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Author Topic: Chapter 1: Whispering Rumors  (Read 28257 times)
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SeverineHalo
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« Reply #60 on: August 08, 2003, 02:07:22 AM »

Tying his hair back, Severine stared up at the sky and that the evening sky was beginning to take its shift for today. He was done being to himself, and turned back to see how the others were doing. Phiona was still behind the group, drinking from her canteen every so often. Tierria was talking to Crestus and Ren from time to time, Zeadon was to himself, and the other guards were talking to each other about random things. Mostly about women.

Severine made sure to check on Tierria just in case anything happened, and everytime he did, Gromelson would glare at him. Severine just stared back, his eyes giving him a calm, but vicious look. That was enough to make the lecher look the other way. Ren, who stared at to scene every so often would laugh quietly. Severine saw this, and grinned back at the young mercenary whenever Gromelson wasn't looking. Ren alright in his mind, which made Severine figure that he wasn't exactly 'part' of their lecherous band. He probably just got to know them the same day. Severine also took a look at one of the men who had the horses' regins in one of the caravans. He saw that the man had a nervous look on his face from time to time...as if he wasn't sure about something.

Did he know something that everyone else didn't know? Severine pondered this question for a moment, but thought that he was acting too paranoid again. But the young fighter knew that he had to be alert. Twirling his knife in one hand, he heard Crestus speak out to everyone.

"We'll all stop for tonight!" he shouted. "We are a few miles awa from Sharadon forest! At the break of dawn, we'll eat berakfast and head out right away!"

Severine stopped Robsebud, and veered off the road to the grassy plain. As he got off his mount, and put down his burlap sack, he looked at Phiona. Severine was looking for someone to spar with ever since he left Uderza to test his skills, and she seemed good enough. he also wanted to talk to her about her writing and sketching his sword in her book...to see if she knows something he doesn't. She might even know about The Ivory Fox. When everyone was relaxing, he would talk with her.

"Once again, the lone soldier walks off into the sunset..." -Anonymous

Edited by: SeverineHalo at: 8/7/03 18:08
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Tierria Selig
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« Reply #61 on: August 08, 2003, 02:32:22 AM »

Before the caravan stopped, Tierria was enjoying herself with a conversation with Ren. The two talked about grouwing up in their hometowns (Ren was a native of Dasai), their travels thus far, and various other things. The redhead flirted with her from time to time, his charms making her blush. Tierria flirted back in the same demeanor, but that was as far as it went, for they weren't any strong emotions involved. Just shameless flirtation. he saw Severine staring back from time to time, making her think that maybe her long time friend was getting jealous, but when she saw him looking at Gromelson, she knew that it was for her protection. Knowing this mad the young girl feel safe, which allow her to flirt without too much caution with Ren. If only Severine was this much fun!

Once Crestus called for a stop around the evening, Tierria moved with Ren to the side.

"Well lady Selig, I must say that I enjoy your company very much" said Ren, smiling. "I just hope your boyfriend doesn't mind."

"Boyfriend? Nooo...we're just very good friends. Sevy just gets protective of me from time to time..."

Ren lifted her chin a bit. "I can see why. Such beauty doesn't come around much often. That Phiona lady as well..." Ren turned his gaze to the warrior woman. "But she doesn't seem to be the type to take a man's approach lightly, regardless if its serious or innocent."

"I could agree with you on that one..." Tierria looked at Phiona herself. She hadn't said a word ever since Dasai. She wondered what was going on through the woman's mind. She would probably talk to her later. Right now, she needed to see if Severine was okay.

"Excuse me for a moment" she said to Ren, and made her way over to Severine.

"Severine" she said in her most softest voice, as he just put down his sack. "Is everything okay dear? You're more quiet than as of late..."

"How do you heal a man's heart when you always end up wounding it?"

