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Old 10-14-2008, 07:34 PM   #111
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Join Date: May 29, 2002
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Arrow Oh no! A rider! Run away!

Travelling along the road, in a similar direction, though from obviously a great distance off (the dust on one's boots, coat and general grime - not to mention 'personal aroma' will do that to a person), was a horseman. Once clean-shaven, it was clear he had discarded it for several days. A horsetail emerged from the back of his head, flowing down in a single plait. The rest of his hair was bound up, or cut off. Across his back was slung a long spear, and at his side, a slightly curved longsword. The cut of his clothes was belied by his cloak; the latter seemed common enough, but the former was silk, and held a simple, yet elegant design. Funnily enough, his piercing eyes were a brilliant 'opal' blue, his skin almost as pale as the fairest maiden, and his hair was black. His horse however, was a sleek, silver creature and for some reason, everyone avoided it. Nivram, however, seemed to be of a drunken state - so the rider bore down on him, as he approached from one side, "You there, clear the road." the rider called, his accent hard to place; well educated and stern, it was clear this one was used to his air of command being obeyed without question.

Last edited by Calaethis Dragonsbane; 10-14-2008 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:53 PM   #112
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

"Clear the what?" Nivram stammered, the half-finished bottle swinging in his hands coming precariously close to losing a few drops. "I don't want to." He stared with an almost blank look at the rider. For a moment he considered adopting a more dramatic pose, but staying straight was hard enough. His plans of rationing himself to one bottle a day had already failed on the first day, since he was already half done with the second.

“Road,” the rider repeated overly patiently, “Clear the road. There's a caravan passing through behind me, and anyone in the way may get trodden on.”

"Caravan, caravan, now what does that remind me of?" Nivram's thoughts wandered off, and he looked up almost a full minute later. "Your horse stinks. Or it might be you you know. I'm not sure I can distink...destink...distingu...ehhh...whatever. You get my meaning. That word is way too complicated at this time of the day."

“You're drunk,” The rider almost grinned, his words droll, “I suggest you stand aside, for the sake of your alcohol, if not yourself.”

"I like your attitude. Alcohol is always more impotent than personal safety." Nivram carefully lifted his pack from where it had been lying in the middle of the road and with a dramatic gesture carried it to the side of the road. (OOC: impotent is not a mistake ;p)


"So, are you some sort of announcer for this caravan, clearing the road of any drunkards you might encounter?"

“No.” He shook his head, and nudged the flanks of his horse, “Just tired of merchants trampling the downtrodden.” He seemed to be implying more than he said, but did not voice it. Hesitating, he asked after a heartbeat, “So what are you doing on the road anyway?”

"Well, apparently I'm drinking." Nivram grins. "But that's not what you meant, eh? Sneaky question you have there, several possible answers...let me see." He takes a slow swig from the bottle, savouring the taste of the alcohol. "I'm on a daring mission to save a damsel in distress who has been kidnapped by bandits. I fear that her person might be danger and therefore I must rescue her as soon as humanly possible." All said in one breath for more dramatic effect. And accompanied by a drunken grin.

“Ah! So, you are the proverbial knight in... not so shining armour. Pray tell, what has left you in such a state?” The man seemed genuinely curious, his sharp eyes studying Nivram almost seriously. “Perhaps you would share more of this quest with me? A noble task it is.”

"If you refer to my general state...it is a long story, better told in more comfortable circumstances. Sitting around a fire, listening to the flames crackle-" his voice trails off and a sound, almost like a sob escapes his lips. "I'm sorry. It really is a story for some other time, if this turns out to be not our only meeting. Suffice to say that this is my medicine," he adds, lifting the bottle and deciding against another mouthful.
"As for my quest...it is also a long story, but can be condensed. I was travelling with a makeshift group of well...travellers. A very mixed bunch. There was this one lass who stood out. She was not like the others. Everyone had secrets, but she seemed to be full to the brim with them. And my guess is she had her fair share of troubles in her life. And then a couple of days ago we fell afoul of bandits. The group decided to move along and not try saving her."

The bottle slips from Nivram's hands and shatters against a rock among the grass. "What a waste..." he says, looking longingly at the liquid quickly seeping into the ground.
“Ah, a tragic tale indeed.” The rider reached into his saddlebags and pulled out a long, corded bottle with a cork in, “I would hear more, if you were willing to make such a trade? Alas, it is only rice-wine, but as potent as any they serve around here.” He held out the bottle. It was a good size and held enough for over twenty drinks. “So,” the man inquired lightly, “what was it about this lass that made her stand out so? Surely not just her manner?”

"That's right, it was not only her looks and her manners, it was the way she treated others. It has been a long time since I felt treated differently than just a drunkard. She made me feel that way. She treated me as a human instead of a lost cause. At least that is the way I felt." Nivram finally took the rice wine with a grateful nod and promptly sampled it. "Ahhhh, this is good stuff. Much better than the crap I usually get. Thank you kind sir. The name's Nivram by the way. And you are?"

