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The Halls of Snowpeak


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#61 Selena

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:33 PM

It had better be a good meal, then.

"Yeah, I suppose I've kept you waiting long enough. Being nearly dead for a little while gets you so behind on paperwork. The dungeon is this way," Selena said with a wave of her arm. She took a turn down another corridor and began to descend a flight of stone stairs, the air growing colder as they left the main floor of the castle. No bother to her. Probably a bother for him. Certainly a bother to the Alliance officer trapped in the frigid dungeon.

As they went down the stairs, Selena shot a glance in his direction.

"So, you used to be one of Steel's ace heroes and then you ended up living in the Cursed Lands. Despite there being plenty of unsettled territory here in the south. That's a long fall out of favor. Then again, you look like you're playing dress-up as a Hall knight with that green armor. Maybe you were up there trying to save the poor souls left behind after Chikara's cataclysm? What's your story?"

#62 JRPomazon

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 06:59 PM

"When the world fell apart, there was someone I left behind. When I went back to get her out of Verden, she was gone. I met a seer with the power of foresight during my brief stay at the Eagles Talons, can tell you anything about the past and future. He wasn't able to see very much because of Lazu's influence over the land clouding his vision or something like that. I eventually started coming across survivors and have been trying to find a way to get Verden back to being inhabitable by humans. Perhaps even a place people can be free from goddesses and vikings."

The most peculiar thing about Chikara's curse on the land was that it only effected human beings. Flora and fauna have been at an all time high ever since, acting according to nature rather than going insane and killing each other.

"Lots of rummaging through older dorms looking for anything that might be help the curse problem, lots of encounters with crazies and one too many times I had to see friends die by the hands of the Empire and the Cursed. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. And you're right about the armor, I'm not nearly as heroic as the knights of the hall. But hey, I think the green suits me just fine."

Jordan stretched his arms out, hearing a slight popping noise as the joints loosened. As he rested his arms back at his side, a question popped into his head.

"Hey, you ever meet my ancestor? His name was Pharos." He asked.

Edited by JRPomazon, 25 March 2010 - 08:09 PM.


#63 Selena

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:56 PM

She'd been alive for six and a half centuries, so remembering individuals who croaked after eighty or so years was a bit difficult. Simply because of the longevity granted by Lazu's influence, the only people she readily remembered were other members of the Labyrinth. There were a few standouts from the "regular" crowd of heroes and villains. Korhend, from Kakariko, had been a fleeting but intense love interest. Various Desert Defenders. Sages. Rhiannon had once been a Sage before her death, and Selena had remembered her when resurrecting the girl. Anyone that gave her a good battle stuck out in her mind, but names were harder than faces.

"Pharos," Selena said to herself. She looked over at Jordan's face and try to recognize any of the features. Coupled with the green armor... it was coming to her. The joke about being a Hall knight hadn't been too far off. Pharos. Pharos, Pharos, Pharos. Yes! One of the better knights of the Hall during the period of his existence. A goody-two-shoes amongst goody-two-shoes. He'd gotten a hit in.

Selena stopped walking and began to undo her right shoulder guard. She lifted the metal up to reveal the bare skin of her upper arm. As with most of her (and any Loddie's) skin, it possessed several scars varying in length. She pointed at one of the longer marks.

"That's him! Right there! If he were alive today, he'd have a matching one on his leg," Selena said with a nostalgic smile. "Some people just have memories of others. I've got proof! You know, it's funny. I don't even remember what the battle was about. I know it was a bigger one, because there was a whole crowd of warriors getting in my way. We were probably raiding and the Hall was there to defend the place. That's how it usually worked. Pharos and two other knights came at me. I got rid of the other two, but as I was finishing the last one off, Pharos managed to get a hit in. Wasn't too bad - just bled like hell. I nicked him back, but our encounter was near the end of the whole mess. The Labyrinth went back underground before anything could come of our 'duel.' Saw him a few times here and there. We never really got into it again, though. Always in different locations."

She pointed to another scar further down her arm, near the elbow. She had a proud grin on her face.

"That one's Jericho - you should know of him. The one that tried to overthrow Queen Jaina. Korhend and I got into a pretty hectic fight with him during that huge battle at Kakariko. He was trying to lop off my arm. Trust me, that sword of his was definitely sharp enough to do it with minimal effort. I was just quick enough to avoid the full attack."

Selena shrugged her shoulder guard back into place and latched it down again.

"The flesh may wither and die, but the story of a good fight lasts forever!"

#64 Crimson Lego

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:04 PM

Walking up the stairs to the courtyard of Snowpeak for the second time in the past hour, Leo took a deep breath and inhaled the fresh mountain air again. Much more peaceful. As he entered the castle, the dwarf looked around and nodded in greeting to many of the passing Calatians; however, he also notice that they were giving Synile an odd glance every time they came in his vicinity. Typical; he’s not crazy at all, he reminded himself. Perhaps that was a big problem in the world: judging others before getting to know them. Unfortunately, Leo had had that problem as a kid, back in Sornaiid. Because his master was a retired Alliance soldier, many of the neighbours believed him to be a supporter of that organization. They were wrong, thought Leo, remembering the fire that had killed his parents. He had proven the rumours false by joining the Woodies against the other dorms, and had again proved his loyalty in Olimandias. By then, he knew that nobody would doubt him again.

Seeing Selena and Jordan heading down another corridor, the general decided to see if he could catch up sooner or later. Approaching his office, Leo said a quick, “Wait here” to Synile, and headed in. A few moments later, he came back out, holding a scroll in his hand. Rolling it open and checking the contents, he felt satisfied with the work and led Synile in the direction where Selena and Jordan were headed.

