Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

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Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Zerifachias on Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:42 pm

Chapter One:
Darkness Looms Overhead

A gathering in the city. Every body from every corner of the continent who is capable of attending is there in the apex of the city, witnesses to a great happening. The bodies littered the cobblestone streets of the city enclosed by great walls of stone and mortar, the gates open wide for travelers and merchants alike. Between homes made of wood and brick and stone and straw and down the winding alleys of the slums into the center of the city the people gathered in front of the castle gates, where they could see up on a balcony the figure of a young woman who is of a fair countenance. Hair the color of the midnight sky set free, falling in neat lines around the sides of her face and chin, pulled back by a small silver brace that was set upon her head. This silver bracelet could only be worn by the firstborn child of the King, and it marked the child as the next in line for the throne.

A throne that was empty. For King Janus Arnell has passed into the afterlife. He became a victim of the blight that was raging wildly out of control in the land, nowhere on Ermith could anyone find safety from the dark clouds that smoldered over their heads. Even now, dark tendrils of evil magic struck through the sky, waiting for the next target to smite with an unholy darkness. The people grew to acknowledge the destructive magic as a Blight upon the lands, disaster brought upon them by corrupted or angry gods, but very few knew the truth of these dark terrors.

Princess Hiki Arnell stood upon her balcony overlooking the city. She could feel the countless eyes of her people watching her from below, even if she could not see those eyes. Her own pale violet eyes shone with a peculiar light. Hiki grieved for her father, even had she known he would die of the Blight she still would grieve for him. It was unexpected, as death tended to be. She, of all the healers aligned with magic, could have saved him from his suffering. For she was immune to the Blight, a fact she learned just one year past when the Knight-Commander beside her fell into sickness. A prayer, a touch, and healing light was all it took for Hiki to remove the Blight from her father's guardian.

Cetri Virianna Reshe stood behind Hiki, a tall and muscular figure clad in full armor with a crown of her own resting upon her head. Beside her, a priest, holding onto the crown of Hiki's late father. A crown that was meant to be placed upon her. While Hiki knew her coronation day would eventually come, never did she once believe it would come so quickly. Though the people know her and love her, Hiki did not believe she was ready for the responsibility of protecting an entire nation. There was too much going on now for a new ruler to be able to handle.

Hiki's hand went to her chest and she swiped it across her bosom, taking a knee and bowing her head to the people below her. Behind her, she heard Cetri's voice speak to her, "Your Grace, remember that you will not be alone in this. You have many advisers, myself included. So do not fear the crown or the throne, your father would not wish for you to fear that which does not deserve it." Cetri's voice was comforting to hear, her deeper tones making the woman far easier for Hiki to hear and to listen.

Hiki nods her head, an affirmation and a sign of her gratefulness to her closest friend and guardian of many years. She would not fear the throne, not so long as she had Cetri beside her to guide her in the right path. To stray from the Light - that was the path Hiki could not take. Her hands took hold of her silver brace and she lifts the sign of her status up off her head and places it down on the balcony floor, where the people could not see it. The balcony had no fence to hold any of them back, and she knelt so close to the edge that it was a simple thing for the people only a stone's throw below her to see them and hear them.

"We mark this day as a great day in our nation!" Cetri announced powerfully to the city, having no trouble speaking with such a loud and commanding voice. "Though our King Janus has passed, let us not be marred by sadness! We will overcome this grief just as our ancestors have, and we celebrate the crowning of a new ruler just as they have! Princess Hiki Arnell, firstborn of King Janus Arnell, will resume our late Father's duty to the throne and become the next Mother of our nation!"

Exclamations and cheers of praise and applause came from the people. Hiki could see several of those who celebrated, as well as others who still mourned heavily for their lost king. Her replacing her father so quickly was not something many people could be comfortable with. Hiki knows this, but she also knows that they did not have a choice in that matter when the monarchy passed down to the firstborn child of the current King. She did not shift nor falter, only lifted her head so that Cetri Reshe could place the crown upon her head. It was made of pure gold with several sapphires and rubies and amethysts fitted into the front. It weighed a great deal as well, Hiki felt surprise when the crown first settled onto her head. It fit her perfectly.

"Hear me, Our Great Nation of Ermith, I present to you Queen Hiki Arnell!" And all at once, as Hiki rose to her feet she watched the whole city and more bend their knees and bow their heads before her. And she felt a great joy rise up within her.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Silver on Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:32 am

Cerys stood at the edge of the city, practically pushed up against the stone and mortar walls that stretched for what looked like forever. A couple men stood very close to her––the burliest one, who refused to move out of her personal bubble, had brushed up against her exactly four times thus far. It was not a situation she was particularly comfortable with to say the least. She did not, however, voice an argument to the man, for the goings on in this city at this particular moment were far more interesting. From the moment the young woman had arrived in this world––saved from practically drowning in the horrid waters of an unknown sea––she had felt a peculiar resonance of chaotic energy. Her glyphs had reacted quite negatively to it. The more time she spent wandering this land, the more she could sense that something was very wrong here.

She had come this far to see if anyone could aid her in returning home. If her home still existed at least. Time could very well pass differently here; Cerys knew incredibly well she could return to ruin and destruction some span of impossibility, be it days or decades, after she left. But if it still existed then she had to return. She needed to get back. And so she had come, but, as she stood there against the wall at the new Queen's coronation, the Glyph Composer could not deny that her journey here had likely been a fruitless one.

These people had lost their King and now his first-born child stood forth to take his place. Considering the Blight that plagued this land and all the challenges that awaited this foreign kingdom, Cerys felt quite certain no one would extend her any kindness. Under better circumstances, perhaps, but likely not now. She forced herself away from the wall––and the burly man who had brushed against her twice more––at the very moment that all of the people fell to their knees and bowed their heads. Cerys paused, silver-blue eyes stoic and breath held.

She had heard the traces of the speech but had paid it little mind. All the people falling to their knees must have signified that the young Queen had been officially crowned. Cerys exhaled calmly. She did not drop to her knees. Her head did fall slightly. Although she was an outsider and did not need to offer up her respect, Cerys felt just a twinge of good will for the young woman. Hiki. I wish you luck, your Majesty, she thought as she tilted her head back up and began to drift away from the sea of people.

She supposed trying to find someone to help her elsewhere would be the best course of action.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Masquerade on Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:59 am

A mass of people.  The loud chattering of an audience before a performance of the grandest kind.  What a great stage that balcony would make!  And what a show they were to put on this day.  Sitting upon one of the rooftops, a woman by the name of Valeria kept an eagle's eye upon the spot where apparently a new queen was to be crowned.  Down below, the people had gathered, filling the streets as one fills a glass with fine wine.  The city itself was an auditorium for this...The Coronation.  They could not have chosen a nicer day to hold it; Valeria's crimson curtain was wrapped around her lithe body, flapping in a gentle breeze.  She wanted to embrace it all, and what a grand seat she had in her own balcony so to speak!  Wandering around before, she had not heard much of the politics of the country.  Since her village had been stricken with a dreadful plague most likely caused by the darkness infesting the land, she had no need to know.  She lived by her own rules--a free spirit in its finest.  She tried to keep the light in her performances, but nothing could replace what she had lost, and a tinge of darkness always rested within her heart as a grim reminder that nothing was safe.  She would not be tied to another location ever again.

From the balcony emanated words that Valeria could not hear very clearly, but it was all right.  She did not need the words to spin a tale.  All she needed was a scene.  Before coming to the city, Valeria had been staying in a small suburb town, one much poorer than this nice city.  Folks at the inn she was staying at had been murmuring a date in particular--one that would go down in the history books.  She was instantly intrigued.  Aside from reading the literary works of others and creating her own stories, history itself provided ample means to create a play or provide substance for a biography.  This was something that she could not afford to pass up, not to mention this thing in particular would wind up having a large impact on the country in which she dwelt.  After some investigating, she discovered that the monumental event was in fact the coronation of the princess, Hiki Arnell.  Her father, the king, had passed due to Blight, and she was to take his place.  That was all the information Valeria needed to pack up her things and set out for the city where the castle stood ready to receive its new queen.

Valeria kept her trained eyes on the balcony and watched the crown get lowered onto Hiki's head.  Everything seemed to nice.  It brought a strange warmth to Valeria's heart, and when the knight commander gave her final shout, so did the people fall to their knees and bow before their new ruler.  Valeria stood straight up, her blonde-streaked violet hair tousled in the breeze, violet eyes twinkling with delight--something she had not felt in quite a while, but something she would hold to herself.  She clapped quietly to herself before closing her eyes and bringing an arm in front of her.  Lowering her upper body, she performed a bow of her own.  The bow of the performer.  And what a great performance this had been thus far!  This material would be more than enough to use, and with all the people gathered in the city, she was sure to cash in on some performances while she was here.  When the streets thinned out, she would set out and earn some money.

* * *

This was it.  So long had the boy waited for his father to leave his study that night.  It felt like an eternity.  He himself knew what it meant to spend long hours in research, deep into the night, but tonight he was more impatient and far less understanding.  There was something that he desired, and he was to have it.  Watching from behind a statue in the hall, the boy noticed his father leave the study, locking it behind him before proceeding to shuffle along the hall, presumably to his own room where the boy's mother would be waiting.  With a mischievous grin, the boy quit his position behind the statue and found himself before the locked door of the study.  Brushing his dusty brown bangs out of his deep forest green eyes, he reached into his fanciful waist coat and procured a golden pendulum--the conduit for his magic.  His father had taught him many things about magic, and he was to the point where he would do his own research now.  Instead of inheriting his father's weapon, he had made a weapon of his own.

The boy raised the pendulum to the lock and focused.  A light purple energy began to form in front of the pendulum as he concentrated, shifting and changing until it took the form of a key.  Inserting the key into the lock, he gave it a turn with a held breath, but released it upon hearing the tellltale click that would denote that the door had indeed been unlocked.  Banishing the energy and tucking the pendulum back into the interior pocket of his waist coat, he opened the door, entered, and quickly closed it behind him.  The study was not lit--his father had extinguished the candles and lanterns before retiring.
 "Flickering of the smallest flame, illuminate.  Candlelight," the boy chanted, little spheres of flame appearing around him, circling him before scattering, finding their ways to the unlit candles and glass-cased lanterns.  The room became filled with light instantly, albeit not the brightest.  Fortunately, the boy knew exactly what he was looking for and where to find it.  He went to the back of the study against the wall with the window upon it, moonlight seeping in upon a black chest.  There was no lock upon it--it was only filled with notebooks filled with notes about the various magic his father had discovered.  Opening the lid, he gazed upon them and gathered the newest-looking one--it would possess his father's most recently discovered and certainly most powerful spells.  Snatching it up, he closed the lid and panicked as he heard shuffling from the hall outside.

