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  #1  
Old Dec 7th, 2013, 02:43 PM
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From the Country to Cardin

It was a long journey to the capital, the roads were long, sometimes dangerous, you saw all kinds of weather, met all kinds of people. They say that the journey is often as important as the destination, and this one edifies that, the realisation that there is more to the world than meets the eye, the beauty hidden in its depths... And for what? The chance to become a knight, a Queen's royal. The selection process was gruelling... Tests that pushed the body to their limit, tests than stretched the brain to breaking point. Magic users were automatically considered, without having to be sponsored by another knight.

The walk up to the capital itself was as magnificent as the rest of the journey combined, the pale green walls of the castle rose above the city like a flower, the buildings the swathed the floor around it like petals. The whole city had a feeling of cleanliness and energy about it, and as you walk through one of the many gates the energy overtakes you too, you feel excited, vibrant, alive.

The selection process isn't until tomorrow morning, so you have time to settle in for the night, get a warm meal, a good drink and a comfy bed. Asking around you find a local pub called the "Ox and Arrow" seems to be a good choice, reputable, clean and nicely affordable.

Walking inside the smell of fresh food hits you like a loving wall and enfolds its arms around you, sinking you into a seat as a bar maid wafts over with a smile like golden sunshine, and with the warmest, smoothest voice imaginable, "What can I get you stranger?"
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Old Dec 9th, 2013, 01:53 AM
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Caught up in thought, drinking in the the sights, sounds, and now, smells of his trip, Wylan brings his attention back to the present, lagging a moment to answer the lovely server. "I'll have a flagon mead, and..." he ponders for a moment, if he ought to dine extravagantly to commemorate his arrival and selection, or to be moderate and eat something simple and healthy. Deciding on his third option, he throws caution to the wind a leaves his fate to chance. "the chef's special. Whatever is fresh, hot, and full of flavor." One decision down, of what will surely be, many more to go in his future.

Realizing he's still wearing his traveling gear, he unhooks the straps from his back pack and sets it on the floor next to his seat, then leaning his quarterstaff up against his backpack. Getting comfortable while waiting on his food, he looks down at his armor, thinking he looked rather garish. Sitting in a pub, in his ceremonial armor, finely pressed uniform, and brandishing the newly sewn tabard he ordered special for the occasion, he felt out of place to say the least.
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Old Dec 9th, 2013, 06:43 AM
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The barmaid smiles sweetly and with a voice like warm milk laughs "We'll get it to you soon". He turns on her heels, and throwing an extra lilt into her walk, returns to the kitchen. You attract a few stares as you reveal the armour, bright and gleaming, completely in keeping with the theme and feel of the city. Eventually the barmaid brings a hot plate stacked with lamb, potatoes, steamed vegetables and a large flagon of mead. Smiling, she notes the armour "You'll fit right in with clothes like that." and returns to tending to other customers, leaving you alone with your thoughts.
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Old Dec 9th, 2013, 10:37 AM
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Not hesitating to eat, Wylan begins devouring the delicious meal front of him. After washing down the first few bites with a swig of mead, he realized how hungry his journey made him, so he began eating again with a new conviction. Eating quickly, but not so quickly to appear uncivilized, he looks around the room taking the sights of people him, realizing the maid correct. His outfit was not as ostentatious as he originally thought.

As he was nearing the last of the food on the plate, his cup was almost empty, so he motions for the bar maid. "Excuse me, miss?"

OOC: Perception check, looking around the room.
Dice Roll:
d20+2 (1)+2 Total = 3
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 09:23 AM
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Looking around the room shows nothing special or out of the ordinary, just people doing what people do, eating, drinking, laughing and even the occasional lot of gambling. As you wolf down the food and drain the dregs of the drink, the barmaid reappears and takes your mug to refill it, bringing it back swiftly. "Your room is number 308, third floor, third door on the right." as she hands you the key and walks away, she does a half turn back to you, "You did want a room didn't you?" with a giggle she returns to her serving.