Passing through the main hall and heading for the smaller passage, Leo glanced at Synile. “So…how do you like Snowpeak so far? I think there should be a few extra rooms or so here.”

#65 Sir Deimos

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:25 PM

“So…how do you like Snowpeak so far? I think there should be a few extra rooms or so here.”

"The air is much fresher than I'm used to, for starters. Scenery is nice, and I do love the cold..." Synile caught sight of Selena and the green-clad spearman heading downward into the dungeon. "If you'll excuse me... She seems to be rambling on about scars... I just HAVE to embarrass her." Synile stealthily makes his way towards the dungeon whilst Selena is still rambling on about battle wounds.

"That one's Jericho - you should know of him. The one that tried to overthrow Queen Jaina. Korhend and I got into a pretty hectic fight with him during that huge battle at Kakariko. He was trying to lop off my arm. Trust me, that sword of his was definitely sharp enough to do it with minimal effort. I was just quick enough to avoid the full attack."

Selena shrugged her shoulder guard back into place and latched it down again.

"The flesh may wither and die, but the story of a good fight lasts forever!"

Synile lets his presence be known by quickly joining in on the conversation. "Ah, nothing quite like telling the story behind scars." Synile rather unceremoniously lifts his light armor up and over his head, and tosses the cloak aside, showing a back occasionally criss-crossed with scars. "Those claw marks you see there belong to a certain armor clad minx." Letting his armor fall back into place, Synile mocks a kiss in Selena's direction. "I don't know how the whole 'Cuddlecakes' thing came about, she hasn't so much as called in the several hundred years since." Synile smiled deeply, completely aware he was more likely to be killed for this as opposed to his psychotic episode on the battlefield earlier.

Edited by Synile, 25 March 2010 - 11:26 PM.


#66 Selena

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 12:22 AM

Oh, god. That boy still hadn't gotten back from CrazyTown if he though that was a good idea. It took a titan's amount of willpower to stop Selena from stabbing Synile in the balls, but she found a better way to deal with the situation. Blame somebody else.

"Sorry, Synile, but I've always kept my nails well trimmed for combat reasons. Those are definitely Chik-marks. She's the only armor-clad minx that kept her nails long. I've seen them before. Hell, I have some. Right here." Selena pointed to her lower back. "You should have said something when she was here. Maybe she would have been interested in causing some fresh wounds."

Leo was there too, but further back. Great. It was turning into a procession. Well, she did need to speak with Leo at some point. Might as well kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Alliance officer first. She didn't want anyone to get too hyperactive over the idea of a Chik-killing weapon. It'd be like kids opening presents during the holidays - they'd forget about everything else.

"Hey, Leo, I'm gonna need to talk to you about some business. Stick around, please."

#67 JRPomazon

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 12:58 AM

Jordan laughed, it was nice to hear stories about good fights rather than politics of what the goddess smited recently. Leave it for tabloids.

"You know what, you ain't half bad Fossil." he said as his laughter died down to a dull roar.

As Synile entered the conversation and showed his marks, things started to get more amusing. It was very surprising, was this casual behavior genuine or another ploy to convince him. to join? Well, it didn't matter. No sense letting suspicion ruin a perfectly good mood. It wasn't as though he hadn't dealt with situations like that before. So, it was time to join in the fun. He lifted his armor over his shoulders, revealing a tattered brown tunic and chainmail underneath. He lifted the cloth and steel, revealing several scars covering a good portion of his exposed torso. Nothing gruesome, more along the lines of cuts.

"I got these a good portion of these suckers during the raid on the capital, combination of lucky shots and karmic backlash"

The cost of using wind manipulation was to subject his very body to the wind itself, resulting in cuts forming over his body after using his skills to an dangerous extent. He shifted his clothing and armor back. Too cold to expose himself for too long.

"Well then, shall we get going?" He said, adjusting his green armor.

Edited by JRPomazon, 26 March 2010 - 01:00 AM.


#68 Crimson Lego

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 02:24 PM

Watching as Selena, Jordan, and Synile showed off their various battle scars and wounds, Leo could tell that by Selena’s expression Synile’s action was not a very good one. This could be bad, thought the dwarf, his hand moving towards the knife in case a fight was to break out. Fortunately, that was averted when Selena stated that the wounds were definitely ‘Chik-marks’. Sighing in relief, Leo crossed his arms and glanced around. Though the others were veterans of wars, the general had no real scars to show off; instead, he merely grunted in response to the comments.

Watching up closer to the trio, Leo glanced further down the corridor. From what he knew of Snowpeak’s architecture, this was a path heading towards one of the castle’s prisons. A prominent prisoner, perhaps? Either way, it was probably none of his business, but since Selena had asked him to stay, the dwarf decided he had no other choice but to stick around. Besides, I might learn something later.

Crossing his arms, Leo turned to Selena and Jordan. “Where are you guys heading right now anyways?”

#69 Selena

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 06:09 PM

"We're off to interrogate that Alliance officer and see what our old friends from the north are up to," Selena answered.

With the scar competition over, and everyone in decent spirits, Selena continued down the stairs until they reached the lowest level of Snowpeak. The air was frigid, accentuated even further by the moisture in the air. At the bottom of the staircase, just to her right, was room with five on-duty guards, all of whom were wrapped in fur capes. A crossbow launcher was fixed onto the lower lip of the open 'window' of that room, able to shoot down the entire length of the narrow hallway on Selena's left. Guards were on duty there, too, in order to respond instantly to attempted prison breaks. The hallway was only wide enough for two men to walk side-by-side in order to hinder movement in the event of a fight. It led to six small cells, though only one was occupied. The Alliance prisoner was in the cell furthest away from the stairs.

