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The Day the Wind Died


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#31 JRPomazon

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 03:51 AM

Gwen took her hood and placed it over her head, preparing to leave Shadow's office.

"Thank you for your concern Shadow but I do not believe anyone is safe in the empire anymore. Please take care of yourself."

Without another word, she left the general's company and returned to her duties. As she exited the room, several templars were walking up and down the smooth stone hallway. Things were dangerous enough as it was it seemed. They stopped periodically, placing posters on the walls and going along their way. Curious, she headed out of her way to read whatever notice was placed into effect.

"All military personal please report to the parade grounds for briefing."

Her curiosity was peaked now, although knowing better than to follow it. Whatever it was, she felt ill about the events unfolding. As she went on her way, a single templar passed her on his way to meet with an alchemist he met with earlier. One of Solomon's personal guard, although inexperienced due to his short time as a templar. Down to the lower levels of the Arbiter's Grounds, closer to the city he met the alchemist again to get the results on the note he was ordered to deliver. As he arrived at the old wooden door and in a fog of melding metals and sulfur, he knocked to get an audience with the old man. The small window was flung open, the sickly man looking as grumpy and the last time.

"Hello, I am here to receive the news about the message I left you." The young templar said.

"Too late, too slow. The note's been taken care of." The alchemist replied, uncaring to the templar on the other side of his door.

"Taken care of? You told me to return in an hour and an hour it's been! Do you realize who I am sir?"

"I am aware, I know a grunt when I see one. An inquisitor came by when you were supposed to and I gave it to him."

"What is this? I am a member of Lord Solomon's personal guard sir, how could you give that message off to another?"

"Look, a templar is a templar no matter who he works under. I know rank with your little hunting party and last time I checked, you're on the bottom of the pile. But if you absolutely MUST know, that note you gave me was laced in a dangerous toxin. I'm sure you'll be rewarded for reporting it to me when you did and definitely good that you didn't touch it with your skin."

The templar wore steel gauntlets with his uniform, always wearing light suits of armor.

"Then let me ask, which inquisitor took that note?" The templar asked.

"Inquisitor Gervais. Now if you don't mind, I'd best be back to work."

The alchemist shut his small wooden window and left the templar to ponder what was going on. Little did he know, a woman in a dull white robe was following him. It was true that Gwen knew better. It's a shame she didn't act on that knowledge.

Meanwhile, the hordes of displaced military soldiers and officers filled the parade grounds to capacity. The open area for festivals and gathering within the reach of the Goddess' stronghold at the capital, used mostly by military officials when addressing their troops. Drake made use of this place many times before but for the inquisition it was the first time. As the soldier's grunts and conversation created a loud hum over the masses, Solomon looked out to them from the balcony high above. These were the forces protecting the city of the Goddess, some weary from battle and others getting fat from the lack of activity. They would serve a purpose once again. Solomon approached the end of the balcony, silencing the conversations below.

"To the soldiers of Koridai, the nation of the goddess: your attention!" He shouted.

"As you all know, the goddess has ascended beyond our reach. But I assure you, as a man who has met the goddess personally and has served her, that all hope is not lost! I will address to you the current situation we are facing. Your former commanders Lords Steel and the traitorous Drake have abandoned us to the elements and to our enemies. We are falling apart I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN. To restore order for the empire we must start at the core, the heart of our country! But you have seen what has become of the Arbiter's Grounds, you have seen the filthy sinners revel in their perverse natures and corrupt our people with this sickness they spread. And until we can return this city back into proper form, I am placing the capital under Marshal Law until further notice! For all of you who wish to see this empire flourish again then join me! Join me to make Koridai great and together we will do the will of the goddess! Through our works, we will make a nation befitting her return and upon our efforts we will accomplish a bright and shining future! Alone, I am but a humble servant of the goddess but together . . . WE ARE SO MUCH MORE!"

"The Goddess is dead!"

Solomon's senses were placed on alert at that instant. Who was it? Who was the bastard who said such blasphemy! No . . . calm down.

"Show yourself blasphemer, show yourself so that I may see the man who claims to know of the goddess!"

The soldiers around the outspoken man moved away from him like he was a plague victim. A simple cadet in what once was the Vanguard. The one who stayed behind only to become disenchanted with his nation. Solomon's eyes found him like a hawk spotting a bleeding hare.

"So there you are! Tell us again solider, where is the Goddess?!" Solomon shouted down to this rebellious man.

He was silent at first, unsure of what he was going to do.

"Well? Can you not speak now? Has your words made your tongue shrivel away like water in the desert? WHERE IS YOUR HUBRIS, HERETIC!?"

"The Goddess is dead! We have been forsaken by the quadrate!"

There was a silence that grew from this stand off, this lone soldier and the Grand Marshal of the Imperial Inquisition. To say anything of the sort was an instant banishment of death sentence, those were the ways of the Empire of Koridai. But now this man speaks of a world in which the goddess is dead, that there is no divine protection, that these lands are no longer those Chikara Nadir. It was a face off between the old ways and a new order. Solomon saw this challenge . . . and accepted it.

"And what do you all believe? Are you like this man, this heretic who believes that such atrocities are true? Then what of Koridai? What of our nation? Do we forsake ourselves to allow this once shining land to perish like so many before us, to not realize our true destiny as the blessed flock chosen to be saved by the Goddess? Do you not remember the Cataclysm? Do you not remember when your neighbors and friends turned on each other with horrid bloodlust and became the cursed, who roam the lost Alliance like demons?! WHO WAS IT WHO TOOK YOU IN? WHO WAS IT THAT GAVE YOU THIS NATION TO CALL YOUR OWN? DO YOU FORSAKE THE GODDESS AND HER NATION AND THE FUTURE SHE OFFERED ALL OF YOU, A SHINING FUTURE IN WHICH ALL PEOPLES CAN SHARE IN THE UNLIMITED BOUNTY OF PROSPERITY? LOOK AT THESE LANDS! BARREN DESERTS AND EMPTY PLAINS UNTIL THEY WERE MADE FERTILE AND BOUNTIFUL BY THE GODDESS! NOW THEY ARE ROAMED BY WHORES AND VERMIN WHO INTEND TO DRAG US ALL DOWN TO THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR! The Goddess is not here with us because we as people have lost our way to make this nation, this empire a suitable home for the goddess! BUT WE CAN STILL GET BACK ON OUR TRUE PATH! THIS EMPIRE WILL BE GREAT ONCE MORE BY OUR FAITH AND OUR BLOOD!"

The soldiers cheered instantly, the old ways victorious. Solomon smiled as he raised his sword to the sky.

"Today, we take back the nation! Today we prepare for the arrival of the goddess! Death to the vermin! Death to the heretics! With our swords we will help carve a new world. With the bodies of our enemies, we will lay the foundation for the future!"

The cadet was forcefully dragged away by templars in red armor in the midst of the soldiers who cried out for the sake of their nation. The Grand Marshal of the Imperial inquisition, a man with silvery gray hair of 26 years had just taken control of the empire's army. Word would spread quickly throughout the city, everyone would know what happened here. Hours later, the great purge would begin.

OoC: Long story Short: Marshal Law in effect, Solomon commands the full force of the army within the Arbiter's grounds and a lot of people are going to die. Stay tuned for more deadly danger.

#32 SL the Pyro

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 05:49 PM

"Marshal Law..."

"I can't believe he's going that far. I knew nothing good would come of him being in control."

"Are we... going to have to kill the people?"

"Like hell am I doing that! Weren't we in this army to protect them!?"

General Shadow's faithful soldiers, the four that had stuck by him ever since they had all enlisted. Their thoughts echoed his own quite accurately... almost.

"Ge... General?"

The female soldier believed she was right in being careful about how to address him right now. His eyes were shadowed, his mouth grimaced in what could only be pure rage. His hands were shaking... and sparking. No joke, small embers were being spit out from his trembling fists. But despite this, he still tried his very best to respond to her. "Yes, Nia...?"

"Are you... going to be alright?" she asked with great concern. By now the others also noticed his current state, and shared a mix of equal parts worry and fear.

"...I don't know..."

That reply didn't ease their worry.

He turned to them finally, managing to close his mouth. The last thing he wanted to do was lose himself to anger, around his friends and comrades no less. "...What are you going to do?"

