Dreadlords A Rope Around the Neck

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Edric

The Warrior
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Ostdorf - Formerly Vel Trien
The Spire

"Don't think I've ever been hung before." Edric remarked, sitting with half a dozen other prisoners on a bench located within the center of the Spire Prisons great training yard. In his hands was a small piece of parchment, one stamped with an official seal that contained what might have been the approximation of a lion. Ostdorf's new sigil.

"Hanged."​

One of the other men said, Edric glancing over at him. "What?"

"Hanged. You're being hanged. Being hung refers to your cock."​

"Oh." Edric frowned for a moment. Not entirely sure how he felt about being educated by a man who was supposedly in Prison for burning down a granary just because 'he wanted to see the lights'. Lips thinned, and then he decided it ultimately didn't really matter. This note put a time-line on things, one that he hadn't been expecting.

Not that he was particularly worried about dying of course, but once someone was hanged they tended to let him out of Prison. Generally they went to a graveyard, but in Edric's case it would, of course, be different. Either way, a clock was now ticking. "You seen Feren around?"

He asked one of the other prisoners.

"Down in his little dungeon."​

Remarked the man, and Edric let out a long sigh. His head shaking. Feren, the man that he had the others had been sent here to extract had proven exceptionally difficult to get out. Not because the Prison was much of anything special, but because the man was...well hell-bent on completing something. Something that the Governor of Ostdorf apparently really wanted, and something Feren had a passion for.

Edric and the others had tried to argue that he could finish it elsewhere, but apparently Ostdorf had some sort of strange mineral that he needed for his experiment. Thus, he would not be able to complete his research until the Republic brought Ostdorf back into the fold. An event that would take months, if not years.

So as the leader of this particular mission Edric had made a call. They would stay and protect Feren until his experiments were done. The easiest way of sticking around? Getting themselves arrested of course. "Who the fuck punishes stealing some jewelry with hanging?"

Edric complained, leaning back against the bench.

 

Gaage Eberwhit

Wild Thing
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"Don't know, Ed. Maybe you should have thought of that before you got us all condemned to the gallows?" Barked the initiate nearest Edric. Gaage had finally been allowed out to have a little fun and stretch his legs, and their fearless leader decides the best course of action is to surrender themselves, what a load of absolute shite. "We could have pulled him out of there by force, you know we have the firepower. Since when have you lost your guts?"

There wasn't a situation out there that Gaage Eberwhit didn't think he could punch and kick his way out of. He'd been under the impression they weren't going to let some snooty prison officials get in the way of their official dreadlord business. "This Feren guy could be at it for years, and they aren't going to wait that long before they string us up. So what's your plan then, boss?" If his head wasn't so cloudy with frustration, Eberwhit might have known better than to tick off the life-sucking parasite of the bunch, but he hadn't eaten all day, and the first real job he'd had in months was undermined by this numbskull idea of his.

Of course, he also hadn't been medicated today, but Gaage didn't know about the Academy dosing his meals to keep him composed. If they had known this would turn into such a prolonged ordeal they wouldn't have let him go along. Until the hotheaded Initiate learned to control himself, he was on a probation of sorts.

"Do we even know what he's doing? Maybe we could speed things along, flex a little muscle to get it moving along? Nobody wants to deal with an angry bunch of Dreads, right?"

Edric
 
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Fennec

Lil Wisp
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Sitting silently at the other side of Gaage, the smaller figure of a young girl could barely be registered among the rabble rousers of the prison. Withdrawn and silent, she listened to the chatter around her with a look upon her face that was appropriately discomforted.

They each had a piece of parchment in their hands that signified their fate. Edric had just learned he was to be hanged and, allegedly, so was Gaage. She held her own in her lap, pinched between small and calloused fingers, and waited with a bated breath as she finally took a moment to fold the paper open. What she found there was ... confusing.

Fen could read, but this chicken scratch was utterly illegible. She batted Gaage on his shoulder for assistance, holding the paper out to see if he could discern what it said.
 
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Zael Castomir

King of Flames
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Zael was standing in front of the bench where his fellow Initiates were sat. Standing and shadowboxing with some unseen foe—bobbing and weaving, tossing quick and solid jabs and hooks and elbows to an imaginary face, to an imaginary set of kidneys. This he did while listening to Edric and Gaage talk.

