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Money for the Cause


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#1 Crimson Lego

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 07:45 PM

On the western side of what the intact section of Verden, a relatively large expedition from Calatia made its way to the south on another mission. Numbering around 50 men, each of these were highly trained, hardened veterans, and were well-needed for this trip. Having left Snowpeak Ruins almost 2 days ago, the Calatians were on a mission to the south to make a trade with what was left of the Guild, a powerful mercenary force in the days of the Alliance. Now reduced down to a small trickle of power, Snowpeak officials wanted to see if the Kingdom could make some sort of deal with the Guild in order to finance the Calatian armies against the obviously well-equipped Koridai Crusaders. Fortunately, the mercenaries had been located in southern Verden, and a task force was sent out to meet with them.

As Leo Crimson, five-star general in the Berserkers, trudged along with his men, he found his mind wandering back to previous events only 3 weeks before he had been sent on this mission. Another life. After spending a week in Calatia, Captain Moloch of the Virratian Guard and some of his men had returned to their home country on Komitaa, bringing several Calatian technologies with them and leaving some from Virrat. Taking 2 weeks off, the dwarf filled out all the necessary paperwork, such as casualties, mission logs, etc. Using the last week to workout and get back into the mood of fighting, Leo finally took upon the job with his 6-member Baker Team to take his minds off things. Holidays don’t seem like holidays anymore, he mused.

For now, Leo was resting his lightweight but sturdy battleaxe on his shoulder, walking casually along with 2 of his corporals. Dozens of other Calatians followed behind, alert and watching for any possible Koridaian ambushes, or the strange wolf. Those that had been on the diplomatic mission to Virrat remembered the first losses they had suffered, and were not willing to take another chance while traveling. Fortunately, it was improbable that the Koridaians had no idea about this mission, and were probably concentrated on internal affairs, according to some of Leo’s spies in Vildmark. From what the dwarf had heard, Inquisitor Solomon had nearly jeopardized the whole diplomatic mission for Koridai when he allowed an embassy to blow up. More than a few dead; too bad the treaty went through. Lucky for the imperials, Steel and General Shadow’s actions were able to save the mission and establish a firm treaty.

Shaking his head and coming back to the current mission, Leo gazed upon the men accompanying him and remembered a decision he had made. As head of the special ops division, nicknamed ‘Snakeheads’ for their ability to wriggle out of tight situations, the dwarf had chosen to place many of them for the majority of the troops on this trip, considering most of the journey was through the mountains. Hardened war guerrillas, many of them were former soldiers of the Lost Woods, and had much experience. However, the Snakeheads were also very loyal to Calatia, and never gave up a fight until they were down by more than 80% of their original fighting force. With the general’s influence and guidance, they had risen up to 1 of the top fighting divisions in the Kingdom.

Glancing around at the Baker Team, each of them also Snakeheads, Leo decided to revert to their nicknames for less formality. Maybe it’ll be better luck as well. The dwarf had heard rumours that a high-ranking official would also be on this trip, but to him, they were only rumours. Leo had arrived late after dropping off supplies in a remote Calatian settlement just to the north, just as he had promised to a late companion. Lucas. If the youth really knew Tiresias the Seer, he would be by to pick the goods up.

Sighing, Leo gestured to 1 of his men. “Do a head count; I want exact numbers of our group; we’ll stop here for 20 minutes.”

“Yes sir.” Watching the man run off, the dwarf placed his axe inside the sash around his chest and glanced around. Shouting for a break, Leo took a seat on a boulder and pulled his left boot off. “I’m gonna need a wheelchair before this war is over,” he grumbled, rubbing his sore ankle.

#2 Rhiannon

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:31 AM

It had been an eternity since Rhiannon had been on a mission. Not since her early Ikanian days had she been out. She felt it was way past due that she service her Kingdom beside her men. This mission was especially important because she could sense a storm brewing so to speak. The air was still and eerie. Things were stirring and she somehow she knew the Koridians were restless and ready for something. Honestly, she was embarrassed that it had been so long. It wasn't that the power got to her head, she was very much there for the people, she had just gotten busy and preoccupied. However, she knew there was no justifiable reason good enough to have ignored these missions for so long and for that she was ashamed.

Walking up to the group with a bundle of mixed emotions Rhia tried to organize herself and put up a confident front.
It'll be okay, remember to breathe.. breathe...

She waved from afar at the others in the group. Oh great, she was late too. Putting on a big smile as she reached the group Rhiannon spoke with only a little tremor in her voice.

"Hi!"

#3 Crimson Lego

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 11:16 AM

“58,” murmured Leo as he jotted down the numbers in the mission log. It seemed there were a few more than he had anticipated, but that was a good thing. Though he would have preferred to have only a few of his Snakeheads come along, the dwarf knew that a bigger escort would provide better and more security. For the money as well. If the imperials got wind of how much they were going to borrow, and what it would be used for, Chikara would probably sent a strike team of her own to eliminate the Calatians. If the Vikings were successful, the Kingdom would have better-equipped troops and better weapons to fight the empire. The Crusaders would find it much harder to oppress the Vikings, and they would finally be able to retaliate.

Rolling up the scroll and handing it to a nearby soldier, Leo heard a cheerful but nervous voice nearby, saying, “Hi!” Glancing over, he realized that the rumours were true. The Princess came on this trip?, he thought in bewilderment. Immediately getting up, the dwarf walked past his men, whom was now standing to attention, and approached Rhiannon. Better make a good impression.

Clearing his throat, Leo saluted the princess, even though he was a lot shorter than she was. “General Crimson, special ops division. Reporting for duty, ma'am; can I help you with anything right now?”

Edited by Leo Crimson, 10 February 2010 - 08:59 PM.


