extends her hands quickly to catch the falling object. It’s a Mask. As the Lady Romana stands their holding this mysteriously revealed mask in her hands-- her entire figure begins to whisp and transform. Shadowy vapors stream around and curl about her, from head to toe. Her clothing shifts. She shrinks in size slightly, and the worn and older details of a seemingly 50 year old appearance-- melt away slightly revealing a much
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younger girl. She looks 25 now!! She is still strikingly beautiful, although, but her face is much more youthful. The tattoos of the blue teardrops and the green scar upon her eye have now gone, as they might have been apart of the mask ruse she just shed. With said mask now in hand, and D’Ambra’s true form now revealed and obvious, the much younger looking girl instantly recoils and shrouds her head in her thick cloak.

DON’T LOOK AT ME! She cries out from under her hood. With this, some audible upset emotions spill out as well-- and D’Ambra quickly runs off outside the circle, disappearing into the shadows.

Actions- Disguise Self - Deactivated.
- Vocal Alteration - Deactivated.

 
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From the ashes a fire shall be woken/a light in the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken/the crownless again shall be King."

Last edited by WhiteStag; 03-26-2019 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:09 PM
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Zeek the Unbroken(Fire affirmed.)
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Zeek stares at the commander boss blankly as he goes on about an overseer. Zeek only kind of knew what an overseer was, some big mojo commander above the normal commanders but below the big boss. Zeek did not however, grasp the dangers of what he would be facing, and so shrugs at the notion. They should burn like everything else, right?

Then, out of the blue, the pale lady began to have a fit about something. Zeek had not really been listening, as he had been fighting the urge to set the cat ladies tail on fire, but now he began to listen as she covered her hair and ran away, her disguise falling to reveal an ever more pretty, but equally pale lady. Zeek decides the best course of action is to lope into the forest after her, after-all, the two of them were both forced into this battalion. Zeek pipes up as he begins to lope into the forest on his long legs; "Don't worry big boss man and cat lady, Zeek will go get Romananana and see if she will come back! We will be ready tomorrow, you will see!"

Zeek then quickly begins running into the forest after her, letting loose a call after a short while; "Romananana! Where are you miss!" He continues taking 10 gives him a 7 perception...aimlessly running around the forest looking for her, for about twenty minutes if she does not come out of hiding. If she does not, he gets frustrated and yells out for her; "Ms. Romananana! Zeek will wait right here for you if you want to talk! I know how it is being different! I am not a kobold anymore, and not a dragon, and not a human or elf! I am the only one like me that I know of. You are still very pretty Ms. Romananana, Zeek does not understand why you are running!?"

Zeek then plops down on the forest floor exasperated with the chase, and begins to talk aimlessly; "I will wait right here for you, yes I will. Right here... in this spot in the woods... where am I now?"

Zeek waits for about ten minutes before he loses interest in waiting and stands up, with his staff in his right hand, he reaches his left hand out, it shakes as he looks longingly at a pile of leaves on the ground, begging to be burned.... Then he begins talking to himself; "Fire wants to get out of Zeek it does, fire wants to run wild through the forest..." Then he takes his staff and smacks his left hand with it, talking in a much gruffer and more sophisticated voice; "Bad Zeek! What have I told you about burning things?"

Zeek looks abashedly around as he pulls his hand back, "But Zeek wants to burn things master... Zeek likes burning..." Then the staff comes back down on his hand again, this time making a cracking sound of metal on bone; "NO Zeek! No burning, your master commands it. You will only burn when I say to, and only who I say to! You stupid, stupid lizard!" Zeek drops the staff, shrinking down in fear, "Ok master, Zeek understands, please don't hurt me again...

Then Zeek grabs his staff and stands up fully; "Zeek, you must learn to control yourself, now go back to your room!"

Zeek then picks up his staff, and shakes his head; "What am I looking for again? Oh, right, Romananana. ROMANANANA!" He then begins wondering aimlessly once more, looking for the sick lady, what if she dies out here, Zeek didn't like watching pretty ladies die, he always felt bad when the master made him burn pretty ladies.

 




ooc

I am assuming romana hides in the woods and observes Zeek rather than coming out right away and talking to him, If she does just come out, just say when and disregard the remainder of the post.

 


 


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Last edited by Unforgiven; 03-26-2019 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:21 AM
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Ophelya
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Ophelya serves a pure smile with excitement following Lord D'Agni acceptance of her request. - " There's hardly something more entertaining around here than teaching me. Come on! Don't pretend that's going to be painful, there's worst torture in the world then helping me. Now that you mention it, why did you join the Wanderlords? Duty? Tired of the court perhaps, I can relate to that? ha ha! " She inquires by leaning toward him gently from her seat. The princess means well, without realizing or caring that it might not be her business. After all, he's the one who mentioned that he has good reason to be here. There are no boundaries for the jewel of Auremil.

