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Author Topic: Nermeran Embassy  (Read 12185 times)
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Drea
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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2010, 01:59:03 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 2nd Hour of Guardorans (10PM)

At the mention of Ephron's name, Drea's gaze went downward as this Quinn expressed his condolences.  Years later, it still hurt to think of him being dead.  "No, you haven't made a mistake.  He was my... father."

Suddenly, Drea's blood drew cold.  "Considering the man died with no living relations.”  She lifted her eyes to see him staring hard at her, judging her reaction.  Dammit!  She gave him one, too.  Now what?  But, he revealed himself as well.  A slight twitch of his mouth; not a smile or even a smirk, simply a twitch.  However, she recognized it as smugness.  He had something on his mind.  Well, the truth was probably the best course of action here.

"You are correct, m'lord.  Lord Ephron was not my real father, but my mentor.  I was his squire.  I took his name in order to honour his memory."

Quinn pursed his lips, a twinkle in his eye.  "And I don't imagine you want to confide your real name to me?"

Drea bit her bottom lip before shaking her head.  "No, m'lord, I don't believe I would.  I can't see it doing either of us any good."

"Perhaps not.  But secrets can be a dangerous thing around here."

She hated being on the defensive.  "That is true, m'lord.  I hope that you have no such secrets.  But then, knowledge can become a great weapon against such dangers.  One never knows where errant rumours will lead one, if they were to but look."  She smiled flatteringly at him.  She was sure she saw a brief moment of hesitation in him before he spoke.  She had bluffed, but it seemed to confirm that he had his own secrets.  What are you hiding, Master Quinn?

"M'lady, you forget that saying about cats and their curiosity."

"No, m'lord, I am well aware of the dangers of too much inquisitiveness."

He nodded briefly.  "Then I see we understand each other."

She extended her hand.  "Perfectly, m'lord."  He brushed his lips over her hand, then excused himself.  Drea watched him walk away.  How much did he know?  What was it he was hiding?  She shivered.  Now here was an enemy to be wary of.



Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

While his wife chatted to the elfess harp player, Fruwee glanced about the room, uninterested in the idle chat of two women.  He spotted the buffoon, Tristram, who had cornered some poor fool and was discussing archiving the party.  The man had a great desire to be important in other's eyes.  It would make manipulation of him much easier, if there ever was a need to.

His gaze then fell onto the middle of the ballroom, where couples were dancing.  He spotted the redheaded castellan and his pretty wife.  He watched them for a moment before turning back to his wife and placing a hand on her arm.  "Would you dance with me?"

Tylannah smiled lovingly at her husband.  Always the dashing noble.  She placed her hand on her belly.  "I cannot, my love.  I'm far too unwieldy to match your gracefulness out on the floor."  She looked at the dance floor just as the song ended and another tune began to play.  "Oh, look, there is the Castellan and his wife.  Dance with her, gods know she deserves a more adroit partner than her husband.  He dances like a drunken dwarf.  And don't you dare tell him I said so!"  She giggled as she raised a hand and waved at the couple.  "Excuse me.  Moriah!"

"No, stop.  It's okay, I don't need to dance."

She squeezed his hand.  "Nonsense!  Besides, here they come," she whispered to him.  When the couple reached them, she curtsied.  "Moriah, could my husband dance with you?  He really is a good dancer, and I am not up to it."  She indicated her protruding belly.  "Providing that you do not mind, m'lord?"  She turned her gaze to the redheaded castellan.

"You, m'lord, can tell me how you discovered this amazing harp player."  She indicated the elfess.  "I must be honest; I'm trying to steal her away from you."

Logged

Drea's CD

Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
Salkazrian
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2010, 04:13:08 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

   “Oh!” Clarissa exclaimed.  “There’s Kaitrin!  I must say ‘hello’.  She always knows what’s going on.  But don’t tell her anything you want to keep a secret, she’s a terrible gossiper!”

   It seemed to Salkazrian that all of the women here were terrible gossipers.  Still, it was a great way to find out information.  From chatting to various lords, ladies and high-flying merchants, she’d discovered all manner of things; some of it useful, and some of it not.  Apparently, there was a shortage of cats at the Vardynn Embassy, and a horse master had fallen to a drunken death.  That particular piece of news had reminded Salkazrian how dangerous drinking too much could be.  So far, she’d managed to keep her promise to stick to the cha’ah.  In fact, the cha’ah here was exquisite, and she was bursting with energy.

   “And who’s this?”

   “Oh, this is Salkazrian, an old friend of mine.”

   “How delightful to meet you!”  Lady Kaitrin embraced Salkazrian, and kissed her lightly on the cheeks.  “A Seyelite; how lovely; I’ve got nothing but the highest of respect for your order.  It’s so nice to see us women telling the men what to do.  I’d join myself, but I don’t think the uniform would suit me.”

   “But you do look wonderful!”  Clarissa said as she admired Lady Kaitrin’s purple gown.

   “Oh, thank you, Clarissa.  I knew you’d like it.”

   Salkazrian shifted her focus of attention as the two women started discussing the latest fashions; she really wasn’t interested in such things.  Instead, she noticed how the other party-goers were getting more intoxicated.  It was a funny thing; if she had been drunk, also, then it would all have seemed quite normal, but since she was stone cold sober, she couldn’t help but notice how ridiculous it all seemed.  It was possibly even a little sad.

   “So tell me,” Clarissa had moved the conversation on from clothes, “have you met the new Vardynn ambassador yet?  I’ve heard a great deal about him.”

   Salkazrian brought her attention back to hear what Lady Kaitrin had to say.  She was almost certain that something interesting would emerge.
Logged

In military strategy, as in life itself, timing is everything!

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Ylva Rasmussan
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2010, 08:13:39 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Daywane (5pm).



In one of many workshops in New Santhala, a crafter finished his work. His new creation was placed delicately on the wooden counter.

Once it had been the skin of a Rimmilich, then skinned gruesomely from its owner, it had been soaked and tanned to become a humble piece of leather. In the craftsmen’s careful hands, it’d had been cut and beaten, shaped and sculpted, painted and decorated, till it flourished into a work of art.

Santiego Borgis thought back to only a day ago, when he’d first taken the commission.

“But it looks like one of Gorgar Urbina’s.” Borgis had mused, staring at the detailed drawings on the scroll. ”A master doesn’t copy.” He had offered to make the man one of his own designs.

There was a loud clinked on the table, the sound of coins. “It must be made from this exact design, and the inside must be painted with this…” The client placed a small jar onto the table, of what looked like yellow powder paint.

The artisan frowned, “That doesn’t match the-“

“Mix it with other pigments. And don’t touch it with your hands.”

Borgis shrugged, “Fine. When you want it finished for?”

“Tomorrow, by starrise.”

The trader shook his head, “Can’t be done. Too much decoration, too little time, you think gilding-”

Another clink. Yet more coins appeared. “Money can make miracles happen, Mr Borgis…” The shady customer left the man to ponder his words.

A day passed. After hours of sweat, and little night’s sleep, Santiego had created a miracle. It looked just like the design; though the inside coat of paint was a touch too yellow. It sadly still looked like an Urbina. A Borgis design would never have used that amount of gilded embossment, which the artisan had always deemed as too showy a technique.

The ripples of highlighted gold lines crisscrossed the surface, curving spirals fanned out at the sides like waves in a peridot sea, like a green setting sun.

Indeed the mask maker had to admit, the mask was probably one of his finest yet, and he couldn’t help but be proud of his little miracle.



« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 08:37:21 AM by Ylva Rasmussan » Logged
Kalína Dalá'isyrás
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« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2010, 04:14:35 AM »

Having barely finished resting her hands off her harp, she was approached and addressed by a finely dressed couple and the woman being fairly well along. It was hard to see the lady's face, as it was hidden behind a beautiful mask, but Kalina could tell the woman was well beyond pretty from the glow she emitted. It hadn't been long since the elfess had emitted the same glow, but the child which had brought her so much joy had been taken from her, something she thoroughly wished would not happen to this lovely couple.