And honestly, he was still shocked. Edric wasn't the type of guy who would've come up with a plan like this. Or, at least, that's what Zael had thought before he actually did. Heh, maybe that was why the Proctors wanted him to be leader of this excursion into Ostdorf (what a name), some kind of attempt to squeeze some ingenuity out of the Academy's bar-none most straightforward Initiate.

Shit, if that was the case, it was a shame Edric didn't commit to just doing things the straightforward way. You know, thumb his nose to 'em. Would've been hilarious. Hey, got the mission done, so what are you bitchin about? But, hell, sometimes you wanted to do things different. Even Zael kept his recalcitrant streak in line every now and then (fuckin would have been dead otherwise, old school Proctors didn't have any restraints on em). Variety was the spice of life. Zael had heard that saying bandied about on a few occasions, yeah. And besides, you couldn't break out of prison if you never got tossed in one. Just like you couldn't be a headache to all the stuffy military officer wanks if you took the pussy Reservist option or the sissy Exile option. Prison, military, you had to step into some kind of arena if you wanted to fight.

Gaage though. Shit. He was really getting Zael's blood-pumping with that kind of talk.

...flex a little muscle to get it moving along...?

"And between you, me, and E, we got plenty to flex." He kept boxing, not looking at any of his three companions. More jabs, some shifting footwork, a big haymaker. He added, "No offense, Fen." And then he thought about it further, "Nah. Wait. You can flex too with your tendrils, you're good."

Zael hadn't ever really gotten a good look at it, but he'd heard from others in Fen's class that it was kind of like she had an octopus growing out of her back. Thanks guys, that description didn't fucking help. What in the hell was an octopus?

Anyway. There probably wasn't a whole lot they could do to speed up Feren's project. Feren was one of those Tinker or Alistair types. Someone who really got invested into something and practically locked themselves away in their own hermit kingdom until they absolutely had to come out.

Zael had his own slip of parchment clutched in his left hand. His sentence was on it, but he hadn't even bothered to look at it yet.

Edric Gaage Eberwhit Fennec
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Edric set his jaw as Gaage continued to talk. For a brief second he considered punching the other Initiate in the face. Breaking his jaw would have at least kept him quiet for a little bit of time, but wounding one of your own soldiers wasn't an effective tactic by any means.

Plus, he'd need him by the end of this.

A few months ago he probably would have done exactly what the other Initiate proposed. They would have come in, kill everyone they could, and then simply taken Feren by force.

Problem with that? Feren had made it very clearly that he did not want to be taken. The man had made it perfectly clear to Edric in no uncertain terms that he would finish his work or would die trying. He'd put emphasis on the die part too.

The Edric from just a few months ago might have tried it still. Taken the man and tied him up and simply dragged him back to Vel Anir half conscious. But after Wissburg? Salesia, Verene, and half a dozen other missions Edric had come to understand that being the hammer wasn't always for the best. "I have a plan."

He remarked, his voice surprisingly calm for the bait Garage had laid.

"No ones going to the Gallows." Edric said, slowly standing up from the bench. His gaze flickered towards the arsonist, the only non-dreadlord to sit with them. The only one in here who knew what they were. "We're going to take over the prison."

Edric said simply.

First they would take over the gangs, then kill the guards, then they would bar the doors and hold out until Feren was done with his work. It would be a siege, he had no doubt, but what was a Prison but a fortress with another name?

The Spire certainly qualified.
 

Gaage Eberwhit

Wild Thing
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Gaage would have welcomed the punch from Edric had he known it was on leech-boy's mind. Gaage's head was killing him for some reason, and maybe a little tussle would knock something loose and let him think straight. As soon as he was jaw-jacking at Edric he had his hands to his temples, rubbing small circles.

At least Zael was here, Gaage always liked him, which was significant because there only a handful of people who had any hint of chemistry with the hot-headed boy. Delaney had once told him that there was more to Zael than just his brawn, but that didn't matter; Zael liked to beat people up, and Gaage was like-minded in that regard. Edric was strong too, but he had this stupid air of superiority that drove the red-haired Initiate up the wall.

His pain was finally stating to ebb when he felt something nudge his side. Gaage's head whipped around to see who was bugging him, but his expression softened, --just a little-- when he saw it was the youngblood. "Oh, Fen. What's up?" Fennec was always real quiet, the younger girl barely even made herself known unless there was something going on. Gaage almost liked her; Sometimes she'd come out of nowhere and show up one of the older kids if she felt like she could do better and it always made him laugh his ass off.