"Extinguish!" he hurriedly gave his command, and all the lights he had conjured were dispelled instantly.  It was here that he realized the door was still unlocked.  He cursed himself and rushed to hide in a nearby cabinet.  There was just enough space for him to fit in the bottom thanks to him being on the shorter side--short for a male just reaching adulthood anyway.  All he could do now is wish for the best.

He heard the door open and a tired voice sounded from the entrance.  "Wh-whaa, I thought I locked this thing...I must be more tired than I thought..." the voice observed before shuffling commenced.  It was definitely his father.  There came some rustling from his desk.  The opening and closing of a couple of drawers.  "Aha..." his father tiredly exclaimed before shuffling back out of the study and locking the door behind him.  The boy rolled out of the cabinet after a minute had passed and gasped.  His heart was beating so fiercely that he thought it might fly up his throat and out of his mouth.  Clutching the notebook to his chest, he unlocked the door easily from within and departed, locking it with his magic-formed key before proceeding back to his room and locking his own door.  Holding the notebook in front of him, he realized soon he would know a magic far beyond his wildest dreams...


Wendell Alstere awoke with a start, random leaves and twigs poking out of or sticking to his midnight blue waist coat.  One twig in particular had found its way into his white dress shirt.  Annoyed, he plucked it out and threw it away.  Looking up, he had to shield his forest green eyes from rays of sun that now peered through the sparse canopy of the trees.  The air was warm and dry.  It made him cough.  He tried to stand up but his knees buckled and he fell to the ground.  The soil was slightly damp, but it was clear that it would be drying out soon.  Was there water nearby?  Looking around, he realized the trees were spaced quite apart--this was no forest.  Perhaps a grove?  Beyond the trees rested what looked like a long flat expanse of land.  Plains?  The long golden grass danced in an arid breeze.  Where was civilization?  Where WAS he?  He felt like bawling, eyes getting watery as he realized the foolishness of his mistake.  He had dabbled in a magic that he didn't understand and now he was probably miles away from home--if he was even on the same world.

"The Whisk Away spell...I think it's safe to say I've successfully been whisked away," he mumbled to himself as tears rolled down his face.  His stomach growled.  He was surely going to die.  He was not an outdoorsy by any means.  How would he survive?  He really needed to reach a village or a town but the spell had taken so much out of him that the chances of him actually reaching one before death was slim to none.  He would have to get his strength back somehow before venturing off in search of people--people that might be able to tell him how to get back to the castle.  He smacked his face a bit and wiped his tears off his face with his sleeves.

"This is no time to be crying.  I'm a man now, and I'll have to find my way," Wendell said to himself, his voice carrying a more confident tone.  His body trembled but he managed to stand, gasping for breath.  He leaned against the tree he had been sleeping against for support.  Okay, this was a start.  He scoured the ground once more and found a small puddle a few yards away.  He began to hobble across the ground, clutching onto nearby trees for support as he went.  It was a long final stretch without anything to grasp, and as he took a few steps forward, he fell.  The ground here was cool and moist.  He was close.  Lifting his head, he realized he was right next to it.  It was definitely a small puddle.  He could see the soil around it was moist--it was much larger, but was drying out.  Soon it would be gone.  He gave thanks to no one in particular that he should arrive in this place before it had completely dissipated.  Scooting closer to the puddle, he stuck his tongue out and lapped at the water like an animal.  

Gods, how the mighty had fallen.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Vergil on Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:06 am

The loud clamoring and uproar of the citizens rumbled through the city and shook the ceiling of the Hermitage, a bounty hunter guild that was built underground and unbeknown to most. They say that when someone wished death so greatly upon another but could not do so through their own hands whether by lack of ability or position, destiny would lead them to the Hermitage. Men and women of all social statuses eventually stumbled upon the guild one way or another; be it an official that wished to do away with a political opponent or a simple housewife that wanted to see her unfaithful husband pay for his affairs in blood. Just as many were the clientele, the ones who carried out the service were those from all walks of life as well – the profession of killing showed discrimination to no one.

Several knocks banged on the wooden door, as a tall, dark man with an eyepatch moved from behind the guild’s bar counter to respond. He slid the tiny screen of the door aside so that he could peek his eye to see the visitor. “Password,” he demanded with an authoritative tone. “You know it’s me, don’t waste my time,” a female voice responded back. “What. Is. This. Week’s. PASSWORD?” the man stubbornly retorted, unrelenting his requirement. A sigh was heard from behind the door before the voice spoke again. “Gryphons do not exist.” Satisfied, the man unlocked the bolt restraining the entrance and allowed the visitor in. The visitor was a young woman, whose long pallor hair was tied back, leaving a single fringe swept to the side of her face. Her sharp ocean-colored eyes shot a piercing glare; one that would make lesser men fearful. She dressed herself clad in armor fashioned from dyed bison leather, with black fur decorating the collar, and tempered steel forming the chest piece and vambraces.

The man with the eyepatch laughed heartily as he welcomed the woman in, seating her at the bar. “Eimhir!” he exclaimed in endearment, his demeanor turning from its previous state of severity into a warmer, familiar one. “Good to see ya! Good to see ya! What brings you here? What can I get for ya?” Eimhir shut her eyes in disbelief, tapping her foot impatiently on the dirt flooring. “Somethin’ wrong?” the man questioned, picking up an ale mug to begin wiping it. “Password,” Eimhir deadpanned, opening her eyes once again to deliver an icy stare to the man. “Eh… what’s that?” the man queried. “PASSWORD,” Eimhir thundered with her fists clenched on top of the counter, her voice asserting itself through the acoustics of the guild. “What is it with you and these damned passwords, Raul?! I come here every day when I’m not under commission! I shouldn’t have to put up with this! You know, I was this close from plucking out that other eye from that thick skull of yours. Would’ve made a good seasoning for my soup, I’ll tell you that much…” Eimhir had absolutely no patience with the Hermitage’s policy on its passwords, as she found them to be a waste of time, not to mention the phrases were always something ridiculous. If the guild never turned away a request, there was no obvious reason why it should have that unnecessary step in the process.

The room, which had been suffused with mild conversation between some of the few patrons had now deafened to silence, with all eyes on Eimhir, who still fixed her view on Raul. Raul couldn’t help but burst out into more laughter. “HA HA! Y’know, a whole debacle regarding the passwords was actually how I lost my first eye!” he recalled, sounding a little too fond of the memory. “But as you know… rules are rules. Can’t change ‘em for anyone, not even you. Don’t take it personally Eimhir, it’s just a matter of security. Now c’mon, how ‘bout I help you to a nice brew? First round’s on me.” Raul placed the ale mug beneath the tap of a wooden cask and filled it to the brim, placing it in front of Eimhir, who slid it to the side with her finger, her head resting against her hand. “No, you know why I’m here,” she declined. “I need another bounty, something a little more challenging this time.” Raul turned his head to the back of the wall to take a quick look at a board and shrugged. “Sorry. Empty. No postings today. Why don’t you just take a break for once and enjoy yourse-“ Before he could finish, Eimhir had interrupted him. “That’s the fourth day in a row you’ve had nothing for me.” Raul could only shrug once more. “Look,” he went on again. “If people ain’t puttin’ in requests, then they ain’t puttin’ in requests. That ain’t on me. Maybe with the king passing away and all, maybe everyone just wants to take a break from death for a while. I dunno.” Eimhir scoffed at the thought, having no care for the affairs of the country nor its countrymen; her allegiance was to the hunt, and the hunt alone. It was the only thing that made sense to her in this confusing world, the only thing that was truly natural to her.

Wasting no time, she stood up from her seat and began making her way out of the building, but not before Raul could ask, “Where are ya goin’?” To which, Eimhir responded, “Out there. If I’m taking a break I’d rather not spend it in this dark pit. Hopefully this city has something for me to do. It’s as my people once said, ‘The only idle Vanchelian is a dead one’.” And with that, she closed the door behind her, strolling through the passages and arriving onto the streets of the city. Raul picked up the mug Eimhir had rejected and downed a few sips.

Y’know… I’d really wish you’d stop callin’ that tribe of monsters your people. You are the child of the ones that watched over you while you were in that cradle… not the ones that took you away from it.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Zerifachias on Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:55 pm

"At least they've certainly received me well," Hiki breathed in a slight sigh of relief. She was worried about the people rejecting her, even though she knew the people loved her. The people had also loved her father, and his passing was quick and inescapable. Hiki could have saved him -true - but she did not know he had the Blight until after he had died. It was far too quick for her to have done anything for him, and during the night while they were all asleep as well. Hiki brushed off a little of her dress. The elegance of her garb was a little too much for her, she was not quite so used to wearing so much silk and lace. The cloth was not the problem, it was the quantity of it that bothered her.

"The people will be expecting a speech, Your Highness," Cetri reminded her. Hiki hadn't forgotten, though she wished Cetri had. She would prefer to go out onto the streets and meet the people who had gathered, not speak to them from a balcony like her father was prone to doing. She wanted to speak to her city on an individual basis. It might not have been efficient, but Queen Hiki did not mind it. Still, she should say something to them all, so she propped herself up and brushed her throat, using magic to enhance her voice and cause it to boom over the populace.

"Good people of Ermith," Hiki began, spreading one arm out but keeping the other hand against her throat so she could continue casting the magic that allowed her voice to reach them all. "I would prefer not to detract from today's celebration as I step up onto the throne, but something must be said. Something must be done about the Blight that looms over our heads." Hiki brandished her hand to the skies, gesturing towards the dark clouds that loomed over there heads. "I call upon all of you, travelers, merchants, warriors and soldiers and mages alike. If you have the will and courage to go forth into the land where the Blight casts its shadow, come and I will grant you audience. We must know where this power is coming from, or else it will plague us all."