"...I'm resigning." Four sets of eyes looked at the speaker with understandable shock. "To hell with this. I joined the army to protect Koridai, not defile it. I'd sooner drive my sword through my own heart than that of a civilian."

"Jakob...!" both of the male soldiers gasped his name, surprised at what he was saying.

"...So am I." Nia said after some hesitation. "He's right. Criminal or not, how many people are we going to have to kill before actually finding all the heathens? How many innocents? I didn't sign up for this!"

"You too, Nia...?" Shadow asked with such surprise.

"Seriously, you guys..." one of the other male soldiers said. "Fine, I'm out too."

"...Well, if all you guys are... fine, so am I."

It had been enough to quell Shadow's rage somewhat. To see that his loyal soldiers wouldn't partake in the slaughter that was no doubt to come, going so far as to leave the army behind... he couldn't believe it. It seemed there were still some somewhat sane people in Koridai. "Nia, Jakob, Simon, Ryu... are you sure about this?"

Only a second's hesitation preceded their respective nods.

In spite of himself, Shadow managed to smile. There were good people here after all. "Then give me your badges. I'm going to march up to Solomon and give them too him, along with my own."

"You too, General!?" Nia gasped.

"Hell yes. It's like you all said, my interest is in protecting my home, not aiding in its destruction." he reaffirmed for them. "If Solomon really wants to go through with this, I'm out of here."

Happy to see their leader of the same mindset, one by one they all handed him their badges. "But... what about Calatia?" Jakob asked.

"Oh, I still plan on going." Shadow clarified. "One last favour for this nation, and I have a few things of my own I want to do there."

"Then... we might as well leave together." Ryu suggested. "It's faster, and we have a better chance of living if Solomon isn't happy with our choice."

Shadow was sure everyone knew how Solomon would react to this. "Then to that end, see if you can't buy our customized wagon and some horses off of the army, and have it ready to go as soon as possible." he ordered. "Meanwhile... I'm going to go have a little 'chat' with Solomon..."

Quite possibly a force of habit, but they all saluted him before running off together, while Shadow went off in the opposite direction with the intention of intercepting Solomon on the way to his office.

----------

He was on his way there now, with no one around him.

"Do you intend to kill him?"

Shadow had countenanced the thought several times over the last few minutes. "Oh believe me, I would love to... but now he's the only leader Koridai has left. Killing him would only make things worse." But then, he stopped walking. An idea struck him. "Phoenix... were you holding my power back earlier?"

"I was. A precautionary measure in case your anger got the best of you. I apologize for not telling you."

Shadow shook his head. "No, don't apologize... in fact, I want you to do it again." he told his companion. "And hold it all back. I don't want to try and roast Solomon by mistake."

"Realize what you are asking. Without my influence, the heat will ravage your body like it did in the past."

He shuddered at the memory... that sickness had nearly been the death of him. But he didn't mind. "That's just fine... it might be good if Solomon sees it. Sees just how badly I want to immolate him. I want his undivided attention."

"Then it will be done. Brace yourself."

The effect was immediate. So immediate that it knocked the wind out of him and brought him to his knees. The heat... it had been so long since he felt it for real. Phoenix's power numbed most heat to the point where it wasn't even there, or at least that's what it felt like. But with all of that power restrained, Shadow felt it again. And it was as horrible as he remembered. Unable to contain it with his own will, the hallway he was walking in immediately heated up, like walking into a house fire. His skin was reddening, his eyes were drying out, and sweat was already starting to pour down his whole body. For the average person, it would've been enough to knock them out.

But Shadow was not average. He'd built up a resistance to heat, he could handle it.

No, instead he allowed the pain to fuel his anger. He stood back up, and shouted the name of the one he so despised right now.

"SOLOMON!!!"

#33 JRPomazon

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 04:12 PM

The crimson guard, a coalition of the military and inquisition was formed after Solomon's grand speech. Without another moment, it he ordered this new force to guard and watch the entrances and exits of the city while other forces would be deployed in public areas to begin informing the masses of the decision made by the Grand Marshal. As it all began to take effect, Solomon sat in his seat in the offices of the inquisition, into a fresh new set of clothes rather than his imperial formal wear. He sat there, his hands interlocked and crossed as he thought of what it was he had to do now. Placing forces around the city and the entrances was his idea, it was the at the advice of the arch inquisitors that he allowed the people to be informed of what was happening next. At the sake of having the questions of the people answered. Questions, such strange and destructive things. If people questioned less, than there wouldn't be a need for all this.

A knock on the door echoes through the empty office.

"Enter."

An inquisitor walks through, his red robes gently flowing behind him. He bows in respect, unlike the templars who salute in lieu of such formalities.

"State your business, what do you have to report Inquisitor?"

The inquisitor raises himself.

"M'Lord, I am Inquisitor Gervais and I have come delivering you news about a very sensitive threat."

"I'm listening." Solomon replied.

"M'Lord, we have been able to stop an attempt at your life."

Solomon got from his chair, standing quickly at the news."

"EXPLAIN."

Inquisitor Gervais was shocked to see Solomon so riled up so quickly. He nervously cleared his throat and continued.

"A note was requested to be sent to you hours earlier in your chambers. One of your templars thought it suspicious and sent it to the lower levels to have it examined by one of the imperial alchemists. We discovered it was laced with a very potent and terrible toxin that would have surely killed anyone who was to inhale or come in contact with it. We were able to trace the note back to the potential assassin, but that is where things get difficult m'lord."

"Who sent it? Who is the filth that tried such a cowardly scheme!?" Solomon shouted.

"M'Lord, it was your acquaintance . . . General Shadow and his men."

Solomon slammed his fist into his desk. Of course, the General had many difficulties with him before. Especially during the time of the expedition to Komitaa. But this method seemed . . . too complicated for the general. No, he was a man who would have a more direct approach. It was one of his better qualities. Solomon's anger was held back, ration taking the reigns.

"This is a very serious accusation inquisitor Gervais. I want a report of the tests done on this note and a copy of its message."

"Lord Solomon, it has already been done." Gervais said, presenting the 'evidence' on Solomon's desk. Solomon took the report, reading it over carefully and followed with a copy of the note.

It seems things have gotten quite bad here in our absence, haven't they? But I'm sure you don't want to hear about that right now, so I'll cut to the chase: The Empire needs you, now more than ever. But don't think I've forgotten about our past issues; the only advice I can give you is to try and handle this civilly. I don't care if you're my superior or not -- but since when is that anything new? -- I won't hesitate to offer my help if you need me. But please prevent yourself from going on another killing spree, Koridai has had enough blood spilled to last a good few years. Don't add to it.

~General Shadow (if that title means anything now)


"This joke of his is revolting . . . "

"M'Lord, how do you wish to proceed?" Gervais asked.

Solomon clenched his fist, almost ready to hunt Shadow down and kill him. Make an example of his for the nation to see. Rip him to pieces, display his battered body like pagans. No, that would be revolting for the people of the goddess. No. No. No. Tie him to a stake and have him burned alive, have the people watch as the fires of the nations will purge all malignant presences. Execution was what he deserved now. But not just yet. No, not just yet.

"I want you to detain him and his men as soon as possible. Send my personal templars to apprehend them. They are not the leave the Arbiter's Ground unchained. See that it gets done."

"M'Lord, it shall be done."

Gervais bowed and left the room, leaving Solomon to ponder something. From a pocket, he pulled out the violet stone that he obtained months ago from one of the Grey Cloakes. A magical relic indeed, but it's true power was still unknown. The General, he knew something about this stone and it may be enough to keep him alive . . . for now.


* * *

Fresh clothes, a proper container for his spears slung over his shoulder and a warm cloak for the cold descent down the mountains of Calatia. He chose not to replace his armor, it would be too much weight. It was time to leave Snowpeak and head off to his destination. Walking the halls one last time, Jordan passed Synile and a girl, over incumbered with gold and weapons. What the hell?

Jordan followed them, staying out of sight when a guard came by and questioned them. After some needless banter, Synile scared him off with his Labyrinth legacy bit. Might work on a guard but not so much a lady, which is why Jordan was curious to see a companion for Synile. The two walked to a merchant and it seemed that everything was making a little bit of sense.

"Well, look who is all up and about. Did the doctors recommend pilfering as a part of your healing regiment?"

