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The Siege of Aydn's Keep


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#1 Selena

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 03:47 PM

"THE SIEGE OF AYDN'S KEEP"

592 BDW
---

For nearly two hundred years, the knights of the Hall of Heroes had protected Verden from injustice and cruelty. The dorm had been founded by brave warriors from around the land, fed up with the corrupt rule of their various kings and queens. Their independence gave them the freedom to maintain order without any outside authority to hinder their quest for peace. Their valour became the subject of legends and songs, told by the meek to keep their hopes up in a time of violence. With the passage of time, however, even the most gallant warriors can come up against the corrupting influence of power. In their quest to make the land safer, some knights of the Hall aspired to expand their territory and annex the less ordered nations of the west. People began to say that the Hall of Heroes was becoming a controlling, imperial force obsessed with conquest. Was their purpose in life to bring order to Verden, no matter the cost? Or were they to be silent guardians, respecting the authority of other nations despite corruption? The conflicting attitudes began to tear the Hall of Heroes in two.

All of this was wonderful news for the Labyrinth, which thrived on little else but torment and violence. While the Hall was stuff of heroic legends, the Labyrinth strived to be the stuff of nightmares. The Labyrinth had no economic foundation of their own, and their survival depended upon their raids against those that lived on the surface - like rampant vampires constantly on the prowl, feeding off the hard work and blood of others.

During the height of the Hall's power, their knights had nearly managed to infiltrate the underground fortress and assassinate Chikara Nadir. The queen of the Labyrinth proved stronger than they had anticipated, killing all but one warrior in gruesome ways. The last shell-shocked warrior was left to crawl back home and inform his superiors of their failure. The attempt may have failed, but it was the closest anyone had ever come to killing the Queen of the Labyrinth. It was an insult to their underworld pride. It would not be tolerated.

The rivalry between the Hall of Heroes and the Labyrinth of Doom escalated over a period of a few decades. They were in an open state of war, spilling blood on their territories and the old nations of Verden, who were none too welcoming of the intrusions. Muldinach had attempted to drive the Hall of Heroes from their lands in a brief conflict, which, to the fortune of the Hall, had been pacified with diplomatic efforts.

The Labyrinth knew the Hall of Heroes was close to crumbling in on itself. It was like a lion spotting a wounded animal.

For a young Selena, apprenticed to the Queen of the Labyrinth and just recently made an official member of their royal family, the war was a wonderful training experience. She'd spent her childhood as a deceptive assassin, taking out key targets using the innocent of her youth as a cover. She knew how to fight - even to the point of being considered a prodigy in the eyes of a people who lived and breathed combat - but this was open, desperate war. She had the luxury of killing as many noble warriors as she pleased. She took advantage of it every waking moment of her night.

It was on her latest raid that she discovered some intriguing information from a tortured knight. There was a large shipment of gold on the way through the area, no doubt to be used to fund and equip additional warriors. Selena wanted it. More importantly, Selena wanted to annihilate the large escort force marching with the convoy. Hundreds of knights, many of them on horseback! With their deaths and the loss of their precious shipment, it would be a massive blow to their morale. But for a force that large, Selena needed more Labyrinth warriors than she had under her present command. Prodigy or not, she was still an apprentice and was only allowed so many people in her private unit. She needed to go ask "mommy" for additional soldiers.

She hated being under the heel of that damned woman. Selena was convinced that if she were the monarch and warlord, she would have the entire Hall crushed in a matter of months. No, perhaps not that. It was just having to take orders and behave and obey. Even second-in-command was not enough for her. She wanted equal power. Greater power. Chikara kept her limited out of spite - the queen took pleasure in seeing Selena held back and bound. ...Perhaps in multiple meanings.

Asking for assistance was embarrassing.

She found Chikara walking down one of the many corridors with approximately seven male warriors drooling over her every move - it looked as if they were on their way to the Pub, though she prayed it was not a trip to the nearby Red Room. The anguish involved with that mental image was just too much. Selena closed the distance in a few quick strides and proceed to glare down the escorts, lowering her voice to a threatening tone.

"Get lost - official business."

Selena may have only appeared to be a young woman biologically, but her reputation was still such that the men knew better than to stay. All seven fled down the corridor, leaving the two monarchs by their lonesome. Naturally, Chik's expression displayed no hints of joy at encountering her apprentice, instead showing irritation and hate.

"Don't start with me," Selena said. "If I'm coming to you for help, then you know something important is up. I was out on a friendly assault with Korhend. I found an interesting report, but naturally kept the secret for myself. The Hall is sending a huge gold shipment up from the western nations soon, complete with an impressive escort. The best place for us to strike is north of the Lost Woods. I should go. Now. I want a hundred extra soldiers for the raid. Just say yes, and I'll let you be on your merry, depraved way."



---

note: This takes place many centuries ago, so unless you happen to be an immortal, your characters can't be used. You're free to create NPCs for this quest, though! Either Labyrinth ones or knights from the Hall. Neutrals are okay, too, I guess, but you might feel a little out of place. There is eventually a purpose for this flashback thread, before you get too confused. ;)

#2 Chikara Nadir

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 06:34 PM

Well, of course Chik was irritated by the younger woman's appearance. She had lucky-number-seven worth of men fawning over every honey-drenched word from her scarlet-painted lips, and that war-crazed brat had to spoil it for her. Not that there was anything wrong with fighting, of course -- your value in the Labyrinth was almost solely determined by your capabilities in the battlefield, and the denizens of the underworldly nation took pride in their enemies drawing a similarity between themselves and wild savannah hyenas. They appreciated appearing in groups in the depths of night to stalk down the weak and scavenge from the unwary, laughing all the way. But as wonderful of an asset toward this way of life as Selena had proven since her arrival, that girl simply didn't know how to relax.

The Labyrinth was a beacon of…er…darkness for all outcasts who knew how to hold their own in a fight, a grand civilization of the insane, depraved, and murderous, all knowing they had to show some level of respect for one another or risk getting stabbed in their sleep. So why couldn't Selena just enjoy frolicking through surpluses of beer and ridiculous antics at the pubs, open fight clubs, and the more adult entertainment aspects that the Labyrinth would be glad to have her participate in?

"If you had your way, I'd be shouting out 'yes, yes!' at your every whim," the queen muttered with a vague smirk on one corner of her lips, leaning herself against one of the stone pillars necessary to keep many of their miles of subterranean walkways from collapsing. Even if the people of the nation might eventually be replaced or die out, the Labyrinth itself would stand forever. "But luckily for me, and for the rest of us who enjoy some diversity in our existence outside of the battlefield, you aren't in charge."

The queen didn't look that much older than Selena, herself, but appearances were often deceiving in their world. She'd been crowned queen not too long after proving herself in battle and also in lustful entertainment centuries ago, just far enough in the past to claim that she'd existed as long as the Labyrinth had. Those who might state otherwise were generally too insane by now to care. Since that era, the woman barely appeared to have aged by a handful of years' time; ruby eyes were always full of almost childish glee in a face framed by fluffy dark hair purposely curling at the ends to meet the gap of visible cleavage rising over her usual black leather attire. This was the life.

"Come on, Selena. Wouldn't this conversation do better over a pint?" It wasn't even necessarily that she wanted to be detrimental to business, nor to subjugate the girl to the point of worthlessness. It was obvious that Selena wanted to do things her own way, and as the protege to the queen…well, Chik wanted to see her adopted daughter grow to have more in common with the common folk of their nation before such time as she might ever have to take over. Not that Chikara planned on being killed off any time soon, but hey. Vacation in the warm skeletal Ikana region to get away from it all for a few weeks. Maybe even get some color in her pallid skin. Nawww.

