Adventures of Caelereth

Archives => Old RPG Stories Archive => Topic started by: Tomás Valentín on August 27, 2005, 04:36:22 AM

Title: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on August 27, 2005, 04:36:22 AM
(OOC: Your first post should be something along the lines of your char's thoughts upon the events that brought him to the ball in Chylikis, basically a reflection of his most recent traveling. Your char may not leave the ballroom, as there are guards posted at each exit to prevent any revelers from stealing the family jewels. You may create minor NPCs by having your char introduce himself to that NPC or something like that, but only I or Nystacea may puppet them. You may also create the NPC's appearance, thereby making my job easier. Please, only create NPCs that would be present at such a ball, i.e. nobles, citizens of Chylikis, etc... Also, Duke Tasul'i is not yet present at the ball, so you can meet any major NPC except him. You can create details of the ballroom as long as they do not contradict with the ones mentioned in my post, just remember that it is a ballroom and should look like one.)

Tomas leaned against the wall as he swirled the wine in his glass. He had not been in a castle since the day he left the home of his father, and such a place aroused memories he would rather forget. Duchess Sera possessed more wealth than his father, Lord Valentin, and this ballroom clearly reflected such wealth. It was quite a large room and could easily hold a hundred people without being crowded. A roaring fireplace at the front of the room that a man could easily walk into was the only source of light, casting shadows into the far corners of the room. The ceiling arched several peds above his head, an example of dwarven architecture. Guards were posted at each columned entrance, wearing the livery of the duchy yet steel armor gleaned under each brightly colored tunic. Each one wielded a pike as was customary for the town guard, and their stances revealed that they were truly capable of wielding such a weapon efficiently. Their purpose was obviously to prevent the revelers from wandering aimlessly within the castle walls, and such a wanderer might happen upon a secret of the family. Such a wealthy family often had secrets that were buried deep within their past, and this one had more than most.

Servants mingled among the guests, bearing silver trays that held glasses of wine. The feast would not occur until after the wedding, and the guests would have to settle for wine at the moment. Several couples danced on the hard oak floor, dancing to the music played by an elven bard. The bard wandered all over the room, even passing between dancing couples as he played his harp. His face seemed to be lit with an inner light, and a smile crossed his face whenever someone requested a particular song. The royal families of Chylikis and Brinsley had thrown this betrothal ball to celebrate the arranged marriage of Duke Tasul'i and the Lady Fenyn. The marriage was only a week away, and each citizen was excited by the benefits this political union would bring. Such families rarely concerned themselves with human emotions, so it did not surprise the young noble to see such a marriage arranged without the consent of the bride.

It had been a strange turn of events that brought him to this ball in Chylikis. His horse, Chaos, currently resided in the stables of the castle, and his bastard sword, Bane, had been placed in the keeping of the guards. Weapons were not allowed in the presence of the royal families, for they feared an assassination attempt. It had not been his intent to attend a betrothal ball, but the castle had seemed to be the best place to seek shelter from the downpour of rain that impeded his journey south. He had not wished to leave his beautiful wife, Valannía, but his wanderlust had once again overcome his desires to live a simple life. He would return to her and his other wives someday, to think otherwise would severely depress him. His love for them burned constantly within his heart, and he would not abandon them. He left Cavthan with no clear direction in mind, only knowing that he desired to see what existed over the next horizon. His journey had been aimless, lacking a destination and only his guilty consciousness accompanied him. The leagues had passed quickly beneath the hooves of his feisty stallion, and only the sudden rain had halted his progress. Anyone that had met the young noble often claimed that he did not seek adventure, instead he fled from the demons of his past.  

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on August 27, 2005, 12:19:22 PM
Ratdragon's elegant form leaned against one of the high walls, slightly slumped. His cloak dripped drops of water onto the floor. He had donned his violet cloak over his purple cape in an attempt to keep the rain out. It hadn't been very successful. With his hood thrown back, Ratdragon scanned the large room with his violet eyes, his exotic gaze sweeping the ballroom. It was larger than most he'd been to in his long years of traveling. The fireplace alone was large enough for him to fit into. Guards wielding pikes barred the doors, and an elven bard weaved between the dancers. Grabbing a glass of wine off of a passing tray, Ratdragon mused over the events that had brought him here.

He had just gotten finished with a mercenary job and had ventured to this city. Unfortunately it started to rain, hard, and Ratdragon had no shelter. Hearing about the ball, he decided it was as good a place as any to take refuge from the downpour, and maybe something interesting might even happen. He was constantly on the lookout for things interesting and exciting, and this seemed an oppurtunity.

His huge riding snake, Rip Fang, was currently in the stables, though the horses and stablehands dissapproved of this. His eagle had flown off to hunt somewhere. Ratdragon was not happy with leaving his weapons behind, but seeing as they were not allowed inside the building, the elf had stripped off his arsenal of arms and stowed them in his saddlebags.

Sipping his wine slowly, Ratdragon awaited the Duke's arrival.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Aurelian Cyrosa Asaen on August 28, 2005, 06:01:22 PM
Aurelian could not believe how advanced the guards’ vulgarity was when they delivered a summons from Duchess Rose to his chambers. Firstly they had not at all bothered to knock (or at least wait for an answer) and then, without even asking for forgiveness, informed him that he was to come down to the ballroom immediately. Aurelian in turn gave them a very thorough and ruthless tongue-lashing – which, he was now beginning to regret (the guards would not let him go back up to his chambers to refresh his cologne). Cyrosa did not find the tiniest fault in himself for his late arrival: To begin with, that dim attendant who was supposed to help with his hair appeared a full hour behind schedule. He wondered if it was possible for the Duchess to have handpicked someone more incompetent. Trying to curtsy, the foolish woman had emptied the entire bowl of herbal concoctions on Aurelian’s feet. Another two hours gone trying to clean the mess, retake a bath and prepare the infusion all over again… Further, the brazen woman had offered to assist him in bathing! However, even Cyrosa had to admit that she had a miraculous talent in hair-styling – he could not remember looking so remarkable with his richly wrought locks. The woman, once she finally started working, had even produced a sapphire headband (another gift from the Duchess) to match his sign of House.

Overall, as he walked across the ballroom to greet the other guests, Cyrosa was immensely satisfied with his appearance. The royal blue robe with its stylized, gold patterns turned out to be a most regal choice (although he still somewhat regretted not being able to wear his spilk clothes due to this terrible Sarvonian cold). It was worth all the trouble of having it fashioned in Voldar.

Once more he reflected on how morbid a place these Santharian – what were they called again? – ‘castles’ were. The halls were always dark with their accompanying cobwebs, a ceaseless freezing gust howled within the grounds, and perhaps most repulsing of all, an unseen mist of mold and decay hanged over everything. Aurelian could not imagine any of the Nybelmarian nobility living in such light forsaken, macabre dwellings (at least Anpagan keeps always proved to be intriguing with their endless puzzle-machineries and hidden contraptions). No wonder all the Santharian aristocracy drifted from one gloom to another depression – oh how he pitied the young Duke! He would forever be imprisoned within the dark halls of his state. The fearsome fireplace, as if to accentuate the sad fact, was casting sinister, dancing shadows all across the large chamber.

Suddenly he caught the Duchess’ glance from the other side of the hall and watched her interlace a path between the visitors. Aurelian carefully adjusted his spectacular amulet to catch the secretive light, and began his own intricate dance among the clustering nobility towards the Duchess.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on August 29, 2005, 03:51:22 AM
        Gararion stood by the fire, gazing into the flickering flames that seemed to stretch out towards him, almost as if they knew that the elf that stood before them was one with the air that they consumed with greed.  Memories of past nights spent within the Thirsty Herald on the outskirts of the desert that laid next to the great city of Strata.  The elven mage remembered friends from long lost adventures, some of which he had been through a great deal with.  

        The mage was attempting to dry himself off in the warmth of the fire, standing upon the stone hearth that stretched out form the fireplace.  It had just started to rain as he made his way to the ball, which seemed to gain more strength the closer he got to the castle.  Gararion had been travelling through Chylikis and was seeking shelter from the weather when he stumbled upon news of th ball within a tavern.  Upon asking direction, the mage headed for his new destination, hoping that this was the place he was seeking.

        As the mage come to the castle, he stopped, sheltered from the rain under the canopy of a rather large tree.  As he travelled through the city, his staff had granted him various glances from peasant and royalty alike.  With this thought on hand, Gararion spoke a few words of Styrásh, concealing the blue flames that engulfed his staff from sight, he hoped that this would reduce the chance that his staff would cause him any hassel as he seeked entrance to the ball.

        As a servant passed by, offering the mage a glass of the fine wine that their hosts were offering, Gararion could only hope hat the servants at the door would follow his word for their own sake as he lifted a glass lightly from the serving tray and watched as the servant moved onto the next guest.  Gararion minds trailed back to his admittance within the castle.  

        As Gararion made his way through the massive open gates that would normally block entrance into the castle, several servants welcomed Gararion, while a guard requested that the mage hand over his staff.  After a brief moment of attempted persuasion failed, Gararion placed his staff by the door and insisted that it not be moved by anyone, wether they listened or not Gararion would surely find out sooner or later.

        His mind drifting back to his present location, Gararion glanced about the ball room at the various guest of the room.  The mage hismelf wore his normal outfit, though slightly different in appearance through the use of several spells of illusion.  His outfit was fashion out of snug leather.  Black leather strings crossed between the eyelets that ran down the center of his chest.  His shoulders were covered in several 'armored' stiffened leather plates, similar softer plates ran down his arm to his elbow, where they were met by plates that ran in the opposit direction attached to his forearms.  The black cloak that he would normally wore was left at the door with his staff, in its place was one of the magical illusions that he had woven into his clothing, a transaprent cape with viens of golden color that seemed to swim within the 'fabric' as it moved.  What other illsuons the wizard had woven into his attire was not certain, though he looked in place in his dark attire nevertheless.

        As another servant passed by the fire, Gararion signaled him over to replenish his wine with a new glass and inquire when would this celebration commence.

Edited by: Gararion  at: 8/29/05 21:18

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on August 29, 2005, 11:38:22 PM
Duchess Sera:
Sera smiled broadly as she wove among the guests. Her hair was fashionably coiled on her head, and golden earrings descended from her ears. The seamstress had fashioned a silver dress especially for this occasion, it was radiant as it reflected the firelight. She did not know all the guests present at the ball, but that was to be expected as a duchess could not personally know all her subjects. She was pleasantly surprised to see a few elves among the guests, for she had always been fond of that fair race. There were even rumors that the half-elf Xalan was her lover, she neither denied nor confirmed such rumors as her love life was not the business of the people. Just recently a noble from Nybelmar had become a guest of the castle. He seemed to be a little odd, but she assumed that was the manner in which nobles behaved on Nybelmar. She had been polite and courteous, even sending him several expensive gifts. He had never been rude, but his shrewd glances around the castle seemed to imply that she and her family were uncivilized. In truth, he was the guest of her son, but Tasul'i had not been well in the past few years. The duchess was often the one truly ruling the people and attending to affairs of state. She noticed him across the ball room and began to walk toward him. He seemed to have an arrogant attitude, but it was her duty to accommodate guests. She met him halfway in the middle of the ballroom and curtsied gracefully.

"Hello, Aurelian. Are you enjoying the ball? We are celebrating the betrothal of my son to the Lady Fenyn. I am pleased that you chose to grace us with your presence."       

Lady Yijeni:
Yijeni walked among the guests, searching for a handsome man to dance with. Her sister called her a flirt, but that simply was not true. Yijeni enjoyed the company of men, and she especially enjoyed the company of handsome men. There were elves among the guests, and she had never danced with an elf before. One elf seemed to be garbed in strange clothing, and she had no desire to go anywhere near that one. Her green eyes soon came to rest upon a younger elf with golden spiked hair tipped with purple. His violet eyes were mesmerizing as she stared into their depths. Her heart began to flutter within her chest, and she gracefully walked toward him. She did not want to marry, instead she wanted to have fun with as many men as she possibly could. Some men believed that she was a whore, but she had never lain with a man and did not intend to in the near future. It would not be proper for an unwed lady to be alone with a man. She stood before him as he leaned against the wall. Her delicate hand tucked her black hair behind her ear as she spoke.

“Hello, sir elf. I am Lady Yijeni. Might I inquire as to what your name might be? Also, would you like to dance?”

Without waiting for his answer, she grabbed his hand and lead him onto the dance floor. She figured they could talk as they danced, and she did not want to waste time standing around. Her slender fingers interlocked behind his neck as she slowly began to dance.

Advisor Xalan:
Xalan stalked through the crowd, with a scowl on his face. He did not enjoy such social gatherings, as he considered them to be loud and tedious. A servant passed carrying a tray of wine, and he took a goblet for himself. A few of the guests actually appeared to be intelligent, and that was a rare feat in the small city of Chylikis. A few of the guests were elves, and they had always intrigued him. Running a hand over one pointed ear, he considered his own heritage. He had never known his father, as his mother had been a prostitute. She had been dust for more than two centuries, and he did not miss her. It was possible that his father still lived, as elves were often long lived, but he had no desire to meet the elf. He considered his father to be scum that was desperate enough to hire a prostitute. He noticed an odd looking elf standing near the fire, with a strange cape that had to be magical in its origin. So, it seemed an elven mage had decided to grace the ball. Surely the mage would possess some intelligence. He walked toward him and was soon standing before Gararion. Noticing a servant nearby, he motioned him forward to refill his glass and then sent him on his way. They were drones that barely deserved the meager wages that were paid to them.

“The wise stand among the foolish, that is a rare occurrence. The acorn does not fall far from the tree, but your eyes will see that soon enough.”

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 8/29/05 22:15

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on August 30, 2005, 01:19:22 AM
Tomas was not content as he leaned against the wall. There were several beautiful ladies in the ballroom, but he missed his wives. He would do anything to see Nisa, Aria, and Valannía again, the few months that he had spent with each one had been the happiest times in his life. He hated that he was forced by his desires to leave each one, and the guilt of leaving them alone to raise any children he may have father weighed heavily upon his soul. He often wrote letters to them, and he swore he would return to each wife someday and deliver the letters. They contained every feeling he had for each woman, and a few were even stained with his tears. He did not believe that he would be cheating if he danced with a woman tonight, but these women reminded him of those that often visited the home of his father. They wanted to be seen and to marry wealthy men, he sometimes doubted that a thought ever crossed their minds. Most women considered him to be handsome, and he noticed quite a few staring at him as they whisper amongst themselves. Soon one would work up the courage to approach him, and out of courtesy he would be forced to dance with her. He noticed a woman sitting alone, not enjoying the ball. Curious as to what could be bothering her, he walked across the room and kneeled before her. He looked into deep brown eyes, and it felt as though lightning had struck. The firelight was reflected in her auburn locks, and he longed to softly stroke them as she told him of her woes. He had felt like this four times before in his life, and he knew it to be love. There was no other emotion as subtle nor was there another emotion that so ruthlessly swept him off his feet. He was bewildered as to how he could love several women equally but in different ways, but he knew what his heart wanted. It was agony to see such a fair creature in pain, and his hand gently clasped her delicate hands as they were balled in her lap.

“Might I inquire as to what woes are troubling you? Maybe I can help.”

Lady Fenyn:
Fenyn sat alone as she considered her options. She did not want to marry Duke Tasul'i, but her father had given her no choice in the matter. It was her duty to the family to marry an important noble, and her father had been delighted when Tasul'i asked for her hand in marriage. She was horrified at the idea, for she wanted to marry for love. She did not love Tasul'i and she did not believe that she ever would. Several rumors about his temperament circulated the town, and she was terrified of the young man. She could run away, but she did not know how to survive in the wilderness and feared being attacked by bandits. It was not in her nature to harm another living creature, and she would not even consider poisoning Tasul'i. There had to be a way out of the marriage, but whatever the solution was: it remained beyond her grasp. She jumped as she felt a hand close over her own, and she looked up to stare into hazel eyes. He had to be the most handsome man she had ever met, and he appeared to be capable of taking care of himself. If his soul matched his outer appearance, then perhaps Ava had blessed her and sent her a savior.

"This ball is intended to celebrate my betrothal to Duke Tasul'i, but I do not believe such an event should be celebrated. I would rather throw myself from the castle walls than to marry a man that I do not love. My father is adamant in his belief that the marriage will be for the good for our people, but I know he lusts after power. I'm sorry, I shouldn't burden you with my troubles."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Aurelian Cyrosa Asaen on August 30, 2005, 06:33:22 AM
At last the Duchess immerged from behind the constellation of hoisted curls. Upon seeing him she curtsied politely:

"Hello, Aurelian. Are you enjoying the ball? We are celebrating the betrothal of my son to the Lady Fenyn. I am pleased that you chose to grace us with your presence."  

Three insults in four simple sentences; Duchess Sera should be awarded with a medal for subtle indictment. Cyrosa had to suppress a mental grimace and refrained from correcting the mode of address to “Lord Aurelian”. We are celebrating the betrothal of my son to Lady Fenyn. How skillfully did the late Duchess reduce him to an ignorant fool! Of course he knew the ball was in honor of the recent marriage – for the sake of Ankriss he had been staying at the castle for a full week by now! Although he saw little to celebrate in the occasion as neither party’s consent had been asked (and thus it was not likely to be an emotionally fruitful alliance) Aurelian fully understood its importance. A dear price the aristocracy paid, their marriages were ultimately marriages of (or in certain cases ‘for’) power. He could follow, even in this alien land, the political corollaries ensuing from such a union. ‘I am pleased that you chose to grace us with your presence. Of course you would be pleased,’ Cyrosa murmured within his mind. As if he had been offered the option of refusal after such a noble message heralded by three uncouth monsters! Not that he would miss the public attention. He merely found it rather irritating that the Duchess, throughout his stay, insisted in playing at such petty games to reinsert her authority.

It had cost Aurelian no more than a measly fraction of a shade-blink to orchestrate this round of mild resentment. When he returned the Duchess’ curtsy with the stateliest of Nybelmar (which almost a short dance in itself) nothing of his previous state of mind showed. With his most charming smile Aurelian fashioned his response:

“Ankriss set your path Duchess; may your gardens be ever blooming. I am grateful that you found me worthy of extended generosity. Indeed I am most grateful! Let the land crown this union with its flowering bequest! Speaking of which – if you would not deem it ill-mannered of me to inquire; I have not been successful so far at locating the Duke. The birds of bliss wonder where the proud husband keeps.”

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on August 30, 2005, 06:44:22 AM
Ratdragon stares watches the other guests with interest. There was at least one other elf, and a gray-haired half-elf. Before Ratdragon could analyze much further, however, a young girl with long dark hair inquired his name. What's more, she grabbed his hand drew him to the dance floor, causing him to drop his half-full wine glass. The girl wrapped her arms around his neck and started to dance.

Ratdragon was quite disturbed by this, seeing as he was quite shy around females, especially around assertive ones. Staring into her dark eyes, Ratdragon realized that she was very young, which for humans was infinitely young. Shakily, Ratdragon intoned his name, " M-my name is Ratdragon, Blade Singer of the Silver Sword, Lady.

Still quite uncomfortable, Ratdragon decided to make the best of it. He did enjoy dancing afterall, and did so with his intricate, refined grace.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on August 30, 2005, 11:34:22 PM
Duchess Sera:
Sera grimaced slightly as Aurelian began to bow in an odd fashion, it seemed to be a dance in the movements and time required to complete it. It may have been court manners in Nybelmar, but she found it to be strange and flamboyant. It was her duty as the Duchess to accept such guests into her home, but she would be glad when he finally left. He had been staying in the guest chambers for the past week and showed no indication of leaving soon. She had given him expensive gifts, hoping that he would accept them and quit her home. Her servants were exhausted due to his constant demands, and she feared that they would inflict physical harm upon him. It was not unknown for servants to attack their masters, and he had surely given them enough reasons. Sera would even condone such behaviour, if it guaranteed that he would leave her home and her city. She forced herself to smile as she replied to her unwelcome guest.

"Duke Tasul'i comes and goes as he pleases, there is no telling when he will arrive. I hope he is in a good mood, but he has had a quick temper as of late."

Lady Yijeni:
Yijeni smiled as he told her his name. She did not care what his name was, her only concern was that he was pleasing to look at. She giggled softly as he danced with her, she had never known a male could be this graceful. It must be his elven heritage that lent him such lithe grace, elves truly were the fairest race. She stared deep into his violet eyes and imagined the life they could have together. He would work each day and come home to a warm meal and their children. There were half-elves in the city, so she knew such a union was possible. They would have twins, a boy and a girl. The boy would be just like his father, handsome and graceful. The family would live beside a small brook, and she would listen to it each night as he held her in his strong arms. They would truly be content, and he would love her for eternity. The day that he stopped loving her would be the day that he stopped breathing. She would not live with a husband that did not love her, though she would cry as she buried the mutilated corpse. Her children would always wonder what had become of their father, and she would tell them that he had a hunting accident. It would not be the truth, but it would give them closure.

"Hello, Ratdragon.You are quite a graceful dancer. We will be happy together. I wonder if the children would have your pointed ears."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on August 31, 2005, 12:00:22 AM
Duke Tasul'i:
Tasul'i paced back and forth in his room, considering the ball that was taking place below him. It was meant to celebrate his recent acquisition of Lady Fenyn, but he saw no reason to celebrate the union. It was a political alliance, and nothing more. He did not love her, but he would greatly enjoy their wedding night. He had to admit, if only to himself, that she was quite beautiful, and there were far uglier women that he might have been forced to marry. His luck had been with him when the duke of Brinsley had such a beautiful daughter. Duke Tylithis was a fool, but at least he knew how to tame his wife. His harlem was quite impressive, and Tasul'i intended to have one in the near future. His harlem would shame that of Duke Tylithis, with exotic women from each corner of Caelereth. He would even have elves to tend to his needs, and he ran a hand over one pointed ear as he considered his own heritage. The man that he had accidently killed in a hunting accident could not have been his father, for he clearly had elven blood running in his veins. According to the rumors, Advisor Xalan was his father, but he could not believe that his mother would touch someone as old as Xalan. Surely his mother had consoled herself with another elf sometime before his birth. He was curious as to whom his true father was, but it really did not concern him. He was the duke of Chylikis, and no one could doubt his claim to the duchy.

Deciding that he should attend the ball held in his honor, he silently stalked down the stone steps. Maybe he would even enjoy dancing with his future bride, Lady Fenyn. He arrived to find the ballroom filled with guests, and many of them danced as couples on the wooden floor. His gaze came to rest upon Lady Fenyn, and a rage pervaded his soul as he saw another man kneeling before her. He walked briskly toward them, and crossed his arms as he stared down at Tomas.

"You dare to propose to my fiancé? Infidel! You will pay with your life! Guards! Take him to the dungeon!"

Tasul'i sat down next to Lady Fenyn and placed an arm on her shoulders as the guards arrived. He would not allow any man to steal his property.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on August 31, 2005, 12:28:22 AM
Tomas kneeled before Fenyn as she told him of her woes. No woman should be forced to marry someone that she did not love, but it was something that he had often seen as he grew up in the home of his father. Such marriages were arranged for the benefit of the families, and the emotions of the individuals involved was never taken into consideration. He considered it to be a flawed method in obtaining power, but he had never desired power. His father was a ruthless man that would do anything to advance among the nobles of Milkengrad, but Tomas was nothing like him. He truly could understand her issues with her father, and he would do anything to help her. Maybe he should saddle Chaos and find some way to sneak her out of the castle. It was not a perfect solution as she would be forced to leave her family, but flight was the best plan he could think of. He could challenge Tasul'i to a duel, but a duke would most likely name a champion. It would not help Fenyn if he defeated Tasul'i's champion, but there were other ways to kill a noble. No, he would not kill Tasul'i. He regretted the death of every man he had been forced to kill, and he would not gladly add to that list.

His eyes widened in shock as he noticed Tasul'i standing behind him. He had never met the duke, but such rage could not belong to anyone else. He was about to stand and deny the duke's accusations when he felt strong hands grasp him by the arms. A guard stood on each side of him, and he looked into the eyes of the one on his right only to realize that he did not feel pity. Such hardened men would think nothing of throwing an innocent man in the dungeon. They led him from the ballroom with his hands held firmly behind his back, and he was pleasantly surprised as they thrust him into an empty room. The guard spoke in a gruff tone that lacked all emotion.

"Yer lucky the dungeon is full, otherwise ye'd be spending the night with the rats. The executions tomorrow morning should leave ye with an empty cell."

The room clearly was intended for storage, though it was nearly empty save for a couple of chairs. The walls were bare stone, lacking all decoration, and their starkness fit his mood. He was worried about Fenyn, for he had last seen her sitting next to Tasul'i. He did not trust the duke to be kind to Fenyn, but there was little he could do from this room. Hoping for a slight miracle, he leaned against the door and found it to be soundly locked. The guards had locked the door behind them, and it was obvious that he was not intended to escape. Placing a chair against the far wall, he sat down and faced the door. He would be prepared for anyone that decided to visit him, and he would not be surprised if Tasul'i cast more guests into this room.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on August 31, 2005, 05:32:22 AM
Ratdragon continued to dance, slightly nervously. Hearing the girl giggle softly Ratdragon flicked his ears in annoyance. Was she laughing at him? Looking down at her, Ratdragon wondered why she was staring into his eyes so strangely. Quite uncomfortable, Ratdragon mentally kept a look out for a means of escape. Not that dancing with her wasn't pleasant, but she was making him feel uneasy.