#4 Rhiannon

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:06 PM

Rhiannon stood before the bewildered crowd feeling like an idiot. Here she was on a mission trip waving to everyone. Shyly she put down her hand and stared at everyone staring at her. Why didn't I plan this better? Should I make some sort of speech? I wish these people were more comfortable around me... have I really been locked in that tower for so long? Putting the negative thoughts to the back of her mind Rhia observed the crowd of men and women. There were so many, she couldn't even put into to words how proud she was. She hoped that her presence on this trip wouldn't worry, pressure or make anyone uneasy. This mission could turn dangerous very quick if Koridai got wind of what they were doing and she wanted everyone to come back to the Kingdom safely. She felt she was on fairly good terms with the Koridai men, but they were so fickle you could never tell.

As the silence between everyone got increasingly awkward Rhia shifted her weight from foot to foot hoping for someone to speak up. At first she thought she imagined voice, as if voices in her head were comforting her. "General Crimson, spe..." She just stared at the dawrf for a moment that felt like an eternity. She knew him as she had been to her restaurant many times. He was a nice man and she was glad he would be leading this trip, she needed to know who her best men were. Snaping back to reality she gave the dawrf a big hug. It had been instinct and as soon as she realized what she had done her face turned bright red and she stood upright and stiff.

"I'm so sorry General." Collecting herself she tried to regain her words. "I uh appreciate your presence here and yes there is something you could do. Could you get everyone ready and brief me on the stats of this mission and when we are scheduled to get going?"

#5 Crimson Lego

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:59 PM

“Yes ma’am.” Still rather taken off by the Princess’s actions, Leo was wondering whether this whole mission was a joke or if Rhiannon had been inside too long. Is this how Ikana people are? pondered the dwarf. If so, I’m going to assume Catt was probably one of those that stood out a lot. Regaining his composure, the general gestured to one of the Baker Team. “Get everybody up; we’re moving out once I’m done this,” he murmured.

Turning back to Rhiannon, Leo spoke as confidently as he could, trying not to create a bad impression out in the field. “Ma’am, currently, we have about 58 men at our disposal. Many of them are of the Snakehead division and are extremely well-trained men; you have nothing to fear. We should be heading out in 5 minutes or so.”

Glancing around, Leo was glad to see that the Calatians were now on their feet and ready to go; he turned back to Rhiannon. “Are you ready, ma’am? We’re all set now.”

#6 Rhiannon

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 03:54 AM

Her bright red cheeks were not cooling down fast enough. Flustered Rhia hung her head in defeat. She watched as Leo took control of the situation. He was indeed a good leader. This would be a trip she would not forget. Lost in her thoughts and in her backpack searching for a notepad Rhiannon didn't notice that everyone had stood up and was now waiting for her again. She finally pulled out her notebook with a triumph smile only to be met by the gaze of the troop.

“Are you ready, ma’am? We’re all set now.” Rhia bowed her head slightly towards the dawrf and spoke softly -

"I am. Please don't feel nervous around me and do not treat me with any extra care. I was once a great fighter in my day, you'll see."

#7 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 06:58 PM

X saw the group of soldiers down the path from him. He had not yet been noticed by them. He sat atop his bison mount enshrouded in his dark cloak. All that can be seen of him are his burning yellow eyes.

Soldiers... he thought to himself Perhaps they can better explain the current situation of this land

These were the first people X had come across since he had awakened in the cave, so he is unaware of the war and what has been going on.

(X slowly approaches the group)

#8 Crimson Lego

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:49 PM

Nodding in acknowledgment, Leo turned to his men. “Snakeheads, fall in!” he roared, bringing all his men into a formation. “Let’s get going before the war starts,” he added, hefting his axe and walking off. Falling in, the rest of the Baker Team glanced at Princess Rhiannon, unsure of what they should do about her.

For another hour or two, the Calatians continued traveling to the south, occasionally picking up other Viking mercenaries on the way. Finally exiting the mountainous region and entering the warmer lands of the Kingdom, the special ops troops were fast approaching a region where skirmishes between Calatia and Koridai were common. Though there were still a line of mountains cutting through the continent and separating the two realms, there was no reason the Vikings shouldn’t be careful.

Hefting his axe and looking around his surroundings with caution and wariness, Leo gestured to the 6 men of the Baker Team to come closer; he then whispered some orders. “Mellish and Jurgensen, I want you 2 to scout up ahead a bit and see if there are any incoming crusaders. Barry, Palmer, and Jackson, split the men up into 3 groups and fan out; they’re hiding here somewhere. Simkins, you stay with me.”

As the men rushed off to carry their orders, the dwarf turned to 2 of his Snakehead officers. “Give me the rifle,” he said, indicating the weapon he had received as a gift in Virrat.

Handling the gun with care, Leo put his axe away in his sash and checked the gun chamber. 10 rounds; perfect. Double checking that he still had ammunition on him, the general turned to his remaining soldier, who, unlike the rest of the Baker Team, happened to be a corporal. “Simkins, you stay here and take command; I’m gonna head up those cliffs a bit and help the others.”

“Yes sir,” replied Simkins. Nodding, Leo began jogging up in the direction that Mellish and Jurgensen had gone to, hoping he would be able to catch up with them. This is what happens when you have a dwarf in charge of 6”3’ special ops, he grimaced. Now he probably knew how Chikara thought as leader of the empire.

Having not gone more than 10 yards away from the group, the dwarf heard the twang of arrows and a loud scream. Crouching, he waved back to the group to do so as well. A moment later, the dwarf’s jaw dropped open in shock, unable to believe the sight before his eyes. “Oh shit.”

An obviously struggling Mellish was helping a wounded and bleeding Jurgensen back towards the group. Rushing forward, Leo did his best to help and led the man back. “What happened, Mellish?”

“They came out of nowhere, sir,” replied Mellish, breathless from helping his injured comrade. “Sir, there’s got to be at least 40 of them, with cavalry, pikes, archers; you name it. It’s probably Inquisition or Praetorian.”

