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  #16  
Old 01-11-2016, 04:27 PM
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Inquisitor Vakal openly scoffed as the Baroness Amaret made her swift departure, his disdain for her eagerness to pass off the dirty details and actual work of the task as quickly as possible evident. Her brevity was not forgiven.

As Whitewall spoke, Marr listened as he peered about at the gathered crowd with a piercing gaze, his eyes lingering far too long on each individual for comfort or politeness, his tattooed brow furrowed in concentration as he sized them up without caring to even hide his intents. He had already met the man to his side as he made his way here, no small amount of annoyance apparent in his expression as the revelation that he would be amongst their number struck him, forcing the Inquisitor to look at the man with a new eye. A bald, older looking man, built like a fighter. Despite this, he didn't seem a soldier, not of the Empire, at least. No, he was too disrespectful, too flippant. A wanderer then. Perhaps a mercenary. He would need to learn to follow orders.

Marr the turned his attentions to the other human male there, one that looked far more lost than the others there, further reinforced by the absolute ordinariness of the individual, save perhaps for his stature that only a halfling could admire. Despite the outright awkwardness of the man, especially as he barked out like some sort of overeager soldier in response to Whitewall’s orders, he seemed dedicated enough for Marr to silently approve. Truth be told, Marr liked zealous soldiers.

The Inquisitor's probing gaze traveled once more down the line to the halfling in the smart, military-cut coat. Marr’s relationship with his sort was a mixed bag. Halflings as whole seemed flamboyant, flighty, overly playful. Most lacked conviction, devotion, seriousness. But even Marr had to admit, they could be quite industrious. One of the most brilliant inventors and forces in furthering civilization’s use of magic had been a halfling sorceress he had encountered in Beacon. Unfortunately, the halfling before him didn’t quite seem the part.

What gave him the most pause so far, however, was the Volyn woman in the tattered dress. Her dualistic nature brought a mixed response from his gut. Vakal’s first response was to sneer at the woman, full force of his hatred of the Vol coming to the forefront, though after a few moments staring, the expression softened. At least as much as one of his expressions could. It seemed she was making some sort of effort to adjust to proper society. Just horribly, miserably, idiotically so. Marr had seen her type before. They wanted something that civilization offered more than anything else, and so they forsake their very nature for it. Some wanted to escape with their magic, to escape with their lives, some wanted to escape the drudgery and harsh life of the tribes. What was it that she sought, looking and acting more like an animal while wearing a dress? And why was she so bad at it?

The man’s systematic observations were cut short as he felt Whitewall’s attentions upon him. Snapping from his trance, Vakal turned to face the captured woman Whitewall was indicating, for a moment his eyes widening with a small amount of restrained shock as her appearance and his emotions struck him. He could smell it again, the soil damp after the rains, hear the ambiance of the forest. He felt it all again - joy, jealousy, longing, all in a second. A moment of nostalgia, of bittersweet times far gone. It only served to make the present simply bitter. He locked his eyes upon the woman. He didn’t truly need to examine her. A moment's glimpse told him all he needed - her finery, her newfound demeanor. He already knew her well enough. At least, another her. His eyes stayed upon her far longer than even the other’s awkward stares, the force of his glare drilling into her, looking more at her as an annoyance than a person.

“Well then, Major General, I will not hesitate to question her if need be. I have a feeling my interrogations would be... particularly effective against this one. Besides, from the looks of her…”The Inquisitor strode forward, tracing a finger across the fine velvet of her dress, what can only be describes as a haughty, arrogant outright sneer emblazoning his otherwise calm, emotionless face. “She is undoubtedly… very thoroughly broken in. A civilized Volyn such as herself will surely cooperate.”

Marr brought his hand up to cup the woman’s face in what some could even misinterpret as an affectionate gesture, rather than a gesture of dominance.

“Isn’t that right, Iliana?”

Marr stepped back, allowing others their chance to speak to Whitewall - something the man he had unhappily arrived with was more than keen on. Marr made no effort to hide his displeasure as the man lashed out angrily at the General. Whitewall was seemingly ready to make a reply of his own before the Inquisitor cut in.

“And what right have you to question the Major General? You would do best to hold your tongue, lest you find it cut off one day. Unless that is what you desire, in which case I have some experience in the field. I’m more than happy to offer my services.” Marr strode to position himself between the two men, his silvered piercings reflecting the nearby torchlight and accentuating his glowering. “You assume he acts without good reason. And I, for one, am already sick of your assumptions. And if you need to wonder just how Volyn could be culpable, perhaps you should journey beyond the city walls into the forests more often - truly see what savages are like. But I can tell you aren’t the thinking type, blurting out nonsense without any regard for civility or station. Then again...”