“Asikol.” He extended his hand, expecting Nivram to grasp his forearm. “I too, am on a journey.” He laughed, almost sardonically, “Wine, women and song.”


The bottle of alcohol once again fell from Nivram's hands and his mouth opened quite wide in surprise. Luckily drunken reflexes prevailed and while a little of the wine did get spilled, the bottle did not break. "Did you just say Isokla?" he enquired, not sure whether he misheard through alcohol.

“Hm? No, 'Asikol'.” If he noted Nivram's slip, he did not openly show it, “With an 'A'.”

"You know what the strangest thing is? The woman I was telling you about...that certain damsel in distress. Her name is Isokla, and for a moment I thought I heard you saying her name."

“Ah, I see,” He idly examined his cloak, and brushed a speck of dirt from it, “An... unusual name. What did this fair maiden look like?”

It might have been drunk intuition...or a completely fluke guess, or a fully wrong one, but Nivram did venture it. "You know, I have the feeling that once I describe her, you'll know who I'm referring to."

Nivram paused as he recalled Isokla's face. "Rather slender girl, with silver hair and pale blue eyes, almost ashen-fair skin."


“Ah, and would she be of noble birth, perchance?” He laughed, “Not the description of a low-born working lass.”

"I never asked and she never said. I did not want to probe too much."

“Even so,” Asikol pressed, “Her speech, her words - surely you must have picked up on something?”

"She had manners, she knew how to choose her words carefully, whether to speak diplomatically or with a more direct meaning, if that is what you mean."

“Indeed?” Nudging the flanks of his horse, he added, “I had heard reports of such a girl within a nearby village; they spoke of her as being a 'rare beauty'. Perhaps this is the same lass we both seek? I have long since desired to meet her, ever since hearing of her - I thought to myself, 'indeed! Such a precious pearl should not be thrown away; I must meet her'. And so, in my quest for wine, women and song, I seek out her and her ilk.” His smile was warm; but the light in his eyes was almost condescending.


Nivram took another swig of the rice wine, looking at Asikol over the length of the bottle. "You have the same eyes that she has," he remarks, way too casually.

“Ah, I get that a lot,” He rubbed his nose almost sheepishly, “A mark of distinction and breeding, I'm afraid.” He almost coughed, “Beauty, I am told, is reminiscent in many, and indeed, do we not seek out those who are like us?” The slick smile was back, “And those unlike us; variety is the spice of life, or so they say.” Despite his words, his gaze was steely.

Nivram winked at him. "I gather you wouldn't mind joining me on this quest then. Alcohol is always better when shared, isn't it?"

“Agreed,” Asikol laughed, withdrawing another bottle and taking a long draw from it, before offering it to Nivram.

Nivram lifted the bottle he already had in his hands. "I still have some."

“Alcohol is best shared; save that bottle for later.” How generous.

Free alcohol was never to be refused. It was one of the first things that budding alcoholics learned. Nivram accepted the bottle. "We were waylaid by the bandits about two days journey from here on a side road of this road." He did not mention the exact circumstances of that meeting. Some things were best left unsaid.

“Ah, that would explain the... yes, there were many...” His lips twisted into one of the darkest sneers Nivram had ever had the displeasure of seeing, “'soldiers' milling around here. In crimson, screaming about 'bandits'. I had the dubious pleasure of passing through here a day ago.” So what he was doing back on the road, he did not say, “So tell me, of this girl, her name - Isokla, did you say? How pretty,” Smiling, he scanned the area, “Alas, there are none of her flowers here.”

"How would you know what her flowers are just from the pitiful description I have given of her?"

“Did you not know the meaning of the name?” He tilted his head, “It is... uncommon at home, but not so rare it is unique; it is a flower, just as my own is.”

"I am afraid to say that while I have drifted a lot during my travels, I never learned any other languages."

“A blue - lotus flower is the closest word, you have. Mine,” He brushed his cloak again, “is golden. Not quite of the same family, but close enough. Hers are sought after by many - a potent, ah, but I must be boring you. The language of flowers is for speaking to women, bards and poets; not to men.” He inclined his head, “The carvan approaches.”

Nivram nodded and looked at the approaching mass of man, beast and carts. "Best move out of the way then my dear golden lotus."

“I would prefer not to be known as such.” He inclined his head and moved his steed aside.

"I was but jesting" Nivram said, a wide grin steadily spreading on his face.

"So, what does your name mean?" Asikol inquired mildly as a large wagon rolled past, pulled by two very fat, very grumpy oxen, and equally overweight, grumpy taskmaster.

"I never found out...my parents died before they could tell me why I got this name."