As she spoke Ratdragon's large, almond shaped eyes grew wide with fear and surprise. He didn't mind her commenting on his dancing, but the rest of her short speech deeply disturbed him. "Er.. thanks. H-happy together? I suppose my children would have pointed ears. Ratdragon said helplessly, his fear of females urging him to run, but his gallantry and kindness forbidded him to be so rude.

Seeing a man with long red hair enter and call the guards upon another man Ratdragon had noticed earlier, the elf's interest was sparked. This party was getting more interesting. In a desperate attempt to change the subject, Ratdragon turned back to the girl. "Is that the duke, lady? And who is the man being dragged away by the guards?"

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Edited by: ratdragon  at: 8/31/05 21:53

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 01, 2005, 05:36:22 AM
Duke Tasul'i:
Tasul'i left Fenyn as she wept silently into her hands, for he had no desire to be around a woman when she was crying. He began to search the crowd for his whore of a mother. His resentment clearly shone in his eyes, and he hated her for the one act of passion that lead others to believe that he was not the son of the man he had killed years ago. It had been a simple hunting accident, but he could not help but believe that he had murdered his father. He finally located his mother, and she was talking to that fool, Aurelian. He had been a guest of the family for a week, and Tasul'i had wanted to strangle him for several days. Most people believed he had violent tendecies and stayed away from him whenever he was in a foul mood, but such moods were often unpredictable. He stalked toward his mother and Aurelian, arriving only to hear his mother describe his temper. A quick temper? He would not tolerate such disrespect in his own home! She was beyond his reach, as the people loved and respected her. The fool had no such protection against his rage. He could simply imprison Aurelian, but it would be better if the people hated him as well and did not view him as a matyr. The idea struck him like a bolt of lightning. He would claim that Aurelian insulted Duchess Sera, and only Sera's word could prove his innocence. She feared her son far too much for her to confront him on such a small matter. He motioned for a pair of guards to approach and shouted in a voice that could be heard throughout the ballroom.

"You dare to insult Duchess Sera? You will pay for such insolence! Guards! Imprison him with the other infidel!"

Tasul'i turned his back, clearly unconcerned as the guards led Aurelian away.

Lady Yijeni:
She leaned into Ratdragon, wanting to be as close to him as she possible could. Her arms slipped from around his neck and wrapped around his torso. She held onto him and laid her head on his broad chest. She smiled as she heard his lovely heart beating in his chest. She could just imagine him loving her and if he didn’t, then she would merely be forced to cut out his heart while it was still beating. She would carry the heart with her wherever she went, so that she could always be close to her elven warrior. She nuzzled her head against his chest, causing her dark hair to brush against his lips. It was a moment before she realized that he had asked her a question. She leaned away from him and once again looked up into his eyes.

“Hmmm? Yeah, that lunatic is the duke. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but everyone says he’s insane. The man? The only thing I know about him is that he is incredibly handsome, but of course you are cuter, my dear husband.”

She held onto Ratdragon with as much force as a young girl possesses and pressed her body against his. She would not let him get away, and he would become her husband. They would have their quiet life by a stream, and he would give her the gift of twins. It would be a simple wedding, nothing more than herself, Ratdragon, her family, and a few hundred people. They would be married in the home of her father, and she would do anything to ensure that her elven warrior stayed true to his vows.

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 8/31/05 22:15

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 01, 2005, 07:36:22 AM
Watching curiously as yet a second man was carried away by the guards, Ratdragon became aware of the girl leaning into him as her arms left his next to slip around torso. His heart skipped a few beats, and then started beating quite a bit quicker.

The girl looked up at him and answered his question, “Hmmm? Yeah, that lunatic is the duke. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but everyone says he’s insane. The man? The only thing I know about him is that he is incredibly handsome, but of course you are cuter, my dear husband.”

At the mention of husband, Ratdragon's heart started drumming rapidly inside his chest, making it hard for him to breathe. Breathing became somewhat more difficult as the girl tightened her grip around him, apparently using all the strength in her small arms. Ratdragon was on the verge of panic, he barely even knew this girl! In a shaken voice, Ratdragon replied, Hu-husband?... We don't even know each other, we just met! Frantically trying to breathe, Ratdragon's violet eyes were filled with a mix of amusement and horror.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Aurelian Cyrosa Asaen on September 03, 2005, 01:25:22 AM
Aurelian heard Tasul’i’s approaching footsteps even as he was midway through the majestic salutation. Spinning around on his heel, he turned to meet the Duke. Catching the frenzied gleam in his eyes, Aurelian silently cursed “Too late now…” Before he could open his mouth to smooth the atmosphere (or for that matter reach into his hidden torso pouch for a strong calming herb) the Duke barked, "You dare to insult Duchess Sera? You will pay for such insolence! Guards! Imprison him with the other infidel!" Aurelian’s thoughts raced each other like Anpagan trade galleys competing for the Zhunite harbors: Stupid Duchess, as if you HAD to spark off his temper now! Arguing will only aggravate the matters now, placing him at an even lower standing with the other guests. Denial is sign of guilt. How can I get a pigeon to uncle Coren before I end up in the dungeons? END UP IN THE DUNGEONS! OUTRAGEOUS! Gather yourself at once Aurelian – will you let green Sarvonian posh out-maneuver you? The Duchess holds the only rope out - but can I supersede all her aversion towards my superiority and her chains of fear? Aurelian replied almost instantly trying to appear as undisturbed as a cat whose play rat had been replaced by a warm bowl of milk. Years of rhetoric finally recompensed as words poured out of his mouth with all the force and poise of the gushing Rhsall, “My dear Tasul’i I am confident you will see things clearly once the fever wears out. Try not to exert yourself too dearly tonight, or else the sickness may bud.” The guards stood at five paces hindered by a drunk Sir Valhk mistaking them for his sons. The proud Asaen knelt gracefully before the Duchess, “My lady…” Cyrosa whispered swiftly towards Duchess Sera as he rose: Seeds of integrity upon your heart. Ankriss! Uphold my vow! He could only hope the Duchess was familiar enough with Nybelmar to recognize the gravity of the warning…

Aurelian breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that the approaching guards were the only two sentries he was on bright grounds with: Thomas and Velsch. He silently thanked the High Goddess that he had offered the men a cup of his finest wine when they carried his standing mirror to the upper guestroom two nights ago. “Ah Thomas! Velsch! What a pleasant surprise to see you here among us! I fear I am feeling somewhat dizzy after all this fabulous wine– would you care to escort me out of this hall?” Aurelian bit back a retort as the guards took him roughly by the arms and led him out. They can be dealt with, either with the charm of gold or… Well, let us hope it would not come to that.

Turning to the guards he added, “Poor Tasul’i… The weather must have deteriorated his… condition. Between you and me, he has become rather moody these days…” Lucky the Duke was arrogant enough to have turned his back instantly. He feverishly hoped the guards picked up the queue. It had been very imprudent of the Duke (and very fortunate for Aurelian) to order the full guard to run in blind circles last week when he suddenly decided that their bows were not low enough. Obviously the Duke never tried to curtsy in full plate mail… “Surely he had a quiet, undisturbed room in mind when he requested your assistance. (He slipped three fat golden-bards into each guard’s pocket) I will gladly follow to save you (a small pouch entered the guards’ belts and was swiftly taken away) from further -irrational, if I may add – mistreatment. And none of us would want to deal with any unpleasant consequences resulting from locking Lord Coren’s nephew away in a cell, would we? (The clinking pouch finally made it into the sentries’ possession)” The two mumbled something incomprehensible and tried (awfully ineptly) to stifle the intensifying smirk. An empty, almost idiotic grin dominated their faces as they were handed over a sum handsomer than their monthly pension. Aurelian, feeling very ill at ease by the concept of having offered a bribe, reasoned that this new fragrance sent all the way from Elving perhaps truly did have the hypnotic effects the greedy merchant advertised.

Seeing that he was brought before a locked door instead of the stark entry to the prisons, Aurelian cast a warm smile at Welsch (Thomas was busy sorting out keys). “Once you help me settle in, perhaps you would like to sprint upstairs to my chambers and grab that most excellent Anpagan wine from behind my dressing cabinet? It’s in the third drawer from the bottom. Make sure you kick the horrid breakfront; otherwise your attempts at retrieving the bottle may prove unsuccessful. I know, horrible isn’t it, this Nybelmarian artisanship? Oh, I am sure our night here will be as remarkable as, if not more exciting that down the ballroom, yes?” One down, Aurelian thought. Never play around with Anpagan machinery…

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 9/2/05 18:39

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 03, 2005, 02:03:22 AM
Lady Yijeni

She glanced up at Ratdragon in confusion as his breathing became more shallow. It was almost as if her embrace frightened him and he did not remember that he loved her. She knew they were not married but they soon would be, and she intended to live a long content life with her elven warrior. Deciding that a malady must be afflicting his mind, she grasped his hands in her own and led him off the dance floor. It was her duty as his future wife to tend him with loving care, and she would never leave his side as long as he needed her. She gently shoved him into a chair and pressed her hand against his forehead. A frown crossed her face as she realized that he was beyond her skill to treat.

"Just stay here, husband. I will fetch a healer to tend you. It would upset me greatly if you moved."

In her concern for the elf, she did not notice the confrontation between the duke and his guest. Only Ratdragon's health was on her mind as she searched the crowd for a healer.

Duchess Sera

Sera sighed as her son imprisoned yet another guest. This ball was intended to celebrate what should be the happiest time in his life, yet he could not help but become upset over the slightest things. She feared him, but more than anything else: she was concerned for him. She knew that his malady had begun on the day of his father's death, and she had never been able to convince him that it was not his fault. It had been a hunting accident and nothing more, but he could not let go of the past. His very mind was corrupt, and she had tried for years to help him without meeting with success.

Aurelian had uttered some strange words to her before the guards lead him away, but during the past week she had found his speech to be confusing and today was no exception. His words left her feeling bewildered, but she was relieved that he was removed from her presence. His arrogance was surprising for someone so young, and during his stay he had behaved as though his lengthy visit had been a blessing. It was unfortunate that he was being imprisoned, and she would probably have to smooth matters over with his uncle.

A smile came to her face as she saw Avásh'klyuál weaving amongst the guests. His music always affected her by lifting her spirits and shedding light on the darkest matters. He had once been a wandering bard, traveling wherever he desired as he played for the masses, but he claimed that he had fallen in love with Chylikis and requested to stay as the court bard. She could never have refused to have an elven bard at her court, and had never regretted her decision for the past twenty years. Their eyes met and they both began to move toward each other. They met in the middle of the ballroom, and her eyes sparkled in merriment as she requested a song.

"Hello, Avásh'klyuál. Would you be willing to play a merry tune? This ball needs something to offset my son's mood."


Avásh'klyuál weaved among the guests, content that there was so much joy in the room. During his centuries of life, he had discovered that joy was truly the most worthwhile emotion, and that hate should not exist in this world. His passion was to play his harp, lyre, or any other instrument he happened to buy and spread his joy to the masses. His voice was like that of the lark, and he delighted in lifting the spirits of friend and stranger alike.

His azure gaze came to rest upon the duchess, and he immediately began to gracefully walk toward her. Her happiness was his concern, and he knew that Tasul'i's outburst had upset her. There was no greater balm for the spirit than music, and he grinned broadly as she requested a merry tune. He would be happy to oblige her. His fingers lightly caressed the strings of his harp as he lifted his melodious voice in song.

Larks sing of the day yet to be
The sun rides the morning sky
Innocent eyes open as the shadows flee
Sit and listen as the world passes by

The fate of many will be decided by a few
Deeds are committed for the sake of one
The world will shudder when they are through
Stay those restless spirits, my tale is not yet done!

Question not the words of the wise
Hold counsel with those thy deem insane
Evil stalks the night in many a guise
Heed these words or be doomed to meet your bane

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 9/2/05 19:52

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 03, 2005, 04:53:22 AM
Ratdragon stared at Yijeni dazzedly as she led him to a chair. Shuddering again at the mention of husband, Ratdragon was bewildered at how she thought he was sick. Watching as another man was dragged away by the guards, Ratdragon sighed, and called after the girl, not wanting to have a healer as insane as she looking at him.

Yijeni, I'm feeling fine. Must have gone dizzy for awhile, please, I don't need a healer. He says quietly, exasperated and embarrassed.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 03, 2005, 05:18:22 AM
Tomas glanced up in surprise as the door opened and a man stepped inside. It was not surprising that the duke had once again lost his temper, but he had expected someone to be thrown into the room. This stranger simply walked in as if it were his personal quarters and his belongings would be following him. He had known a few nobles during his life that showed a similar arrogance, but none had shown this man's level of control. By now, any of his father's friends would have been begging for their lives and complaining over the lack of refreshments. Whatever fantasy this stranger lived in, clearly the rage of a duke was not enough to compromise it. He heard the door lock behind the stranger, once again dashing his hopes that his luck would be with him. By the looks of the stranger, he probably believed that the locked door was for his own protection. Tomas could not decide if this man were the best dressed he had ever met, or if he dressed himself in the dark. Fashion had never been his greatest skill, and deciding whether or not the stranger's garments were in style was beyond him.

He saw no reason that he should stand to introduce himself, so he merely motioned for the man to sit in the only other chair in the stark room. It was a simple oak chair that could be found in any farmer's home. He had seen far worse during his travels, but he doubted that this pompous fool could say the same.

"I am Tomas Valentin. Some are inclined to call me Lord Valentin, but I have disowned my heritage. Please sit, and enjoy the duke's hospitality."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Aurelian Cyrosa Asaen on September 03, 2005, 06:17:22 AM
Aurelian quickly surveyed the room whilst trying to maintain an unperturbed appearance. In circumstances like this it was best to look as if you knew what was about, as if you were fully in charge of the flow. There was only one other man in the room. Aurelian heard Thomas thrust the heavy bar. The man deserves acclamation. Situated like a wolf where he could notice and respond quickly to entries. He was mildly impressed by the man's bulging muscles and dreamy hazel eyes. At least he doesn't smell...

"I am Tomas Valentin. Some are inclined to call me Lord Valentin, but I have disowned my heritage. Please sit, and enjoy the duke's hospitality."

Aurelian was too shocked to notice the starkness of the chair he was offered or to be nettled over the man’s failure to follow court etiquette. Gladly taking the chair, he smiled sympathetically, ‘Aurelian Cyrosa of the Asaen. Let the earth yield brighter days upon our newly forged acquaintance… May I offer you some minted Lavano – or as you call it here, vanilla?’

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 03, 2005, 06:49:22 AM
Tomas nodded as Aurelian introduced himself. He had heard of this Nybelmarian noble from other guests at the ball, and there were even rumors that the duchess could barely tolerate the man. It was believed that she had given him expensive gifts so that he would be satisfied and leave her home, but these were only the rumors of the people and he had seen no proof to confirm them. He imagined that Aurelian's speech could get annoying if someone were forced to listen to it for a week, yet, other than his odd manner of speech, Tomas saw no reason to dislike him and extended his hand to shake that of the other noble.

"I've never heard of this minted Lavano, though I am familiar with vanilla. I've always enjoyed trying new things, so I would appreciate some."

His hazel eyes looked into the azure gaze of Aurelian as he tried to discover what laid beneath the facade of a pampered noble.

Lady Yijeni

Yijeni glared at the elf as he dared to claim that he was not sick. Earlier, she had been concerned about him, but now he was making her angry. If he was not afflicted with a malady, then he simply did not love her anymore and that was not acceptable. There could only be one reason that he was willing to betray their love, there was someone else. Some beautiful woman had stolen her elven warrior. Tears began to stream down her cheek as she confronted Ratdragon and shouted in as loudly as she possibly could.

"Why don't you love me anymore? Who is she? Is it my sister? Its my sister, isn't it? You slept with my sister! You're a disgrace to your very race! I hope it shrivels and falls off, and you know what I'm talking about! How could you? I thought what we had was special. Don't you love me anymore? Just die! I want you to die a thousand times so you know the agony you're putting me through."

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 9/2/05 22:54

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 03, 2005, 08:00:22 AM
Wincing at the girls viscous tounge, Ratdragon is confirmed of her insanity. Ratdragon speaks hurridly, attempting to quiet the girl, hoping no one else had heard. Though that seemed impossible seeing as she was quite loud, and the room was full of people.  

I do still love you, Yjeni! I didn't sleep with anyone, I swear. Elves don't lie. Besides, you're far more beautiful than any other woman here. Desperately trying to calm the girl down, Ratdragon says anything that he thinks will make her come to her senses. Elves sometimes get... er... dizzy sometimes, and appear to be sick. I am feeling fine now.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 03, 2005, 01:51:22 PM
        Gararion's eyes scanned over the figure that appeared before him, though he did not only look upon the mans cloths and appearance, but he also attempted to look within him, using his inborn Oh'mód'hál trait.  Examining the aged man, he replies.

        "Perhaps the wise stand amoung the foolish to seek the truth within the lie."

        Just as he spoke, something caught the mages attention in the corner of his eye.  From what he could tell, someone errived and took offense to a couple dancing together, ordering the guards to escort the male away.  Gararion eyes remained locked onto this sight for a while, every now and then looking to others to see if anyone other then himself noticed.  moments later, the same man yelled over the mumor of the ballroom at another couple, the guards taking another man way from the ballroom.  Supposedly the man had insulted a duchess.  Gararion thought such behavior was strange at such an event, but remained quiet.  Although the other man seemed to take another path, speaking of illness.  Was such an illness responsible for the dukes actions of rage the mage wondered.

        Gararion gifted eyes rested upon the duke, he was attempting to see if his sigkness had a magical origin, though he had his doubts,  If the Duke was ill, it was most likely someone wished him to be and Gararion knew some of the most effective ways of crippling ones mind and soul were not magical but posions.  Gararion only hope for tehe Duke's sake that he would overcome this sickness.

        Returning his attention back to the half-elf that stood before him, Gararion hoped that he could provide soem answers.

        "Is the duke alright?  He seems irritated."  The mage didn't say much, hoping to plant a seed within the man's mind that would allow him to produce the desired answers.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Aurelian Cyrosa Asaen on September 04, 2005, 01:57:22 AM
Taking Lord Valentin’s – no, Tomas’ hand in an earnest grasp, Aurelian returned the man’s calculating gaze in good spirits. He thought he performed well in keeping a composed, trustworthy visage but of course ultimately that was up to Tomas’s judgment.

He reached into one of the concealed pouches lining his arms and produced two small seeds. Closing his eyes, Cyrosa deepened his breathing and extended his consciousness into that of his tiny dark brown friends. As he peacefully wove his power into the seeds, Cyrosa wondered if Tomas could see the soft green runes dancing in the air. In Aurelian’s inner eye they sparkled like fresh morning dew as each connected itself with the greater webs stretching into the seeds. Within seven breaths he could feel the kernel crack to give way to the rising sprouts. As he opened his hand the sprouts wove around each other and blossomed into two breathtaking, fist-sized blooms. A light purple fruit streaked with bright yellow appeared in each bud. They gave the impression of being succulent. Aurelian wondered if his new friend would enjoy the sweet juice of this Lillivear delicacy. Taking a small glass bottle from his belt he put three drops onto each blossom.

‘May our friendship flower like these seeds! I would have offered peach liquor to complement the lavano, but I’m afraid I will not be able to provide refreshments in my present… state.’

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 06, 2005, 02:43:22 AM
Tomas was surprised to find that Aurelian's grip was relatively strong and not what he would expect of a pampered noble. Perhaps the image of a pompous fool was merely a show intended to deceive his enemies. He had seen stranger things during his years around the nobles of Milkengrad. He could not determine if the man truly were a fool or if it was a facade, only time would reveal the truth.

His eyes widened in shock as sprouts began to grow on the seeds produced by Aurelian. Tomas had not suspected that the man was a mage, clearly there was more to him than his appearance. It would be a grave mistake to underestimate the man, for the anger of mages was known to be subtle and deadly. Taking one blossom in his hand, he stared down at the strange purple fruit. He had never seen anything like it during his travels in Southern Sarvonia.

"That is an interesting...talent you have. I prefer to rely upon cold steel, but to each his own. I only have one question at the moment, how do you eat this thing?"

Advisor Xalan

He considered the answer of the elf and found it to be lacking wisdom of any manner. Perhaps this elf was merely a buffoon that dressed like a mage. It was not unheard of that a thief was lucky enough to rob the home of a mage and survive. He was disgusted by the idea that he could be talking to a mere thief, but the possibility that the elf could be a mage intrigued him. Mages were the best educated people within the world of Caelereth, and he was tired of tedious conversations with morons. The duchess possessed some intelligence, but of course she did not come close to being his equal. He suspected that his equal did not exist and never had, for he simply was the wisest individual to ever walk upon this world.

His fears that the elf was an idiot were confirmed when he was foolish enough to ask if Duke Tasul'i were irritated. Was the elf blind? Any sane man could clearly see that the duke was not well and would stay as far from the boy as was physically possible. Only the duchess seemed to be able to speak to the boy without setting off another of his foul moods, but he suspected that the duke still loved his mother even in his deranged state.

"Is he irritated? Are you a fool? Or do you just enjoy sounding like one? Of course the boy is irritated. I'm surprised he hasn't attacked anyone, though I suspect he will before the night is through."

Just as Xalan finished speaking, a shout was heard from outside of the ballroom. It sounded as though it had originated among the guards, and his hearing was superior to that of an average human. Before a moment had passed, two guards angrily stalked toward the pair with murder in their eyes. He recognized the two as Roland and Malory, brothers that adored their younger brother, Galain, who was also one of the castle guards. They completely ignored Xalan, which was fine with him since he did not want to be touched by the peasants, and approached Gararion. Their anger seemed to have increased during their walk across the ballroom, and the pair quickly seized the arms of the mage. Roland, the elder of the two, spoke in a gruff tone as he addressed the mage.

"That staff of yers did something ter our brother, and we will not be satisfied until yer in a cell where ye belong. Ye will regret the day ye decided to curse the city of Chylikis with yer foul presence."

Xalan turned his back as the pair led the elf away. He had already determined that the elf was a common thief and not a mage, so he had nothing else to say. It did not concern him that the guards were locking up what could be an innocent man, for it was not his responsibility to govern them.

Lady Yijeni

She sighed as she realized that he was lying once again. Did he truly think that she would believe that story about elves getting sick? It was common knowledge that they were immune to many diseases that would kill a man. She didn't know what she should do with him, as he clearly did not understand the commitment she required of him. She loved him too much to hurt him in any way, but perhaps it would be possible to teach him a lesson. He would learn to respect her if he spent a few nights alone in a cell, and it would only take manipulation of the guards to put him there. Perhaps she was being too harsh on him and he deserved a second chance. Deciding that she would punish him if he angered her again, she knelt down in front of him as she looked up into his violet eyes.

"Do not lie to me, as each lie breaks my heart a little more. I want to forgive you, I truly do, but first I need to know the truth. What is the nature of your relationship with my sister? Do not deny that you are attracted to her, for every male creature in this world is attracted to that whore."

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 9/5/05 19:25

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Aurelian Cyrosa Asaen on September 06, 2005, 05:10:22 AM
Aurelian laughed gently at the man’s question (he preferred to completely ignore the reference to cold steel and the possible uses it may be put to), ‘I would suggest biting -though if you think you can swallow it whole I will not object to your trying. It may prove to be an interesting effort! So tell me Lord Valentin – Tomas, what caused you to be on such heartening grounds with the Duke?’ Aurelian’s face was lit with a light hearted smile.  

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 06, 2005, 05:42:22 AM
Tomas nodded. He had assumed that there was a complicated manner in which the fruit was meant to be eaten. Nobles often grew upset when someone did not display court manners. He slowly bit into the strange fruit and was delightfully surprised when the juices began to run down his chin. The sweet taste was pleasing, and he wiped his chin with the back of his hand before he replied to Aurelian.

"It seems the Duke believed that I was proposing to his bride. I was merely kneeling before her as I asked what woes troubled such a fair creature. I do not believe the man is sane, otherwise neither you nor I would be in this predicament."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Aurelian Cyrosa Asaen on September 06, 2005, 06:09:22 AM
As the man wiped his mouth Aurelian eyed him with lenient distaste. He presumed the man would have behaved more civilly had he not been stripped off of the tools. Plucking off a green leaf from his share, Cyrosa employed his talents to grow it into napkin size. ‘Here... I wish I could offer you better, but unfortunately… Well, no reason to spoil our night. As for the Duke, do not be so harsh in your judgment. It is not the trees’ fault that rot strikes.’

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 06, 2005, 06:20:22 AM
        Gararion didn't have time to reply to Xalan, for his attention was soon fixed upon a pair of guards, forcing their way through the crowds.  It was obviouse who they were coming for and Gararion only smiled.  Foolish men, did I not warn them?  T'is their own fault, though I hope they will listen to reason now.

        As the guards approached and siezed his arms, Gararion gave a small bow towards Xalan before he was dragged off.  Gararion offered no resistance to these men, it would only hamper their ability to listen to the reason he hoped to offer.

        "Good sirs, I am sorry that your brother has fallen prey to a defense woven within my staff, but I ask of you, please allow me to see him if you wish for the illness to be...," was all the mage could say before he recieved a solid blow to the back of his head.

        "We will here no more from yer mouth elf..." was all Gararion heard before he blacked out.

        Gararion shifted slightly, his senses returning to him slowly.  He lay on what seemed a cold cement floor.  From the soft cool pulse within his temple, Gararion knew at least one other was in the room with him, most likely one of the other two men who he saw taken away.  If he was right, it be likely the other was within the room as well, though both seemed silent for the moment.  Gararion shifted his weight slightly, rolling over to his side where he remaind for a moment.  It had been quite a while since he had been hit with such force, it was a feeling he hoped not to experience again.