Vakal glanced to the beautiful Volyn woman the man seemed so set on defending before cracking a wide smirk.

“Then again, perhaps you aren’t thinking with your head at all right now, hm? Maybe you just want to put up a nice show for the pretty woman, is that it? Maybe if you champion her cause well enough, you might be in for a treat while having to travel with her. Get a taste of something exotic, perhaps. Fulfill a fetish of yours."

Marr made a noise that was half bark, half laugh before he hissed snidely.

“I doubt you have the coin or status for that.”

Last edited by Isthon; 01-11-2016 at 04:29 PM.
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  #17  
Old 01-11-2016, 08:23 PM
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Tevon nearly choked on his wine as the General mentioned the kidnapping of the Prince. He coughed into the back of his hand, muffling the noise, clearing the wine from his throat. Behind his mask he looked between the gathered motley assembly. Presumably they'd all been chosen for specific reasons, talents they bring to the table. He cocks an unseen eyebrow behind the mask at the mention of interrogating the Vol woman - he really oughtn't be surprised at that, the casual racism of the Imperial soldiery - but stifles any further reaction. As the terse briefing of the Major General draws to a close, Tevon draws a breath, subconsciously puffing himself up a little bigger.

"You needn't worry about ...what? Why are you ...? I don't...?" He started to step forward, nearly tripping over the oddly-exuberant girl prancing in front of him. He stammered and tripped over his own words and tried to brush off her questions, unable to get a word in edgewise. As she spun in her turquoise dress, Tevon placed a hand between her shoulders and gently but firmly pushed her away. "As I was saying. You needn't worry about the trail going cold, General. There's no trail the Imperial Trailblazers Corps can't track, Or my name isn't Tevon Mudskipper. Which ... ah ... which it is, to be clear" The halfling steps forward as he speaks, tugging on the lapels of his crimson coat, tilting his head back slightly. He realised, then, that he still wore the mask he'd appropriated earlier in the evening, and tugged it off, giving his hair a quick shake.

His show of bravado, however, would seem to have been buried beneath others rushing to pile questions on Major General Whitewall or - more noticeably - toss fuel on a smouldering fire between the Inquisitor, the Vol woman, and the other. Tevon made to interject, thought better of it, and clamped his mouth shut. He stepped back and drained his wine glass listening to the heated voices. This little party was off to a great start.

His wine finished, Tevon untied the makeshift ascot he'd tied around his neck and wrapped the crystal glass in the cloth. He shoved his hands, and the wrapped glass, into his deep pockets and rocked on the soles of his boots. "What a tâmpit," Tevon muttered to anyone listening within earshot.
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Last edited by kedcoleman; 01-12-2016 at 02:04 AM.
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  #18  
Old 01-11-2016, 09:20 PM
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As if a falling series of stones had broken the placid surface of a millpond, the secluded peace of the courtyard abruptly fell apart. It began with the other Volyn woman, a strange greeting, explanation, and even a comment on the weather. But stranger still, her quick and sudden exit. All Iliana could do, with her eyes widening in just the slightest sense of bewilderment, was watch as the woman moved to take her leave.

But the enthusiasm of another soon captured Iliana’s attention, nearly causing her to flinch at the sudden exclamation. With her gaze drifting to the one who spoke as Iliana would imagine a soldier to, she watched as the young man praised both Whitewall and the Empire itself in one, long train of thought. Yet, as those determined words fell to silence, Iliana could see the hints of confusion and uncertainty clouding his expression. Doubt and anxiety, weighing so heavily, finally pulled his gaze to the floor, perhaps where he sought to find solace or comfort.

Then came Dee Dee.

Enthusiastic was an understatement. From the perplexed Halfling to Whitewall, the young woman traveled like a dancing child, fascinated with fashion, food, and hair. Both horrified and curious all at once, Iliana watched as Dee Dee trampled over the Major General in rapidly fired sugared words. Questions, compliments, exclamations. It was almost entertaining, though Iliana could not tell if such was on purpose or not.

Then Dee Dee’s focus turned to her.

And all at once, Iliana regretted not asking Whitewall to let her change before leaving the Cal-Demont manor. Unable to conjure up any other response, Iliana smiled. “Thank you,” she said, parting her lips once, twice, and then a third time as she attempted to reply, but found herself cut off by another string of words, thoughts, and compliments. Then, as the request to try on her shoes was brought up, Iliana only held to that well-practiced smile, glancing once to Whitewall, as if trying to judge whether this was some kind of test.

Yet, Iliana’s bewilderment was short lived. For Marr’s attention was suddenly upon her, with a swift efficiency that made her clearly uncomfortable. But as Marr began to trace a finger over her gown in a show of intimidation, Iliana found herself reverting to her years of training and experience with men. Despite its intention to further discomfort her, Marr’s actions, followed by his touch of her face, had much of the opposite effect. This was something Iliana dealt with frequently and it was this kind of chauvinism that she had learned to turn to her advantage time and time again.

