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  • Distant lands call to you, Guest. The next world event coming soon.

    A land once ruled by Dragons and Gods opens, but not every secret of Arethil's past is safe to uncover.

    Titanfall

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first

Hahnah

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Hahnah sat on the floor of the roadside tavern. Her back was against the side of the bar, her palms flat on the floor, one leg out straight and the other bent. She was covered in blood. She breathed heavily, her chest heaving and her eyes wide with shock.

A dead man lay on the floor among the toppled stools. Another lay crumpled over a table and another bent over the bar, their swords gone from their grasp. Another was cut cleanly in half, his torso to Hahnah's left and his legs to Hahnah's right. The barkeep of the tavern was gurgling behind the bar and would die soon. Broken glass littered the top of the bar and the floor alike.

A dead elf was on top of Hahnah's straight leg, his hand clutching a dagger even in death. His skull was a crater--blown open from within. His withering eyes were wide open portraits of agony and horror. And she couldn't stop staring at him. The elf that she had thought was a friend. The elf that she had wanted to quietly save from his human companions.

Her voice was hollow. "You lied to me."

It was all quiet in the tavern save for the last wet gasps of the barkeep. From outside came the steady drilling of a woodpecker. A pause and the bird's song. More drilling.

"Why did you lie to me??" she said aloud.

The bird outside stopped its song in mid-note. Flapped its wings and quickly flew away. Hahnah gasped, looking at her bloody clothes.

And she stood and burst through the ajar door of the roadside tavern and ran.

* * * * *​

Days later, she was on the road again. Heading north and northeast, in the direction Alliria out from the very edges of Falwood. She had washed all of the blood from her clothes and she had not been seen doing it nor had she been seen at the roadside tavern--so far as she knew. No hunters, or humans in general, were coming after her, so it seemed that all was well.

She had been bidden to walk among them. These were the last two of the five words spoken to her by the Dying God. And though she was elated to have finally heard Him speak to her in Strathford, she did not know the true purpose for walking among them. And it was difficult. Far more difficult than living in the wild and avoiding human settlements, killing when she could and disappearing back into the obscuring protection of the woods and the occasional monsters that inhabited them. She walked among them and though she was learning slowly, it was trial and error. She made mistakes constantly.

Like the mistake at the roadside tavern.

She would never have been in such great and imminent danger if she could stay in the wild. If she was not bidden to be among them. But she had faith. For she earnestly believed that the God whom she felt in her heart was not cruel.

* * * * *​

"Top of the mornin' to ya, lass," said the older human man on the wagon.

"Hello," Hahnah said, looking up to him.

The horses pulling his wagon snorted one after the other. The human man tipped back his hat and glanced for a moment up at the afternoon sun breaking through the sparse clouds and the treetops. A small flock of birds flew by overhead, in the direction of Alliria as it so happened, and they squawked their shrill calls.

"Sound like you're a proper Fal'Addas gal, way you say them 'H's." He smiled a jovial way. He was balding, with a wreath of frilly white hair around the sides of his head. His beard, however, was short and well-kempt. "You thirsty, friend? Got a waterskin here if'n you was lookin' for a drink."

Hahnah nodded. "I am thirsty. Thank you." She stepped forward, beside the driver's platform of the wagon and accepted the waterskin from the man and drank heartily.

"If ya don't mind my askin', where ya headed to?"

She stoppered the waterskin and primly wiped her bottom lip of water with her forefinger and said, "I am going to Alliria."

The man whistled. "Must've been a long walk."

"It has been," she said, handing the waterskin back to him.

"Well, shame you've caught me goin' the wrong way. Headin' down to a friend, myself, stockin' him up. Ol' Peter runs a quiet place for travelers like yerself. Little roadside tavern 'bout...hmm...three days or so from here if'n I take my time. Mighta seen it, since you was comin' up from that way."

Hahnah did not react outwardly. "I did not stop often in my travel."