Fen had her sentence in her hand and was holding it up to him. What, she couldn't read it? Shrugging, Gaage reached out and snatched the paper up, letting his eyes skim over it, his brow furrowing more and more. He had to be reading this wrong because...

"I'm to be killed and you're just getting whipped a few dozen times?" Gaage said, exasperation in his voice. That seemed rather light, didn't it? Gaage had only crashed a carriage into some random building. He'd done his very best not to mow anybody over too!

With a groan, Gaage handed the parchment back to Fen and leaned back in his seat, listening to Edric prattle on further about taking over the whole prison. He followed Ed with his eyes as he stood up, a brow raising slowly as he spoke.

"That sounds too fun. There's a catch, right? I mean aside from the fact that once we've taken over we'll be sitting here twiddling our thumbs for who knows how long?"

Edric Zael Castomir Fennec
 

Fennec

Lil Wisp
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Patience was a virtue.

Or something like that. But in this specific scenario, it was also one of the only options for most things they wanted or needed. For her part, Fennec waited in silence for Gaage to ... engaage with her. She was rather funny, if she did say so herself.

Fennec's lips briefly twisted into the smallest of smirks at the thought.

"And between you, me, and E, we got plenty to flex." He kept boxing, not looking at any of his three companions. More jabs, some shifting footwork, a big haymaker. He added, "No offense, Fen."

And then with two sentences the humor deflated and the smallest Initiate rounded a blinking look of offended disbelief on Zael.

And then he thought about it further, "Nah. Wait. You can flex too with your tendrils, you're good."

That was acceptable.

Gaage finally took her sentence, shifting Fen's attention back to him with fettered anticipation. Whipped? A blink. Her smaller hand accepted the note back and folded it open again to try and discern how he read that from this incomprehensible scribble. Moments later Edric voiced his own thoughts on the situation and suddenly this all became a non-issue. The younger girl huffed, tossed the parchment to the side and ignored the mad shuffle from other inmates who had a much more severe punishment lined up for them squabble over claiming the flogging for themselves.

Edric had her full and rapt attention. He might've been two classes above her, but he was said to be among the most powerful of his own - if not the top Initiate. He was also quite good looking, and odd as she might've been considered, Fen was still only a teenaged girl.

"That sounds too fun. There's a catch, right? I mean aside from the fact that once we've taken over we'll be sitting here twiddling our thumbs for who knows how long?"

Moments later, Fennec had slipped her skinny limbs from her manacles and stood from her seat, triumphant and ready to rock.
 

Zael Castomir

King of Flames
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Zael had a nice snicker when Gaage highlighted the difference between his sentence and Fennec's own. He had a point though, Ostdorf here had a warped sense of justice. Made him wonder a little bit—just a little bit—what his own sentence was. Hell, out of all four of them, he'd committed the most heinous crime of all to be thrown into prison. What was it, adoring fans of the King of Flames might ask?

Lollygagging.

Fearless leader had a plan, and, as it turned out, it would require a bit of metaphorical muscle flexing to get it moving along.

Zael kept shadowboxing as he spoke. "Nice. You keep sittin pretty there, Edric, don't worry, me and Gaage got this. You got more important things to do. Like gettin hung."

He paused in his flurry of punches and footwork and shot an impish look over his shoulder to big E there. Cheeky grin, tilt of his head, all the bells and whistles—you might even call it a real Ever classic. Damn was it fun poking the bear though. Edric might be among the legion of dour killjoys at the Academy but he had his sense of humor. It was dry as all hell and usually buried under a mountain of "go fuck yourself" dirt, but it was there.

Jokes aside, Zael couldn't wait for the four of them to get started. He knew, he absolutely knew, that he wasn't the only one who thought the food here sucked.

Edric Gaage Eberwhit Fennec
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Briefly Edric wondered what it would sound like if he crushed Zael and Gaage's skulls together.

He imagined it would be similar to any other bones grinding against one another, but the two of them had their own magics and it might make things...more interesting. Not that it mattered much, he could hardly afford to lose either of them.

Least the little sprout didn't mouth off at him. "There's always a catch."

He remarked at Gaage.