Hiki lowered her hands and set her face into a frown. The people had not received that very well. She could see faces that were once hopeful suddenly fall into disappointment. They thought the monarchy knew the answers to their problems, to the Blight. Hiki could help them with land and property disputes, but this was a completely foreign power. Perhaps the historians needed to be consulted, but they took up residence far to the south, near a large lake city called Jesu.

"Come, Your Majesty, let us retire inside." The priest suggested, slowy gestuing with an aging arm towards the door.

"Yes, I quite agree. And give me something less...clothey."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Zerifachias on Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:14 pm

Though Wendell found himself weak and heavy from the strain of his exhaustion, caused to him by the dubious Whisk Away spell, there was a stranger heaviness and pressure up against his back. Before he could bother wondering what it was, his body was forced into the ground and his face into the mud he was drinking from. Above him stood a great white saberfang tiger with several tribal markings inked into its fur. The beast was enormous, at least three times Wendell's width and just as tall while the beast was only on all fours. The tiger's fangs were greatly pronounced, jutting out of its jaw and curving downward. These fangs were serrated, the sharp edges were clearly visible.

The tiger snarled and growled at its captured and hapless prey, baring its fangs fiercely and continuing to put pressure on Wendell's back. It refused to budge, no matter what Wendell tried, and the boy was far too exhausted to resist anyway. He could only stare helplessly into those deadly yellow eyes that would eventually decide what it was going to do with him. Then, just as the tiger was opening its mouth, possibly to chomp down on the boy, a voice called out and the tiger's head swung to the side. The saberfang left the boy behind, just like that.

"Kuv'ran, what have you found here?" The voice spoke again, this time much closer as the sound of heavy leather boots snapped twigs and crushed grass. The deep yet feminine voice drew closer to where Wendell lay until she was right next to him. She grabbed him by the shit collar and hoisted him up into the air without any effort at all until he was face-to-face with his true captor. The woman's face was smooth around the edges, save for a powerful jaw and a sharp nose. She looked at the boy through eyes of a similar color as his, but her hair was what made her seem alight with fire. The orange-red color played tricks on his eyes, making him see beauty where there was supposed to be roughness.

"A child?" The woman mused, looking at Wendell with the most curious expression. Her voice was thick with a heavy accent that hinted it was not her first learned tongue. Her tone and mannerisms gave her the identity of a tribeswoman, one who communed with nature and its beasts in various ways. The woman held onto Wendell, keeping him at eye level with her the whole time, his feet several inches from the ground. "You are too thin to eat, so who are you and why are you here?"

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Masquerade on Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:01 am

Valeria ceased her clapping as it appeared the new Queen was to give a speech to her people. This would be most thrilling! A monologue for the ages. Words that would go down in the history books along with the day itself. Words that would sink into the hearts of people and give them hope! Valeria listened intently. The Queen was using magic to amplify her voice so that all could hear her splendor. There was a gleam of delight in Valeria's eyes. What came next surprised Valeria. There were no honey-coated words of hope. There was no tale of a paradise that this land could be. There was only darkness, and a blow of cold, hard reality. The Blight was taking the lives of the people, and it must be dealt with. Valeria looked down at the crowd and could see the fear and discontent on their faces. The Queen did not have answers, but why should she? If the king before her did not know, then why would she? Valeria could hear the murmurings, and some of the people already dispersed. There was a frown on the Queen's face, and her short-lived speech was over. She retired. Just like that. She needed answers and called out to the people to help her find them. While none of the others gave out too much of a reaction, Valeria once again gave a round of applause to the Queen. This was how it should be done! You cannot sweep a problem like the Blight under the rug, especially when it just took the life of a ruler! The people needed to know the truth as it was: the Blight was an issue that didn't have a solution, but the royalty was searching for a way to deal with it. It was time to get real. She clapped even harder until she was sure she had expressed enough delight.

"Where does that leave me?" Valeria sighed and plopped down on the rooftop, crossing her legs and looking up into the clouded sky. "This Blight...I wonder if it was what stole my family from me. What if it was no ordinary plague?" she pondered, tapping her chin with a single finger. It was a solemn thought, one she quickly pushed from her mind. Thoughts of her home village, which had perished due to a plague leaving her the sole survivor, were thoughts she typically avoided. It had forced her into a solitary shell. The only interactions with people she had was when she was performing, and then she was not herself--she was a character. For that short time she could be in someone else's shoes. She could live someone else's life. She would no longer be the lonely wanderer, but perhaps the jolly traveling merchant or the wealthy noble. Perhaps a thrill-seeking rogue on the streets of a major city. There were so many options, and all of them were better than the life she was living now. And yet none of them could compare to the life she had before the plague.

A single tear rolled down her cheek and landed on the brick rooftop. The salt made her eye sting and she closed it, wiping the wetness from her face. Now was not the time to reminisce or think about her current life. Maybe now was the time for an even grander performance. She told stories and performed to get by in life and spread happiness, but she could think of no better way to spread happiness than to get rid of the Blight and rid the minds of the people of their worry that they too may fall prey to this darkness at any time. And she was sure she would be compensated for her work. She held her crimson curtain tightly to her body for comfort. This was the decision she had to make. All other performances would mean nothing; she had to take on a new role--one that would lead to this land being alleviated of the darkness which loomed overhead.

Yes, this was the new path she would take.

* * *

Despite the degrading manner in which Wendell drank, the water tasted amazing. Even though he knew it was dangerous to drink standing water, the fact that it was clear and seemed free of living organisms gave him more comfort. Besides, it was either drink now or wait and possibly die later. Just as he was about to pull away from the puddle, something heavy on his back alerted him but too late! His face was pushed into the water, stirring up the mud and dirt at the bottom. He held his breath--anyone could die in shallow water. All it took was not being able to breath air and that was something he could not do right now. What on earth was holding him down?! He didn't struggle; it would only increase his need for air, not to mention his muscles couldn't put up even the slightest fight against whatever manner of beast was upon him. Perhaps it would make it quick and devour him whole. He closed his eyes and prayed for a hasty death when the sound of a woman's voice, deep and authoritative, emanated from nearby. He could hear heavy footsteps. Was someone here to save him? The pressure was relieved from his back and he was jerked into the air by his shirt collar, face soaked and covered in mud. He opened his weary eyes slowly and took in the sight of a very powerful, beautiful woman. He shivered at the sight of her--it was enough to unsettle him, but not scare him. He would have had a remark when she called him "child", but he was much to tired to start an argument, especially with someone who could probably snap him in two. Perhaps he could use this to his advantage?

At the mention of eating him, Wendell gulped. A cannibal? She asked him where he came from. Another world was most likely not a good answer. "M-My name is Zieg. Zieg Ner'Va-line Kreeler. I-I am here not of my own will," he introduced himself using his shamanic alias. He gulped in some air and breathed more steadily to help him talk. It felt much better having air in his lungs. "I hail from a shamanic tribe hidden in the plains. My father is Keriel Ra'shac-lorr, leader of the tribe. We were nothing but a nature-loving people, using every bit of what we harvested from nature's bounty and returning what we could to help propagate it." He paused and took on a look of seething anger as if remembering something infuriating. "My people were raided by knights... They...they were wielding strange powers...the power of the elements. We fought valiantly against them...but we were no match for their foreign power. I was the only one who escaped, by what miracle I don't know..." A blazing light filled his forest green eyes. "I-I swore that I would get them back..and warn the other tribes of their presence..."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Zerifachias on Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:35 pm

The tribal woman did not blink once as she stared into the boy's eyes. Her brow furrowed and her eyes narrowed as she spoke, emulating anger. She tightened her grip on the boy and jammed her spear into the ground next to her. "You lie," she growled, her face still contorted with anger. "I know all tribes roaming the Plains. I don't know you or your supposed leader. And if I had a boy-child as thin and weak as you, I'd be the laughing stock of the tribe." Sav'ri turned to her white beast of a tiger and held Zieg forward. Her voice twisted as she adopted a different tongue, "Kuv'ran, bisse."

The saberfang tiger called Kuv'ran opened its maw and clamped down on Zieg's shirt, puncturing it with many holes so that it began to tear, but the huge tiger maintained a solid grip on Zieg as Sav'ri hooked and slid herself onto the tiger's bare back. "My name is Sav'ri Ondellate're. I am Chieftain of the Ondellate're tribe. You are lucky, boy, that you happened across my path. Any other Chieftain before me would have you skinned and boiled. You will not survive long in the wilds, and civilization believes us uncultured brutes. My children will see to you. Duvai, Kuv'ran!" Sav'ri did not kick or hit the tiger, but the great beast heard her words and pounced forward, reaching a fast run in a such a short start time.

The golden grass of the plains rushed past, the white tiger was large enough so that his head appeared above the long stalks. If Zieg were walking through the plans himself, he would not have this view. The beast seemed to hone in on a single direction, though his path curved and cut through many areas. From her perch, Sav'ri could see them, while Kuv'ran could smell them. Nature set traps of sand that sapped life out of those it ensnared. Avoiding those proved easy for a beast of nature.

Eventually the tribal camp came into view. Large leather tents were set up in a small area, all stacked up together with one larger tent in the center of it all. Many tribeswomen and children, all younger than Zieg, were flattening out the grass int he plains to create their campsite, for the sun had just struck the top of the world. Many of them noticed Sav'ri and Kuv'ran heading for their camp and some of the children went to the edge of the camp to greet her. Kuv'ran slowed down to a walk as they approached and Sav'ri held out her hand to one girl with red in her hair and green in her eyes.

"U'tei, dearest daughter of mind, where are your brothers?" Sav'ri asked the girl who now sat in front of her mother on the beast. The other children gathered around Kuv'ran's mouth, looking at Zieg with curiosity. One picked up a stick and poked him in the nose.

"Is he dead?" The boy asked.

"No, Yonah, not yet." Sav'ri shooed the boy away with a wave of her hand.

"Tavir and Merril are with Yokiin hunting," the daughter spoke. Her hair was pinned up on her head with two solid sticks and her nose was pierced with a small ring made of carved wood. She would be the spitting image of Sav'ri, has she not been so thin. She wore boiled leather around her waist, but her chest was bare, but flat. She appeared young, no older than ten years. "Loki and Ur are helping the Elder One. Yonah's being lazy and doing nothing."