Her gaze did not falter, but strengthened. Returning his own piercing stare, she offered a faint smile, daring to draw up a contrast of gentle warmth against his cold lifelessness.

But before given a chance to respond, another voice rose up. This time, apparently, in her defense. Shifting her gaze to the man, Iliana bit down gently on her bottom lip as she listened. While she would prefer to not discuss how she knew the prince in front of so many, if it meant clearing her of any charge… Iliana’s thoughts shifted as she watched him pause, curious as to what the source of his sudden discomfort was. However, within moments, he was speaking once more, his tone filled with disdain and accusation. Then, after a handful of moments, he offered a rather rude command to be silent, though just who his target was, Iliana could not be sure.

Unsurprisingly, Marr’s chilled words returned. It was an attempt to bury the man into the ground with not-so-subtle threats, accusations of idiocy, and even a merciless character attack on both he and Iliana in one smooth sweep of the tongue. It was nothing Iliana had not heard before. At least Marr was acknowledging that she was expensive and reserved for only the wealthy, rather than equating her with some common brothel whore.

The chill was soon broken by the Halfling, who made to introduce himself. Strangely, Iliana quietly noted, he seemed to be one of the only normal ones here. At least, whatever Iliana would suspect to be normal. Decent? Approachable? One of those.

As he spoke to Whitewall, Iliana turned to Dee Dee, smiling at her once again. Hooking her arm within Dee Dee’s, she leaned in closer to excitable, young woman. “They’re Imkore’s,” she said softly, looking down at her shoes. “He’s a fantastic leather worker, I’ll have to introduce you when this is all behind us,” she promised, a seemingly genuine smile playing upon her lips. “But please, Dee Dee, you cannot leave me alone with these…” she trailed off as she pointedly looked out to the others there. “…men,” she finished in a whisper, returning her gaze to the young woman. “Do say you’ll come with us? Who could possibly turn down the opportunity to save an Imperial Prince? Think of the stories you could tell… and… the shoes that you could buy.”

Last edited by Sahara; 01-11-2016 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:12 AM
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To say that Ar is not in the finest of moods is like saying that an erupting volcano is a little inconvenient for everything nearby. The pain in his head has not diminished, his fingers still futilely rubbing his temple as though a basic massage could cure everything. That, combined with his scornful incredulity over the bungling with regards to the important matter at hand, and it should be no wonder why his expression takes on an arrogant sneer for what Marr Vakal has to say back. Ar was not particularly impressed with the response from the Inquisitor on the way in, particularly when he had hardly been trying to provoke the man, but that was well before Marr had started making not-so-veiled promises to question a potential innocent. That could not be allowed, not without something very decisive to prove the necessity.

What are you going to do? She actually sounded serious, for once.

Ar didn't answer that question, but his mood and thoughts both agreed that 'quite a bit' was the answer he was going to give. But not now; not yet; Ar had said his piece, and received a rather poor trade for expressing his... doubts, as though he'd traded gold for a spoiling side of beef. Besides, he wanted to hear what Whitewall had to say back to justify the actions he had taken, rather if there would even be any explanation. Either way, there was a path to start right in front of him, but it seemed that there would be a great deal of work treading it.

The unrefined insult with regards to status and wealth were easy to ignore, now, even when coming from an Inquisitor. Tuning out the rest of the Inquisitor's grandstanding was considerably easier than that of Ar's mental passenger. Granted, the Vol woman dressed as a lady of high birth was an intriguing sight, but that, alas, would likely be of little consequence when compared to the task at hand. It didn't seem likely that rank or titles would matter an inch or a league, if Edrid had indeed been taken prisoner by the Volyn, or any number of other possibilities. Just the thought made Ar's insides squirm a little more, and he was already on a fine simmer. Best to keep his mouth closed for the time being, even if the net result was a coolly arrogant lift of the chin, and a continued, measured massage with gloved fingers. At least the spike of searing pain had finally begun to fade.

"Would you like an escort after, so as to gather your things?" The words are courteously given towards Iliana, with whom Ar's grey, slightly narrowed eyes make contact. "I'll even carry them," he adds with a slightly wry inflection. And everyone could just take that how they would and hang themselves with those words if they wanted.

I was expecting you to slap him in the face or try to gut him. Imagine my surprise.

"I'm still considering it," he replied, this time in a faint mutter.

Gods, he was cursed.