"But for now we're going to do what we need to, yeah?" Lips thinned, and his gaze flickered over the other Initiates. "We take the gangs first."

Edric had not spent the last few days in prison Idle. There was a reason that the Arsonist that besides them. He was a bit of a loose string, insane by any counts, but he knew quite a lot about this place. Something Edric had picked up first.

"We take out the heads, and their strength will be ours." He told the others.

"Gaage, you take out Tial of the Red Hearts, tell the lieutenants they work for you." His gaze turned to Fennec. "You kill Niala and her lover Yorin. Take over the Twisted Nails."

Then finally he shifted towards Zael. "I need you to torch Lindet and her whole cabal. Doubt the Crimson Marks will follow anyone else, and it's best to have them out of the way."
 
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Gaage Eberwhit

Wild Thing
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As much as Gaage would have liked to argue further with Edric, just to see if he could get the steam flowing from his ears, telling Eberwhit to crack some skulls was usually a very good way of shutting him up. As stupid as this situation was, he couldn't pretend that throwing his weight around making a ruckus would be boring.

Edric already had little assignments picked out for each of them, too. That was adorable, how he wanted to act like a leader. Adorable, but apparently effective to an extent; As he'd turned back to the youngest of them, Fennec looked rather captivated by Ed's words, or maybe she was smitten with him or something like that, hell if he knew.

"I see how it is, Fen gets a cute couple to break up, Zael gets a whole team to slaughter and I'm only in charge of offing one person. Whatever happened to division of labor?" Gaage bemoaned as he rose from his own seat, stretching his arms out to get the blood flowing. At this point he wasn't really upset, but he knew Edric loved his backtalk. "Oh well. I'll just have to make this Tial person last me for a while, no big deal." A cocky smirk plays at his lips as he reached out to punch Zael's shoulder.

"Try not to burn the place down, big guy. If we botch this one I'll never see a damned mission again." Gaage wasn't particularly worried about Zael, or Ed when it came to pulling their weight. They were with a youngster though, and as far as the red-haired Initiate was concerned, that was a wild card. "So while we're doing all the heavy lifting, what's your job, Ed?"

Edric Zael Castomir Fennec
 
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Fennec

Lil Wisp
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Niala and Yorin.

Fennec had to wonder if she knew who they were. They'd not been here terribly long, and though she was in the habit of observing all that she could, Fen could not recall those specific names. Perhaps the two were kept in a section of the prison that she'd not yet been? She hadn't been placed with the boys upon admittance, so what Edric and the others may have learned or heard was vastly separate from what she had thus far.

She gave him nod of understanding, and then while the boys continued their conversation Fennec took the opportunity while they were engrossed in their manly banter to slip away.
 

Zael Castomir

King of Flames
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Gaage's punch to the shoulder ended Zael's shadowboxing. He cracked his neck with one jerk to the right, one jerk to the left, rolling his shoulders, and gave his arms a good shake. Warmed up, ready to go. He and Gaage, two peas in a pod.

Zael ran his teeth along his bottom lip and said, "Tial looked like a beast, Gaage, you oughta be fine. Lindet looks like she licks walls just to shit out paint for fun, and that lazy eye does not help the crazy look. Crazy or not she's skinny as a twig, so at least she does have a bunch of maniac followers for me to fight."

No burning down the place. Zael wouldn't leave his buddy Gaage in a jam like that. They might even saddle Gaage with all the bullshit 'missions' they always seemed to have in store. Being roped into those dull non-combat missions was one of the worst punishments the Academy could dole out. What kind of sick son of a bitch beat the shit out of a dog, got it all angry and ready to fight, and then didn't even have the goddamn common curtesy to let it go wild? Edric knew about that shit well enough, fucking Proctors loved to ban him from the sparring arena.

Gaage had a question for Edric, and Zael was kind of curious to hear the answer before he himself headed out to deal with Lindet. Probably saved something nice for himself. Not that Zael blamed him, hell no, shit, he would have done the same if the shoe was on the other foot.

Zael gave a small up-nod Edric's way. He was tuned in for the reply.

Edric Gaage Eberwhit Fennec
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Fen was the only one of them that moved away, that knew enough to not question.

Briefly Edric wondered how much discipline had slipped over the last year. How much damage the Republic had actually caused. The Proctors had said he was the leader, and a year ago that word would have resonated like the law of god itself.

Yet now there were questions, demands.