#34 SL the Pyro

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 08:16 PM

Inquisitor Gervais hadn't made it even three steps from Solomon's office before feeling a sweltering heat from behind him, followed by two "thuds." He turned around in an instant, knowing what so many others did about seemingly random heat spikes in the Arbiter's Grounds.

"So much as touch my unit, and you'll know what it feels like to have the flesh seared from your bones while you're still living..."

His voice was raspy, but it dripped with such venom that the Inquisitor mistook the sweat pouring down his face for it. Shadow was lumbering over to the office, his hand clamping down on the doorframe. Steam was coming out from where he touched it; it didn't start a fire, but there was no doubt his touch was hot. His skin from head to toe was pink, his hair was dried out and disheveled, and every article of clothing he wore except for the hat and boots were soaked with nothing but his own perspiration. And his eyes... reddened and dried out from the intense heat. By now the entire hallway and Solomon's office were immersed in the sweltering heat his body was putting off.

But there was more in his eyes than dehydration... there was fury. Fury that complimented the horrible state the General was in only too well. The Inquisitor was paralyzed with terror, rooted firmly in place. He didn't dare do anything rash; Solomon's rage was bad enough. He did not want to be subject to the anger of this living torch.

It was fortunate for him that his attention was focused only on the Head Inquisitor, and his head turned slightly, his eyes lazily looking to him behind his desk.

"No need to seek me out... I just so happen to have been looking for you too... you monster..."

Gervais used this opportunity to flee, leaving two of the most powerful people left in Koridai alone with each other.

"'Leader of Koridai'... you're so, so lucky you're the only one capable of claiming that title right now, or else I would seriously kill you..." He seethed, daring to step into his office fully now. "Flaunting your power to do something horrible, just like we all knew you would... enstating Martial Law and throwing away every last shred of peace and sanity in this nation..."

He stopped moving until he was in the centre of the room, safely out of range of any surprise sword strikes he couldn't react to.

"Savage idiot!" he roared at Solomon. "Are you going to take every last life in Koridai before your bloodlust is satisfied!? Or did you simply ignore my letter stating I would turn you to ash if you pulled a stunt like this!? Chikara did not create this nation just for you to destroy it from the inside out!"

Edited by SL the Pyro, 07 May 2011 - 08:32 PM.


#35 JRPomazon

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:52 PM

"AND WHAT WOULD A REMNANT OF THE OLD ALLIANCE KNOW OF THIS NATION!? Your letter, the one laced with enough poison that it would kill me by just touching it shows me that you are a hindrance to the enlightenment I will bring to this nation!"

Solomon left his desk, holding the violet stone in one hand and his other on the hilt of his sword.

"No, that wasn't you, was it? This isn't your Modus operandi, your method of dealing with things. But since you have confessed that the genesis of this particular note was you, I have all the certainty I need to punish you for your crimes against the empire!"

Solomon raised the violet stone, the Key of Lightning.

"You aren't the only one with fancy toys General, NOW I'LL SHOW YOU THE LIGHT OF JUDGEMENT!"

From the stone shot out a burst of lighting, the brilliant light striking Shadow and sending him into across the room and crashing into the dark walnut table behind him. The heat Shadow gave off had the broken table burst into flames as he got back on his feet. Solomon didn't care for the table or the priceless oriental rug underneath it. It seemed close quarters combat was not the wisest approach for this situation.

"I may not possess the knowledge you do about these relics but it seems I have the stronger of the two. Now, let's finish that duel we started out on the expedition to Komitaa."

Solomon drew his saber from it's cloth, preparing for the general's next move.

Edited by JRPomazon, 07 May 2011 - 10:54 PM.


#36 SL the Pyro

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:22 AM

Shadow got back to his feet, quite bewildered, but seemingly none worse for the wear; he might be worse off if the surprise lightning strike had actually made prolonged contact, but damage from heat was something he could barely feel right now. It was a good thing his clothing was fireproof too. Lucky for Solomon that Key he'd suddenly revealed wasn't the subject of the "discussion."

"Ignorant moron!" he spat at Solomon. "Either you lack the concept of civil conversation, or perhaps you missed what I said. Look closely at me."

He hardly moved from where he was standing. He hadn't even drawn his sword yet.

"This is what happens when I have to ask the spirit of the Key of Fire to restrict my power. My entire body is burning. My clothes are wet from perspiration. I'm sure you've already felt the heat being put off from my body. I'll bet the sheer rage I'm feeling for you would be enough to blow this entire building to kingdom come if I weren't having the reigns held on me... though that's a concept I'm sure you're not familiar with." he explained. "Point is: that is how badly I want to turn you into a burning smear on these office walls. Yet without you, the people will have no leader, and that blundering, traitorous Inquisition would take control. But with you... you've gone and done something worse than even I thought you would."

He let out a heavy sigh, reaching into his jacket.

"No matter how I look at it, this nation will never be the paradise it was before... your actions are going to finish Koridai's descent into ruin Solomon, and neither I nor my men will have any part in it. I can't kill you, but I refuse to serve you."

He pulled out the badges of him and his men, and dropped them to the floor at Solomon's feet.

"As of this moment, we resign from the Imperial Army."

Edited by SL the Pyro, 08 May 2011 - 05:09 PM.


#37 JRPomazon

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 03:24 PM

Solomon lowered his weapon, looking at Shadow slightly confused.

"Allow me a moment to piece this together. You come in here to bicker at me, dramatically resign from your position looking like you'd just spent the last four hours in a stew and also telling me that you possess the power to destroy the Arbiter's Grounds and then after all this you expect me to let you go?"

Solomon began to laugh.

"And all this after you and your men conspire to kill me? Oh this is too rich! But I will say that you're right about one thing Shadow, you aren't going to kill me!"

Templars came pouring into the room, the infamous 'bloodhounds' of Solomon, trained to defeat even the strongest of heretics. They surrounded Shadow, readying themselves for anything.

"I will accept your resignation and the resignation of your men General but I have absolutely no intention of having your service to the empire end here. YOU will relinquish your Key of Fire to the Empire and any information pertaining to it. And as of now, Inquisitor Gervais has already given my order to apprehend your men . . .

Elsewhere, several units of the Crimson Guard came sweeping through the halls, capturing Shadow's 4 subordinates one after another. They were outnumbered and dragged off to the depths of the Arbiter's Grounds, to the dark cells of the inquisition.

#38 SL the Pyro

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 04:59 PM

Shadow's eyes shifted from Templar to Templar, before settling on Solomon again.

"The situation has changed. I am removing the seal on our symbiotic abilities."

Just as well... an escape plan had already started to form in the now-former General's mind. The Templars that surrounded him were close to him, close enough to ward off a surprise attack... to one of them. And Solomon still had what Shadow aptly believed to be the Key of Thunder grasped in his hand...

Despite the odds that should be in Solomon's favour, he smiled.

"Okay, maybe I might've been exaggerating with the gigantic fireball thing... truth is I don't know how much damage a spontaneous release of my power will do. I don't think I've ever been so angry before... and admittedly, trying to scare you straight was doomed to fail. But I'm not the only one who made a huge mistake."

The Templars tensed up, ready for any sudden movements.

"You're going to learn many lessons in the King's seat. Here's your first: never claim victory before you've won. I thought you would've figured that out when Jordan gave you that scar, but oh well." His grin widened. "Good-bye, Solomon."

Phoenix released Shadow's grip on his power. The retaliatory action did not come from his body, but from a red sigil quickly spreading out along the floor. The second it reached the desired size, which was a foot more than the width of his body, his suppressed power was released in a huge fireball that engulfed the room. It got exactly the desired effect; though the Templars were pushed back by the force, they were not the target, but rather Solomon was - who was still holding the Key of Thunder. The crafty ex-general took advantage of the same trick the Head Inquisitor did, using the charged air it exuded to cause a detonation that rocked the Arbiter's Grounds.

To say the office was in shambles was an understatement, with charred floors, destroyed furniture and knocked-down Templars everywhere. Or at least, that was all Shadow had stuck around to see; all that remained of him was a small trail of fire from literally blazing his way out the doorway.

(OoC: I can't describe the exact extent of the damage since I don't really know JRP's depiction of it, so I'll leave that up to his imagination.)

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

"Do you intend to rescue the others?"

"Of course! There's just one quick stop to make first..." he replied, running like a madman to his own office.

Edited by SL the Pyro, 09 May 2011 - 12:56 PM.