The officer was chained to the wall, bare-chested so that he would remain in a state of constant discomfort from the cold. It wasn't freezing enough to induce hypothermia, just cause a minor drop in reaction times and energy levels. He was hardly a warrior - to thin and lacking muscle. A ten year old Calatian girl probably could have beaten the crap out of him. Just a cowardly figurehead. It wouldn't be difficult to squeeze out information.

The guard opened the cell door for Selena and her troop, and she stepped inside. Her happier demeanor upstairs was put aside, and she became the grim-faced terror everyone outside of Calatia expected to encounter.

"We're here to ask you a few questions. If you cooperate, no problem. If you resist, we'll cut off your dick and feed it to the hunting dogs. Understand?"

He nodded rapidly.

"Your army - is it primarily made up of survivors from the Cursed Lands?"

"Yes."

"Are you being supported by the nation of Andiel?" The ex-Alliance colony would certainly have sympathizers. While it wasn't the most powerful former colony - which would have been Alpenland - it did have the ability to ship supplies and weapons overseas.

The officer nodded. "Yes."

"To what extent?" Selena asked. "Do they merely support you, or are you taking orders from the rulers of Andiel?"

"A-A-Andiel came looking for survivors, and when they found us, they put this plan together," the officer stammered, lips rebelling against his wishes due to the cold. "They said it was our best chance at taking back Verden."

"Do they intend to send their own soldiers over?"

"Some already have. More may be on the way if they find it necessary," he said.

Great. "Who is the leader of your army?"

"Councilor Callistus," he said. "A former member of Khuffie's Tower, previously with the military. Now a prominent figure in Andiel."

Selena hadn't heard of him, but all those Alliance types looked and acted the same. Well, that was a start. She held out her hand and looked at Jordan, signaling that it was his turn to question the man.

#70 JRPomazon

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 12:59 AM

Jordan walked past Selena and stood face to face with the Alliance soldier, the poor man staring blankly at the ground as he was chained to the wall half naked. He felt uneasy about seeing him like this, but chances were that if it was Koridai that had caught him he wouldn't be doing nearly as well as this.

"It's been a while Horace, it's good to know you're still alive."

As if a spark of lighting ran through his body, he quickly looked to see Jordan with a pained expression on his face.

"Jordan!?" He shouted, amazed as if he were looking at a ghost.

"Why in Diel's name are you here? Why are you in the presence of this bloodthirsty lot!?"

"Calm down Horace, I'll explain everything once you tell me what this business with the Alliance is all about. Everyone else thought you died six months ago until Tiresias saw you in one of his visions."

"Heh, the damn seer can still see within the fog of the goddess' curse?" He said, disdain in his voice that had been curdled by self rebellion.

"Answer the questions Horace." Jordan

"OR WHAT! You going to kill me Jordan? Is that what this is? You a viking now!?"

Jordan walked over to Horace and pushed him back into the wall, his grip digging into his frozen skin.

"WE THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD! WE SPEND MONTHS LOOKING FOR YOU ONLY TO FIND YOUR TATTERED CLOAK AND YOUR SWORD AND NOW THAT I FINALLY SEE YOU ARE OK YOU ARE SPOUTING ON ABOUT ALL THIS SHIT!" Jordan shouted, insulted by his former comrade's baseless accusations.

"You people at Windfall have no clue what you are doing, following the words of some mad man while pretending that you can make a difference." Horace replied softly, no longer making eye contact with Jordan.

"I got tired of it, the cursed lands, the miserable living, all of it was nuts. Even more nuts than thinking that you people could actually kill the goddess."

"SO YOU JUST GAVE UP!?" Jordan admonished, shaking Horace violently.

"No Jordan, I just came to my senses. The only ones who are going to make a difference now are the Alliance, we've got an army big enough to save Verden from all these bastards."

"Numbers won't save anyone Horace, if the armies of the domains don't get to them the curse will."

"Neither will hiding in ruins and pretending you can actually accomplish anything with a small group of misfits and a blind man. When they fall, and they will, it's going to be hard. I just got out of that mess before I sank with the ship."

Jordan released Horace and turned away, too frustrated to even look at him.

"It seems you did the same, or else why would you be here?"

"I haven't betrayed anyone Horace. I'll see what I can do to get you out of here."

Jordan turned away, he had just about as much as he could take.

"HEY! I didn't ask for your charity Viridian Knight!" Horace shouted right back at him as he left the cell.

He turned back calmly and looked Horace straight in the eye.

"Well tough. You've swallowed your pride before, I'm sure you can do it again."

Edited by JRPomazon, 28 March 2010 - 12:16 PM.


#71 Rhiannon

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 01:24 AM

Rhiannon has showered, cleaned up and had just finished having a bite to eat in the dining hall when she walked out into the hallway and heard shouting.

Oh dear, she thought. She wondered if that was someone outside, someone being Snyile, or coming down from the prision cells. She shuddered hoping it was the former. She never could stomach that kind of stuff and didn't with to see what they to with them either. The hallway was deserted and the castle felt lonely somehow. Maybe she would bring the man a piece of bread. Surely that wouldn't be too bad. Rhiannon walked into the kitchen.

"May I please have some bread and warm water with lemon?" She asked the kitchen staff. They scurried around and collected what she wanted. Luckily someone had just had some tea, so there was a great big cup of hot water.

"Here you go, Princess. Enjoy." One of them said with a bright smile. Rhiannon nodded a thank you and went off down towards the prison cells.

Now if only she could find them...

#72 Ken the Wandering Soul

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:41 AM

"Who said that?" the child demanded, looking around. His fellows hiding a bit further back seemed surprised as well, trying to figure out where the voice was speaking from.