Last edited by Avayar; 01-12-2016 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 01-12-2016, 03:39 AM
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Gerrard's gaze had returned to the same level as the rest of the people in the room's when the strange Human woman spoke up, apparently relieved that the focus was no longer on him. Once again, his eyes darted from person to person, observing them and intently listening to what they were saying. The woman seemed friendly, but certainly a bit too excited for what was likely a life-or-death mission. When the other human male in the room spoke up, the "intimidating bald guy", as Gerrard's mind had labeled him, Gerrard just became even more confused. Whoever he was, he didn't seem like the kind of man the Empire should be entrusting with an extremely secretive mission, based on how he dared to talk to the Major General. Regardless, Gerrard remained quiet.

The focus then shifted to the tattooed man, who was apparently another one of the Vol. He shared the intimidating aura that the bald man possessed, but it seemed that similarity didn't make them particularly friendly towards each other, and beyond being intimidating, the way he spoke of the Vol woman made him just sound plain creepy. Gerrard made a mental note to perhaps stay out of that man's way. Finally, his gaze turned to the well-dressed Halfling man, who had finally gotten the chance to speak up after his introduction was interrupted. He seemed like a typical fellow; Gerrard thought that perhaps the two of them could get along, which was at least a slight bit relieving.

However, Gerrard was not exactly relieved by how the interactions between the individuals were going; a few minutes after meeting each other, and it seems like some of them couldn't be more ready to be at each other's throats. Before his rational thought could reach him, he stepped towards the Vol woman who was currently grabbing onto the other girl, and began speaking.

"Hey, uh..." Gerrard's train of thought suddenly crashed into a brick wall when he realized he really had no place in this conversation and he winced a little, as if the metaphorical impact had physically hurt him. Regardless, it was too late to back down now, so he continued. "Maybe we should try to calm the tensions. We're going to be working together for at least several days, likely even longer." His gaze shifted between the two intimidating men, one of whom had just made the offer to escort the Vol, an offer which Gerrard's instincts told him he hadn't made just out of the goodness of his heart, and he then returned his gaze to the women. "Let's just... try to get along." A surprisingly convincing and even more surprisingly charming smile crossed his face, as if some part of him genuinely believed he could get these people to work together without issue by himself. The other parts of him were currently telling him he had no chance, but he might as well try.
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Old 01-15-2016, 12:32 AM
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While the enthusiasm shown by Sol, Gerrard, Marr and Tevon were all met with quiet nods of approval by the Major General, Dee Dee's exuberance elicited little more than a raised brown on Whitewall's part. "I can assure you, Ms. ..." the man searched his mind for Deidre's proper name, but the party had been assembled with such haste that he hadn't memorized it. He knew of her deeds--well, one deed in particular--but knew not her name, and so he gave up his search. "There has been no mistake. Your power is formidable, perhaps more so than you know. And," Whitewall added, adopting a tone aimed at sinking Dee Dee's gaiety, "If you expect your Empire to protect you, then you'd--"

The Major General's strongarm was cut short by Ar's tirade. His eyes narrowed as the bald-headed man loosed a volley of objections with no regard for rank or title. Whitewall inhaled sharply, apparently exercising some restraint in formulating a response to Ar K'l, but just as he appeared poised to reply through gritted teeth, the Inquisitor intervened. The military man took a step back, both in deed and in thought, before reinforcing Marr's point. "The Inquisitor is right," Whitewall proclaimed, his calmness surprising in the face of such impropriety. Smoothing over the lapels of his jacket, as if to reassert his own unflappability, the Major General locked eyes with Ar. "You assume too much. No accusations are being made. I suspect that the Vol are involved, given their history with the Empire, and if my suspicion is correct, then the mela karna here may know something of their plot." He cast a sidelong glance at Iliana, still unsure what to make of the woman. "And if not, then surely she can make herself useful another way, tending to mounts or gathering firewood."

Turning his piercing gaze back to Ar, Whitewall concluded, "Escort her to retrieve her belongings. She is to accompany this party, and whatever she may or may not know of the Prince's whereabouts, she is to return to Carthas with the rest of you. And, Gods willing, Prince Edrid will return with you."

Turning on his heel as if to return to the Baroness' party, the Major General thought better of it and looked to the motley crew once more. "You've each been selected for your talents, and the Empire is grateful for your service. I don't expect you all to get along, but I expect you to return the Crown Prince." Despite his stated expectation, the man's final addendum was a testament to the level of faith he had in the band of misfits he'd assembled. "Remember, follow the Imperial Road two hours southward. East of the Road will be a campsite with horses and rations." A final "Godspeed" was cast over his shoulder as Major General Whitewall made his way back into Amaret's manor to behold the conclusion of the illusory battle within.


 
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:21 AM
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"Why is it people complain when I actually open my mouth to, gods forbid, give a logical opinion?" The words are sighed aloud, and not really meant for anyone's hearing, the question completely rhetorical by nature.