The warm glow of the dying sun floods through the room, bathing it in a soft, warm light that is somehow soothing. The day is nearing over, the light shall soon be gone from this world for just a little time... What now?
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 02:48 PM
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Chucking to himself, Wylan thanks the barmaid. "Oh, of course! You have my thanks! How much do I owe you for the meal and room?" Presumably, this inn uses the going rates for accommodations, and Wylan settles his tab, leaving a nice tip for the lovely barmaid.

Instead of going straight to rest, Wylan pockets the room key, gathers his belongings, and approaches a group of patrons engaging in games. "Greetings gentlemen, what's the game?"
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 07:07 PM
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The room, food and breakfast costs you a slick 5gp. Seems the city is more expensive than people tend to think. You approach a group of three men, playing with an odd assortment of dice and cups, shouting series of numbers at each other before laughing and throwing money into the middle. "Liars dice my friend!" one man says cheerily as he rakes in his winnings. "Care to join?" As you sit down they briefly explain the rules and hand you a plainly decorated cup with smooth wooden dice. The first round goes smoothly as they play a practice round for you to get the gist before settling into the real game and the banter of old friends begins. "You a knight or something?" a fat, balding man asks "You look like a knight... or at least a knight's first dump of the day" says a scrawny man with big, buggy eyes and the trio howl with laughter. "Yeah, my sister married a knight, treated her fine and proper he did! Till he upped and left for Draegin... Never came back, says he's still on patrol, but its been nearly two years now." there's a slight lull in the conversation until the fat man pipes in "Probably got tired of how wide set your sister was and went to find something fresher!" The trio roar in laughter again and begin the next hand.

Give me a bluff and sense motive check.
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 10:33 PM
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After sliding the barmaid two gold coins as a tip, Wylan moved over to the gamblers to assess his new acquaintances. Wylan has a hard time seeing past their charming abrasiveness and alluring insults. "I'm not a knight yet, so I don't even know what a knight's dump looks like!" Wylan being oblivious to the men's ribbing only served to fuel their guffaws. Easily and quickly understanding the rules, Wylan tries his hand at 'Liar's Dice'. Lying, however, was not his strong suit.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 06:10 AM
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The men fleece you for all you're worth, no matter how you try they always manage to manoeuvre the bets to place you in a precarious position. A few good hours of banter pass before its long past the time to sleep. An early start tomorrow full of ceremony and potential. Bidding goodnight to the men you head upstairs to your room, a clean, if slightly small room containing the bare essentials and a cute picturesque painting of the city as the sun sets, the crystals contained within the palace sparking ever so slightly, giving the whole panoramic a sense of green mystery.

Morning breaks, the city is busy with the hustle and bustle of day to day life, the streets are full of hawkers and traders, bakers and butchers, every good imaginable is up for sale, and the streets are heaving with the energy of the city. You stride down the wide streets with pride, the cool cut marble that comprises every building on these main streets only helps to enhance your sense of civic and national duty. To be a knight... The greatest honour imaginable for the common man. Hundreds of men each year come to offer themselves to the Queen in honour and reverence, only for most to be turned down. Only a select few make it through the gruelling challenges to become a trainee knight.

Eventually you reach the palace gates, guarded by four men in armour similar to yours, though with a sash around the shoulder denoting squad and rank, eyeing your uniform they let you through with a salute and a slight smile, understanding you are about to go through what they went through previously. Other aspirants follow in dribs and drabs, entering the lavish, perfectly maintained gardens of the courts, a large man in heavy armour and an incredibly large sword at his side stands upon the marble steps leading up to a door as tall as three men, his greying moustache and beard lending a sense of professionalism and experience to the proceedings. Next to him a youngish woman with long, red hair stands leaning on an ornate staff, her clothing is in direct opposition to the larger man, scantily clad in red silks and large, red jewels. The air surrounding both of them is one of authority, you feel naturally drawn to wait before them, along with all the other hopefuls.