"At least let me know some specifics on how much gold is being moved and what proof you have that it exists, how many reinforcements they have, etc. so I know you aren't walking into a trap. You can be so hasty in your decisions, it makes a sexy warlord on edge. Perhaps I should make an ultimatum: you can have your men, but only if I'm allowed to tag along?"

#3 Crimson Lego

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 07:03 PM

ooc: I wonder what it’s like being a Loddie? :P

Do you need a description of our temporary NPC's?

Somewhere in another deep tunnel in the Labyrinth of Doom, a lone dwarf dressed in grey and black sat on a large rock with a red-bladed battleaxe in his hand; it was tall enough to reach up to the dwarf’s neck. Known to other Loddies only as Nazuma, he was whetting away at the blades of the battleaxe to make it sharper and fitter for fighting against Hall knights. The weapon’s blades had more than a few spots of blood on it, further darkening the colour of the weapon. Nazuma didn’t care. All he knew was that the blood gave his enemies fear in their hearts at seeing the liquid. Blood is merely the foundation of all life; it is also the beginning of death. Rising to his feet, he swung the weapon at a wooden dummy nearby; it was smashed into pieces. Smiling in satisfaction, the dwarf stood up, shouldered his weapon, and headed out of the exit to one of the main tunnels.

Ever since he had stumbled upon this domain, Nazuma had felt his mind changing and grew more bloodthirsty than before. His mentor had taught him never to kill, steal, or harm anyone without reason. All that has changed, he thought. Ever since he had been betrayed by his best friend, who was a knight, the dwarf snapped the man’s neck with his own hands and ripped the head off. Settling down permanently in the Labyrinth, he decided to stay out of the official forces, choosing to just go on raids whenever he felt like it and bringing back goods to support himself. The lifestyle was cheap, and the rewards were easily reaped.

Nodding in greeting to a passing soldier, Nazuma spoke quickly. “I heard the Hall’s going to go soon.”

Laughing out in response, the man replied, “Sure is. I doubt that their king and queen will be able to stay alive for long.”

“Let’s hope so, my friend. We need to wipe them out before any of the other Verdenien nations do; we can’t let those bastards get the victory. It just wouldn’t feel right.”

Laughing and shaking hands after the conversation ended, the 2 Loddies went on their own way. Sighing, Nazuma’s smile disappeared as he realized exactly what was going on. We’re at war, a war that could change the whole world, he told himself. Bloodthirsty raiders that were fighting against honourable people combined together to create a lot of death. Nevertheless, if people wanted to stop dying, they should probably give up, thought the dwarf. Personally, he thought the new heir to the throne, Selena, was rather reckless and arrogant, but he couldn’t say that Chikara was doing a better job. We have the power to crush the Hall, and yet we hide in the tunnels staging guerilla operations for no reason. It’d be hard to choose which I had to follow to the death if there wasn’t a choice. Shaking his head, Nazuma continued to walk on, wondering where the next Labyrinth raid would be going to, and what kind of rewards he would be able to get from it.

#4 Selena

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 07:13 PM

ooc: No, don't really need a description. Only thing you gotta remember about being a Loddie is that you enjoy slaughtering things for the sake of slaughtering.



"Oh, good, I get to have a chaperone now," Selena said. "I'm the champion of many battles, the leader of countless successful raids, and just as good at physical combat as the dear old queen herself, and I still have to be mollycoddled and watched. Oh, mercy, I'm going to the other side of the Lalvican. I might get lost or get in over my head when fighting the valiant warriors of the Hall. I'd better take a five-foot-nothing, hundred pound waif with me for safety's sake."

At least Chikara had the decency to suggest that it was up to Selena to allow her to tag along, but still. If there was one thing Selena couldn't stand, it was being held back and told to be the evil equivalent of a good little girl. It would be so much easier if Chikara and Selena had their own sections of warriors to command. Selena was confident she'd get her own army one day. She'd just have to do something big to prove that she could handle the responsibility - win the heart of the people until Chikara could no longer keep her in check without risking a loss of some of that vast popularity. Like it or not, Selena was unstoppable in her ascent. She'd be equal and no less within a few short years if she played her cards right.

A pint. Hmm. Suggesting that she wasn't any fun again. Selena had plenty of fun when Chik wasn't around. Selena kept walking, considering that they were fairly close to the Pub. Better to just let the damned woman have her drinks, and, following her successful raid, it wasn't a bad idea for Selena to unwind before she got ahead of herself. It would be a good place to recruit warriors for the expedition to the north. She trusted Chik to follow.

"Fine, we'll have your drinks."

It only took a minute or two to reach the Pub, and Selena ducked as an ale glass slammed into the wall near the doorway, flung by some disgruntled heathen. The Pub owner, having been there for ages, was not happy about the mess.

"OY! AH'LL BE RIPPIN' THA GUTS STRAIGHT OUTTA YER BELLEH' IF YE BREAK ANOTHER ONE OF MAH DISHES."

At least some things were a constant in the chaotic underground. Selena sat at the bar and had a shot of whiskey poured for herself. If Chik wanted anything, she could get it on her own. Selena drank down her shot and had a quick refill. It was best to just tell the staff to keep them coming, especially if Chik was her only real company. Irritating fool.

"About the shipment. I discovered a report in my latest convoy raid that said a shipment of gold is going to be taken from Muldinach to the Hall of Heroes within the next few weeks. I don't want to go prancing around in the middle of Muldinach - too many people getting in the way and too many places to hide. Their convoy will have to go through the Lost Woods. That'd be an ideal place for us to wait. We can either take them in there, or wait until they get into the open fields just to the north. There's some kind of fortress up there where they'll stop for a rest before going to the Hall itself. You can expect five hundred knights, a chunk of them on horseback. With my men and your extra hundred soldiers, I think I'll have no problem taking on a force of that size. Of course, if you feel you need extra soldiers, you're welcome to bring them."

She took another shot, starting to feel a hint of relaxation in her body.

"You may have your fun here amongst the booze, but I prefer to have my fun in the middle of a raging battlefield. At least Korhend understands that. Still don't approve of me playing with him, do you?" A devilish grin. "Of course, that's part of the fun of it."

#5 Chikara Nadir

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 07:45 PM

"If you'd rather be mentored by Korhend than myself, I welcome you to run off to the Village and see how far his tutelage will get you. Really, go for it, it'll be funny to see whether you die in the battlefield after being weakened from their pampering, or instead if you kill all of their citizens in a mad fury after they've forced you to express your emotions through watercolors. It's how they torture our kind, you know."

Chik stuck her tongue between her canines as she stretched over the edge of the bar as far as she could without toppling in, her rear sticking up in the air with little regard for dignity. The barkeep was now busy busting his fists into a mercenary's chops after the fool insulted the quality of their ale and refused to pay, so he wasn't about to stop her from reaching around for the whole bottle of her favorite rum. When a passing soldier came by and slapped her rear, she jumped back up with a muffled yip, bottle firmly planted between her lips.