Cursing under his breath, the dwarf could only think of one reason Koridai would send so many men to this area at a time. The war is coming. If the Calatians didn’t get out soon and finish their mission, they would be completely screwed over against the imperials. We’ve gotta take out this task force; I need Apollo’s info now.

Thinking quickly, Leo gave quick orders to Mellish. “Tell Simkins to move everyone into a defensive state; I’ll take care of the Princess.” Rushing up towards the slope, the dwarf adjusted the scope on his rifle, using the wind as a guide. Once ready, he moved up and looked over the edge at the Koridaian strike team. Wow.

With several cavalrymen and archers, the imperial crusaders looked like they were supposed to be here long term. For now, the officer in charge was barking orders to his men to pursue the escaped Calatians. He won’t leave to see us, thought Leo as he pulled and pushed the bolt. Resting the butt of the gun against his shoulder, the dwarf took aim…and fired.

The gunshot echoed around in the distance, sending several houses rearing up on their hind legs, whinnying in fear. The officer himself had fallen from his horse, shot straight through the head. His second-in-command, a sergeant, quickly took charge and urged the remaining Koridaians forward; unfortunately, they were still trying to reorganize and took longer to do so.

Rushing back towards the group of Vikings, Leo quickly made his rifle and addressed the now alert Calatians. “Take cover; attack on my cue.” Utilizing the rocky landscape around them, the expedition members were able to find suitable hiding places in plain sight. Leo himself took a spot high in the rocky hills for shooting. This better be good.

A minute or 2 later, the troops came marching over in an organized fashion: pikes in front, archers in back, etc. Taking aim, the dwarf glanced over at Rhiannon. I sure she wasn’t joking about being a good fighter. This company looks like it’s pretty serious about being here. Luckily, the Vikings had the advantage of surprise, allowing Leo himself to take out at least 2 more before open battle ensued.

As they drew closer, the dwarf aimed for the center, hoping his bullet would cut through several more soldiers. 3…2…1. He pulled the trigger, praying for the best.

Again, the gunshot frightened the horses, but the Koridaians were ready. Now realizing their enemy was nearby, they fired arrows into the area, killing more than a few Vikings. Rising up to their feet with a battle cry, the Calatians charged forward, drawing their swords and weapons from their sheaths.

Firing a 3rd shot and preparing for a fourth, Leo noticed somebody moving slowly towards the Calatians on a bison. What the.. Readying his rifle, the dwarf leaped down the slopes and towards the stranger. Pointing his rifle at the man, Leo spoke authoritatively. "Who are you, and what business do you have in Calatia?" he snarled.

#9 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 01:04 AM

X gradually came to a stop. He turned his head and looked over at the dwarf, then shifted his attention over to the current battle.

"Don't you have more important things to tend to than questioning a stranger?" X asked as pointed towards the battle.

"I believe introductions can wait for now."

X analyzed the battle and determined that the vikings were in more need of assistance than the imperials. However, since he did not know the reason behind the battle, he decided to remain neutral in the matter, and do the next best thing.

X dismounted his bison and looked back over at the dwarf.

"I can be of some assistance to you, direct me to your wounded and I will see what I can do for them."

Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 22 February 2010 - 07:42 PM.


#10 Crimson Lego

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 08:54 PM

Glancing back at the conflict behind him and weighing the option between allowing this man to walk freely through the Calatian ranks and saving his men, Leo finally nodded. “This way,” he said grimly, lowering his rifle and leading the man towards the makeshift camp. Ducking down beneath the rocks to avoid any arrows, the dwarf was letdown to see the number of wounded there. Oh great.

Kneeling down beneath the wounded, Leo gestured to them. “Do what you can; for now, I have to get back to the battle.” Without waiting for a response, the dwarf rushed back towards the rocks, eager to lay waste to the Koridaians; a second later, an arrow whizzed past his head.

Ducking down, Leo decided to be more cautious. This division still needs a commander, he thought, pulling the trigger. Otherwise, the Snakeheads are going to fall apart at the sign of a crusader.

It was the same with all elite troops: without a leader to hold them together, they were rocks on a plain.

#11 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:38 AM

X watched as the dwarf ran back to the battle. He was now surrounded by a number of wounded and dead soldiers.

I wonder what all of these people are fighting for anyways... I'm sure I'll get an explanation once this battle is over with.

(X takes a knife from one of the soldiers)

This is no scalpel, but it will have to make due.

X spots a man with an arrow sticking out of his chest, and is amazed to see that he is still alive. He rushes to the man as quickly as possible without stepping on any of the others.

"Hold still, if you want to live." X said the man as he began to press the knife down near his wound.

#12 Crimson Lego

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 08:42 PM

Nearby, 2 other medics were trying to save a Calatian as well. Noticing the stranger that arrived on a bison begin to try and help out the unstable Jurgensen, they had an odd feeling about the man.

“Should we let him take out that arrow?” whispered one of the doctors. “He doesn’t look too trustworthy.”

The other, a rookie mage just out of training, merely shrugged in response. “The General trusts him; what do we have to say about it?”

Seeming to accept that conclusion, both of the Viking doctors went back to work, hoping that they were right about the newcomer.

-------------------------------------

Having temporarily set aside his rifle and pulling out his axe out of the sash, Leo set to work at hacking away the Koridaian ranks. Though there was still a rough terrain in which the battle was currently being fought, the imperials were far more experienced than the Snakeheads or any other average Calatian warrior. A few Vikings that were former members of the Alliance were able to achieve good footing, but it was not enough for a victory. We need more people, thought Leo as he hacked down another Koridaian. Finishing the man off with a powerful swing with his axe, the dwarf took a quick glance back in the direction of the wounded. That man better not be joking about healing; I still need Jurgensen. The man was a literal human powerhouse, and Leo would definitely be needing him for the war and helping hold the Baker Team together physically in serious conflicts.