Edited by: Tierria Selig at: 8/7/03 18:37
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SeverineHalo
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« Reply #62 on: August 08, 2003, 03:51:22 AM »

"Everything is fine 'Ria" Severine answered, and took out a few knives he bought recently from Dasai. "I was wondering about the sword...that's all. When I was holding it...I could've sworn that I heard my father's voice. I'm thinking of talking to Phiona about it...she seem to know some things. Not about the sword necessarily, but maybe certain legends or artifacts. I might even talk to Zeadon. Maybe one of them know something about the White Fox…”

Severine twirled each knife to test how well he could use each. They felt perfect in his hands. Hopefully, he didn’t have to use such well-made weapons on scum as Gromelson and his crew if they tried anything on Tierria…or even Phiona tonight while the women would sleep. But if it came to that, he would attack without hesitation. He figured they knew that, for they kept their distance. Walking over to an old tree trunk, Severine threw two new knives at it with ease, and sat down as he took them out.

"Once again, the lone soldier walks off into the sunset..." -Anonymous

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Phiona Whitefire
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« Reply #63 on: August 08, 2003, 03:30:22 PM »

Phiona took a moment to study the camp area chosen by Voltaire.  She could see right away that this was a standard stop, presumably used by this and other caravans on a frequent basis.  The treeline was, safely, far enough away to discourage an easy ambush; a healthy looking stream bubbled it's way past within walking distance and there was even a handy pile of wood next to a fairly deep firepit.  She was satitsfied that all was well so far.  It was still light in the sky and she needed some time to herself.  Phiona decided to explore the road ahead.

The nearest person to her was Zeadon.  To him she said, "I'll ride ahead and see that the road is clear.  I'll return shortly."  

As the seven, heavily-laden wagons pulled into a tight, easily guarded formation, Phiona lightly tapped her heels into her mare so the spirited animal could run a bit after plodding along at a wagon's pace all day.  Her mount gleefully took to the challenge and they were off in a flash.

The mare carried her all the way to a low, wooden bridge where the stream had doubled back and cut through the roadway.  They had run for a while now and the camp area was far behind.  Phiona slid out of her saddle.  She led the mare to the waters edge for a long drink.  Afterwards Phiona took the saddle, blanket and packs off her mount, rubbing the horse with a suede cloth until her golden coat was dry.  All the while, the burbling stream called to Phiona and all she could think of was having a quick dip in the water.

Letting the mare graze for a bit, Phiona went to the water's edge and stripped.  She dived into the clear water and splashed around some, swimming first upstream then floating at the current's speed back down toward the bridge.  She gazed at the deepening sky, glad she was away from the dry desert, even if it was right next to the ocean.  Climbing out of the chilly water, she found a large, flat rock that was still warm from the sun that was at this time setting beyond the treeline.  The heated rock made an excellent resting spot.  Phiona sat down with a sigh.  A soothing breeze brushed over her skin.  She leaned back, allowing her skin to dry naturally.  She felt refreshed, yet also she felt happy for the first time in days.  Weeks, even.  This alien feeling of contentment washed over her and she suddenly realized that she'd been downcast and alone long enough that she was getting used to it.  Now her feelings were at odds and she wasn't quite sure what to do about it.  

Phiona would have liked to stay longer, but duty called.  Guard duty, that is.  She didn't want anyone to worry about her, either.  So, with a small groan of disppointment, she stood and went over to her pack.  She pulled out clean clothing and dressed- a light grey, short sleeved, cotton tunic and black breeches.  Normally she'd wear a white cotton blouse under the tunic, but she suspected the next day would be warm so she stuffed the blouse back into the leather compartment.  On went the leather belt to hold her tunic in place and the legs of her pants were tucked neatly into tall, leather boots, also black.  She gathered up her other clothes, and resaddled the horse.  Allowing the mare her lead on the way back, Phiona pulled out a comb and worked the tangles out of her tawny hair, which did not take long.

She rode back to find the caravan had settled and that someone had heated up a stew over a roaring campfire.  She caught Zeadon's eye and nodded to him, letting him see she had returned.  After she tied her mare by the other horses, she brought her bedroll, weapons and pack and dropped them a couple ped away from Tierria's set up.  Phiona left it all there, except for her sword, which never left her side, and went to find Severine.