< < Me. > >

The boy looked down to the wolf that was looking directly at him.

"Oh please, I'm no idiot. Just show yourself!" the child demanded of the environment around him.

The wolf was tired of this. In one motion the beast stood up. along with it's shorter sword swigning around to point at the annoying young Calatian.

< < Run. > >

All of the children, including the offending one, bolted at this action, running back to the more populated part of Snowpeak.

The wolf soon felt regret for being so sharp and callous. It was just some kids, they could have been handled more deftly... What would they do now? Say there was some sort of monster out in the wilderness?


The wolf returned to his rest. If someone did come for him, he could run. Until then, he would lay here, basking in the atmosphere of this spot.

#73 Crimson Lego

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 11:38 AM

While Selena was having her turn to interrogate the Alliance officer, Leo had ordered a guard to bring him the man’s effects. Setting the possessions down on a table, he placed his axe away and began looking through for identification of any kind in the blue and white uniform. We need something to go on if the Alliance is going to be defeated. Though it was obvious the army was aiming to destroy both Calatia and Koridai, it made sense to destroy the nation with a lesser footing on Verden. From their point of view, that would probably mean the guys living in the mountains and dressing up in furs….us, grimaced the dwarf. Finding a name inside the jacket, it was shown that the officer was ‘Jenkins, H’. Jenkins…that strikes a bell. On a previous mission, Leo had escorted Ambassador Yildun to the country of Virrat; the operation was nearly sabotaged by a Corporal Harold Jenkins, who turned out to be a Koridaian agent. Perhaps these 2 are related? Could this man be an imperial, pondered the dwarf, glancing at the man. A moment later, he shook his head. Too weak; a normal Koridaian would probably be reacting more to the cold than he is. Just another coincidence, he thought, throwing the jacket back down. From what he heard from Selena’s questioning, these soldiers were

All of a sudden, Jordan started raging at the man, whom was called Horace, causing Leo to jump in shock. Whirling around, he watched as the Whirlwind Spear yelled something about giving up and the man responded with ‘Neither will hiding in ruins and pretending you can actually make a difference with a small group of misfits and a blind man’. Putting the pieces together, the dwarf came to the conclusion that Jordan and this man were once friends in an attempt to defeat Chikara. Windfall Island? That place is still inhabitable?, he pondered. The word ‘cloak’ also brought to mind of Lucas, whose body had never been recovered.

As Jordan left the cell after speaking his final words to Horace, Leo took his chance to throw in a few question of his own. Pushing up a chair and standing up on it, he took a deep breath and looked into the man’s eyes. “So…Horace,” he began. “You and others are trying to retake Verden?”

“That’s right, shorty,” sneered the officer, clearly not intimidated by somebody shorter than by a foot. “In a month or 2, both your precious Kingdom and the Empire will be gone, as well as the Goddess. Emperor Khuffie’s goal will have been reached.”

“You still follow that?” asked the dwarf, getting off the chair and pacing around the cell. “Khuffie was killed years ago and Olimandias was destroyed. Surely you don’t think that you can still win against 2 newly formed sovereignties that have good anchors, even with the help of Andiel?”

“Yes, I do,” replied the officer defiantly. Despite the fact that he was in a cold environment, the recent argument with Jordan seemed to have fueled him with energy to talk back. “The Alliance nations has been around for as long as the Labyrinth or the Hall of Heroes. We were able to defeat all of those domains, force their leaders to be advisors, and, as you can see, even the newer ones have fallen. Through all this and the formation of Calatia and Koridai, the Alliance has been able to survive.” Pausing for a moment, Horace added, “Even in a much smaller colony.”

“And, supposing you can, what do you think will happen after you destroy us?” snarled Leo. “Even if you can kill Chikara, the spirit of Lazu will just find another avatar who will repeat the process over and over again. This time, the destruction will probably reach out to Komitaa or Norrendir as well. Are you going to rebuild Olimandias and Van’Duras just to have them burn down again?! Sooner or later, Andiel will be run over by Alpenland or the pirates, and there will the end of your new empire!” Continuing to walk faster around the room, Leo kept talking. “I was there, Lieutenant. I was there in Olimandias when you guys sent in 15000 extra men and trapped us. I led 700 dorm soldiers to safety on the fields, but in that period of time, the Goddess was born! In that period of time, the dorms were wiped out! In that period of time, thousands of men, women, and children died!!!”

Climbing back onto the chair, the dwarf grabbed the man’s throat and brought him closer. “And I guarantee you,” he whispered, “You will die just like your previous Alliance friends. You will be long dead before you see a Second Alliance rise from the ashes of this continent.”

Stepping down, Leo exhaled and turned to the others. “We ready to go?” he asked calmly.

Edited by Leo Crimson, 28 March 2010 - 02:15 PM.


#74 Sir Deimos

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:10 PM

"You're really lucky she didn't try to stab you in the balls after that stunt."

That's where the whole fun of it was! She certainly looked like she was going to, anyway... that reminds me...

While Leo was having his chat with the general, Synile pulled Selena aside. This time his eyes were full of grim determination. Grim determination and a slight spark of paranoia, but the paranoia was common. Synile gazed downward, into the warrior woman's eyes.

"I owe you a deep apology... I don't know what happened to me in that forest earlier this afternoon. I need to make that up to you. Whatever your next move is, I beg that you take me with you. And you of all people know that we beg for no one." The deep chill of the dungeon lent a terrifically creepy, and ominous feel to Synile's words, well, the atmosphere, and the fact that he just referred to himself in the plural.

Synile broke his gaze before Selena could reply and the thickness of the atmosphere seemed to subside. Synile casually leaned against the wall nearest him, and went on with the conversation casually, acting as if he hadn't just done something as out of character as, essentially, apologize.