        Slowly opening his eyes, the mage looked about and could see two shadowed figures, his eyes still not adjusted to the dim light within the "cell".  The mage remained silent, allowing the two figures to speak first, hoping to distinguish if they were friend of foe from what they said.

-=[ ooc:  tomas, did I sense anything about Xalan? ]=-

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 06, 2005, 06:33:22 AM
(OOC: Nah, you didn't sense anything about him.)

Tomas wiped his hands with the leaf provided by his new friend. That was an odd talent that Aurelian possessed, one which he seemed to use to provide himself with the comforts of a court no matter where he was. He began to think of ways such a talent could be used in battle as the door opened and two guards entered the room dragging an unconscious elf behind them. The guards were gone before he could even think of asking Aurelian to aid him in an attempt to overpower them. Such an action would most likely be unwise as there were more guards in the castle, but he did not like being imprisoned in this room. The elf lifted his head and began to look around the room in a confused manner. He was probably surprised to find himself in a stark storeroom instead of a prison cell. Aurelian and Tomas were sitting in the only two chairs, but there were a few dusty crates in one corner of the room.

"Hello, elf. I assume you've met the Duke, since you were unlucky enough to be cast into this room with us. Then again, you were lucky enough to not be cast into a cell with rats. It all depends upon the way you view the world. Pull up a crate and enjoy the Duke's hospitality."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 06, 2005, 06:48:22 AM
        It seemed the two men were friendly, or at least the one who spoke seemed so.  Rising to his feet, the mage looked about.  The room was mostly empty, other then two chairs and a few dusty crates.  

        "I must admint, I think I'd rather have had the dukes hospitality.  It appears the guards refused to take my warning seriously," the mage replied quietly as he moved over to one of the crates and lifted it, trying to judge weather it contained anything or not, repeating the action with the other crates.  "So now what?"

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 06, 2005, 07:14:22 AM
Tomas watched as the elf picked up crates with some amusement. It was not everyday that you could see an elf searching for an empty crate to sit on. He would offer the elf his chair, but he preferred to be hospitable toward females. He was mildly surprised to learn that the elf had not met the duke, apparently the castle had more insane inhabitants than he had previously realized. He stood and walked over to the elf before he extended his hand to shake that of the newcomer.

"I am Tomas Valentin, and my companion is one called Aurelian. He has a longer name, but it would twist my tongue if I were to pronounce all of it. I assume the Duke will come visit his prisoners later in the evening, until then we can sit around and talk. It might anger him to learn that we were talking, but I suspect that everything angers that man."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 06, 2005, 07:48:22 AM
        Upon learning that all of the crates were empty, Gararion moved his attention to Tomas.

        "Pleased to meet you Tomas.  You may call me Gararion, as few call me by my elven name, Leg'luil'Garion," the Mage said, speaking his name in Old Ylffer.  "Do you have any light onto what has caused the Duke to show such harsh actions upon his guest?  For I would have thought such an occassion would offer a chance to conceal such things from the public."

        The elf remainded silent for a moment, offering Tomas a chance to reply, hoping that he or their guest would be capable of shedding more light upon the situation.  As he waited, he waved his hand over the crate, a cloud of dust dispersing form its surface as he sat.  Speaking a single word of Styrásh, "Inán'dél," the magical cape that he wore seemed to fade from sight.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 06, 2005, 08:08:22 AM
The elf was apparently too busy to notice the hand Tomas extended, so he shrugged and returned to his chair. He did not care if the elf did not want to be formal, their situation was one where court manners would seem odd. Tomas looked suspiciously at the elf as he realized that the golden cape he had been wearing faded from view. Another mage! Was the ball crawling with them? He had nothing against mages, but it seemed unlikely that there were would be so many of them attending a ball. It also seemed odd that a mage could be easily apprehended by the guards. Tomas knew he would have put up a fight if he had his bastard sword, Bane, with him, and mages were always armed with their magic. Perhaps they simply did not wish to reveal themselves? It was a logical conclusion to arrive at after viewing the facts.

Desiring some way to make himself more comfortable, he dragged a lone crate from the corner that was opposite the one where Gararion had discovered a seat. The crate made a scraping sound as it slid across the floor, and he was surprised at its weight. It seemed his footrest had something inside it. He sat down once again in his chair and attempted to open the crate with his bare hands. No matter how hard he lifted with his strong arms, the lid would not budge. He glanced up at the elven mage as his brown locks framed his face and spoke in a confident tone.

"I have no idea as to why the duke would act so harsh toward his guests. I can only assume that he is not completely sane. I left the ballroom rather early, what has he done since then? Also, do either of you have a tool with which you could open this crate? I'm curious as to what is inside."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 06, 2005, 08:33:22 AM
        Gararion listened to Tomas's words, bearing a slight frown at the lack of insight that Tomas was able to provide.  Looking down at the dusty crate, the mage moved over to it.  It appeared to old, hopefully old enough that he could force it open with little effort.  Running his hand along the wooden frame that held the lid shut, Gararion looked up to Tomas.

        "I know little of the recent happenings myself.  The man who I was speaking to seemed...strangly clueless.  I was only able to make out the larger events that took place, that being you two being dragged off.  I thought I had a little more time to make inquiries, but as you can tell, I was the next person destined to accompany you two down here."

        Placing his attention back to the crate, the mages hands began to move more slowly over the edge, almost at a snail's pace.  As he spoek another word of Styrásh, "Amn'avásh," the wooden frame seemed to lift as slowly as his hand slid accross it.  Removing his hand he looked back to Tomas.

        "You should find the lid to open more easily now."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 06, 2005, 07:48:22 AM
Tomas sat up straight as the mage began to cast his magic. He had merely asked if one of them had a tool with which to open the crate. He probably shouldn't be surprised since he was sharing the room with two mages. He nodded, not surprised that the elf had not learned anything. It had not been that long since he himself was cast into this room, and he had not believed that the elf would have had time to discover anything. He opened the lid easily and was pleasantly surprised to see bottles of wine neatly stacked in the crate, there was enough to satisfy a town drunk. Lifting one from the crate, he showed it to his two fellow prisoners.

"It seems we get to enjoy the Duke's hospitality after all. There is enough wine here to last us for days, though hopefully we will not be imprisoned here that long. Perhaps the Duke or the Duchess will visit us and reveal more about the events of the ball. Who knows? There might even be another prisoner to join us that could reveal the events that we have missed."

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 9/5/05 23:50

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 06, 2005, 09:19:22 AM
Sighing inwardly, Ratdragon looked down at the now kneeling Yijeni. He was getting frustrated. She accused him of lying once again. Shaking his head he replied wearily, I am sorry, lady, but I arrived for the first time in this city mere hours ago. I do not know who your sister is, much less can I have a relation with her. I don't even know your last name, so I couldn't possibly know who your sister was. I've never been in this area before, so I must say that the only person I knew of when I came here was the duke.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Aurelian Cyrosa Asaen on September 06, 2005, 09:26:22 PM
Aurelian, lost in the succulent pleasures of the lavano plant, had not spoken yet to acknowledge the new arrival. An elf and a mage! he marveled. His curiosity was certainly piqued. Donning his most enchanting smile (after adjusting his house amulet) Aurelian turned to greet the elf, ‘I apologize for not introducing myself earlier, kind elf. It is not considered polite in my culture to forsake the gifts of the land. Custom demanded that I keep my attention solely on the fanilye until the task of eating was complete. I am Aurelian Cyrosa of Asaen lineage. Would you care for some Lavano? And you Tomas – how would you like another serving?’

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 06, 2005, 10:07:22 PM
Tomas smiled as Aurelian began another long winded speech. It seemed the man could talk for hours without taking a breath. He was pleased that he did not have to sit in this room alone and suspected that it was true that misery loves company. Worries began to plague his mind as he wondered what had become of Lady Fenyn. The last time he saw the lady, she was sitting next to the Duke. He did not trust the Duke with her, and he would gladly escape this room to ensure that Fenyn was safe. Unfortunately, the door was soundly locked and he suspected that guards were posted outside. Opening locked doors had never been one of his skills, since as a noble he had never lacked for anything in his life. If Tasul'i harmed one hair on Fenyn's head, then he would hunt Tasul'i for the rest of his short life. Bane would ensure that the Duke's life was indeed short and that his last moments in this world would not be pleasant. He was so lost in his thoughts that it was a moment before he realized that Aurelian had asked him a question.

"As much as I enjoy your Lavano, Aurelian, I must graciously decline. I would prefer to drink the Duke's wine. I have always enjoyed drinking wine in moderation and the fact that it is the Duke's wine makes it that much sweeter."

Wrapping one hand around the cork of the wine bottle, he pulled with all his strength and was pleased as the cork came free. The wine within the bottle was crimson in color and smelled as though it were one of the Duke's best. Taking a swallow directly from the bottle, he was delighted at the taste of well aged wine. It was not in his nature to drink too much, and he took one more swallow before he set the bottle to one side on the floor.

Lady Yijeni

Sighing softly, she realized that he would not tell her the truth. She had known from the first moment that she looked into his violet eyes that they were destined to be together. It was only a matter of time before he accepted that. She knew she would grow old with him and die in his arms, and it did not bother her that he would seem to be the same age decades from now. It would be enough that she spent her life with him, and that he never loved another woman after her death. He had to learn that he could not lie to her, at least not without swift and severe punishment. She had no doubt that her sister had spoken to the elf, and she resented Fenyn for her beauty and grace. A way to manipulate the guards arose in her mind, and hopefully they would not harm her elven warrior. She pushed herself away from Ratdragon and landed on her rear as she began to cry. She looked up at Ratdragon through her tears as she began to shout for the guards.

"Guards!! He touched me in a private place! I told him that I was a maiden, but he would not listen." She began to sob more quietly. "He hurt me."

A pair of guards rushed to the scene, angry that anyone would dare to touch a maiden. They were surprised to find that the culprit was an elf, since most of that fair race seemed to be well mannered. Even though they doubted the lady's word, they knew not to argue with nobility. Each guard grasped an arm of the elf and began to lead him away as Yijeni watched with a small smile on her face.

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 9/6/05 14:27

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Emalaya on September 07, 2005, 03:53:22 AM
Soft steps led the tall druid into the ballroom, the room she was instructed at the entrance to make her way into. Though the time at which she arrived was a good ways past that of which the party began, it seemed to make no impact on the rest of the occupants who were deeply immersed in their own enjoyment of the occasion. Long raven tresses, parted off center and curled gently in random locations, floated lightly about her features and about her tall and slender figure. A simple silver pin held back a small number of strands off her face, on one side, allowing the ebony locks to frame her elven features, accenting them for beauty. Her skin stood out in stark contrast to her silkly strands, being a pale hue with a slight flush of pink from being outdoors in the sun, adding to the gentleness of her countenance.

Beneath a white transparent satin-like cloak, hugging her slender figure, was a long elegant gown of dark sapphire blue. Garnished for this specific occasion, it blended amongst the other magnificent gowns about her, but stood out as she made her way up to the main entrance. Made of elven silk, it was anything but ordinary and greatly bore the elven masterwork from the hand which made it. The neckline was low and the sleeves were incomplete to the fact they did not reach up to cover her thin pale shoulders. The sleeves themselves were comfortably snug against her arms as they eventually came to a point over her long middle finger. The skirt was loose and deep, trailing a good third ped behind her as she made her way up the stairway to the entrance of the castle. Small delicate hands held the soft hem of her gown as slight feet carried her to the large doorway where two guards stood addressing the attendants of the ball. She was promptly admitted inside and instructed on where to continue to join the rest of the attendees.

It had been a interesting week, to say the least for the tall Quaelhoirhim elfess. Though her travels have caused a good amount of exhaustion, she found the environment of the bustle about her to be fairly relaxing and reassuring. It was a gay event, celebrating the to-be-marriage of a young couple from the region. Though portions of the atmosphere seemed to be a bit tense, there was nothing overly alarming and she figured it was just from particular guests not fancied with others because of rivalry.

Dark sapphire hues scanned the room and its occupants, both admiring observing the grandeur which surrounded her and nearly overwhelmed her. For a human occasion, it was fascinating, yet if it took place in her home it would be much more brilliant. Though, as it was, it was a beautiful sight. Ladies in magnificent gowns and hair up in unique creations. They were all dressed and ready for the occasion and whatever other meetings may happen over the night. Couples made their way across the dance floor in a swirl of color, while those without partners stood off to the side and admired the technique of them and wished that they themselves were being swept across the floor, at least the ladies thoughts were very much occupied on such an ideal. The men, especially the younger men, kept a keen eye upon the younger ladies, gradually gathering up the courage to make a move and offer a drink or even a dance. The older men were more interested in discussin politics or whatever else seemed to suit their fancy to cause a great disagreement and ill feelings toward one another, even on this joyous occasion.

Also, upon her scan of the room, she found an empty chair and slowly made her way to it. The location of the chair allowed her a perfect view of the dance floor where she could watch the young people, and occasionly older couples, flow like water to the music provided. Servers often stopped to offer her some kind of refreshment. All of which she politely declined and returned promtly to her watching.

"True peace of mind comes only when my heart and actions are aligned..." - Robert Newcomb

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 07, 2005, 05:12:22 AM
Watching as the elf by the fireplace was dragged away by two guards, Ratdragon's attention was turned back to Yijeni as she pushed him back and fell on her rear end. Ratdragon watched the girl in horror as she shouted ludicrous accusations about him abusing her. Glaring angrily at the girl, Ratdragon felt himself grabbed by the guards on either side. Reaching for his sword, Ratdragon realized in dismay that he had been forced to leave it behind.

Sighing, Ratdragon allowed himself to be led away. Letting his knees buckle, Ratdragon grinned as the guards were forced to drag him. Unfortunately, the guards didn't find this amusing, and Ratdragon recieved a painful twist to his arm. Standing up again, Ratdragon said cheerfully, " Thank you for the escort, I must say that I am relieved to get away from that brat. If you don't mind, could you please dump some wine on her dress?

Watching as they neared a door, Ratdragon spoke up again, You know, this truly is the most interesting party I've been to. I mean, why not lock up half the guests? It would create so much exicitement and anticipation. You people truly are quite creative and imaginative.

The guards looked at the elf uncertainly as they unlocked the door, not quite sure how to respond. Pushing the elf in, they closed the door with a mingled look of confusion and humor. Sighing, Ratdragon turned around to look at the others in the room. With some amusement, Ratdragon realized that these were the same people apprehended earlier. "Ah, I see that all of you have also had the honor to partake in the most exciting event of the party."

Sitting on a crate next to the other elf, Ratdragon wondered who would be dragged in next as he watched the others in the room.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 07, 2005, 05:14:22 AM
Duke Tyithelis

Tyithelis smiled slyly as he walked among the dancing couples. There were many beautiful and exotic women attending the ball, and he hoped that a few would welcome the suggestion of joining his harem. His wife was somewhere in the crowd, no doubt gossiping with the other women. They did not discuss his concubines and any mention of his sexual exploits would result in stern punishment for the woman. In their decades of marriage, he had taught her that her place was at his feet serving him whatever he desired. For a woman to have any uses other than sex and pregnancy was horrendous, and he scorned the fools that respected their wives.

His silver hair framed his angular face as it cascaded to his shoulders. Each lock was soft to the touch due to the ministrations of servants. His white beard was only half a palmspan long, but he considered it to be a sign of wisdom and age. He was proud to have lived as long as he had, knowing that many men did not reach half his age. Blue-gray eyes glanced about the room with an intensity and passion that allowed him to ruthlessly rule his people. His muscular frame was clothed in an elaborate dark blue tunic with gold threads worked through the shoulders and the voluminous sleeves. His black silk pants clearly showed his well-toned calves and were tucked into black leather boots.

He approached and elfess that sat by herself, startled that anyone was not enjoying the ball. It was his constant desire to please women, and he suddenly remembered that he did not have an elfess in his harem. His harem boasted of women from many human tribes as well as a gorgeous half-elf, but nothing as exotic as a full-blooded elfess had ever graced his harem. Her beautiful countenance was framed by soft raven tresses, and it was a struggle not to reach out and stroke each lock. He stood before her and peered into her beautiful azure eyes, amazed that shade of blue existed in this world. It was a moment before he spoke, but when he did it was with a melodious baritone voice that was music to the ears of women.

"Hail, I am Duke Tyithelis Steelheart. It is startling to find someone as beautiful as yourself sitting alone. Would you care to dance with me? I promise that I am not as clumsy as I look."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Emalaya on September 07, 2005, 06:00:22 AM
"Hail, I am Duke Tyithelis Steelheart. It is startling to find someone as beautiful as yourself sitting alone. Would you care to dance with me? I promise that I am not as clumsy as I look."

Upon being to fixed upon the dancers, she did not noticed the man approaching and jumped slightly at the sound of a deep voice directed at her. She had been enjoying her thoughts. Watching the dancers brought back long forgotten memories of Alexander and the many fun times they had together at parties thrown by either themselves or close friends. They wouldn't leave each other's side, dancing the night away like there was no tomorrow. Yet, the man had disrupted the memories and once again, her mind clouded the memories and shoved them deep into her archives from the years past. Turning to face the man, she managed to pull back her lips in a meager smile and a slight nod of recognition.

"Good evening Duke." Her voice was soft and gentle, like that of a tiny stream fresh from the mountain side, flowing gracefully over or around the obstacles which might be in its path. No horseness or imperfections could really be heard, if there were any to detect at all. "I thank you for your offer. I believe I shall dance this night." She lightly brought her hand and placed it into the one he then extended to her, aiding her to feet and leading her onto the dance floor.  

"True peace of mind comes only when my heart and actions are aligned..." - Robert Newcomb

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 07, 2005, 07:39:22 AM
        Seeing the bottles of wine being revealed from the aged crate, Gararion declined Tomas' offer for a drink at the moment.  Just as he shoke his head, their other companion spoke up asking the two of them if they wished some of the lavano fruit that he had.

        Gararion smiled as he began to speak.  "I would be honored.  Dinner had yet to be served before I was...," Gararion trailed off as he haerd the sound of another person coming toward them, talking up a storm with someone.

        Watching the door, it was soon obvious that another guest gained the same privaledge that they had been given, now forced within the store room with them.

        Smiling once again, Gararion greeted the newcomer.  "It seems that we hve.  I wonder just how many more will be joining us," Gararion says, his eyes straying off to the few empty crates untaken yet.

Edited by: Gararion  at: 9/7/05 17:15

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 07, 2005, 11:31:22 PM
Duke Tyithelis

He was pleased when her soft voice reached his ears. It seemed to him as though her voice was that of a goddess and transcended any music found within the culture of man. She stood, and he was amazed to learn that she stood a full palmspan taller than he. Every woman he had ever met had been shorter than he and thus easy to intimidate. He was repulsed and intrigued at the same time: repulsed that any woman would look down on him, yet intrigued that for once he might not be the dominant of the two.

He led her onto the dance floor and held her close as he began to dance with her much in the same way that the other couples were dancing. His right hand held one of her delicate hands as his left rested lightly on the small of her back. His azure gaze came to rest upon her blue eyes, and his very essence seemed to be lost in their depths. Only they existed on the dance floor, the other couples were merely scenery. He could almost believe that their feet were not touching the floor, as her grace seemed to be beyond that of a common mortal. He now knew that his harem would be the greatest in Sarvonia, if her exotic beauty graced it with her presence. It never occurred to him that she might refuse, as women were not allowed to defy the command of a man.

"It seems the myths are true, and your fair race does possess more grace than any other race. As you assuredly already know, this ball is to celebrate the marriage of my daughter to Duke Tasul'i and this is his home. I would greatly appreciate it if you decided to grace my castle in Brinsley with your presence."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 07, 2005, 11:51:22 PM
Tomas paused in his survey of the aged crate as he heard the door open yet again. He had not heard anyone talking in the hallway, but a torrent of words reached his ears as the door opened. He could not help but stare as another elf was pushed into the room. It seemed odd that so many elves would attend a ball as it was widely known that humans outnumbered them in the world of Caelereth, but apparently such a ball attracted all sorts of folk. The strangest thing about the newcomer had to be his hair, for Tomas could not imagine someone styling their hair to resemble spikes. The appearance of a male elf did not concern him, so he made no mention of it as he introduced himself.

"Hello, sir elf. As you can clearly see, Gararion is also a member of your fair race. I am Tomas Valentin, and the other man calls himself Aurelian. It is strange that you would consider such an imprisonment to be an honor." He paused as he glanced down at the crate of wine. "Then again, we do have the honor of enjoying the Duke's best wine. I assume you have met the Duke, as Aurelian and I have him to blame as the reason for our imprisonment. I cannot imagine that he is sane, and I can only wonder what caused such a condition within the mind of a young man. By the time the ball is through, I wouldn't be surprised if every guest is forced into this stark room."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 08, 2005, 02:01:22 AM
        As Tomas indroduced the mage to the newcomer, Gararion lowered his head slightly in a bow, his lengthly silver hair falling foward.  As he raise dhis head, his hand seemed to instinctively raise to straighting the hair where his left ear once was, though he hid this feature from many, including the ones in his company now.

        Standing for amoment, he obtained a bottle of the wine that tomas had found, a cooling breeze began to surrond his hand and the bottle of wine.  Wraping his elven fingers tightly around the cork, hardened with age, Gararion pulled at it, a snuffed popping noise erupting fromt he bottle as the cork slid free.  Raising the wine to his lips, Gararion took a small sip, allowing the cooled sweet wine to slowly trickle down his throat, tickling the inside of his throat as it travelled past the aging scar that ran accross his neck.

        "I sensed soemthign about the Duke before I was removed.  A pressence of something magical.  This may be the cause of his illness, though it may be the residue of magical healing that he may have recieved.  It could also be that the Duke has a enemy, which I am sure one of his power would surely make easily, that has been posioning.  

        Though I suppose it could also simply be a mundane illness that his healers have yet to determined or stress of the upcoming wedding is weighing heavily upon his head.  Sadly I hadn't the time with him to fully examine him, so I cannot be certain if which or any of these option could lead to the answer you seek."

Edited by: Gararion  at: 9/7/05 18:02

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 08, 2005, 04:47:22 AM
Ratdragon nodded as everyone was introduced, and then introduced himself, Pleasure to meet you all, I am Ratdragon, Blade Singer of the Silver Sword.  

Smiling slightly, Ratdragon looked at the man named Tomas. I suppose you didn't detect it, but I was using sarcasm when I called this an honor, sir. His smile fading, Ratdragon grimaced, I wish I were thrown in here on account of the Duke. I'm in here because of a foolish brat of a girl.

Standing, Ratdragon grabbed a wine bottle and returned to his seat. Pulling the cork with his teeth, he spat the cork out before lifting the bottle to his lips. Ratdragon listened to the other elf talk as he drank the sweet liquid.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Aurelian Cyrosa Asaen on September 08, 2005, 05:07:22 AM
If there was one thing Aurelian thoroughly hated it was the orchestra’s butting in at unexpected intervals when he was the soloist. Twice it had happened now. Summoning yet another exquisite smile at the late arrival, he spoke serenely, ‘Yes, I am Aurelian Cyrosa of the Asaen.’ What an awful way to wear one's hair! He took a soft breath before starting again, ‘May I offer you some – in fact, this is getting rather repetitive. For the sake of Ankriss let us assume we all want some lavano to counterweight dear Tasul’i’s wine.’

Taking four seeds in his right hand, Cyrosa slowed his breathing for one more time and reached with his power into the pods. With two elves in the room (especially with one of them being a mage) the simple trick he pulled off for Tomas would not suffice. Something more extravagant was needed. Lord Valentin had not noticed the runic structure. Obviously Sarvonian males were no different than Nybelmarian ones. As soft green runes flew around his hand to form increasingly complex webs stretching into the seeds, Aurelian wondered if the elves could see the pattern now covering half the room. Behind his closed eyes the seeds opened to greet the power channeled into them. After a few breaths he heard four distant cracking sounds and when he opened his eyes at last, Cyrosa was delighted to see four sprouts interlacing around each other in wild patterns. The fruits seemed even more beautiful and succulent than the ones Tomas and he had consumed earlier. This time he had remembered to fashion the napkins beforehand: Each pulp emerged atop four huge green leaves. The way the lush leaves curved inward resembled graceful Lillivear serving plates. Cyrosa congratulated himself on the symmetry: Four fruits for four guests, each supported on an elegant salver fashioned from four leaves. He realized now that a breathtaking aroma had filled the room. Apparently he had also caused some blossoms to appear along the vines arching around his arms. Mentally patting himself on the back for this adorable addition, Aurelian addressed his fellows in a voice as clear as the beautiful morning sky, ‘I hope you enjoy the earth’s little gift. May our friendship blossom like the lavano! Oh, and before I forget, you may use those leaves to wipe your hands.’ Extremely pleased with himself, Cyrosa started adding three drops to each fruit from a tiny glass bottle. By the time it was over, he was already humming an old Krean melody.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 08, 2005, 05:51:22 AM
Tomas sighed as Aurelian once again performed his trick of making plants grow. It was an interesting talent, but anything could become annoying when it was clearly designed as a show to awe an audience. He could not see the symbols in the air as he was not gifted in that manner, but the vines curling around the man's arms could not have had a purpose.

He had to admit that he had enjoyed the fruit and would greatly appreciate another. Reaching for one of the fruits as it sat upon a display of four leaves, he took a bite and marveled at how much juice one fruit could contain. The juice once again ran down his chin, and he wiped his mouth with a leaf before washing the piece of fruit down with a swig from his bottle of wine. Holding the remaining fruit in one hand, he addressed the elves and man seated before him.