Thinking nothing of it, the queen sat herself back down next to Lena, setting down her bottle only after a few inches had been polished off. "You plan on killin' off the men and the horses both, aye? If so many are riders, you should be able to do this without my help, just by spooking the beasts into madness. The steeds will cause havoc and more than enough death for you to move in and steal the goods, no extra effort needed. Unless…"

She leaned an elbow against the bar lazily, letting the sweet liquor soak in with a satisfied sigh. "We do still have a large stock of Hall armor from the last few raids and whatnot that haven't been melted down or repainted. What say we have a little dress up party? Figure out which of their leaders they're aligned with - shouldn't be hard, they tend to have such gaudy banners - then kill off the lot while wearing their own Hall regalia, claiming to have done it for the BRIGHT AND GLORIOUS FUTURE of the other idiot ruler." The queen giggled in delight at such a ridiculously plausible concept. Righteous self-chosen leaders trying to act as the law of the land without anyone's permission pissed her off to no end. "Leave a handful by 'accident' to go limping back home and see how much further their solidarity collapses. We hardly have to look or act perfect, they're so convinced of inner deceit that they're practically looking for excuses to be at each other's throats."

#6 Selena

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 08:07 PM

Selena reached over, grabbed the bottle of rum, and took a deep swig from it. "You always did like playing dress up. One could say it's some subconscious desire of yours to be a shining icon of hope and prosperity. That's a very troubling thought, indeed. Whatever would we do to you if you decided to side with truth and love? We'd have to put your out of your misery."

It was a fair enough plan, but, as was always the case, Selena didn't like taking Chikara's suggestions. The alcohol was beginning to numb her rampant disapproval, however. Just so long as they didn't have to look like do-gooders until the last possible moments, it was an idea that could work. But having to admit that it was a tactic she could use? Ugh.

"Fine, we can do things your way. I have to humor you on occasion, I suppose. If I don't, you mope around the Labyrinth like a sad little puppy that was recently kicked. Being told what to do is always unbearable, but having to deal with you feeling rejected as a mentor is worse. There's no winning with you. You probably like it that way."

There was a commotion off to her right side. A female warrior had her gauntlet-laden hand wrapped around the throat of another offending denizen of darkness. Something about cheating at a card game. Selena let her gaze linger there for a second, taking a keen interest in the woman's curves and briefly wondering if the Red Room was free before returning to the more pressing subject.

"Still feel bitter that those gallant knights nearly succeeded in offing you, huh? That must have been an embarrassing day..."

#7 Chikara Nadir

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 08:45 PM

"Hey now, the naysayers still claim I nearly fell because of the overwhelming weakness of the Labyrinth in general." Chikara noticed Selena's gaze wander, and let herself glance toward the commotion. Hmm, that man was actually somewhat attractive…wait, no, now he was being held up over the ground by his throat. That much incompetence was a major turn off.

"We all know that half of our men were out on a major patrol that week, and that those of us left behind had spent the whole evening drinking away. Hell, when they got into my chambers I was in the bath with two…" she stopped, choosing her words carefully. "Two bottles of wine at my disposal and not a towel or dagger to call my own. I had to fight off the entirety of the assault while wearing nothing but my own natural beauty!"

The woman shook her head, stealing back her alcohol before the numbing her in mouth and brain could be allowed any relief. "This being your personal mission, when shall we leave?" Half of this was her constant testing of Selena's capabilities as a leader. The other half? Well, she just loved to taunt that girl.

#8 Selena

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 09:17 PM

"Oh, they saw you naked. Must have died from the horrific shock," Selena said. "Truth be told, I don't think I'm brave enough to even attempt to face that sort of challenge - at least not without protective goggles and something to filter out the foul stench in the air."

The intoxicated man sitting to her right began to laugh as he nursed his drink.

"At least somebody's good humored around here. In any case, I intend to leave as early as tomorrow. It'll take some time to get into position, so I'm not going to be as lazy as some of us might be when on the hunt for knights. I was halfway convinced you were going to wait around and let your enemies die of old age until lately. It'll be good to see you get off your ass and do something for a change, and I'm glad we both acknowledge that this is my operation."

Selena stretched her neck back, feeling soreness set in already after the rapid attack on the convoy earlier that day. She hadn't taken the time to stretch back out after getting home, and now her muscles were locking up as punishment. Perhaps she had been going out too often. She didn't like sitting around. That was for the others to enjoy. Selena needed action, adrenaline, and adventure. The Labyrinth's fight clubs were good for passing the time, but they didn't have the same intensity to satisfy her voracious appetite for destruction. The more adult forms of entertainment were better made us of after a decent fight, not before or instead of.

"I think I might borrow one of your better masseuses and then just go to bed after things settle down for the night." Selena smiled. "And what did you get up to today? Anything productive? I doubt it. Tongue wrestling with Mitch and Synile don't count."

#9 JRPomazon

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 10:43 PM

"Take me back

to the days under the sun

the familiar warmth I once knew

where winter's dead

brought life to everyone

at the place were the great tree once grew"



They had been traveling for many days, many of the Hall's knights ventured from the country of Muldinach with a very important cargo to protect. Through blue fields and pastures they traveled on horseback, stopping occasionally in towns near the border to keep supplies stocked. They stopped their caravan a few hours past the border, close the realm of the Lost Woods. With all the horses, it would have been folly to take mountainous routes back to the Hall despite the fears of some of the knight about being wide in the open. Soon it would be under the cover of the old forest which inspired so many myths and rumors and another set of fears would arise about how they could not see everything around them through the thicket and growth.

Among the knights was a man whose deed had made his name known throughout all of Verden, dressed in umber robes accented in a deep green with eyes of amber. He was known as the master of the ancient flame, wielding powerful magic dating back the early days of creation commonly known to the people as "fire-manipulation." It was from the raging inferno he commanded that was feared by all enemies of the Hall.

"Sir Pharos, how are you fairing?"

"I am well sir knight, thank you. We should be leaving shortly to continue the journey, the sooner we leave the sooner we return back to the hall."

"Quite right sir. It will be good to return home after all this time, especially with this bounty we travel with. It has proven bothersome to always worry about such a cargo."

"Such is the cost of avarice."

Pharos took hold of his staff, a wooden staff holding a red gem within it's gnarled branches. He looked to the caravan, a league of knights to guard a wagon of gold. Had the Hall fallen so low as to use this much force to guard a trifle of riches?

Edited by JRPomazon, 25 April 2010 - 10:44 PM.


#10 Ken the Wandering Soul

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 12:05 AM

He was a guardian spirit without anyone to protect.

His very existence was vestigial.

Raiyu, the Silver Wolf, guardian of the Rikahi family, had failed in his duty. His eyes had been too focused on the small village he watched over to notice the wars that had occurred outside his sphere of influence. Hall of Heroes, Labyrinth of Doom. These armies meant nothing to the spirit until it was too late, when the clashing of the two powers had utterly destroyed the family he had guarded for centuries.

And for his ignorance, his failure, he was doomed to wander the earth without purpose.

- - - ~ ( * ) ~ - - -

Raiyu watched. Perhaps, because there was nothing better to do. He had been sitting in the one spot for at least a week. Or was it two? It mattered not to the spirit. He had been distracted by a beautiful blue flower that he found in his wanderings. It seemed to be a perfect little flower. He was brought out of his trance though when he noticed some noise coming down the trail.

One of the armies it seemed. Whichever one it was did not really matter to Raiyu. He felt no real motivation for revenge either way. To kill would not bring back what was lost, and he would not feel any better. He had lived long enough to realize this.

As the caravan approached, Raiyu silently greeted the soldiers with a smile. It was more polite than staring in any case, and maybe it would brighten someone's day. He did not seem to think this through entirely though, and the resulting smile was rather melancholic. He inevitably garnered stares as the soldiers, some of them regarding the lone spirit with suspicion.