“Ah, so you are alone in this world? What of your companions? Will they not wonder where you have gone?” Asikol watched in distaste as a second wagon pulled by, and shot the driver a look that would have turned him to ashes, had it the power, as the man raised his whip. The man thought better off it, and ignored the spear-carrying warrior, his brow beading with sweat. “Wretches... what scum travel the roads these days?” Asikol muttered under his breath.

"It is more complicated than that," Nivram said and by the silence that followed it was clear that he did not want to continue the subject. "As to my companions, they shall but think that I am off in some dreary tavern, drowning my sorrows into cheap liquor. They won't worry at least for a couple of days. As I said, we were quite a makeshift group."

“Ah, might I ask how you met this lovely lady of blue flowers?”

"It was a chance encounter. If she feels so, I'm sure she'll fill you in on the details when we meet her."


“Perhaps I shall,” Asikol's eyes narrowed, and almost to himself murmured, “Perhaps I shall indeed. I would be most... interested,” his lips tightened, “...in knowing how she came to be about a group such as you.” The smile was back, full but thin, and no warmth in his eyes, “Come, we have waited long enough. Let us move on; it shall be the caravans that move out of our way. Accursed merchants and their swagger.”

(Written with Dplax )
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:20 AM   #113
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

Nivram falls silent as the pair walk in the tall grass next to the road where the dust thrown up by the passage of the caravan does not bother them any more. He's not thinking about his companion and the secrets he almost certainly holds. He's not even thinking about the fair maiden he had set out to save. Surprisingly, for he has consumed much alcohol, Nivram's thoughts are quite clear as he thinks of the one person he has ever cared about. Images of a past that once was. Hope for the future. The only hope.

Of course, for morose thoughts like these he has the perfect cure and more of the same in his pack. He takes another swig from the bottle and then starts whistling a marching tune.

The tune isn't a well-known one, like the ones used by many of the large armies of the lands, but to someone who has ever served in a military unit, it is clear that the tune is not one made for leisurely walks on beautiful autumn days. It is one made for marching in rank, for marching in war.

Once the tune is finished, Nivram falls silent, taking another long swallow from the rice wine.

“So, Nivram, where are you from?” Asikol inquired, though it seemed more for conversation's sake than anything else, “You've told me little of yourself, and I to you.”

"I do not pretend to know what women think. Whether she has feelings for me or not I do not know."

“Yet you are off on a quest to save her nonetheless. Admirable; I am sure it will impress her. Most women, or so I hear, are impressed by such acts of valour.”

"I do not pretend to know what women think. Whether she has feelings for me or not I do not know."

“Yet you are off on a quest to save her nonetheless. Admirable; I am sure it will impress her. Most women, or so I hear, are impressed by such acts of valour.”

"I'm too old to believe in tales of valiant knights galloping into a dragon's den to save the princess." Nivram bit back the next sentence, not wanting to elaborate on the chances one or two men had against a camp, full of bandits.

“Ah indeed, for nowadays, the dragons are men, are they not?” Asikol smiled drolly without mirth, “I suspect we shall encounter many 'dragons' along the way, and many other beasts, all in the form of man. Still, if we are to play the role of knights, it shall be them who is slain, not we.”

"A knight does not slay sixty dragons, the second or third kills the knight." Nivram's voice was even, as if death would mean nothing, if not something positive to him. "A thief in the night however...might go against your morals, but I think a thief could slip into the dragon's den and remove the princess."

“And an assassin,” His tone seemed to imply it was a step up, “Might poison the well of such a den, save the princess with the antitode and ride off into the night while the entire brood dies in agony.” He almost chuckled, “Out of the three, I wonder which would serve us best. None are without danger.”
"It would be a mistake to only consider those three possibilities."

“True,” Asikol acknowledged, dipping his head, “But were we not speaking of the great sagas of bards? After all,” his lips twitched, “This is purely hypothetical, is it not?”

"I guess we could also go in without a plan...sometimes it is the best way." Nivram grinned.

“Of course,” Asikol continuedly even more dryly than before, “to win the lady's hand, you could always challenge the lead dragon to a duel - with the princess as the spoils. Or perhaps, muster an army and charge in with the dawn. Fire the camp and ride in from the other side? The possibilites stretch on and on. Or, as you say, our 'unlikely heroes' could wander in with no plan at all and perhaps fumble through it. Who is to say what will work? After all, a plan is only as good as it's execution... and the outcome depends on many factors. Indeed, you could even become a 'dragon' yourself, enlist and then steal the crown jewel from the communal horde. Ah, the suspense builds!”

"And what about you? Where are you from?" The sudden change of subject was a psychological method Nivram had learnt from his sister's late husband. It had rarely worked.

"Ah, I am from a land far to the..." He glanced up at the sun, "North - East. Somewhere that direction," Waving his hand vaugely between the north and the east, he shrugged, “A far way away, I'm afraid.” Another droll smile, “The Captial, on that island in the lake - I'm from the other side of the lake to here, and then some. The food there is very different, and the land... far less... lawless. There is structure there, though it is not without it's problems. Alas, we too, suffer from banditry. Still, it is peaceful enough - depending on the feudal lord in charge. Some are ruthless, some are not. It matters little, for either way, sooner or later, they die and are replaced - either by age, disease, assassins or war. Such is the way of the world. But enough of my homeland; what would you know of me?”