"It seems not all of us have had the pleasure of meeting our gracious host. Personally, I believe his actions are those of an insane individual. What brought on such insanity, I could not say without more knowledge of his past." A sly grin spread across his face as he looked at Ratdragon. "It is not wise to anger a woman. Their anger lasts longer and burns hotter than that of a man."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 08, 2005, 08:48:22 AM
Raising his eyebrows as the man produced fruit from seeds, Ratdragon reached out and took one of the strange fruits. Biting into it, the elf was delighted at the flavorful juice, wiping it away from his chin with the leaf. Though the fruit was good, Ratdragon determined this pompous man to be somewhat of a show-off.

Thank you sir Aurelian, this fruit is quite flavorful.

Taking another drink of his wine, Ratdragon turned to reply to Tomas. I hope that the duke's insanity does not last long, I really don't fancy sleeping in here. Better than a cell perhaps... Upon hearing Tomas's sly remark, Ratdragon flushed slightly and returned hotly, I did not anger the girl. She merely was just as insane as the duke, and had no reasoning. It seems everyone in the place has gone insane.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 12, 2005, 07:39:22 AM
Lady Yijeni

Yijeni gracefully walked down the hallway, considering what she would say when she greeted her elven warrior. She had been too harsh on him, and he deserved to be forgiven. Perhaps he would be so overjoyed that he kissed her. She paused for a moment and leaned against the wall as she considered what his lips would feel like. Surely they would be soft and moist, and she knew he would be a good kisser. They would probably kiss for hours and then walk along the beach as they held hands and discussed their future together. She would stare into his beautiful violet eyes as he compared her beauty to the stars themselves.

Remembering where she was, she smiled and once again began to walk down the hallway. It had been surprising yet pleasing to learn that Ratdragon had been taken to a storeroom instead of the dungeon. Her elven warrior would wilt in such a foul place as the dungeon. She stared at the two peasants that stood guard at the door and impatiently tapped her foot as she waited for them to open the door. It was below her to even speak to them.

Once the guards had opened the door, she walked in and was delighted to see her elven warrior sitting on a crate. She had not expected to find another elf and two men sharing the room with Ratdragon, and she became enraged at the thought of them ruining her evening with her elf.

"Peasants!! How dare you interrupt my romantic evening with Ratdragon? My father will hang you from the gallows for this insult to my honor! Perhaps insolent boors such as yourselves do not understand the romance that can exist between a man and a woman, but I should not blame you. Your ignorance is inherited from generations of uncouth beasts that lack the sense to even properly raise a child."

The guards closed the door as she stood with her hands on her hips, facing the elves and men with an expression of absolute rage upon her face.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 12, 2005, 09:25:22 AM
Tomas lounged in his chair, quietly sipping his wine as yet another person entered the room. He was mildly surprised to learn that the newcomer was a woman, for he had not known that the Duke's anger extended to women as well. She was quite beautiful with long black hair that descended to the middle of her back. He could even see some family resemblance between her and the Lady Fenyn, perhaps they were sisters.

He began to chuckle softly as the girl insulted them in a long winded speech. He did not care if she called them peasants, as some of the most interesting people he had met during his journeying had been peasants. He could care less when she insulted his heritage, as he had long ago walked away from his family and did not intend to return. Even her insult to his intelligence did not bother him, for only the ignorant tried to make themselves feel superior by insulting others. Her allegation that he knew nothing of romance was more than he was willing to take from the insolent whelp. He set his bottle of wine on the floor and stared at her with his rage clearly burning in his eyes as he spoke in a quiet yet powerful voice.

"Do not speak of things that you do not comprehend. Matters of the heart are beyond the ken of girls such as yourself."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 12, 2005, 09:45:22 AM
As he sipped his wine, Ratdragon heard the door open. Turning to see who had been the next victim to be thrown in, Ratdragon blanched as he saw Yijeni walk in. As she shouted at the others in the room, Ratdragon's face burned red hot.

Dropping his almost empty wine bottle to the floor with a crash, the elf wondered why she wouldn't leave him alone. He had thought that he'd gotten away from her, but alas, he was not to have peace. Listening as Tomas replied angrily to the girl, Ratdragon was glad to see that he did not like her either. The man seemed insulted only when she accused them of not knowing of romance.

After the man finished, Ratdragon stood and addressed the girl, " Yijeni, what are you doing here? You're the one responsible for me being in here. " Ratdragon said quietly, trying to control his temper.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 12, 2005, 10:58:22 PM
        Gararion nodded as Tomas spoke of the posibility of the duke suffering from insanity, though this has been a posilbility that he hoped would not be the cause.  For other illness stood a chance of being healed, while insanity was difficult illness to overcome.  As the elf pondered over this, it seemed as if they had gained their next guest.  But this one was different, she wasn't escorted by the guards, nor did they remain to listen to her speech.

        The words spoken from the woman seemed to gain much attention from both Tomas and Ratdragon, they also began to tug at memories deep within the mages soul. Memories of his only love, Sarah, and the last few days of her life.  He tried not to remember the memory of her dying within his arms, knowing that it was in his best interest not to.

        As the mage lisened to the statements made by his fellow compainions, he shook his head sadly.  He shook his head not only in disapproval of how things were being handled by his compainions, but at he memories that attempted to overcome his will.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Emalaya on September 14, 2005, 01:04:22 AM
She was not surprised the Duke didn't lack the ability to dance, but she was taken aback by his amble grace in which he led her across the dance floor. For a man his age, he had a great amount of energy and nimbleness in his feet. Though, despite his supposedly unthreatening nature, she remained alert. He seemed to be quite mesmorized and to be caught off guard if he would try anything funny would put her at a great disadvantage physically.

"It seems the myths are true, and your fair race does possess more grace than any other race. As you assuredly already know, this ball is to celebrate the marriage of my daughter to Duke Tasul'i and this is his home. I would greatly appreciate it if you decided to grace my castle in Brinsley with your presence."

At his compliment, a slight blush rose to her features despite her willing, but she continued to be wary of him. Humans were known for their trickery and attempted manipulation of others to get their way, though all races had such qualities among their numbers.

"Congratulations on the wonderful occasion, I wish them the very best. As for your offer, allow me to think about it first. I do not wish to intrude nor do I know how long I shall be staying here. I travel the world, thus I never remain in a single place for a great length of time."

While they danced, she allowed her mind to wander momentarily from reality. The Duke was no longer her dance partner, instead her husband Alexander too his place. Though he passed several years ago in an accident, she never had the courage to move on and "forget". He remained with her in thought and memory, visiting her on occasion.

"You look magnificent my love." His voice was deep and husky against her delicate ears. "The gown fits you quite seductively."

A smile spread across her lips as Alexander's voice filled her heart. He missed him tremendously, and when she took part in some of their favorite past times, his presence was all the more overpowering.

"You flatter my unnecessarily my dear. Though, you are not looking half bad yourself." Her voice matched his own as he whisked her across the dance floor to the music.

"Do I? Cannot I enjoy how beautiful my wife looks? You are an angel my dear, whether you believe my words or not. And I know you love the attention." He sent her a wink before he vanished and was once again replaced by the Duke.

((The blue italics is said aloud by her...FYI))

"True peace of mind comes only when my heart and actions are aligned..." - Robert Newcomb

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 15, 2005, 01:20:22 AM
Duke Tyithelis

He smiled knowingly as she blushed after his compliment. His charm was such that women could never refuse his every desire. Admiring her figure in the silk gown, he could not help but think that she would make a wonderful addition to his harem. Her beauty was an exotic one, and he was quite fond of exotic creatures. As he danced with the elfess with his arms wrapped around her, he glanced out of the corner of his eye, scanning the room for his wife. She knew of his sexual escapades with other women, and she knew that it was her duty as his wife to accept them. Despite all that, she still developed a jealousy toward any woman that received his attentions and often made the lives of such women miserable. He did not see her at the moment, but he had no doubt that she was watching him.

A slight frown crossed his face as the elfess mentioned his 'offer'. Clearly she had misunderstood him, for it was a demand and not an offer. Women did not possess the common sense to make decisions for themselves, so it was necessary for men to decide every aspect of their lives.

"Perhaps you misunderstood me. It was not an offer. It was a demand. You do not have a choice in the matter, and you will accompany me when I leave the ball. My wife will not be pleased by your presence, but she knows better than to defy me."

Upon hearing the elfess call him 'my dear', he knew that her mind was afflicted with a malady. Knowing that she was ill did not concern him, as he only wanted her body. She could have the mentality of a child, and it would not matter as long as she was beautiful.

Lady Yijeni

Yijeni looked at Ratdragon with the agony of his rejection clearly present in her eyes. He didn't want her to be there? But they were lovers, and she would die in his arms. How was she repsonsible for him being in the room? It was his lies that had caused such a punishment to be levied upon him, and it was his fault that he was locked in a storeroom. She had only wanted to help him, to teach him that he could not lie to her. It was her responsiblity as his future wife to care for  him, and he clearly needed her guidance. She should not have sent him into this room with these peasants, and she regretted her rash decision to do so.

Stepping toward him, she noticed the broken glass of his bottle for the first time. Instead of speaking to him as she had intended to do, she walked to the door and opened it to speak with the guards standing in the hallway.

"Thomas, would you be so kind as to fetch me a broom? I would greatly appreciate it."

Her words could not be heard by the men sitting within the room, but the elves could clearly hear each word. A few moments later, she closed the door and now had a broom in her hand. Walking toward the elf that was sitting on a crate, she thrust the broom at him and let go, intending for him to catch it.

"Peasant, make yourself useful and clean up this broken glass."

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 9/14/05 18:46

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 15, 2005, 04:34:22 AM
        As the mage sat silently on his chair, he could hear the words that their new 'master' spoke through the door, glancing down at the floor where the shattered glass wine bottle lay in pieces.

        As Yijeni made her way back, she indeed held a aged broom, covered in a light layer of dust showing the lack of use it served down within this part of the castle.  Upon within their storeroom, she thrust the broom at the mage, ordering him to clean to mess caused by his compainion.

        As quickly as the Lady thrust the broom in his direction, Gararion stood with the grace of the wind and thrust his own hand at the broom, though his hand seemed to follow the broom, throwing it against the wall where he had been sitting, a swirl of dust following it as the broom slamed into the wall with a greater force then the fair Yijeni had thrown it at the mage, falling to the floor behind him.

        "I have yet to offend you my Lady, so I ask for you to honor this and not offend I," was all the mage said.  He remained standing beside his crate, knowing that this may well have made things worse.  He may have allowed himself taken prisoner freely but he would not allow himself to be treated like one.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 15, 2005, 06:06:22 AM
Watching as Yijeni called for a broom, Ratdragon wondered if she could somehow get them out of here. She did however, seem able to control the guards. Watching as she called Gararion a peasant and demanded he sweep up the glass, Ratdragon shook his head at her insolence. Watching as the broom was hurled to the wall by the other elf, Ratdragon walked over to grab Yijeni's arm.

" Please Yijeni, do not call my companions 'peasants'. Sit down with us, we can talk." He says, hoping he can convince her to get them out of this, or at least get someone in here who could.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 16, 2005, 04:43:22 AM
Lady Yijeni

Her eyes widened in shock as the broom was hurled against the wall. Only magic could have managed such a feat, and she began to blush as she realized that she had just insulted an elven mage. Her feelings for Ratdragon had overwhelmed her judgment, and she could now see that her actions had been rash and foolish. There was no reason for her to insult the men and elves in this room, and she would have fled from the room if it were not for the thought that Ratdragon would never speak to her again if she did so.

A slight smile crossed her face as her elven warrior walked toward her, gracefully stepping over the glass, but her smile became a frown as he grabbed her arm. The strength of his slender fingers was astounding for someone of his weight, and her arm began to hurt from the pressure he was putting on it. Her gaze flickered to his violet eyes as a few tears streamed down her cheeks. She could not understand why he would want to hurt her, and the emotional agony of his rejection was far worse than the physical pain of his grip. Fearing that he would hurt her more if she spoke, she remained silent as she continued to look up at him.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 16, 2005, 03:49:22 AM
Tomas watched the commotion with some amusement as the girl dared to call an elven mage 'peasant'. His anger at her had diminished as he realized how truly insane she must be, and he now pitied her. A girl such as her should be married to a caring husband, so that she would have someone to look after her during her outbursts. Her life as a lady must surely be a sheltered one, as she would not survive for long on the streets with a tongue such as hers. Watching as Ratdragon grasped her arm, he stood and walked toward the pair. He admitted that the girl was probably not worth his trouble, but he could not stand to see any woman in pain.

"Sir elf, I ask that you release her at once. I do not wish to fight you, but I will do what I must to defend a lady such as her."

He did not have his weapons with him, but such a threat from a man of his size and strength was not to be taken lightly. His anger that any female would be harmed in such a manner clearly burned in his eyes, and his grim smile was not one to be mistaken for merriment.

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 9/15/05 19:52

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 16, 2005, 05:44:22 AM
Seeing tears run down Yijeni's face, Ratdragon looked at her in confusion, wondering what he had done now. He quickly realized that he must be grasping her arm too hard, he hastily withdrew his hand. He was not accustomed to handling women, and did not realize that they were that fragile.

Turining as he heard Tomas accuse him of purposely hurting Yijeni, Ratdragon turned, struggling to control his short fuse.

I did not mean to hurt the girl, I merely am not used controlling my strength around women. Turning to Yijeni, Ratdragon apologized. I am deeply sorry I hurt you, Lady Yijeni. I won't do it again. Bowing before her, Ratdragon retreated slowly to his crate.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Kalína Dalá'isyrás on September 18, 2005, 12:30:22 AM
"Perhaps you misunderstood me. It was not an offer. It was a demand. You do not have a choice in the matter, and you will accompany me when I leave the ball. My wife will not be pleased by your presence, but she knows better than to defy me."

The feet of the elfess came to a sudden halt as she stood before the Duke in a state of shock. No man has EVER spoken to her with such arrogance and rudeness, so she quickly released herself from his hold and stood in front of him with her azure eyes ablaze with anger. A small pale hand rose in one swift motion, slapping squarely across the face. She then rose her voice to him. yet it was no longer soft and gentle but full of sharpness and pain.

"How dare you speak to a lady in such a manner, much less a guest. I am appalled with your words and actions." Sapphire hues glared in fury, trying to suppress the urge to end him right now. "I will not be accompanying you from the ball. I am a woman, and I demand respect. Especially when I am not of your race or of this area. I am a guest and I expect to be treated as such. Have I made myself clear or do I need to be clearer for your human male mind?"

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 20, 2005, 01:25:22 AM
Duke Tyithelis

His head turned sharply to the right as her hand impacted his cheek. Glaring at the elfess as he rubbed his jaw, he considered his options. It was clear that she would not willingly accompany him to his castle, so more aggressive measures must be taken. He did not wish to harm her, but it was necessary that she understood that he was the one in control. An empty storeroom would be suitable, somewhere the elfess could be alone to contemplate how she should have responded to the honor of being invited to join his harem. The castle he now stood in was not his home, but he was sure that the guards knew of such a room and could take her there.

"You will regret striking me. Now, you will have to be punished for defying me. Guard! Take her to an empty storeroom, I'm sure you know of one. Somewhere she could consider the proper way she should have responded to a gentleman."

The guard hesitated at first, as Tyithelis was not his Duke. Shrugging, he figured that he would be punished if he dared to disobey a noble, and his calloused hand closed over the arm of the elfess as he led her from the ballroom.

Tyithelis surveyed the room, searching for another woman to dance with as he noticed his daughter sitting alone and sobbing quietly. It was not proper for a lady to display her emotions in public, so he walked over to her and pulled her to her feet. Placing a firm hand on her arm, he guided her down the hallway to a room where they could be alone, unaware that it was adjacent to the empty storeroom where he had just sent the elfess.  

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 20, 2005, 01:39:22 AM
Tomas nodded as the elf explained his reasons for grabbing the woman, and he once again sat down in his chair. No sign of anger could be seen upon his face, as he was not angry at the elf and never had been. It was his duty to protect women whenever possible, and Yijeni had no need of his protection.

He leaned forward as he heard shouting in the next room, though he could not make out the words. Yijeni clearly recognized the voice as her face drained of all color, and she immediately dashed to the door and began to beat upon it, calling for the guards. The door opened and she rushed out of the room before the door once again closed and it could be heard to lock once more. Any hopes Tomas had of using Yijeni to escape were lost with her departure, and he resigned himself to wait for either the Duchess or the Duke.

Incredibly, the shouts became even louder and he listened with interest as some words were audible to him.


A sly grin crossed his face as he realized who the man must be shouting about.

"Well, my friends. It seems as though someone is discussing our favorite Duke in the next room. I cannot think of two better words to describe him than 'insane' and 'bastard'."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 21, 2005, 04:05:22 AM
        The conversation had grown rather quiet as the occupants of the damp storeroom awaited answers to the questions they had formed within their minds.  But this silence would not last long, as the conversation from within a room, which seemed to resonate from the room next to their own.  The words seemed as clear to the mage as a the whipser of cool breeze as passes by one's ear, Gararion was sure the other elves of the room could hear the sentenance as clearly as he could.

        As Gararion thought of the words, Tomas spoke, commenting on what he and most likely the other non-elves within the room had heard.  Tomas' words only reminded the mage of the hope he had that the duke was not truely insane, though the more time they spent within the storeroom, he too couldn't ignore the possibility.  Gararion only hopes they would recieve some sort of absolute answer, he did not come to this ball to be left within a storeoom indefinitely.

        Gararion only nodded to the words spoken by Tomas, choosing not to speak on th matter til he knew more of the situation.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 21, 2005, 04:39:22 AM
Ratdragon watched as Tomas sat down, both glad and dissapointed that there was not a fight. Looking to the door as Yijen ran out of the room, Ratdragon's elven ears picked up an angry voice coming from the next room. Smiling at Tomas' remark, the elf slowly lifted another wine bottle out of the box, pulling the cork off and drinking it slowly as he mulled over the voices. Obviously this marriage was not to the consent of the bride. This angered the elf, but Ratdragon could do nothing about it at the moment, only hope that they would soon be released from this room.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Emalaya on September 22, 2005, 01:11:22 AM
"You will regret striking me. Now, you will have to be punished for defying me. Guard! Take her to an empty storeroom, I'm sure you know of one. Somewhere she could consider the proper way she should have responded to a gentleman."

Her form remained rigid with anger as he called the guards to take her away. She was thoroughly digusted with her time here and would leave promptly after everything had blown over. Humans were never her favorite company anyways, at least human males. They had a false sense of property. Before the guards led her away, she spoke once more to the Duke in response to his "declaration".

"I do not know who you think you are, but you are no gentleman, and I even wonder if any human blood runs in your contaminated veins. Your treatment of women is horrifying and I pray you die a terrible death." Her voice was just as soft as before, if not even more fluid yet void of any emotion. It was merely a statement of fact and she was in no way backing away from her treatment of him, for it was well deserved in her mind.

She did not resist the guards as they led her to the storeroom. Walking slowly and with her elven elegance, she stood tall and stared directly ahead of her. In the distance she heard the sound of crying and hurried footsteps going in that direction. She knew those footsteps; The Duke. Just before they reached the room, a girl came running out from the one adjacent to it. Though somewhat surprised, she said nothing and allowed herself to be locked in the room, at least for the time being.

She was not there long before she heard shouting just outside the room. It was Duke Tyithelis and he was very angered at someone, who she quickly figured out to be the daughter he spoke of. The bride of the ball. His words enraged the elfess greatly, not only because he had the gall to raise his voice to a young lady, but to raise his voice on such an occasion to his kin.

"Is there no man in this building who holds respect for women in the least? Or has the entire male human species been so corrupted since my last encounter with them?"

From his words, it was evident she was not in consent with this marriage. The girl's fear rippled from her in massive waves. Emalaya placed her body against the door, pressing herself as close as she could and did her best to send a wave of comfort to the girl, and courage to stand up to the monster before her. No man should raise his voice to a woman of respectability, or any woman in that sense. But then again, in her mind, the Duke was not a man.

"True peace of mind comes only when my heart and actions are aligned..." - Robert Newcomb

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 22, 2005, 02:00:22 AM
Tomas watched in amazement as yet another elf entered the room. Unlike the two that he had already met, this one was female, and her beauty clearly surpassed that of any human woman. Her raven hair cascaded to her knees, and he could imagine that the beauty of the night was held in each silky lock. He smiled slyly as she pressed up against the door, listening to the conversation in the next room. Most women would have introduced themselves when they were shoved into a room with four strange men. Her confidence was such that she did not fear them, and he could only wonder at the source of such courage. Judging by the silk gown, she had also been attending the ball before being rudely forced into a storeroom. Her gown shimmered with the radiant hues of the ocean, and he would believe her if she claimed to belong to elven nobility, if such a thing existed among elves.

He stood and paused as he considered the proper way to introduce himself. He did not want to frighten her by mentioning an encounter with the Duke, though he was not sure if Tasul'i was the reason for her presence in this room. Realizing that the best thing he could do would be to simply tell the truth, he walked toward her and leaned against the wall as she continued to press against the door. His hazel eyes remained focused on her sapphire orbs, for it would not be proper for him to study her beautiful curves.

"Hail, elfess. I am Tomas Valentin, though some are inclined to call me Lord Valentin. May I inquire as to what your name might be? You seem to have an interest in the conversation that is occurring in the next room. Do you perhaps recognize the voices? I have often heard that elven hearing surpasses that of humans."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 23, 2005, 04:58:22 AM
        Gararion appeared to hadn't taken notice of the entrance made by the female elf, at least in any physical manner in which a person would normally recognise a newcomer.  Though this was not true, he knew that the door had been opened and another figure entered within the room, he even knew the figure to be an elf, thanks to his senses.  Though this did not concern him, he still wished to listen to the words which seemed to be drawn to his ear like a cool breeze.  

        The mages head turned slowly to face the newcomer, awaken from his trance-like state by the words spoken by Tomas.  Gararion examined the female, though he remianed silent.  The mages inner thoughts were trying to answer a question that seemed to be forming within him, why were there so many elves attending this ball.  Elves hadn't the need of such royalties, at least that had been what he had remembered.  Gararion had to admit, he hadn't been amoung his own people, nor his own tribe in a long time.  He could only wonder if things had changed so much during his time within the Academy, his time spent wandering Caelereth, his time spent with Sarah.  At that thought, the mage turned away form the others, staring into the corner where he had been sitting as if he could see through the walls of the store room.  Could the mage see something that the others couldn't?

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Emalaya on September 27, 2005, 12:51:22 AM
"Hail, elfess. I am Tomas Valentin, though some are inclined to call me Lord Valentin. May I inquire as to what your name might be? You seem to have an interest in the conversation that is occurring in the next room. Do you perhaps recognize the voices? I have often heard that elven hearing surpasses that of humans."

She had only half noticed the other occupants of the room, but only barely. When one of the spoke, it surprised her and caused her to jump slightly in reaction. Upon turning around, she came face to face with a man of average height.  Bowing her head in a greeting of sorts, she smiled as best she could under the circumstances.

"My name is Emalaya Lanthir. About the conversation, how could one not hear, though it did begin a good while ago and am greatly displeased. No girl should have to suffer through such treatment, especially by her father."

Her arms snake over each other as she crossed her arms over her breast and let out a soft sigh of desperation as she felt a wave of despair for and from the girl.

"If you are wondering what is being said, the Duke is yelling at his daughter. Telling her she cannot back out of the marriage because it would look bad for him and she isn't allowed to cry."

"True peace of mind comes only when my heart and actions are aligned..." - Robert Newcomb

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 28, 2005, 02:05:22 AM
Tomas nodded as Emalaya introduced herself and mentioned that it was the Duke that was shouting in the next room. It was a moment before he realized that she was speaking of Tyithelis and not Tasul'i. He had never met the man personally, but according to rumors he ruled his people with an iron fist. It did not surprise him that a noble would lust after power in such a manner, but he was not pleased that it was the Lady Fenyn that was receiving such harsh words. His love for her had blossomed during the brief moments when he had first met her, and he could not bear to think of her being insulted by the man she should trust most in this world. His passion began to get the better of him, and he paced back and forth within the room as he considered his options. It would not be possible for him to break the door, and he doubted that he would be able to overcome the guards without Bane, his bastard sword. For now, he could only pace back and forth as he worried about Fenyn and awaited someone with enough compassion to free them from this room. His thoughts returned to the elfess, aware that she was probably awaiting a response, and he spoke in a calm tone though his worry was clearly showing in his eyes.

"It is a sad day when a girl cannot trust her own father. I have known the Lady Fenyn only briefly, but I feel as though we met ages ago and only now have we reunited. You may have my chair, as I do not feel like sitting at the present moment. I apologize that it is a simple wooden chair and not fit for one such as yourself, but it is the best that I have to offer."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on September 29, 2005, 10:23:22 AM
Ratdragon watched irritatedly as another walked into the room. To his surprise, she was another Elf!  He wondered why so many other elves were at this celebration, he had been sure he would be the only one here.

Drinking his wine as he listened to the conversation between the beautiful elf and Tomas, Ratdragon shook his head at the sad events. This place wasn't the joyous place he had expected, and the poor elf's interest was begginning to ebb, being cooped up in this room. Toying impatiently with his wine bottle, Ratdragon listened to the conversation with resignation.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Emalaya on September 30, 2005, 07:09:22 AM
"It is a sad day when a girl cannot trust her own father. I have known the Lady Fenyn only briefly, but I feel as though we met ages ago and only now have we reunited. You may have my chair, as I do not feel like sitting at the present moment. I apologize that it is a simple wooden chair and not fit for one such as yourself, but it is the best that I have to offer."