The appearance of a young man, with a tattoo beneath his left eye, and silvery hair that seemed to contradict his age, was what people saw when they gazed upon Raiyu. His dress was almost pitiful, a ceremonial robe that had the appearance of being dirtied by years of travel.

Sitting down, with a walking stick perched against his chest, he had a quiet, humble atmosphere about him.

Raiyu, the guardian without a charge, watched as the caravan began to pass.

#11 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 12:16 AM

"Harrison, what do ye think yer doin?" the captain of the Hall knights yelled at one of the guards. "Ye can't be sleepin on job. Get yer lazy arse up and back on duty."

The captain was an older man and an experienced veteran. He had a mid-length gray beard, and wore a Hall uniform. At his waist, he had his broad sword sheathed, and he kept one hand on the handle at all times. He wasn't paranoid by any means, but he was always on the watch for any Labyrinth or Village soldiers. It annoyed him at how many guards they had on one convoy.

"Ye would think if they trained these lads better we wouldn't need so many of them." the captain said as he approached Pharos. "At least tis only a matter of time til we get this shipment back to the Hall."

As they walked through the forest, the captain kept a sharp look-out for any possible threats or suspicious people.

Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 26 April 2010 - 05:58 PM.


#12 JRPomazon

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 01:17 AM

"Sir Pharos, there is a suspicious man on the side of the road."

Pharos looked over to his side to see the man of which the knight spoke of, who seemed to have the appears of some aborigine or vagabond. As Pharos past him he made sure to inspect the man. The smile was the aspect that stuck with him.

"There is nothing to fear sir knight. Keep moving."

"I mean no disrespect sir but I don't think we should just ignore a suspicious type like him, he could be trouble."

"Tell me sir knight, what is your name?"

"Einz sir, Ferdinand Einz.

"Sir Einz, why do you see that man and hold him with such disdain? Have you met him before and if so has he wronged you?"

"I . . ah . . ."

"You look at him and you allow your suspicions to take hold of your senses. While I do not denounce fear, for it is a necessary restraint we all share, you cannot allow it to be the sole base for your actions for sometimes the darkness that presents itself on the journey of our lives may not always be a messenger of doom. What you see as a possible threat I see as a blank canvas. Whatever his true colors may be, do not decide for yourself but allow them the chance to present themselves to you."

"I see. Forgive me Sir Pharos, your wisdom has shown me the error of my ways."

"Do not ask forgiveness of me Sir Einz, but to the man you assumed was a servant of the dark."

He looked back the man standing by, watching the caravan pass with the strange feeling this would not be the last time they would meet.

#13 Ken the Wandering Soul

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 02:32 AM

Sir Einz felt the shame for his quick judgment, and steered his mount out and away from the rest of the convoy to trot back to where the man was sitting. He dismounted a short distance away, approaching the man on foot, eventually stopping just short to perform a kneel.

"Excuse me sir, I must beg your forgiveness," Einz started.

Raiyu turned his head to the knight, his expression nonplussed.

"My forgiveness?" he questioned.

"I... I looked upon you with suspicion when there was no need for it," the knight explained, "another man, my superior has made me realize the mistake in such an assumption. For that, I ask that you forgive me."

That melancholic smile returned.

"You follow a man of wisdom. Your choice for apology shows a path of wisdom as well," Raiyu spoke.

The knight looked up to see Raiyu looking him straight in the eye. Raiyu extended out an arm to rest on the knight's armored shoulder.

"I accept your apology, and offer my forgiveness. I hope you continue to follow such wisdom, that you may not need to ask for forgiveness in times to come."

As Raiyu finished, moving his hand away from Sir Einz's shoulder, the knight stood up with an odd feeling. Were the man to not have that silver hair, he would look rather young, and his words felt similar. Though the voice held the pitch of a young man, the tone felt like that of old man.

"Uh... thank you, sir," the knight concluded.

Raiyu gave a small bow of the head and turned back to watching the convoy. Sir Einz returned to his horse, and in turn, to his position in the convoy near Pharos.

Edited by Ken the Wandering Soul, 26 April 2010 - 08:24 PM.


#14 Khallos

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 05:05 PM

ooc: due to work and being away from internet I've kinda got seperated from the Chronicles for a while, so I'll at least join in here. Khallos may not exist yet, but for the sake of fun his Labyrinth sabre does.



Eclos had served for several years in the Labyrinth now, well accustomed to the leadership of Chikara. So it was with much displeasure he found himself being dismissed by that upstart Selena. As he picked up pace away from what seemed less like an apprentice asking for advice from a master to something more like brawl, Eclos did happily concluded he was alive and still had all his body parts, when it comes to an angry Selena things could be so much worse.

Returning to the barracks he imposed his authority on those beneath him (Eclos being a sergeant...well of sorts) by grabbing a jug of ale and smashing it over the drunkards head and getting the rest of the soldiers to tidy up the mess in which they lived. Eclos didn’t care about the mess, but he wanted to vent after being denied the company of the Queen. He stuck to the rules like many members of the labyrinth only in the vaguest way, after all the Labyrinth wouldn’t be so popular with thieves and murderers if a chain of command existed outside of might being right.

Grumbling to himself, he sharpened his two large axes waiting for news of the next raid on the Halls, bah! how he hated their lawful stupidity.
-----
Lying at the bottom of the chest of gold along with a few other trophies lay a sheathed sabre, a long straight blade of dulled steel with silver basket hilt. Buried beneath the weight of the gold sheathed the rather mundane looking weapon, brutally sharp and well balanced as it was, once more entered the minds of the caravan and its guards. It jerked slightly in the deep red leather scabbard, it thirsted for blood, and none of the soft minded fools nearby would be able to quench its desires. The sword had been made to stay ever sharp...but only by the letting of blood. Even now it felt the touch of rust beginning to taint its body and soul it screamed out to be saved, so it could kill.

#15 Crimson Lego

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 05:27 PM

Walking into the underground pub, Nazuma was relieved to see that there were still many customers in the room. Most of the other Labyrinth soldiers seemed too drunk to notice anybody walk past their table. Wondering if he would be able to snatch out a few items from their purses, the dwarf shook his head. I really don’t need to stand out now. Besdies Keeping his face lowered towards the ground, he walked up towards the bar and climbed onto a stool. Pulling out a pipe from his pouch and lighting it with a nearby candle, the dwarf nodded in greeting to the bartender. “How it’s going, Cedric?” he said.

“Not bad, Nazuma,” replied the man, already pulling out a cup and reaching for a new bottle. “The usual?”

Nodding, Nazuma whistled as he saw the year imprinted on the side of the glass container. “How many of the 602 do you still have left?”

“Not much. This is one of the last,” said the man. “Enjoy, buddy.”

Chuckling in reply, the dwarf glanced around and lowered his voice. “Just out of curiosity, do you still have that golden magical staff that belonged to your uncle? You know, the one that could change shape and size?”

“I think so, yeah,” replied Cedric, scratching his head. “Do you need it right now? It’s rusting in the storage room at the moment, since I don’t have much use for it.”

“That’d be nice. Recently, I’ve found that this axe has been too cumbersome, so I’d probably be better off using something more balanced,” explained Nazuma. “If we’re going to keep the Hall divided, we need to have an efficient group of fighters.”

“I see; wait right here, I’ll get it for you.”

As the bartender headed out into the back, the dwarf continued to look around at the large room, occasionally inhaling the smoke or taking a sip from his glass. For the first time, he noticed that both Selena and Chikara were talking quietly together; he also noticed that there was a rather peaceful air in the vicinity. It must be important. I sure hope it’s another raid. Turning back towards the counter, Nazuma was surprised to see the bartender there holding the weapon in his hands. “That was pretty fast, Ced,” he commented. “How heavy do you think it is?”