Asikol did not seem perturbed by the sudden change in topic.

"Where do you know Isokla from?"

“Did I not tell you I heard tales of such a beauty within various local taverns?”

"I haven't destroyed all my memory through drink yet young man!" Nivram comically wagged his finger at Asikol. "I am not stupid either. It was not in a tavern that you first heard of her."

“Ah, I see I cannot fool you. Very well,” His eyes turned serious, “She killed my father.”

Nivram nodded. "I have to let you know that if you are in this for revenge you'd better turn back now, for if you try to harm her you'd better check beforehand that I'm not behind you." The tone was light, but the meaning of the words crystal clear.

He laughed, “Ah, had you going there for a moment, didn't I? You should have seen your expression...”

Nivram did not smile, neither did he reply. He just took another swallow from the rapidly dwindling liquid in the bottle held in his left hand.

“Twas one moonlit night, when the stars were bright within the sky... I was down by the river, whereupon I happened to chance upon such beauty as I had never seen. Later, I learnt her name; Isokla! Flower of the blue- and before I had realised, she held my heart captive in her hand.” He sighed wistfully, “If you must know... I have been searching her out, for any sign every since she vanished from home.”

Nivram turned to look at Asikol. "I haven't had enough to drink yet to be able to laugh at every joke you tell. Why don't you try telling me something that has an ounce of truth in it?"

“I'm a noble; my father is a dark warlord. He reigns undefeated, slaying all who challenge him. I am the last surviving heir of his house; he slew my mother, and my sisters in a fit of rage when he learned they intended to escape with me. In my hand, I hold the last heirloom of our once great and noble line; the first of my great forefathers: the ancestoral lord who conquered the north. Together, we would have been destined to rule, father and son, but my mother had other plans. It was then I chanced upon this maiden, and knew my father would kill me before I could have her. I was to be married to a princess. Then my House was destroyed within a fire, set ablaze by father's enemies... I am the last of my line, a wandering exile - I seek my love, and a place to dwell, or a place to die. You see, my dear and closest friend, now all I have left is what I wear. A lord without a throne; a general without his people. Peasant revolts sprang up and I am a wanted man!”

"Pah!" Nivram finished the bottle and threw it in the grass where it rolled a few feet away. "Next time you'll be a woman in a man's body, enchanted by an evil sorcerer and only true love's first kiss can save you from having to live out the rest of your life as a man...give me a break..."

“Funny you should say that...” Asikol said with a straightface, “I'm descended from a line of dragons...”

"Yes...and I've never touched a drop of alcohol in my life."

“I shall never play cards with you, my friend. You are just far too canny.”

(Again, written with Dplax)
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:51 PM   #114
DrowArchmage
Mephistopheles
 

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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

Jason stood next to the storeroom in the barracks that held weapons. He was now dressed in a very well cut uniform in the style of his old position with the gaurds. His hair, which had gotten a little rough looking, was now cut short and spiked. He had replaced the battered earrings which he had worn with new ones as well as replaced the chain his animal's tooth was on. He still had his silver wedding band however, that one thing was something he'd never give up.

How in the world was he going to find a suitable weapon in all this mess? No matter, there was a blacksmith in town and he could probably get these things upgraded there. After all, he was more of a refined kind of gentleman after all.

Jason was scanning through the racks of swords and tables of daggers, axes, crossbows, and maces; when something caught his eye. A sword that stood out from the rest. Jason walked over to the dark corner where it hung on the farthest end of a rack and picked it up. The balance was almost perfect, but it looked like it had been through and inferno of some sort, maybe there had been a fire somewhere and this was recovered at the scene? No matter, he would take it and clean it. He picked up a black leather scabbard and sheathed his new found sword. He also picked up a dagger and sheathed that in that special place in his boot. Looking around for anything else of interest and finding none, he left the room and returned to the main hall.

I would like to thank you again from the bottom of my heart Captain. Once i reach my Great Uncle Austin i will make sure that he repays you for everything, plus some extra for my companion.Speaking of the good Telryn, once he's done with his fitting and everything, could you tell him that i've went in search of our other comrade Nivram? I wouldn't want him to worry about me.

Doubting very much that old Austin Fain would pay half of his nephew's bill, the Guard Captain smiled and shook Jason's hand. Im sure you uncle wouldnt want to be bothered with such things. But in place of payment, i would like to ask you a question or two if i may?

Ask away sir.

What brings you so far away from home Jason? I know that place must still hold bad memories for you, but some things are better faced than not.

I've left in search of adventure, he lied. To see the world as my uncles and father have.