Though she did her best to keep her emotions under control, her present unrest and irritation was clearly visible in her body language as she place her hands nonchalantly upon her slender hips. She was not in the mood to let someone get away with destroying his daughter's life, which had yet to truly begin. Not having personally met the Lady, she was not aware of the girl's appearance, but she had no doubt the girl was blessed with beauty. The wedding needed to be stopped, if for no other reason than for the Lady's sake. The life she would lead would not be fit for such a precious treasure, though from the sounds of it, her childhood was nothing to be loved either.

"No, I will not sit because I do not plan on staying in this room any longer than I have to." Her voice spoke with an evident edge to its tone. She meant business and was no longer in the mood for proper mannerisms. Through her travels, she had become more of a mercenary if anything, though much of her previous life followed closely behind her, reminding her of home and her friends. "I see there is wine by your chair. Excellent. Step back Tomas, no need for a headache later on."

While she spoke, she quickly extended her right arm out toward the open wine bottle and called the water from the contents until it was all drained and the water floated in a ball 2 nailsbreadths above her palm. Closing her eyes, she concentrated and as she did so, the water began to take shape. After what seemed half a second, the ball was now the shape of a small key, yet it lacked any teeth. When she opened her eyes, a soft mischevious smile crept upon her lips. Spinning around, she slipped the key into the lock and waited but a moment before turning the key and opening the door.

The key, though toothless, took the form of the inside of the lock, allowing her to open the door as if the steel key had been entered into the lock. Once it swung open, she flicked her wrist and the key transformed into a sword hilt. With the hilt, she hit both guards on the back of the head squarely as to knock them unconcious and collapse to the ground in two heaps. When she was finished, she sent the water to the bottle once again where it regained its previous form. Facing the men, she smiled and crossed her arms slyly.

"I believe thanks are in order."

"True peace of mind comes only when my heart and actions are aligned..." - Robert Newcomb

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on September 30, 2005, 06:41:22 AM
Tomas paused in his pacing and stepped away from the door as Emalaya seemed excited about a bottle of wine next to his chair. There was a crate full of unopened wine bottles, so it could be assumed that she was not interested in drinking it otherwise she would want one of them and not his bottle. The only logical conclusion was that when all reason fails, magic must be involved. Two of his companions within the storeroom had already revealed themselves as mages, and it would be quite a surprise to learn that three mages attended the same ball. Yet there was no other explanation, she had to possess magic that held sway over wine, or at least over most if not all liquids.

His conclusions were confirmed as water rose from the bottle, separating itself from the wine. He watched in amazement as a key was formed, surprised by the knowledge that such a slender elfess possessed such power. With finesse she unlocked the door with her newly formed key, and he readied himself for the guards that he knew to stand outside in the hallway. He did not believe that Emalaya needed his protection, but he would offer it nonetheless. It would shame him forever if he allowed harm to come to any female of any race. Preparing to rush out the room, he stopped short as the water formed into the hilt of a sword and knocked both guards unconscious. The door now stood open, and the hallway was empty. They had their freedom, and he turned to the elfess as she demanded gratitude. He heard her subtle insult that she did what they could not, but he had never been ashamed of himself for not being able to cast magic. He was content to wield Bane as he defended his life and the lives of those that could not defend themselves.

His thoughts remained upon Lady Fenyn. No amount of joy over his sudden attainment of freedom could cause him to forget her plight. He quickly stepped to the elfess and brushed his lips along her cheek as he kissed her. He chuckled softly as he walked to the door and spoke to Emalaya.

"I have never had a problem with gratitude, and you clearly deserve mine as well as that of my companions. I have always thought that beautiful women were dangerous."

He stepped out of the storeroom as he scanned the hallway, ensuring that it was empty. He did not see any guards, so he walked to the door of the adjacent room, intent upon rescuing Fenyn from her father. Just as he was about to open the door, he had a strange feeling that someone was standing behind him. Turning around, he recognized the Duchess Sera though he had never met her. Only from a distance had he seen her during the ball, and it was easy to see that age had imparted beauty as well as wisdom.

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 9/29/05 22:49

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on September 30, 2005, 12:11:22 PM
        Gararion remained sitting on his provisional chair, watching as the female elf had revealed to him that she too had the gift of magic.  Though the aura that the mage sensed about the female seemed differen't, not like the arua's that he had often sensed amoung the students that he had taught.  She didn't alter the caráll around her like most people, though Gararion's experience and wisdom lead the wizard to the truth, this female was druid.

        Gararion had met very few druids during his life, mostly learning about their strengths and limitations through texts within Ximax.  The few druids he had met hadn't displayed their power so freely, nor did they seem to have the same rage that this female had within.  They seemed withdrawned, keeping their powers hidden from those around them.

        As the druid had finished her little show, disabling both the guards that stood watch over their door with her resouceful weapon, she turned to face the others within the room, a smile formed upon her lips.  She had thought she had given the men within the room a way out, something that she thought the other were incapable of doing, but Gararion knew otherwards.  She obviously didn't know of the abilities of those she shared the company with.  This had been one reason why the mage had been so repressed, he wished to know of the abilities of his companions before he saw the need to deomonstrate his true power, if the need ever arised.

        Gararion offered no form of recognizable gratitude to the elf which waited by the door.  Instead the elf watched Tomas approach her, offering his own form of gratitude before rushing past her nd down the ahll.  He listened to the males footsteps as they padded down the hall.  He listened sielntly as the foot steps shuffled to a stop, then seemed to turn about s if he hd missed his stop, silence filled the hall.  Standing, the mage made his way to the door, passing by Emalaya without a word said, though he posture and demeaner left any who attempted to read them in confusion.  As he made his way through the door, he paued, looking down the hallway at what stood before him.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on October 01, 2005, 10:11:22 PM
Ratdragon wondered why the elfess was so excited over an open wine bottle, but soon found out as she performed her water trick. Watching interestedly as the door was unlocked and the guards were dispatched, the elf decided that maybe it would get more interesting soon after all.

Standing up, Ratdragon slowly drained his wine bottle, then quickly swinging the bottom of the bottle down on the crate he had been sitting on, shattering it. This formed a crude weapon to be used against any guards they might come against. Spinning the jagged wine bottle through his fingers, Ratdragon took two more bottles and tucked them into his belt.

Satisfied, the elf strode too the door, wondering why the others had stopped. Turning to the elfess, Ratdragon inclined his head toward her.

Thank you for that lovely display, I never knew wine could do that. Lets just hope that there are plenty of guards outside, I was getting bored.

Striding outside to where the others were, Ratdragon stopped and looked at the dark-haired woman they were looking at, wondering what to do next.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on October 04, 2005, 12:58:22 AM
Duchess Sera

Sera walked along the hallway as she considered the events that had led to this moment in her life. The ball had become tedious with nobles dancing across the floor as they considered political alliances. She could not be with the man she truly loved, at least not in public, and it was becoming ever more difficult to smile at those that she knew would revolt at the first sign of weakness. Politics had always been the domain of her husband, but with his death she was forced to take the mantle of government upon herself. She believed that her rule was just yet fair, but there were those that could not accept her simply because of her gender. It was helpful to have Tasul'i as a figurehead, but even she was not able to predict his moods. During his youth, he had been a joyous child with a grin that lit the night sky, but the death of his father corrupted him absolutely. His last acts of insanity had been the arrests of innocent strangers, guests that were merely enjoying the ball before being cast into a guarded room. She did not mind Aurelian's absence as she could never truly understand his speech, but it would be a hassle to explain to Coren the reason his nephew had been imprisoned. It was not in her nature to tolerate such rash imprisonments within her duchy, but she did not want to anger her son.

She had slipped out of the ballroom as soon as his attention was held by a beautiful maiden and was now approaching the storeroom where the strangers had been imprisoned. It made her uneasy to think of elves being treated in such a manner as she did not wish for any hardships with that fair race. As she neared the door, she noticed that it stood ajar with the guards lying unconscious next to it. A dashingly handsome man walked out of the storeroom and approached the door of the adjacent room. His attention seemed to be so focused that he did not notice her presence at the far end of the hall, and she silently walked up behind him. She did not worry that he would harm him as she knew him to be Lord Valentin, an honorable man that would not harm any woman without reason. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the remainder of the imprisoned guest emerge from the storeroom, including Aurelian though he was oddly silent at the moment. She spoke in a melodious voice as Tomas turned to face her, and it was clear that her words were intended for the other guests in addition to Tomas.

"I apologize for the actions of my son, and for those of my other associates. You have been wrongly imprisoned, and it was my intent to free you though I now realize that my help is not required. I am truly sorry and would like to compensate you for such an insult to your integrity. Please follow me, and we will discuss matters in the anteroom of my sleeping quarters."

She stepped to the wall across the hallway from where Tomas was standing. With one hand, she pressed a stone and a slab of stone slid to one side to reveal a secret passage within the wall. It stood slightly less than two peds in height, and it was evident that the elves would have to duck to enter it. Standing to one side of the doorway, she motioned the guests forward and spoke once more.

"Using this passageway, Tasul'i will not be aware of our meeting together, though he may learn of it at a later date. I regret the necessity of forcing honorable guests to walk within such a dark passage, but I did not bring a candle."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on October 04, 2005, 12:55:22 AM
Gararion remained silent as the Duchess spoke.  Her words may have been true for most of her guest, though Gararion knew that she must not have known about the reason why he was with these people.  although it was not truly his fault, as the mage had warned those who he had left his staff with, he knew he could have prevented such infliction of pain upon the guard who fell victim to the protective spell of his staff.  With this thought in his mind, Gararon moved to the side of the storeroom doorway, allowing those who remained within room to pass.

   As the remaining people left the room, Gararion looked back to the door where Tomas had attempted to rush off to mere moments before.  The mage's eyes then moved to Emalaya, wondering if the female or Tomas would willingly leave what they had worked so hard to do alone.  Would they follow the Sera's plea, leaving the sounds they had heard from within the room before them left unchecked?  Gararion remained silent and waited for his answer...

Edited by: Gararion  at: 10/3/05 19:08

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on October 04, 2005, 04:18:22 AM
Tomas stood next to the door as he listened to the Duchess. His worry over Lady Fenyn had not subsided, and he could hear the conversation with her father through the door. Duke Tyithelis seemed to have calmed quite a bit, or at least he now spoke in tones that were barely audible outside of the room. He did not trust any man that could speak in such a harsh manner to a maiden, and his hands longed to wield Bane. Some men could only learn respect once their lives were in danger, and he could feel his passion building within him as he considered the fate of the fair Fenyn.

He believed the sincerity of the Duchess when she apologized for the actions of her son and the other nobles. In truth, he pitied anyone that was forced to watch the mind of a loved one slowly deteriorate. It was not surprising to learn of the secret passage, as the home of his father had contained many of those, each of which Tomas had explored during his youth. Most often such passages were built as escape routes for the nobles, in case they ever faced an assassin within their own chambers. His curiosity was immediately piqued by her offer to discuss matters, and he could only wonder about what such matters could be. Still, he could not leave Fenyn in her current situation. He spoke in a passionate voice as he responded to the Duchess.

"I fear that I cannot accept your offer as long as Lady Fenyn suffers in such a manner. I appreciate your apology, but I will not be satisfied until Duke Tyithelis learns proper respect for the fairer sex."

Tomas turned away from the Duchess as he shoved the door open, surprising both Tyithelis and Fenyn. The Lady Fenyn was seated in a wooden chair as her father paced back and forth on the stone floor. The comparison of himself to the Duke did not occur to Tomas, even though he had been pacing mere moments ago. It was impossible for him to even consider that he could have something in common with the Duke. Tyithelis stood in the middle of the room with his fists closed at his side and rage clearly burning in his eyes. Upon seeing the terror in the beautiful eyes of Fenyn, Tomas stepped into the room, a victim of his own passion. Lightning seemed to pass between the two men as they glared at each other across the room.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on October 04, 2005, 03:36:22 AM
The answer that Gararion sought came soon enough, though wether it was the answer that he had hopped for was yet to be determined.  As Tomas burst through the door, Gararion moved from the spot he had claimed.  The mage stood in the doorway,blocking further entrance within the room by the others, examining the situation before him.

   Tomas and the Duke eyes were locked together, the fury and compassion in each’s eyes unforgettable.  Gararion it would only be a matter of time before the hatred and anger held within each of their souls would be allowed to burst free in a display passion only seen in battle.  This Gararion knew would come, though he hopes he could play a role in preventing it...

Edited by: Gararion  at: 10/4/05 21:32

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on October 05, 2005, 02:02:22 AM
Duke Tyithelis

"You will marry Tasul'i, regardless of his mental condition. His health does not concern me as long as he is capable of producing a suitable heir for our duchies.”

Tyithelis paused for a moment as he looked into the eyes of his daughter. It was her duty to obey him, as it would soon be her duty to obey her husband. He could see her fear of his ire burning in her eyes, and he knew that it was through such fear that respect was obtained. His voice rose in volume as she opened her mouth to speak.

"Do not plague me with your notions of marrying the man you love! Emotions will eternally be the folly of women!"

He resumed his pacing only to pause once again as the door was slammed against the wall. His recently attained calm was immediately shattered as rage pervaded every fiber of his being. His storm-gray eyes glared at the intruder that dared to interrupt his private session with his daughter, and he stalked toward the door with his fists clenched at his side. Stopping only a ped away from Tomas, he began to shout in a voice that carried beyond the room and into the hallway. Though the men were of an equal height, Tomas clearly outweighed the Duke with muscles toned from years of training. It never occurred to the Duke that it would be wise for him to call the guards, as his training had never been tested in a fight.

"You have no right to interrupt! The matters between my daughter and I are family business and do not concern a stranger such as yourself. I ask that you leave now. Nay! I demand that you leave at once! Enjoy the ball if you so desire, but do not think to interfere in the affairs of your betters."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Emalaya on October 05, 2005, 09:33:22 AM
When Emalaya finally exited the storeroom, found the Duchess standing off to the side, gravely apologizing for the occurance of the temporary captivity. She could sense the woman's uneasiness and fear, and could not help but have pity on the beautiful creature. Azure hues studied the woman for a mere moment before outstretching her arm to lay a small delicate hand upon the woman's own, sending a wave of comfort and solace to calm the tortured nerves.

"I am grateful m'lady, yet before such matters are attended to, there is yet another who needs assistance. The one who imprisoned me was not your son, yet poses an equal danger to the marriage which should not truely come to pass. I can tell you fear your son but take heart in what we are going to do. Hopefully, not another will become victim to his madness."

A resounding slam then echoed through the hallway as Tomas threw open the door to the room where the Duke and the bride to be were enclosed. The Duke was not so deeply immersed in his yelling match at this time, yet was greatly unnerved by the interruption and his voice was once again ringing in her ears. Her anger flared within her for the young girl, yet it did not surface and she retained her calm demeanor, striding gracefully to stand next to the elder elf in the doorway, watching Tomas and the Duke intently.

"You have no right to interrupt! The matters between my daughter and I are family business and do not concern a stranger such as yourself. I ask that you leave now. Nay! I demand that you leave at once! Enjoy the ball if you so desire, but do not think to interfere in the affairs of your betters."

She glanced behind the Duke at his daughter, trembling in the wooden chair in which she was seated. He had no right to treat her in such a manner, daughter or not. She was a human being and had the right to make choices of her own, especially when the dealt with things of the heart. A woman is a delicate creature in many respects, but they also have their weaknesses. Yet their strengths in the right matters make them demand the upmost respect, even from their male counterparts - especially from their male counterparts.

Her eyes trailed back to the Duke once again who was still infuriated with Tomas for entering the room uninvited, though it was mildly amusing to see his face so red. Straightening her back and squareing her shoulders, she shoved the older elf to the side just enough to allow her passage. She stepped inside the room and strode uncaring to the young bride, standing behind the chair with her hands laying gently on the girls shoulders, once again sending a gentle wave of comfort and solace to calm the terrified creature as she sat their trembling.

"True peace of mind comes only when my heart and actions are aligned..." - Robert Newcomb

Edited by: Kalina Merenwen at: 10/6/05 13:52

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on October 06, 2005, 05:32:22 AM
Ratdragon listened as the dark-haired woman spoke. She seemed sincere, and Ratdragon would have forgiven her. But of course, she had never had anything to do with wronging him. It was Yijeni that was responsible for locking him up, not this woman, T'asuli, or the man shouting at his daughter. He was about to walk into the secret passage the woman opened up, but his interest shifted as Tomas burst open a door.

Watching as the two men faced each other, Ratdragon prepared himself for a good show. He would not help Tomas if it came to a fight, for the elf did not give his loyalty easily, and Tomas clearly wanted to settle this himself any way. Unless the man really needed help, the elf would stay out of this. The elfess entered the room also, placing her hands on a girl's shoulders. This girl resembled Yijeni, and was obviously the one being shouted at. This ought to be good.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on October 07, 2005, 06:06:22 AM
Duchess Sera

Sera watched in amazement as three elves exited the store room in addition to Lord Valentin and Aurelian. It was uncommon for so many elves to gather at one ball, and she was honored that they viewed the marriage of her son as an important occasion. Her azure gaze passed over the two male elves, dimly recognizing them from the ball, and came to rest upon the beautiful elfess as she approached. Her eyes widened in surprise as Emalaya placed a delicate hand over one of her own and spoke in a melodious voice.

“I am grateful m'lady, yet before such matters are attended to, there is yet another who needs assistance. The one who imprisoned me was not your son, yet poses an equal danger to the marriage which should not truely come to pass. I can tell you fear your son but take heart in what we are going to do. Hopefully, not another will become victim to his madness."

Thoughts began to whirl through her mind as she tried to discern who could possibly need assistance. She knew that her son had only imprisoned these five adventurers, and that there wasn’t anyone else within the castle that was being held against their will. Only the criminals were imprisoned, and surely the elfess did not intend to free thieves, murderers, and rapists. Her soft lips parted with the intent of questioning the elfess about these matters when a door slamming against the wall startled her, and she forgot to speak before Emalaya turned away.

She turned only to see the elfess shove aside the ancient elf, though it was a gentle shove, and enter the room as Tomas and Duke Tyithelis glared at each other across the room. Her hand flew to her mouth in shock as she heard the Duke’s vile words, not believing that a noble could say such things. Her hand once again rested at her side as she walked up to the doorway with her determination clearly showing in her eyes. This was her home and her duchy, and she would not allow anyone, not even a Duke, to insult her guests. She paused next to the elderly elf and spoke to him in a soft yet commanding voice.

“If you will excuse me, sir elf, there are some matters to attend to in the next room.”

She gently shoved aside the elf to allow herself room to enter and walked into the room until she was standing next to Tomas. She placed a hand on his forearm and smiled at him as she looked into his hazel eyes.

“Surely there’s no need to fight. I’m sure Tyithelis was merely addressing his daughter and got carried away due to his emotions. Isn’t that right Tyithelis?”

The way she addressed him made it evident that the lack of his title before his name was not an accident.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on October 07, 2005, 06:51:22 AM
"You have no right to interrupt! The matters between my daughter and I are family business and do not concern a stranger such as yourself. I ask that you leave now. Nay! I demand that you leave at once! Enjoy the ball if you so desire, but do not think to interfere in the affairs of your betters."

Tomas continued to glare at the Duke as the insults flowed from his mouth. He would throughly enjoy teaching Tyithelis proper manners and the proper way to treat women. His hands clenched into fists and he was about to stride forward to do physical harm to the Duke, but he paused as the beautiful elfess entered the room. He watched silently as Emalaya walked across the floor, wondering what her intentions were. A slight smile crossed his face as the elfess stood behind the chair Fenyn was sitting in and gently placed her hands on the girl’s shoulders. He would prefer to comfort Lady Fenyn himself, but he knew that he must first protect her from the rantings of her father. It would not help her if he went to her now and allowed Tyithelis to strike him from behind. He did not doubt for a moment that the Duke had no honor and would do anything to win a fight.

His thoughts returned to the Duke, and he decided that it would be best if the Duke knew the fears of his daughter. Even if the Duke did not care, someone had to voice the opinions that she was too terrified to say for herself. His voice started off soft and was nearly a whisper, but it rose in volume as his passion pervaded his every word.

“Your own daughter is terrified of you! Who she will marry is her decision, and you should honor her wishes to marry the man that she loves. The fact that you would yell at any woman in such a manner reveals you to be inferior to anyone within this room or within the castle itself. Perhaps she is not aware of her destined husband at this moment, but time reveals all things.”

He stepped forward, intending to cause serious bodily harm to the Duke, when he felt a delicate hand close over his forearm. He had been so intent upon the Duke that he had not noticed when the Duchess entered the room, and he stopped and waited for her to speak, knowing that she did not wish for a fight within her castle. It was always wise to respect the wishes of women, and it was not worth it to harm Tyithelis. He also worried about Fenyn’s thoughts of him if he were to lay a hand on her father. She may fear him, but he was still the man that had raised her.

“Surely there’s no need to fight. I’m sure Tyithelis was merely addressing his daughter and got carried away due to his emotions. Isn’t that right Tyithelis?”

He could not help but grin as the Duchess spoke, clearly hearing the insult every time she omitted the Duke’s title. It would satisfy him if he could separate Fenyn from her father, whether or not there was a fight was of no concern to him.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on October 07, 2005, 06:20:22 AM
Duke Tyithelis

“Your own daughter is terrified of you! Who she will marry is her decision, and you should honor her wishes to marry the man that she loves. The fact that you would yell at any woman in such a manner reveals you to be inferior to anyone within this room or within the castle itself. Perhaps she is not aware of her destined husband at this moment, but time reveals all things.”

His face flushed a deep crimson as Tomas accused him of not knowing the feelings of his own daughter. The only way to truly know someone was to control their every action, and he dearly loved his daugther even though she had many flaws.

“Surely there’s no need to fight. I’m sure Tyithelis was merely addressing his daughter and got carried away due to his emotions. Isn’t that right Tyithelis?”

The omission of his title was an insult that he could not bear! He was not foolish enough to strike a woman in front of several men that would surely defend her. He knew of more insidious ways to harm someone, and he would not forget the insults rendered to him this day. His vengeance may not be slow but it would be just.

Without saying another word, he walked past Tomas and Duchess Sera, refusing to look at either of them. He did not even want to see their putrid faces right now. Upon seeing the elf blocking the doorway, he stopped and his expression was one that could only be described as a sneer. His voice hissed like that of a serpent as he addressed Gararion.

"Do not think to impede me, elf! You may be taller, but men have always been the dominant race."

His hand rose in front of him as he pushed forward in an attempt to shove Gararion out of his way.

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 10/6/05 22:24

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on October 11, 2005, 11:11:22 AM
Gararion remained silent, watching as the events unfolded before him, not paying attention to those he had blocked entrance within the room.  It wasn’t long though till those people made their presence known.

   Emalaya was the first to enter, stretching an arm past the mage as she used it to shove aside the mage, which she found offered little resistance.  Gararion, now leaving a slight space between him and the doorway, watched as Emalaya moved behind the female.  A silent sigh escaped the mage, glad that she wasn’t going to confront the Duke himself either, though this moment of relief was cut short as another pressed past him, the Duchess politely moving the mage even further out of the way.

   Gararion grew tired of being shoved aside; he’s patience growing thin of the treatment.  Luckily though, the Duchess seemed to attempt to calm the situation, though her actions seemed to change as she continued.  In mere moments of her entrance and hidden insults, the Duchess had made the situation even worse, the Duke in such a state of mind that he was rendered speechless.  Once again, another attempted to make their way past the mage as he blocked the doorway, though this time Gararion was prepared.

   Seeing the Duke outstretched his arm in a gesture of shoving him aside, Gararion waited till the Dukes weight was shifting into the force that would become his shove, stepping outside the room as if he was never truly standing within the doorway.  Gararion stood outside, motionless and featureless, as he watched the momentum of the Duke carry him over the threshold of the room.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on October 14, 2005, 01:51:22 AM
Duke Tyithelis

Tyithelis shoved forward with his arm, knowing that any elf could not match the brute force of a human. His upper lip twisted into a sneer as he imagined the elf lying on the floor, begging Tyithelis not to kick him. Of course, the Duke would never show mercy as that was a sure sign of weakness, and he would throughly enjoy inflicting pain upon the elf.

He stumbled forward as Gararion gracefully moved out of the way, and only his sense of balance prevented him from falling. His stormy eyes came to rest upon the elf, glaring as his anger increased. His fists clenched at his side, and every fiber of his being wanted to strike the elf for his insolence.

"Thank you for moving, elf. It is always appreciated when one of your kind knows his place." The sneer returned to his face as he said the word "place".

His restraint of himself seemed to have snapped, as a rage consumed his mind. Raising one fist, he swung with every mut of strength that his arm possessed, aiming for the elf's chest as Gararion was much taller than Tyithelis.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on October 14, 2005, 12:22:22 PM
        Gararion watched silently and emotionless as Tyithelis’s momentum carried him forward through the doorway.  With a little shift of weight and a few quick shuffling steps, Tyithelis was able to gain enough balance to keep him from toppling to the floor.