"I am not!" Yonah protested, throwing his stick on the ground in mock anger. It was clear he was lying, which earned him an intimidating stare from his mother. He skirted away from her, off to find something else to do other than bother the boy in Kuv'ran's mouth.

"Mother, who is this?" The other children were all girls, each one wearing similar garb to U'tei, though several of them were clearly much older and fully developed. Still they bore their breasts with no shame, even should a boy like Zieg be looking at them.

"Dinner, if he decides he does not want to behave," Sav'ri replied easily. "Kuv'ran would enjoy a live meal. Otherwise, he is to be known as Zieg Invi'ir. Say hello to your new family, boy."


Last edited by Zerifachias on Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Masquerade on Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:07 pm

Apparently, this woman was far more knowledgeable than Wendell would have liked. Was it that unheard of for there to be a tribe so well-hidden that it could escape her radar? This was so, and there was nothing he could do to fight it. This woman knew a lot more about this land than he did. Now that he thought about it, trying to make up a story like that was a little foolish. Regardless, the woman gave a command to her tiger and soon he was in its grasp once more, hanging from his mouth, the tiger's teeth well-placed to firmly grasp his clothing yet keep him secure. There was no escaping a predator like this. She introduced herself as Sav'ri Ondellate're. It was certainly tribal. It reminded him of Keriel, who was not actually his father, but his godfather back on Nagranok, the world from which he originated. He sighed as Sav'ri gave another strange command and they set off.

The ride was not a pleasant one for him, save for a nice, albeit strange, view of the plains. The golden grass was tall and beautiful, and in the distance, tents could be seen. Was she taking him back to the settlement? She did say he was too thin to eat, but that didn't mean she couldn't just give him to her tiger as a chew toy. As he hung from the tiger's mouth, Sav'ri interacted with someone--a girl...who wore no top. Yeah this was definitely an actual tribe. He avoided staring, not that it was a difficult task. He just focused on the surroundings, taking them all in. Some other kids gathered around, one poking him in the nose with a stick. His mouth became a thin line as his blood boiled, but he was not dead. He had to be thankful. And the looming threat of becoming dinner kept him in check. He'd rather just play along rather than become a meal. He hated being so powerless. Other than the Whisk Away spell, he had not discovered any other teleportation spells. Perhaps if he could stay here for a while he could discover one? There were definitely spells to be discovered; he could feel it. The power of nature was immense here.

"It..it is a great pleasure to meet all of you," Wendell spoke kindly, his mouth softening a bit. New family? Well, he did need to make connections in this world to survive until he could find a way back home. This would be a start. He certainly couldn't complain. As Sav'ri had said, he could be in someone else's stomach right now had someone else come across him. What inclined her to save him, a stranger? Technically, he did owe her his life. That was something he hated--being indebted to someone. He could already see where this was going, but perhaps things would turn out differently than he expected. He would just have to see.

"If what I am told is correct, I am blessed to be here before you today, instead of being nothing but a memory..."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Vergil on Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:41 am

Eimhir had surfaced onto the streets just in time for the newly crowned queen’s speech to reach her through the vocal magic that was being broadcasted to all the citizens. Her plea for an answer to the Blight sounded like a job opportunity if Eimhir had ever heard of one. “Break’s over,” Eimhir declared to herself, a proud smirk forming on her face. At last, the thrill of another hunt was upon her, and she could already feel the tension coursing through her sword arm like a metal wire. She glanced over at the bystanders that were listening to the speech and observed how they nervously averted their eyes astray in response to the quest. Cowards, Eimhir sneered in her own thoughts. Nothing but spineless, craven sheep. Had these recreants lived under Vanchelian rule, they would have been eaten alive. Nevertheless, this simply meant that there was more glory to boast for Eimhir once the task was all over.

The royal militia was most likely being kept in the kingdom to protect these diffident citizens if they weren’t being the ones sent out for the Blight, which would make sense considering how the queen herself so openly presented the proposal. Even if she would be the only one to venture forth, Eimhir would swear by her blade that she would achieve victory by any means, or death. As long as she drew breath, she would commit herself not to the kingdom or its unworthy subjects, but rather the reason that kept her going all these years. It was always the hunt. They would pay well too, which went without saying. The whole concept of currency was still a bit excessive to Eimhir, as she believed it was silly that possessing an abundant amount of precious metals determined one’s worth. In her opinion, the system perpetuated complacency.

Those elite nobles could sit all day on their mountains of gold and eat until they were as fat as a lazy boar, without working a single day in their lives. Back in the tribe, the Vanchelians would instead hunt and farm for what they would eat, and bartered amongst each other with the products of their skills and trades for what they needed at the time. There was no hoarding; nothing wasted. This new society had insisted its way upon Eimhir, and though reluctant to conform, she knew it was the only way she was going to survive. If these oblivious simpletons wanted to live by their system then so be it, Eimhir couldn’t care less as long as her blade was properly sated. “Stand aside,” Eimhir commanded aggressively to the those in the crowd, as she navigated her way to the castle doors. She callously shoved anyone who dawdled idly in her way; if they were not brave enough to fight for their own kingdom, then they weren’t brave enough to stand up to her – and anyone dumb enough to actually do so would be put in their place.

Once in front of the castle, Eimhir knocked loud enough for those inside to hear, before delivering her proclamation. “Your call has been heard,” she announced. “I will accept your request.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Silver on Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:34 pm

Cerys had made it precisely six steps before the Queen's voice emanated––magicks used to enhance her volume so that all subjects and outsiders such as Cerys could hear her as if she stood a mere three feet from them. The Glyph Composer faltered. The Blight that plagued the young monarch's nation seemed without answer and, in the woman's pleas for assistance, the lone outsider stood affected. There was something to the tone of the new Queen's voice that almost compelled her to cease her flight from the city––an aspect of it that spilled over with purity and need. But there was something more than that. She had to find out what it was!

No sooner than she had taken her sixth step, did Cerys' seventh fall in the opposite direction. She sped toward the castle, her charmed plate armors clanking as she ran as fast as her legs would carry her. Out of breath yet quite prepared, the young mage found that someone––another woman––had already beat her to the gates. She accepted the Queen's request for aid before her and Cerys fell immediately silent. Although the two were not together, the Glyph Composer intended to follow her in; whatever it was in Hiki's voice that had enticed her to come, she intended to seek for the answers the Queen sought and hopefully find some of her own.

Aid in turn for assistance seemed fair enough for Cerys.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Zerifachias on Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:52 pm

Eimhir and Cerys waited at the door for what seemed an eternity before the great wooden doors opened and allowed them entry into the Grand Hall. Behind them lay the inner walls that separated the city from the castle, and that city seemed so far away now at the front door. Inside a pair of guards wearing full plate armor and helmets stood guard, facing the two women with regal spears in hand and long purple tassels hanging from their helmets. Their armor was painted a light platinum with the crest of the royal family's insignia printed on their chests and massive shields. The raven soaring above the dragon's maw, a testament to mankind's first triumph. These were Knights, elite soldiers of the Queen's Army and guardians of the realm.

Behind them another Knight approached, only this time it was the Knight-Commander, Cetri of the Reshe family. Her golden hair fell in waves down her back, covered in similar plate mail that the other Knights wore. A longsword clipped to her belt and a shield on her right arm, she gestured forward towards the two women standing by the doors with her left hand, her gauntlet guiding them inside.

"I welcome you both to Queen Hiki's home," Cetri began and put her left hand to her chest and gave them a slight bow. "I am the Knight-Commander: Cetri Reshe, at your service. Knight Ramond and Knight Hammet will see you both to Her Majesty's throne room. I trust you will see no need to cause them any trouble. Sers." Cetri nodded towards both of the Knights who stood at her side. They pounded their chests with their fists in salute, and Cetri began to turn away to head towards the throne room at the far end of the hall.

"Ser Cetri! Wait!" Another voice called after the Knight-Commander as a tiny man rushed past Cerys and Eimhir without paying either of them any mind before tripping on the stone floors and nearly breaking his nose. The man was quite the frail thing, no taller than a child. He had long, black hair and these deep, violet eyes that gave him far more depth than his appearance should have given. There was a certain aura about him, something that signaled that he was definitely more than just a young man in his early twenties.

Cetri turned her head to the man and sighed audibly. "For the last time, no matter what you want, Queen Hiki has already stated that she does not want any of her family to go out into the Blighted areas."

"I think I have a solution this time! I swear, please just let me talk to her!" The man protested vehemently, jumping back onto his feet in no time at all. It was odd seeing a man so small be so persistent. "I just need to study it! A few days in the midst of it is all I need. My magic will protect me."

"Fine, I will allow you entry. But do not expect Queen Hiki to grant you permission so easily, even if you are her cousin." Cetri turned to Eimhir and Cerys and spoke to them in turn, gesturing towards the man that interrupted them. "Change of plans, I want all of you in the throne room, now. You may make your request to the Queen once you have shown her due respect."

"I will allow the ladies to go first, of course," the man piped up again. "Both were here before I, it is only right."

Once that was settled, Cetri led the trio of misfits in through the castle. The walls and floors were made of cut stone and a purple carpet led from the entrance through the Great Hall to another pair of doors that towered over them all. On either side of these doors, jutting out several feet from the walls, rose a stairwell that led up to the second floor West and East wings. A balcony could be seen where each Wing of the castle branched off and was railed off, so that any who decided to climb up there did not fall down so easily. Cetri placed her hands on the doors and opened them, pushing the giants to either side of her and she entered, her entourage following her in kind.

The purple rug that led to the door continued on into the throne room, which was absolutely massive. Several banners hung from the walls on both sides of the room, with the royal family's insignia printed on the purple banners in black cloth. Below each banner stood a statue of some great hero or past King in different scenes. But there was a single statue that stood at the very back of the room, behind the throne and towering over it. It was an artist's depiction of the Dragon War, where the King pierced the heart of a great dragon that lie at his feet. It was an amazing thing to behold for the first time, very few ever got to see the throne room when it was this empty.

The throne itself was made of gold and silver, with the colors of the royal family as cushions on the Royal Throne. Black and purple colored the room, but it was Hiki sitting in that throne that seemed far too large for her thin frame and long, braided blue hair. Her dress was significantly toned down from the massive dress she was wearing on the balcony earlier. Now she wore a silken cloth across her bosom, leaving her stomach and arms exposed while her legs were covered in a long, white skirt that concealed even her slippers, which were just simple laced sandals.