Fifteen minutes pass and eventually the people seem ready to speak. The gruff man steps forward and begins to speak, a silence falls over the crowd like a blanket. "Thank you all for coming today. Many of you have travelled far, from the edges of the nation. Thank you. Becoming a Queen's knight is no small honour, but with such honour comes responsibility and duty, to ensure these we have a few tests to assure your loyalties and your competence."

The woman steps forward to speak next, he voice is soft and alluring. "There are magic users amongst you, the only exception to the nobility requirement. All of those who wish to be tested as one, please step forward now." You and half a dozen other men step forward, and she smiles "So many this year. Good. Please follow me."

She turns and strikes her staff against the huge door, and it swings open effortlessly. You stride up the marble steps with pride as the gruff man continues to speak, but you don't listen, it is of no importance. Walking through the door you see a large fountain in a huge courtyard filled with arches and trees, birds flit from trees chirping happily. The lady leads you through another door and down a corridor into a large room, bare except for tapestries, rugs, large chandeliers and a window with an excellent view of the city. "We will now test your competence in the art of magic. Most of you here already know of your potential and the test is easy enough. To a few of you, willing to learn and believe you have the gift, the tests will take longer, and be tiring."

Two men step forward and she ushers them to the side for later testing. Turning back to you and the other four, she requests you to conjure a few cantrips, the basics of magic principles are explained and tested. For half an hour the questions continue, with magic bouncing back and forth, beads of sweat appear of the five faces, while the lady in charge barely bats an eyelid.

OOC: lose 20 GP. Can I get a knowledge arcane and a spellcraft check?
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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Taken by the hustle and bustle of the big city, Wylan enjoyed the feeling of being one of the crowd, as he knew, or at least hoped, that would be a thing of the past. Soon, if he was able to make the cut, the common folk and city goers would look up to him, as a symbol of authority and respect. and in reflection, Wylan contemplated the conversation regarding knights, with his gambling 'friends'. The prospect of danger and long trips did not bother him as deeply as the implication of a knight being unfaithful to his duties as husband. Perhaps his idealistic view of knighthood would be shattered once becoming a member of the ranks, giving validation to everything his father had warned him about. These thoughts troubled him more than a little, though those thoughts washed away as he arrived at the palace and beheld its splendor.

Once inside, Wylan's eyes understandably drawn to follow every move of the woman as he waits with the other hopefuls. His mind full of anticipation, some of the details moving throughout the palace are lost on his sense. Partly due to excitement, partly due to watching the lady move gracefully in front of the group. Eager to put his skills to the test, Wylan begins practicing his cantrips, and plumbing the depths of his mind for the answers to the quizzing. Perhaps, nerves, a bit too much mead the night prior, or having his confidence shaken by his ill-fated attempt at dice, was the cause of his lack of performance. While not a complete disaster, Wylan was somewhat disappointed with himself, as he knew he could do better.