"My, that was wonderful.  What is your name?  I don't recognize the language."

Kalina smiled gently, "It...is a...old lan-guage. Not said...by many. My name... Dalá'isyrás Kalína Mërénwèn, but Kalína - they call me." She bowed her head to hide her slight embarrassment at the situation, and the fact she was stammering in front of an official's wife. "I'm sorry....my Tharian...not very well."

She quickly placed her harp back in its bag in hopes to hide her embarrassment further, as she had not expected to be approached and spoken to by such people.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 04:54:28 AM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

Insanity is only a perception made by those who have yet to attain its greatness. While those of us who have already stepped inside its bounds find bliss in our utter madness.
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Ylva Rasmussan
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2010, 07:52:04 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)



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





Relieved at the break, Quinn gladly let his wife dance with the ambassador, someone who probably understood the art much more than he. Talking of music wasn’t his strong suit either, but the castellan did agree that Tylannah was correct; the harpist was of high quality. In fact, he felt strangely disappointed when the elven woman stopped playing, though perhaps the musician was shy and not used to the high praise and attention as those like Tylannah could bestow. “I’ll tell Bilius, our master of revels, of your high praise, m’lady. Though you will have to argue with him over musician thievery, I’m afraid I’m not the one to trouble with such things, I have no answers for you. However I would venture that the lady herself is perhaps the first to ask. I believe all the performers here are under only a temporary agreement.” He turned towards the fair haired harpist herself, "My dear, I am honoured to hear such music, now sadly if you both would excuse me, I have matters to attend to." The man bowed and took his leave of them, leaving the ambassador’s wife to further tempt entertainers and musicians away to the Vardynn embassy.




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





The young castellan’s wife watched as her husband just agreed with Tylannah, and suddenly she was dancing with the man, only a moment ago she’d being spying on. A blush crossed her cheeks. Moriah tried to hide her embarrassed face underneath her mask and concentrate on her dancing. It seemed her new partner was her equal on the dance floor. It appeared that Ambassador Fruwee could indeed dance. His lead was guiding but gentle, his musicality superb, his steps seamless. Moriah could have just closed her eyes, and danced like this forever, the music banishing away dark cloudy skies and dreary empty days.

Yet something felt off. While all the other partners exchanged conversation and happy smiles, Fruwee did no such thing. The lord just stared out in front of him, concentrating on the dance, totally mute. The young woman’s doll-like face frowned beneath its mask. This was a man who’d held intelligent discussion with her husband, made cutting smart remarks of Lord Tristram and who’d charmed half the people in the ballroom. The noble didn’t lack social skills, why be silent? Surely even the most dedicated of dancers would always try to relax and enjoy the dance. Yet every time she tried to initiate conversation, the man would say two words and be done. She’d tried to be flirtatious, she’d tried to be witty, she’d tried being sarcastic. Nothing worked. She was down to just small talk. “So where is Aeris? Is he busy, m‘lord? Normally he’s here. Though I have to say I don’t miss his presence....he always had a strange smell...”

The ambassador smiled, “Yes, Buttins has commented on it.” Six words. It was the longest sentence he’d spoken to her.

Arg! What was wrong? Surely the ambassador couldn’t hate her company after only a few moments of knowing her? He couldn’t think that his wife would be annoyed of him dancing with her; it had been Tylannah who’d stuck them together. What was it?

His silence was now grating on her every nerve. Moriah could feel a headache coming on, and asked the ambassador if they could go outside for a moment, “A few moments of fresh air on the balcony and I’ll be fine. Then we can dance some more.”

The ambassador thought for a while, then nodded. “If you need rest, we shall come back in time for the next dance.” He followed her out one of the large windowed doors onto the balcony, just quietly watching and waiting as the petite woman closed her eyes and breathed in the cold air around her. The delicate woman lifted herself up to sit casually on the balcony ledge, ignoring the drop behind her, her legs swinging underneath her like a child. Smiling serenely, green eyes looked up to catch the man looking at her, her head tilted to one side and she frowned beneath her purple mask, “What is it? Why do you stare?”




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





The jester, Edoreth, felt embarrassed, watching as the gentility passed them by sniggering slightly, sweating profusely in his green costume, his pale blue and white painted face slowly melting, colourful makeup drawing lines down his tubby jowls and cheeks. In the streets, his group could make old crippled men start to roll around crying with laughter on the ground. But here was not the street, here they were out of place, a joke, an awkwardly played out act of silly accidents and falling over, that just fell flat in front of the crowds of stone faced nobility.  

The large man grew sick of their blank stares and sneering frowns, pulling up his green pantaloons, he stomped off. His fellow clowns called after him, quietly cursing at him to come damn well come back. But Mister Beattie had had enough; the crowd weren’t that interested in them anyway. What was the point? Let them dock his pay, at least he’d have his dignity...though his wife’s voice appeared in his mind, “Dignity won’t buy food for the bairns!”

The jester wriggled through the labyrinth of drapery and found himself a spot on one of the balcony, out of sight, with the open air to cool his sweat-covered costume. Wiggling a fat hand around in the hidden inside pocket of his sparkly waistcoat, he was overjoyed to discover his pipe and a small supply of pipeweed. He’d told Veera that he’d given up, they really didn’t have enough money to fund his habit, but he was desperate and this felt like a bloody good time for a puff of Old Red Smokey.

He lit his pipe with a handy nearby candelabra and leaned against the lavish window frame, breathing the old welcoming smell of the earth, brandy and old cheese. Damn good propa smells...none of them fancy stuff filling rich folk’s pipe. Hmm...haven’t smoked this much since the highlands...

Watching as the tendrils escaped from the balcony into the dark cloudy night, Edoreth’s mind was drawn back to those dark years serving for the Griffins. At least back then, he’d been part of something, sure, he’d been so starving that he’d been skeletal in appearance. He’d served fools and been through what felt like the underworld. But at least he’d been part of something important. Now he was just a clown. Damn nobles...look at me...still stuck serving bloody fools...strange I ran into Dorian....

The old soldier peered out of his concealed hiding place, and glanced around, wondering if perhaps Redhead was around. Poor git, never got over that dead brother of his....

Then, he spotted a face amongst the snobs and bottom-lickers, a familiar face but one that didn’t belong to Redhead. His memories weren’t sharp anymore, but Edoreth was a knife when it came to remembering the old brigade days. The soldier’s ratty face had acquired a mask and a waiter’s uniform, but the fat jester still recognised the rat man for who he was. Oi, oi, what’s he doing here? Bastard should still be tied to a damn rock...

Old Beattie’s legs strained as he stood up on his tiptoes, trying to track his old friend, the waiter, as he drifted smoothly through the crowds. The jester watched as the waiter did nothing but innocently hand out drinks. Edoreth was going to forget about him and go back to smoking Old Red, when the rat waiter did something strange.

It was a simple act in itself. The man just picked up a mask that had been left on a table, and replace it with another identical one. It wasn’t that sinister an act. But it was a peculiar one. The waiter’s small eyes scanned the crowd, checking if anyone had spotted him. The fat jester tried to duck down, but his reaction was too late and the waiter caught a glimpse of the green tights as he hid behind silver curtains. Edoreth’s knees quivered, Gods damn it, he’s seen me!  





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





Taking each of her new darling friends arm in arm, Kaitrin guided them towards the dance floor. A sly smile crossed her fair face and she leaned her head down to whisper as if the lady was conspiring dark plots and blackmail, not just repeating the latest profane gossip to reach the ears of the noblewoman.

“Well I knew his uncle a little, if he is half the man that Arnurd was, well then he’ll be one to watch. But I have only seen him from afar,” The Lady of Lorehaven flapped a hand elegantly towards the floor filled with couples dancing, “Look there he is dancing with Moriah, my, they dance well together.”