Lips flickered into a thin frown.

For a few seconds Edric remained sitting on the bench. Fingers slowly clenching into a fist. A long, deep breath flowed into his lungs. He stood, his movements practiced, well-thought. His eyes stuck to Gaage's every single step of the way. "I'm going to do what I've been doing this entire time. Finding out every little fucking thing about this place."

Months ago it would have been different. He would have barrelled through this place, torn it apart. But now he'd gone through trials in the desert, learned a flicker of patience in Wissburg. Sometimes it was better to wait, and watch.

"Tial isn't some urchin from Vel Trelmir." Edric said calmly, his voice a razors edge. "She's a Genesai, half-fire giant."

Edric's tone maintained that steady steel. "So do as you're told, yeah? And kill the bitch."

He stared at the other boy. "Or are you going to keep barking at me? Because I can always do it for you."
 
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Gaage Eberwhit

Wild Thing
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A half-fire giant? So she was big and as strong as an angry ox? Whatever anger or dissatisfaction was left on his face quickly melted away as he turned his head back to Edric with a smile so big his cheeks hurt. "Nah, you ain't gotta worry about me Ed. If anything, you should have led with the half-giant thing, that's music to my ears." Eberwhit still wasn't huge on Edric's whole leader schtick he was trying out, but he knew when he'd pushed him far enough. If Edric lost his cool, it'd probably waste the mission.

So Gaage would be a good boy. For now, anyway.

Tilting his head towards Zael's appraisal of their targets, Gaage winked at his friend. "Big girl, huh? I'll try to dial back on the charm then. I don't fancy dying with shattered hips, if you know what I'm sayin'." The story of Edric's encounter with a certain green-skinned rack had gone from rumor to a story of legend around the Academy. Gaage had almost wound up back in the infirmary from how hard he'd laughed the first time he'd heard it. Delaney would probably have his ass on a silver platter if she heard he'd fucked some ugly prison giant anyways. That would probably be a worse fate, albeit much hotter.

Raising his arms up over his head and stretching with one last little yawn, Gaage cracked his neck and started walking off to where he'd last seen those Red Heart weirdos. Nice name though, maybe he'd take those lieutenants with him when they left, it'd be cool to have his own little gang.

"Let's get this shit on the road then. Ain't getting any younger."
 

Fennec

Lil Wisp
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As it turned out, Yorin was not a hard man to find. He wasn't even a man at all, but a komodo.

By sheer dumb luck, she'd heard his name spoken in conversation as she slipped by a stone stairwell, and doubled back as it continued to echo down. Waiting for several long moments, Fennec peeled herself away from the open space of the adjoining hall and into the bottom steps of the well where she pressed herself up against the wall and carefully leaned to look up to the next level above.

There she spied the silhouetted shapes of two inmates, one of which armed with what appeared to be a set of cut horns on his head and a tail bound to the shackles at his feet. Ever so slowly inching her way up, Fen clung to the shadows as she listened.

"We're moving on Tial tonight in the courtyard," the larger one said, "did you find Acker and Liam?"
"Solitary," said the smaller person, a woman with a gravely tone, "but the others are ready. Did Niala come through?"
"She has the night guard paid off to look the other way. They might even help, especially after what Tial did to that one man."
"At least they live up to their names, eh? His heart wasn't so red though..."

One step after another, and another. Fennec was within ten feet of the landing and she could now make out the color of the komodo's scales: a dull, dingey, earthy grey.

"Niala wants to eat Tial's heart for dinner. It will make the baby strong, make sure the boys know that."

Fen could see the gleam of teeth behind the woman's sneer as she nodded and turned to depart from Yorin's company. Yorin lingered for a few moments longer, seemingly to count something he held in his hand, then turned and

immediately

headed

down the stairs.


THUMP.
 

Zael Castomir

King of Flames
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Zael nor any of the other three Initiates had spent a long time in Ostdorf's Spire Prison, but he—and everybody else locked up in here—always knew where to find the Crimson Marks. Far left corner of the Main cell dungeon, all huddled around and chanting their chants and taking their turns spouting their wild cultish bullshit to one another. That whole collection of cells back there belonged to them, and the center bar of each had a little red oval bloodstain (to match the same stain each had on their prison rags just beneath their throats) proved it.

Well. Time to take a bold step onto their territory.