#39 Sir Deimos

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 01:33 AM

Two purses worth in gold? That haul was worth this much money!?

"Well, look who is all up and about. Did the doctors recommend pilfering as a part of your healing regiment?"

That voice. It was Jordan.

"Actually yes." Synile turned to face Jordan. "And you? Did your physician suggest spying?" Synile smiled. "Besides, have you seen this girl? She's gorgeous. Courtesans of her caliber are quite expensive!" Eivor attempted to elbow Synile, but Synile just casually blocked the blow.

"Shut it!" Eivor sounded mad. "I don't have to lead you to that armory I mentioned if you'd rather make jokes, Synile." That threat was enough to drain the little color he had from his face.

"Well, Jordan, meet Eivor. Eivor, Jordan. Now let's go investigate this armory, shall we?"

OoC: I really am not quite sure how to pad this out. XD I'm thinking it may be time to head out of Calatia soon.

#40 Egann

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 10:03 PM

OoC: I'm coming, Shadow. Wait for MEEEeee! OK, that was a bit cheesy. FYI: I am now switching to Egann.


Lester pulled his horse to a gentle trot on his way through Arbiter's Grounds gate, quite glad to be leaving a place so bad. And it was about to get worse, in part by Solomon's blunderings, but mostly by Lester's own. Quite a day's work, if he said so himself. And just when he thought he would never be able to tell a lie again.

For some time now he'd known what he needed to do, but he wanted to go back to the Vanguard with proof of his allegiance. Drake was interested in stories of loyalty and results that advanced his causes, not with some conversion story about wayward faith. Then he'd happened across his old friend again.

Hello, Eggy, ol' buddy. I'm too scared to do this, but I know a way to save Koridai. He bought the line without question. Lester had just neglected to mention how this would also hand Koridai to Drake on a silver platter.

While he had told the lie, he focused his thoughts on how Drake would bring order to Koridai, how Egann's actions really could save Koridai. He neglected to think about how it wasn't the way Egann was thinking it would be.

In the meantime, good to be out of there. He was off to join the Vanguard, and what would become of Arbiter's Grounds shortly would prove him to be one of Drake's most loyal and insightful servants.

* * * *

In General Shadow's office a wooden crate lay open on the floor. It was a big crate, too, but at first glance it appeared to be...empty. Indeed, someone who didn't know the General's office habits would think this just the leftovers of some project, but Shadow would immediately know something was amis.

A note was tacked onto the side: just a list of victuals that had--presumably--been in the crate, but at the bottom was a comment in chicken scrawl anyone would have to work to read. Only someone determined to make sense of a note on an empty crate would bother.

It's not every day the Inkies go after a high up General, such as yourself. Usually they reserve their efforts for us common "disposable" folk, so of course I have to keep an eye on them.

I don't mean to say the obvious, but you'd better not linger in a place this obvious long with Inkies after you. The crate has a false bottom. Under it you will find some air-filtering masks, smoke grenades (gray), pepper-dust bombs (red) and some sleeping gas bombs (blue.) I personally mixed the chloroform for the sleeping bombs and will guarantee they will knock anyone who breathes the fumes out for half an hour just...be careful with the pepper dust bombs. They burn like a bitch in heat.

Obviously, the masks are to protect you and your buddies. Bear in mind they don't work quite so well as the bombs; the filter is just a wet-rag with some charcoal thrown in. Sorry, but I don't feel like killing my fellow Koridians just yet, and these were the best I could make in two hours.

I've got an idea to save Koridai. I can't go into details in a message like this, but basically, our problem is that the head keeps biting the hand. If we cut the head off, the hand might have time to escape. On second-thought, that sounded really stupid, didn't it? Trust me, it sounds worse than it is, but the fact is I need help to pull it off. There's a crumby mead and moldy bread place where North Passage and Independence Boulevard cross that's always busy and noisy and I can arrange for a private room. Meet me at the bar around half past six; I don't want to be there too early--it might be suspicious--but I don't want to completely miss Happy Hour, either. Before or after you save your buddies is up to you.

Needless to say, burn after reading. Or can you even handle that much?


Edited by Egann, 09 May 2011 - 10:05 PM.


#41 JRPomazon

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 11:38 PM

OoC: Synile: Agreed, it's about time to bring things into the world.

The smoke cleared as the ruined and charred office was blackened everywhere. Some small fires still going on, although they would extinguish on their own. Furniture, shattered winds, parchments, anything that could have been damaged or destroyed was just so. The templars got to their feet, surprised that none of their ranks had been annihilated in the blast. Solomon, lowering his arm that shielded his face from the blast, saw what became of his headquarters and clenched his fists.

"SEAL ALL EXITS TO THE BUILDING! I WANT THAT TRAITOR DEAD! DEAD!"

The templars shot off like bats out of hell, running like the wind as they obeyed the orders of the Grand Marshal. Solomon, dusting himself off from the ash and smoke left the smoldering room and found that a small crowd had begun to gather from all the noise while others were recovering from being shaken violently from the blast.

"M'lord, are you well?" One of them asked.

Solomon smiled.

"Very much so. Send word that their is a dangerous man running loose, be sure to keep out of sight."

Solomon placed the Key of Thunder away and took out his sword, dashing off to join the hunt. His blood was beginning to boil. As he ran, a templar met him during his flight.

"M'Lord, we have his four subordinates in holding."

Solomon regained his senses, the chase was going to have to wait. Begrudgingly, he followed the templar to the dungeon.

Elsewhere, Inquisitor Gervais crept into the shadows of the Arbiter's Grounds, appearing as though he was looking for someone.

"Were you followed?" A voice asked.

"No sir, I was not." Gervais replied.

From the darkness crept the arch-inquisitor Lord Lucien, who had been waiting there for some time.

"How did you fare framing the General?"

"It worked perfectly M'Lord. Lord Solomon believed the falsified report. However, there were some unforeseen circumstances. Apparently the General had intentions of resigning from his post. The offices of the Inquisition were severally damaged by him during his flight after being confronted as a traitor to the empire. Lord Solomon has sent the templars after him as we speak and the general's men are currently in our custody."

Lucien laughed softly.

"So we hadn't the need to do anything it seems. It seems our fortune is heaven sent."

Gervais was puzzled.

"Sir, the offices were destroyed, documentation of all matters of arrest and trail were reduced to ash. I hardly think this fortunate for us."

"Gervais, do you really think I am the kind of man to not have a backup for such important documentation? I am always one step ahead, that is how I managed to get to where I am today. You did a splendid job, regardless of this mess Solomon has thrown us into. So long as he sinks his teeth into his prey, life will return to normal soon. Now pay attention, here is your next assignment . . ."

* * *

Jordan stood there, a tiny pit perplexed by Synile's merry making. But the armory did sound like a good idea, despite the fact that he was opting out of traditional armor for his trip. He did need bracers though, his last pair were scraped.

"Lead the way, maniac."

The three of them took to the halls of Snowpeak, Synile tossing his bag of gold up and down like a child with a toy, Eivor conscious enough to keep her distance (clever girl) and Jordan at least 9 steps behind them. It was obvious there was nothing going on here aside from the fact that this poor girl had been conscripted in Synile's scheme, but there was something familiar about the whole thing that made him feel . . . warm. This was Synile at play, not at war. Not much of a noticeable difference visibly but there was a very distinct feeling about him that was different.

It didn't take long to scare the guards and find the armory, it turned out that Selena had positioned the display weaponry to direct the passersby towards it. Somehow, it seemed like her style.

"So, what are we looking for here?" He asked.

Edited by JRPomazon, 10 May 2011 - 01:54 AM.


#42 Sir Deimos

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:03 PM

"So, what are we looking for here?" He asked.

The armory was large, and that was expected considering.

"Well, Jordan, despite the time I've spent here, Snowpeak is rather... new to me. I never bothered to get myself acquainted with the place. This place, apparently, is the smithy to the kingdom. The smiths here are supposed to be the best in Calatia, and as such they've received a contract to keep Calatia's armed forces... well... armed. I need armor, and this place has to make armor constantly due to the demands of the kingdom. This way, I can get the gear I need without having to place an order and wait months."

Synile roamed about the show room floor. Big ornate shows of skill were everywhere. Suits of armor adorned display cases, and swords hung everywhere. Synile examined one of the swords on display, and the work did indeed seem to be better than average.