"And... I'm thinking of moving out of that damned shack of mine. Any rooms in the castle nice enough to suit the former Champion of our beloved Labyrinth..?" Synile was trying to both look away from Selena, and observe her reaction to that last request.

#75 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 10:40 PM

After gazing at the castle for some time, Turtlelot walked back over to his bison. He pulled the reigns to what looked to be a comfortable spot, and pulled some more food from the packs on its back. He fed the bison once again.

"Go ahead and relax Winston, I'm going to go wander around the castle. You just stay here, and try to behave yourself."

Turtlelot took his saber from one of the packs and attached it to his belt. He looked back over at the castle and started walking towards it. Once he reached the top of the stairs, he was surprised to not see any guards at the entrance. I suppose they don't have to worry about attacks up here in the mountains. After entering, he found the inside just as fascinating as the outside. He looked at the architecture for a few moments, and began to wander the halls wondering where everyone was...

Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 28 March 2010 - 10:42 PM.


#76 Ken the Wandering Soul

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 12:43 AM

The child returned. Of course he did.

The wolf looked up to see the annoying little boy again, brandishing a sword that was obviously meant for full-sized adult. He did not have so many friends this time around, just one.

"C'mon Issur, we should really have someone else do this," said the tag-along friend.

"I ain't gonna be scared of no monster! I am a warrior of Calatia!" replied the boy.

The wolf let loose a low growl. He neither needed nor wanted to fight right now. The other child, apparently named Danton, kept trying to convince Issur to stop and have an actual seasoned warrior fight the dangerous beast. No matter what though, Issur refused. The particulars of the conversation mostly blurred by the wolf's ears, though he could see the gist of what was happening. The back-and-forth between the two culminated in Danton running off to find someone who could actually help, while Issur came fortht o issue his challenge.

"Beast, you will be mine!" the boy declared.

Issur charged forward, bringing down the sword. The wolf let out a long exhale--a sigh? The swords which had been laying by the wolf's sides swung up to block the attack.

< < Idiot child. > >

The swords suddenly pushed out at the boy's blade, knocking him back onto the ground.

Satisfied that this was foolishness was done, the wolf turned and started walking away. Much to his disapointment though, he would heard the boy gein to stand up and make another charge. The wolf dodged out of the way with the ease, looking back at the child to see that Issur had stuck his sword in the ground. Creating some distance between himself and the child, the wolf watched as the child struggled to free the weapon from the earth. The watched, bemused as the child finally pulled the weapon out with a look of triumph. The child tried to charge again, only for the blow to be deflected by one of the wolf's swords.

How long would this nonsense have to last?

#77 JRPomazon

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:29 AM

Jordan took a few steps away from the cell and leaned against the wall closest to the exit, crossing his arms to keep warm. He had to help Horace, the deserter that he was. He had no choice but to respect Horace's choice, it wasn't like he was forced to do anything and Jordan wasn't the kind of person who would force his ideas on anyone else. That was Chikara and Khuffie, maybe even Selena. Leo went in after him and began speaking to Horace, another sharing of words that lead to more shouting. Great, a new fad.

Selena and Synile were chatting about something, he seemed less forward than he was before. Sobriety was a mysterious creature. The sounds of foot steps echoed from the door, growing louder as they progressed. Another visitor for this place? It was going to get more cramped in here it seemed. All the while, Jordan's thoughts were elsewhere. After seeing Ken earlier on, a meeting with Steel was more or less inevitable at this point. And then there was him, the lord of the imperial inquisition himself. The man who had been single handedly dismantling any trace of the old alliance from the continent as if it were some sort of compulsive desire. Whether it was sanctioned or his own sick hobby, he'd been destroying centuries of history with his bloodhounds running rampant throughout the cursed lands. He was looking for something, but after a recent conversation with a certain arrogant ass it seemed more like a someone.

Jordan snapped back to reality, there was no need to go thinking too hard about this. The foot steps were right by the door now.

#78 Rhiannon

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 06:45 PM

Rhiannon paused outside the door and could hear the voices inside. She froze. Selena would not approve of what she was doing. She'd say she was too soft, among other things. Rhiannon tip toed backwards being as quiet as she could. She wasn't sure if they were going to come out soon or not, but she better hide until the went upstairs at least. She found a small corridor and hid in the shodows, crouching and making herself as small as she could so they wouldn't know she was there. She breathed quietly.

"Eeeps, I should have thought this out more," she sighed.

#79 Selena

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 09:19 PM

"Don't worry about it, Synile," Selena said. Well. "Actually, yes, you should worry about it. Berserker rage is one thing, but you can't be trying to stab anything in sight, and it's certainly not a wise idea to pick a fight with me. Maybe you've been hitting the whiskey too hard, or maybe you've just been self-exiled in that shack for too long. The stress from that will get to you. I'll get you a room on the west end of the castle. Check in with the quartermaster later tonight. You may also come on our next mission. It should be... interesting. I'll brief everyone on it as soon as I wrap up some other loose ends."

Between Selena, Jordan and Leo, they'd learned enough information to keep her mind occupied. Lesser interrogation officers could pry out little details - like the whereabouts of Alliance units and the location of their camps. Jordan's interrogation had been particularly intriguing. Windfall Island. That old settlement still had some life to it? It was a good place to hide, of course. The mindless lunatic hordes of the Cursed Lands wouldn't get to it as readily as they would the ruins on the continent. So. He had a group of ragtag warriors out there. Good to remember.

It sounded like Jordan wanted Selena to let the prisoner go. Not exactly a decision she'd be happy with.