“Not very,” replied Cedric. Laying it down on the counter, he stood back and crossed his arms. “It’s yours, though.”

“No, hang on a second,” protested the dwarf. “I can’t take this, it’s been in your family for ye-”

Sighing, the bartender leaned in. “It’s not an heirloom, Nazuma,” he whispered. “My uncle and I ripped it off from the Hall 2 years ago. Keep it; it should be more useful for you than me.”

Speechless, Nazuma managed to nod in thanks faintly before taking the weapon and heading towards the exit. Glancing back one last time at his old friend, he turned his attention to the staff which had shrunk from a length of 6 feet to fit his purposes. It’s supposed to change its shape; maybe he wasn’t bluffing. Focusing his will on the staff, the dwarf was able to get it to morph into a short dwarf-sized broadsword, and back again. Smiling, he gave it a few practice swings; one of them crushed part of the wall and nearly brought half the tunnel down. Gotta be careful, or other Loddies will probably get killed. Shouldering the weapon, Nazuma whistled an old folk tune as he headed for the nearest exit leading to the world above the Labyrinth. It’s time for those knights to pay up. If there was going to be another shipment coming by or a regiment of Hall members, the dwarf wanted to be there for the action.

#16 Sir Deimos

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 11:01 PM

ooc: This is very long ago, Synile doesn't have the cursed nodachi yet, just the katana and a very minor case of schizophrenia... xD


Teh Pub was as rowdy as ever, and Synile stuck out in his spot at the bar. He was wearing all the jewelry he stole from his latest raid. Jewelry that included some type of crown looking... dealie. Ah, nobles. They absolutely loved to flaunt status. The drinks were refilled quickly, and the barkeep seemed to be in a good mood, seeing as how he had to recently crack someone's skull.

"AHND STEEY OOT AH MAE PUB!"

Synile was laughing. No one could ever stay out of the pub. If you weren't on a raid, you were drinking. If you weren't drinking you were dead. Or asleep... Although, that was more or less the same thing. Unless you happened to prove yourself valuable enough to have a room, sleep meant your had all of your gear stolen. And rightly so. You couldn't have needed it if it wasn't better protected. One of the guys at the bar seemed to be having a staring contest with a bottle of liquor that was behind the barkeep.

"I tell ya, that was one of the best raids I'd been on." Synile was slurring his speech a bit. "Nothing like coming home to a nice bottle of whiskey. Am I right?" The warrior still seemed fixed on that bottle of liquor. Synile turned and tried to focus on the man. It was hard to focus on much of anything. This room just wouldn't seem to stand still. Was there an earthquake or something? Synile loses his footing and falls towards the man. That's when Synile's hands discover the knife that was placed in the warrior's back. "Oh... You're dead. Never mind then." Spinning around slowly, Synile notices Chik andore Lena talking in the middle of the roar of the crowd. There was also a dwarf at the bar, talking to someone Synile couldn't see. Synile had drank his fill, and it was about time to leave.

Stumbling, Synile passed through the crowds in an effort to leave the bar.

"And where do you think you're going?" A Loddie Synile had never seen before approached him. "Those jewels look like they'd make life a bit easier for a couple months. Whaddya say you fork those over, and we'll not have to kill you yet." Suddenly, Synile's arms get locked up from behind. A very tall and muscular man was keeping Synile from using his arms, and had lifted Synile off of the ground. Two other men step out of the crowd, with knives drawn.

"Thanks much, mate. I do love things that sparkle and shine. The three men move in to forcibly remove Synile's spoils of war. Just as the three get within close enough range, Synile swings his legs to build up momentum, and slam into his burly captors' knee. A large crack is heard over the usual roar of the crowd, and the large man screams. So preoccupied with the pain, his grip lessens, and Synile wriggles free. Hitting the ground, Synile takes one step forward and draws his katana at a blinding speed. The three would be robbers look in disbelief as their organs spill from their waists. The three men fall to the floor in heaping piles of blood, entrails, and excrement. Synile turns and looks at the fourth man. The man is on the floor, holding his knee, and screaming in pain.

"You're the one I'll take this out on." Synile pierces the oaf's forearm with his katana, and drags the man out of the pub. A small crowd of interested onlookers gather around outside of the pub to witness the spectacle. "What's your name, there, big man?"

"Bruce!" He could barely stop screaming enough to answer. The man was clearly terrified. As well as in pain.

"Well Bruce. I'm going to teach you how we don't pick on drunken Loddies, fresh from a raid. Synile removes his katana from the arm of the man, and quickly severs Bruce's feet. Bruce was sheet white, and visibly quivering. "It's the crown isn't it. Everybody seems to want a crown, don't they?" Synile raises his katana, and aims for the man's throat. Stabbing downward Synile's sword connects... with the ground. "You're lucky I've been drinking..." Synile wipes the blood from the blade, and resheathes it. "I think it just may be bed time." Synile turns his back on the scene and begins to walk towards the room with his bunk. "And for the record, I was aiming for your knees."

Stumbling around the corner, Synile somehow makes it a good distance away from the scene. The screams are now barely audible. The silence was almost eerie. By his reckoning, it was only 2am. That was way early for most Loddies to call it a night. Perhaps Lycia was loose on the upper halls again... Ugh... Synile manages to get his door open without focusing on that thought for too much longer. It was good to be in his room. "I swear you're the most comfortable bed in this whole maze." Rather than get into the bed, Synile climbs onto the soft cushy mattress, and quickly passes out, clutching his sword.

#17 JRPomazon

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 01:11 PM

Hours had passed and the caravan has set up camp for the night. The knights would frequently patrol their self made perimeters, refusing to allow negligence a chance to become a problem. Pharos sat by a fire he had conjured himself to harm himself and the knights who were resting before their shift. His thoughts were not about the gold that the knights guarded to intently, but the decision for this shipment to be made in such bulk. There had been made shipments of gold before, but most of them were done in small increments, not enough to merit a raid or siege but sometimes it would lead to individuals taking the small amount of gold they were entrusted with for themselves. Aside from human error of a few, this method was much safer.

But this caravan and all the gold it carried was sign of expansion. Sir Jericho, a strong believer of this expansion, had recently been made head of the Council of Seven so it came as no surprise that this massive shipment be planned in such a way. It was a issue for many years whether the Hall was to expand their borders and their influence in order to better protect the people of Verden from the miscreants of the Labyrinth. Others thought it best to remain as they were, without the fear of angering other nations over mere disputes for land. Pharos saw the good and the bad of each side of the argument, personally unable to choose between the two ideas. Regardless, this journey seemed unnecessary. It was too big a gamble to place all one's eggs in a basket, so to speak. However, it did not change the fact that it was done with the best intentions for the Hall's prosperity.

"Sir Pharos, the hour grows late. Should you not retire?"

Another attending knight, why did they see the need to coddle him so?

"I am fine as I am for now, sir knight."

The knight sat down and removed his helm, taking a break from the perimeter to rest up for a spell.

Edited by JRPomazon, 28 April 2010 - 01:13 PM.


#18 Egann

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 05:43 PM

Raikr was glad he'd stopped by the bar for a drink this day. He'd gone in at 11 on a whim with a craving for some ale and a few games of cards, but the rumor had thrown his game. He had given up trying to win back his money; he had the rumor to think about as he nursed post-game jack and tonic number five.