        As Tyithelis compose himself, he turned to face Gararion, his speech ending with a blatant insult to the mage’s heritage.  He raised his fist as he finished speaking, the pink color in his hand giving way to the flood of white as he clenched his fist as tightly as he could, thrusting his fist toward Gararion’s chest.  Without his staff in hand, the mage’s own hand rose to his chest, stopping in front of it a mere nailsbreadth away from his chest.  His palm lay opened, facing out towards the incoming fist.  A mere moment before the Duke’s fist came in contact with Gararion’s open palm, the wizard spoke a single phrase in the Styrásh tongue.  


        The Duke’s fist made contact with the wizard’s open palm, but that’s all it did.  His fist met a thin wall of air, pushing out against the duke’s clenched fist and as hard as a wooden door.  The wizard had waited till the last moment for a reason; he wished to provide as little evidence to what he was doing as possible.  And he had succeeded.  The thin wall of air that protected both his hand and his chest from suffering the full force of the Duke’s strike was barely visible, only those who were closely paying attention would have seen the flickering of the Duke’s sleeve as the air that repelled his fist brushed past his hand.  

        “Your welcome Lord.  Though I would have thought one who knows so much about others would have also known better to strike an unarmed aging elf, though it seems I have been wrong.”  The mage remained still, his open palm remaining between his chest and the duke’s clenched fist.

        Knowing that the strength behind the Duke’s blow hand been soaked up, Gararion let his magical protection fade, wrapping his long elven fingers around the Duke’s clenched fist.  Pulling himself closer to the Duke, Gararion whispered in the Duke’s ear.

        “Let your tension go my Lord, this is not the time nor the place for such emotions.”  

        The mage’s words were silent, almost as if he hadn’t spoken them at all, as if the words he had whispered into the Duke’s ear were not words at all, but a calming breeze meant to ease the passion that the Duke held within himself at the moment.  That’s exactly what it was, a magical spell meant to calm the Duke’s soul.

        Gararion took a step back, further down hall away from the view of those within the room.  His fingers uncurled about the Duke’s fist, the mage’s arm drifting back to his side.

Edited by: Gararion  at: 10/14/05 4:26

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Emalaya on October 18, 2005, 12:48:22 PM
Remaining behind the girl in a definite protective stance, she stood her ground as much as she could while the situation unfolded before her. The Duke was very much on his way to possibly being assassinated tonight or in the near future, if he kept up this mentality and attitude towards both the female gender and the elven race as a whole. Her race. He had just insulted her at two angles and she did not take it kindly. Thoughts of home where she was always welcome attempted to creep into her mind, yet she quickly kept them at bay, wanting to keep her thoughts clear in case she had to act on the defense for either herself or any of the others in the room.

Not implying that any of them were helpless, but the Duke did not seem to be powerless either and could possibly take the strength of at least two of them before he was taken down.

"Thank you for moving, elf. It is always appreciated when one of your kind knows his place."

"We know our place Duke, but I fear you do not understand nor, do you know your own standing." She spat just loud enough for it to reach his ears as a soft warning, feeling ever so disgusted with his insults, in which he had no place or right to say.

"True peace of mind comes only when my heart and actions are aligned..." - Robert Newcomb

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on October 23, 2005, 04:29:22 AM
Duchess Sera

Sera removed her hand from Tomas's arm, her eyes surveying his form for a moment as she realized that he would break the hearts of many women, but she herself was not concerned as she loved another. Her azure gaze followed the Duke as she watched him leave the room, and she sighed in disappointment as he attempted to shove aside the elder elf. Men such as he did not learn unless there was a strong enough woman willing to teach them, and it seemed as though he would be her responsibility as long as he stayed at her home. She glanced about the room, noting the care that Tomas and the elfess showed for the young girl and decided that they could possibly help her. It was risky for her to reveal such matters to complete strangers, but she was desperate enough to believe that the possible benefits would be worth the risk.

"I believe the matter between Tyithelis and his daughter has been resolved, at least for the present moment. We would all be more comfortable in my private chambers, though the passage that I showed you all earlier is not the most pleasant. I ask that you all please disregard anything you see within it, as the darkness likes to play tricks on our minds."

Her words were clearly intended for the entire party, and her melodious voice carried into the hallway where the majority awaited the outcome of this encounter. She gracefully strode from the room as she held the hem of her silver dress with one delicate hand. She paused for a moment in the doorway, noticing for the first time the altercation between Tyithelis and Gararion. It seemed as though the Duke was not satisfied with leaving peacefully and had attempted to strike the elf. She was not surprised that he would commit such a deed, but his current stance did shock her. Tyithelis leaned against the wall opposite the elf, standing next to the opening of the passage. His arms hung limp at his side, and his eyes were glazed as though a sense of calm pervaded his very essence.

Without sparing another glance for the Duke, her gaze came to rest upon the elf that had managed such a colossal change within the aura of the Duke. Such a feat had to be magical in its origin, and she could not help but marvel at such a powerful mage attending a ball at her humble abode. The awe faded from her blue eyes as she realized that any moments she wasted was time that she could not recover. She was determined to ask these fine strangers for their help, as she knew that fate worked in mysterious ways.

"Duke Tyithelis, I would appreciate it if you accompanied these guests and myself to my private chambers. What we shall discuss there has some significance to the current situation with your daughter."

She did notice Aurelian and another elf standing in the hallway out of the corner of her eye as she walked across the hallway and ducked into the passage, being careful not to mess up the hair that was piled on her fair head. It was not long before she disappeared completely into the darkness of the passage.

Duke Tyithelis

Tyithelis stumbled back from the elf as his anger began to fade. Normally, only a sojourn within his harem could have such an effect upon him, and he wondered who the elf was to possess such power. He backed away from Gararion, now lacking the will to even throw a second punch, and his back soon slammed against the opposite wall. Instead of walking away, he merely leaned against the wall as he watched the Duchess emerge from the room. He clearly heard the insults of the elfess, but they had no effect upon him as he smiled at anyone that looked upon him. His previous fury seemed to have been replaced with a sense of calm that could not be disturbed by mere insults. He nodded as Sera asked that he accompany her and moved away from the wall to accede to her request. He simply lacked the drive to dispute her, and he was curious as to how such a discussion could relate to his daughter. He walked over to the entrance of the passage and bent over as he examined the darkness within. His mind told him that the Duchess had just entered and should still be visible yet his eyes could not perceive her form in the murky darkness. The color faded from his cheeks as he considered venturing into the passage alone, and he quickly stood up and took a step away from its entrance.

"It would not be proper for me to go first. Surely, such honored guests such as yourselves deserve to precede me within the passage. I will enter last and thus confront anyone that may try to follow."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on October 23, 2005, 04:57:22 AM
Ratdragon watched as the Duke attempted to shove Gararion, and tensed himself for a fight, getting ready to use the shattered wine bottle he held as a weapon. To the elf's great dissappointment, the Duke was intercepted, and simply slumped against the wall. Sighing, Ratdragon relaxed his grip on the wine bottle.

This older elf must truly be powerful, to be able to calm such an angry man. Ratdragon watched the as Duchess Sera left through the secret passage. To his surprise, the Duke heeded her, and followed the Duchess to the dark entrance. Ratdragon rolled his eyes as Tyithelis offered to guard the rear. This was obviously because he was cowardly and afraid of the dark. The elf shook his head, and procceeded to go into the passage first, walking into the darkness and wondering about what was so important that they had to go by secret.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on October 24, 2005, 03:55:22 AM
Tomas watched as the Duchess left the room before his gaze once again came to rest upon Lady Fenyn. She had not spoken in the entire time that he had been within the room, and he hoped that his presence did not offend her. With a few strides of his long legs he walked over to the chair she was sitting in and looked down at her with his devotion for her clearly showing in his hazel eyes. He knelt down in front of her as he had only hours ago in the ballroom and clasped one of her delicate hands within his own.

"Be at peace, Lady Fenyn. Your father will never again speak to you in such a manner. It would disturb me greatly if your beautiful eyes were ever damp with tears."

His gaze shifted for a moment to peer at the elfess that stood behind Fenyn. He appreciated that Emalaya had tended to the girl while he was occupied in defending her honor against the harsh words of the Duke. His travels throughout Santharia had taught him that such kindness was a rarity. He ran a hand through his long dark hair as he considered the proper way to thank her and decided that his fair words would have to suffice.

"Thank you, Emalaya. I appreciate such kindness as you have shown Lady Fenyn this night. Please, allow me to escort her back to the ball once she is ready. You should not tarry if you hope to attend the meeting with the Duchess."

He stood as he scanned the room for another chair and found one standing alongside the near wall. Lifting it with one well muscled arm, he carried it and set it down so that it faced the chair that Fenyn's handsome posterior was occupying. He once again clasped her hands within his own and looked into her eyes as he waited for her to speak, and it was evident that he would not move until she was ready to rejoin the ball that was held in her honor.

Lady Fenyn

Fenyn sat quietly in the chair, not even daring to look up as her father scolded her. She remained silent as the door was slammed open but a small smile crossed her lips as she realized that the intruder was the handsome man she had met earlier. A soft sigh escaped her lips as her father began to shout at Tomas for she could not understand why her father could not ever allow someone else to be correct. He was a proud man that verbally abused the women in his life on several occasions.

She tensed slightly as she felt a hand upon her shoulder but relaxed as she realized that such a delicate hand belonged to a female. Her gaze had been focused upon her father and Tomas so she had not noticed when the elfess entered the room, though she did appreciate that someone was willing to offer her such comfort. She watched as the Duchess entered the room and began to grin broadly as the woman subtly insulted her father. She hoped that she would still be beautiful and graceful once she reached that age, though she doubted that she would ever be able to speak to her father with such courage.

Her grin faded as the Duke stormed out of the room, rudely shoving aside an elf as he did so. His behavior did not surprise her, but she hoped that he would one day be able to overcome the rage that occupied his every thought and deed. She watched nervously as Tomas approached, not sure if it would be proper for her to be near such a handsome man when she was promised to another. Even though she was nervous, she was excited to be able to speak to him once more. A smile lit her beautiful face as he grasped one of her hands with his own and knelt before her, but she sighed in disappointment as he stood and walked away.

Her disappointment quickly faded as he returned with another chair, and she grasped his hands with her own that were delicate from years of living as a noble, not willing to let him leave so easily this time. Her eyes looked into his hazel orbs as she smiled at him, and she completely forgot about the elfess that stood behind her. It seemed as though no amount of sorrow could taint her heart as long as those hazel eyes remained before her, and tears of joy began to trickle down her fair cheeks.

"I am at peace, now that you're here. Forgive me for the tears that stain my cheeks for I cannot help but weep tears of joy at having met you once again. I cannot truly express the emotions that surface within my mind simply because you are near me. I would like to once again attend the ball, but let us tarry here for a few more moments. It would not be proper for me to be seen crying at my own ball."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on October 25, 2005, 07:30:22 AM
The passage spawned in front of the elf, appearing as a narrow hallway whose murky darkness could not be penetrated by the light of any mere mortal. The stone ceiling seemed to press down upon any who entered, or so some would believe as they ventured beneath it. A certain malice could be sensed emanating from the cold walls, as if they resented anyone that possessed the warmth granted by life. Only one look would convince anyone that this passage was not well maintained as cobwebs stretched along the ceiling and a damp moss grew upon the walls.

Ominous wails could be heard in the distance, though anyone that possessed some sense would convince themselves that it was only the wind. Then again, one could wonder as to what wind could blow within a castle. The hallway ends abruptly as a stone staircase ascends into the darkness above. The staircase spiraled for what must have been at least a dash as it sought the mysterious exit that would lead to the chambers of the Duchess. No evidence remained anyway within the passage that she had ever passed, and it would take faith to ascend the narrow stairs without worrying about falling to one's demise.

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 10/24/05 23:35

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on October 25, 2005, 08:44:22 AM
Ratdragon stared into the darkness of the passage before him, trying to penetrate the oppressing darkness. The walls and ceiling seemed to be pressing in on him, giving him an unusual sensation of claustrophobia. His clothes were still slightly damp from the rain, and this chill passage made him shiver.

The elf no longer desired to go alone down this wretched tunnel, and so leaned against the mossy wall, not far within the passage. Looking nervously back to the entrance, the elf awaited the arrival of the others.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on October 26, 2005, 07:36:22 AM
Gararion stood relieved that his spell had overcome the will of the Duke. The aging elf watched as the Duchess and Ratdragon began making their way into the passage, almost vanishing from sight as they did. Moving away, back to the storeroom where they had been kept locked up. Entering the damp storeroom, Gararion scanned the floor, his eyes resting upon the broom that he had ‘hurled’ away earlier. Kneeling down, Gararion wrapped his fingers just below the head of the broom. Raising his other hand to the head, he prepared to cast his spell.


       As the elven word slipped past his lips, the bristles upon the broom began to sway slightly as a breeze began to swirl above the tips of the bristles. As the swirling air picked up intensity, small charges of static began snapping within, creating a light glowing light as the sparks lightning grew. Gararion kept this swirling ‘storm’ held in place for a moment before allowing it to drop closer to the bristles, the charges of power setting a few of the bristles alight. It only took a moment for the broom to be engulfed in a flame, Gararion letting his conjured storm vanish as easily as it had started.

       With torch in hand, Gararion moved back to the passage. Ratdragon still stood within the revealed entrance, waiting for another to enter before him.

       “Stay close, how long this broom will act as our light is unknown,” was all Gararion said as he began his climb up the stairs. Holding the makeshift torch in his right had as if it were a staff, Gararion placed his left hand firmly upon the column that aiding in the support of the steps below. As his ‘staff’ attempted to find the step below him, Gararion was surprised to find that the staff found no step. Tilting the staff slightly, shedding light upon the spot where his staff found nothing revealed that there was a gap between the steps and the wall, large enough for the unlucky to slip through without warning. The stairs themselves were narrow, not more then a fore wide, but the gap dwarfed the narrow steps, being a good two peds wide.

       “Careful of your footing, stay close to the inner wall,” Gararion cautioned, signaling the wall that made consisted of the center column. With that done, Gararion began his ascent into the darkness above, his torch spreading down both directions of the stairs as he traveled, hopefully shedding enough light to keep the others safe, keeping clear of the gap that ran beside their ascent the entire time.

Edited by: Gararion  at: 10/27/05 22:28

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on October 28, 2005, 06:19:22 AM
Ratdragon was grateful when he saw the elder elf carrying a torch, fashioned from... a broom? It didn't matter to him, just so long as it supplied light.

Heeding Gararion's words, Ratdragon quickly followed, staying as close as possible. As he strode up the stairs, his iron shod boots made echoing "clanks", which reverberated off the walls. Wincing slightly at the sound, the elf carefully stayed to the inner wall, stepping over the gap the mage indicated.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Emalaya on November 03, 2005, 02:44:22 PM
Leaving the young woman in the care of the man Thomas, she gave the girl one last comforting squeeze on the shoulder. He was of a fairly agreeable nature and she approved of his actions toward the Duke to help the Lady. When she saw the pleased expression of the young woman's features, the elfess relaxed and smiled to herself. To be so young and have ausch a strong sense of positive emotions to share with others, nothing could get much better after such. Gradually amking her way from the room, she did not hurry to rejoin the others, though the Duchess had been in much earnest that they follow her. With a quick glance over her shoulder at the young couple, she quietly closed the door as to give them more privacy from passerby's from the ball.

When she rejoined the others, she found the mysterious elf, who overcam the Duke, had lit a broom on fire and was using it as a makeshift torch. Where the fire had come from, she could only guess. From his earlier demonstration, he was not a fire mage from what she could tell, but had more of a stance as a wind mage. Curious about this elf, her mind spun as for reason's for him being here. Yet, she herself was very much out of place in this human environment and could only assume it had something to do with the Duchess and where she was leading them.

At the entrance to the tunnel, the darkness before her was indeed one of a daunting aura. Why the hall was not better maintained was beyond her comprehension for it seemed used well enough in the sense it would need such maintenance. Though, it did have its use in keeping out uninvited guests. No one would used this unless there was a dire need for it and it would soil more gowns and other objects than a dungeon. Despite all, she stepped into the small tunnel and followed closely behind the other occupants, using the lighted broom as her guide for a safe passage and being wary of the Duke behind her. The sound of wailing reached her sensitive ears and caused a dark chill to run down her spine. Wrapping her arms as tightly about her as she could manage, she kept up with the others, following the elf's lead directly as to reach their desired destination in one piece.

"True peace of mind comes only when my heart and actions are aligned..." - Robert Newcomb

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on November 04, 2005, 01:22:22 AM
Duke Tyithelis

Tyithelis watched as the three elves entered the passage, and he quickly followed behind, afraid that he would be left alone in the darkness. He ducked his head slightly as he entered, and his gaze immediately sought the forms of the elves. All light from the hallway faded as the entrance ominously closed, seeming to have done so without any intervention from a sentient being. The faint glow of a torch glowed ahead, and shallow gasps escaped his lips as he ran toward it.

He hardly noticed as the floor ended and the stairs began. His every thought was focused upon not being left behind, and he sighed in relief as he saw the elfess only a fore or two ahead of him. The two male elves walked before her with the elder one holding a strange torch as the entire group ascended the stairs. The Duke stumbled as he finally reached the group, and his hand reached toward the shoulder of the elfess as he tried to catch himself.  

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 11/3/05 17:26

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on November 08, 2005, 02:36:22 AM
        Gararion walked in silence, his eyes watching the steps that ascended to their destination, making sure each placement of his feet found solid ground.  He said nothing to those who were behind him, knowing that conversation would only slow them down, though he was aware of people behind him.

        Ratdragon followed close behind him, heeding his warning well.  The sound of his steel boots created a pulsing sound within the stairway, a sound that seemed to echo the passing of time to the mage.  He found that his own steps seemed to have fallen in pace with that of the elf behind him.

        Behind him, Gararion had assumed that that the female elf had entered, the lighter steps of her feet barely noticeable over the sounds that filled the passage.  Her foot steps sounded close behind the elf that was following him, though the mage did not turn to see for himself, knowing that his eyes would need to stay peeled to the ground beneath him, what little of it there was.

        The sounds of another approaching caused Gararion to stop, holding a hand up to inform Ratdragon of his action.  With his feet solidly planted on the steps beneath him, he turned his torso to look behind him.  He could not see was attempting to catch up with them, but he knew it would not bold well.  Gararion looked into Ratdragon’s eyes and spoke.

        “Brace yourself, we may need to aid those behind us.”

        Gararion remained silent, his ear listening for evidence he could not see around the twisting path.  What his ears seeked came soon enough, the sound of a heavy foot slipping from the step beneath him.  The mage only hoped that the elf before him heard the same thing, as he blocked the mages path to offer any form of aid.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on November 08, 2005, 11:57:22 AM
Walking in pace with the elf before him, Ratdragon kept his eyes on the ground, making sure not to make any mistakes. Though he trusted the mage in front of him to warn them, it was best to be safe.

He heard light footsteps behind him, which could only belong to the elfess. Heavier footsteps soon followed, and Ratdragon saw Gararion hold up his hand. Stopping immediately, he watched as the older elf turned his gaze to Ratdragon.

Heeding the mage's advice, the golden elf nodded and quickly turned to see the duke trip and grab for Emalaya. Noticing that he was the only one who was in position to help, Ratdragon's hand shot out to grab Emalaya's wrist.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on November 12, 2005, 08:59:22 AM

Emalaya gasped softly as a hand closed over her shoulder, not expecting anyone to touch her in the darkness of the stairs. Her slight elven frame began to fall back toward what would certainly be her doom as the weight of the Duke pulled her down. The elfess lacked the strength to lift herself and the Duke, and a sigh of relief escaped her lips as the hand of another elf clasped her delicate wrist. She used his strength to right herself as she shrugged off the Duke. A small smile crossed her face as she thanked him for his trouble.

"Thank you, Ratdragon. Males may yet prove to be trustworthy. The Duke has proven yet again that he lacks the manners normally found among those of his race."

Emalaya turned to face the Duke as her fair features twisted into a scowl. Her delicate hand raised in one swift movement as she slapped the Duke for the second time this evening. Only a moment after the first slap, her other hand dealt another slap to his other cheek.

"Duke Tyithelis, it would serve you well if you learned the proper way to treat women. You have no right to touch me in any fashion, and I do not believe that was an accident."

Duke Tyithelis

Tyithelis rubbed both his cheeks as he tried to soothe them after the double slaps of the elfess. The calm that had affected him earlier seemed to dissipate as his eyes were alight with anger. His cheeks flushed a deep crimson that could only slightly be seen in the light cast by the mage’s torch. Thoughts of putting the elfess in her proper place whirled through his mind, and his knuckles turned white as he held his fists clenched at his side.

“You are the one that does not have the right to touch my royal person! Why am I in this dismal place? What foul magic clouded my thoughts? You! Elf! You are the one that spelled my mind!”

His gaze looked beyond the first two elves to the mage standing with a makeshift torch in his hand. He was not yet through with Emalaya and was now wary of the mage, fearing that he would spell his mind once more. Tyithelis was not known as a gentleman, but he had yet to strike any woman, preferring to intimidate them with words instead. His anger was such that he could not resist the urge to physically lash out at someone, and there was only one elf upon the stairs that he was willing to strike. The Duke stepped around the elfess as he confronted the elf with the violet eyes.

“I do not appreciate your actions here. You have no claim upon the woman, and she is to become my property in the near future. Defend yourself!”

Instead of punching the elf as he had attempted to do earlier with the mage, both his hands raised as he reached toward the throat of Ratdragon. He would choke the very life from the elf until he gasped his last breath. Just as his hands were midway to the elf, a swift gale swept through the stairs, extinguishing the makeshift torch held by the mage and blowing the hair and clothes of everyone standing upon the stairs. Absolute darkness shrouded the stairs, unbroken except by flashes of lightning in the distance. With each flash of light, the Duke’s hands could be seen to come closer to the throat of the elf with his hatred clearly burning in his eyes. His lips were twisted into a sneer, and his expression was one that would easily scare children.  

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on November 12, 2005, 02:01:22 PM
Ratdragon smiled at the elfess as she thanked him, and watched as she turned to scold and slap the Duke. Watching with amusement as the duke confronted him, the elf shook his head in mock dismay. What was it with humans? This man complained about his actions, though the elf had just been trying to save the elfess.

Suddenly a gust of air made the torch flicker, causing the dismal corridor to become even darker. Slightly disturbed, Ratdragon didn't notice that the Duke had closed his hands around his throat until he felt the pressure. Falling back on the stairs, Ratdragon kicked up into the man's stomach with his iron shod boots, hoping to wind him.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on November 13, 2005, 10:23:22 AM
        Gararion see the effect of spell fade upon the Dukes face as Emalaya raised her hand and slapped the Duke’s face with meaning.  The mages own head shook sadly, once again seeing the younger generation of his race act so rashly.  Gararion opened his eyes to see the Duke making his way past Emalaya and towards Ratdragon, his arm outstretched seeking the slender throat of the elf.  

As waiting for the outcome, a gale of wind rushed past him with little effect, blowing out his makeshift torch in its midst.  Flashes of lighting provided new light to the darkened stairway, though was replaced with pitch darkness as quickly as the light appeared.  Gararion eyes watched for any sign of how Ratdragon was fairing, catching a glimpse here and there of the Duke’s fingers wrapping about the elf’s throat, memories causing Gararion to ponder upon the scar that lay across his own throat.  Another flash of lightning revealed a swift kick for the gut of the Duke, though the light faded before Gararion tell whether the elf’s foot found its mark.

Gararion turned his head to gaze silently up the stairs where the lightning seemed to originate. Using the flashes of light to set his pace and footing, Gararion continued up the stairs, hoping to discover who it was causing such hassle.  Gararion only hoped who ever it was would have more reason then he showed at the moment.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on November 14, 2005, 04:46:22 AM
Duke Tyithelis

Tyithelis stumbled backwards as the ironshod boots of the elf connected with his midsection. His facial features twisted into an expression of pure agony, and only a low groan escaped his lips. His hands reached for the ankles of the elf, intending to toss him from the stairs, as his left foot twisted against the edge of the stairway. With his arms flailing, he fell backwards into the two ped gap that separated the wall from the stairs. His dying screams could be heard for a few moments before they abruptly ended with a bone crunching thud.

Duchess Sera

The lightning bolts ceased completely as the mage ran up the stairs. By the light of the last bolt, a cloaked figure could be seen with her back to the mage. The Duchess turned as she heard the footsteps of the elf, throwing back her hood to reveal her fair countenance. The torch she held in her right hand cast its light for only a ped around her before once again being swallowed by the darkness that shrouded the stairway. A bright smile crossed her face as she recognized Gararion, knowing him by his reputation as a powerful mage.

"Welcome, Gararion. I have been expecting you and your companions. The quest you embark upon will shake the foundations of the world itself, and I cannot allow you to pass. Your journey has ended before it ever began. Turn back and your lives will be spared. Attempt to pass me and your fates will be most unpleasant."

Sera tossed the torch off the stairs as she finished speaking, its light illuminating the darkness for a moment before it fell from view. Her blue eyes became as frigid as the ice of the north as her form suddenly tripled. Three Duchesses now stood abreast upon the stairs as they blocked the mage from passing, and each one was an exact duplicate of the original. Each one raised her hands at the precise moment as the other two, acting in unison as their hands opened with their palms facing toward the mage. A single lightning bolt emerged from each palm. The stairs were momentarily illuminated as the six bolts of lightning raced toward the mage.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on November 15, 2005, 03:51:22 AM
As Gararion neared the top of the stairs, he could see a cloaked figure standing before him.  As the last bolt of lightning flashed through the stairs, the figure turned to reveal herself, the face of the Duchess was familiar to the mage.  As the Duchess spoke, several thoughts ran through the mages mind.