The Queen might have seemed small, but she did not seem at all out of place. She wore her crown and her throne like she was born with them attached to her. Queen Hiki watched Cetri and the other three approach her and stop just before the seven steps that led up to her chair. She looked down upon them, but she gave them a kind look. There was no one in the city whom could believe that Hiki thought of them as lesser beings, not when she paid so much attention to the needs of her people. Cetri bowed first, her arm across her chest and bowing deeply from her waist.

"Your Royal Majesty, I have brought you two women whom wish to speak a request unto you, as well as your cousin Remus."

"Remus?" Hiki glanced towards the man that had tagged along late. "Remus Varshtig? It has been so long since I last saw you. Wherever have you been?"

"Studying, Your Worship," Remus Varshtig responded cheerily. "I believe these women were here before me, so let us catch up later, yes?"

"As you wish. Now, am I right in assuming that you two are here about the Blight?" Queen Hiki looked upon Eimhir first, since she was the one in front.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Vergil on Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:52 am

Eimhir heard the rushing metal footsteps and caught glance of the woman running up behind her, and threw a quick stare in her direction. Had one of the sheep finally stood forth for their chance at glory? It was a little too late to make the courageous gesture, as everyone had ample time to make their statement before Eimhir. The young Vanchelian did not say a word to this woman and instead went on ahead when the doors opened, shifted her focus to the two guards and veiled her disgust under her pursed lips. Such a waste of good steel, Eimhir remarked to herself. These knights may as well be decoration, just standing around all day to guard a family. Have they even had their metal tested? The idea of monarchy was lost on Eimhir, as she didn’t believe any mortal was important enough to have others devote their lives to protecting them. If one was not strong enough to protect themselves, then they were not fit to lead – that was the ideology the tribe had instilled into Eimhir at least. However, just like the system of currency, these were the customs of this society and Eimhir would have to abide by them, especially if she wished to continue her life as a hired sword.

Another knight appeared and introduced herself as the commander, beckoning Eimhir and the other woman inside and entrusting their company to the two knights before a young man barged in. It was mentioned that the young man was the queen’s own cousin, and that there were issues regarding him journeying into the Blight. The Knight-Commander then instructed them all to the throne room, to which the young man allowed Eimhir and the other woman to proceed before him. Eimhir was intrigued by the young man’s eyes, and allowed herself to gaze into them up close past the point of where anyone would consider comfortable; the invasion of personal space seemed as though Eimhir was trying to peer into the man’s soul. It was undeniable that she still needed to work on her social decorum.

Cetri guided the group through the corridors, while Eimhir remained unimpressed at the extravagance and commodiousness of the architecture. Why did one family need to take up so much space?  Soon they arrived at the throne room, where the queen herself was awaiting their presence. Eimhir had a much better view of her now than she did outside. She was indeed young, but Eimhir was certain she was capable of handling herself, more so with the fact that the queen did not have to go through what Eimhir went through in the tribe. Of course Eimhir probably would have had an easier time had she the luxury of servants that awaited her every beck and call.

The queen had spoken, asking confirmation that Eimhir and the other woman were here to respond to the call against the Blight. With Eimhir being the first addressed, she responded with her tribe’s traditional introductory haka out of respect, shifting her right leg to cross over her left, while her right fist pressed against her left palm, finishing with a bow while retaining the position of her form. “That is correct, Your Majesty,” Eimhir validated. “I am Eimhir Ceallach, or Ragnara, if you wish to refer to me by my Vanchelian name. I have come in acknowledgement of your call regarding the Blight, and I offer my blade up in service… however I will mention that this will come at a price. If you are willing to compensate me for my work, then you will have my skills at your disposal.”

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Zerifachias on Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:41 pm

The boy was speaking in a different manner now. He sounded much more like the son of some noble rather than a tribesman's son. Sav'ri was not impressed, the boy could at least have stuck with his lie and shown some kind of spine. No, he was a coward of a child, nothing more to say than that. Sav'ri gave a command to Kuv'ran to release the boy and he fell to the ground suddenly when the tiger opened its mouth and shook him loose from his fangs. Several of the girls knelt down to pick him back up to his feet and brush off his clothes. A welcome he probably would not be expecting.

"I will leave the boy to you, my children," Sav'ri told the little ones, lifting U'tei off her lap and setting her back down to the ground. "U'tei, you will be in charge of the boy. See to it that he is fed and watered. Even the plants in nature rely upon the rains and the sun for life. I go to meet my sons Yokiin and Tavir." Sav'ri hitched herself up on Kuv'ran, lowering herself to his back so that the beast could pounce and bound off at high speeds into the plains after the scent of Sav'ri's other children.

U'tei walked closer to Wendell, and after hearing that she was in charge of the boy, the other girls turned their backs to him and went off to attend to other tasks. U'tei glanced up at the boy, realizing that he was older than he originally seemed, but she did not seem to care that she nor the other girls were practically naked before his eyes. She fingered the ring through her nose for a second before speaking. "You are Zieg? I'm U'tei," U'tei said, then grabbed onto his hand and pulled him in a direction, "we have water. Are you thirsty? We have some meat too, are you hungry?" She kept tugging on his arm, but did not move herself, so Zieg had no clues as to which way he was supposed to walk.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Masquerade on Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:56 pm

"Let's begin."

The opening act. This would be what would hook the audiences for ages to come. The brave heroine stood upon the rooftop and gazed outwards toward the castle, eyes set on her new destination. What would become of her? There was only one way to tell! Valeria whipped her curtain around her and kept it at the ready. She backed away from the edge and got a running start before leaping off of the tall building, hanging her curtain above her where it caught the wind with ease allowing her to glide through the air peacefully. There was a gentle breeze that kept her afloat, high above the crowds that were starting to disperse now that there was nothing they could do. Who were they? Just normal citizens. Did none of them have the power or bravery to take on this challenge? They were only capable of looking to higher powers to save them. The queen--o how she was supposed to have all the answers! And yet she had none. Never would they fear though, for they had a heroine who would bring them the answers they so desired! She wondered if anyone else hearkened to the call, but from the looks of it, a couple of people at least had. They had waited and the gates had opened and closed long before Valeria had landed. She was farther away than she had thought.

Starting to lose altitude, she thanked the heavens for a nice ride and yanked her curtain down allowing her to fall to the ground before the castle gates with grace. The structure was somewhat intimidating up close, but with all that Valeria had weathered, she remained completely unfazed. It had been a small bit since the others entered. She rapped heartily on the doors, putting as much force as possible into it such that she might be heard. What if she was too late? Surely they would not shoo away another person who was willing to help. Every second that passed seemed like a century, and with each century, she grew more and more anxious. How could the story crumble apart in the opening act? She supposed if this didn't work, she could just go back to doing traveling performances. Back to the small stage. Oh, what she wouldn't give to be able to make an actual difference! And perhaps...maybe, just maybe...prevent another tragedy from occurring similar to the one that had happened to her.

* * *

"Oof!" Wendell let out as he was dropped to the ground. He didn't even care that it hurt a bit just as long as he was free from the mouth of the giant predator. He quickly tried to muster what little strength he had and was going to try to stand on his own, but much to his surprise, a few of the nearby girls helped him up and even went to the effort of brushing him off. That was...surprisingly nice of them. He thanked them graciously, bowing his head to them for their assistance. There he stood, the strangest one of them all even though they were all strange in his eyes, and yet he did not feel judged, except perhaps by Sav'ri, but it was her job to judge the merit of his worth and integrity of his character for the safety of her tribe. It was quite admirable, actually. Even after he made it back to his world, he would not forget this woman.

Sav'ri put U'tei in charge of him. All the other girls didn't waste time in meandering off as soon as the order was given. Sav'ri herself was off to find her sons, and with haste she bounded off. The absence of the tribe leader was like a relief to Wendell. He wasn't putting on some act anymore, but he still felt pressured when she was around. He sighed. U'tei drew nearer to him and he was very keen on her presence. She seemed...nice.

"Yes, I am Zieg. It's nice to meet you, U'tei," Wendell introduced himself formally and personally to U'tei, bowing his head. She had grabbed onto his hand as if to lead him somewhere, and she tugged vigorously yet her body did not move in any set direction. Perhaps it was best to just start off by answering her question.

"I'm not as hungry so much as I am thirsty. The source of my exhaustion would stem from a lack of drink moreso than from a lack of food. If you have water, I would definitely and graciously partake," Wendell explained to the girl, not getting into the facets of magic. Water was fundamental for life. When a large spell is cast that evaporates all Mana, typically the body is hit with hunger and thirst with the latter being much greater than the former and because of that, so much more deadly. A spell that took him to a different world certainly took a lot out of poor Wendell.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Zerifachias on Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:39 pm

Queen Hiki paused for a moment after listening to Eimhir speak. It was clear that the woman was not quite a part of the people with the way she held herself, and the way she spoke. She spoke of the clan Vanchelian, but Hiki did not know that clan. She gave consideration to Cetri, but the Knight-Commander gave no particular response, she also did not know of the clan which the woman before them spoke of. Only Remus' demeanor changed, as if a light had gone off inside his head. But Hiki wanted to avoid addressing her cousin until the other two women were spoken after, so she put her thought of that clan to the side and spoke unto Eimhir.

"It would be foolish of me to believe any man or woman offer service without expectation of pay," Hiki versed easily. She pushed herself up off her throne and began climbing down the steps, sandals peeking out from beneath her dress as she did so until she was on even footing with the mercenary. Before she could take another step forward, Cetri started for her, but Hiki lifted her hand to halt Cetri's movement. "Keep vigilant, Cetri, but do not fear."

"You cannot trust a man or woman with no allegiance, Your Majesty," Cetri warned. Hiki was not perturbed.

"This woman does not wish me harm. She has come here looking for work and pay, and she shall receive her due." Queen Hiki stepped around Cetri and examined Eimhir up close and personal. Her pale indigo eyes examined Eihmir, taking in her form and posture. The Queen was significantly shorter than the Vanchelian, and obviously stronger, but that did not disturb Hiki. "A blade can cut through many things physical, but the Blight poses more dangers than that. Even if it was that simple, the solution would be easy. I could send my Knights out to battle the forces of this darkness and they would return 'fore the morrow. Instead they must stay here, where they are safe."