I thought you liked reconciling inconsistencies.

"Only when something will get done when I do point it out," Ar replied, more in a mutter. He should have expected her to respond to that. It was a measure of his irritation that he hadn't, irritation sourced from both the Major General -- that one would likely have to be dealt with after finding Edrid -- and the Inquisitor -- also someone that Edrid would likely end up dealing with, though he shouldn't have to do so. That itch on the back of Ar's neck was also the reason why there's something of a contemptuous sneer very quickly offered to Marr Vakal, before he finally managed to gather hold of himself enough to force his eyes to silently wait for Iliana, clearly intending to escort her. Whitewall 'ordering' him to do so did not help in making matters more smooth.

Ar does not pressure the Volyn courtesan into hurrying, rather adopting a stance that is the image of patience save for his grey eyes that look ready to burn the city down from glaring alone. His hands even clasp behind his back, trying very hard to school himself to a 'civilized' posture that was learned what seemed a lifetime ago. Feet slightly apart, head high, features composed, breathing even, no hint of his thoughts betrayed by expression or demeanor.

You realize you're not going to get your way on this, don't you? And that question completely ruined the attempt at composure, a sigh blasting out of his nose as those grey eyes roll while Ar prays to Erathis for even a droplet of patience over everything spiraling out of control and normalcy. Then again, that chaos had been the cornerstone of his life for five years; yet even after so long it still felt... wrong.

"What I want," he replied to his criticizer, using the most patient and low-volumed tone he can muster, "is for the rabid dog to quit foaming at the mouth because someone said 'no' to him. You know as well as I do why I care."

Of course I do, but they don't. I think you're better off just letting him be in charge, biting everyone, and learning for himself. There was an uncharacteristic pause there. Besides, I know you're looking forward to that. It's really quite vicious of you...

And that response, as well as her voice continuing on why it was 'mean spirited' and 'cruel', is the reason why Ar's hand comes up to his face as it starts to shake back and forth. There may or may not have been a faint sound not unlike a groan or a whimper accompanying it. At least this time, he managed to keep it together enough to not capitulate in a tone where everyone on Elthine could hear him. Giving in to his opinionated benefactor on the subject of leadership was the only reason why she left him be, that time. She had even threatened to keep him awake that night by lecturing him about it. That to start.

Which is why Ar's face is beet red, he's ready to burst with frustration, and his mouth is sealed so tightly his jaw is visibly clenched.

Last edited by Avayar; 01-15-2016 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:01 PM
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Dee Dee giggled and bounced on the balls of her feet as Iliana told her about the cobbler and encouraged her to join her on the journey. "They're SOOO pretty! And you know it, girlfriend," she said with a huge, conspiratorial grin, "we womenfolk have to stick together. Plus, I'm not really doing anything else, so... why not!"

Her attention pulled away by the General's reprimand, she scrunched her face up and commented in a low-but-perfectly-audible voice as he strode away, "Ohmigosh, someone got up on the grumpy side of the bed today, didn't he?"

With a roll of the eyes and a playful laugh, she turned back to Iliana, sparing a stern glare for Marr, who she'd noticed earlier berating and belittling her new best-friend-forever.

She shrugged at the big guy's question. She didn't know his name yet, but he sure was big. And... talking to himself. By the time he answered his own question for the second time, she was giving him a wary look and glancing around to see if anyone else felt mildly uneasy around the man who was obviously nuts... or if it was part-and-parcel of a military assignment like this. "Ooookay, then. Well, I think it's safe to say that we all prefer our dogs come without rabies and mouth-foam. Maybe, um," Dee Dee ventured, unable to help herself, "maybe if you didn't answer your own questions in ways that make you sound crazy? Er... I don't think I got your name?" She flashed a guileless grin at Ar K'l and chewed her lower lip, feeling simultaneously anxious and curious. "I'm Deidre, but you can call me Dee Dee if you want."

"Now, which way's south?" she asked, turning in a circle as though spinning would help orient her to compass directions.
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Old 01-16-2016, 03:25 PM
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Sol tore off the uncomfortable dress which was all but tatters now anyway, throwing it into the corner of her stark wooden floored habitation. She lived in a simple one roomed cabin built amongst the trees in a corner of Fenwick manor. Xavier had to see her much less that way. Actually that we he never had to see her. She wondered for a moment if she should go to him and tell him what she had been charged to do, but dismissed the thought quickly. It was he who had come to her and sent her on her to the meeting. He must have known what was going to be said already. It was better to see him once she returned. Once she was successful. Once he could look upon her with pride for once.