The familiar (but nearly silent) footsteps of a nearby maiden, however, meant that it would probably be in Selena's best interest to release him. Jordan was one thing, but the disapproval of Rhiannon was far more serious. She always got so upset when Selena did Selena-ish things.

She turned to Jordan after stepping away from the cell.

"You want me to let him go, don't you? I'm going to need a good reason. Chances are he'll run straight back to the Alliance and threaten my people again."

#80 JRPomazon

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:28 PM

"He's got a good heart, despite him being an opportunist. I can't in good conscious just leave him here like this, then I'd be no better than he was."

He turned to make eye contact with Selena, rather than stare at an empty cell.

"I'm not asking you to let him go, I'm asking you to let me and my comrades take care of him. To you his was a hostage, to me he is a traitor. Shouldn't that be enough reason?"

Horace had it tougher than any of the gray cloaked warriors, losing his bride on their wedding day to the rise of Chikara the goddess. The only person who ever really loved him, to see her succumb to the curse . . . it was something he didn't want to think about. He turned to the doorway and looked back at Selena.

"You mind telling me why she's hiding?" He asked.

Edited by JRPomazon, 29 March 2010 - 11:28 PM.


#81 Crimson Lego

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:21 PM

As Jordan left the small cell and Selena entered into a conversation with Synile, Leo crossed his arms and moved to the back of the chamber, only a few feet away from the door. His attention was fixed on Lieutenant Horace Jenkins, whose head was now lowered down almost to his chest as if in shame. He should be; abandoning your friends in the Cursed Lands for a organization that doesn’t have a foothold on this continent anywhere is terrible, thought the dwarf darkly. However, he did think that Horace might have a slight bit of justification in the reason that he had left Jordan and what seemed to be Tiresias on Windfall Island. Giving up isn’t always good; against Chikara, it might reasonable. Personally, Leo felt confident that if anyone of the higher ranking officials of Koridai had discovered a method of killing the Goddess, possibly ‘Lord’ Steel or the infamous General Magnus, they would have done it already. Now it’s up to us, he grimaced.

Glancing back at Jordan, the dwarf couldn’t help but wonder what the former pirate had been doing for 2 years. What could anybody do against Chikara without an army, even if they have a future-seeing seer? Leo could also not understand why the Whirlwind Spear would want to try to help free Horace from the prison. A traitor is a traitor; that wouldn’t have happened at all in the old days. Unfortunately, he was not familiar with the politics or justice system of Calatia, seeing as he was usually out on raids or missions, so that would be up to Selena’s decision. Not that I care; if I had a choice, I would make him work for us. Horace seemed rather frightening and not very good in combat, but he could provide valuable information to defeat what was left of the Alliance. I think both Calatia and Koridai have had enough of that union already.

Sighing, the general headed over to where the others were. Selena seemed to have finished talking to Synile and was conversing with Jordan now. Moving forward, Leo saw the warrior glance towards the door and say, “You mind telling me why she's hiding?” Instinctively, the dwarf pulled out his combat knife but kept it out of sight. Maybe it’s a false alarm, but it can’t hurt not being prepared.

#82 Selena

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:40 PM

"I think it is because she is up to something," Selena stretched out. She leaned into the doorway, looking up the stairs that led to the upper levels of Snowpeak. She spoke loud enough to be heard. "I wonder if she's taking pity on another prisoner-pet. I've told her about feeding strays, but she just won't listen!"

It was very difficult to be scary when Rhiannon was always adopting some 'poor helpless' prisoner or continually showing mercy to people who really didn't deserve it. The princess had a bleeding heart, and Selena was unable to find a bandage large enough to hold back the gushing tide of blood.

"And I'll bet she wants me to send the prisoner back with Jordan, too! Come down here, you little eavesdropper."

#83 Rhiannon

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:51 PM

Rhiannon frowned. "Stupid, no good, traitor. Who does he think he is coming in here acting like he owns the place." she mumbled under her breath. Rhiannon pushed the tray with her foot so that it was out of view and stepped out into the hallway.

"I was coming down here to see you and then I, uh, lost an earring. That's all, but I suppose you're done now, so why don't y'all head upstairs and grab something to eat! The cook has made the most delicious soup! Carrots, celery, turkey, broth, potatoes, peppers! You name it! Can't you just smell it now? Come on now, go on up." Rhiannon just wanted them out of there. She didn't need Leo, Snyile or this new big-mouthed traveler judging her.

She peeked around them into the room. The poor man was skinny and shirtless and these prisons were freezing. She knew that he was probably bad news, but much to Selena's disaproval she felt everyone needed to be treated with at least a little care. She didn't put butter on the bread, does that count for anything? Maybe she could use that argument if it came to that.

Rhiannon put on her best innocent smile and made herself look as small and helpless as possible. "Well what ya waiting for?"

#84 Selena

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 10:40 PM

Oh, fine. She'd humor the poor girl. Besides, there were other matters to attend to, and there were many questions to be asked in preparation for their mission to Korento. According to people older than Selena herself, the dinner table was the best and traditional meeting place to discuss matters of importance. Something about breaking bread. That was fine with Selena. She was hungry after a long day of fighting.

"I guess we'd better clear out and head up to the mess hall," Selena said, then went into a melodramatic tone. "I couldn't possibly have any idea about what business Rhiannon could have down here, so I'm just going to have to trust that she'll make her errand quick and rejoin us for a little war discussion. Nope, no clue at all. Let's go, boys."

Selena waved her arm, signaling the others to follow her out. She quickly ascended the steps and returned to the first floor. The mess hall wasn't too far away, and the scent from whatever the cooks had made was indeed alluring. At least Rhiannon wasn't a liar. Turning down the hall, Selena caught sight of their Bison-Riding metal friend. Right. She still needed to talk to him as well. Selena gave Turtlelot a courteous nod of the head.