"Never make an enemy of an armorer, we'd say in the Labyrinth. If you want to live long, anyway. A blacksmith is typically male. Men typically like lots of gold, and gorgeous women. Well, we have those things with us." Synile winked at Eivor. "And those two things will make sure the smith wants to keep us alive. Dead customers don't need armor after all."

A man emerged from the back room, and hurried to the counter. He was a thick man, practically covered in soot. The heat from the forge was still emanating from him, and his brow was soaked in sweat. "Sorry, can I help you gentlemen?" Synile nonchalantly tossed the man one of the two purses full of gold coins.

"Yes you can. Actually. I need some light armor. Can you take me to the pieces that've already been made?"

"My lord, for this much gold, you can do whatever you want."

"Good. My friends may need some armaments as well. Let's just take care of it all now, shall we?"

"Very good my lord. Right this way."

#43 JRPomazon

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:43 PM

Synile offering Jordan some new bracers on the house? Who would have thought he was so generous? Or maybe it would just be best to pretend that he was and have a little extra get added to the bill. It's not like he would mind much. Jordan looked over the wares of the armory, mostly grey and dull looking articles, although they looked pretty sturdy. More on function and less on fashion then, very viking. Perhaps he would get more than just bracers and spoil himself on some armor as well. It's not like it wasn't an unnecessary expense. He saw Synile and Eivor follow the blacksmith and followed suit, keeping his eyes open for anything of use.

And there it was.

A stunning brestplate on the wall display, very similar to the one he had before aside from the color. He placed his hand on the metal surface, inspecting it carefully. It was impressive . . . but it wouldn't do. It's just not the same caliber as his last armor. Disappointed, he left the armor where it was and continued to look elsewhere. Gothic brestplates, barrel armor, it was impressive to see so many kinds of armor in one place but each one did not seem to catch Jordan's eye. Eventually, he found an bluish silver steel chainmail.

"Hey, what's this?"

The blacksmith turned towards him and looked surprised for a moment.

"AH! That's one of our finest products! Hammered down dense mithril to small chains and made mail out of it! It'll take a hell of a beating even without armor in front of it, perfect for keeping yourself light without . . . most of the drawbacks. Great quality stuff!"

He was suspicious, but he did need mail if not armor.

"How much?"

#44 Sir Deimos

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:16 PM

Synile lost himself amongst the rows of metalwork. It seemed Jordan had become enamored with a set of chainmail for himself. Synile's search, however, had just begun. That was when he had found what he had hoped to see. The furthest wall from the entrance, there hung a set of armor not typically seen. A black leather tunic, with chainmail stitched between the layers, sat in a display case. It was more than just the chest piece though. There were leather vambraces that were also reinforced with metal, as well as a similar pair of pants.

"Certainly lighter than scale, that'll keep you safe. This particular suit is in the display case because it's the best set I'd ever make." The voice came from an elderly man who seemed to appear out of nowhere.

"You must be the master here. The work is... interesting. I've never seen mail sewn into leather armor before."

"If it fits it's yours. After all, I understand you've dropped a lot of coin into this trip of yours. I don't know who you are, but I don't care. Money is money."

The man unlocked the case for Synile. Synile helped himself and slid the tunic on. It was loose, but certainly would get the job done. He was quick to completely change into his new suit.

"Thank you. This suits my needs perfectly."

"No. Thank you. Armor is meant to be used. I'm just happy to know my work will get to fulfill it's purpose."

Synile headed towards the entrance where he found Eivor again. She was plus one large knife. It definitely suited her.

Eivor looked at Synile, "Ooooh. Pretty. Keeping that ratty cloak though? That's... Well, just wash it sometime."

"The cloak completes the look... It's scary..."

"The only thing scary about that is the smell." Eivor held her nose for effect.

"I..." Synile slumped his shoulders and walked back into the menagerie of wears, apparently in need of a cloak. Eivor interrupted Synile's depression by tossing him a new cloak.

"I already grabbed you one." She winked. "I just wanted to laugh at your reaction."

"Did I mention that I can see why Selena kept you around?" Synile had a wry look on his face.

#45 SL the Pyro

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:47 PM

"So why did you choose to stop here?"

After knocking out no less than five unsuspecting Templars -- apparently news of the lockdown had yet to reach them, so they weren't as alert as they should've been -- he'd reached his office, making sure to shut the door tight and lock it behind him. Using a burlap sack and a trolley he'd managed to "borrow" along the way, he started gathering the only things he valued in this dump: his collection of rare and antique weapons. "I can't very well let Solomon get his hands on these!" Shadow informed the flaming spirit. "There's no telling what havoc he might cause with them!"

"Are the lives of your comrades not more important than these relics?"

Despite being antiques, Shadow was pressed for time and was rather haphazardly throwing each weapon into the bag. "And that's why I'm going to loan them to my men and woman temporarily. We need some kind of edge to stand a chance against the whole band of Templars and get out of here alive." He said nothing about how much it pained him to use these weapons he'd been collecting and preserving for years for actual battle, not wanting them to be damaged... but desperate times called for desperate measures, and these were definitely desperate times.

"Then as you do not care about how they are put away, why not use the crate rather than that bag?"

"Crate? Wha...?" He looked to the front wall of his office, and indeed, there was a crate there, already open and emptied of whatever it had contained. He hadn't noticed it before... indeed, why wasn't he using something far superior to the burlap sack? He slapped his forehead for not thinking, but then realized... why was there a crate in here? He hadn't left one in his office, and no one had access other than him.

Taking a few fleeting moments to satisfy his curiousity, he ripped the note from the crate's side and read it. The list of items it contained was clearly written, but the notes below it not so much. He had to struggle to read it... but as none of the Templars suspected he'd rush to his office of all places, he had time to make it all out.

It's not every day the Inkies go after a high up General, such as yourself. Usually they reserve their efforts for us common "disposable" folk, so of course I have to keep an eye on them.

I don't mean to say the obvious, but you'd better not linger in a place this obvious long with Inkies after you. The crate has a false bottom. Under it you will find some air-filtering masks, smoke grenades (gray), pepper-dust bombs (red) and some sleeping gas bombs (blue.) I personally mixed the chloroform for the sleeping bombs and will guarantee they will knock anyone who breathes the fumes out for half an hour just...be careful with the pepper dust bombs. They burn like a bitch in heat.

Obviously, the masks are to protect you and your buddies. Bear in mind they don't work quite so well as the bombs; the filter is just a wet-rag with some charcoal thrown in. Sorry, but I don't feel like killing my fellow Koridians just yet, and these were the best I could make in two hours.

I've got an idea to save Koridai. I can't go into details in a message like this, but basically, our problem is that the head keeps biting the hand. If we cut the head off, the hand might have time to escape. On second-thought, that sounded really stupid, didn't it? Trust me, it sounds worse than it is, but the fact is I need help to pull it off. There's a crumby mead and moldy bread place where North Passage and Independence Boulevard cross that's always busy and noisy and I can arrange for a private room. Meet me at the bar around half past six; I don't want to be there too early--it might be suspicious--but I don't want to completely miss Happy Hour, either. Before or after you save your buddies is up to you.

Needless to say, burn after reading. Or can you even handle that much?

That last part left him feeling slightly insulted as he incinerated the slip of paper. Whoever had decided to help him had quite a tongue, in written context at least, but he wasn't about to complain about it; it seemed he had a sympathizer with good foresight, and anything that exploded and caused mayhem brought a smile to his face. And smile he did when he slid the false bottom of the crate aside and saw the little, lovable bombs tightly nestled inside. "Oh, sweet." he said giddily. "If I make it to Happy Hour, drinks are definitely on me."

So he was left with a choice. He could either go and meet this mysterious helper now and come back for his men first, or free them and track down the man after they were free. Half-past six it said... he glanced at his wall clock; it wasn't even three o'clock yet. Three hours was too long to simply sit around and do nothing, and he didn't want to leave his men in Solomon's custody, or one of them could wind up dead just because of how angry the ex-General no doubt made him with that escape attempt. And with Koridai under lock-down due to the Marshal Law, they would all need a clever plan to get past its borders...

"No reason to keep my men waiting any longer then. Let's spring them and find this helper we've gained."