Tightening the straps of her armour she threw on her good clothes over the top to keep her warm. Her good clothes were what Wandra called 'disgusting stinky rags'. Wandra was funny. She packed her leather pack with everything that she thought might be useful on their quest to find the prince. It only took her a few moments. And then she was on her way, not caring to lock the door behind her. She left nothing of value behind. She owned nothing of value.

She walked the streets with purpose, cutting her way through the festival atmosphere undistracted by the alluring pull of the party that had taken hold of the city. She left via the south gate and as soon as she hit the road she broke into a jog. The jog became a run and the run become a full sprint. A fierce smile of pleasure broke across her face as fresh air filled her lungs, burning awoke her muscles, and for the first time in a long time she felt alive.

She had no trouble finding the campsite.
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:41 PM
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Gerrard let out a quiet sigh when he realized he wasn't getting through to anybody in the room. Well, it was no matter for now; at this moment, he just had to remain focused on the mission. Go to the south, meet up with everybody else around the horses and supplies. Easy, right? Gerrard slipped past the other people, his lack of presence thankfully allowing him to go unnoticed as he went through the door back into the manor. He deftly moved his way through the abundance of people once again, accidentally bumping into significantly more people than he had previously but not stopping to apologize, as the only thought on his mind was just to get home and prepare to leave Carthas behind for now.

-

Gerrard could not be more happy to be out of that damned suit; it was stuffy, it was hot, it was just plain uncomfortable. How anybody managed to stay in one of those things for more than an hour was beyond him. He was finally able to relax a bit when he slipped back into his robes that he had haphazardly thrown to the ground when he left, but now was no time for relaxation. As much as he would love to rest for a few hours, it was likely best to leave during the night when he was least likely to be spotted. Gerrard grabbed his pack, stuffed with as many supplies as it could possibly hold, and strapped it to his back, attached the pouch that held his money and his mason's tools to his waist, and finally grabbed his quarterstaff, masterfully crafted from oak wood by his Master and given as a gift before he set off. With the house nearly empty after Gerrard had raided it for everything he thought might be useful, he set out.

-

South... south was... down on a map, right? Right. Gerrard had to keep reminding himself whether or not he was heading in the right direction; pretty much everybody who knew Gerrard back at home knew he had a terrible sense of direction, and was liable to get lost, even when looking at a map and travelling down a road with very few twists and turns. It wasn't his fault, as far as he's concerned; he just had a tendency to get wrapped up in his own thoughts, and tended to lose track of what direction his feet were carrying him when he wasn't focused on the road. The journey to the rendezvous point wasn't an easy one for him; he had managed to get lost a few times, but luckily managed to reorient himself. He had gotten a few scrapes and bruises on his feet, as nobody at home had told him that the world outside of Holbeck was significantly more hostile to those who walked barefoot. And, worst of all, halfway down the road he managed to get himself completely turned around, not knowing which way was north or south. He remained at that spot for an odd ten minutes, trying to guess which way he had came from and which way he should go. After sitting around for a while, he decided to just guess; it was better than looking like a fool if somebody came along and saw him sitting around in the middle of the road.

Fortunately, he guessed correctly.
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:40 PM
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Tevon watches as the group breaks off and wanders away from the courtyard. He looks around, feeling somewhat abandoned and confused by the situation. He stuffs his hands in his pockets and rocks on his heels. "So...so, we'll just meet outside of town, then? South gate?" he says, to anyone that may have lingered behind. He gives them a moment of silence, then: "Alright. Good talk, team." He shrugs, hands still in his pockets, and spins on a heel to wander out of the courtyard.

It seemed like such a horrible waste, having to leave suddenly, on this one night of unabashed debauchery. Every drunken reveller he passed, every snippet of song that reached his ears, was just one more horrible tease reminding him that he couldn't enjoy this night as he should have. He consoled himself by eating another of the odd, baked puffs of ... was that crab? Maybe. He packed the cloth wrapped bundle of hors d'ouevres he'd liberated from a server's tray on the way out back into his breast pocket. By the time he'd returned to the Trailblazer's building on the north end of town, he'd consoled his way through at least half of the bundle.

He pushed open the door to the familiar building. He stifled an exasperated sigh. "Oh...good to see you're still here, Severinde. Don't you have a wife to make regret marrying you, or something?" Tevon didn't wait for a response before swinging the door shut and hopping up the flight of stairs towards his chamber. He hastily dug his travel-bag out from under the bed. Checked the contents, and slung it onto his back. He pulled a pair of swords down from the hook they hung off of and strapped them around his waist under the coat. He gathered a handful of other odds and ends from around the - admittedly, less than tidy - room to stuff in the numerous pockets and pouches in his outfit, then rushed back downstairs.