All the cell doors were opened, and most of the occupants were out in the yard. Not Lindet and her Marks. They were right where they always were. Lindet had her back to the wall at the end of the dungeon, and the Marks were all kneeling down before her. Her arms and her head was raised up, the shadows playing across her manic features as she gave another of her outlandish sermons.

Zael came to a noisy stop, his boot stomping conspicuously on the stone floor. No armor, just the arming doublet on his back and the arming pants on his ass. No weapons, but...hell, how long had it been since he had a good fistfight?

"Hey. Lindet."

The sermon stopped, and almost in (creepy) unison did Lindet and her Marks all turn or level their heads to look at him.

Zael smiled like a hawking merchant. "Special offer! You step down, your Marks follow me, and there doesn't have to be nothin right now. How's that for a steal?"

Lindet flapped a spindly finger his way. "The swine of ages spews bile into the endless trough. Do not let it touch your chalice, lest you become swine yourself. Butcher it, and serve its meat to the hounds."

The Marks all stood.

Zael squared up. Brushed his thumb roughly against his nose. Grinned. "I was hopin you'd say no."

His veins ran bright orange as his blood ignited into flame, and it began.

The speed granted by his Flameblood was all the magic he really needed to use—the extra bits of flame in a Blast or a Wave were just flair. Still, no excuse to let the fundamentals go lax. Footwork; footwork won fights. Keep that guard up and remember that each time you strike, you yourself are open. Positioning, especially against multiple foes, turns a group fight into a series of one-on-one's.

The Marks were untrained but they had a fanatic fighting spirit. Wild flying haymakers and combos, lunging takedown attempts, improvised weapons—no kicks though.

Zael's training, his love of the pure art of fighting, came to him and all became fast and fluid, but a few notable hits and kills stood out. Zael had thrown one Mark against the wall, weaved under a savage right hook from another, crouched down with the momentum and blindly reached behind himself and blew out the chest of the Mark against the wall with a Fire Blast. He kicked another Mark square in the stomach and caused him to immediately vomit all over the floor; and, coincidentally, the vomiter's doubled-over form provided a nice platform to roll over and strike his next assailant from an unexpected angle. One nasty left hook to another Mark sent a shower of teeth rattling across the floor as if some rich nobleman's coin purse had burst open and crowns had spilled out everywhere.

In the end, there was Lindet herself. Even after all of that, after her Marks were either dead or down, she showed no fear. Which was badass. But unwise.

Zael, with a punch propelled by his Flameblood and a boosting explosion behind his elbow, obliterated her skull with a single strike, the thunderclap of the impact echoing through the dungeon. The headless Lindet staggered forward still, walking past Zael for a few steps, arms almost raising up into a ill-formed attempt at a punch herself...and then the body finally collapsed.

The orange glow disappeared from his skin. He gave a single, dramatic wipe of his brow, and let out a satisfied sigh.

"So..." he said to the Marks still living and writhing, "who's up for round two?"

Edric Gaage Eberwhit Fennec
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Edric stayed on the bench as the others began to wander off. For a brief moment he watched them, fingers drawing over one another.

"Not very good at this leadership thing are you?"​

The arsonist beside him asked, apparently having very little regard for his own life. Edric's head slowly turned towards him, cocking to the side as he considered leaving the man as little more than a splatter of blood against the wall. "No."

He said finally.

"No I'm not." Slowly he pulled himself up, and then without warning reached down and grabbed the man by the scruff of his neck. He yanked the arsonist to his feet, pulling him ahead of himself. "Lets go."

"Hey! No need for that! Where are we going!"​

The man hissed. "We're gonna have a chat with Guard Captain Tillmen."

Apparently those words made the man quake, his entire body half going limp as though he were about to refuse to walk.

"Hey! No! No need for that! That guys a psycho! He'll hang both of us from the rafters by our toes just for fun. That guys fucking nuts! I know you want to take over this plac-!"​

Edric slammed the man into the wall with a loud thud. The sound of cracking bone echoing out as the arsonist's nose splintered into a dozen pieces.

"Quiet not." Edric said, shoving the man in front of him. "You'll give it away."
 