Why would this Duchess bring us here, only to end our quest?  Was this a mere test or was this what fate had planned for them?

As the Duchess finished, Gararion spoke himself, watching her actions carefully.

“That is why I have come here, in ensure that the future remains in tact…” was all the mage was able to say before the Duchess began her onslaught, concealing her true identity from the mage before her.  “You will have to try better then that.  Rèth'cár'áll!”

With a wave of the mages hand and the words he spoke, the Duchess’s bolts of lightning weakened before they made contact with Gararion.  By the time they reached Gararion, they were nothing but charged air, raising the mage’s hair.  At the same time, the illusionary copies of the Duchess seemed to fade away, as if their presence was swept away with a gust of wind.  All magical effects in the room followed, Gararion had cleaned the slate in which they fought.

Edited by: Gararion  at: 11/14/05 19:53

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on November 15, 2005, 09:46:22 AM
The images of the Duchess seemed to shimmer before finally fading away, as if they fought to remain in existence. However, the figure in the middle did not completely disappear, instead growing until its height was equal to that of the other mage. Any resemblance to the Duchess faded as a cloaked figure was revealed. His white cloak seemed to glow with purity, the only shadows being those that concealed his face within the cloak's cowl. Slender fingers emerged from the voluminous sleeves of his equally white robe, and the tips of leather boots inlaid with silver peeked out from the hem of the robe.

A light chuckle emanated from the hood of the cloak, showing that the strange mage was truly impressed with Gararion. "Defense of self will not be enough. Salvation can only be achieved through the defense of others." The mage's melodious voice rose in volume as he chanted. "Dalaiá er avásh"

His hands rose above his head with his palms facing upwards. A loose stone in the column weighing about half a pygge dislodged itself and flew through the air as the mage shifted his hands as if he were pushing something beyond Gararion. Instead of flying toward Gararion, the stone flew to one side of him as it hurtled through the air, flying directly for Ratdragon as he recovered from his fight with the Duke.

Edited by: Tomas Valentin at: 11/15/05 1:48

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on November 16, 2005, 04:01:22 AM
        As the true form of the mage was revealed to Gararion, though its face was still cloaked in shadows.  The new mage wore a glowing white cloak, though even this mystical light didn’t reveal the mages identity.  But soon the mage’s identity was of no concern to him, as he threatened the lives of those who remained on the stairs.

        A stone from the column was pulled from its foundation from the mage before him, pushing the stone through the air and towards Ratdragon.  Gararion quickly countered this effect, though he only used half the spell that his advisory used.  Knowing that the other mage was maintaining a jet stream of wind underneath the stone to keep it afloat as well as a smaller current of direct the direction the stone moved, Gararion created his own jet stream.  Gararion’s stream though was not placed underneath the stone but in front of it, hoping that his efforts would overpower the weaker two elements that his advisory was implying or at least bide Ratdragon enough time to realize the threat before him.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on November 16, 2005, 06:11:22 AM
Ratdragon watched as the duke fell through the gap, listening to the thud he made as he fell. Hearing commotion above him, the elf hurridly leaped up and ran up the stairs. He was halfway to Gararion as he saw a rock flying straight at him, but he noticed it too late to dodge it. Tensing himself for the impact, Ratdragon felt a sigh of relief as the mage countered the attack.

Now that he was aware of the threat, the elf could readily dodge the missile. Wishing that he had his weapons on him, the elf charged up behind Gararion, staring at the glowing figure in front of them. Nodding to his companion, Ratdragon signaled that the elf could release his hold on the stone. With a flick of his wrist, Ratdragon hurled the broken wine bottle he still had clutched in his hand, aiming for the face of the enemy mage.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on November 16, 2005, 09:17:22 AM
The strange mage watched as the stone hurtled toward the elf, and he sighed in relief as the other mage countered his spell. It had been his intention to test the adventurers and not to cause them harm. Deaths of any kind were always unfortunate, and it saddened him that the Duke had just died of his own folly. At least these two elves appeared to be capable of defending themselves, and perhaps that would be enough. He knew that the entire party was not yet gathered, but harm would not come easy to them with a mage such as Gararion to protect them.

His entire body shook with laughter as Ratdragon hurled the broken wine bottle at him, as it seemed to be more insult than it was injury. With a wave of his hand, the bottle vanished as though it had never existed. He crossed his arms as his laughter died down, and glared at the elves as Emalaya joined them. His form remained unmoving, as if he were daring them to approach.

Light suddenly filled the passage as a doorway opened only a few peds behind him. The warmth of a fireplace began to pervade the air as a melodious voice could be heard singing. It was a song without words, yet it remained beautiful without them.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on November 19, 2005, 07:31:22 AM
        Gararion let a breath of relief escape his aging lips as he felt the opposition of his advisory let go, Gararion directing the stone in between the cracks of the stairway and down upon the steps below.  Turning to once again face his advisory, Gararion examined the figure as it stood unmoving.  Gararion body became eased as a door beyond the mage upon the platform, shedding a warm light upon Gararion and his companions.  Along with the light came a soft melody, as if it were in part with the light that warmed ones soul.

        Gararion made his way towards his advisory, waving his hand through the mage’s form dispersing the effects of his spell.  Gararion continued up the stairs till he stood before the doorway, waiting to one side for his fellow companions to enter before him, assuring them that it was safe to do so.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on November 20, 2005, 09:29:22 AM

The door opened to reveal a scene most citizens of the city would be shocked to behold. Avash sang in his soft melodious voice as he stroked Sera's hair, reveling at how beautiful the sleeping Duchess was. A mischievous glint was evident in his azure gaze as he watched the three elves enter the room. His song rose to a crescendo before halting completely. With a beaming smile, he shook the Duchess as he woke her.

"Awake, my love. You have guests to attend to."

The elf swept the sheets off him with one fluid motion as he arose from the bed. His lack of concern over his nudity was evident as he strode across the room to a wardrobe. Throwing open the wardrobe, he bent over to retrieve a blue robe that had been carelessly tossed into it. The robe settled onto his slender shoulders as he slipped his arms into its sleeves. His body was finally concealed completely as the hem of the robe fell to his ankles. He gracefully placed his feet into a pair of black slippers before walking over to the other elves.

"Hail, friends. I'm afraid that the Duchess will not be able to welcome you for a few more moments." He paused and turned to watch as the Duchess sleepily awoke, clutching the sheets to her chest as she noticed the visitors. "She does not share my confidence in being nude. I would suggest turning your backs as she dresses. In a few moments, she will show you to the anteroom. I, on the other hand, have other matters to attend to." Turning back to Sera, he spoke to her in a tone that clearly conveyed his devotion to her. "I'll summon the servant and have her dress you."

Without saying another word, he strode over to the double doors set into one wall and opened one door as he slipped through it. His soft footsteps could be heard for a moment as he walked away.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Elendilwyn on November 21, 2005, 02:22:22 AM
Elendilwyn was sitting at her tiny table when the message came for her to attend to the Duchess. She was annoyed at being interrupted from her personal time—personal time in this castle was a luxury, she was just about to write a song about love too. She had never loved a man, save for the daughterly love she had for her father, but she recognized anguish when she saw it. The young girl who was to be married to the Duke was clearly in distress and the softer side of her could share that pain, not that it really mattered. Being simple and lowly is sometimes so much easier than being royalty and subject to all the politics of court—She could never understand how people endured such a life.

It had been a long day for the maids-in-waiting as the ladies of the castle were insistent on looking their best for the ball. She had spent the better half of the day offering help where needed though her main responsibility was to attend to the Duchess. Now that the ball was in progress, the servants of her rank could rest a little. If she was fortunate, she might have been done for the day, considering that most of the ladies would not be retiring to their rooms alone and eager male hands would be more willing to help with the undressing than tired servants—probably more pleasurable too—She had no doubt about that but alas, the call for her came too soon.

She barely had time to throw on the simple peach-coloured dress that marked her as a maid-in-waiting, without time to comb and tie back her black hair, before rushing out of the room—Thank goodness for the proximity of her room to the Duchess’s, better than the servants who stayed near the kitchens. She could not really have asked for more. Her meager savings would not have allowed her to continue with her travels and the taverns she visited would not accept a barmaid who refused to offer extra services to their customers. A job like this that came with a small room containing a bed and table was more than welcomed.

She took the servant's route to the Duchess’s room for discretion was prized in this household though it is also true that she did have a preference for being alone. Upon entering the Duchess’s room through a side door set into the wall, she saw three elves excusing themselves and one of them closing the door as they made their exit.

The Duchess was clearly not too pleased about being interrupted this way but she commanded Elendilwyn over to help her out of bed. Elendilwyn gave a low curtsey and greeted her mistress, moving over to help her out of that great bed, following which, made her way to the wardrobe to pick out a silk gown of deep blue, at the Duchess’s request. The blue gown had long sleeves that flared out midway, made to add a soft feminine flow to a tall and dignified posture, and when worn, would reveal a fair portion of the shoulders—Elendilwyn had already made a mental note about the Duchess’s good taste in clothes when she arrived—the blue silk was lined in white at the borders with a gold line running through, which were actually tiny embroidered flowers so finely done that from a distance, it looked like a thin line of fine gold.

She smoothed the white under-dress that the Duchess was wearing and slipped the gown on, tying the ribbons together in crosses down the back. She proceeded to braid the hair which she then wound up into a bun secured with hair-sticks laced with blue gem-stones. The whole process did not take very long for there were guests waiting and the Duchess herself was slightly anxious to be done.

“Is there anything else you would like done my lady?” Elendilwyn enquired.

“You may inform those outside that I am ready to see them now,” was the reply.

Elendilwyn bowed again to her mistress, went to the door, opened it and said, “My lady would see you now,” and went back to stand on the left of the Duchess.  

The day has waned, walk with me, grant me this song... Can you hear?
The midnight sun is calling...

Elendilwyn Gwaihir

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on November 22, 2005, 07:29:22 AM
Ratdragon followed the mage warily as they passed through the door. The elf was trying to grasp what had happen, was the sorcerrer only illusion?

Looking up as he entered the room, Ratdragon flushed slightly as it appeared they had intruded upon something private. The elf had already turned his back as the man addressed them. Waiting outside with the others, Ratdragon waited until a half-elf gave them permission to enter once again. Standing aside, Ratdragon waits for Gararion to enter first.

Beware the BladeSinger of the Silver Sword.


Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on November 24, 2005, 12:04:22 PM
        Upon entering the room, Gararion was displeased to see what he and others saw.  It had not been long since the Duchess had left them but yet she lay in this state before this male, though Gararion kept his thoughts to himself.

        Gararion stepped outside the room and waited to be invited in once again, this time with a more normal greeting.  Stepping inside the room once again as Ratdragon stepped aside, Gararion remained silent, hoping to gain some sort of explanation.  

        Gararion’s eyes fell upon the new figure within the room, dressed in the cloth of a maid.  What thoughts were running through the mage’s mind only he would know.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on November 27, 2005, 05:17:22 PM
Duchess Sera

A soft sigh escaped her lips as Sera drifted into a peaceful slumber. The arms of her elven lover held her gently to his chest as his melodious voice graced the senses with song. One moment her gaze lovingly peered into the blue eyes of her lover, yet darkness clouded her senses only a moment later as she began to dream...

Her eyes strained in vain as they attempted to pierce the murk. The song of her lover slowly faded from her mind as she became enthralled by the dream. Only the distant wails of a lost child could be heard, wails that reminded her of the love for her son that burned within her heart. She strode in the direction of the child, yet he seemed to remain the same distance from her. Running toward him holding the hem of her shift in her hands, she called out in both worry and pain as the ground had become sharp rocks that impaled her bare feet with each stride. Her attempts to reach him were of no avail, and she collapsed on the icy ground as she quietly sobbed.

In the moment when all hope was lost, the child appeared in her arms. His wails ceased as she rocked him to and fro, yet tears of joy streamed down her face as she recognized him as her son. The crimson locks were a testament to his identity though Sera would be able to recognize her son no matter his outer appearance. It was his very soul that she was familiar with, and she would do anything to regain her sweet child. A broad smile graced her face as Tasul’i suckled at her breast, reminding her of the years when his very existence depended upon her. Sera sang to him much as her elven lover was now singing to her, yet her song became a gasp of pain as he savagely bit her with fangs sprouting in his tiny mouth as he bit down upon her flesh.

The agony overwhelmed her maternal instincts, and she dropped him as he aged a few years in a mere moment. He stood before her with his arms outstretched, begging to be held by the woman that loved him. Gazing into his green eyes, she knew that she could not refuse him, and she stepped forward as a wicked grin twisted his facial features. With only slight hesitation Sera reached out to him, yet she screamed in pain as his touch seared her flesh. Looking on with horror, she cowered as an inferno blazed along his limbs and torso, seeming to consume the boy without harming him. Any attempt to approach him was foiled by the extreme heat, and she despaired that she would never again hold her child. For a moment, her eyes could only see her son, yet when she looked beyond him several strangers seemed to be standing in the shadows. She raised her voice to implore them to aid her son as another voice pierced her dreaming mind...

Awaking to her lover’s voice, she smiled at him before realizing that they were not alone. She held the sheet close to her chest as Avash dressed himself, seeming unconcerned about his nudity in the presence of strangers. Whether this peculiarity was unique to him or common to all elves was unknown to the Duchess, but she knew that she would never be comfortable with displaying her body so wantonly. A sigh of relief escaped her lips as the elves exited and her personal maid servant entered. It had always been her desire to dress herself, yet Avash insisted that a lady in her position should possess servants to attend to her every need. He would heed no argument on the subject, and it was true that some of her dresses required an extra pair of hands.

She smiled fondly at Elendilwyn as she finished styling her hair, trying to relieve some of the pressure of being in the presence of a Duchess. Disdain of those that served her did not exist within her nature, and she knew even the lowest stablehand by name. Any surprise at the elves odd entrance into her chambers was carefully concealed, and she curtsied to them as they re-entered the room.

“Welcome to my home. I am Sera Rose, Duchess of Chylikis. Hopefully, the citizens of this fair city and I have proven our hospitality to strangers. However, I must admit that I am shocked by your unheralded entrance into my bedroom chambers. How you entered where only a blank wall existed a moment before I do not know though I suspect it is an interesting tale. Please, follow me to the adjoining anteroom where we may properly introduce ourselves. Elendilwyn, it would greatly please me if you accompanied us. I would offer you some excitement this night as you were not able to grace the ball with your presence.”

She calmly turned as she walked toward the far side of the chamber, throwing open a simple oak door whose beauty existed in the wood itself and not in any decorations. Any terror from her nightmare seemed to have faded in the moments since she awoke, and she laughed softly to herself as she realized that a fire blazed within the room’s small yet cozy fireplace. Her thoughts immediately focused upon the one she knew to be responsible for the fire and the comfortable chairs placed ever so neatly in the room. Six chairs were lined against the walls, and it surprised her that Avash was wrong about the number of guests that she would receive this night. One chair in particular seemed to be meant for her with its high back and gilded arms, yet she purposefully walked past it and seated herself in a chair to the far right of the room, putting distance between herself and the fireplace. Her chair faced the door to her chambers with the gilded chair and another chair much like her own to the left of her. The remaining chairs faced her as they were lined against the opposite wall.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on December 01, 2005, 07:28:22 AM
Gararion listened to the words of the Duchess, though her words puzzled him.  For it seemed that the Duchess had no memories of traversing the same stairs that they had only moments ago.  Was this result of the magics implored by her guest or did they follow the mage himself, Gararion unaware to the trickery due to lack of insight.  Gararion would need to be more careful of his surrondings if he wished to survive this quest.

   As the Duchess lead them to small anteroom alongside her bed chambers, Gararion scanned the room with his eyes, though not only his eyes.  He looked throughout the room for any signs of a magical aura, not sure if he could trust that they were alone, or if the prying eyes of his advisory lay hidden somewhere within the small anteroom.

   Sitting himself in a chair across form the Duchess, unaware that he sat upon the high arched chair, Gararion awaited what knews the Duchess may provide to him and his fellow compainions.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on December 01, 2005, 11:21:22 AM
Ratdragon listened to the Duchess as she introduced herself. Why was she speaking as if they'd never met? Was she not just walking with them? Puzzled, the elf followed Gararion into the next room.

Seeing as the elder elf took the high backed chair, Ratdragon sat down next to him, waiting for the duchess to continiue.

Title: Re: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Mi
Post by: Elendilwyn on December 02, 2005, 02:29:22 AM
As the Duchess addressed the elves, Elendilwyn took a bit of time to observe the visitors who have accidentally intruded upon the Duchess’s privacy, mentally reminding herself not to seem too curious. She thought they were rather ill at ease but figured that if it was meant to be, she would know why in due course. And then, as if the Duchess could read her mind, she found herself being addressed and invited to follow her lady into the next room—that’s strange, servants are usually dismissed from private conversations for it is common knowledge that servants have a loose tongue—Elendilwyn, as much as she wanted to retire for the day was excited and it took a fair amount of self control to remain expressionless as she nodded in response.

She waited for the guests to follow the Duchess and then proceeded behind them, closing the oak door behind her. She moved with grace, her face warmed by the glow of the fire, to her place behind and to the left of the Duchess’s seated position.  

The day has waned, walk with me, grant me this song... Can you hear?
The midnight sun is calling...

Elendilwyn Gwaihir

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on December 03, 2005, 03:16:22 PM
Duchess Sera

A soft sigh escaped her lips, expressing her relief that they were willing to listen. Hope, as she well knew, was a dangerous emotion, yet her dream that strangers would help her son filled her heart with hope. If these were the strangers she did not yet know, but any risk was worth taking for the good of her son. Only the question of how much of her past she should reveal plagued her mind. Demons lurked within the shadows of her past, and to reveal them would be to risk scaring these strangers. Yet if she did not tell them enough, then the strangers would not be willing to help her.

“I am relieved that you all have chosen to listen to my tale. It is one that began about two decades ago with the birth of my son, Tasul’i. As some of you may have noticed by now, his true father is not human. My husband, Duke Roland, seethed with anger as my son’s elven heritage became apparent. Even as an infant, Roland would not hold the child and his every word was tainted with disdain. Tasul’i was too naive to understand that his father hated him and vainly attempted to earn his love. Even I could not convince Roland to involve himself with the boy, yet one day my husband took Tasul’i hunting, an unprecedented event in the boy’s life. I foolishly believed that Roland had changed, yet I still worried about the welfare of them both. Tasul’i I loved with each beat of my heart, and Roland was needed to govern the city. At first I assumed that it was a deer that Tasul’i carried over his shoulders, yet as he approached my eyes perceived the body of my husband with an arrow piercing his heart. My words could not convince my son that he was not a murderer and that it had been an accident."

"For an entire year, Tasul’i mourned the death of the man he believed to be his father, even refusing to attend the funeral. Only after months of pleading did I convince him to assume the duties of the Duke with me as his advisor. For a while, he seemed to be the same carefree youth that he had always been, yet I began to notice subtle changes within him. His moods began to shift irrationally, and the worst moments were always those when anger consumed him. It was during such moments that I truly worried about his welfare, fearing that he would someday anger someone willing to end his life."

"I do not know the source of his madness, yet my only hope is that it may somehow be healed. The healers of Chylikis have tried to heal Tasul’i, and each one has failed. It is clear to me that my son must venture abroad if there is to be any hope for him to ever be healed. He would not survive the wilderness alone, and I implore each and every one of you for your help. I am willing to offer anything that is within my power to give, whether it is gold, land, or whatever your hearts most desire. I would give anything for the sake of my son.”

Her eyes passed over each elf as they now sat along the opposite wall with the elfess sitting close to the fireplace. She then rose and paused for a moment as she smiled at Elendilwyn, a girl whose vibrant spirit she greatly appreciated. With a few graceful strides, she walked across the room to the window and looked out upon the world as it was shrouded in darkness. The chaotic downpour that doused the night seemed to echo the whirling emotions within her. For a moment, she gazed out the window as she awaited the answers of the assembled party before turning to face them, now leaning against the window.  

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Luca the Thief on December 03, 2005, 04:40:22 PM
It’s raining.

The observation was a keen one and the figure crouching, miserable, wet and cold on the roof couldn’t help but find it bitterly upsetting. It was indeed raining. The icy sheets beat across her shoulders relentlessly and the half-elf muttered incoherently into her cloak. The horrible stuff had soaked through her cloak, sweater and shirt, chilling her to the bone and making the hair across the back of her neck feel like wretched little spiders tickling across her skin.

I told you it’d rain.

“I bloody well know you said it would and I am quite aware that it is raining!” she snapped suddenly into the darkness, forced to yell against the drum of rain against the shingles, aware that there was not a person to be seen nor another voice to be heard outside her own mind. A small shape emerged from the shadows against the roof, ruffling it’s many feathers and stretching out her fabulous wings. The bird, appearing black at first sight though glistening a rich crimson in the right light, sidled up beside Luca, perching on the edge of the roof. She looked down and ruffled her head.

Long way down

“Good observation. You said the window was just under here, right?” Luca snapped, crouching against the wind, her fingers clutching the overhang of the roof with a white knuckle grip which had long gone numb from the cold.

I wouldn’t lie. I just think it’s a stupid idea.

“What else is new?” the half-elf replied, and before the amulet about her neck could allow a reply from the eagle, she teetered off the edge in a flurry of cloak and skirt. Her elbow crunched painfully against the stone wall but her grip held, clinging desperately at the window sill with numb and bleeding hands, her boots scraping desperately against the rough outer wall. The height didn’t even seem to phase her, her grip holding true and her toes finding miniscule holds even through the tough boots.

Luca pulled herself up with a grunt to bring herself eye level with the window. Which was closed. “By the gods, Pick you worthless bird! I’ll stuff you with turnips and roast you over the stove if it’s the last thi—,” she screamed into the rain before being silenced by a familiar click. The window squeaked open towards the inside, the latch swinging listlessly in the wind.

You’re welcome.

“Stupid duck...” she muttered under her breath, wriggling through the constricting space and collapsing with a thud and a squish on the pleasant hardwood floor. “Plush,” the half-elf critiqued aloud to herself, standing and admiring the room. The first thing the half elf did was strip of her soaking cloak and sweater, casting them over the hooks over the raging fireplace and setting her sopping boots by the flame while Pick preened silently on the window sill, occasionally shaking her bizarre plumage free of water. She paced about silently in her barefeet, admiring the various artifacts that littered the room. Luca’s eye was eventually drawn to a silver candelabrum that she lifted and admired, her eyes shimmering with their inner fire.

Suddenly, the sound of approaching voices struck at her keen ears. Luca cursed violently to herself and dashed across the room, stuffing the silver candlestick halfway past her belt, holding the cold metal against her stomach. She raced past the fireplace, grabbing her cloak and fastening it swiftly around her neck while clamping her still wet sweater into her mouth. Pick had already flown from the window, knowing not to get in the thief’s way as Luca vaulted through the small window. It was a moment too late that she recalled that she was, in fact, several stories above the ground. With a flurry of frantic hands, she clawed desperately at the lavish white curtains that lined the window and succeeded only in dragging them out with her.

Cursing wildly, Luca clung desperately to the drapery and plummeted, only to be stopped abruptly and smashed crudely against the outer stone wall just as the doors to the anteroom swung open. Hearing the voices raise suddenly in volume as they entered the vicinity, the half-elf bit into the fabric of her sweater and clung to the curtain. Thank the lords for good craftsmanship, she thought, staring up in horror at the curtain rods above her which, miraculously, held. It was, however, near the end of some crazy woman’s speech that the half-elf’s keen hearing began to pick out the ominous sound of ripping coming from above. There, just near where the woman’s fingers rest on the window sill, the silk curtain was beginning to shear. A small groan escaped her throat, though lost in the drone of heavy rainfall, and was only dredged out further as Luca noted, with dismay, the fact that she remained barefoot.

Contact me: or all us admins:

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on December 07, 2005, 05:02:22 AM
Gararion sat silently up the high arched chair that he had claimed.  The aging magus listened to the words of the Duchess, though part of his mind lay elsewhere.  The mage sensed something within the room, rather something that was within the room mere moments ago.  The aura that provided a cool pulsing effect to his temple was weak, though he could sense that it was at one point strong within the room and still near by.  The magus’ eyes scanned the room, looking for any signs of company.  It was not until the Duchess moved to the window that he found what he looking for.

Standing from his chair and moving to the window sill, he light pulsing upon his temple becoming stronger as he came near, Gararion put his arm around that of the Duchess’s own arm.  “Come, sit down.  I am sure you will find the aid that you ask for among those who make your association here tonight,” Gararion spoke as he lead the Duchess back to the chair she had left moments ago.

Moving back to the window sill, Gararion spoke again.  “I am sure all of us will have an answer by the end of the night.  Whether it be the one you seek or fear only they will know,” the magus said, though paused slightly.   As he speech pasued, Gararion braced himself as he reached out of the window.  “Why don’t you come inside and away form the weather outside.”  Bracing one hand upon the window frame and holding out the other outside in a welcoming fashion, Gararion awaited the return gestures, the rain pouring down upon his outfit, the rain beading upon the black leather falling upon the figure below him.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on December 07, 2005, 06:21:22 AM
Ratdragon contemplated the woman's words, absorbing her past for later reference. Mulling the thoughts over, he was about to reply when the mage suddenly drew the Duchess away from the window.