- " At home we usually call the high priestess of Gaia great mother and her clerics holy father. You definitely not my biological father, you are funny. Please just call me Ophelia in exchange. " Her eyes half closes as she smiles back kindly to the priest. - " I'm praying Gaia every day, maybe I can join your morning prayers when the sunrise to receive the mother's blessing please. " Religions are an important part of Auremil traditions, having a priest of Gaia at hand will be handy.

She barely took notice of Mordecai until now. The wizard's interest shifts only at the flapping wings and appearance of the mighty master chief with his Sphinx companion. An impressive sight it's. Ophelya never saw this kind of magical beast in the flesh but 37 knowledge arcana check for sphinxstudied all of them in details in the comfort of her fancy tower she calls home. The chief is an explosion of testosterone, the princess finds him manly and attractive. It's too bad her ferocious second in command at his side quickly sway away her lust. She stands and elegantly salutes, surprised that Grif the Skald knows him well. - " Petty Officer 2nd class Valiant, ready for duty. " The princess does this kind of things well, better be a bit formal even if the chief doesn't seem to care about all military etiquette and protocol. When it's appropriate she sits back after shacking both the newcomer's hand and listens to the mission statement. - " Chief, I only have a few questions for now. How does Jahared Albright look like? What are his fighting and magical capabilities? " She takes a pause to hear the answer and pursue with another query. - " Does he have any allies or associates that we may find on our path? " Hunting an Overseer is unexpected to say the least, their powers are supposed to be legendary. They need to take this seriously or some of them will die.

D'amra outburst prevent Ophelya to ask more questions. Her eyes become rounds like coins, staring at the woman disappearing in the shadow, screaming to don't look at her. She didn't saw well the spells that wore out because of the lack of light around the camp. - " Great mother! What just happened? Does she is okay? " Her question was just open for anybody, concerned. That's not a good start if one of their companions is already losing it. She is looking at Zeek following her and waits to see how the chief wants to deal with this.


 
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Last edited by MoonZar; 03-29-2019 at 04:26 AM.
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:41 AM
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D'Ambra
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D’Ambra steps out from the shadows softly. She’s sulky and sniffling, and her eye make-up is running down her face. Quietly she studies this Zeek character for a moment as he’s slumped over, sitting cross legged in the crunchy leaves-- and talking to himself further; a curious sight. ’He has somewhat of an inner battle as well,’ she thinks to herself as he gazes at him… ’We are all troubled souls aren’t we, with our own secret addictions and our own loathsome needs that dog at us without recourse.’ Shen then smiles adoringly as if beholding a troubled child before her,
"Zeek." -No response.

"ZEEK!" -Still no response.

"ZEEEEKK!!!" She has an intensity in her eyes as she looks bewildered to see that this strange Kobold, whom she has only just recently met, has taken it upon himself to go seek her out and to console her. "Zeek you didn’t need to run after me like this. I’m fine," despite the dripping make-up down her cheeks.

"Come on. Let’s get back to the group." She seems a bit stand-off’ish with her new acquaintance that displays such an open heart towards her. She doesn’t really know what to with someone who can act so sincere with her in such a new encounter. "I am sorry to of made such a scene Zeek. I have a secret I must just accept and come forth with." With this she steps into a stream of light and reluctantly reveals her face to the Kobold.




Reemerging back in the circle, Zeek and D’Ambra step forward again towards their new commanders. Zeek seems playful, as looks to be his normal state, but the shy young woman lingers rather cautiously. A moment passes. Silence ensues. The circle looks to be awaiting an explanation from the emotional woman. Throwing caution into the wind, she can not fight the restraint any longer, "My name is D’Ambra. Daughter of House Furyborn of Soarta. The Wanderlords have chosen me to be apart of their ranks, and I will not deny." She then begins to show obvious signs of building nervousness. There is something she wants to reveal but she is ever-so frightful. Finally she sputters out, "If the Wanderlords want me among their few… Then they will have to accept a Dhampir!" -She casts off her shrouding hood and presents her aforementioned facial features.

She is attractive yes, but there is a sickly look to her which can not be denied. Her skin is extremely pale as if it rarely sees the daylight. Her eyes are an enchanting violet, but the dark circles beneath look rather unsavory. And when she speaks, one can get a glimpse of some curious and unnatural protruding teeth behind her lips that she tries to hide when she speaks…

The lingering moment following her reveal begins to weigh on her heavily. She begins to shake with some defiant anger, "Just because I am not like any one of you … Doesn’t mean I couldn't cut any one of your throats if I needed to! So I warn you! Don’t you be cruel with me!"

 
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From the ashes a fire shall be woken/a light in the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken/the crownless again shall be King."