Wham! A powerful blow to the head from a metal shield drove the general to his knees and almost out of consciousness; stars appeared in front of his watery eyes from the impact. Instinctively rolling out of the way of a second blow, Leo reached for a knife and swiped randomly in front of him; amazingly, the short blade found a target and sent the man screaming in pain. Regaining some of his vision, the dwarf clambered uncertainly to his feet and found his axe. Here goes nothing. Moving forward, he swung his axe towards what appeared to be the dark figure of his enemy. Striking deep, Leo pulled it out, ducked down and waited for the stars to disappear.

After a few minutes of hiding behind a rock, the dwarf went back up to his feet and felt an egg beginning to form on the back of his head. No fracture. Shouldering his weapon, he gazed down at the motionless Koridaian, whom Leo had killed with a powerful blow to the neck. Serves him right, he grimaced. Wincing as pain shot through his head, he knew he would not be able to continue fighting for long without some medical treatment. At least something could.

Grabbing his rifle and a large chunk of ice, Leo hurried back towards the makeshift medical camp. “Anyone got something for a head bruise?” he grunted. "An imperial bastard hit me hard."

#13 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 11:52 PM

After removing the arrow from Jurgensen, X grabbed a cloth and applied pressure to the wound.

Just need to tie this cloth down and he'll be fine.

X took another cloth and wrapped it around the man's torso, pinning the balled up cloth to the wound.

“Anyone got something for a head bruise? An imperial bastard hit me hard." X heard from behind him. X turned around to see the dwarf returning from the battle.

X was about to respond to the dwarf, but before he could say anything he saw an imperial running up on the dwarf, sword drawn, ready to kill the dwarf without so much as a battle cry for a fair warning. X quickly pulled the tomahawk from his belt and hurled it at the imperial. It whizzed right over the dwarf's head before striking the imperial in the chest, knocking him flat on his back.

"Now, about that head bruise."

Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 23 February 2010 - 11:53 PM.


#14 Crimson Lego

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:16 PM

Before he could reply to the man, one of the medics spoke up, unable to keep his anxieties and suspicions to himself. “Sir, think about what you’re doing. You’re giving a complete stranger access to our wounded and yourself.”

Turning, Leo looked rather surprised at the man’s comment. “Doc, leave it to me,” he said firmly. “If I need extra help, I’ll call for you; for now, just leave me be until this is done.” Turning back to apologize for the interruption by one of his medics the dwarf heard yet another voice shouting out to him. “General Crimson!” was what it said. It was another Snakehead.

Turning around, Leo grumbled, “What is it?”

Seeming to not notice the general’s tone, the man spoke quickly, yet there was fear and nervousness in his voice. “Sir, reinforcements have arrived to support the Koridaian battalion. We’ve also captured a soldier, and convinced him to tell us another border patrol is just a short distance off.”

Dammit[/], cursed Leo as he dismissed the soldier. The 40 strong expedition had an okay chance of defeating their current foes, but fighting 2 companies at once wasn’t what he had planned for. We need more help; right now, I need medical attention. The large bump was starting to get bigger. [i]I sure hope Rhiannon is okay. From here, the dwarf couldn’t see the princess, but he was confident that she would be able to take care of herself against the imperials.

Sighing, Leo turned back and nodded at the man. “Do what you can.”

#15 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:04 PM

Ironic X thought I just saved their commander's life, and they question me. Oh well, there are more important things to do than to concern myself with someone's suspicions.

X turned the dwarf around and knelt down to better inspect his bruise. After determining that it was nothing too serious, X took the chunk of ice from the dwarf and crushed into smaller chunks. He then placed the smaller chunks into a piece of cloth and folded it up.

"This may hurt a little." X said to the dwarf as he put the sack of ice onto the dwarf's bruise. X then took another piece of cloth and tied it down to his head.

X got back up and walked back to the other wounded, passing the doctor suspicious of him, without so much as a passing glance.

Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 24 February 2010 - 11:21 PM.


#16 Rhiannon

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 04:05 PM

Rhiannon had been fighting off to the side. She was weary of the General’s criticism and didn’t want to be judged anymore than she was with her entrance. She also missed being in charge and didn’t want to interrupt the General’s orders. Back in the day she could have led something like this, why had she let herself become weak and lazy. She hadn’t realized how much she missed being in the action. She wished she could use her knives though, too many things on her mind made her less than useful today. She had been worried about Selena’s disappearance of course, but she hadn’t been prepared for how much emotion would hit her once she started fighting again. The last time, Selena had been here. She used her sword with a gentle ferocity and fought her way through the sides of the enemies.

Rhiannon also chose to be out of the view of the General because she was sure he wouldn’t agree with her style. Rhia had never been the killing type no matter how much Lena had tried to make her be. She preferred to give everyone a chance. Making them unable to battle, but not unable to live was her way. Fortunately she was very good at it, and so become sort of a legend in Ikana. Calatia hadn’t been through anything traumatic yet so she hadn’t had the chance to prove herself. However that would change soon. She could tell the winds were shifting and something was not right. She wished she could at least talk to Selena again.


For being completely in her mind and unaware of her surroundings Rhia was doing pretty good. Blissfully unaware of the deep cuts and scratches on her own body, Rhiannon pushed forward through the swamp of blood and spewing gashes. Occasionally looking back to take note of where the General would be and how the rest of the troops were doing.

She had just finished slicing the calf of an extremely tall man (for once she was glad she was not the tallest girl) her height had made it possible to get around him. As he fell to the ground Rhia looked around for the General. He was nowhere to be found. What she did find definitely peeked her interest – A hooded man leaning over the wounded. Who was he? Where had he come from? And what was he doing to her people? Rhiannon ran through her wreckage to the hooded man. She would not allow someone to hurt her people, especially if they were injured. Blinded by fear and anger Rhiannon didn’t see the tools in the man’s hands or even what he was doing. She pointed her sword under his chin and focused on her knives as they began to hover steadily by her head ready to fly.