"I know we don't really get along, Severinde, and I don't say this nearly enough...but..." Tevon stops at the bottom of the stairs, and takes a deep breath. He furrows his brow. "Seriously. Do not touch my stuff. I mean it. I will know." He waves at Severinde and bounces out the door, making his way across town to meet the rest of the group south of the city.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:58 AM
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Marr frowned as the General swiftly departed, leaving more than a few questions left unasked in his wake. Something was afoot, something of the situation even worse than the initial implication, of that he was certain. For matters of such importance, there should have been a more thorough briefing, even in secrecy. At the very least - and he grimaced physically here - a more reputable team assembled.

Instead he got a ditzy street-rat, a well-dressed but suspicious halfling, an over-enthusiastic “soldier”, a madman with authority issues, and a handful of half-reformed savages. It would take all of his effort to keep this group from failure, or falling apart.

In truth, in a way Vakal did want it to fall apart. Perhaps he’d be better off alone that with this crew.

These were the thoughts the Inquisitor buried himself in as he adjusted his armor and coat as best he could for the road, trying to keep his pristine image intact, only barely managing to hear Ar’s offer to escort Iliana through his mental grumblings - a gesture which elicited a fresh derisive laugh harshly barked past the man’s full lips.

“You could at least try to hide it after such an accusation, you know. I’ve seen bards falling over drunk with more tact. And if you don’t mind - well, I suppose even if you do, I’ll be joining you on your little lover’s journey. I’m not terribly keen on a source of information and a sympathetic fool taking personal responsibility to reach the rendezvous.”

Last edited by Isthon; 01-20-2016 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:08 PM
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The stroll back to the Cal-Demont manor was brief. Having no intention of allowing Deidre to leave her side, Iliana only encouraged the chatter through idle gossip and an exchange of beauty tips. Deidre possessed a genuine warmth, even if wrapped in superficial topics, that Iliana admired. Although her energy level was almost overwhelming, it was a welcomed distraction from the cold chill of Marr who followed just behind her. The festering animosity between he and the other man that accompanied them was nothing short of concerning. Perhaps all the reason more to keep Deidre close, strategically using the woman’s spontaneity and charisma to fill in the trenches each man was trying to dig.

The reception, or lack thereof, that Iliana received at the Cal-Demont manor was clearly noticeable. Linea, the elven mistress to which Iliana owed her allegiance to, made little eye contact as she escorted the small group up to her bedchambers.

“Feel free to search my quarters, Inquisitor,” Iliana said as she opened the door, motioning her three companions inside. “I’ll only need a few minutes. Dee Dee,” she said as she turned to look at her newfound friend, offering a sincere smile. “May I ask for your help?” She asked while motioning to her gown. “I don’t think the wilderness will be very kind to this gown,” she said while guiding them behind an oak lattice privacy screen.

Making short work of the myriad of knots and strings that held the gown together, Iliana set it within her nearby wardrobe. Pausing, she smirked as she reached down, picking up a small object contained within a tiny, silken pouch. Handing the luxurious soap to Deidre, she smiled. “Smell this. The fragrance is one of my favorites,” Iliana said. “We should probably bring it with us, right?” She asked with a confirming nod of her head.

“What to wear…” She said, trailing off as she effortlessly slipped out of her undergown. Exchanging it for a far more durable set of clothes, the airy white tunic, dark leggings, and leather belt lacked the elegance and sophistication of the red and black gown, but nonetheless fulfilled their objectives well. Returning to her earlier wardrobe, its exterior finished with an ornate carving depicting a heroic hunt of a stag, she propped the doors open and pushed aside the variety of gowns and summer dresses that rested within. But it was the suit of studded leather armor, clearly trimmed and designed for the curves of a woman, rather than a broad-shouldered man, that had her focus. “Men and their fantasies,” she said as her only explanation.

* * *

When Iliana finally reemerged from behind the privacy screen, the soft glamour of the courtier from earlier in the night was entirely absent. In its place, something different. Her Volyn heritage seemed more pronounced, the hues of copper in her skin and highlights of maple in her hair brought out by both the suit of armor she wore and the confidence it instilled within her. “I’m no good to you dead, Inquisitor,” she said as she caught Marr’s focus once more. “Find anything helpful?” She asked as she moved past him.

Crouching down at the edge of a long floor chest, she opened it to the slow sound of creaking metal and wood. “When you are ready to trust me again, Mar’koth,” she said as she extracted a sheathed longsword from the chest, standing up. “Or when our survival depends on it,” she continued, turning to face him as she held out the blade for him to take. “I’ll be asking for this back,” she promised, locking her gaze with his. There was no fear there, no trepidation. Just calm. “I wouldn’t want to make you uncomfortable by carrying it around.”