Last edited by WhiteStag; 03-29-2019 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 03-29-2019, 04:43 AM
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OphelyaThe princess gazes at Zeek and the beautiful woman as they come back to the camp shortly after the scene. She rubs her small chin with two fingers, thinking about what she sees. Unfortunately, Ophelya was having Natural 1 a nap in the back of the class while the great mother was talking about vampire and Damphir at mass. The wizard didn't learn about each human city-state nobility either. She supposes that the revelation is supposed to scare her or impress, curious the princess naively ask what this all about. - " What's a Damphir? " After receiving an answer she makes a joke to make people relax a bit. - " Why would you cut our throat? It's messy and we'll certainly be cruel to you if you do that... Assuming we are still alive ha ha ha !" The elf laughs trying to amuse the crowd. - " I assure you that cruelty is not my thing, that's unproductive. "


 
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:10 AM
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Barqas
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"Ahh yes, that would be... how you say? Fine and dandy? No? I think I have it wrong, apologize Ophelia but I was taught the common tongue by mercenaries, they only have so many nice things to say that can be spoken among those who are not used to crawl through trenches and sewers." his smile is mischievous "You will not find me to be like your priests and priestesses, I can assure you, yes?" he does not indulge any further on the subject, she'll find out soon enough just how pious the priest Barqas, servant of Many is.

How quickly things change, one minute their commander is briefing them on their next mission and the next.... well, it's not like Barqas hasn't seen similar things happen. Well not similar, but still....

He watches silently as the woman calling herself Romana changes and runs off, after her goes Zeek, that soft hearted fool "Ahh but that was unexpected." he says somewhat halfheartedly, his gaze lingering on where the pair departed into the night.

Before long the two return and as D'Ambra reveals her secret in her furious and defiant manner the priest can't hide his surprise "Well met D'Ambra of house Furyborn, I would ask you not to cut my throat, if you please as I rather like my throat to be uncut. I don't know why I feel like I must keep saying these things here, but eating other people and setting the air on fire and cutting throats is not a nice way to say hello." he grins, showing those pearly white teeth "I am sure the Chief can put your throat cutting skills to good use, yes?" Barqas hesitates for a mere second and then shrugs nonchalantly "Also, I have no idea what a Dhampir is but I'm sure it's going to be alright, yes?"
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:27 AM
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Lei Zhang
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"Ah!"

Despite himself, Lei stumbled back in shock at the sudden transformation and explosive display of emotion from the aged Soarta warrior... or not so aged, apparently. As the woman who had introduced herself as Romana fled the campfire, prompting Zeek to give chase, the Shaolin conscript just sat there, dumbfounded by the sudden turn of events, the words refusing to form as he attempted to gather himself.

Soon enough, he found himself back on his feet, standing at his full and not-so-considerable height as he looked around to the rest of the party, finally settling his crimson gaze on the Master Chief, worry etched into his granite-like face.

"Keene-taichou... what was... where did she... is she going to be alright?! Should we be heading after her too?!" His mind was so abuzz with a multitude of questions that they seemed to fight one another for the opportunity to be heard, causing the student of Perfection to stumble over his words.

Waiting for the order to act one way or the other seemed to give the situation the time needed to resolve itself, as Zeek returned to the group with the newly de-aged Romana by his side. Again, the whirling storm of questions threatened to spill out from Lei's tongue, but he held fast on his words until the pale woman chose to explain herself. And explain herself she did, after a fashion. That she was of nobility, the miner could most definitely believe. Even in her disguised form, she had possessed a certain grace and dignity to her, and it was no less diminished as her true self... minus a few streaks of runny make-up which marked her face. And then the pale skin certainly did not look all that healthy, admittedly, but Lei's own grey hue had never been all that attractive anyway. The eyes made one think that perhaps the lady did not get enough sleep, something that would hopefully be rectified this very evening. And those teeth...

Slowly, Lei raised a hand sheepishly, still studying Romana - no, the Lady D'Ambra - a blank look on his face as he realized he may be a bit more out of his depth than he originally thought.

"I third Valiant-hime and Barqas-san's question, D'Ambra-sama. What is a... dhampir? And what actions do you consider cruel? I wish to have them memorized so that I give you no reason to cut my throat. If it pleases you." She certainly did have an intimidating countenance. Perhaps it was some form of warrior class from Soarta? Fighters who's training caused dread in friend and foe alike?

So many questions. Why did every single second of conversation just give rise to so many questions?!

"Maybe if I were more learned, I would have the answer. But if even Valiant-hime doesn't know, with the grand education she has without question received for one favored by Heaven, then how could I possibly hope to make a guess? I apologize for my ignorance."



 

Last edited by Crocodile; 04-01-2019 at 01:42 PM.
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