Her head turned, like a small child, she dreamily commented on the world around her, saying anything that came to mind. “Oh and there’s his wife, Tylanna, talking with Moriah’s husband. Though I have no idea what they could be talking of, the man’s a bore, knows nothing of the world except work and politics, treaties and compromises. At least, my Pargis can talk of the latest Faugars and new Scriabins, though his views on the matter are somewhat unrefined...”

The young Lady of Lorehaven paused mid-step and her pretty face contorted from the excursion of thinking, realising that her tongue had slipped. “Oh dear, I spoke too ill, you won’t repeat my words to Moriah will you? I don’t truly believe such things.”

The young noblewoman looked pleadingly upon the two women with her pale almond eyes staring innocently at them under long curled eyelashes. But before she continued her case further, the lady was distracted again by another sight, making her completely forget her mistake, her current guilt vanishing as quickly as it appeared. Ignoring her heartbeat, Kaitrin spoke in her most casual tone, “Oh here comes Lord Valdimarr, but why does the man hurry so?”

Indeed there could be seen a blond haired mane sliding effortlessly towards them through the thick crowd. Luckily the man stopped his quick pace before he crashed into Clarissa’s bodice, though perhaps, secretly neither of them would have minded such an occurrence. A smile lit up his face. “Ah, Kaitrin, I hope I do not disturb you.” With that, the man jumped down and hid behind the three women’s figures.

The young Lady of Lorehaven frowned, confused as why the man was crouching behind them. “What are you doing Lord Valdimarr?!”

“Hiding, my dear Kaitrin, now please kindly not use my family name, Jarl will do.”
The noble chanced a smile at the red attired warrior woman and her pretty friend in the green dress, “Lord Craske and Lord Seyelt have been hounding me all night, I’ve had to keep in the shadows. They seek an argument with me, somehow, they believe that I’ve offended them, I can’t think why, I just talked of land and politics.”

He smiled a wry smile at the women, and glanced again at the beautiful blond in the green dress. “So I’ve made my way to the dance floor in hopes of getting rid of them by dancing with someone completely enchanting.”

Kaitrin watched as the man stared at Clarissa, no doubt completely enthralled by the woman. Reluctantly she introduced the two other women, “Jarl, this is Clarissa Solosis and Salkazrian.”

The young noble turned towards the red masked individual. Ah, the armour, the badge, it all added up to indicate that the woman was a seyelite, which probably meant that flirtation and charm was not work with her. “Ah, I suppose you must be here to guard your friend against unwanted advances! I am honoured to meet you; I admire your Order greatly. Now, surely you wouldn’t mind me whisking your employer away for just a dance or two? I will promise that no harm comes to her.”

The man then smiled, grabbing his mask from a nearby table, he pulled Clarissa excitedly after him onto the dance floor. The green clothed and blond haired couple became another part of the crowd, dancing in the sway of the music.

Kaitrin sighed, watching as Clarissa was swept away to dance with Jarl. As much as she loved Pargis, his being thirty years hereolder meant that the man never danced. Cards and brandy were more his thing. Often the two could go for days without any sort of interaction, but they did try to talk to each other at breakfast. It was a lovely life, but one still lacking in dancing.

The young noble woman decided to try to make conversation with the peculiarly dressed Seyelite, though sadly her choices of conversation topics were rather limited. “I suppose Seyelite don’t marry? I mean you must be far too busy soldering, fighting and that sort of thing, to be able to settle down and raise a family....”

 As Kaitrin talked, two angry looking noble in well polished armour, stormed into the ballroom, one stout and one broad, one fair and one dark, but both sporting well trimmed and combed beards. Spotting Jarl, they began to push people out the way. A few shouts and angry exclamations could be heard as they barged their way towards the dancing noble. The man himself noticed not a thing, completely enthralled with the lovely woman he danced with.

Only when his partner was carelessly pushed aside and a fist came flying towards him, did he realise. But by then it was too late, Jarl went flying to the floor, almost trodden on by panicking and angry nobility, the young blond man staggered to his feet, wiping the blood from his face, “You’ll spill blood in the king’s presence, at a ball, Seyelt? Over a little disagreement...” Whump. Another punch, this time in the stomach, the slender man fell again to the floor.

Seyelt and Craske closed in on the bent over figure, but before they could do anything, two brave nobles tackled them to ground. “To me!” Called out Craske, and with that chaos broke out as half the men in the hall appeared to come to their aid, while the other half came to Jarl’s.

What before had been a peaceful social event, now became a scuffle. Musicians and entertainers dived out the way of drunken brawlers. Waiters cowered behind tables, with several old-timers muttering “Every damn year!” and “Always the bloody same!”

Professional bodyguards leapt in to protect their nobles and the king’s guard charged in to try to break it up.

The castellan of the Nermeran embassy let out a sigh of frustration. The former envoy started to search for his wife and Ambassador Fruwee, carefully dodging and sliding through the sea of rowdy nobility.

Lady Kaitrin of Lorehaven could been seen standing on top of a table out harm’s way, calling out in a very lady-like manner, “Pargis, don’t hurt yourself! Hit him with the chair!”

Grinning at the carnage, Ambassador Tristram just turned towards the compendiumist next to him, “Some party, ay!”
« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 12:12:34 AM by Ylva Rasmussan » Logged
Drea
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« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2010, 02:57:34 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

Drea was unsettled.  Talking with Quinn had unnerved her.  Her secret identity wasn't so bad in of itself, she really couldn't care less if people knew that Drea Corfuyne was not her real name, but the damage they might do to her family if they knew who Andrea Miner was left her feeling sick.

"Are you alright?"

Drea jumped, swivelling her head to see Corrigahn standing close to her.  Just great, last thing I need is him here to gloat.  "I'm fine."  She started to walk away, but felt him gently grab her arm.  If she didn't know better, she might actually believe that he was trying to be nice.

"Are you sure?  You can talk to me, you know."

Drea hesitated, then shook her head.  "No, there's nothing to talk about.  Where is the Ambassador and the Lady?  They had me shaking hands for them, and I wasn't able to keep an eye on them."

Corrigahn stared hard at her for a moment, knowing that she wasn't opening up to him, but not knowing why.  He then tilted his head in the direction of the dance floor.  "They are close.  The ambassador is with the Lady Quinn.  Lady Tylannah is over near the harp player."

Drea glanced to the dance floor where Fruwee and Moriah were now ending their dance.  They were headed toward the open balcony, and Corrigahn moved to follow.  She was relieved that the Captain of the Guard would no longer be questioning her.  Him being genuinely concerned bothered her.  She moved toward the Lady, her dress rustling as she walked.



Temporary agreement?  Oh, that was a great bit of news.  Imagine, this talented harp player being in the sole employ of the Varynn Embassy!  Why, they would be the envy of all the other delegations.  Tylannah curtsied when the castellan politely excused himself and turned back to the elfess.  She laughed, her merriment sounding as delicate as the tinkling of the crystal fluted wine glasses that rang with each toast made.  "Kalina, I think that is all I could call you.  Such a beautiful name, but one that is impossible to pronounce."  She inclined her head a bit.  "I think your Tharian is wonderful.  It has an exotic quality to it that I wish I possessed.  It makes you so much more..." she searched for the right word, "mysterious.  Yes."

Tylannah reached out and gently touched the elfess' arm.  "Tell me, Kalina.  Master Quinn informs me that you are here only on a temporary agreement.  I assume for the ball only?  Perhaps you might consider something more permanent?  My husband, the ambassador, and I are new here in New Santhala.  We have only just moved into the embassy, and have not yet been able to put my own touch upon the household staff.  One thing I am aware of, however, is that we do not have any performers.  I am quite the lover of music, and with not knowing very many people here, having music to fill the rooms would be most satisfactory."

She smiled her most charming smile though the mask concealed the harelipped grin, which was quite fetching despite the deformity.  "I would like you to give thought to coming to the Vardynn embassy and working in our household.  We would provide you with your own living quarters and a generous allowance.  In return, you could do small household duties, and when needed, provide entertainment for myself, my husband, and any guests we might have.  How does that sound, Kalina?  Please, say yes."