Dont get into the kinds of trouble your uncles did though. I remember when i first started as a gaurd, your father and his brothers.....bah. Old men stories. Be on your way, look for you man. Be careful.

Yes sir.

But as Jason left the building, he missed the Gaurd Captain giving three of his men a description of Jason and telling them to alert the next town.
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:41 AM   #115
Legolas
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Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

Ydalon

A strong aroma greeted him, wisps of smoke trailing out through the gaps in a sturdy wooden door. It opened without a creak on hinges yet to tarnish, unveiling the sanctuary within.
Dreams of mischief and plunder did not linger in the boy's mind once his eyes surveyed the room. They were now drawn to the figure before him, a golden-locked priestess sat in meditation. Silently he approached for a glance into the rippling waters of her bowl.

Feelings the one to betray him, she opened dilated eyes to greet his presence. In seeking the words, she spoke first.

"Salvation is adrift on a river streaming through the lands. Upstream before down and through dried up beds, oft times a snail, then a lion."

Ydalon stared down for a time, before at last matching her unseeing gaze.

"He will come on the third great tide, a crown of flame set upon his brow. Skies bleed the mark, and let nothing be unchanged."

She did not seem impressed, or hid it well beneath the mask.

"Let him not stand alone to stumble. One by one, the fallen will rise from the ground. Force innumerable and endless creation."
"Shall the fallen sink in the rot of their own making,"
he countered, "each cursed by immobility on their guided march to the hungering chasm."
"See the boy and girl. The watcher falls on the battlefield of her making, unmissed by the gullible pack."
"Judgement comes to the false. Vision clouds and the old blind will be made to feel again."
"Returns the bride perched high on the saddle of Envy, two whose clash spells ruin for all."
"Ruin the path that walks them home, ruin their hope of salvation."

"Choose unity, or failure."


They always had to get the last word in, didn't they?
The boy blinked, then turned to walk away. Behind him, she slumped, exhausted.

Incense sped out through the open door. He was in need of a bedroom.
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:54 PM   #116
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Default "Bride of the Master"

Meanwhile...

Isokla sighed. Refraining from rolling her eyes in frustration, she adopted her sweetest - and perhaps, most dangerous - tone. "You know, where I come from, it is considered... polite to revere a priestess, most notably, by not ogling her."

"Eh? Stuff it yer wench," The lead bandit snapped, not truly paying attention to his 'charge'. "Ye fool women are all ta same; always whingin' an' whinin'..." He stopped and sighed at her pointed sniff. Turning to face her, he took in the fair maiden, in her cream dress-cum-robe - and her folded arms - but most of all, her piercing gaze. Taken aback by the steel her chilly blue eyes beheld, despite himself, he felt himself swallowing, "Now look, 'e dun hafta -" Scratching his head sheepishly as his words met with silent disdain, he rebuked her passive(?) resistance, he glared, and began anew, "Now ye just look 'ere, priestess or nay, ye be just a woman. Ye be nay sayin' two words, an' now ye be speakin' out of turn."

"Your mannerisms are a disgrace; your accent appalling, you lowborn -" Eyes flashing, she bit back the rest of her retort, regally staring down her nose at the rest of the bandits. "Your men are a ragtag company of misfits; pathetic. Scum such as yourselves are mere offal; worse than the banditry your ranks were formed from."

"Ye dare pass judgement? I'll 'ave ye know-"

"Silence!" As the group of fourteen (including the leader), stopped and stared at her, she drew herself to her full height; no longer a captive in name only, but a figure of authority that bore down on them. Their reactions were mixed; a few shifted uncomfortably; a couple placed their hands on their swords, and more than one looked the other way, while the rest shifted between outrage and anger. Crimson as his tunic and the blood on his blade, the leader opened his mouth but she cut off his protest, "You fool! The Master's wrath shall be terrible; that you would dare to even consider laying even so much as your filth-ridden gaze upon one of his brides - retribution shall be swift! Final your days shall be; still," she considered, the fire in her eyes dying, "I am not without mercy; nor is the Master. Repent, and salvation may yet be yours. Elsewise..." The frigid fire flared as she left her threat unspoken.

After several moments of tense silence, where the bandits-cum-Lords of Vision scouts felt unable to breathe, the leader finally found his voice, "Tha' be quite enough of ye!" His firm statement quaked slightly, spoiling the effect, "I'll be hearin' no more of ye talk, witch. Lies or no, I'll have ye silence, or I'll have ye gagged an' bound. Now men-"

"This is how you respond to my kindness? There shall be no mercy for traitors; your chance has been given - now you have damned yourself as well as your men. Who stands with him?" She fixed her gaze upon each man present in turn, "Silence!" Repeating herself, her command rasped out with the effect of a verbal lash; several actually stepping back as if struck, "I pass judgement. From the fires of the Master, within the skies of Heaven; from the Star that Begat His Glorious Dwelling; from the stream of life-"

"Wait!" One of the younger scouts broke, throwing himself to his feet, "He dun speak for us all! Stay your hand; have mercy!"