He slipped a makeshift gas mask on -- which stunk thanks to the charcoal -- and stocked up on a few of each of the bombs hidden in the crate, then sealed it back up and set the bag filled with every article of his weapon collection inside. It took him some effort to get them onto the trolley, but it worked just fine, and now he had a makeshift battering ram simply due to how damn heavy all the weapons were. That was, of course, provided he could get it moving... and it was difficult to get it going at a decent speed out of his office.

"Well, I've been looking for an excuse to practice that new trick..." What he could possibly be talking about was known only to him and Phoenix as red sigils appeared on the soles of his boots...

Edited by SL the Pyro, 13 May 2011 - 12:47 PM.


#46 Egann

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:01 AM

It averaged about quarter-till seven when Shadow showed up at The Desert Lion, averaged meaning that, of the five clocks on the wall, two read half past seven, the other three ten after six. One more clock sat on the bar, but it seemed to have stopped at just a hair past four, so, beyond the already bamboozled rabble clamoring bar-songs loudly already, no one paid it any mind.

It just goes to show how you only know what time it is if you have only one clock. And are sober. But who cares about time, anyways?

Egann waved his hand nonchalantly at Shadow, who was immediately attracted to the familiar face. "You? I recognize you from--?"

"Komittaa." Egann jogged Shadow's memory. "Remember. Hanging out with Ransom? In fact, last I checked, we still were hanging out with him. Bartender, I'll have a salt-rimmed Blazeblue--extra valerian root liquer, please--in a clean glass, a cheese pallet, and the key to 206. What'll you have, Shadow?

"Something firey and adventureous, if you please, Barkeep."

After they got their drinks Egann shoed them upstairs into the meeting room, which was quieter--although you could still hear the clumsy singing clearly--and closed the door.

"Have you rescued your team, yet?" Egann asked.

Shadow nodded. "They're waiting for my signal in a nearby alley with the gear."

"I suppose I should start with a confession. I made you that equipment as a bit of a bribe so you'd at least hear me out. I've got a plan to save Koridai, but it's a wild gamble. I know you and Solomon have had problems before--I've worked with him before, so I know his smoothest makes sandpaper feel like silk--but you're wanted for attempting to murder him. Something tells me even Solomon would know better than to think of your playground brawl with him as an attemt to kill him.

"The first thing I noticed about Solomon is that he's got a frightening presence, but he also tends to not exactly use his head. He just takes what he's told and runs with it. If someone inside the Inquisition is controlling Solomon, all of Koridai is a figurehead. We lost a lot of soldiers fighting Calatia, now there's a good chance we'll loose more of our citizens to an internal purge, and the real scary thought is that even Solomon won't be in control. We have to act now to stop this."

"This comes to the crazy part. Even though I love the Empire, my first duty as a citizen of Koridai is to protect my fellow citizens, not a phantasmal shadow controlling the political power. Without the controllers we would all be better off, but no citizens, no empire. I need to cut Arbiter's Grounds away from the rest of Koridai. Cut the transportation and communication ties between the capital and Solomon's rampaging will be quarantined to here in the capital long enough for me to try to come up with a plan to purge the Inquisition of any insiders, long enough, perhaps, for Solomon to recover a bit of control, even."

Egann pulled out of his pocket a glass bulb with a copper coil and a magical rune on the bottom. "This is an Alliance detonator I recovered while I was working with Solomon. It can remotely trigger explosives at a great distance. Even with this thing, though, creating, laying, and rigging hundreds of charges all over Arbiter's Grounds' exits is a massive project I can't do alone. I need you and your men to help."

"After that, I was kind of hoping you'd stick around and help me--I have no clue how to find insiders in the Inquisition. I just have this gut feeling, you know?--I was even thinking I could set up any insiders I found as Alliance terrorists by slipping this thing into his pocket. If you want to skip town, though, I can hardly blame you. It's going to get nasty around here. And if you have another idea, by all means, tell me."


OoC: Oh, boy. Egann can really run his mouth.

TL;DR: Egann asks for Shadow's help to sabotage Arbiter's Grounds' transportation and communications, thus quarantining Solomon's madness inside Arbiter's Grounds and sparing the rest of Koridai.

Edited by Egann, 13 May 2011 - 12:48 PM.


#47 SL the Pyro

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 01:38 PM

The escape had been a haphazard one, Shadow running his weapon collection in the crate like a battering ram. Miraculously, they were all still alive after an encounter with Solomon; apparently he saw no reason to kill them so long as their leader was still alive, keeping them as bait. He probably didn't expect the sudden rescue operation. Some sleep bombs, smoke grenades building-rocking explosions later, Shadow and his four comrades-in-arms had fought their way out of the Arbiter's Tower.

Upon discretely making their way to the Desert Lion, the ex-general immediately recognized Egann. Honestly, he should've realized it was him before; he was the only person in the empire he knew who could make technology like that in a pinch. He had his group hide themselves, promising to buy them all drinks after business was done.

Shadow listened intently while his friend from the Komitaa fiasco ran his mouth about his elaborate scheme, and inspected the detonator with slight fascination. It didn't look like much at first glance, but if anyone would know its capabilities, it was Egann. Remote detonation made explosion-based work quite a bit safer. Not that being up close ever bothered him before, but still.

From what he gathered, the main objectives were 1) cut off the Arbiter's Grounds from the rest of Koridai, and 2) silence the traitors in the Inquisition. It was a good thing Shadow had eavesdropped on that secret Inquisition meeting after all, it seemed. "Seems you've thought a good deal of this through... sometimes the craziest plans are the ones that work the best." he complimented Egann. If not for his track record, he would've made a damn good Lieutenant or General. "I'm not going to lie, I want nothing more than to get the hell out of this dying nation... but I can't in good conscience just leave all the innocents here for dead. The safety of my home means more to me than Solomon will ever understand."

The conversation was halted briefly as their drinks arrived. Good, Shadow needed one after all the excitement earlier. He felt quite revitalized after downing half of it in one gulp.

"You can count me in, Egann." he declared. "I'm not about to turn down a chance to blow something up for the good of others. And now that you mention the insiders... luck seems to be on your side tonight. I just so happen to have eavesdropped on a conversation they had about controlling or overthrowing Solomon. In other words..." He leaned in closer to Egann. "I know exactly who the instigators are."

Edited by SL the Pyro, 13 May 2011 - 04:28 PM.


#48 JRPomazon

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 02:36 PM

OoC: OK, so from now on, the Arbiter's Grounds is the name of the capital and the Arbiter's Tower is the large spiral tower where the city/empire is governed from, consisting of multiple levels for all functions of the government. Most of the Koridai story has taken place here. Enjoy for reference.

Solomon stood in the cell that was supposed to have held the four conspirators holding Shadow's Men, empty and heavily damaged from a forced entry.

"The fugitive Shadow sir, he eluded the guards and made out with his men." said the reporting templar. Solomon looked at the scene, deadpan and emotionless as he observed the scene. He worked quickly, but incredibly sloppy.

"How does the preparation for the purge this evening?" Solomon asked, leaving the charred cell behind.

"M'Lord, the briefing has been completed and the inquisitional forces are on standby along with military forces. We are all prepared to continue with the operations."

"Good. We will begin when I know the city is secure. Have the men taken their places by the city entrances?"

"We have fortified the city limits m' Lord as per your instructions. Each gate has twice the amount of sentries."

"Good. That will be all."

The templar left Solomon's company as the Grand Marshal headed back towards the higher levels of the Arbiter's Tower. He expected the general would come to aid his men in escaping, but would he take flight from the capital? No, he wouldn't just leave without leaving some sort of mark, some token action of victory. His pride would do him in. So what would he do? What would be his farewell to the empire? The Inquisitors below Solomon has been working hard to think of where he would strike next. Perhaps it was time to check in on their progress.

* * *

Jordan slid the new chain mail underneath his new clothes and a pair of leather bracers enforced with steel, Synile kind enough to take the bill. He heard some soft laughing from the other end of the armory, it seemed that Synile and that woman Eivor were getting along rather nicely. It was strange, Synile didn't seem like the charismatic type. Despite this, it warmed his heart a little. Long sleeved brown shirt over the mail and a green tunic over that with his slacks and boots that managed to survive the fight. Still, it was odd not to have some sort of armor on, although the green color he wore was still present in these clothes.