The man chuckled. "You elves are somethin' else. I don't know if I care all too much for livin' a thousand years or so, but that endurance--phew! Can't tell ya why dwarves are known the world over for it when there's you out here, just the cloak on yer back and plenty o' miles between Fal'Addas and Alliria." He took hold of the reins and gave them a light snap and the horses started going. "Well, almost there now, lass. Take good care of yerself."

His wagon was proceeding at a leisurely pace down the forested road. Hahnah turned her head slowly. Looked over her shoulder. Watched.

And her fingers flexed, a Tendril of Elemental Hatred slowly creeping forth from the palm of her hand.

Aldenaxk Drazukel
 
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Alden had been on the road for a while as well, doing his usual. Being a terrible flirt, taking mercenary contracts, saving up coin. He was closer to achieving...something. He just didn't know what. He would have to figure that out. Starting a merc company perhaps? That seemed like a fair plan. Either way, clicking echoed through the woods as his horse trotted along, the tiefling himself sitting atop it. He had a cigarette of some sort between his teeth, filled with some medicinal herb that helped relax and relieve aching muscles. He was dressed in his usual attire outside of battle. A white button up shirt with a black leather longcoat that went down to his heels, brown armored leather pants, and black leather boots. A straightsword and shield were slung over his shoulder.

It's then that he would squint, eyes spotting the two ahead of him on the road. An elven girl, and a human man with a cart. It all seemed normal from there. The man gave her some water, and then moved along. What a kind fellow. Then he saw it, the elven lass was preparing a spell. His eye twitches a bit, and he bites his thumb, causing a bit of blood to be drawn. He then spits the blood from his mouth.

The drop of blood lands directly behind Hahnah, and suddenly it disappears, the spot where it had landed now being where Alden stood, his horse still standing on the road aways back. His hand grabs Hahnah's wrist, specifically the wrist of the hand which was preparing to fire a spell, and he narrowed his eyes. "he fellow there, gave ye water didn't he? Hell of a way to repay kindness, don't you think?" A always, he had that sailor accented voice, easy to recognize.

Hahnah
 
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Hahnah

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Someone grabbed her wrist, and her eyes widened in surprise. Who? How? There was no one that she had seen around, no one other the old human man on the wagon and she was staring right at him. That fear she had felt in the roadside tavern, of being discovered and hunted, coursed through her veins again. It did not matter if she had an appearance that did not openly invite hostility and suspicion if she was not careful.

She looked back from over her shoulder to the man who held her wrist.

A familiar face, and a familiar voice, both striking her at the same time.

Hahnah gasped, and the peeking Tendril, that sorcerous manifestation, slithered harmlessly back into her palm. The very thought of the old merchant going down the road dropped from her mind.

...Hell of a way to repay kindness, don't you think?

"Alden!" She threw her free arm around him. Hugged him closely. "I am glad to see you! Did you find the elf for whom you were looking?"

In her excitement, Hahnah had forgotten to mention that crucial detail about herself: her transformation, and that she was indeed the same strange elf that Alden had met on the outskirts of Elyr-Morath.

Aldenaxk Drazukel
 
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The voice sounds familiar. Not to mention that tendril. He's only seen one person using that kind of magic, and that girl looked very different from this elf. Then she suddenly hugs him. This causes his eyes to widen slightly. She had the magic, she knew his name, she had this voice. The tiefling looks down upon her as she embraces him. "Hahnah? Is that you kiddo? You've uh.....you've got a different look going on. Did you...." He pats her head in a comforting gesture. "Did you shave?" What else was he supposed to guess? There's a serious lack of hair in comparison to before.

"That's besides the point." He shakes his head. "Lass, you do not slaughter people for offering you water." He frowns deeply, poking her forehead. "It ain't right, it's dishonorable and savage. Does the wolf bite the hand that saves it from starvation?" He raises a brow. "Do elves kill people when they offer aid? Is that something a good being does?" he asks, appealing to her preference towards nature and elves. Then she mentions the elven girl, and he sighs, chuckling slightly.