"Hey! I'd like you to meet my companions. Follow us into the mess hall, if you like, and we'll have a chat about what's going on." She tilted her head back to Jordan, Synile and Leo. "And I have some rather important news to talk about. It should even interest you, Jordan. I wonder if your seer even knows about it."

Selena entered the mess hall, where a large number of Calatian warriors were gathering. Many of the tables were full of happy patrons, ample supplies of mead brought in from Celesta's Mead Hall. The chatter wasn't too loud. Fortunate. It was not 'proper' for Selena to be discussing confidential matters in public, but she always invested a certain degree of trust in her followers, regardless of which dorm it was. And, frankly, she knew that Steel had so many spies all over the land that secrecy wasn't worth it. She'd test her warriors out by making them find the spies, but that was merely an exercise.

Perhaps it was a testament to her arrogance, but Selena was more than comfortable with Steel and Chikara knowing exactly what her plans were - she'd still win despite their best efforts to thwart her. And if they proved to be mildly competent opponents, then Selena could easily change her plans on the fly to ruin whatever strategies they'd designed in their private meeting rooms.

Selena sat down at a private table in a high-backed chair lined with fur. There were enough chairs for everyone else. A small flock of girls came by with bowls of soup, some meat, and individual loaves of bread. Mead was poured. Food. Selena took a bite of the bread, chewed it quickly while preserving what ladylike manners she had, and swallowed it down.

"Well.... eat up!"

#85 Crimson Lego

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 09:09 AM

Finally, thought Leo as he sat down in a chair somewhere in the middle of the left side of the table and gazed at the large amount of cooked food in front of him. Having had nothing but bread and rum since the start of the mission to get the money from the Guild, he was famished and ready to eat. Filling his plate with food, the dwarf held up his glass. “Cheers,” he said before taking a sip, setting the glass down, and starting to eat.

Cutting up a steak and chewing it contently, Leo thought about what would happen if Selena actually let Lieutenant Jenkins go. Would he just go back to the Alliance camps and lead them here? There was a strong possibility the traitor would; the mountain terrain was treacherous and freezing, but there could be a chance the numbers of the army would allow them to reach Snowpeak. Moving the knife again and cutting up the well-cooked meat, the dwarf looked around at his companions. All of them had been in previous dorms and probably had to deal with the Alliance in older dorms. That doesn’t make any difference, he told himself, swallowing some brocoli. All the dorms were too busy fighting for power to worry about Khuffie; the only major campaigns were Van’Duras and Olimandias. Thinking back to the Alliance prisoner as he gnawed on a rib, Leo wondered what Rhiannon was doing in the prison cell. Torturing the lieutenant, perhaps? He knew the Princess was definitely not that kind of person, so that option was out.

Now full, the general wiped his mouth with a napkin, took another sip from his mead, spread fries across his plate, and continued eating. “Did you say you had something important in mind, Selena?” asked Leo as he ate. It would probably be more efficient to talk while eating.

Edited by Leo Crimson, 02 April 2010 - 09:22 PM.


#86 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 06:32 PM

Turtlelot followed behind Selena and the others to the Mead Hall. Upon walking into the hall itself, Turtlelot once again received several strange looks, no real surprise there. He ignored them as they walked into the back to Selena's private table.

Turtlelot examined a chair near the far end of the table, making sure it could hold his weight. After he was sure it would hold, he took a seat.

Several girls came out with food and drinks. If there was one thing he missed about being human, it would probably have to be the food. Though the food did look incredibly good, he waved off the girls in a polite manner, he wasn't physically able to eat anyways. He sat and waited for someone to start a conversation.

Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 02 April 2010 - 06:33 PM.


#87 JRPomazon

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 10:50 PM

Jordan followed because he was hungry. He really hadn't had all that much to eat since he last visited Windfall and to be honest, it wasn't really something he was all that happy about. So when that plate of food came to his seat, he spent no time with his knife and fork. First, the vegetables. Potatoes, carrots, some sort of leek, finished them all within a 2 minute span. Then it was time for the meet, it appeared to be from some sort of cattle or deer, caribou? Oh well, it was going to the stomach express now. As the clanging of dishware disturbed some of the folks in the hall, others just watched Jordan eat. Then, oh god a piece of steak was too big to eat. Jordan slammed his hand down on the table as he pounded his chest in some sort of attempt to clear his throat. Then . . .

*GAUGH!*

Well, that was unpleasant. As the regurgetated piece of meat laid on the plate by the unfinished steak, it was clear to everyone that Jordan was done with his meal. If only it weren't so ironic.

"So, what is this business you're talking about?" He asked, pretending nothing had happened.

Edited by JRPomazon, 03 April 2010 - 02:22 AM.


#88 Ken the Wandering Soul

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 02:20 AM

The wolf deftly dodged half of the Issur's attacks, and simply parried the rest. The whole affair had gone on long enough. As the child made one last “valiant” charge, the wolf dodged and swung, striking the child in the head with the flat of his blade. The wolf watched with what seemed a tired expression as the child fell to the ground, unconscious. Good riddance.

It occurred to the wolf though, that leaving a child out in the cold was not the best route to go. Why this compassion for the idiot child? The wolf approached Issur, deciding that maybe it was this compassionate in the previous memory...

As the wolf stood over the child, examining him, he found himself annoyed when he felt something pelt against his side, a small rock. The wolf turned to the direction it came from, spotting the thrower—the other child? Odd, he must have run back to help his friend. Rather stupid... but still noble on his part.

The second the wolf locked his gaze with Danton's though, what little courage he had left him. The wolf paced over to the frightened child, all while maintaining that stare. Poor kid was frozen in fear at what may be done to him. However, his fear was only met with some words.