He reached for the large satchel that held his spears, knocking it over by accident. As the spears clanged against the ground, one of the spears slid out of the bag to the floor. Quickly picking up the bag, he went over to grab the fallen weapon.

"Oh hey, let me get that for you."

The spear was grabbed by one of the blacksmiths, quickly revealing it's true shape as the Cain Kazen. Jordan looked on in horror.

"What the-"

Jordan grabbed the spear from the attending smith.

"Thank you very much."

He placed the black spear back into the bag, the weapon taking it's uniform appearance with it's counterpart, Abel Stozen.

"What kind of weapon is that!? Hey, lemme take a look at it again!" The smith asked.

"I'm sorry, but that weapon is cursed. I don't know what it would do if held recklessly." Jordan replied, placing the loop strap over his shoulder.

"Reckless? I'm a weaponsmith, I know how to hold a spear!"

"I'm sorry, but it's out of the question. You need to take my word for it."

Jordan quickly left the armory before he could give the smith another chance to try to convince him.

OoC2: Ready to head off when you are Synile.

#49 Goose

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:38 PM

Jara was standing out in the street when a very interesting party of people left the local smith. These were not your ordinary types, these guys had gold. Gold that, well, could be used to buy things. Jara suddenly felt that he needed to join this party, and enjoy the splendors of this gold for a while. They also had a collection of interesting looking weapons, and Jara could tell that in a battle they would be the right people to be around.

Jara walked up to them and said the following in his most impressive voice.

"Hi. I"m the newest member of your party. I like long romantic walks along the beach and talking to ladies that want somebody to comfort them at night. Where are we headed boss?"


He awaited a reaction. He wasn't sure if these were the type to get annoyed at such a comment or if they were going to enjoy him tagging along. But, they'd learn to deal with it.

#50 JRPomazon

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 12:23 AM

Jordan turned around to find Jara introduce himself. But that would mean he was "Boss" and he wasn't sure how he felt about that. He could be the boss. He was qualified. But was he ready for that responsibility. Is there any responsibility for people to just call you boss? Aside at least from knowing when to respond when someone addresses you as Boss anyway. Wait, what the hell was he thinking about?

"Does this stranger have a name and why on earth do you think we're going somewhere?"

Jordan analyzed this guy for a minute. It was strange, he reminded him of someone but he just couldn't figure out who.

#51 Goose

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 01:23 AM

Jara looked at his new boss. He looked like a boss. He talked like a boss. He walked like a boss. He was the boss.

"Boss, the name's Jara, Traveler, storyteller and all around handsome. "

The Boss didn't say anything to that. Just stood there, dumb as a horse with the piles.

"I can see you're going away, because you couldn't be planning to carry all that stuff around this place with you, that'd be lunacy. and you boss, well, you aint the type to do stupid things for no reason. "

Jara was going to have to treat his new boss carefully. Clearly, the boss wasn't the heaviest brick in the house, lacking a bit in the upstairs department. but thats why Jara was around, so that other people didn't have to think as much.


#52 JRPomazon

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 03:07 AM

He definitely reminded him of someone. Couldn't figure out who. It was almost painful. Jordan knew this type, the strange ones. They'll never leave you alone but you be surprised when they come through in a pinch.

"No, I wouldn't be someone to do something stupid."

Jordan scratched the back of his head, things were getting awkward. Awkward is weird. Ah what the hell.

"You seriously want to come along? No idea where you might be going, could be certain death for you."

Wait, since when was he going to travel in a group? Did Jara see him come in with Eivor and Synile? Well, that would probably do it. Ugh, things are getting complicated. Complicated is weird.

"Sure, why not? What can you do?"

#53 Goose

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:46 AM

The Boss clearly was a few ales short of a keg, but Jara liked him for some reason. It was like seeing a little puppy dog wandering around alone without an owner to guide his steps and tell him not to pee on that old lady's leg, unless she'd done something rude to the owner in which that exacted perfect revenge.

"What can I do?" Jara thought about this for a second. The answer could change the way this new boss saw him, if he could show that he was of some use, some talent then he would garner the respect of his companion. Thing is, the man didn't have much to offer up on the table other than the ability to seduce mildly ugly women and to hit people with a stick. Ooh, wait a second, the stick, that was useful.

"I can hit people with a stick, like this one." he pointed to a largish stick lying on the ground a few feet from them. He went and picked it up. It felt like the perfect weight, the length of a quarter staff and a decent smoothness to ensure no splinters in the fingers. It was too perfect, as if this was a story and this stick had just appeared out of thin air by the author.... Hogwash. this was no story, this was real life and just very convenient.

"My age can be a tricky thing. People dismiss me and then I run up behind them and hit them with things, steal their wallets and then run away. Its the only way to fight. "

He tried to think of other things that he could do, but there wasn't much more that he could place on the proverbial table other than to tell mildly amusing stories and to be able to sing a ballad to bring a tear to the eye of the hardest war wearied soldier.

"I sing. And people.. well... they laugh and then...they cry. "


There wasn't much more to say without bringing up the past, and the past brought pain.

#54 Egann

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 10:26 AM

Shadow already knew who the insiders were. Nice. "Well, that will make at least one thing easier."

Egann lifted his drink to take a sip--his eyes had just about bulged out of their sockets to see Shadow gulp down half a Firefly like water. Sailors raised on poorly distilled grog had choked from that drink--and felt something unfolding underneath his glass.

"Hello, what have we here." Egann pulled the tacked note from the bottom of his glass and unfolded it.

Hey, Egg,

Just had a few enlisteds drop by the bar. Apparently the whole town is going to be put on lockdown and there'll be double-guards on all ways into and out of the city, the capital building, and key checkpoints inside the city. Some joint-operation with what's left of Koridai's military and the Inquisition. Hope you weren't planning to go anywhere, cuz this's thrown water on anyone leaving or entering town for a while.

Takan


Well, Solomon sure isn't wasting time. Unfortunately for him, doubling the guards up opens it's own problems up, particularly if this is a conglomerate, and he's egregiously overestimating the abilities of the Inquisition. Doubling the boots in a shift make guards tire fast and resort to small-talking with each other to stay awake. Even better, the Inquisition is taught to harass people to see spies and heretics, not see saboteurs in the shadows the way a guard from another military branch might. Yet another example of how those in charge don't have a clue what they are doing.


Nice nickname, though.

Egann passed Shadow the note. "Takan is the bartender. Solomon obviously doesn't want someone to leave town. Probably you. It's might just be a blessing in disguise." He pulled out a map of the Arbiter's Grounds, then lay on top of it a sheet of tracing paper with a connect the dots drawing doodled on it in colored ink. The instant the corners lined up, the two snapped together to make a map with circles drawn on it, indicating key places within the city. "Always keep the lock and key separate, no? As you can see, between the various exits of the city, the marina, Arbiter's Spire, and a few key sewer locations, there are about thirty places we need to hit, and some--like the Marina main dock--need several charges. I've got some explosives, but I might be able to get all of two targets with it. I've also only got about fifteen receivers for the detonator. For Solomon to be properly blindsided, they all have to go off at once, so I need to make more. If you know where more of that Dynamyte stuff Ransom got us is being kept--I surely can't believe they gave Ransom all of it--or some other big cache of explosives, I can finish making more receivers. Fortune be with us, by tomorrow night we'll be setting charges."

Edited by Egann, 14 May 2011 - 10:29 AM.


#55 Sir Deimos

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 10:33 AM

Synile and Eivor emerged from the building with Synile looking like a new man. Amazing what a simple change of clothes could do. Jordan was busy at work talking with a drifter.


"I sing. And people.. well... they laugh and then...they cry."

"You must have a terrible singing voice," Synile interrupted. "Jordan, if you're done playing with the beggars..." The old man opened his mouth as if to say something, but Synile pulled Jordan away before words could leave his mouth. "Listen. I'm not planning on lingering here in Snowpeak. Or Calatia for that matter. My reasons for staying have... disappeared, you could say. I've been out of touch with the world for some time... But you... You're a modern wanderer, and much more familiar with the lands than I am. How about in exchange for that armor, you let me travel with you until I feel like leaving?"

This time it was Eivor's turn to interrupt. "I'm coming. I don't want to stay here either." She looked around nostalgically, as if trapped in a memory. "This place is full of bad memories. Things I'd rather try to put behind me... So what better way to move on, if not to literally move on?"