"I'll find a lass I like someday, let's not worry about that right now."

Hahnah
 
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Hahnah

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She blinked, briefly confused as to why Alden did not recognize her. Then, right as he was saying it, it all came together. Her voice was the same, yes, but her body had been changed--from the caterpillar to the butterfly. Her skin was no longer the sacred black, her eyes no longer glowing fiercely orange, and her Living Armor was inside of her instead of outside. All of it to do what she could not before, to perform her new bidding that the Dying God Himself had spoken to her: to walk among them.

Did you shave?


Hahnah canted her head, the question she regarded as being asked in all seriousness. She knew the word from Zael's memories, that his father had shaved, and in that context it seemed to be what some men did to keep fair from their face. Alden did not shave. Elurdrith neither, but he never had hair on his face.

She was about to answer no and explain but Alden continued. And her confusion only deepened, the poke to her forehead registering no reaction from her. It was not a person who had offered her water; it was a human, one of the very same who were burning Elyr-Morath and killing the elves within. Killing humans was never dishonorable nor savage--Arethil only benefited from their eradication. She did not know what a wolf had to do with this discussion. And elves and every good being of Arethil should absolutely kill humans, even if humans gave them aid like that man had given her water; their evil could at times cloak itself in apparent goodness.

Hahnah, still glad to see Alden, summed up her thoughts on the matter succinctly. "I do not kill those who lack sin."

A magic Knife of churning black, white, and maroon color sailed out from the treeline and penetrated through Raphael's right eye and out the back of his head. Blood spilled out from both ends of the horrific wound and darkened the water of the pond around him. He slumped forward, coming to float face down on the water's surface.

Valeria was next. She shrieked in fright and held both hands to her mouth. Another Knife of Elemental Hatred flew and sliced through her wrists and the front of her neck. Her hands fell loose from her arms and a powerful squirt of blood shot from her neck and dowsed her daughter Andrea. Valeria fell back, caught by Reginald, and she was still quivering with tenuous life.

Even so, her bidding now was not to slay as many humans as she could. There would be many in Alliria, many who would cross her path, and she would very likely not be able to kill any of them, unless they outright attacked her like what had happened at the roadside tavern. If she had not seen Alden, perhaps it was better then to let the human driver of the wagon go--there could be others of whom she was unaware. Though she was tolerated in cities now, her new appearance meant nothing if she was seen killing. She resolved to let the driver go.

"Have you just come from Alliria, Alden?" she asked. "That is where I wish to go."

The question behind her new appearance, like mentioning her name, slipping her mind.

Aldenaxk Drazukel
 
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Seeing her confusion, Alden eventually decides to just drop it. "Aye, aye. Sin is bad, though sin ain't decided by race, kiddo. You'll learn that someday." He playfully ruffles her hair. He'd ask what she'd been up to, but considering how she was, he was afraid of the answer. At least he was here now to make sure she didn't get herself or others around her killed. "Eh, whatever the case." He smiles warmly. "It's good to see you again, lass. I wasn't leaving, I was headin that way actually. Just finished picking up my camp. Let's travel together, aye?" He raises a brow. "I'll get you some food while we're there. You been eatin well, right? Kiddos have to eat. It's quite important."

He makes his way back to his horse to pull himself onto it's back. He then urges it forward a little, stopping it when he reaches Hahnah. The tiefling reaches down, offering a hand to help her up. "Get on, lass. It'll be faster on horseback. There's some jerky in the saddlebag to snack on. Feel free to help yerself, yea?" The tiefling is patient with her as always.

Hahnah
 
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Hahnah

Human Slayer
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It's good to see you again, lass.

She nodded enthusiastically in agreement, not bothering to fix the wayward strands of her hair after Alden had ruffled it.