More than willing to break the stare, she returned to the chest, extracting yet another weapon – this one, an ornate crossbow that was no doubt a gift from one of her clients. Bypassing Marr, she walked to the second man, the one brave enough to stand up in her defense not just once, but twice. “And you,” she said, her tone far warmer. “When you, sir, learn to trust me,” she said as she held up the crossbow and a case of bolts. “I will gladly ask for this back. And hopefully by then, I’ll have your name as well.”
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:19 PM
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I don't understand why you haven't slapped that man yet. Really, you're just letting him trample all over you like a warhorse. She said that as if it wasn't a complete turnaround from what she had just harangued him over!

"Weren't you the one just now saying that it would be best to hold one's tongue? Advice given should also be advice taken." The question and its follow-up barbed comment were meant for his mental passenger, but Ar felt rather proud at being able to address two people in one go and speaking in such a way that it was relevant to both of the undesired statements, from the Inquisitor and feminine voice both. That response elicits silence in his head, for once, and it's for that reason that he has a satisfied smirk on his face, while clearly taking steps to keeping the Inquisitor in sight as he tags along, wary as a cat discovering a dog suddenly in the house and frequently eyeing Marr askance during the trek to Iliana's chambers. Obviously, Ar expects the man to do "something" at any time.

Ar makes no pretense about what he does once the four arrive there, simply strolling towards, but not too close, and turning away such that it's obvious to anyone watching that he fully intends to stand in Marr's way should he try to... observe what goes behind that screen. He says surprisingly little after that retort, instead folding his arms and taking up an absent study while Iliana prepares, though never really taking his attention away from the Inquisitor as he stands guard for propriety's sake.

When at last Iliana returns, Ar's eyebrow momentarily raises, a display of surprise at the unexpected choice of garment. The other brow joins in right after, as soon as the Inquisitor is offered that weapon -- and both try to climb higher still over the words that follow the... gift. Startlement proceeds to tag along when Iliana tries to bestow the crossbow, but Ar recovers from the shock quickly enough, in part due to not being the first to be on the receiving end of the matter of trust.

Abruptly, he suddenly gives a soft bit of laughter, gently but firmly using his hands to press the weapon back toward Iliana. "You may need that with you. I was never a very good shot with one anyway; I have other resources." He does not demonstrate what those are, however, leaving it at that for now. "Call me Ar, or Kalalel -- or bastard, if you want to be literal," he adds dryly, but sobers quickly. "I will explain it this way: you have my trust until you do something to lose it. Call it a favor, if you want, but the truth is I'm curious about the woman that Edrid chose for a companion before... what happened. That curiosity doesn't include us groping at each other while Mar'koth criticizes us, just to be clear." His mouth twitches slightly upward at that. "Regardless, I assume we're done here...?" He leaves a hint of question in that. "I'm very much hoping the Major General didn't see fit to leave the supplies wanting. Better to find out sooner than later."

Last edited by Avayar; 01-21-2016 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:17 PM
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Linea Cal-Demont watched with more than a passing interest as Iliana of the Wilds made her way through the House of the Mela Karna with strange company in tow. Knowing well that her duty was not to ask questions, the matron of House Cal-Demont found a small measure of comfort in the notion that she would discover the truth of the matter, one way or another; with the clientele that passed through her estate, there was little information to which Linea was not privy. Still, in spite of her determination, to say nothing of the prevailing air of merriment, the elven woman's face bore a look of despondence. She managed a smile as Iliana made her departure, her ball gown doffed in favour of more pragmatic attire. Fare well, the matron thought, and though she may not have known it, Linea Cal-Demont's lips moved, mirroring her mind.

---

Sol was the first to reach the campsite, the pace of her heartbeat gradually slowing as she observed from afar. Three soldiers sat perched upon stones, their faces illuminated by flickering firelight. Their conversation was quiet, but there was no lack of joviality between the soldiers. Near the campsite were five horses, well groomed, ground tied, and saddled. Just a little further off were four more, these ones leaner, tied to the trunks of trees and throwing their heads back in protest; they were unbroken.

Although Gerrard hadn't left long after Sol, he and the other five members of their hastily-assembled group arrived together some time later. The jubilant hum of Carthas had long ago been supplanted by the chirping of crickets, and the city's ample torchlight had been left behind with naught but moonlight to take its place. It was against this backdrop that the party approached the soldiers' campsite.

"Oi!" one of the soldiers called out, standing to reveal himself in the firelight as a dwarf whose smile was fast disappearing from his face. His weathered grey jerkin bore the blue cog of Erathis, and beneath the jerkin was a chainmail shirt. Examining the approaching party with a furrowed brow, the dwarf reached to his side and took up the mace that was leaning against the stone where he'd been sitting. "Who's 'at?" he barked. His fellow soldiers, meanwhile, turned their heads and reached for their own weapons, though they remained seated next to the fire.


 
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