Holding the Lady Moriah in his arms, Fruwee felt things he rarely felt with such intensity.  She was graceful; she was beautiful; she smelled intoxicating.  As they danced, he moved her around with ease, her skill at dancing rivaled his own.  Even Tylannah, before her pregnancy, was not this graceful.  It felt so nice.  Too nice.  In order to not get lost in her presence, he concentrated on the others in the crowd, trying to put her out of his mind.

The dance ended, and Fruwee followed her outside to the balcony, so that she could get some cool air.  They were alone out here, and that put Fruwee a bit more at ease.  No prying eyes.  No wagging tongues.

“What is it? Why do you stare?”

He hesitated, then spoke freely.  "Forgive me, Lady Moriah.  I have, my entire life, believed that the women of Vardynn to be the most beautiful in the world.  Tonight, being among all these women from the far corners of the realm, I had convinced myself that I was correct in my assumption.  And then I was introduced to you.  I must admit, that I hope that you were born in Voldar or an estate near there, so my selfish ideals are not destroyed."

Moriah laughed gailey.  Of course she had heard men remark on her beauty many times, though a few more times from her husband would be welcome to her ears.  "Oh, my, Ambassador.  My, how you do flatter."  She smiled coyly.  "I am sorry, but I must admit to you that I was born in Astran.  My family controls much of the lumber milling in that area."

Fruwee let himself relax a bit.  "Then we have something in common.  The Fruwee fortune was made in the lumber trade generations ago."  He cleared his throat.  "Perhaps we might discuss business, sometime.  I could send my man to visit you and set up a meet at some future date."

"I am not involved in the business, m'lord.  My father had two sons that he has decided to share the business with.  It seems my worth was in my value as a potential wife and mother."  At this, she seemed to grow a bit more somber.  Then, she shrugged it off.  "But, please, send your man.  We can still set up a meet where we can discuss other subjects."  

Fruwee gave a crisp bow.  "Then I shall send my man soon, m'lady.  Would it be best if this were kept private between us?  Or would that be too forward of me?"

"For now, I think it best be kept between us."  She flashed a demure smile.  "And you were too forward long before that."

Fruwee was about to reply when he smelled pipeweed smoke.  It was then that he noticed a large garishly garmented man standing in the doorway.  The man was not paying attention to them, but was intently staring into the ballroom.  How much, if anything had that man overheard?  In truth, there was nothing overtly wrong with the conversation.  Still, it was best that as few people as possible know that he and the lady were engaged in personal conversation.

"Mayhap it be best if we rejoined the others?  Too long alone out here will busy the tongues of too many people, if I guess correctly."  He offered his arm to her, and they strolled back into the ballroom.  Curiously, Fruwee noted that the garish man appeared to be trying to hide behind the silver drapes.  Strange.



Corrigahn knew his place.  He was a bodyguard, not a chaperon.  Following the ambassador to the balcony, he set up a position where he could see out onto the balcony, while still inside the ballroom.  His job meant protection, not being privy to every conversation or move the ambassador made.  Obviously, the new delegate had taken a liking to Lady Moriah and wished a few moments alone.  Who would not?  Had Corrigahn thought the lady might cast a leering or lustful glance his way, he might attempt a private moment with her himself.  But, there were some prizes that only the most pedigreed of gentlemen could attain.  Though, searching his memory, he could not remember ever hearing any rumours about the Nermeran castellan's wife before.

One of the jesters took a position in the doorway, breaking out a pipe and smoking quietly.  Corrigahn regarded him for a moment before looking away.  He found Drea and watched her as she shadowed Lady Tylannah.  What had gotten into her?  Something the castellan had said?  What could that be?  In the time that Drea had been hired on to the embassy staff, this was the first time they had been invited to attend a function here.  It was unlikely she would have met him before now.  It was strange.

Suddenly shouts and noise grabbed Corrigahn's attention.  Something was happening.  A fight, and it looked as though more were gathering.  He grabbed at his sword and pulled it out and stepped toward the ambassador.  He wasn't completely sure what was happening, but he knew where his duty lay.  He reached out an arm and pressed his hand on the ambassador's chest.  "Hold on, m'lord.  Something is happening."  He glanced over to Drea, whose face was red aas shge struggled with her dress and petticoats.  Quickly, he switched hands with his sword, then reached down to the scabbard, where a hidden sheath held a handless throwing knife.

"Drea!"  As he called out her name, he tossed the blade toward her.  His was impressed with how calmly she dropped her skirt and grabbed the blade.  She was adept with weapons, but not with fancy gowns.

He then looked toward the Santhran, whose own personal guards had circled around him and were ushering him toward a rear door.

Somebody had disturbed the ball, and there'd be a steep price to pay for that.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 03:12:21 AM by Drea » Logged

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Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2010, 03:55:07 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

Suddenly something was happening. Finally...confusion had somehow gripped the ball but what was it all about? It did not matter as long as it could be used. Ylaya's sharp eyes moved this way and that before they zeroed in on the disturbance but the mass of people running about blocked her vision. Her ears now took over and twitched picking up a few words as she slowly made her way over to the brawling mass of individuals stepping over some upon which drunkenness had taken it's toll for this night. Humanity, how vulgar she thought.

Her head moved around as her eyes looked on seemingly dull until she saw the one she had been ready to take out in the corner of her eye. Listening very sharply her ears also picked up his name thrown between guards and nobles as they surrounded him and asked him about his condition. Now was the obvious time to strike whilst confusion was still at large...it could be the only chance she might get...she had to take it.

Slowly she went down low moving quickly avoiding the people dashing this way and that until she found herself crouched on a table. Her knee was awkwardly placed on someone’s head and this someone had definitely had too much to drink, but she did not care even as his face was plunged into his pudding. For now she could see the situation a lot better and that her target was on the move towards an exit. She had to act now!

Quickly as she could contained in her tight dress and with as much avoidance of potential people who could block her she moved to take cover behind a table that was in the general direction of the Lord and his ill prepared guardians. The large oak table was tall and it hid her from view as food began to get thrown around and tables pushed over...and she remained calm in the face of the conflict around her...after all her future was at stake. She knelt there ready to dispatch of her quarry.

With careful precision she slowly removed the two thin sharp blades from each glove and hid them under the shadow of her elongated arms. Her dark long gloves hid the blades very well as she knelt there and no one seemed to notice her...many seemed to think she had merely dropped something, well she would, but not yet. Yet one thing was bugging her, the tightness of the dress she wore, it restricted her knees from bending and she had simply had enough. Taking one blade quickly she sliced the centre of the dress so it had a slit and gave her more flexibility.

The blades she had were not the best for open combat, they were not her usual ones and they would only manage six or seven actions at the most before they shattered…she would have to use them with conservation in mind…and quickly. She also kept in mind that beneath her now ruined dress and stockings strapped onto her there was no armour…this increased her speed but she had lost an element of defence…any blows would be fatal…she had to avoid prolonged combat at all costs.  

As voices became louder and more razed her eyes and ears remained on full alert as she could hear them approach. She gathered herself together, blades ready...any second and they would pass directly infront of her. The first blade would aim for the Lord's neck, slicing across it and spilling blood, the second would be thrown immediately after at his head if it was possible. The guards could hopefully be kicked aside.

Then as quickly as she thought and planned it out she dived out from behind the table and made her first slice with her blade...but something had gone horribly wrong. A waiter carrying a dish full of empty glasses had walked infront of the Lord and his guards and she had mistook him for the Lord. The sound of shattering glass filled the ball under the yelling and brawling taking place not far away. Her eyes widened as the dish he carried slipped from his hands and a sliced white cloth floated down to the ground. The waiter's face seemed shocked at what he saw...and he had a right to be. To anyone else in that immediate vicinity she seemed like a demon with her black horned mask and dark gloves and partially visible thick black stockings…someone you did not want to mess with.