Isokla paused, staring down the youngster, "Does any other design to join him and share in his salvation?" Lifting up her hands dramatically, the only thing lacking was the crack of thunder and flash of lightning, darkening skies and the howl of the wind... "Serve the Bride of the Master; serve what you know to be True and judgement shall be spared."

"Now 'ang on," The leader's voice returned in a shriller protest, "Yer goin' a bit far - calm down an'"

"There shall be no mercy for the traitors!" Bearing down on him, she paused, "The hour of your death is at hand; I offer you this one, last chance. For the Master is merciful and I, his humble servant wishes only to heed his example. Thus, I grant you this, your final and third chance." Fixing him with a daring look, she inquired almost mildly, "What will it be?"

"Uh, I er, accept yer most generous offer ye highness majesty divinity mam."

"Much better. There may be hope for you yet." Isokla smiled, her gaze one of warm approval. "Now, form up - march in a column, of twos. Bring the wagons to the centre - two guards at the rear, two at the fore. The main column marches in front of the train." Taking charge quickly, she issued her orders without hesitation. "We are taking a detour; there is a camp of the Master's most loyal servants, the Lords of Vision, where the rest of your brethren dwell in this region, is there not?"

"Yes mam. The cave fortress of Tek'Iyre."

"That is where we shall go." She paused, then slowly with long strides, trod towards the young scout, "Your loyalty shall be rewarded." The glint of silver flashed, arced through the sky and took one of the older bandits in the throat, "Just as traitors' shall be. Come, ride with me." She smiled as the dagger returned to her hand, the dead bandit's throat torn out, his half raised axe falling from his hand.

There were no more attempts after that, fear, awe and hatred coursing through their ranks.

Last edited by Calaethis Dragonsbane; 11-01-2008 at 02:01 PM. Reason: Sigs, the bane of my posts!
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:16 AM   #117
Nadeshiko Higarashiki
Elite Waterdeep Guard
 

Join Date: July 18, 2005
Location: Where Terra Collides.
Age: 35
Posts: 10
Default Pay no attention to the girl behind that tree.

"..." The silence coming off her was almost audible. She was currently walking up... well, towards the bandits. Until she cocked her head for a second, heard many footsteps, and decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and hid behind a tree. Not that well, but far enough from the main road that unless they looked at her, she'd be reasonably safe.

Kagironi looked at the tree, her sword resting lightly point down in the ground, and wondered again, how she was to find Isokla. After they had.. more or less left her to dig out of the tower herself before her shield failed, she had been wandering aimlessly, righting wrongs and possibly wronging rights.

She had, since then, not liked armor as much as was dressed in a leather armor that showed off a more womanly form than her metal armor, and had also been convinced that while following them could possibly be suicidal, it also led her to Fate. Which sometimes liked her... usually not.

Last edited by Nadeshiko Higarashiki; 11-05-2008 at 05:19 AM. Reason: Font tags work best when working.
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:25 PM   #118
DrowArchmage
Mephistopheles
 

Join Date: July 29, 2004
Location: Mt. Pleasant, MI
Age: 31
Posts: 1,400
Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

The air felt good to Jason, possibly because it was "free" air. No more drugs, no more banditry, and most importantly: he could fight for what he wanted now. He heard the chirping of some sort of bird and it reminded him of a tune he had learned as a young lad called, "Blackbirds Fruit", and started humming as he strolled.

Upon approach of the blacksmith's area, which consisted of only some of his works,the forge must be somewhere else, he felt something warm and tingly on his hand. When Jason looked down however, he saw only his hand on the hilt of the sword he had picked up at the barracks. Jason ignored the odd sensation and kept on the the Blacksmith Shop.

"Good day fine Sir! What can i do for you? I have a wonderful assortment of........" The blacksmith went on for a few minutes, listing his stock and assuring the quality of his work. After he was done, Jason politely made his request.

"I need these sharpend and cleaned. I want the sword's hilt rewrapped with your best black leather and inlaid with gold. Also, i would like this dagger to more balanced, if you can manage it, which im sure a man of your obvious talants could do in an instant."Jason thought for a moment,rubbed the back of his head, then smiled. "Would you be willing to let me work with you for a day or two to cut the price?"

The fellow frowned and held up a finger. Jason nodded and waited as the man went to the back of his shop,returned with a questioning look on his face, studied Jason, and then returned the the back. After maybe fifteen minutes, the blacksmith came back sweating and smiling.
"I'd be happy to have some extra help, since my best apprentice was killed in a hunting accident some months ago, my forge is across town, big place, you cant miss it,if you go there and get started right now my wife can show you the basics. I'll get started with these right away. A few things before you go though eh? Just as a precaution to make sure im not going to get robbed or anything."