"Our Knights are no more safe here than out in the wilds. Say the word and I will have trained men out in the fields, Your Majesty," Cetri spoke, keeping her eyes trained fully on Eihmir. It was clear the Knight-Commander did not trust the woman.

"I need men and women willing to risk their lives, Cetri," Hiki returned, stepping back to address her guardian. "There is no point in forcing men to forsake their lives for a fool's chance at deciphering the Blight. That is unproductive and wasteful of my people's trust. No, I need people who willingly forsake their own lives for the betterment of our nation. Or, in Lady Ranara's case, gold."

"Pardon my interruption, but," Remus started up, lifting a finger into the air as he presented his point. "It would be of great use to you to know that this woman, as a Vanchelian, is resistant to the effects of the Blight."

"What do you know of this clan?" Cetri demanded, furrowing her brow at the little man. He did not cower before her gaze, despite her being several times larger than himself. In fact, he only grew more excited as the others paid attention to him.

"A great deal, in fact!" Remus declared happily. "For one thing, I know that they practice blood magic rituals to strengthen their bonds with nature and magic itself."

"Blood magic is taboo, Remus, you know this."

"It is taboo because people are afraid of what it could do to them, they fail to see the potential of its power and refuse to accept that it could be a valid area of study! I've traveled to Jesu City, cousin, to research more about magic in the Historium. I could not find a single volume of text on the uses of blood magic. Do you know what they said when I asked about it? They told me they would burn me and any book related to blood magic that they could find on me if they saw me practicing such magic! Me! A cousin of the royal family! An outrage it was, so, naturally, I began to dig deeper. And I found this book on Vanchelians and their rituals to strengthen their bonds with the world and each other through blood magic.

"I discovered these texts in a...not-so-well-known section of the Historium. I had to leave through an open window because I feared someone might discover me looking through blood magic books and live up to their promise of burning me. But listen, Vanchelians, like I said, are resistant to magic inherently, so this woman might be the key to observing and collecting data on the Blight itself at it's core!"


A long pause hung as silence filled the room. Hiki did not seem very pleased with Remus, but the damage was already done here. Despite Remus Varshtig's obvious crime, Hiki could not ignore the possibility his point brought up. "Very well, then." Hiki glanced towards Cetri before once again addressing Eimhir. "I approve of your decision, Lady Eihmir. You will have your pay in the form of gold, I assume this is preferable to you? If what Remus says is true, you might be a key component in figuring out what this Blight actually is."

***

The doors rumbled and shook a bit, then began to open for the bard who stood in front of the gates. The two Knights that were there previously had shortened to just one Knight, and he gazed upon the bard through his full helm with a peculiar form. He shifted a little bit, then spoke unto the woman before him with her banner. "Her Majesty the Queen is currently occupied with several men and women. She might not be able to see to you right away." The Knight told the woman, his voice betraying how uncomfortable he was speaking to the bard. There was also something...off about his voice, something forced.

Was it because she was a woman? Or was there something else in this Knight's eyes that disturbed him? Perhaps he was just feeling hot beneath all that armor. Eventually he began to loosen up and released his hold on the doors, stepping to the side so Valeria might enter the castle walls. He put a hand to his chest and bowed before her. "Pardon my manners, my Lady. I am Knight Yuron. We are not permitted to speak to anyone as part of training, but Knight-Commander Cetri is not here to receive you, so I must ask in her stead. Are you here to inquire on the Blight?"

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Masquerade on Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:05 pm

At last, the doors finally opened, and Valeria could finally release her long held breath. So, this act would continue on after all. Oh what was she so worried about?! She would have chuckled had it not been for the presence of a single knight who answered her call. Her demeanor was rather grim in the presence of strangers. There was hardly any life in her eyes--just the pain of the past and the weariness of a hardened traveler. She wrapped her crimson curtain about her body so it would be easier to handle. It held its place despite the fact that it was supposed to be a loose cloth. The knight bore ill news; the queen was indeed occupied with several people who had obviously stepped up to the plate before she had her chance. Curses that there wasn't a stronger wind, granted a stronger wind might have sent her several miles in a direction she did not wish to go. Oh well, perhaps she would just wait around and think of some new stories or go over ones she was already great at performing.

Valeria remained awkwardly silent for a few minutes before the knight moved aside to let her into the castle walls, and it was here that she realized she had sunk into her thoughts without asking if there was a place that she could wait. She entered at the knight's bodily behest, and he apparently decided to introduce himself.

"A pleasure, Ser Yuron," Valeria stated simply. She did not smile but she bowed deeply to the man in respect for his service to the kingdom. He was a character in a great performance as well, and to be so kind yet ready to lay down his life--it was something Valeria could appreciate.

"I am known as Valeria Canterwall, a traveling performer," Valeria introduced herself in kind. "I am indeed here to inquire about the Blight, and after Her Grace has bestowed the task upon me, I plan on ridding it from this world if it costs me my life. A tale of sacrifice, it could be--but I would much prefer a happy ending for this nation and everyone within it," she explained with a dramatic seriousness, but a seriousness nonetheless.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Vergil on Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:11 pm

How typical, Eimhir thought, listening to Cetri bark her suspicions towards Eimhir. So overly protective. So blindly loyal, and yet she is at the mercy of her master’s leash… just like a mutt. Of course, she didn’t speak her mind aloud, tucking away those thoughts beneath her tact… but the insolent smirk that slowly drew across her face wasn’t helping. It was so amusing to her, the fact that these people were the ones that sought out aid and were now being indecisively picky about who they really wanted. Then there was the strange man, the one that had caught Eimhir’s attention earlier. He was apparently named Remus and he claimed to know much of Eimhir’s clan, though the extent of the knowledge ended at simple “blood rituals”. She was surprised nonetheless that there existed texts regarding her clan, but doubted any of them were from the original source. Vanchelian text was after all, written in the Eldritch tongue in which no foreigner could interpret with ease.

After the exchange between the queen and her cousin, Hiki had finally accepted Eimhir’s conditions to be remunerated for her work. ”As long as you keep my coin pouch filled, and my blade sated, you will hear no protest from me. Just tell me where I need to begin,” Eimhir affirmed, then turning to Remus once again. ”And as for you… you claim to hold knowledge of my tribe? Then you must know that I am their last, as far as I am concerned. My people were more than a footnote in some dusty old tome – our practices alone did not define who we truly were. Our culture was unfathomable to simple outsiders, which is why every vestige of our traditions was erased from the face of this land. Do not think you could ever comprehend our ways through mere arbitrary chroniclers and haughty transcripts.”

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Zerifachias on Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:41 pm

The Knight Yuron paused for a moment, wondering at Valeria through the slits of her helm's eyes. The light was angled just enough so that Valeria could see two piercing eyes the same color as the sky peering at the bard in wonder. Yuron seemed to understand Valeria and what she spoke of. The Knight spoke unto her, "you bow to me as a sign of respect, but perhaps it should be I bowing to you for your dedication to our country. Come with me, I will see if the Queen can see you right away." Yuron lifted her shield arm and turned herself towards the doors to the throne room.

The throne room doors were closed, but Yuron pushed them aside as Cetri had before, entering with Valeria in tow. The Knight paused there for a moment, watching the commander on the other side of the room give them notice. A single nod from the woman was all it took for Yuron to gesture Valeria forward. The Knight walked with the bard the whole way, eventually getting within earshot of the group that had gathered. Remus Varshtig was just about to speak.

"I would never claim to know all about the tribe," Remus was saying, his expression remaining cheerful despite the callous stare he was receiving from the mercenary. "That dusty old tome was terribly vague about it all, I'm afraid it isn't the greatest of sources. But I truly believe that you will be resistant to the Blight, if its origin is indeed magical."

"Knight Yuron," Cetri interrupted, "I believe I instructed you not to admit any travelers, despite noble intentions some have today, unless I was there to greet them. I assume you spoke to this woman?"

"Yes, Commander, I plead your forgiveness," Yuron bowed his head to the Knight-Commander.

"It is done, but do try not to break any more rules, Knight."

"You are too harsh on your Knights, Cetri," Hiki spoke, giving Yuron and Valeria a kind smile. "I welcome you to my home. It seems there are many who wish to discover what lies in the midst of this Blight. Would any of you be opposed to working together on this mission? There would be power in numbers, and I can offer you protection though I cannot join you."

"It would be a delight I'm sure!" Remus spoke up quickly enough, beaming brightly.

"Not a chance, Varshtig," Cetri told him, "we can't have members of the royal family risking their lives."

"And why not?!" Remus's composure suddenly changed. His brow furrowed and his voice raised to a little higher level. He was outraged, clearly. "You send these souls out to risk their lives to find out what the Blight holds without batting an eye, and yet we already know what the Blight holds! Death! Plague! Disease and corruption and evil magic! We cannot send warriors into darkness, they will become blinded by it and die pointlessly! They will need someone with magical expertise and the ability to study magic without harm. I can do this. If you will not allow me then what mage will you send? No one else has my ability."

"Peace Remus, Cetri," Hiki spoke, walking towards the man and putting her hands on his shoulders. Hiki was much taller than this man, the difference between cousins was astonishing sometimes. "I will allow it." Hiki glanced at the others that were gathered there. "Is there any objections to this plan of action? You will keep my cousin and each other safe, I trust?"

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Vergil on Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:47 am

A disturbance rang through the room when a knight came in with a late arrival. What good was a castle if such interruptions were allowed to keep barging in? Remus pleaded his case for being allowed to journey into the Blight after the Knight-Commander continued to voice her disapproval, and all the banter Eimhir found uninteresting was beginning to bore her. It wasn’t long before Queen Hiki resolved the dispute and asked if any of the to-be-traveling party had any unwillingness to venture and look after one another. “If these are to be your terms, then I have no grievances,” Eimhir accepted, eyes still fixated towards Remus. “You still have yet to tell us our first course of action. I would much rather know sooner than later so that I may prepare. Besides, should I stay here any longer I fear as though your warhound will continue to bay at me through her muzzle.” If there were one verse of sass that Eimhir would speak that day in the presence of royalty, it would have been that. Cetri’s rigid attitude was starting to get on Eimhir’s nerves.