Pushing her slightly damp hair back out of her face, she said, "I scouted ahead some.  Looks safe enough.  There's a bridge up the road a ways.  This stream turns back toward the road."  She waved her hand around in a circle to demonstrate the direction.  "Caravan will have to cross it single file, but I think Voltaire knows his way, right?"  She paused a bit, looking toward the campfire before turning back to Severine.  

"I may just be me, but something isn't right.  Not the area... that is safe enough."  She lowered her voice, "Its them."  She indicated Gromelson's crew with a nod or her head; the action caused her hair to cascade onto her face and she ran her fingers through her hair to pull it back again.  "I don't trust them."  This Phiona said without emotion, just cool logic.








       

"Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning."    -John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 - 1890)

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SeverineHalo
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« Reply #64 on: August 09, 2003, 05:26:22 AM »

"I don't trust them."

Severine's eyes became focused on the blade that was twirling in his fingers. His eyes were focused on a small spot that had a very low amount of grass comapred to the area around it. He listened to Phiona's comments and observations closely. It was obvious that she was the only one besides himself that took this whole situation into deep consideration. The other gurads were busy acting like fools, Zeadon was mostly to himself, Crestus was too busy admiring Tierria, and Tierria was too busy admiring Ren, and vice-versa. He hoped that things would continue this way without any hassle...but he knew there had to be something wrong.

"I don't either." Severine threw the knife at the spot he was aiming for.

Deciding that he would pick it up later, Severine removed his light snake armor, revealing his white shirt and blue tunic. "The only thing we can do is be on alert..." Severine took out a fish wrap that he saved for later, and tore a piece of it. "I'm kinda iffy about this whole thing...Crestus seems like the type of person that has con his way out of a few situations in his life. I despise men like him..."

Severine stood up, and took out Halo, swinging it a few times. "But I shouldn't judge too quickly. It always have been a bad habit of mine..."

He turned back to Phiona for a moment. The sky was getting darker, and the camp fires were aleardy set upo by some of the crew. "Once again, I would like to thank you for helping me out back in Dasai. You're a pretty good fighter. I would like to ask you about something. Since you seem like you've been to a few places here and there. Have you ever ehard of the Ivory Fox? I also wanted to ask you about your interest with my sword...and the insscription on it. Maybe you know something I don't..."

Severine approached closer, twirling his sword a bit. A smile began to go over his face. "Of course we could talk about that during sparring....if you don't mind of course?"

"Once again, the lone soldier walks off into the sunset..." -Anonymous

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Phiona Whitefire
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« Reply #65 on: August 09, 2003, 03:14:22 PM »

She took a step back and watched with veiled admiration as Severine stripped off his armor.  Mmmm.  Is he aware of how fine he looks, I wonder?  But then she thought of him and Tierria and the moment she witnessed between them back at the stables and Phiona pushed such thoughts from her mind.  How could she even consider him that way when important business was at hand?  She felt relieved when Severine drew Halo and practiced a few swings.  Moving backward to give him some room, she left his comments on her fighting talent unanswered.  

Phiona's interest perked, though, when Severine began to talk about his blade.  "The Ivory Fox?  What is that... another sword?"  She grinned and looked down at the ground.  "All right, you caught me... I have a passing fascination of magical swords.  And yours is."  Her smile faded.  "But you know that already.  I've--"  She half turned away and unconsciously placed her hand on the hilt of her own sheathed sword.  "-- only seen one other.  A very nasty piece of work, should you ask me.  It was a greatsword, with a blade like the midnight sky, complete with twinkling stars, and the power to steal one's soul... its rumored that each man's death creates a new star, adding power to the sword."  She found herself staring up at the night sky.  "Only a man without a soul can wield such an evil thing."  She finished with a whisper, not caring if her words were heard or not.    

She turned a pensive gaze back to Severine who was backlit by the camp's fire; he wanted to spar with her now and she was fine with that.  She drew her own bastard sword and fell into a defensive position, holding her balanced blade in her right hand.  As they began to circle, she said, "I copied the inscription from Halo so I could study it later.  I like weapons.  Magic interests me..."  She chose that moment to feint to the left then swung her blade around, aiming at his right thigh.  She wasn't surprised when he parried the attack with ease.  