“Who are you?” she demanded with her best voice of authority and power.


#17 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 07:09 PM

X had just finished popping a man's arm back into place and was moving on to the next of the wounded.

Unless some reinforcements come soon, they are going to have to retreat, the number of wounded is rather large and continues to grow.

X started working on his next patient, another arrow wound, in the leg this time. Just as X was finishing up he heard a voice yell at him “Who are you?”

X stopped briefly and thought to himself Is everyone in this land this paranoid about strangers?

He went back to work on the man, then replied to the girl "I'm the person trying to save the lives of these men."

He tied the cloth down on the man's leg and looked up at the girl, and noticed a fairly large gash on her arm.

Reaching out his metallic arm, X said to the girl "Let me have a look at your arm."

Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 25 February 2010 - 07:09 PM.


#18 Rhiannon

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:38 PM

Rhia gawked at the man. He didn’t even flinch. Her anger faded at his rational voice and words. She had let her emotions get the best of her. Her knives slowly lowered as did her sword.

Reaching out his metallic arm, the man spoke, "Let me have a look at your arm."

Without hesitation, she pulled away, but flinched as she spoke, “I do not need help. These people do.” Rhia had never let anyone take care of her when her people were in need. She hadn’t even noticed her arm until the man pointed it out.

“I just needed to know what you were doing. I can’t take any chances when it comes to my people. Please, don’t leave when this is over. Could we talk?” She knew the man doubted they’re would even be an after for this Calatia squad. The look in his eyes told her so. The truth was they were severely outnumbered but she knew they could pull through.

She smiles at the man and turned away. Glancing back she spoke with a twinkle in her eye. “Don’t worry, there will be an after.”

#19 Crimson Lego

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 10:09 PM

Feeling the cloth on the back of his head, Leo knew it would like quite awkward in battle. Time to cover up, he grimaced, throwing his green hood back on. Emptying the chamber of his rifle, the dwarf handed it to one of the Snakeheads and readied his axe. .No point shooting out at the enemy now. The Koridaians now outnumbered the Calatian troops so badly that they would probably need a miracle or at least 30 extra well-trained men to survive. Maybe we should send for help, thought Leo, glancing back up into the mountains; he shook his head at the notion. To long; by the time they start leaving, we’ll all be dead.

They might as well fight.

Watching as the Princess got into a conflict with the strange doctor, Leo was feeling tense at the possibility of another possible fight breaking out. This better not happen, he thought, gripping the handle of his axe so tight that it was covered in sweat. As the man managed to defuse the situation swiftly, the dwarf sighed in relief, lowering his axe. I’m glad that’s solved; I’ve already got enough on my hands.

Hearing the cries of vikings in pain brought Leo back to the world, and he hurled himself over the rocks. Easily hacking down 2 imperials in 1 swift stroke, the general continued to pit his effort against the Koridaian forces.

#20 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 11:54 PM

“Don’t worry, there will be an after.” the girl said to X.

Such optimism X thought. With courage like that, perhaps they do have somewhat of a chance.

"Do not worry" X replied "I'm not going anywhere."

X began walking to his next patient when he heard the battle cry. He turned around to see an imperial signaling for more to follow him. He started running towards the make shift camp.

X looked over at the other doctors and yelled "Get these wounded out of here, now!"

X heard the imperial charging at him from behind, and with one very strong back stroke of the arm, X hit the soldier and flung him back a good distance. The soldier came to a rolling stop at the feet of five more imperial soldiers.

X took a few steps towards the imperial soldiers. He had made his choice. He decided to help the vikings in their time of need.

X stepped forward with his right foot placing it at an angle and took a fighter's stance.

Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 25 February 2010 - 11:55 PM.


#21 Rhiannon

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 04:29 PM

Walking away with a sense of renewed energy, Rhia was fired up. Her knives lifted with ease and stung with percision. She felt unstoppable and finally felt at ease. She knew they were outnumbered but remained optimistic. She put on a fierce smile and strength radiated from her. The other soliders looked at her with wonder, maybe they thought she was crazy. Rhia just smiled and encouraged. Wiping out two smaller Koridians in front of her, Rhia pushed forward.

She hadn't told Leo that because of their position they could be seen from Calatia in the tallest outlook tower. Surely someone had seen them by now and were coming to help. She was counting on it.

She glanced to the left side as she thought there was movement. Squinting she could make out a small shadow. Taking no chances her knives steadily flew at the shadow. Sparks flew into the air. What was the...? Before the thought could even process through her mind she was hit from behind. Stumbling, she tried to bring her knives back to her, but her head throbbed too much.

"Oh ho ho," the abnormally large man chuckled, "I see the princess has come out to play. You ruined my favourite post." With a mocking frown the man moved closer. Rhia had never seen someone so big. He towered over her, muscles practically bulging from his neck and arms. He toyed with her, lightly at first, slicing her arms slowly with his sword making small cuts. She grimaced but refused to show that he was causing her pain.

"You get off of me right now," she grumbled. He laughed, spewing spit in her face. His breath was horrible and Rhia had had enough. Her loose arm frantically search for any weapon by her sides. Nothing. She would have to improvise. She took a handful of the now red snow and pressed it to his eyes. He groaned in annoyance, and loosened his grip on slightly. It was enough for her to turn on her belly crawling out of his grip. Unfortunately it wasn't enough for her to crawl free. Her grabbed her feet and swung her around so that she was facing him. She felt like a doll, it was effortless for him.

"No use trying to get away from me." He smiled, a sparkle in his eye and coped a feel. That had done it. Thrashing, he tried to pin her down again. With such a quick movement he brought out his dagger and sliced the gash on her arm that had been done earlier further. Pain seared her mind, burning every thought except one. He had pissed her off.