However, she had made a mistake and now she had to compensate for it quickly or run…but running was not an option yet. With her leg she kicked the waiter backwards into a small crowd and he felt the wind had been kicked out of him as her heel penetrated his stomach. Then before one of the guards could raze his sword to combat her she dealt the guard a blow to his head and slammed him with her elbow. His neck sprung backwards as he finally managed to raze his blade and he brought it down on her. Reacting with haste she blocked his downwards swipe with her thin blades crossed over and locked together. His swords scraped on her two blades as he tried to overpower her, but it didn't work and he brought his blade up. However his armour made him slow and she crouched down and took his legs out with a swipe of her leg bringing him to the ground with a loud thud.

She smiled and her eyes fixed on her target as she walked over his twitching body on the floor. A perfect chance to deliver a crippling message but she simply did not have time to do so.

For another contestant now approached, pushing the Lord aside and he was even better armoured with an axe and some plate.  

“You dare to strike a guard, state your intention or prepare or…” he stated under his helmet as she approached him…he just did not have time to finish his ultimatum for she was not messing about.  

He swung but he was clunky like the other and his brawling was wasted on her. She simply moved her head to the side and came from below delivering a thrust with her blade that hit the unpadded area underneath his right arm disabling that arm completely. A kick from her knee then sent him to his knees as she removed the blade embedded in his arm pit and it was stained with blood. She had to use her blades now on the Lord or they were not going to be in one piece to do so. She was running out of swipes, stabs and thrusts…but now her target was infront of her and the way was temporarily clear.

Now with a final kick she sent the Lord to the ground before he could pick up the axe his comrade had dropped…he had now been dropped for the second time. In the corner of her eyes she saw others coming to his aid, she had seconds…one blade was quickly moved behind her back as the other was prepared to be thrown directly at him, this one was razed. She aimed for his head...this would hopefully finish him or she would need to use the other to make a final thrust and then...she could make her escape quietly through the window.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 04:31:58 PM by Ylaya » Logged

Kalína Dalá'isyrás
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« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2010, 02:04:23 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

"Kalina, I think that is all I could call you.  Such a beautiful name, but one that is impossible to pronounce."  She inclined her head a bit.  "I think your Tharian is wonderful.  It has an exotic quality to it that I wish I possessed.  It makes you so much more..." she searched for the right word, "mysterious.  Yes."

Quite unable to hide the relief which washed over her mind and body, Kalína's cheeks and eyes visibly cooled with the sound of the Lady's words and sincere tone of voice. It was a comfort to know she had not insulted the Lady with her broken Tharian, yet her personal embarrassment, from her lack of knowledge in speaking, remained despite the assurances. She ran her slender fingers along the seams of the bag, enjoying the feel of its craftsmanship beneath her calloused fingertips. At a loss of what to say to the Lady, not like she would say it correctly though anyways. The woman laid a hand softly on Kalína's arm before continuing, not really waiting for a fumbled response from the elfess.

"Tell me, Kalina.  Master Quinn informs me that you are here only on a temporary agreement.  I assume for the ball only?  Perhaps you might consider something more permanent?  My husband, the ambassador, and I are new here in New Santhala.  We have only just moved into the embassy, and have not yet been able to put my own touch upon the household staff.  One thing I am aware of, however, is that we do not have any performers.  I am quite the lover of music, and with not knowing very many people here, having music to fill the rooms would be most satisfactory."

"I would like you to give thought to coming to the Vardynn embassy and working in our household.  We would provide you with your own living quarters and a generous allowance.  In return, you could do small household duties, and when needed, provide entertainment for myself, my husband, and any guests we might have.  How does that sound, Kalina?  Please, say yes."

A kiorna et tor eskal... Her fingers stilled as she took a moment to attempt to process the Lady's words, going over and over them in her mind. The offer was quite unreal and unexpected, as she had barely introduced herself before the extension. The colour slowly began to return to her features as she pondered on how to respond to such an offer. Thoughts spun as she tried to make sense of what was happening. The position would allow her the opportunity to feel at home in a place once again, while also giving her the advantage of being able to search for Ystein in her own time, hopefully he had found his way to New Santhala and her son was but a few days of searching away. The idea of being able to hold her son again was almost too much for her to bear and tears tried to emerge from the golden hues, but she quickly blinked them back as to not create a scene. How to respond to such generosity, as her Tharian struggled, she wasn't sure how to verbalize an acceptance.

"Ve-ry...much, " she nodded her head almost vigorously in an attempt to hopefully be understood from the three words uttered from her lips. "...y-es." Excitement coursed through her, causing her heart to flutter with anticipation and wonder of what the future may hold.

Noticing a lady, seemingly uncomfortable in her current attire, plodding her way over to the Ambassador's wife. Kalína wasn't sure who the lady was, but the look in her eyes told her - she was here on business and her enjoyment of the affairs at hand was minimal. Her reverie, however, was drastically cut short and so was any further discussion with the Lady in terms of what she could expect on a daily basis. A commotion had begun and had caused many to run about in confusion as to what was going on. "Drea!" The woman coming towards the Lady calmly dropped her skirts and ran into the fray, a look of frightening determination in her eyes. Before anyone could protest, Kalína rose to her feet and set her harp on the chair, hoping to see if she could see anything amongst the numerous bodies and heads roaming around the room. Making a split second decision, Kalína ushered towards the Lady to join her on the stage, buthere was little Kalína could do to actually protect her. There was a safety in numbers and the elfess could appear dangerous to fend off those who wished to approach if need be. Extending her hand towards the Ambassador's wife, the woman clasped it and Kalína helped her onto the stage to get out of the way of the masses. Once the Lady was safe off the ground, Kalína turned her attention back to the commotion, trying to think of how to bring things down a notch in chaos.

"Taelnori Fathiniol!"* She closed her eyes and slowly lifted her left hand into the air as she shouted, bringing the entire room to an almost dead silence at the sound of her voice, almost as if they were under a spell of dumbness.

The power in her voice was much more pronounced than when she had been singing as a deathly calm settled over the night's guests. Her golden hues glowed slightly with the power coursing through her, pulsating with ancient and raw power. It was the hope her interruption would bring at least a pause to the happenings and allow people to see clearly what they are wanting to do, to think about what they should be doing and hopefully make the right decision for everyone, even those not directly involved. She then lowered her arm slowly, lessening the effects of the calming sensations, but not removing them completely. Turning to the Lady, she then tried to encourage them to find safety.

"Sa-fe-ty?"



*Quiet Children!*
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« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2010, 02:39:44 AM »

   Yes, Salkazrian could see why Clarissa had warned her not to reveal anything too personal in front of Lady Kaitrin.  She was one of those women who spoke before they thought; a very dangerous habit to have.  Still, she seemed nice enough, and Salkazrian reasoned that she probably had little else to do with her time other than gossip.

   Lord Valdimar was a true lady’s man.  The way he carried himself, the way he spoke, his charming smile, yes, Salkazrian had seen it all a hundred times before.  It was no wonder that Clarissa had mentioned him as a potential new mate.

   It didn’t take long for the lord to whisk Clarissa away onto the dance floor, and Salkazrian couldn’t help but feel that they made a good match as she watched them move together.

   For a moment, there was an awkward silence, but then Lady Kaitrin started to speak.  It was a fairly routine piece of small talk, that Salkazrian had answered countless times before.  It always seemed to surprise people that she was married.  Perhaps it was because outside Serphelorian culture, men would never consider taking a soldier as a wife.

   Fortunately, though, the usual conversation which followed such queries didn’t take place.  Instead, two men entered the picture.  They were obviously spoiling for a fight.  Their body language and single minded determination to reach somebody were unmistakeable signs that something interesting was about to happen.

   Salkazrian excused herself from Kaitrin, and started to make her way over to Clarissa and Jarl.  She couldn’t help but assume that these aggravated newcomers were Lord Craske and Lord Seyelt; Jarl’s pursuers.