"So, you can see why Halo, being a combination of the two, would draw my attention."  She stepped back, holding her sword at the ready, parallel to the ground and with both hands covering the long hilt.  

"Please.  Don't hold back."

 

"Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning."    -John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 - 1890)

Edited by: Phiona Whitefire at: 8/9/03 7:17
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SeverineHalo
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« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2003, 05:12:22 AM »

"Please. Don't hold back."

Severine began to untie his hair, letting the braids fall over his eyes. He and Phiona began circling each other, Severine holding his sword with this right hand in a casual position. This was his way of testing his opponent. Severine always treated his sparring partners equally, both man and woman. He never actually been in a real sword fight, nor has he ever fought someone with the Sword of Halo before. He only practiced with it on his own.

"I shall not."

Severine swung low towards Phiona's leg, who easily parried, and struck back. Severine back stepped, and lunged forward with his blade, which Phiona blocked.

"You're a pretty good swordsman Phiona. Or shall i say swordswoman..." Severine smiled to himself. He was always a good sportsman, who didn't mind joking with his opponents every now and then. But with Phiona...he felt like he wanted to flirt with her. Only Tierria was the only other girl he did that with. He guessed it was because Phiona wasn't one of many women who would show sudden interest in him just because they think he looked nice...in order to please their own selves. He wasn't the type of peron to have random encounters with women. Actually, even though he had desires like other men, there were times where he decided that he needed to supress them...

"So...you mind telling me how you learned about this 'other' sword?" Severine blocked an attack from Phiona, and got into a defensive position. "I figured there's something special about this sword of mine...but I can't really pin point what..." After getting no response from her, Severine pushed his blade up against hers as the two drew close.

Severine could feel something in his spirit...something that wanted to be unleashed as his body brushed up against hers. The thrill of the battle...and the beauty of his opponent. Stopping himself for a moment, Severine recieved a kick to his side, which made him back up. Looking at Phiona, and seeing that she was serious, Severine grinned. That's how he wanted it. Back in his defensive position, Severine was waiting to switch to the offensive once Phiona attacked. He paid no mind to the cheers and jeers coming from people who watched. Watching Phiona closely, Severine waited patiently for her move.  His eyes followed her body's every move...from the waist up. Surprisingly, the feelings that he was feeling that he normally held back (he knew that something had to be wrong...they always felt more animalistic rather than 'normal') he kept inside of him.

Once he saw Phiona's curvey hips moved slightly for an attack, Severine parried quickly with an offensive move, and he kicked the sword from her hands. With his palms sweating, he pointed Halo at her, grinning. His hair was covering his right eye.

"Nice match."  

"Once again, the lone soldier walks off into the sunset..." -Anonymous

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Tierria Selig
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« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2003, 05:22:22 AM »

Tierria sat next to ren near the fire to watch the fight. She always found Severine his sexiest when fighting or practicing with his weapons. Blushing at this thought, Tierria closed her journal, which she was writing in a bit earlier.

"They both are doing pretty good. Crestus choose well." She heard Ren speaking.

Looking at him, she smiled. "Yes, they do seem like good swordsmen." Looking back at the fight, Tierria started to feel a little bothered with the way Severine and Phiona were looking at each other. But most of all, she seemed bothered by Severine. There goes that look in his eyes again...like as if he hungered for something. Was it battle? Lust? This always confused Tierria...and even worried her a bit. This side of Severine...it was nothing like him. Even though it made him seem very attractive to an extent...still, it was out of the ordinary.

This had to be the side of him that Severine was hiding. When the battle was over, Tierria stood up, and starighten out the rest of her things, instead of talking about the battle like everyone else.

"How do you heal a man's heart when you always end up wounding it?"