At least five small weapons ranging from daggers to short swords rose were dragged towards her by an invisible force. Once the reached her, they rose and shook with the same anger her body did. "I told you to get off," she spat through clenched teeth. Before the man could even form a reply the weapons flung at every one of his vital organs. His throat she cut by hand.

Drenched in blood, she walked as quickly as she could out of site. She glanced at her arm, and squirmed. Had she seen white? He couldn't have cut to the bone. Feeling queasy, Rhiannon tore a piece of her shirt off and tried her best to contain the blood coming from her arm.



Please,
she thought, please see us soon. We need you.

Edited by Rhiannon, 26 February 2010 - 04:31 PM.


#22 Crimson Lego

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 09:51 PM

Realizing that Rhiannon was bleeding due to her reaction to the Koridaian’s attack, Leo knew that they definitely would not last long without additional help. Several more Calatians had fallen, reducing the expedition force to about 38. We need more time. Before this was over, the dwarf wanted to find out exactly how the Koridaians knew they were here, and any other info a POW could offer. Time to pick, thought the general, pulling out his knife and surveying the field for a possible candidate.

Ducking beneath the swing of a powerful two-handed sword, Leo immediately plunged the knife into the imperial’s leg, and then disarmed the man. Dragging the soldier over with the help of 2 Snakeheads, the dwarf took refuge behind a large boulder. This should do, he grimaced, taking a quick glance. Pulling out the knife and sheathing it, Leo asked the questions while the 2 vikings patched up the wound. “How did you know to find us?” he snarled.

The man, who was a veteran sergeant, remained silent but stared defiantly back into the general’s eyes. Doing so for a few moments, Leo leaned him closer, grabbing the man by the collar. “Answer me, or I’ll break your arms and ask you again.”

When that did not get a reaction of any kind save spitting, the dwarf decided to leave it for now; his men needed him. Standing up, Leo gave orders to the Snakeheads. “Bind him and leave him with the guy back there; if we all die, kill him.”

After receiving nods of acknowledgment, the dwarf hefted his axe and sprinted over to where Rhiannon was. That’s a lot of blood. “You need any help?” he asked loudly over the din of battle.

#23 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 04:35 AM

X stood his ground between the wounded soldiers and the five charging imperial soldiers. Despite not having any weapons on him, he decided to go up against the soldiers anyways. Once the first of the imperials got close enough, X took one step towards him and punched him square in the chest, knocking him back a few feet onto his back. As one of the other swung his sword, X ducked and kicked his legs out from under him. As X was going to stand back up another imperial jabbed his spear at him. X moved around the spear, and broke off the spear head, while he elbowed the soldier in the face. X took the spear head and stabbed one of the two remaining soldiers with it. The last soldier brought his sword up in the air and went to slash X while he stabbed the other soldier. X quickly moved right in-front of him and grabbed his wrists as he was bringing his sword down. X then grabbed the soldier by the throat and lifted him up in the air with one arm.

X looked over and noticed that the dwarf was talking to the girl.

I sure hope the two of them are doing okay.

X tossed the unconscious soldier to the side.

Let's hope they have some friends on their way.

Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 28 February 2010 - 04:35 AM.


#24 Selena

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 11:36 PM

A Calatian longship was a versatile craft. It was a strong vessel that could withstand the churning of the open ocean, but small enough to navigate inland rivers after switching to oars. The creative Calatian mind had discovered a third use - to turn it into a giant sled for the sake of rapid deployment in snow laden areas. When the Huscarls neared the edge of the snowline at the foot of the mountains, they made a sharp turn and, with luck on their side, sent the vessel straight into the upper Zora's River. The elite Calatian soldiers took up the oars and increased the ship's speed downstream. It didn't take long to reach the outskirts of the battle. The longship was beached. The Huscarls vaulted over the sides, landing in either the cold water or the mud and clay beyond. Over the bank. Onto the green fields, fresh and new after the clearing of the thick winter snow. A Koridian leader shouted, clear and loud despite the distance from the Huscarls.

"Shield wall! Archers, take targets!"

The Koridian soldiers that remained regrouped and formed into a tight line, linking their heavy shields together. Behind them, archers brought up their bows and knocked finely crafted arrows. The Huscarls raised their own shields - lighter than the Koridian ones, made of wood rather than metal. Weaker defense, but it allowed them to be far more mobile. They were good enough for blocking arrows. Only one Huscarl fell, an arrow embedded in his thigh. The others continued to race forward.

While the Koridian shield wall was a great defense against a charging enemy, the area was too open for it to be truly effective. The officer had made a hasty call upon seeing a Viking ship come down from the mountains and unload a sizable force of elite soldiers. The Huscarls were taught to be fluid - as powerful as an ocean wave slamming a helpless body against the rocky coast, but as free flowing as a stream wrapping around an outcropping of rocks. Always in motion. Never still long enough to become targets. Graceful but deadly.

When they neared the shield wall, the Huscarls ran off the sides, sprinting around the edges of the formation until a good number of them were behind the Koridian line. Some of the imperial soldiers pivoted around to deal with that threat. But it was too late. They'd broken the shield wall and left vulnerable spots open. They tried to separate into two lines - one for each attacking side. The Huscarls pounced on them as they tried to make a new formation, slamming axes into the back of exposed legs and spines, where the armor was always weakest. The imperials let out a war cry, charging forward to fight with all their aggressive fury. By then the Huscarls had the advantage. Even at their most offensive, the Koridian soldiers fell to the coordinated wolf-pack tactics of the Calatians, working as a lightning quick team to move in and cut down the opposition before they could properly react.

There were always stragglers at the edges of the battlefield.