< < Can carry him? > >

Danton blinked at the seemingly sourceless words.

“What?”

< < Can... > > the wolf took a small step forward to poke Danton with his nose, < < ... Carry him? > > he finished, motioning over to Issur.

“... Uh... I can try,” Danton responded, finally figuring out the question.

The child walked over to his unconscious fellow, checking him out himself before trying to lift him up. Seemed that Danton was not quite strong enough though. The wolf walked over, moving himself under Issur's body as Danton tried fruitlessly to try and carry Issur. The swords slid out of the way to allow the child on top befre sliding back over, almost protectively.

The wolf took a sniff around, figuring the direction the children came in and went walking. He stopped momentarily though when he noticed Danton was not following. He turned to look at Danton, and motioned in the direction to walk.

< < Home, yes? > >

“Er, yes...”

< < Follow. > >

And so, Danton followed up behind the wolf back to the inner of Snowpeak.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The somewhat odd sight of a wolf with swords carrying a child, being followed by a child, greeted the guards of Snowpeak. They took the situation in stride though, letting them on through. The unconscious child seemed have suffered a nasty bump to the head—no point in delaying a visit to the doctor.

#89 Sir Deimos

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:39 AM

Synile had followed the group into the large dinning hall and, catching a whiff of what was on the menu, smiled. It had been a great many years since the last time he had eaten in a hall like this. Merely walking to the table brought back thousands upon thousands of memories of joint dinners at Teh Pub, several hundred years ago. Clearly Synile could tell that Selena spared no expense or effort to recreate that atmosphere of battle starved warriors feeding at least one of their needs.

Upon arriving at the table, Synile opted to seat himself directly at Selena's right. Something of a narcissist at heart, it helped make himself feel important. Soon enough, Synile's vision lovingly embraced a delicious looking stew. Seeing food for the first time in several days made him realize just how much he missed the stuff. Food was definitely one of the finer things to enjoy in life. After the last bit of broth was devoured, it was on to the meat. A sizable chunk of... well, meat. This is absolutely delicious! I don't know how she managed to assemble such competent chefs, given the fact that we're both rebels and on a mountain. I'd think that'd be a tough bit to manage...

"Not as tough as keeping her head." Synile giggled aloud.

"True! How true!" Synile's verbalization was overshadowed by Jordan's coughing fit, which ceremoniously ended in hacking up a wad of beef... or whatever this was... It tasted a little gamey. Not that gamey was bad. Everyone seemed to be waiting on Selena to say something. Synile tilted his chair back onto it's hind legs, and lazily nurses his stein of mead. Perhaps it was the long day, but this was the best mead Synile had tasted in a long while.

Synile giggled audibly. What a scene this would make. Such a diverse group of warrio... Synile started into a coughing fit himself upon noticing that a large, and empty, suit of armor was sitting at the table with the rest of the group. What the hell is that!?

"I saw him on the battlefield."

"But the suit is empty... Armor, with no soldier! How useful! I'd like a set!" Amused by his own comments, Synile began to chuckle again. One of the servers working the hall passed by with a tray of hot cross buns. Synile managed to swipe one from the passing tray, and continued to survey the scene while enjoying the surprisingly delicious roll. "They even have good bread! On an ice covered mountain! Hahahaha!"

#90 Selena

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:31 PM

Selena watched with a detached expression as Jordan coughed up a perfectly good piece of steak, which rolled to a stop near his plate. She blinked.

"Anyway, I do have very important business to discuss. Before we get to that, however, I think we should all welcome our other new guest to Snowpeak." She nodded her head toward Turtlelot. "I apologize for not greeting you earlier. Today has proven to be extremely busy and confusing. You hop out of a medical cot and the next thing you know you're having to ski down a mountain to do battle and meet a score of new people. I was told that you're unfamiliar with this land and our war. That's... interesting, but I'll fill you in on the situation. A few years ago, a massive battle took place on the other side of the mountains in a city known as Olimandias. It was there that a tyrant named Khuffie was defeated. During that battle, however, a woman named Chikara became the embodiment of Lazu, the God of Chaos. A newborn deity, unable to control her powers, she annihilated the land across the mountains. Boiled the seas. Burned down the great forests. Split the earth. To ensure that no one would return, she placed a curse upon that land. If anyone enters, they are driven mad by the chaotic forces of Lazu. Only the strong willed can survive in Cursed Lands, and even they have difficulty surviving in that ruined placed."

Selena's eyes passed over Jordan for a moment, but her gaze didn't linger.

"Chikara formed a new empire known as Koridai to the east of your present location. She claims that it is the new center of culture and wealth in the world. While she does have many great buildings and deep coffers, she maintains peace by using inquisitions and discreet assassinations. No one there is truly free. They are constantly watched by her agents and, if necessary, they are silenced. She intends to conquer this place and make us into her slaves. The first battles have just begun. Long ago, Chikara was my mentor and best friend. I know exactly how her mind works, even though the powers of a god have made her somewhat unstable. Even her generals don't understand her as I do. Because of that, Calatia stands the best chance at defeating the "goddess" of Koridai. A better chance if we complete our next operation, but I'll get to that later."

She leaned back in her chair and tried to make sense of Turtlelot's appearance. No man inside the suit. He was just... metal. Before she moved forward, she needed to know exactly what his story was, and she assumed the others were just as curious as she was.

"If you would like to help us in our struggle against the dark goddess, that would be greatly appreciated. We are always in need of people with medical training, as Chikara is indiscriminate in her slaughters. I would give you a place to... rest. A home. But I want to know just who and what you are. I... it's just not often that we see walking, talking metal men with bison companions."




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