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Phiona Whitefire
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« Reply #68 on: August 10, 2003, 07:52:22 AM »

Sparks flew as the two blades slid along their edges, ending locked hilt against hilt.  For several longs moments they pressed against each other, each vying to master the fight.  This was the closest Phiona had been to Severine in the short time she knew him and she was unnerved by the look in his eyes, less than a fore away from hers yet still shrouded in shadow.  She knew his height gave him an advantage and that she couldn't hold off his strength for much longer... so she jabbed him in the side with her knee, just hard enough to break them apart.  

Breathing hard, she glared at him.  Severine merely shined a smile back at her before dropping back to a more conservative stance.  She paused, sizing up the situation, before lunging forward with her sword held in one hand.  He parried, then spun and kicked the blade from her grip.  It flew off to the side and landed in a puff of dry dirt.  She looked back at Severine to see the point of his blade within a palmspan from her thoat.  

He was still grinning though his eyes were hidden in shadow.  "Nice match."

Retreating a step or two, Phiona bowed low in recognition of his mastery in swordplay.  She came back up with Seveine's discarded dagger and flung it at him- it flew past his neck by a mere nailsbreadth and stuck in the tree behind him, the short blade fully embedded in the trunk.  

Now it was her turn to smile.  "Saying a fight is over does not mean it is so.  Remember that not everyone is so honorable as you, Severine."  She ignored the jibes coming from Ducsil and Jacques, and went to retrieve her weapon.  Phiona returned just as Severine pulled his dagger from the tree.

"About the black blade:  It is dubbed Iniquitus and it is wielded by a heartless man called Marlus Blackwine.  Last I saw him, he was in service to the royals and commanding their armies."  She shook her head, "What were they thinking in putting such a man in charge of their troops?"  She sheathed her sword after wiping the dusty blade on her trouser leg.  

Phiona turned away so she wouldn't betray any emotion to Severine.   What about me? I almost fell in love with that detestable lout.    "It was because of him that I left the army.  When I joined up, it meant something.  I was a fool..."  

"Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning."    -John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 - 1890)

Edited by: Phiona Whitefire at: 8/9/03 23:55
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Zeadon
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« Reply #69 on: August 11, 2003, 01:08:22 AM »


Zeadon sat by the fire and watched the fight. wondering to himself.  "Does phiona have a "thing" for Severine?"




Edited by: Phiona Whitefire at: 8/10/03 23:39
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SeverineHalo
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« Reply #70 on: August 12, 2003, 12:31:22 AM »

((OOC: LOL...that last post was funny as hell. Short...but straight to the point.lol))

Severine went over to the tree to retrive one of his daggers. he felt himself slowly recovering from his 'battle rush'. While Phiona talked about the sword, Severine listened closely. He then put Halo back in its sheath, and put his dagger away as well. Tying his hair back, Severine started putting away his things, and made sure Rosebud was okay.

The man sounds as evil as the sword, Severine thought to himself. But then again, my uncle always told me that a weapon always reflected upon a man's soul.

Severine then started thinking about the story he heard about his ancestor, Tielier Halo. He was the only person who was said to use The Sword of Halo for 'evil' purposes. Then there were family members who said that his views might've been considered harsh, but he meant good. Word has it that he tried to use the blade to take over the entire Shendar tribe because of disputes with the other clans. Leona Halo, the next person who would wield the blade ended up killing her own brother with the help of a Farlik and a Strumwind. She was one of two women who used the sword. She was also the oldest person to wield the blade in terms of first time usage.

Wasn't she 43? Thought Severine, and sat by one of the camp fires that was made. He was next to Tierria and Ren. He then looked back at Phiona. As his eyes moved over to her, he saw that Zeadon was looking at them funny ever since the fight began. Only Baveras would know what goes through that man's head...

Seeing that mostly everyone decided to get some rest after eating, Severine agreed with their idea and lied his head on his burlap sack. Staring into the flickering flames, Severine soon fell asleep.

"Once again, the lone soldier walks off into the sunset..." -Anonymous

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Tierria Selig
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« Reply #71 on: August 12, 2003, 12:54:22 AM »

Tierria stared closely at Severine's movements after the fight. Ren was talking to her, but it was mostly about how tired he was and how surprisingly good the food Crestus brought with him was. She didn't paid attention too much, just only enough to get a general idea of what he was talking about. Tierria was about to say something to Severine when he came over, but he was once again in deep thought.