#56 JRPomazon

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 12:20 PM

Jordan looked over all three of them, Synile, Jara and Eivor. He wasn't going to deny them their reasons for leaving but he didn't suspect he'd be traveling with anyone again for some time. Was it coincidence bringing them together like all this? Hell, who could say? Jordan sighed, looks like this is the way things are going to be.

"Looks like we've got ourselves a group. If that's the case, then I'm sure no one minds if we grab a few provisions and head off."

Jordan lead the way, the others following close behind as they proceeded to the Mead Hall. Another fun fact about the design of Snowpeak was that you could listen your way to the mead hall regardless of the time of day it was. The Hall itself was sparsely populated that evening, it had been slow since word of Selena's vanishment. Although it seemed that things were picking up again, slowly. Being friends with Leo turned out to have it's benefits when asking for some hand outs, enough bread to last them their trip down the mountain range of Calatia to get to the neighboring villages below.

As they left the Hall and headed towards the main gates, the party was met with the on duty guards.

"We're heading out, could you open the gate?" Jordan said to the guard.

"Eh? Well alright then, have a safe journey. Might I ask where you're all heading?"

As the door opened to the bitter cold, Jordan threw on the cloak he was given from Astrid as the wind blew against him. The four walked into the twilit evening not saying a word to the guards. As they began to walk into the snow, Eivor's curiousity got the better of her.

"So, where are we heading?" She asked.

"We're heading to the Empire of Koridai." He replied.

The girl's face went pale.

#57 SL the Pyro

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 04:02 PM

The ex-general looked over the note, excited though not exactly pleased to learn that the guard posts would be doubling their security. Did this really have to do with keeping him here? Unlikely, Solomon didn't think that highly of him. Still, this made things quite a bit more difficult... but he liked a challenge.

So Dynamyte that was the explosive of choice. Shadow knew it was more than capable of doing the job, but it sounded like they needed more than just a few sticks of it this time. "Well, no one in the Empire was comfortable with a pyromaniac like myself knowing where a stockpile of super-powered bombs was... not that it stopped me from finding out anyway." he said with a smirk. "It's kept close, but not too close to the Arbiter's Spire; woe to them if they hid it all in the tower only to have it detonate on accident." He pointed to the exact spot on the map, an area roughly one-third of its expanse away from the Spire, and twice the distance from the Marina. "We blitzed our way past their security before anyway, so scrounging up some more explosives shouldn't be too hard, and it won't take us too long either." He glanced at the clock to make sure. Yes, he could have everything to him within a few hours, midnight at the very latest. It should be plenty of time for Egann to do what he needed to do.

He only wished he could see the look on Solomon's face when he realized what Shadow and Egann's weapon of choice would be. He was sure even the Head Inquisitor would shit himself.

Edited by SL the Pyro, 14 May 2011 - 04:03 PM.


#58 Goose

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 04:48 PM

The snow was particularly thick this morning. Trudging through it was a bit painful as every time you managed to move your foot out of the snow, you had to smoosh it back in to take your next step. This repeated itself over and over, and you could tell that this newly formed party was starting to get over this method of traveling. They would look forward to the snow becoming less and and less as they ventured towards Koridai. They were a silent bunch of wanderers nobody really having much to say that hadn't been said before, or couldn't be said another time. Jara wondered if it was time to sing a few songs but looking at the man who wasn't the boss, and the scowl on his face, Jara judged that this was not the time for singing. At least this time Jara knew that he wasn't the ugliest person in the party, that Senile gentleman was. The girl was the prettiest, but that wasn't hard with this lot. He could see this party soon becoming firm friends as they traveled on together side by side to their destination.

"On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again..." He sang to himself, letting his voice penetrate the silence.

#59 JRPomazon

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 12:43 AM

OoC: Geographical Trivia, Arbiter's Grounds are not located near a ocean shore but there is a river close enough by I suppose that could be big enough to have a port for. That is all.

They trekked through the snow, everything to their shins suffocated in cold. Underneath his cloak he clenched his arms together to keep warm, his frigid posture concealed by his garment. He just wasn't built for the cold like these vikings were. Did they not mind it? It seems unlikely that there wouldn't be some form of resentment or bother with the cold. The wind wasn't helping any either, blowing and lashing against them as they proceeded down the steady slope of the mountain side. They had been traveling for some time but it would be a while before any sort of refuge. He tried to keep warm with memories, places much warmer than this. Lanasach? No, miserable deserts. Too dry. Port City of Hatena? Much nicer a few years ago, now it's all shambles. Cursed lands and all that. Voodoo Isle? Humid, but not too bad. Tropical paradise filled with zombies.

Better to think of home then.

-Sornaiid, Two Years Ago-

"Why? Why are you going to fight the Alliance? What have they done?"

"It's not just me. It's a coalition of the domains, the Fortress, the Woods and Ikana are going to take part as well. I've been called to help."

"But why? You don't need to endanger yourself, surely they have a force strong enough without you."

"I have friends who are going to be fighting in this together. I refuse to be a coward and abandon them after all they did for us. I've made up my mind and I'm leaving first thing tomorrow morning."

". . ."

"Listen, you don't know what I saw back there at the Eagle's Talons. It was horrible! The people, the land, everything was-"

"And you took care of it, didn't you? Played the hero and saved that day, right? That's why you're here, that's why you always show up here! Because you always get banged up and then you crash here like I've got nothing better to do than tend to your injuries and then let you run off again!

"Where is this coming from? That's hardly even fair and it's not true!"

"Oh yeah? Really? Then explain it to me, what's going on Jordan?"


Jara started singing softly in the background, his voice contrasting the silence and the wind. Jordan didn't feel like thinking of anywhere else but here.

* * *

"What has become of Inquisitor Michaela?" Solomon asked an inquisitor reporting in on progress in the capital, sitting in the chair by the desk in his personal chamber, his relocated headquarters complete with a humble bed and stone walls scared with numerous slashes.

"He died sir, there was an accident in the lower levels of the spire. Crushed by a fallen statue. It happened when you were away." The inquisitor replied.

"Then what of his supervisor, Grand Inquisitor Frieze?" Solomon asked.

"Killed while you were recovering sir. He was mugged on his commute home."

Solomon folded his hands. This would make 4 deaths of men who were directly loyal to him.

"Then let me guess, are Grand Inquisitors Galuf and Derrick also dead as well?"

"Inquisitor Galuf was severely injured while horseback riding in the plains and took a leave of absence for his duties and Inquisitor Derrick has been gravely ill for two weeks. The doctors say he is terminal."

How does this happen? Six men, six of his most trusted inquisitors, men who loved the goddess almost as much as Solomon, either dead or on the verge of dying. Just how many good men have died since he slept? Solomon lowered his head, his gray hair obscuring his face as it fell towards himself. How grievous this news.

"You are dismissed." Solomon said, the red and white robed inquisitor bowing and leaving the presence of his superior. Everything about this reeked of foul play, his instincts were screaming out murder murder murder. Who and why though? Another vermin crawling through the Arbiter's Grounds, another heretic that would need to be slain. When will it end? A knock at the door, breaking Solomon from his thoughts. A templar.

"Report."

#60 Sir Deimos

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 02:40 AM

Synile had no problems handling the cold. He did, however, have a problem handling the bard. Eivor seemed to recognize the tune, and joined the old man in singing it. Synile picked up his pace, eager to put some distance between him and the song.

Chik's empire... Would this one be similar to the Labyrinth?

"Well, we don't really know. It's not like we've been there."

Chik Chik, and Lazu Chik, may be two entirely different people. Her style may be different.

"This is true. If I thought I was a deity, I wouldn't build another musty hole in the ground. I'd build an elaborate and grand city."

It is a city, isn't it? Hmmm. I should have listened to the reports and stories...

"She's gone. And you'll never see her again. You ready to see the city she built?"

Synile took a swig from the bottle of whiskey he was carrying with him. He wasn't quite ready to think about that. Just ahead of him, Jordan looked to be not enjoying the cold too much. Synile quickened his pace and came up along side of the freezing man. Jordan appeared to be caught in a daydream.

"Care for a swig? It'll help warm you up." Synile offered the whiskey bottle to Jordan. For the statement that followed, Synile lowered his voice so only Jordan could hear. "I heard what you said in the armory. Do you really think those spears Juvenal gave you are cursed?"