"A large shipment of gold? Ha!"

A target like that wouldn't go unnoticed by the Loddies. Oh, no. Of course, when the Loddies take it, the Labyrinth markets will be flooded with more gold. More gold. The labyrinth already survived by theft, so prices were already quite high. More gold didn't mean more goodies, it meant higher prices. That, and some cool trinkets for damned Chikara to run her fingers through and something to claim greatness with.

This much, he had figured out while sober. It looked like he would have to enjoy his money today, not tomorrow. Raiker had no protests with that.

It was only after he had finished his last drink something else came to mind. The sober would never have seen it.

Of course the Loddies were going to take it. The Hall wasn't stupid. They wanted the Loddies to take it. If they couldn't win on the battlefield -because war was life for the Labyrinth- then by Lazu they'd take up all of the money they could find and hand it to the Labyrinth on a silver platter, then sit back and watch as the Labyrinth recoiled to the great shifts in prices, ripped to shreds by greed. A war waged by giving your enemy money. Oh, the irony.

The end was nigh for the Loddies. Selena would see to that. Spend now or forget your gold was ever worth anything.

#19 Crimson Lego

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 04:28 PM

Pushing aside a massive boulder blocking a hole leading from under a rocky hill, Nazuma walked out, surprised to see that it was night already. Is it already dark? It’s been a fast day. Moving the obstacle back into place, he retrieved his staff and continued northwards. From his point of view, the dwarf could see fields of crops stretching for long distances, as well as several more mountains to his east. The Labyrinth should be able to continue expanding onto most of Verden once we deal with the Hall, he thought gladly. Personally, he could never understand what was so good about protecting ordinary people from other enemies. If people were going to want safety, they would have to get it for themselves, instead of relying on other mercenaries like the Hall of Heroes to defend them. What a waste of time, thought Nazuma, jogging light down the hill towards the flatter regions. It’d be so much better to break into carriages, kill the bodyguards, and then take the money instead of having to smuggle it all the time from countries like Muldinach and Roslen.

Swinging his newly acquired staff around to get used to its fighting style, the dwarf found himself by a nearby village that was founded by a group of civilians from Roslen. Are they going to attack us soon? he pondered. Maybe it’s time to find out. Donning his hood and creeping over to a forested area, Nazuma knelt down behind some bushes and squinted his eyes at the center of the village.

To his surprise, he could only see Hall knights and no civilians at all. A person whom he took for a woman turned out to be a warrior dressed in…well, a dress and wig. Bastards! he cursed under his breath. They are trying to rip our guts out from 10 metres away. Gripping the staff tightly, the dwarf stood up and decided something had to be done about the camp. By now, they’re probably ferrying in supplies from their base and getting ready for an attack. They to have be stopped. Feeling the usual adrenaline as he began jogging silently towards the camp. This would be a good time to see how powerful the golden staff was.

Approaching a knight from behind, Nazuma dealt the man a stroke straight in the back of the head. The thick metal of the weapon, combined with the Loddie’s unusual arm strength, smashed the knight’s head in and killed him instantly; he was also sent flying forward at least 10 feet. The man next to him was quickly alerted and reached for his blade, but the dwarf thrust forward with the staff. Oddly, it went gracefully through the air, pushing the sword to the side and nearly disarming the knight. He then followed it up with a powerful smash, fracturing the knight’s left shoulder at the least. Kicking the screaming warrior aside, Nazuma smiled as he watched the remainder of the Hall battalion get ready to fight. Gripping the staff tightly with both hands, the dwarf charged forward, already swinging the staff at the nearest warrior.

#20 Ken the Wandering Soul

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:37 AM

Raiyu sat by Kira Rikahi, comforting the fallen warrior in her last hours.

"Silver Wolf... was I not strong enough?" she asked of the spirit, unable to cover her doubts, her regrets.

Raiyu laid his hand over her heart, looking her in the eye as he felt her slowly ebbing heartbeat. She was quite possibly the fiercest of all the warriors in the Rikahi line, having broken countless numbers of weapons upon her foes. Strong in both spiritual and physical strength, she had appointed herself protector of the family and by the extension the village of Tsuki,when she was barely a child.

"No, young one, your strength was tremendous, as it always was," the spirit answered.

The out-of-the-way village had become a point of interest between two armies, practically sitting on time of an abundance of resources that would be attractive to any power. Kira, as the village's representative, refused to allow either side to settle down, and thusly keeping Tsuki out of the conflict. It seemed though, that neither wished to listen. Tsuki then turned into a battleground as the two sides fought.

"I... I am afraid Silver Wolf..."

Kira had fought bravely with the rest of the village to repel the outsiders, but in the end, even with Raiyu granting her all of his strength, the might of the two armies crushed the small village. Now there was nothing left. Kira was the last of the Rikahi alive, the rest having perished in the conflict. The armies had retreated, leaving a smoldering land strewn with dead bodies.

"Death fears you, young one, greater than you might imagine. Your spirit burns hot, even now," Raiyu comforted.

A faint smile formed over Kira's features. Raiyu again felt for her heartbeat as he looked over her, looking at the wounds she had accrued. Bruises and gashes from those had managed to score a hit, and broken arms that had not impeded the warrior's ferocity. Even now, as her heart performed its last beats, she had that latent aura of someone not meant to be contended with.

And then, there it was—the final beat.

Her burning spirit had left.

Raiyu was alone.


- - - ~ ( * ) ~ - - -

Raiyu had resumed watching the flower after the caravan went by, losing himself in the flora's petals. He begun to wonder what drew him to it until he realized it was the bloom—the long petals seemed to dance on the wind like a blue flame. That was it, it was like her blazing blue eyes...

That melancholy smile briefly graced Raiyu's face before he stood up to look down the road, where the caravan had gone.

Perhaps another distraction from the long loneliness could found in watching where they went.

Soon the flower stood alone, wolf tracks leading away from it.

#21 JRPomazon

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:35 PM

OoC: Ok, I think I'm getting a little confused about the geography here, would someone mind clearing it up? :deadlink:

#22 Selena

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 06:18 PM

Ooc: Referring to the map, of course.

- The Labyrinth is near the start of that big southwestern river that flows through Calatia.
- The keep was planned to be located southwest of the Hall of Heroes, up against the mountains. Just south of the guideline.
- Muldinach is north of Olimandias, with the northern borders being the river.
- I assume the knight convoy is somewhere in between.
- The Loddies are in the Labyrinth itself.

#23 Crimson Lego

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 07:35 PM

Impaling the last Hall knight with his own sword and pushing him over, Nazuma retrieved his golden staff, which had been knocked out of his hand earlier. Finally, this is over, he thought. The killing had been fun while it lasted, but now was the time to figure out exactly what the Hall had planned in this area.

Picking up one of the knight’s bags and carrying it over to a rock, the dwarf sat down on it and began rummaging through the contents. Most of it was rubbish, ranging from feather quills to arrowheads, but a few had scrolls with assignments on it. After going through a few of the other bags, Nazuma began to think that the whole camp was mean to be bait for the Labyrinth warriors. Was this whole thing a joke? If not, why the hell doesn’t anyone have an assignment log or something? Now searching through his 6th bag, he breathed a sigh of relief as a parchment finally came to his hands; it was titled “Plans.” Reading through quickly, the dwarf wasn’t exactly sure if anything on the list was significantly important or unknown to Chikara. All this talks about is that Jericho guy and shipments of gold. Angry enough to tear the parchment to pieces, he contented himself with folding it up and stuffing it into his pocket.