"Be my guest, i have nothing to hide."

"What is your name and why, if you dont mind answering this question, are you dressed so fine but have no money to pay me?"

"My name is Jason, good sir, and i have no money as of yet because of a situation i had been put into. I was robbed of everything, but the good Gaurd Captain, he knew my father and so reinstated me to my old position in the town gaurd, if not this towns gaurd."

The man seemed to accept that and Jason smiled and thanked the man many times before he left toward the direction of the blacksmiths forge. No need to let him know all the details, and no need to tell him how he had tricked the Captain into thinking he had been taken on a raid so he would restore everything to him. Now all he needed was a little more time.

Last edited by DrowArchmage; 11-05-2008 at 02:41 PM. Reason: needed to make i longer, more dialoge
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:48 PM   #119
Dron_Cah
Horus - Egyptian Sky God
 
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Moon Lander Champion Space Invaders Champion
Join Date: March 2, 2003
Location: Kentucky
Age: 35
Posts: 2,637
Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

The old man had spent the evening in the corner of the tavern, watching his traveling companion drink himself silly. Throughout the night he felt the ache for alcohol his body must certainly be demanding. He had resisted so far, but how long could his will last?
He continued in his reverie until sleep claimed him, slumped over in his seat. He would not awaken until morning, by Nivram stumbling out the door. Seeing his new found ally on the move, the crumpled figure finally extricated himself from his chair with a groan of protest and placed a small coin on the table. He followed Nivram at a short distance, watching carefully his interactions with the strange new rider. As the two walk off together, the old man casts "Undetectable" and follows closely behind.
With some effort, he avoids snorting at the ridiculous stories of the stranger and only allows an invisible shake of the head. He will continue to follow the pair silently until their motives prove more clear...


OOC: yeah, so I haven't been around much for a while. We'll see if I can actually get more active in this thing!
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:31 AM   #120
Nadeshiko Higarashiki
Elite Waterdeep Guard
 

Join Date: July 18, 2005
Location: Where Terra Collides.
Age: 35
Posts: 10
Default Re: Antagonist’s Anarchy: Derived from Dianthus

(joint post with me and Cal)

The process of bandits, wagons and more bandits rode by, seemingly without noticing the armoured girl. As the column advanced, one sight stood out: Isokla seated regally on a wagon, looking for all the world as if she owned the land, and potentially a sniper's target.

: "...." Kagirioni steps out. Enough to attract their attention, but her sword's sheathed, clearly presenting no target. "... this is unexpected."


Staring down at her, Isokla held up her hand before the bandits gutted the newcomer; their weapons were being drawn and notched already. "You." Isokla stated simply, without looking at anyone except her former student, whom she stared straight in the eye,"Bring her to me. Unharmed."

The young bandit hopped down from beside the silver haired girl, and picked his way over to Kagirioni. He waited to see if she would resist, even with bows half lowered, half raised to shoot her and swords drawn.

Kagirioni isn't that dumb. That is, she takes no more chances than necessary, so she's not resisting at all. Besides, it's a little clear that unless she's much faster than she looks, she can't draw her sword in time to do anything.

"Come, sit beside me." Isokla commanded impassively, waving her hand for the young bandit to give them space. "You've recovered, I see."

".. it took a while. That and not getting crushed .. sorta drained me for a week. I'm.. a little surprised to see you .. leading this column." Kagironi deliberately avoids mentioning what they are, and figures that she has a reason. Or something. It's been a while.


"Little about me should surprise you," There was no hint of warmth in her tone, her eyes on the road ahead. Calmly, she added, "I grieved for you. Why have you returned?"

"... well, I could run around some more doing nothing of value. It's not really something I should be doing, but it's not going to bother me. But, I'm still your apprentice. I think." Kagirioni is somewhat calm.

"I was about to return these to you." She held up a small pouch, and shook it. Coins jingled; and several bandits glanced up, more on second nature than anything else, only to realise who they were looking at, and glanced away again quickly.

"So, tell me, how did you survive? The rubble crushed the entrance and none of us could enter."

"I got.. lucky, and was able to hold a magical shield for long enough to escape. Or at least, deflect enough so I could worm my way out."


"And it took you this long to seek me out?" Nothing incredulous; simple statement. "You will find things have... changed somewhat."

".. well, yes, I decided directly following you would be a bad idea. I wanted to, but after .. running into some things left behind, it.. didn't seem wise to take that much of a difficult path."

"Indeed? So where have you been in the meantime?"

".. after first returning home to put my old armor up, my sisters asked me to take care of a problem on the estates, then I had to work my way here..." She shrugs. "It was.. n't bad? But I can't say I like being sidetracked by a problem my sisters could have solved for themselves."