Cetri could go on all night about how much she didn’t trust Eimhir, but the truth of the matter was that the so-called Knight-Commander wasn’t the one being sent out into the uncharted enclave. Cowardice in any form was just something Eimhir had no place for, and she would have held her tongue if it were not for the constant display of Cetri’s hesitance. In a few ways, Cetri reminded Eimhir of Raul, by the fact that they were both so heavily guarded in their work. The only difference was that Eimhir at least had more respect for Raul. Then there were these other two women in the room, one of which had yet to say a word and the other a little too flamboyant. Were they merely here for the entertainment? Eimhir never fancied herself an actress, but the woman who had introduced herself as Valeria Canterwall looked to be a different story.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Masquerade on Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:28 pm

Yuron led Valeria to exactly where she wished to go. As they intruded upon the meeting already underway, she felt that perhaps it was the wrong thing to do, and at the same time, it was necessary. The Knight-Commander did not waste any time in smearing Yuron with blame, iterating the rules she had set in place. It was nice of the Knight-Commander to wish to greet the travelers herself, but Yuron was very kind and less intimidating. Still, there wasn't much Valeria could say to a character more important than herself upon this particular stage, but she would speak up for Yuron, that much was the truth.

"O great Knight-Commander, I do wish for you to forgive this exceptional knight, Ser Yuron," Valeria spoke, bowing deeply to Cetri to show her utmost respect for it was Cetri that led this entire gathering of knights, seeing to their proper behavior and martial training. A lot rested upon the woman's shoulders, and seeing her this close in person it was clear that the burden she bore did not hold her down in the slightest. She was a marvelous figure. Valeria secretly reveled in her excellence, but she could keep her visage calm and composed.

"The greeting and respect I obtained from Ser Yuron...I feel I did not deserve, for it was so great," she continued. She did not have much more to say. "Were these different circumstances, I would much like to sit with him and talk over tea. But we all know why we are here today."

It was here that Valeria gazed upon the queen herself. Valeria had paid so much attention to this youthful woman's speech, and that frown that the queen had after it was all said and done had appeared in her mind. This was a woman with no answers, at least in regards to the great plague that threatened her nation. She appeared okay at this time, but to see a genuine smile upon the queen's face would mean so much to Valeria. That was her original dream, after all--a dream long since forgotten. To see the smiling faces of people no matter where she went! Yes, that is what she wished to do, but no one could smile as their family members and friends died around them to something intangible--something that could not be grasped. And then they themselves, unable to take the grief, end their own lives. That was a possible path for Valeria, but it was one she did not take. The Blight had taken so much already; it would NOT claim her.

"Your Majesty, Queen Hiki. I am known as Valeria Canterwall, a traveling performer," Valeria introduced herself to the queen and fell upon one knee, head bowed and eyes focused on the floor. She stayed like that for a moment before looking up. "I am here at your service to rid this land of its plight, no matter what the cost. I will see to it that Ermith has the happy ending that it deserves, even if my own ending may be tragic. From life or the afterlife, I will see the smiles of all the nation's inhabitants, including your own, Your Majesty." Though Valeria herself did not smile, there was a warm kindness in her eyes as she gazed into the queen's that could not be denied.

"I will travel with whoever you so desire, as long as they share the same mission as I. Their reasons do not matter as long as the desired outcome is the same."

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Silver on Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:02 pm

Cerys quickly found herself swept up in the commotion––the woman she had noticed at the gates demanded pay and no sooner than she had asked did the Queen deem it agreeable. Her knights may not have shared such feelings, but the Glyph Composer did not care how they felt about this woman or her requirements. If Hiki wished to pay the woman than that was that, not that the notion set any unrest in Cerys' mind in the slightest. On the contrary, she felt nothing for this woman, although the young mage could not deny that the blade wielder had something off about her. If Cerys were to have her way under Queen Hiki's view then she and this Eimhir would likely be working closely to one another on this mission against the Blight. Cerys' mouth thinned to a line. Caution would be of the utmost importance until true trust could be garnered.

It soon seemed her time to speak, but as her mouth eased another knight came in. Another woman joined the ranks: a performer who called herself Valeria. Cerys swallowed. Performers, traveling performers especially, often knew that tale. The young mage quickly decided that if she heard the first horrid syllable of that narrative fall from the girl's lips upon introduction that she could very well not aid the Queen. Not if she had to work under such conditions. True, she had come seeking to help and be helped in return, but she could not bring herself to that. She simply would not.

When Hiki did not immediately respond to Valeria, Cerys exhaled smoothly and stepped forward by her side. Her fingertips trembled slightly but her face was solid stone beneath a veil of peaceful water. Her silver-blue eyes focused intently on her majesty. "I too have come to offer myself to your cause. My name is Cerys Wren Shaere. Far be it from me to ask any more favors than you've already granted us in giving us council, but I shall gladly offer my life and craft to you if we could discuss my terms privately. There are extenuating circumstances that I would prefer to keep unknown to as many that need not know as possible."

She hoped that was not too much to ask.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Zerifachias on Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:17 pm

Knight-Commander Cetri glanced towards the woman Valeria as the bard addressed her and told her of all Yuron had done. The Knight-Commander remained quiet, almost contemplative after Valeria had spoken. Cetri cast her gaze to Yuron, but kept her silence as a sign of recognition. Knight Yuron's posture relaxed the very slightest, and a slight whisper of thanks could be heard from behind her helm, though no man nor woman in the hall would hear them. Valeria's praise, whether she knew it or not, would spare Yuron from being punished that day. Perhaps the Knight would seek Valeria once more, to offer her help.

Queen Hiki, on the other hand, listened to all whom spoke to her and intended to reply to them all in kind. First she acknowledged Valeria with a slight bow of her head in recognition. "I too hope that one day naught but smiles remain on the faces of my people," Hiki said to the bard, "your cheer will certainly be a welcome change to the doom and gloom surrounding us these days."

"Not to mention splendid performances," Remus added on tactfully, winking over at the woman. "I saw you in Jesu City before, Miss Canterwall. You put on quite the show, and I must say - it was a welcome distraction from my studies. If I remember correctly, you had the whole city practically eating out of your hands. Splendidly well done. Manipulation of crowds will certainly be a useful tool in future travels, I'm sure."

Queen Hiki raised an eyebrow over to the Varshtig, but he did not seem to mind or even flinch from her gaze. He merely shrugged his shoulders and bowed eloquently to her, one hand delicately across his chest and the other outstretched and legs intertwined as he bent into a full right angle. "My Queen, I must bid that we speed up the process, there is much preparing to do."

"The process would be speedy if you would stop interrupting, Lord Varshtig," Cetri commented absently.

"As you were then."

"I agree with Remus. Forgive me," Hiki directed these next words to the newest speaker, Cerys she called herself. "To be in privacy would not exclude my Knight-Commander, you understand. But I will give to you as much security away from prying eyes and ears as possible, Lady Cerys. Knight Yuron, see to Lady Cerys please, once we are finished here. My quarters will do nicely, and should she need anything, you shall give her."

"Yes, Your Majesty." Yuron bowed to the queen.

"Good. To you Lords and Ladies, though you may not have these titles officially, I shall give you power within my realm. I shall give a letter of significance to my cousin so that, wherever you go, my people will know your purpose. Unfortunately, Lady Ranara, I do not know where you should start searching. The Blight hangs over the Eastern Plains, past the river forest, but going into it without any knowledge of it before hand. I suggest then first visiting Jesu City and the Historium. Perhaps the Headmaster will be willing to open the vault of knowledge for you there. Otherwise, studying the effects of the Blight on people or animals might reveal some secret to Remus.

"That is all I can give to you now. Take time to prepare tonight, you are to leave at the sun's first ascent. Seek each other before dawn in the Grand Hall here and make your decision where to travel first." Queen Hiki finished her little speech and nodded over at Knight Yuron, whom took a step forward towards Cerys and gestured for the woman to follow her. The rest of them were dismissed, Remus Varshtig the first to pick at his coat and quickly march out of the Queen's presence.

Knight Yuron led Cerys through the throne room back into the Grand Hall, but instead of heading out to the doors, she had Cerys follow her up the flight of stairs to the western part of the castle. They ascended the steps there and passed the balcony through an archway that led to a long hall. Great stained glass windows rose up on the left side of the hall, coloring the light of the hall and casting shadows from the rows of Knight armored suits along the hall. Each soldier stood at attention, deaf and silent and immobile, but ever watching. Upon the walls on the right side hung paintings nearly as large as the two whom walked through the hall. Each painting depicted a different man or woman, significant figures in Ermith's history. A mage of the Varshtig clan was included, a woman of undeniable power and aura with the Varshtig's trademark violet eyes and long, black hair.

"Yeva Varshtig," Knight Yuron announced to no particular question. "Mother of the Varshtig clan, they reside mostly in Jesu City now, but once were a direct line to the throne before the Arnell clan took over. You can still feel her power protecting the castle today, a hundred years later."

They passed by the painting and several more of men holding swords and shields and axes and spears before Yuron stopped at one painting and took a long look at it. Another woman, this time clad in kingly armor and riding a horse into a battlefield, sword arm raised high while the other arm was absent. "Virkoui Reshe, the second Knight-Commander and an essential part of Ermith's salvation during the Mage-Burning years. Even without her arm, she had no equal. A goddess among peasants, she was, and an idol for many." Remembering that he was supposed to be leading Cerys onward, Yuron shifted his feet and moved forward. "Forgive me, I have forgotten myself again."

The Knight unlocked the Queen's chambers, allowing Cerys to enter. These were once the King's chambers, and with his sudden death there were still many of his possessions left lying about. A mannequin of wood stood on one end of the room, dressed in the very same kingly armor that Virkoui Reshe had worn in that painting. A heavy desk sat against the wall, papers spread across the table and a map of the country pinned to the wall behind it. The bed was made of hardy oak and covered in many light sheets of linen and silk with pillows of golden feathers. Extravagance was not a typical trait of the current reign, but there was a standard to live up to.