She'd ditched her skis in favor of running. She had always been quick. If the armor felt too heavy, it was a sign she needed to do more of it to prepare for the coming war. It was a good workout. Her eyes scanned the battlefield in search of her disciple. It wouldn't be hard to spot a blonde armored princess amongst all the bulky men. There. With Leo - also easy to spot a dwarf. They'd stopped fighting or moving. Why had they stopped? It just made them targets for... ah, hell! As she expected, a handful of Koridians were on their way over to take advantage of their lack of movement. She could catch them.

She ran harder, leaping over logs and rocks as she made her way over. With a guttural roar, she met the Koridian soldiers and slammed her spear into the leg of an unsuspecting enemy. The others immediately stopped and turned about to face her. Too late. She held out her arm and send a wave of dark energy into the leading pair, throwing them back against an outcropping. Another step forward. She rammed the tip of her spear into a weak spot between the armor plates of another enemy. She finished off the previous two, still stunned from her magic, by delivering a death blow to their faces. The last attempted to run, eyes widening in fear as he realized just who she was. Too late. She grabbed him by the throat and released another burst of magic, the dark flames consuming his face and working their way down his body, burning flesh. He screamed in agony until the pain consumed him entirely. She dropped his corpse on the ground.

Selena turned to face her apprentice and the general, then closed the distance at a brisk pace. Ah, Rhiannon was covered in blood. Good girl, getting so brutal in battle as to end up with so much Koridian blood all over her armo... Was that a cut? Many cuts? Her face fell into a worried frown. Ah, damn. She'd taken too long to reinforce them. Still mindful that constant motion was key to winning a fight, Selena kept one corner of her eye on the battle itself, always watching for approaching enemies. If Rhiannon had been too injured, it was better that she fall back and recover.

"Rhiannon! Are you all right?"

#25 Khallos

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:21 PM

Khallos skidded along after the long boat, the shear weight of the thing turning into momentum and allowing it to outpace all skiers. Especially on the flat. Detaching his skis Khallos and a few of those Huscarls with him dashed towards battle after the fleet steps of Selena.

Seeing her hesitate for a second and run off then on her own, seemingly towards the Calatian command group, Khallos signalled the soldiers with him.

"With me! The Lady can look after herself and her own, we don't need to patronise her by holding onto her skirts. As a relief force for Lady Rhiannon and General Crimson I damn well think we can help them best by finishing this fight here and now."

Continuing to leg it, he caught sight of the Koridaian bannerman. Knights to the end in terms of discipline, the beleaguered commander of the Koridai forces and those Crusaders who managed to rally to him were beating back the small force of Vikings that had engaged them while the rest finished off the other Koridaians. Unfortunately for the code of chivalry, the Crusaders seemed to be thinking of any form of honour as they retreated steadily giving time for each Knight to mount.

"Death to the cowards!" Khallos roared as he saw one hack down a Huscarl from horseback.

Sprinting forwards and around the crescent the Koridaians had formed with four other Huscarls behind him, Khallos slammed into a rider as he thrust the lance at Khallos' face. Grabbing the shaft he pulled the knight from his horse and promptly crushed his windpipe with the rim of his shield.

Reaching for the axe he left behind on the longboat, Khallos muttered in irritation before swiftly drawing his 'acquired' Koridaian blade. Leaping at an officer Khallos swung the blade into his groin as he tried to mount, while parrying a lance strike from another knight he spun to engage this new threat as a spear from a Huscarl attacking the front of the Koridaian formation stuck his horse with a spear then slid the blade deep into the knight's side as the horse reared, then fell.

At that moment Khallos realised the Koridaians were broken. Seeing the demoralised men start to break as each gave up all hope of victory or personal and started to flee chaotically, Khallos caught sight of the Bannerman wheel the horse around abruptly. In a swift and fluid motion Khallos flicked a throwing axe from his belt and threw it at the retreating soldier. It caught him in the shoulder and immediatly jarred the knight loose in the saddle as the force of the blow slice through chain and crumpled bone. In a simultaneous motion both Khallos and the Bannerman dropped their shields, Khallos so to increase his mobility and the Bannerman so that he could grab the red Koridaian standard with his better arm.

Unfortunately for the knight in the half second it took for him to release the reins and grasp the banner, Khallos was upon him. Hamstringing the horse, Khallos had his prize. As the Bannerman weakly tried to impale Khallos with the standard with his left arm alone, Khallos realised it was too late, the throwing axe had been embedded up to its haft by the fall in the man's body. Flicking the Bannerman's helm off with a lift of his sword Khallos, wanted to gaze at this grizzled veteran's last moments of life. Instead what he saw was a woman, well a girl, probably just 18, not much older. Blood and spittle formed a film around her lips as she tried to make a final retort, one last insult at the hated enemy. Her face was little more than fear and pain. Likely some poor daughter of some fool Noble whose influence had managed to let her take part in a 'guaranteed victory'. Pinning her left arm to the ground with his foot Khallos drove the point of his blade through her eyesocket ending her life.

Seizing the standard, Khallos raised it above his head and bellowed the warcry of "For Calatia!"

#26 Crimson Lego

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 08:57 PM

Selena? thought Leo amazedly. It seemed that after even having gone missing, the leader of the Kingdom was invincible. Don’t stand around, he told himself, shouldering his axe. Do something! At least introduce yourself while you have the chance. Clearing his throat, Leo sprung into a quick but formal salute.

“General Crimson, special ops, ma’am.,” he said firmly. “Reporting for duty.” Formalities; I’ll never full get used to them, grimaced Leo. Out of the corner of his eye, he was relieved to see that the Snakeheads were working well with the newly arrived Calatian task force to pick off what was left of the Koridaians. I guess we’ve won.