He wasn't just coming from Alliria. He was heading that way too, and that was perfect. It was not enough to simply have an appearance now that was tolerated within civilized settlements. Villages, towns, cities, all of them were foreign landscapes to her, jungles of rules and corners and crowds, teeming with unfamiliar paths, sounds, and especially people. And Alliria would be the largest of these alien landscapes. That alone was intimidating, whether or not she had her new appearance and her new bidding from the Dying God. So it would be good to have a guide. A ranger, of sorts, like Kylindrielle and Elurdrith, who could show her the way.

You been eatin well, right?

"Yes. Food has not been a problem." Her Cascade still did well in killing woodland game to eat, and there were sometimes where humans filled the gap, others where she foraged as she had been taught by her caretakers. That said, a meal would still be welcome.

And one came.

Hahnah loosely followed after Alden as he went to retrieve his horse. He mounted it and came back around and offered his hand and she took it and jumped up--with some slight difficulty that would have been more if not for Alden--onto the horse's back. She was by necessity sitting somewhat on the saddlebag, but managed to get it open and find the dried meat that Alden mentioned.

"Thank you." Sitting behind him, one hand on his shoulder and one hand with the jerky, she took a few bites.

A question surfaced in her mind then, thinking as she had been about cities and being able to walk in them and thinking further back to Elyr-Morath and meeting Alden.

"Is it...strange to you that I appear this way now?"

Aldenaxk Drazukel
 
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When she states that food hasn't been a problem, he nods. "You been cooking the food? It's healthier that way. Gets rid of parasites that can infest the bodies, prevents disease. Make sure to boil water too." He had shown her how to make a camp and start a fire. He hoped she'd been using that knowledge. The tiefling hoped she hadn't drifted back into her more wild ways. Killing random people still, that was upsetting to him. That's why he wanted to bring her to the city. All the races, humans included, living together. Maybe then she would learn. He did not know, he just knew he would need to be there when she did learn.

He nods in response when she thanks him for the food. "Of course. Anytime, kiddo." He chuckles. He whips the reigns, urging the horse to go faster towards Alliria. "This'll be your first time to a big city, yea? I'll fins you a real restaurant, with better cooks than I could ever hope to be." He seems excited to have a good meal.

When she asks if he finds her new form strange, he shrugs. "Lass, I'm a half eldritch being who uses his own blood for magic. Ain't much that surprises me. I'm just happy you're doing alright." She states, warmth in his eyes. "So, Hahnah, what is it you expect to find in Alliria? I'll take you shopping, help you find some real gear. Your own tent. your own blades. Maybe something to help you use magic. Cities are full of useful stuff."

Hahnah
 
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Hahnah

Human Slayer
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She did not nod her head nor did she shake it, but her expression subtly betrayed the answer. She had not been cooking her food and she had not been boiling the water. What gear she previously had she abandoned slowly over time, without even a conscious decision to do so. Her current clothes and especially her shoes she would have abandoned too, if not for the quiet compulsion to wear both such to better walk among them. Though she now could enter settlements with no outright suspicion or hostility, still she slept more in the woods or among the company of animals or monsters. Still there was a mild trepidation of buildings. Doors and corners. Locks.

"Yes, this will be my first time to Alliria," she said. "I have heard that it is very large."

Other settlements, smaller as she was told than Alliria, were yet large enough to become lost within. She did not like this fact, but she was bidden onward. The word restaurant she was only vaguely acquainted with, but combined with cooks, it seemed to be a place of eating. Where one might use coins to buy prepared food.

He did not find it strange, her new form. A brief pondering, consisting of alternating parts doubt and certainty, of how Alden might receive the story of how her form came to be. She let it go, for now.

...what is it you expect to find in Alliria?"

After a moment, she answered, "I do not know yet." And it was true. The Dying God had broken His silence in Strathford and bid her to go and walk among them, but for what purpose? She could do that, but what else was there to it? She prayed almost everyday, but she had not received any more guidance. It felt as though His guidance was incomplete, that there should be some other step or steps. But there was only the one.

Shopping, Alden suggested. She would need to try many things, so she reckoned, and this was one such thing.

"That is a good place to start."

And she finished the jerky that she had in her hand.

Aldenaxk Drazukel