Getting to his feet, Nazuma gazed around at the battle scene and the bodies of knights. I need to find out more. Bending down to pick up a shield, he willed the staff into a short sword, which he swung at the air in front of him. Satisfied with the weapon, the dwarf continued on his journey north, trying to think of another way to defeat the Hall without wasting too much time.

#24 JRPomazon

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:35 AM

Pharos woke suddenly from his sleep, dozing off without realizing it as he was by the fire. He looked around to find that none of the knights that were in his company were by the fire. He was too lax, he might have slept for too long. The sky was growing lighter, dawn would breach the horizon soon. He rose from his place by the fire, quelling the flames with a motion of his hands and went to address the knights. He found Sir Einz, by the wagon carrying the gold keeping watch.

"Sir Einz, I do believe the time has come to continue this journey. The morning will come soon."

"Aye Sir Pharos."

Without another word, the knight went to his horse as Pharos told the other knights to follow suit. They're days in the wilderness would be broken by a stay at a checkpoint they were designated to go to inspect the precious cargo they so intimately guarded, a newly established stronghold named Aydn's Keep.

OoC: Good thing there is a older Chronicles map in the LA facebook group. Thanks for the help Selena. And yes, I know my posts have been boring compared to most of you but there isn't much going on for our boys in the Hall.

Edited by JRPomazon, 01 May 2010 - 12:38 AM.


#25 Chikara Nadir

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:57 AM

Chikara found her head sliding out of the palm of her hand where she'd kept it crooked up, dozing off in boredom from Selena's long-winded rants over what she wanted from the queen, what she hoped to accomplish, how Chik was inferior and sex crazed, blah blah blah - it felt like the girl had been talking for a week. She seldom even bothered listening to half of it.

"Alright, you'll get your men, we'll leave at your command," she muttered, not even having caught any of the last words her protege had spoken as an attempted insult. Even if she had been listening, Chikara hardly tried to hide her bedside habits. The wider her sexual prowess was renowned, the more prestige she gained as a leader…and as a lover.

She slowly stood, brushing off her shoulder as though she'd somehow gotten dirty talking to Selena, and took a last quick swig of the bottle before pushing it to the inner edge of the bar. "Well, what are you sitting around for? We have a long distance ahead of us if we plan to nab the loot before someone else does. This caravan is prime for the picking!"

The queen knew she had to prep her armor, sober up all her favorite escorts so they could assist in the cause, and bother the library about getting a quick map sketched out for them to use for their routing and ambush preparation. It would be a long but satisfying evening (especially considering how attractive that new scholar in the library was). "Oh, and…" she reached out to ruffle Selena's long hair into a pile of fluff, "I know you're just jealous of all the personal attention I get. Relax yourself and learn to enjoy life, then I'm sure you'll have more men chasing after you than you'll know what to do with."

#26 Selena

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 11:56 PM

The hair! How dare she?! Didn't Chikara know by now that Selena's hair was a sacred thing not to be trifled with under penalty of death? Selena quickly brought her hands up to fix the mess and put every lock of brown hair back into place, ensuring that a deep frown was upon her face as she did so. There. All back in order. Stupid woman. She was most certainly not jealous, and she had no trouble getting the menfolk - and a good chunk of the womenfolk - to chase after her. Selena was nearly as popular as Chikara herself, after all.

"Haven't I told you a million times to keep your hands to yourself? It gets people talking."

Still, for however prone she was to fighting, if she had to have any kind of chaperone on her mission, it would be nice to have Chikara as an ally. She may have been annoying, spoiled, eternally drunk, flighty, and foolish, but she packed a powerful punch in battle. Selena had been forced to go on many of the queen's war parties before she became 'qualified enough' to lead her own, so she was accustomed to taunting her mentor on long journeys. One of the elder, lesser warriors of the Labyrinth wouldn't have anywhere near as fun to torment on the way to the battle area. They could get along just fine in those few moments when they weren't bickering, after all. When had the last one of those moments occurred? Maybe a few weeks ago after they both stumbled upon a huge cache of shiny weapons and had a silly girlish moment of squealing happiness. Especially after trying on all the armor to see what kind of battle outfits they could assemble.

"Meet me on the east side of Kakariko at dawn, if you can drag your sorry ass out of bed that early," Selena said. "We'll hit the docks after that, then sail north immediately. We should be able to cut them off in plenty of time. Don't get too drunk tonight. Or wear yourself out with guests."

Selena straightened the sleeves of her leather surcoat and stood up from the bar, leaving her drinks behind. She left the queen and return to her personal chambers, where she saw to sharpening that new dagger of hers and fashioning a sheath for it. It'd be a fine emergency weapon in battle. Light. Easy to throw. With the number of escorts rumored to be on hand for the gold shipment, Selena decided to wear a bit of metal armor over her usual gear and set it out for the morning. No helmet, because the helmet always ruined her hair and narrowed her vision. She'd take her old glaive, as Chikara still wouldn't let her have that Kanagida spear that rested in the depths of the Labyrinth. 'Not ready to handle it,' the queen had told her. Whatever. A weapon that could enhance her violence and battle-lust (and regular lust, according to the rumors) was not beyond her abilities. Someday soon, perhaps.

Everything prepared, Selena had a masseuse work out the kinks in her muscles before bed, as she didn't want to be sore the next day. She dozed off after studying maps of the northern lands, eager to get started.

---

(timeskip here to hurry things up - we'll say the Labyrinth posts up to this point took place before the Hall ones)

She marched her troops - the regular lot and the new ones - to the east side of Kakariko and rendezvoused with Chikara's elite warriors. The queen had made sure to get there before her, of course. Figured. Together, they marched north until they hit the coast. Their soldiers began to board a few swift, unarmed vessels. The Labyrinth seldom used them with all the tunnels they had, but they were definitely worth it for a raid like this. The tunnels didn't go all the way to the Tor-Denma, after all. Selena was the last to board, and they shoved off from the beach without further hesitation.

It took five days until they reached the north shore of the Lalvican and more than happily exited their ships. Labyrinth warriors were not great sailors, even with the trips north they took to raid the Hall itself. Sealegs could be acquired, but seasickness could not always be avoided. Selena had spent half the time slouched down, holding her stomach, praying to any pagan gods that would listen so that she might not hurl. It worked, it seemed. She ran off the boat, firmly planted her feet on the sandy shores of the Lost Woods, and thanked whoever prevented her sickness.

Their army assembled, they would now have to march north through the dense Lost Woods and cut off the convoy before it could reach the Hall of Heroes. Selena had calculated the path on her map and ordered her men forward. She and Chikara were naturally the front of their formation. The shade of the thick trees was a welcome relief compared to the endless sun on the Lalvican. Ick. Sun.

She looked over to Chikara. "Well, here we are again. You as my chaperone while we raid the Hall. You'd better hold my hand to make sure I don't get lost. You know how prone young children are to wander off rather than raid and pillage." Selena smirked. "How about a friendly wager? I bet my nicest battle-axe that I can kill more of them than you. You're getting on in years, after all."

She never really used the battle-axe anyway, but it was impressive as far as they went.

#27 JRPomazon

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 02:12 AM

Yet another stop on the trip was made, the men too tired and restless to continue their journey at the pace they had set. Pharos was more than happy to stop as well, he to was growing tired of the trip. As he walked around allowing his legs to regain their sensation after riding a horse for so long, he was interrupted by a blade coming straight at him, the wielder appearing as though he had lost control. He raised his staff to block the stray sword, a loud clang echoing from the clash. The knight, a younger man, looked as pale as a ghost when Pharos blocked his sword.