#27 Rhiannon

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 12:32 AM

Rhiannon turned to Leo, and smiled. "Thank you, but I'll be alright. I don't need any special treatment. Go to your troops." She bowed her head in thanks and closed her eyes for just a second. It was painful, no doubt. However she didn't want Leo to think she was weak or needed to be looked after. That is when she heard it. The voice seemed to be coming from so far away. She was delirious, that's all. Her mind was making up things to make her feel better. She dismissed the voice as the wind and kept still. One thing she couldn't dismiss was Leo's sudden change. Rhia had always been very atuned to how people were feeling and something was definitely up with him. Rhia opened her eyes thinking that maybe an enemy was nearby, instead she saw Selena.

She rubbed her eyes and blinking several times. She couldn't believe it. Selena? Here? When? How? The questions flew through her mind. She forgot everything, got up and half-ran to Selena and gave her as much as a hug as she could manage.

"I'm fine, Lena. Big girl remember? Just a scratch." Just to show Lena that she was okay she raised one of her knives with her mind and dangled it in front of Selena's face. "See? Now leave me alone and go kick some butt because you've got some serious talking to do with me later missy." Rhia gave Lena a wink and turned to Leo.

"I'm going to go and look after the injured now that more warriors have come. If that's alright with you of course?"
She turned slightly away and winced.

#28 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 01:33 AM

X watched as more viking soldiers came to the battle.

Longboats as sleds? That's a new one. Well at least the imperials changed their focus to the incoming soldiers, so I can get back to work.

As X walked back to the wounded, he pick his tomahawk back up and cleaned it off. After he cleaned it, he put it back on his belt.

Looking back at the girl and the dwarf, he noticed a third person standing with them.

I wonder who they all are, and what this war is about anyways...

Turning his attention back to the wounded, he picked back up the knife from earlier, and began working on another arrow wound.

#29 Selena

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 01:36 AM

"Group the injured back at the boat. It should be safest back there," Selena said, nodding her head back in the direction of the river. She examined the extent of Rhiannon's wounds and was none too happy, but she was insisting that she could hold together. The medics back in Snowpeak would be able to give her a proper patching up. Unfortunately, Rhiannon was also stubborn and prideful (though not to the extent that Lena herself was). She would push herself to the extreme so as not to be an inconvenience. "Don't do anything too strenuous. Tend to your own wounds first."

She checked on Khallos - still doing well. The single Koridian unit was done for. They would have a few minutes until the larger border patrol showed up. Enough time to catch their breath and get prepared. There were wounded. Regrettable, but most would live. She spotted a bison. Why was there a... and a sentient suit of armor? Oh, whatever. She'd sort things out after the enemy had been driven from her lands. She couldn't afford to be too distracted with the border patrol coming up fast. At least the border soldiers were lightly armored in comparison. The Huscarls would have no trouble with them. It was just a matter of keeping endurance up.

Of course, having no time to herself since her rude awakening, and her immediate call away from Snowpeak to reinforce her troops... Selena was not in the best of moods. And she especially hated formality. She fixed a glare on Leo.

"Don't give me the formality bull! Special ops. Special ops wouldn't need to be bailed out! This mission shouldn't have even happened. Guild remnants were the bitches of Khuffie and Chikara. They won't give us shit! It was a trap from the very beginning," she said.

Selena stood up and waved her spear-arm to get her soldiers' attention.

"Another enemy unit is approaching from the southeast. I want you all to get behind cover and stay out of sight. We'll take them by surprise. You will not let them reach the river. When the attack begins, you will not go on the defensive. You will not cower. You will be on the constant offensive - an endless string of attacks that will leave the enemy helpless! You are fluid death. Surround the enemy and pick them off. You are bloodthirsty animals and they will be your victims! Do not stay still long enough to become a target! Move!"

The Snakeheads and the Huscarls scrambled to find decent hiding spots, no doubt afraid of angering her. Good. That would give them motivation to fight harder. She'd be nicer after they won. No time for 'nice' when actually in the heat of battle. Nice people got stabbed. ...Well. Nice people got stabbed by mortals. Badass people got stabbed by goddesses. That was entirely different.

"Khallos, command the left flank! No mercy to the enemy! Keep an eye on Rhia and the wounded!"

Selena gripped her spear in both hands and ducked down behind the nearest rock outcropping with a frown. Leo was still close.

"Chikara probably hired the Guild to lure our men into the trap. She was up in Snowpeak just now, you know. Probably trying to distract me from this. She was mostly just being a nuisance. She's good at that. She'll be commanding her armies personally now, though, so there's no room for screw ups. You're dealing with one of the greatest supervillains of all time, even before she was a goddess. She'll use any number of underhanded tricks to tear us to shreds. Do not expect conventional or honorable combat. With Steel, perhaps. Maybe even the Magnus. Not with her. Not ever."

She kept her eyes fixed on the trees beyond, waiting for the slightest movement. She had to let the Koridians get close before this was effective.

#30 Khallos

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 12:51 PM

Running over to see if Rhiannon was injured as rumours said she was and to report to the other leaders, Khallos gave a swift salute. Even at a quickest of glances Khallos could not see anything to grave had happened to Rhia, still if the fight had continued... Suddenly realising that Selena was being her calm and collected self Khallos threw the banner he was flaunting to the floor. No time for baubles now, especially one of such a small force.

"Khallos, command the left flank! No mercy to the enemy! Keep an eye on Rhia and the wounded!"

He nodded in acknowledgment. Hurrying off with a few chosen Vikings at his side he quickly formed the now scattered left flank of the hidden battleline. Finding minimal cover, him and those around him dropped to the floor and arranged themselves amongst the bodies of a few Koridaians they dragged along, what better disguise than the dead?

He knew Selena wanted a brutal attack but she too wanted an iron flank, if a small body of mounted troops got round the side of the Calatians they could cause havoc by smashing into the wounded. No, he would stagger his advance and make sure the left would fend off any outflankers, then themselves roll into the enemy's side. Holding tight his spear that a Huscarl had fetched from the boat for him, Khallos waited for the coming attack sprawled on the knee of a fellow Viking.




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