If that boy goes any deeper I swear he'll drown himself, Tierria thought, pouting a little.

She could tell that her friend was feeling tired. It seemed like the fight and the long journey thus far took energy out of him...but she could sense there was something else that required for him to use his vigor.

Only giving him a small smile, Tierria watched as he lied down, and soon went to sleep. She figured she should do the same. They had a long day tomorrow, and she could use some rest. She didn't know what the gods had in store for them from here on, but one thing she knew.

She was going to need Severine by her side, and he was going to need her by his.

Seeing that Ren had his back to her and making snoring noises, Tierria lied back to star up at the sky. Lilas was the first to stand watch with Duscil. Crestus surprisingly didn't ask Severine. Must be cause Gromelson and his men agreed to do night watch the moment Crestus mentioned that he was paying extra for that.

Greedy lechers, Tierria thought to herself and soon found herself in the world of slumber.

"How do you heal a man's heart when you always end up wounding it?"

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SeverineHalo
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« Reply #72 on: August 12, 2003, 04:40:22 AM »

Where am I?

A dark sky was over a barren field. Bodies were lying everywhere, a dark pool of blood from each. Swords and spears were pointing out from each of their owners. Severine's vision showed him all of this horrific night scenery, but this was a dream that didn't show him...only what was before his very eyes.

Or at least that's what he thought.

As the scene went along showing the bodies, Severine recognized only a few. The ones that he could tell easily was the bodies belonging to Phiona and Zeadon. A strong wind began to pick up as the scene grew closer and closer to a far away figure standing on a hill. The figure was holding what seemed to be a lifeless body. Nothing would prepare Severine for what he was about to see.

Once in close enough range, the scene showed Severine holding a lifeless Tierria...covered in blood. Even though his braids covered most of his face...Severine could see the red glow in his eyes...the drool coming from his open mouth...the look of madness...destruction...lust. The latter could be told by Tierria's ripped clothing, exposing some of her most personal of assests. The same went with a few other females...including Phiona.

For a moment, Severine thought that he and the Severine in this nightmare was staring into each other's eyes. The Severine in the nightmare raised a sword high in the air...staring at Tierria.

A taste of things to come...

The blade of the sword went straight for Tierria's neck.

"No!!"

Severine quickly awkened, covered in sweat. He sat up, barely seeing what's before him because of the hair that's in front of his face. Wondering how it could've been untied, Severine pushed it from his face.

"Kid, are you okay?"

Severine saw Jacques staring at him in a weird way. He was playing cards with a caravan driver and Gromelson. Severine looked at him for a moment before answering.

"I-I'm fine...thanks for asking..." Severine was on his back again, not going to sleep for the rest of the night.

What the hell is happening to me?

"Once again, the lone soldier walks off into the sunset..." -Anonymous

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Tierria Selig
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« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2003, 07:27:22 AM »

Tierria awakened to find the sunlight upon her face. Looking around, she could still see some of the caravan members asleep. Duscil and Lilas were awake, cooking some breakfast. Crestus was running about, making sure things was in order. As for Ren, he was no where in her sights.

Probably bathing, Tierria thought. After smelling herself, she figured she needed to bathe too. She heard there was a stream further down the road, so she guessed she would ride Alchemy over to that area.

"Good morning Sevy," she said to the Shendar boy, who was staring up at the sky. Looking at him, she figured he was doing that for quite sometime. "I'm going to bathe in a bit..." Tierria smiled. "You're welcomed to to come along if you like..." seeing that she managed to crack a smile, Tierria got up.

As she went over to her things to get her blue skirt and top, Tierria wondered to herself if Phiona would abthe with her. They were the only two females in the group, and she didn't trust some of these men after all...


"How do you heal a man's heart when you always end up wounding it?"

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Phiona Whitefire
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« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2003, 03:30:22 PM »

After the sparring match was over, Severine went about his own business.  