   The dancing couple were still a slight distance away, and Salkazrian could see that the two men were definitely heading towards them.  She felt her heart rate pick up slightly, and she unconsciously flexed her hand.

   Then, when she was almost there, one of the two men rudely pushed Clarissa aside, and punched Jarl.  Ignoring the floored lord, Salkazrian steadied her friend, and asked if she was alright.

   “Oh, Salk!  Help him!  It’s two on one!”

   Salkazrian looked over at the two men accosting Lord Valdimar.  She was sure that she’d be able to handle them, but before she had a chance to, the brawl escalated.  Some of the men in the room were coming to help Jarl, but a great many were siding with Craske and Seyelt.  It was going to get very messy, very quickly.  Drunken fights were never pretty, and Clarissa’s safety was still the number one priority.

   “Come on, this way.”  Salkazrian started to guide Clarissa away from the trouble.

   “No!  Don’t leave!  He might get hurt!”

   Salkazrian continued to lead her friend away, telling her that Lord Valdimar was big enough to look after himself.

   Just then, a drunken woman came looming out of the melee, and took a swing at Clarissa.  Salkazrian was on top of it, though, and caught the wild punch easily.  She then slid her grip over the woman’s wrist, and put her into a painful lock.

   “Ow!” the woman screamed.  “Get off me!”

   Salkazrian ignored the request.

   “Are you gonna be’ave!” she yelled in reply.

   The woman just squealed, and started to pull at Salkazrian’s grip with her free hand.

   Increasing the pressure on the wrist a little, Salkazrian asked the same question.

   “I said, are you gonna be’ave!”

   “Get your dog off me!” the woman screamed at Clarissa.

   “Wrong answer,” Salkazrian thought to herself, as she ratcheted up the pain levels even more.

   “Last chance,” she said, leaning in to the woman’s ear.  “Either be’ave yerself, or go ‘ome with a broken thumb!”

   “Alright, alright,” the woman whimpered, “I’ll behave.  Just let me go!”

   Instantly, Salkazrian released the lock, causing the woman to stagger backwards, clutching her thumb.  Seeing that she was no longer a threat, Salkazrian returned her attention to escorting Clarissa to safety.

   The whole dance floor had exploded by now, and it was hard to see a clear escape route.  Still, there was one way that seemed to be suitable.  And who was that?  Salkazrian noticed that Jarl’s bodyguards were leading him the same way.  Deciding that it’d be best to try and catch up with them, Salkazrian started to move Clarissa in their direction.

   Not far off, the sound of shattering glass caught the seyelite’s attention.  She instinctively flashed a glance in its direction, and caught the sight of a tall woman in a black mask.  She was about the same height as Salkazrian herself, and she had two knives drawn.  Instantly, Salkazrian’s level of threat awareness jumped into the red, and she drew her sword.

   “Keep very close to me,” she said to Clarissa, as she kept on moving, watching the new threat.

   This woman was completely out of place here.  There was something decidedly not right about her.  She kicked a waiter harshly, and made an advance towards Jarl’s bodyguards.  Salkazrian picked up her pace, aiming to position herself behind this sinister lady.

   A guard was down now, but the woman didn’t waste her time with him.  She obviously had a different agenda in mind.  Another guard blocked her path, and in no time at all, he was down, stabbed under the arm.  It was a classic move for a trained knife fighter going against an armoured foe, and Salkazrian knew from it that this woman was a professional killer.

   Still, she’d managed to position herself behind the woman, and had apparently avoided detection.

  “Wait here,” she whispered urgently to Clarissa, as she began her approach.

   Lord Valdimar was on the floor, and his potential assassin was readying for the death blow, one knife raised, ready to be thrown at the helpless man, the other behind her back.

   Salakazrian had no intention of letting her quarry know that she was there.  But she had no intention of killing her, either.  Instead, she aimed to ‘defang the snake’; a poetic term she used for disarming an adversary.

   With this in mind, Salkazrian swung her sword up, in preparation for the downward blow, which would hopefully slice the assassin’s raised arm just below her shoulder.
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« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2010, 04:25:21 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

It was now the time to strike, her eyes picked the perfect spot...right in the head...it was all set...but...what? That voice…she could feel the presence of another elf. Then sounds of disturbance filled her ears...she knew it had all gone too smoothly. In the space whislt the voice rang out Ylaya had time to concentrate her thoughts...something else was amiss.

For suddenly Ylaya's senses again sprang into action and her ears picked up the subtle movements behind her and her long ears twitched in recognition of the whispering that had taken place a moment earlier. Such a move was not unexpected and Ylaya kept calm in the face of the presence she felt behind her. Interesting that someone would attack her from behind...well whoever it was they obviously did not know they faced a Coór'hém Elf...very foolish...

...with her blade raised she had only one option and that was to drop the blade and face the new threat from behind. The voice seemed to dim; now she had to face them. Originally ready to strike like a missile the knife in her hand was dropped through her fingers and caught as she turned to face the sword looming over her from the rear. One blade she held infront of her ready to address the oncoming assault, the other she held in reserve ready to strike a single blow.

She seemed to be tense as she faced her new opponent for the knives were not meant for this kind of prolonged combat. If she were to take down this aggressor she would have to do it now or retreat. Only one thrust she thought as she prepared for the sword to come down. She would leap backwards and deflect it with any luck...but her priority had to be the Lord…she had to complete her mission.

To her this new attacker seemed more skilled than the previous brawlers, this she could tell by her stance…but for now the blow would fall…the next seconds would be the decider of this contest, she did not have time for.  
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 04:32:31 PM by Ylaya » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2010, 12:02:33 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

Drea listened to Tylannah and the elf with waning interest.  Whether or not they hired a musician was of no concern to her.  Just another face in the corridors.  She spotted Corrigahn standing near the balcony doors, as Fruwee and the Nermeran castallen's wife reentered the room.

She heard a disturbance across the room and swivelled her head in the direction of it.  Through the crowd it was impossible to see what was going on exactly, but she could tell that it was violent.  She needed her dagger and began to rummage through her skirt and petticoats in order to get at it.  Dammit!  This was the last time she would dress like this.  Either she would get to dress in her own clothes, or she would wear men's clothes.

She heard her name barked out, and she lifted her head toward Corrigahn, who was tossing something at her.  As it slowly turned over in the air, she could see it was a throwing knife.  Deftly, Drea reached out and snatched it from the air.  It was a good utilitarian weapon; well balanced and honed.  It did not have a proper handle, however, only an elongated tang to grip.  If she had to fight with this, she would be at a distinct disadvantage.  So, instead, Drea used the knife to cut a hole through her skirt and the layers of petticoats.  She then pulled forth the leather handled dagger from beneath.  It immediately felt better in her hand.  Not as good as her twin ephords, but it would do for now.

There was movement behind her, and Drea turned to look at her charge, the Lady Tylannah.  The elf had moved toward the lady.  Was she a secret assassin?  Drea tensed and flipped the throwing knife over in her hand, ready to send it into the heart of the elf.  Something in the elf's manner stayed hand, however.  It did not look like an actual attack.  In fact, it looked as though the elf were trying to help the lady by pulled her up onto the raised dais that was the elf's stage.

Drea moved forward and nimbly, or would have been nimbly without this stupid dress, jumped up onto the stage.  She approached Tylannah and the elf, but suddenly halted in her tracks, as the elf raised her arm and spoke in a voice that seemed to boom outward from her.  Instinctively, her hands went up toward her ears.  For a brief moment, the room was silent except for the fight that was ongoing.

A mage?

Drea stepped between the lady and the elf.  "I'll keep the lady safe."  It was not a request, but a statement of fact.  Drea then felt a gentle touch on her shoulder brought on by Tylannah's hand.

"It is alright, Drea.  Kalina means no harm."

« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 12:03:17 AM by Drea » Logged

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Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
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« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2010, 08:47:22 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

   A strong, commanding voice echoed around the room, and for some reason, Salkazrian felt a wave of calm wash over her.  It was an unusual sensation, and suddenly, the terrific din that had filled the hall became conspicuous by its absence.  It was almost as though she had turned deaf within a blink.

   “In warfare, you should remain cautious.”

   The soft voice of Jilorkath Xylibinxau, one of Salkazrian’s mentors, came clearly into the warrior woman’s thoughts.

   “Go into action only when you see that it will be advantageous; if you see no advantage, then stop.”

   Time seemed to pass in slow motion as the assassin let her knife fall through her fingers.

   “The rule is,”

   Catching her knife, the assassin turned on the spot to face Salkazrian.

   “Be as immovable as a mountain.”*

   Salkazrian smiled slightly, and brought her sword down to a guard position, the point only a palmspan away from her foe.  Jilorkath was right; now that the assassin had turned her attention away from Jarl, what advantage could be gained by engaging her?  Lord Valdimar was her target, and he was still alive, busy scrambling to his feet.

   Even though Salkazrian had never been trained in the arts of the narists, she knew enough to understand that their chief weapons were surprise and concealment; this assassin had just lost both.  She had nowhere to go.  She was in a room filled with guards.  And she’d brought knives to a swordfight.

   Instead of pushing her attack forwards, Salkazrian merely took advantage of the silence, and shouted for guards.  Lord Valdimar was quick to join her.

   “Assassin; guards, to me!”

   Salkazrian watched her foe carefully; the feeling of calm was gone, replaced with an all too familiar tension.  Her sword was poised menacingly, pointing at her opponent’s heart.

   Would she try and fight her way free?  Was she suicidal enough?  Or would she make a run for it, trying to hide in the crowd?  Salkazrian was certain that she wouldn’t give herself up, and so it pretty much came down to that; fight or flight.

*   From Extraordinary Strategies of a Hundred Battles by Liu Ji.
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« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2010, 05:28:57 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

Ylaya saw the fat pitiful guards rally to the one who had attempted to attack her from behind. Her dark eyes carefully watched and shifted from side to side as more foes massed against her, she could slowly tell she was being slowly moved back into a corner...this was clearly to her disadvantage. She could not win this…it was not possible.

For some reason she had also lost sight of her quarry, but he was too defended to reach now anyway. What was the best next move to make? she thought as she razed her blades encase one of them decided to be bold...but then again they did not have to...where as soon she would simply be too overpowered by all of them to even strike back. She tried not to show her insecurity...but it was too difficult and she did look slightly nervous.

Accessing the situation and casting away thoughts of her quarry and the implications of failing in her mission she looked at the window leading to the garden. It was not far from the edge of the guard encirclement...if she could punch a whole through there she could make a get away through the garden and across the roofs the exact way she had come in. It was the only way and she knew it.

With speed she charged the edge of the guard encirclement and threw one of her blades at a guard making him loose sight...the blade did not penetrate...but the impact on his helmet dulled his vision and he swung around without balance. She readied her next blade to finish him but then…

…suddenly, the guard fell through the window she aimed to break through herself, it was lucky and at least now cuts were avoidable. For the second time tonight the sounds of smashing glass filled the room and the groans of an overpaid fat guard. Pitiful she thought as his arms moved slightly and she continued to move to the window.

As another guard tried to move in and help the fallen one she now reached her escape route and she used her blade to block the swing he dropped on her. However, her knife shattered and she felt the pain in her hand of the impact. The swing had been heavy and his brutal attack sent her to the ground clenching her hand. She fell to her knees...she was soo close to the window...she could not let her escape route be jeopardized now…but how to get past this last obstacle.

He hung over her like someone who thought they were superior…but what had he achieved? Seeing her other blade on the floor, the one she had thrown a few seconds ago she slowly moved her hand over to it and looked at his unprotected undercarriage.  

He held his blade over her but failed to bring it close enough so she could not make a strike against him before he could

“You are under arrest woman, but I will not strike a lady again…but move and you give me no choice” he said trying to come from a moral high ground. He failed to impress her and her eyes looked at him in an innocent way trying to make him lower his senses.

In this world women can do just as much damage as men and this chivalrousness, what a fool
she thought.

With no remorse she delivered a quick thrust and stuck her blade through the lower part of his leg and up into his waist. In response to this assault from below he yelled in pain and failed to deliver the second swing of his blade. She then stood up ready for more...but now she had to run. Removing the knife before he fell to the ground she crawled over the other guard who hung almost lifeless on the window frame. The other guards in the room looked at her in disbelief and with reasoned concern seeing the number of there fellow comrades immobilised infront of their eyes. Her physical appearance even made some of them a little less disciplined than usual and that was even without her revealing her face. They were bigger and stronger, but ultimately too slow for her.    

Ylaya simply smiled at the injured victims she had put down on the floor, but she had no time to stop and gloat…she had to escape. Jumping from inside the window onto a wall she then back flipped below into the rows of hedges that made up the garden. When she hit the grass she held her blade behind her back and ran into the darkness of the gardens. She did not look back and could not see whether she was being followed…at least she still retained one weapon if someone did attempt to pursue.  

Thoughts of failures jumped into her mind and she wondered what her employer’s response would be to failure, even though it was really no fault of her own. Would it be possible to give him something else if he did not see the night from her perspective…that all depended on how much of a man he really was…she would have to wait and see. As these thoughts filled her mind her mask fell from her face onto the ground, it had slipped off due to the scuffles…but she would have to leave it.

As she kept on running it could be seen that all that remained of her presence was the black mask and a shattered blade now expelled over the floor near the window…the assassin had fled.    
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 05:34:10 AM by Ylaya » Logged

Salkazrian
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« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2010, 04:10:49 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

   Salkazrian watched her opponent carefully, noticing the long, elven ears, and dark hair.  She almost spat on the floor when she realised that she was facing a dark elf.  The Diorye’oleal always seemed to be involved in trouble, and Salkazrian had spilt plenty of their blood whilst defending the land of her ancestors in the north.  A rush of anger came over her, and it was hard to remain in control and not launch a devastating attack.  Still, plenty of guards had arrived now, and the masked assassin was quickly getting trapped.  Salkazrian knew that now was the time to try and calm things down, to try and dissolve some of the tension.  If she attacked now, the elf would fight ferociously for her life, like a cornered rat.

   Yes, now was the time to start a dialogue, offering the assassin a way out that wouldn’t end in her immediate death.  Unfortunately, Seyela had other plans in store.  A piercing scream came from behind her, and Salkazrian knew that it was Clarissa.

   “Oh!  Salk!  Stop her!”

   There was an urgency in Clarissa’s voice that couldn’t be ignored; her protection was, after all, Salkazrian’s number one priority.  And besides, the other guards would be able to handle a single dark elf.

   Salkazrian edged backwards, letting a hefty man take her place in the circle.  Then, she turned her attention to Clarissa, who was being attacked by another woman.  It was a messy affair, with lots of hair pulling and vicious scratching.  A sword would do more harm than good here, so Salkazrian sheathed her blade, and ran over to the two battling women.

   “Oy!  Get off ‘er!” Salkazrian yelled as she wrapped her arm around the neck of Clarissa’s assailant.  A muffled cry came in response.  Even though Salkazrian only had one arm, she was still able to apply pressure to the choke that she had applied, by gripping her own breast binding and squeezing.  Then, feeling that the hold was strong enough, she dragged the woman backwards.

   Clarissa was obviously shaken, and her face was covered in blood.  Things seemed to be under control, though, so Salkazrian shot a quick glance over to the guards, to see if they had arrested the assassin yet.  Unfortunately, it seemed as though the dark elf was putting up a spirited fight.  Salkazrian cursed under her breath.

   Just then, a large, red-faced man came lurching forwards from out of the gathered onlookers.

   “Take your hands off my wife!” he shouted, heading straight for Salkazrian.  The man was really upset, and he was carrying a heavy-looking walking stick.