"Very well," Isokla inclined her head, then smiled sweetly in a 'you'd better play along or else we're both dead'(which could also be mistaken to those who knew as 'or everyone else is dead'), "As you are aware, as a priestess of the Master it gladdens my heart you have returned to me to don the robes. The Master requires full commitment. Our sisters may be present at our destination, where we shall formally induct you into our ranks. It is pleasing that the Master saw fit to spare your life so you may serve him as one of his Brides."



The bandits paid no attention.


"Ah. It's.. an honor to be inducted."

"As is right." She cast a sweeping hand over the column, "These who serve the Lords of Vision serve also the Master, who is their Master as they await his return. Loyalty shall be rewarded; traitors shall be slain. Such is the will of the Lords of Vision, decreed by his Brides, the mouthpieces of the Master."


"I see." .oO(.. you know, there's something about this...)


"As do we all who are blessed with sight. The Master gifts generously to all who embrace him." Isokla shot Kagironi an unreadable look; there was more going on than she was letting on. She also pointedly avoided discussing any of the others. "Still, now you have returned, we shall resume your lessons..."


"..yes, mistress."

"Now, begin by reciting the herbs required in the use of..."



Isokla's voice droned on, barely pausing for the better part of three hours. Some things had not changed as she drilled her student tirelessly, correcting and instructing as needed. By the time the sun had passed its zennith, the bandits were beginning to tire themselves. The ceaseless stream of knowledge stunned them, as one of the Brides of the Master educated the new recruit. Many of them found themselves scratching their heads, or chins, amazed at the remedies from the simplest combination of plants. The one for the hangover was one that to a man, they vowed to try. Pausing for break, Isokla watched 'her men' behave as common men, obviously rising above their loutish manners with veiled disdain. As they continued, she paid little heed to them, only occasionally issuing commands as one born to rule. The young bandit stayed close to her side, but still at a respectable distance, listening intently and awed by her words.



Afternoon approached and they were greeted by a band of scouts, all bearing the scarlet uniform of the Lords of Vision. As the leader approached, he stared at the two women with narrowed eyes.

"Speak with him," Isokla issued her apprentice quietly, "Find out what he wants. Show no fear."

Kagirioni quietly nods, then approaches him, calmly. "I'm the apprentice of the Bride of the Master riding with this column. How can I help you?"

"Where are you headed? The forest beyond is dangerous." His tone had changed at her words; he was wise enough not to anger one of the priestesses, but his look was still harsh.

"I will have to ask her." Kagirioni gives a half bow, and goes back... to ask her.

"Tell him it is none of his concern, and to stand aside or escort us." Isokla did not even bother to rise, but disapproval was heavy in her words.

"Yes, mistress." She returns to the man . "She says it is none of your concern, and asks that you either stand aside, or escort us." .oO(.. he'd be an interesting fellow to do the second with no destination.)

"If it is her will, then we shall escort you through the forest. After that, you may resume alone." Gesturing to his men, the five scouts loosened their grip on their longbows. Two of them stood at the fore, and two moved to cover the rear. The leader strode past Kagironi and to Isokla herself. "My men place themselves at your service." His eyes flickered towards the former leader of the convoy, "And we are pleased to stand beside our brothers."

"As well you should. Nothing less is expected. Now, let us proceed..."

.oO(... when did I take that last blow to the head?) Kagirioni sighs, and decides to more or less talk to a few of the bandits and decides a direct approach is unwise. So she simply asks them why they joined with the Lords of Vision. Hey, curiosity.

They reply typically: for glory, honour... ...wealth and women.

Kagirioni nods, and then returns to Isokla, pondering exactly what game is going on her end .oO(So she knows a lot about this organization, I suspect she might hvae done something to gain control of the troupe, and can rapidly assume a very imperial attitude. The troops know nothing, they're just being led...)

.oO(So where's the key in the middle of this..)

Kagirioni returns to find Isokla deep in conversation with the scout leader, who seems to be probing to see if she's genuine. Isokla rarely smiles, cracking only the faintest and allowing only a small indulgence of his queries. Both know she is tolerating only so much; his main question seems to be her lack of crimson robes and symbols. Whatever answer is given is lost to the wind, and he seems... half convinced. Her preaching continues, lecturing all in earshot (namely, half the convoy) about the Master's will, and the need to purge the evil of selfishness from within themselves as individuals, and as a society. A few of the men grunt in agreement, but most seem to grumble at the idea of a lack of excess... even so Isokla promises drink for the obedient as a 'reward of the Master, who gives generously to all who obey him'...

.oO(..sigh, this could be amusing, or a nightmare. Not sure which. Note to self. Don't drink tonight.)

The journey continues through the forest, until finally, after many winding trails and turns, they come across a palisade guarded by watchtowers... ...and a lot of men all in the Lords of Vision's scarlet. Through the gate beyond, they could glimpse a cliff - one that had been built upon with wood. The cave fortress of Tek'Iyre.

Last edited by Nadeshiko Higarashiki; 11-06-2008 at 12:33 AM. Reason: timestamps bad
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