Phiona stood where she was and looked up in the the night sky as it grew ever darker.  Eventually, she returned to her bedroll and pack.  As she crouched down on one knee to untie the bundle, she glanced over at Tierria.  The young woman was sitting and chatting with Ren near the fire.  She seemed so happy and carefree, perhaps because she was so sure of her bond with Severine.  Phiona felt a twinge of jealousy then.  It had been a long time since Phiona herself felt that way, but that wasn't all- she was drawn to Severine.  He was different from most men she'd met.  He had a manner about him that made Phiona want to know what he was thinking inside.  She sighed and unrolled her bedding.  Sitting down, she pulled her pack closer.  After a moment's pause, she pulled out her journal and writing implements.  She lay down on her tummy with her book open in front of her, facing away from the fire so the yellow light would illuminate the pages.  

~~~

I left Dasai this morning in the employ of one Crestus Voltaire, merchant and owner of a large caravan.  Severine was also hired as a guard and he brings along Tierria, his lover and traveling companion.  The day was a long one, fore the seven wagons in the caravan travel slowly and Voltaire seems to be in a great hurry to reach the village of Sheren.  Our route leads us through the Sharadon forest.  Though I am familiar with the eastern regions of the forest, I haven't even seen it this far west.  From the Dune's innkeeper I learned that Voltaire hires many guards and that most do not return.  I have a very bad feeling about this whole endeavor.  The other guards are overtly shady and lecherous: Gromelson, is their leader; Ducsil; Jacques; Lilas.  There are two other guards who seem more reliable:  Ren is young and naive; while Zeadon, a scarred warrior who speaks even less than I do, if that's possible.  Tomorrow we enter the forest and we'll need to be on our best guard for the bandits that Voltaire worries about.  I cannot sleep unless someone I trust is keeping watch...

~~~




Phiona paused, tempted to write more but thought better of it.  Of course, she could always add more words later, if needed.  She sprinkled a bit of drying powder on the page and then blew it away before safely closing the journal.  After her things were stowed in the pack she took a look around to see who was on guard duty.  Seeing it was Lilas and Ducsil, Phiona knew she'd have a difficult time falling asleep.  

Phiona's stomach growled at her, reminding her that she hadn't eaten since breakfast.  Getting up off her bedroll, Phiona wandered over to the banked fire to see if anything was left.  In the provisions crate, she found some cheese, bread and green apples.  Next to the fire, a pot held some very strong, lukewarm tea.  This fare was good enough for her, so she sat and began to eat, watching the 'guards' warily.  She, too, was on guard though not officially.

Hours after she finished eating, she got up and moved to her bedroll.  Bleary-eyed, she crawled into the bedding.  Slipping a dagger under the covers, she finally fell asleep with her hand tightly gripping the hilt.

Phiona woke again shortly before sunrise.  It never mattered how late she retired to sleep, her years in the royal army gave her this habit.  Stretching first, she got up and looked around to see everyone preparing to leave.  With practiced efficiency, Phiona had her gear ready to go in only a few minutes.  The last thing she did was place her dagger in sheath within her right boot.  Taking her gear with her, she checked on her horse and fed the animal some oats.  She saddled the mare and attached the pack, bedroll and saddlebags.  


After all was ready, Phiona went back to the campsite to get some breakfast.  She saw Severine still lying down and she also noted that he'd slept near the young woman.   But of course...   Phiona shook her head and pushed away the new envy that threatened to overtake her.   Keep your mind on business, nothing more...  Phiona walked closer by Tierria, who was pulling some clothes out of her bag.

"Did you sleep well?"  Phiona looked up at the blue sky, the same one that kept Severine's attention so well.  "Should be fine weather the whole day.  I hope.  Nothing is more miserable than rain through the leaves."  She glanced over at the campfire, and it looked like grilled sausages would be the morning meal.  Already the aroma was permeating the area.  

 

"Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning."    -John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 - 1890)

Edited by: Phiona Whitefire at: 8/12/03 21:12
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