Knight Yuron waited by the door until the Queen and the Knight-Commander came and dismissed the Knight. Once Yuron was out of sight, Cetri closed the door to the quarters and sat by them, her ears primed and listening for any possible eavesdroppers. Queen Hiki approached the mannequin and removed her crown with a bit of a sigh, placing it on top of the thing before turning to Cerys. She ran her hands through her hair and down the long, thin braid that fell from the back of her head down to her ankles.

"Lady Cerys, was it not?" Hiki asked kindly, "You asked for a private audience, and I'm afraid that this is the best I can do. Even if I ordered her to, Cetri would not leave my side, not even if you were my sister. Now tell me, what can I do for you?"

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Masquerade on Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:43 pm

So it was settled.  Valeria would journey with these folks, one of which was the queen's own family, and together they would search for a way to rid the world of the Blight that had taken so much from the inhabitants.  Valeria kindly excused herself as the others had their own matters to attend to.  She did not go very far, however, returning to the entrance hall and taking a seat on a nice little chair against the wall that she presumed was for people waiting for their audience with Her Highness.  There were other chairs too.  From her curtain she produced a notebook and pen and began writing in it what had occurred in the audience chamber.  She would need this material if she were to properly tell the tale after the struggle had ended, should that it end well at all.  

When she finished, she shut the book and slipped it into her curtain with the pen where the two items seemingly disappeared from existence entirely.  She let her eyes wander around the hall.  It was finely crafted and looked great.  What a wonderful place this would be to live.  She never once dreamed of living in a castle, though.  She knew her life would lead her from place to place.  She would have no true home.  She could only call the rooms she stayed in at the inns her home because that would be the only place she could get respite and relax after a day of performing.  Sometimes she would even have to camp in the woods but she never feared.

As she idled in the area, she pondered what sorts of abilities the others possessed.  Would they be able to defend themselves adequately?  Surely with so many people they could triumph over most obstacles.  It was an interesting thing to think about.  She thought about Lady Cerys and how she requested a private audience.  What was it that the woman was after?  Was she not afraid that it would make her seem suspicious to the rest of the venturing party?  Perhaps there was no need for concern, but it was funny how effortlessly she had made her request without any mention to the others.  It might be worth to keep an eye on her in particular.

Thoughts of Ser Yuron surged through Valeria's mind. She would have to purchase a bird that she could use for postage to keep in touch with the kind knight. Maybe when next she came to this city she would be able to meet with him and they could actually go out and do something. She might not have any power of the knights, but surely Cetri wouldn't mind her borrowing him for a small bit. It was but a meager request, after all, and she would be sure not to keep him for long. It had been a long time since she deigned really wish to talk with anyone, but she felt that perhaps Yuron could be the first true friend she had had in years. It had been such a long time since she placed any amount of trust in anyone in fear that she might lose them as she had lost everyone in her past in no time at all. For now she would remain quiet. Her only words would be for the performance, and boy was it sure to be a grand one now.

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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

Post by Vergil on Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:48 am

That had been the second time the queen had mispronounced Eimhir’s Vanchelian name, calling her “Ranara” when she already stated it was “Ragnara”. Perhaps it was pronounced as such in their royal dialect for all she knew; Eimhir never voiced a protest to correct her anyway. As soon as the contract was secure and she could take her leave, Eimhir performed her introductory haka again, only this time reversing the position of her hands and legs as to signify a farewell instead of a greeting. Eimhir left the confines of the castle, passing Valeria on the way. She had traveled just near the agrarian section of the city near a woodland stream where she stopped at her home. It was a conical lodging constructed from canvas to serve as a portable dwelling. Raul had always insisted Eimhir live with him in one of the rooms of the Hermitage, and Eimhir wanted to keep her traditions alive by living out in the wilderness. Eventually they came to a compromise and Raul agreed to let Eimhir sleep wherever she wished, so long as it was on land claimed by the kingdom. It always seemed like he was going out of his way to purge the Vanchelian lifestyle out of Eimhir by slowly conditioning her to “civil” society, which was one of the few things she could not stand about him.

Eimhir packed up her belongings and dismantled her tent, rolling it up into a neat volute and made her way back to the Hermitage. She knocked several times and delivered the password through gritted teeth, and was let in. ”Yer back!” Raul’s voice boomed as he welcomed Eimhir into the pub area. ”What brings ya? You seem to be in a good mood tonight… you didn’t eat another toadstool abuser, did you? I swear those people keep comin’ in by the bunch…” Just like that, he was as hearty and jovial as he ever was – a man of simple joys and emotions… at least from the surface. Through her many visits at the Hermitage, Eimhir had always made subtle yet thorough observations of the jolly guildmaster. She had suspected Raul had a winding past or perhaps was more secretive than he let on… all those passwords, all the security measures… he was so guarded of himself and his business yet met each day with laughter and merriment. How could a man that appeared to be so happy end up in this line of work? It was something Eimhir could not piece together and at nights it would eat away at her.

”I’m staying here tonight,” she declared, setting her tribal knapsack against the wall. Raul could hardly contain himself. ”Finally took me up on my offer to move in, did ya? This is fantastic! We’ll have so much fun telling stories, having drinks, playing cards with the boys, talking about our favorite playwrights, and sharin’ whetston-“

”Only for tonight. Don’t get ahead of yourself,” Eimhir interrupted.

”Err… what’s that?”
”I’m only going to be sleeping here tonight because I packed my canvas ahead of time in preparation for a job.”
”How the heck did ya actually manage t- I mean uh… That’s great news! What’s the contract this time?”
Hmph. I’d rather not say. After all, isn’t client privacy one of your… policies?”

The truth was that Eimhir wasn’t withholding information because of Raul’s protocol, but rather if she had mentioned that she had taken a job from Hiki herself, Raul would catch on about her accepting the suicide mission of confronting the Blight. It was possibly the most dangerous task Eimhir had ever accepted in her undertaking, and if Raul knew then he would surely voice his disapproval and would most likely do everything in his power to stop her from going. This was a grand opportunity, one worthy of the hunt, and Eimhir would not allow anything or anyone to deny her of its glory. ”How long do ya think you will be?” Raul asked, his concern growing in his tone. The fact that Eimhir was being more tactful than usual only raised his suspicion. ”Not sure,” Eimhir responded. Could be days… maybe weeks or months… maybe more. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be retiring for the night.” Raul looked somber and somewhat heartbroken at the thought of her gone for so long. ”Don’t ya… want to stay up for a bit for a couple of rounds? As always… it’s on me,” he offered. Eimhir shrugged and sat down on a stool; she may as well have one last night of drinks before setting off for an indefinite amount of time. ”Sure… why not.

Hours passed, and the counter was tallying up in ale mugs with Eimhir practically wobbling in inebriation.

”…So what happened after he dropped his blade and surrendered?”
”I ate him! Ha!
”I shoulda figured. I really wish ya’d stop doin’ that.”
”Oh yeah?! Listen here… hic… you man-harlot, you. I’m the last of the damn Vanchelians… or somethin’… hic… So you show me some damn respect, or you can… you can… get the hell outta my face. Urgh… do you have to be teetering so much? I’m gettin’ dizzy.”
I’m not movin’ around. That’s you.”
”Huh… oh no.”

Eimhir collapsed onto the counter with a thud and a sigh from Raul. ”Hey, Cynbel!” Raul called out loud up the stairs. A teenaged boy with long, shimmering azure hair emerged from the corridor to answer, dressed in black and brown cloth. ”What is it?” he spoke in an apathetic voice. ”Be a good lad and help this young lady to one of the quarters.” Cynbel hoisted one of Eimhir’s arms over his shoulder and carried her up the stairs, resting her on one of the beds in one of the many rooms of the hall. When he finished, he stepped back down to help Raul clean up the ale mugs.

”What’s with her?”
”Oh nothin’. She’s just a little excited for her next job, I guess. Speakin’ of which, why haven’t you picked up anything? Ya been kept shtum in yer room all day readin’ books, and it’s been days since I last saw you practicin’ yer sword form. A boy like you needs to be outside!”
”I just haven’t been feeling it lately. Besides, there’s no work to do.”
”Feh! Ya got a great destiny hangin’ on your lineage and yet ya always say ya don’t feel like doin’ nothin’. Why have a fine sword like yers if ya ain’t gonna use it?”

Raul reached into his pocket to pull out a brass key, and unlocked a compartment underneath the counter. He reached in and retrieved a large stack of papers, setting it on top of the surface.

”These are…”
”Jobs and bounty postings.”
”But why? I thought nobody wrote in for days.”
”Nah. I’ve been hidin’ these here this week every time Eimhir came over.”
”That only raises further questions.”
”Truth is… I want her to quit this whole lifestyle she’s leadin’. It’s not good fer her. She’s seen more bloodshed than anyone should ever have to… so much more lost to her than she knows. I’ve been hopin’ that if I can keep her away from it long enough, I can convince her to settle down for somethin’ more peaceful. That girl means the world to me and more, and I don’t know what I’d do with myself if she were gone. She’d be awful sour if she found out I was keepin’ these from her.”
”And yet you’re always saying I should be out there risking my life, fighting for what I believe in. Good to know how you really feel about me in that case. Too bad Eimhir doesn’t have ‘a great destiny hanging on her lineage’.”
”Don’t sass me, boy. It’s different. You still got much to see and learn, and ya ain’t gonna get squat in life by hangin’ around here and hidin’ from the sun all the time. When you get as old as I have… you see past the petty things and learn what you truly cherish in this mortal coil. I don’t wanna wake up one day to find out I’ve lost one of the reasons why I smile. Yer still young, so I don’t really expect you to understand that yet. Heck, I’d sell this ol’ dump and build a nice house with my own two hands out by the farms just for Eimhir, if it meant she would stay away from this life.”
”Isn’t taking her away from her home to live a life she never asked for the same things the Vanchelians did?”
”Don’t ya dare compare me to those savages, boy. I care for her more than those barbarians ever did. Now ya done pissed me off enough for tonight. Here, take this stack of postings and look through ‘em real good. I want you to find some work tomorrow to keep yerself busy. If ya wanna keep stayin’ here then yer gonna have to earn yer keep. Go on, git.”

Raul thrusted the papers onto Cynbel and dismissed to him back to his room. Shaking his head, he continued to clean the remaining mugs.

”That boy ain’t right.”

Vergil
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Re: Adventures of Naletia: The Beads of Light

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