"My apologies sir, I was sparring with my friend here to break the boredom."

The knight motioned to his friend, also holding a sword with other spectators.

"If you have the energy to swing your sword, then you can make sure your steed is fit to travel."

Pharos rose his staff, directing it towards a horse that was trying to get into a bag of feed.

"We don't have the luxury of training sir knight, unfortunately you're going to be expected to use that sword to protect yourself, your comrades and the cargo."

The knight dropped his weapon and saluted Pharos, defaulting back to formalities as soon as he could. Pharos shook his head and continued on his way. The knights were being lax, overly suspicious and perhaps a tad prideful. All he could do is hope someone didn't come around to exploit this. Minutes later, after passing the wagons, other knights and their steeds, he found himself back at where he started. It would be time soon to continue the journey to the keep and the back to the hall.

A shrieking sound echoed faintly in the distance, causing Pharos to stop in his tracks. He looked up to the sky and found a dark shadow looming overhead. Was it a hawk? No, it was far too large and the shape was . . . blast it all.

"Wyvern! All knights: take your positions!"

In a hurried frenzy, the knights of the hall switched to the defensive, grabbing their shield as swords and raising them promptly. The massive winged beast began to circle around the caravan, spitting fire at the ground below. The blasts knocked several knights to the ground, but in the haze of the risen dust and soil after the attacks left their fates unknown. As the beast dove to the ground sweeping past the knights only to rise back into the sky, Pharos began to take the reigns of command.

"Hold your positions! Archers, prepare your bows!"

The Wyvern began to turn, preparing for the next bombardment. Several of the knights sheathed their swords for long bows, readying them as they aimed for their foe. Pharos ran over to the archers, his eyes switching back and forth from the wyvern.

"If you have a clear shot, fire!"

The arrows were fired off, flying through the sky although ultimately evaded by the wyvern's midair maneuvers. Clever bastard.

"Prepare another volley!" one of the knights said, as the Wyvern shot another blaze from it's mouth. Pharos turned to the beast and raised his hand towards the sky, a sphere of fire shot forth and intercepted the infernal attack of the beast. The resulting explosion blinded the knights, the light to great to gaze at straight on. The wyvern passed yet again and began to turn around.

"Fire when you can! It doesn't need to hit, only make it come towards the ground!" he shouted to the knights, running to meet the beast head on.

"Sir Pharos! What are you-"

"Prepare for the next shot!"

The arrows were fired once again, the wyvern evading them by diving towards the ground preparing to fire once again. Just as planned. Pharos raised his staff towards the beast, the stone resting in it's grasp glowing as a mass of fire was expelled. The wyvern took it's next shot, intending to strike Pharos. The fires began to take form, a massive hand that came rushing toward the blast of the Wyvern, consuming it completely while grabbing the beast in mid flight. The hand slammed the beast to the ground, the flames dissipating into the air as the hand lost its form. The knights stood in awe as they witnessed the beast fall in a matter of moments and seered by the flames of Pharos no less. The wyvern slowly got to it's feet, experiencing a great deal of pain from the burns. It was alive only for it's scaled hide. Pharos directed his staff at the beast, the wyvern froze as it recognized the stone as the source of its pain. It snarled, bearing it's teeth towards Pharos.

"Now, what to do with you."

#28 Ken the Wandering Soul

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 02:58 AM

Just short of where the caravan stopped, there was a set of wolf tracks that stopped, a man's bare footsteps continuing on.

Raiyu had arrived just as as all the commotion from the wyvern commenced, and watched as the battle unfolded before him. With everyone focused on watching the wyvern, it seemed that hardly anyone noticed the strange man who they had seen on the road before.

Raiyu could not help but be captivated in some way as well. He watched studiously as one of the knights concerted an attack on the wyvern, taking it down in a grand show of magic.

"Interesting..."

#29 Sir Deimos

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 11:00 AM

The boat ride was an excellent time to sharpen and oil Synile's katana... but there was the matter of what to do on the other days. Luckily, he had smuggled a bit of booze onto the trip. He was hardly the only one either. In fact, the boat he was on seemed to be full of drunks, sharing stories. Most of the people were laughing loudly, and talking of past murders, and future conquests. One enigmatic young Loddie had already spent his share of the loot. He was foolish to think Selena would want to share that much of it... There was also the fact that none of the people here knew exactly what the treasure was. It could have all been gold bullion, or, more likely, a stack of pornography. Hahahaha... That's a good one. I'll have to make fun of her with that later.

After what seemed like the longest party in history, the boat finally landed on the intended shore, and Synile was the first off the boat. The landscape was... sunny... but unimaginably long trees definitely made the landscape feel a bit more like home... Except with a fresh smell that took some getting used to. Synile made sure to stay towards the front of the ranks. He thought of himself as an asset, and was definitely not going to be out done by any of the other Labyrinth riff-raff. Selena had already started boasting to Chik.

"Well, here we are again. You as my chaperone while we raid the Hall. You'd better hold my hand to make sure I don't get lost. You know how prone young children are to wander off rather than raid and pillage." Selena smirked. "How about a friendly wager? I bet my nicest battle-axe that I can kill more of them than you. You're getting on in years, after all."

Synile sneaked up from behind, and emerged between the two, resting an arm on each woman's shoulder.

"Now now, Selena. We'd love some enemies to behead too. Don't be taking away all our fun. Besides, if you were really confident, you'd wager something valuable. Like that pretty knife I've noticed you found..." Synile had a large grin on his face. Chances were Selena would react coldly, perhaps an elbow to the gut or something. But that was what made goading fun. Screw the raid, this mission was fun already.

#30 Crimson Lego

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:07 PM

20 yards behind Chikara and Selena, in the midst of the Labyrinth battalion, Nazuma the dwarf was wondering exactly why they were heading out through the Lost Woods. He didn't know many of the details about their current mission, but he was hoping to get some more as they got nearer to their destination. Wincing in pain as he walked in a direct ray of sunlight passing through the leaves, the dwarf raised his hand to block out the light and kept on moving forward. Using his stick to push aside large impassive branches, he glanced around at the emotionless Loddies. Some of them seemed rather annoyed at being outside, others with queasy expressions on their face after sailing across the Lalvican. I don't blame them, grimaced Nazuma, cutting down another large branch with his knife. Been vomiting half of this trip anyways; I doubt anything would make a difference now.

Wishing that could have taken a different, such as going around the forests and through the nations of Verden, Nazuma began to think back about how he even ended with the convoy. Maybe I should have just stayed in the Labyrinth, he thought. As he was traveling north, planning to travel through Uradiel and Roslen and up towards the Hall, the dwarf was intercepted by a group of Loddie scouts, who told him that Selena and Chikara were planning something against the Hall. Having immediately accepted the offer, the dwarf joined the main group heading northwards.

Returning to the present time from his thoughts, Nazuma shook his head to the side slightly and turned to the nearest officer; perhaps they would have a better idea of the current situation. “Excuse me, Lieutenant, but do you know where we’re going right now?” he asked politely.

The man merely shrugged. “Not at all,” he said. “I heard a few rumours that we’re going to take down another convoy, but that’s all.”

Nodding and saying thanks, the dwarf decided to see what information he could get from either Selena or Chikara. I just hope they’re in the right mood to divulge anything. Moving up to the front of the massive group, Nazuma noticed an intimidating warrior walk up behind both females and used his arms for leverage. Chuckling, he decided to bid his time and wait until the man was finished with his fun.




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