OOC: Spellcraft:19, Knowledge Aracna:14
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 01:57 PM
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The arduous testing passes like an age, nervous of your results you stand waiting as the lady obviously builds tension. Eventually she breaks out into a smile and tells you that all five of you passed, the pride is clear upon her face. Just as quickly as you were ushered into this room, you are ushered out when a group of servants scutter into the room and request that you follow them, and quickly, you do. Each testee is led in a different direction, and you are hurried down corridors and across gardens, eventually ending up at a sort of courtyard, surrounded with water in the form of a... canal? a small canal may be the best way to describe it. There are birds present here as well, though a lack of trees. The gruff man from before is standing in the centre of the courtyard with three other people, upon seeing you he glowers [b]"Hurry up man! The day is passing without a by your say so!"[b]. Putting a spring in your step you hurry on, completing the semi circle around him. The three other people are wearing similar clothes to yours, though one is a woman with shoulder length black hair carries a bow, while another man wears heavier, bulkier armour and an odd blade by his side. The final one, shaved bald and decidedly short carries no weapons at all and his armour looks more like ornate ceremonial clothes than actual armour. "Welcome. You four have been gathered as a new squad, typically squads are sorted by colour, and their roles reflected... In these times we are trying something new. Each of you is from a different colour, Green, black, orange and red standing side by side in unity. Congratulations on passing the tests, you are now all full squires in the service of the Queen. Of course, there is no ceremony for this just quite yet, you must prove yourself beyond these minor tests laid before you today, There will be a ceremony, a year from now, for those of you whom prove yourselves worthy." Smiling he takes a breath to let the information settle in before continuing "In thirty minutes last years squires are being knighted, please return to the front door for the ceremony, someone will be along to show you shortly" and he too leaves, leaving you alone with your new party. The air of hesitation and social awkwardness is palpable.
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Old Dec 11th, 2013, 02:55 PM
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Though social situations weren't his forte, Wylan preferred small talk to awkward silence. Shrugging, he breaks the stillness "Well, if we're going to be on a squad, we might as well know what to call each other." Glancing back and forth between the others, he continues, "My name is Wylan Greenstaff, and I'll let you guess what my color is." Not knowing if that would elicit a a humorous reaction, he throws out another piece of introductory information visually. Holding his quarterstaff, made of finely polished maple, he taps the end of it on the ground. "I know it's a bit ironic. Greenstaff. But, if the shoe fits..." Wylan hoped his greeting would be returned in kind.
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Old Dec 12th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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The others smile as you make your introductions, most are warm, though the girl with the bow's smile seems more out of pity than joy. The man in armour, with long blonde hair speaks up first "I am Denholm, orange, I feel it is my duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves, born and bred in Cardin"
The girl chirps up next "Lyla, black. From Draegin, huntress before my father shipped me off here"

And the bald, short man, with an oddly high pitched voice speaks last. "Niri, From the trading ports, I am red in name and in nature." he smiles sardonically.

You discuss the squads and the tests, it seems most had a harder time of this than you thanks to your magical abilities, it seems noble birth only got you so far in these circumstances. Eventually you hear a cough behind you and a timid servant stands a few paces back "The ceremony is about to begin sirs and madame if you please" with the air of a grovelling bureaucrat about him he leads you back to the main entrance, and you join the crowd of like armour people in front of the giant, brilliantly polished door. The man and woman stand before the door again, they smile widely as the acceptees return. "Congratulations to those of you whom made it here today, and to those of you whom we are now proud to call kin. Brothers and sisters in arms, we are gathered again, in this brilliant Cardin sunshine to pay witness to the return of those who were in your position just a year ago."

The woman then speaks "Before we continue with the great honours bestowed the fine men and women, a moment... For those who were lost." In unison the courtyard bows their combined heads in a moments silence as the lady tolls of their names. Thirteen in total. Thirteen men and women who gave their lives for the good of the Nation.

The sombre moment soon passes as the doors swing open and with the fanfare of a dozen trumpets men and women wearing their finest regalia stride through to take their place either side of the man and woman. In turn they step forward, shaking hands with both people, their name, colour and squad stated before the roar of the crowd is all you can hear. Eventually the ceremony is over and you are all invited inside for food, drink and dancing as way of celebration.

The music is quiet, subtle, flowing through the air like a sweet memory. The wine is sweet, strong and of excellent vintage. Roast boars, steamed vegetables and all kinds of fish are being passed on platters around the courtyard. Exciting times for those few who made it.
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Old Dec 12th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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With introductions out of the way, the squadmates seem to get along decently enough. Excited attend the knighting ceremony, he's beginning to feel the satisfaction of being part of something important, thus, Wylan enjoys the ceremony immensely. Adjourning to the meal, Wylan makes use of his time consuming the delicious meal, socializing with all his new comrades, and getting to know his squadmates.

OOC: I'm kinda at a loss at what Wylan ought to be doing...
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Old Dec 12th, 2013, 03:37 PM
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OOC: Anyone one in particular you want to talk to, or about? or even slip off and explore? Anything really
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