   “There we go,” Salkazrian thought to herself, as she felt the woman she was holding fall unconscious.  The agitated husband cried out as he watched his wife fall to the floor like a sack of potatoes.

   “What have you done to her?” he yelled, raising his stick into a threatening position.

   Salkazrian shot another look over to the guards, and was horrified to see that the fight was still ongoing.  Fools!  Why hadn’t they got control of the situation yet?

   “Sir, your wife is perfectly alright, I assure you.”

   Before Salkazrian could say anymore, the man’s stick came flying towards her in a forehand strike.  Instinctively, Salkazrian launched forwards, angling her body slightly and shooting her hand out to check the progress of her latest assailant’s blow.  The move worked, and the strike was stopped before it had chance to gain any real momentum.  Then, as fast as lightning, Salkazrian slid her hand down, and onto the base of the walking stick.  She then twisted it violently away from the man’s thumb, peeling it out of his grip.  She now had the stick, and she used the butt of it to deliver a vicious backhand blow to the side of the man’s unprotected chin.  Almost in slow motion, he collapsed to the floor, joining his wife in unconsciousness.

   Wasting no time, Salkazrian dropped the stick, and drew her sword again.  A quick look confirmed that Clarissa was okay, she was sitting on a table, her face pale from shock, but she was alright.

   “I’ll be with you in a blink!”  Salkazrian shouted as she ran past, back to the group of guards.

   “Where is she?  Where’s the assassin?”

   One of the guards pointed to a smashed window nearby.

   “She jumped through that.”

   Salkazrian ran over to the window, and looked out.  It was difficult for her to see much, but it was clear that the dark elf had managed to survive the fall.  Another curse escaped Salkazrian’s lips.  She’d give chase herself, but she had another priority tonight.

   “Did anyone follow her?” she asked another guard.  He shook his head, and looked at Salkazrian as though she were mad.

   “Well we need to give chase, she can’t be far.  She must have a place to escape to, somewhere that she’s got her things.  And a dark elf shouldn’t be too hard to find!  She’s the first of her kind I’ve seen in a long time.  Raise the alarm!”

   A few of the guards voiced their agreement, and a number of men set off in pursuit.

   “I must thank you, ma’am.”  Salkazrian turned, and saw Lord Valdimar standing in front of her.  Clarissa was standing beside him.  “You have almost certainly saved my life!”

   “Don’t thank me,” Salkazrian replied, “I only did what had to be done.”

   “No, Salk,” Clarissa said, “You really did save his life!  If it hadn’t been…”

   Salkazrian cut her off with a wave of her hand and a noisy refusal.  “Save the praise, Clarry; the assassin is still on the loose.”

   Clarissa’s face fell a little as she realised that it was true.

   “Tell me, Lord Valdimar, are there any who would want you dead?”

   The lord smiled wryly.  “Too many, I’m afraid.”

   Salkazrian snorted slightly.  “Seems as though you’re Mr and Mrs Popular tonight,” she said jokingly.  “Come on, let’s get out of here, I’m afraid your friend has just come round.”  Salkazrian pointed to the woman who had attacked Clarissa earlier.  She was on her knees, and rubbing her neck.

   “Yes, let’s,” Clarissa replied.

   “I wonder if I could join you,” Lord Valdimar said.  “I must confess, I’m still a little shaken, and I don’t relish the idea of running into that assassin again.  Well, not by myself, anyway, and I have a terrible feeling that she may still be on the premises, waiting for another chance.”

   Salkazrian nodded her approval.  “I have no objection.  But I fear that the party is over; for us, at least.”

   “What do you mean,” Clarissa asked, a little disheartened.

   “I’ll need to find the city’s guardhouse and alert the constables.  The attempted murder of a lord is a pretty serious offence, and I have information that’ll help them find the suspect.”

   Jarl nodded his agreement.   “She’s right, Clarissa.  I’m afraid it looks as though the party is over.”

   Clarissa sighed, and nodded as well.   “Yes, I suppose you’re right, Salk.”

   “Now come on, we’ve got no time to lose.  Lord Valdimar, do you know where the nearest guardhouse is?”

   “As a matter of fact, I do.  We can take my carriage, it isn’t far.”

   “No,” Salkazrian shook her head vigorously.  “We’ll take Clarissa’s, it’ll be safer.”

   “Oh, of course!  I’m sorry, I’m still not thinking straight.  But come, to the stables.”

   Jarl began to lead the way out of the hall, with the two women following behind.  As they walked, Clarissa winked at Salkazrian, and beckoned her closer.  Then, in a whisper, she said, “I know it sounds funny, but maybe some good has come out of all this.  I mean, at least I’ve got him in my carriage!  Who knows where he’ll end up sleeping tonight!”

   Salkazrian smiled at her friend’s determination.  “You might want to clean your face first,” she whispered back.  “It’s still covered in dry blood!  And you’ve got an awful cut.”

   “Oh, no!”  Clarissa raised a delicate hand to her face, and winced as she felt the scratch marks on her face.  “Look, there’s a bathroom there.  Jarl!”  She called to the lord, who stopped and turned to face the two women.  “I need to wash my face, would you mind waiting?”

   “Of course not.  Though, in truth, I fear I have little choice.  It is your carriage we’re taking, after all!”

   Clarissa laughed effeminately at the lord’s words, and Salkazrian unintentionally rolled her eyes.  Fortunately, neither of her partners had noticed; they were too busy looking at each other.

   “Ahem!”  Salkazrian cleared her throat, and nodded towards the bathroom.  “Let’s not waste any time.  And you’ll have to join us too, Lord Valdimar.  I don’t want to let either of you out of my sight at the moment.”

   “Very well,” the lord replied. “Come, to the bathroom!”
« Last Edit: February 28, 2010, 04:17:15 AM by Salkazrian » Logged

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Kalína Dalá'isyrás
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« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2010, 04:24:18 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Guardorans (11PM)

The moment of calm and silence quickly passed, almost too fast. Most fights resumed after the moment had ended, and Kalína felt as though she had failed those who had spent centuries in teaching her their abilities and perspectives. Yet, much had to be done and many needed protection from the chaos. People were either staring in horror a the events happening before them or scrambling for the door to be free and safe from whatever was plaguing the few. Golden hues surveyed the situation with a solemn disposition, wondering what they best course of action would be to get her new employer to a save location and not having the bodyguard worried about her safety.

"It is alright, Drea.  Kalina means no harm."

Kalína shook her head in agreement, not wishing to make the situation worse than it truly was already. People were injured and others were fleeing, leaving those bleeding alone without help.

"No...har-m.?"

A guard yelled out in pain, and Kalína's head spun in the direction from whence it came, trying to find its source location. Hoping it was not the Ambassador whose cry had been heard, for everyone's sake and the Lady's. Gazing about the room, he eyes rested on a guard bleeding profusely from several wounds and an elfess, running for the door with blood dripping from her knives. Fury built up in the elfess as she watched her kin flee from the scene. Determined to make something right tonight, she lifted her right hand and followed the elfess with it at a distance. Then, she began to chant quietly, calling upon the power of the ancients once again.

*"Finwae laglah, daelr nais falurk
Ad lor yae ral'sie, lavaere dolurk
Tilam ren traell, tilam ren balewi
Tene ralto ren lunadar, ron kaiver ralewi."

The potency of the incantations was stronger than that of her previous attempt, as the correct steps were followed, and not forgotten. She kept her eyes peeled on the elfess who had tried to run, but she wasn't getting away this time, if she had in the past. Without removing her concentration, she repeated herself from before to the Lady's bodyguard.

"Sa-fe-ty!" This time, with more conviction and urgency.



*"Innocent blood, has been spilt
By one who runs, without guilt.
Halt their step, halt their feet
For soon their fate, they shall meet."
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Insanity is only a perception made by those who have yet to attain its greatness. While those of us who have already stepped inside its bounds find bliss in our utter madness.
Nai'r en'Lina ar'Kaimel
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