Next, he leaned over the window sill and held out his hand, talking to no one apparrent. Curious what the mage was doing, the elf watched intently, eager to see something magical.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Luca the Thief on December 07, 2005, 03:04:22 PM
Luca's brows came together as the hand emerged, an elvish one no doubt. Stupid bloody elves she cursed silently to herself, trying to avoid Gararion's grasp. Still, the curtain persisted to rip and she was left with little choice. With a violent lurch, Luca's left hand shot up and grabbed fiercly around the mage's wrist. The sudden movement proved to be the breaking point, shearing across the nice white cloth which Luca let drop soaking to the dirt.

The small young woman struggled but got an arm up over the sill and pulled herself in with the mage's help, only to collapse headfirst back into the warm room. Drenched, cold, dirty and discovered, the half-elf sat up on the floor with a scavanged air of self-importance (despite the fact that she had just pulled a rather pathetic looking sweater from her mouth) and looked wide eyed around the room. Running a hand through her hair sheepishly, the thief revealed her young face, peppered lightly with freckles, cheeks flushed from the cold and a persistently devious tug to her rose pink lips.

"G'd'evenin," she murmured, looking from person to person as a bead of icy water trickled down her neck.

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Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on December 08, 2005, 08:24:22 AM
What the mage produced from the window wasn't exactly magic, but it was interesting all the same. Watching as the dripping form landed on the floor, the elf gazed at her with amusement.

The short-haired half-elf was in a rather pathetic position, though still managed to keep an air of dignity. Feeling sorry for the soaked girl, Ratdragon quickly strode over to her, un-fastening the violet cloak that hung from his shoulders and handing it to the woman.  

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on December 08, 2005, 11:09:22 AM
Duchess Sera

Sera sighed as she was led to her chair, meekly allowing the elf to guide her. His touch was similar to that of Avash yet different at the same time. It reassured her that not all elves possessed Avash’s mystique, for she dearly loved those qualities that truly made him unique. With a rustle of silk settling, she eased herself into the chair, careful not to tear her dress. A worried look crossed her face as she noticed Elendilwyn still standing to the left of her chair.

“Elen, darling, please have a seat. You’ve earned a few moments of relaxation.”

Focusing once again upon the eldest elf, she gasped in surprise as he lifted something into the room from outside of the window. It was a moment before she realized that it was a young woman he pulled into the room, by the looks of her a waif hoping to steal food from the ball. In the moment it took her to recognize the nature of their visitor, the younger elf had wrapped his cloak around the thief. She smiled as his caring nature became apparent, clearly approving of his actions. With the grace befitting a woman of her position, Sera arose and walked over to the half-elf, as she could now see the similarity between the stranger and her son.

Her expression remained that of a caring mother, as disdain for those less fortunate than herself did not exist in her nature. Without seeming to care about staining her dress, she knelt before the half-elf and peered into her eyes. What she found within them seemed to please her as her lips had curled into a broad smile.

“Welcome to my home. As you may know, I am the Duchess Sera Rose though I would prefer it if you just called me Sera. Formality should be left at the courts where it belongs. Oh dear, I am sorry. Here you are wet, cold, and probably starving whilst I’m rambling on. Please, come sit by the fire and warm yourself. Is there anything that you require? Food, perhaps?”

In one fluid motion, Sera stood and held her hand out to the half-elf, offering a hand to help her up. She was treating the waif much as she would have treated her son when he was younger, and she seemed to throughly enjoy an opportunity to tend to someone.  

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Elendilwyn on December 09, 2005, 12:10:22 AM
Elendilwyn could not decide if the night was going to be really long or extremely short. Too many things are happening at the same time so much so time seemed to have stretched to contain all these different pockets of happenings, but being eventful, she hardly felt the tick of the hour. Comprehension as to why on earth she was where she was is definitely beyond her.

Being privy to a private conversation, the tension, the sudden drop-in of another half-elf through the window—as if the night has not had enough of surprises—being invited to sit, Elen could not help but stare at her mistress in disbelief. She watched her mistress go over to the newly arrived stranger but stayed where she was. She had no intention to sit as instructed. It would not do and she will speak her mind when the Duchess returns to her seat.  

The day has waned, walk with me, grant me this song... Can you hear?
The midnight sun is calling...

Elendilwyn Gwaihir

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on December 09, 2005, 05:00:22 AM
Gararion stood in silence beside the window sill, watching as the rains fury washed the fine curtian down the street in small stream that had been formed with the nights rain.  Closing the window, the magus turned to watch as the half-elf was taken in with loving care.  This group of strangers were indeed true of heart, perhaps they would hold a strong enough will to carry out the Duchess wish.  Gararion only hope...for he had a feeling his time among them may be running short...

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Luca the Thief on December 09, 2005, 08:18:22 AM
Luca stared Sera down in disjointed disbelief. In all her years, the half-elf had broken into many homes, though not all as nice as this, and had been caught her fair share of times. But it was such a rare occurance to be treated as such that she had never really come to understand it. Eyeing Sera's outstretched hand, elegant and unmarred, Luca decided not to lower herself to accept charity from some woman living the high life.

With a cool nod to Ratdragon, Luca slipped off her own cloak and let the watered-down material drop with a slosh to the ground, slipping the dry violet material over her shoulders. Eyes skipping across the room to those present, Luca stood quietly and nodded to Sera.

"It's appreciated, Dutchy, but I'll just be gra... ah... ah....CHOO!" she sneezed suddenly, catching her mouth in a chilled hand and groaning slightly. Sighing, Luca nodded again and shuffled half-heartedly over to the fire. "Some tea would be nice," she muttered quietly under her breath, figuring she should might as well take what she could while she was there.

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Edited by: Luca the Thief at: 12/9/05 6:18

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on December 10, 2005, 01:50:22 PM
Duchess Sera

A slight frown crossed her face as the half elf stood without her help. It was not that she was disappointed in that Luca could stand on her own, rather the look in the girl’s eyes told the Duchess that her help was not appreciated. Awe was a common enough reaction to her title, but this disdain was so unusual that it surprised her.

Regaining her composure as Luca staggered over to the fire, Sera realized that whether or not the girl wanted help, she desperately needed it. Just barely hearing Luca whisper about tea, Sera smiled and walked to the doors, with such grace that it appeared as if she were gliding, her feet not even touching the floor. Only a moment before she would have reached the doors, they opened of their own accord, and a servant dressed in the blue and gold livery of the castle stepped through carrying a tray with a kettle of tea and several cups. A fringe of white hair surrounded his bald scalp, yet he stood straight despite his apparent age.               

“The bard sent me with this, saying there was one here that needed the warmth of the tea.” The manner in which he said the word bard indicated his thoughts on taking orders from a court bard.

With grace surprising for one of his age, he set the tray on a small table next to the fireplace. He bowed to the Duchess before making his exit, and it was clear that she was the only one he was willing to bow to.

Sera watched in silence as the servant moved about the room, evidently surprised that Avash had enough foresight to send for tea before there was even a need for it. Without speaking or even looking at the others in the room, she returned to her seat, wondering what kind of man nay elf could predict the future. It was as she arranged her skirts that she noticed Elendilwyn still standing.

“Elen, please sit. You’ve stood long enough.”

Her gaze turned to the half elf as she stood next to the fire. There could be only one reason for someone to be outside that window in this kind of weather nay in any weather. She had heard of thieves that could scale walls hundreds of peds above the ground with only the right equipment, and this girl was indeed skilled if she could scale a wall in the pouring rain at night. Her gaze when it focused upon Luca was frigid, all warmth toward the half elf faded the moment her help was refused.

“So tell us, girl. What have you stolen? I ask only about what you’ve taken from my home, as your past crimes do not concern me.”

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Elendilwyn on December 11, 2005, 02:23:22 AM
“Elen, please sit. You’ve stood long enough.”

Elendilwyn raised an eyebrow and looked at her mistress--she had not managed to stop herself in time... it was not her intention to be rude but she knew that she too could be difficult when she set her mind on something.

"My lady, thank you for inviting me to join you at the table but I would prefer to stand. Please allow me to remain in my place and keep my duty."

Elendilwyn gave a slight curtsey as she finished her line and then looked back at the Duchess, her expression resolute and to some, possibly defiant.

The day has waned, walk with me, grant me this song... Can you hear?
The midnight sun is calling...

Elendilwyn Gwaihir

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Luca the Thief on December 13, 2005, 08:47:22 AM
Luca squinted into the fire and turned to the tea, nodding vaguely to the servant. One hand reaching up around her neck to pull closer the dry cloak, the half-elf inspected the brew curiously before sitting on the stoop of the fireplace, warming her back.

“So tell us, girl. What have you stolen? I ask only about what you’ve taken from my home, as your past crimes do not concern me.”

"As they shouldn't seeing you're bold enough to suggest I've any crimes behind me to begin with." Luca poured the tea into the cup and swirled it around. She could lie, easilly enough. Throw up some rubbish story they would probably very well believe. But she was tired and wet, surrounded by the rich and fortunate with nowhere to go. Perhaps she could use the dutchess' kindness further to her advantage.

"But otherwise, was just taking a look is all, Dutchy," she replied innocently enough, raising the steaming cup to her lips and simultaneously pulling the elaborate candelabrum from under her belt and balancing it on an outstretched palm. "Nice piece of work there... make it yourself?"

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Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tomás Valentín on December 15, 2005, 07:31:22 AM
Duchess Sera

She sighed as Elendilwyn defied her suggestion that she take a seat. On any other night, she would have had the girl scrubbing pots for such disobedience, but she was too tired from tonight's activities to concern herself with one stubborn maid.

"As you wish Elen. Remain standing for the rest of the night, and if I see you sit down once then I'll take the switch to you myself."

The threat had surprised even her, yet she supposed her anger stemmed from her frustration over the half elf that rudely invaded her home. Still, one has to discipline the servants or risk them thinking of themselves as nobility.

Her eyes widened in surprise as the thief pulled a candelabrum from her belt, the very one that had remained upon that mantle since her grandfather was alive. At first, her glare was enough to melt ice yet she soon relaxed, reminding herself that fate was a fickle mistress.

"At least you have the dignity to return that which you have stolen. Return it to the mantle and you will not be punished for your crimes."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tasuli Rose on December 15, 2005, 07:58:22 AM
The doors to the anteroom flew open with a crash as Tasul’i made his entrance. Not once did he glance at anyone but his mother as he strode through the doors, the disgust at being in their presence clearly writ upon his face. Despite his sudden entrance, his face appeared quite calm, and he bowed to his mother before straightening with a smile.

"Hello, Mother. I leave at daybreak for Vezash. Will ten guards be enough, or should I take twenty instead?"

With a smile for her son and a shake of her head at the thought of him having such an escort for his journey, she replied. "Tasul'i, please sit and drink tea with us. I was hoping that these adventurers would be a more suitable escort for you, as any number of guards will attract unwanted attention."

His hand rushed to the hilt of his sword as she mentioned the strangers, glancing about the room as if he were noticing them for the first time. With a cruel smile, he walked around the room, peering at each of them as if he were examining horses. As the closest to his mother, he began with Elendilwyn.

"I suppose I will need a maid to tend to my clothes as we travel, for someone of my position should never be stained with dirt." His eyes traveled over her body, noticing each curve, as his smile became something that hinted at more. "And I suppose I will have other needs, ones she seems suited to satisfy."

Without another word he strode away from the maid, walking toward the golden haired elf standing to one side, wondering why anyone would taint their appearance by styling their hair in such a fashion. Nodding in approval he spoke, "This one seems young and hale. He'll do well enough as a guard of my royal person."

He then strode to the window, not seeming to notice Gararion at first. Tears streamed down his face as he watched the rain, awed that something so simple could have such beauty. Startled as he noticed the elf standing next to him, he seemed to jump out of his skin. Wiping the tears from his cheeks with one sleeve, he spoke in an angry manner, enraged that anyone would see him displaying such emotions. "And I suppose you're supposed to be the voice of age and wisdom. I do not need a granther for this journey, especially not one so close to the grave. If you wish to help me, then throw yourself out the window."

As he turned back to face the room once more, he realized that he had forgotten someone. Standing next to the fire sipping on tea was the thief, holding the candelabrum as if it were a trophy. With only a few strides of his long legs he was at her side. At first it seemed as though he would snatch the candelabrum from her, yet he also seemed to be disgusted by the filth covering her, refusing to touch anything she had defiled. "What purpose could you possibly serve? The rich such as myself have no need of petty thieves." He stepped back as if his very senses were offended by her stench. "Perhaps you'll be the pack mule. You certainly smell like one."

He took another step back as he turned to face his mother once again. For the moment, he remained silent yet a torrent of emotions flowed over his face.  

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on December 16, 2005, 06:50:22 AM
Ratdragon listened to the conversation between the servant, the duchess, and the thief with little interest. He was about to speak when Tasuli strode in, gazing at the man with contempt as the he examined them like slaves.

His lip twitching into a snarl, the golden elf kept an unblinking gaze on the half-elf as he spoke. "My companions and I do not like being treated like we are common livestock. If you do not suppress your arrogance, perhaps we will provide you a greater service then guarding you and end your miserable little life as it stands."

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Luca the Thief on December 16, 2005, 10:15:22 AM
Luca stood at Tasuli's approach, the cup still to her lips and the silver candelabrum in her hands. Placing the ornament gently on the mantle as directed, the half-elf looked her counterpart over.

"Petty thieves steal petty things, boy," she replied calmly, setting the brew down and looking the young man over with a sharp eye. "I think your mother would disaprove of such regard to her things. As for you... well... I may smell like a mule, but at least I don't make a point of making an 'ass' of myself." Luca smiled sweetly, one eyebrow lifted cautiously under the cover of her hair, and curtsied, pulling back at her skirts and revealing a devious amount of leg.

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Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Elendilwyn on December 17, 2005, 02:20:22 AM
Was it wrong to have your own mind?—Elendilwyn found it a bitter pill to swallow when she was dependent on others for her livelihood. Her defiance—was it really defiance?—had apparently made the Duchess snap and the treat was rather uncalled for, but she had no worry of it for she was used to standing long hours…

Not until her dignity was insulted by fool who was the Duke—he was really no better than a child, a Duke… pah—Elen had no respect for royalty who threw their weight around as if they owned the world. She was not a slave. She came into the services of the Duchess to escape the selling of her body on the street and this was even worse than selling her body. Elen would rather terminate her services with the royal family than be a comfort woman who tends to the whims and fancy of children.

Had he looked her in the face beyond her body, he would have seen her eyes, which she imagined was flaring in an ice-cold burning glance. She would not say anything now. It was not her position to do so and she had no wish to anger another in that family. When all are gone, she will tender her resignation to the Duchess. Her body was hers and hers to give, not to be taken from her at will. She could always find her way again.

The day has waned, walk with me, grant me this song... Can you hear?
The midnight sun is calling...

Elendilwyn Gwaihir

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tasuli Rose on December 20, 2005, 02:52:22 PM
As the insults from each stranger berated him, his cheeks flushed a deep crimson, his eyes flashing with anger. With one hand upon the hilt of his sword, Tasul’i turned to face the elf. Everyone else in the room seemed to fade from his thoughts as he stared at Ratdragon. Never before had he killed anyone, and the thought of a brawl frightened him. For once, he would not stand behind his position and wealth.

His grip tightened on the hilt as he prepared to draw forth the sword from its sheathe, and it was then that he noticed her from the corner of his eye. Only a moment before he had been disgusted by her very presence yet he now found himself oddly attracted to her. Her hair was cut in an atrocious manner, but he still wished to stroke it gently as he held her to his side. Drowning in her dark eyes, he had no thought nor desire of salvation from the blossoming feelings within him. He completely forgot about the elf as he stepped closer to Luca, gently tilting her chin upward with one hand so that he may peer into those beautiful eyes. With a smile he leaned forward, his lips coming ever closer to her own as he was intent upon kissing her.

Sera remained seated in her chair, seemingly resigned to the antics of her son. Doubts that he would ever be cured clouded her mind as her despair was clearly writ upon her face. These strangers were her only hope, yet Tasul’i insisted upon insulting them.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Luca the Thief on December 23, 2005, 01:57:22 PM
Luca staggered in disbelief as Tasuli came towards her, pressing her shoulders back against the mantle to get as far from the bizarre boy as possible. It was to no avail, as the young half-elf's lips promptly locked onto hers in a kiss. The thief's cheeks flushed slightly, both embarassed and a little disturbed by kissing somebody obviously so much younger than her. Regardless, her thoughts soon turned to rage at his audacity. Luca was a flirt, that was no doubt, but she did not hook up with children.

Her brown, trim brows came together in anger as she forced him away from her with a quick shove to his chest with both hands. The movement, unfortunately, caused her skirts to sway around and, more importantly, behind her... into the fire. Crackling at first, the material still wet from her excursions on the outside, it slowly began to light and before she knew it, flames were beginning to lick up the side of her right leg.

Looking down at the peculiar stench of burning mud and fabric, the  Aeruillin native let out a yelp and jumped forward... back into Tasuli's arms.

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Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Gararion on December 24, 2005, 04:14:22 PM
        Gararion remained silent and still as Tasul’i approached him, seeming to be unaware of the aging elven mage standing near the window.  Though Gararion was surprised to see the tears that found themselves upon the face of the half-elf as he gazed upon the rain as it fell to the ground outside, creating a soothing sound to those who didn’t mind such things.  Gararion was even more surprised as he watched the reaction of the young Duke to his ‘intrusion’, though he did not show any sign that he had taken offense of the child’s comments, which was rather easy as it would take much more to insult one of his stature.

        The magus watched as the Duke carried out this method of expressing his comments to the other guests and watched with sadness as some of them did show their offense to the Duke’s comments.  Throughout this though, the magus remained at his window, taking in all in hopes of finding use for it later on in their ventures.  Though this soon changed when he watched the thief catch on fire while attempting to escape the grasp of Tasul’i.  Opening the palm of his hand and pointing it towards Luca, Gararion spoke a silent word and began to concentrate; the flames in turn beginning to diminish till their flames flickered no more.  Gararion still remained standing by the window, his palm still directed towards Luca, the sleeve of his jacket revealing hands that showed only the slightest sign of aging to the eyes on one used to the aging of elves.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on December 29, 2005, 09:16:22 AM
Ratdragon smirked as the half-elf hesitated on whether to fight or not. The elf would gladly welcome a brawl, but sadly the half-elf turned his attention to the thief.

Watching as the half-elfess ignited her skirt while trying to escape Tasul'i. Stepping forward, Ratdragon laid his hand on Tasuli's shoulder to gently pull him away from the girl, watching with fascination  as the flames diminished.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Tasuli Rose on December 29, 2005, 06:53:22 PM
Rage burned within his eyes as she pushed him away, enraged that she would dare to reject his advances. His affection was a blessing to women, one she did not seem to appreciate. If they were alone, then he would have slapped her for such insolence, yet he restrained himself under the watchful gaze of his mother. The day would come when he would be alone with Luca, and he promised himself that she would suffer dearly for insulting him. How could any woman resist the temptation to linger eternally within his embrace? He could bestow upon a woman everything her heart desired as nothing was beyond his power. She should have swooned at the very sight of his handsome countenance. Instead, she dared to insult one far above her in society.

As he stepped forward to speak to the girl in a whisper only she would hear, he was surprised to find her suddenly in his arms. His senses were offended by her stench, and he could not bear to look upon her, so clearly was she beneath him. So focused was he upon Luca that he did not even notice as another elf laid a hand upon his shoulder. With disgust he prepared to drop her, not caring if she injured herself upon the stone floor, as his mother spoke in a harsh voice that brooked no disagreement.

"The night has passed before our very eyes, and it is the hour when eyes close as they seek the ever elusive slumber. Tasul'i, my son, would you be so kind as to show our guests to their rooms? Do not think to be mischievous by showing them to the dungeons instead, as I would be most displeased. Also, I will not have you lingering in either of the ladies' bedrooms nor their beds as they deserve a night of peace without you lusting after them."

As Tasul'i began to set Luca back onto her feet, gently as he was aware of his mother's gaze upon him, the Duchess spoke once more.

"The girl must be tired from her various exploits and would surely appreciate being carried by a strong lad such as yourself. Do not forget to show the maid to a guest room as well, it would not be proper for her to sleep in the servants' quarters this night."

Grudgingly Tasul'i carried Luca in his arms as he strode toward the doors. He shuddered to think of his clothes being stained by her filth and decided that he would burn the clothes he now wore in the morning. As he approached the doors, he kicked them open, seeming not to care if he damaged them. For a moment he turned, nodding toward everyone to follow him before walking into his mother's bedroom. With disgust he looked upon her bed, fully aware that she wasn't often alone in it. The second door opened inward and could not be kicked open, so he shifted Luca about until he was holding her with one arm as he opened the door with the other.

Gladly he shifted her back so that he held her with both arms, as her weight was a bit much for him to hold with one arm. He awaited the rest of the group for a moment as he stood in the hallway and began to proceed down the hallway once they'd all exited his mother's bedroom. The hall was empty as not even servants were awake at this late hour. After having walked for about fifty paces without saying a word, he turned to the right as the adjoining of two halls presented itself. Several doorways stood on either side of the hall, and it was to the first one on the right that he walked. Standing with his back to the door, he addressed the group as they assembled around him.

"The doors you see along this hall are the guest rooms. Each one is identical to the others so it matters not which one you choose. Whether the rooms are empty or not I do not know nor do I care."

Without another glance at them, he turned and kicked in the door to the guest room. A bed easily large enough to accommodate two people with room to spare was set against the far wall, appearing warm and inviting with its silk sheets. Curtains of the same fabric and hue decorated the window. As he was eager to be rid of his burden, he cast his gaze about the room, searching for somewhere to set her down. He abhorred the thought of placing her upon the clean bed and sighed in relief as he found a wooden chair sitting along one wall. Gingerly he set her down in the chair, not willing to risk his mother's displeasure by dropping her. With a gesture he indicated the washstand and mirror set along the opposite wall.

"I would suggest cleansing yourself of that filth before retiring for the night. Then again, water can only do so much."

Not once did he glance at her lustfully, as he was disgusted by the very sight of her. Eagerly he left the room after having fulfilled his promise to carry her to it, shutting the door behind him as he walked into the hall.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Elendilwyn on January 01, 2006, 09:56:23 PM
Elendilwyn watched the insolent Duke with slight amusement, who was as thoughtless as he was immature—what a disgrace he was to his mother—she wondered again how her ladyship could tolerate such a son. She saw the look of disgust he had upon touching the young thief and for a moment, her heart went out to Luca—that girl could do with a warm bath and rest—and was relieved to hear the Duchess drawing the whole scene to a close. It was late and she, like everyone else, was probably tired.

It was only mild surprise that caught her when she heard she was to be housed as a guest. After a night of strange happenings, there isn’t much more that can disorientate her. All she really wanted was a bed. As the Duke led them all to the guest quarters, Elen respectfully followed last of all. The passageways were quiet and the air was still to the point of suffocation, partly a result of the tension that everyone was exhibiting in response to the rage of the Duke.

She saw the room, luxurious as most other rooms are, big and spacious but a torture to clean. The irony of the night was that now she could sleep within the silk sheets which she used to fold.

Elen saw Luca placed on the chair and after the Duke stormed off, she went into the room towards the dresser by the side of the bed. There was a washbowl on the table with scented flower petals floating on the water, a serene sight in start contrast to the display of temper the Duke showed earlier. She soaked and rinsed the cloth that was by the side of the bowl and walked over to Luca with the intention of helping her wash.

Let the others choose their rooms. Once she was done helping Luca, she would take the next available room and retire for the night.

The day has waned, walk with me, grant me this song... Can you hear?
The midnight sun is calling...

Elendilwyn Gwaihir

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: ratdragon on January 05, 2006, 12:27:23 AM
Ratdragon watched the duke with disgust. Suddenly realizing how weary he was, the elf strode to the closest door. Reaching out his hand to turn the handle, the elf slowly drew his hand back, remembering how the duke had opened the doors.

"Strange way to open doors, I suppose that's how nobility around here does it. I wouldn't want to offend them by opening doors the wrong way..."

Lifting his booted foot, the elf kicked the door in, the sound of metal on steel echoing dimly around him. Smiling slightly, the elf walked in muttering, "Hmm, quite an interesting way to open portals. I now understand how the nobility of this city gets joy out of opening doors. It does have a certain satisfying feeling"

Pushing the door shut, the elf threw himself on the silken bed, and not even bothering to use the covers, fell asleep.

Title: Re: Chapter 1B: The Ball of Pure Souls and Tormented Minds
Post by: Luca the Thief on January 06, 2006, 06:18:23 PM
"I would suggest cleansing yourself of that filth before retiring for the night. Then again, water can only do so much."

She'd kill him. She'd kill the nasty bugger before he knew what hit him. The little scoundrel with his nicely folded clothes and money to burn. She'd kill him!

Luca smiled sweetly, her eyes burning with rage as her pink lips pulled back to reveal her little round teeth. She stood and dropped into an unnecessarily low bow, her knuckles brushing against the floor as her other hand curled behind her back. After Tasuli had left, Luca snapped back up straight and cracked her knuckles, cursing profusely under her breath. It was then that the half-elf spotted Elendiywn. "What in the bloody heavens is this place? A refuge for the unfortunates of mixed blood?" she thought to herself, watching the maidservant go about the room.  It took a moment before she finally realized what she had in mind. A peel of laughter escaped Luca's lips as she took the cloth from her hands.

"Oh no, doll, I'm nobody you need to be helping with such matters. Go off and get some sleep... I've a feeling Dutchy and his majesty there will be eager for your attention early enough in the morning... no need for a scrub like myself to keep you up!" she said, setting the cloth on the rim of the washbowl and examining a flower petal between her finger tips with a perplexed look on her features.

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