Gaage Eberwhit

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Gaage felt like somebody musta rubbed a bigass rabbit foot on him or something, because finding out what Tial's deal was turned out easier than getting a tavern whore to shake her ass. Of course, Eberwhit was drawing a fair deal of attention to himself too. Tial liked to hang out in the yard on the opposite end of the complex, or so he'd been told by the shivering pile he'd given a gentle tug to the heart to. Made sense, that was the biggest open space there was for a girl her size, and who was about to try and take it from a half-giant?

Trick question, the answer was Gaage Eberwhit.

Edric hadn't told him to be discreet, or even to be careful for that matter. So Gaage wasn't technically doing any thing wrong when he loudly announced his arrival to the North Yard by snapping the arm of the first Red Heart mook who tried taking a swing at him after he sauntered out like he owned the place. See, Gaage wasn't much for fancy magic, but the one trick he did know was a fun one. As the burly-looking man had hurled that dolphin-sized arm at him, Eberwhit just needed to reach out with his mind and grab onto those two boned running from his elbow and his arm before giving it a good tug.

Next thing you know he was on the ground howling and cradling a limp noodle. Poor guy couldn't have known. The little display did discourage the other Red Hearts from charging in after him though, they all backed up, humans, a couple of orcs, ooh, there was a drooling gnoll in there too, forming a cute little half circle around their boss. His target.

"And who are you supposed to be, little man?"

Edric wasn't lying, she was pretty fucking massive. Not fat, it was all muscle. All six-hundred odd pounds of it, if he had to guess. No way he was snapping those bones willy-nilly. She had red skin, stood about three times his height if not more, and her clothes were better described as rags she'd tied around her tits and delicates. Couldn't fault her there, did they make prison garb that size?

"He's a wizard, boss! A bloody feckin' wizard"

The giant ball of muscle resembling a man he'd left on the ground behind him was screaming at them, still clutching his arm. Gaage turned around, giving him his absolute snarkiest grin. "Shush now junior, your mother and I need to talk."

Gah, he'd turned his back on a half-giant. Stupid mistake. He knew it was coming before it happened, but at least he was able to brace himself for the gigantic fist that slammed into his back and sent him flying across the yard and landing face first in the dirt.

Coughing, Gaage, brought his hands under him and peeled himself off the ground to see all the Red Heart goons charging to hit him while he was down.

He was supposed to keep the fodder alive, but any chance of that happening quickly started circling the drain when they'd pissed him the fuck off.
 
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Fennec

Lil Wisp
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Fennec was in no hurry to find Niala. Given the memories she'd stripped from Yorin that followed his path through the prison over the last day or so, she knew exactly where to find her ... and what state she'd find her in. Gathering the horns taken from the komodo with a chop of her myste, she moved back through the complex, away from Niala's location.

Instead she turned her attention to the courtyard, deciding to use the spare time to study Gaage in action. Hadn't taken long to ascertain where the red-haired Initiate presently was - she could sense the use of his magic as he made his grand entrance into Red Heart territory. Tiny by comparison to most here, aside from the oddly placed halfling and a kobold she'd passed in the hall, Fennec stopped just inside the side entrance of the courtyard, eyes wide and round and by sheer luck, catching the instant that bigly beast of a woman floored Gaage across the yard.

The Initiate's brows shot up as she watched, stepping aside just before a rush of prisoners began to pile out as someone yelled "FIGHT!" somewhere inside.

Never a dull moment here. Fennec glanced aside, noting an abandoned platter on a bench whose owner had quickly moved to get a good view, and reached to claim the bowl of porridge left behind. Fen sampled it, blinked, and remembered she'd never been picky about her food to begin with. She carefully stepped up onto the bench where she could see over the heads of those quickly piling in.

Time for dinner and a show.
 

Zael Castomir

King of Flames
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Zael was the first to return to the bench in the yard—their unofficial gathering spot. Out of all the Crimson Marks who could have possibly been following him...there was only one. Henelaus. Scrawny and small, he at least was the only one who, rather than fight to the death for Lindet's cult, took a different course of action.

He made a fuckin new one.

"He is the God of Fire! The Bringer of Destruction!" Henelaus said in a raspy and reverent voice, hands held out as he followed Zael as if supplicating himself to the divine. "He is the Chosen One! It is He who will—"

Zael turned and held up his hand. "No, no, no, stop. First, if you gotta make up some title for me, 'King of Flames' will do just fine. Just ask anyone at Elbion College. Second, cut that shit out, you're makin me feel weird." He pointed to the bench. "Have a seat."

Henelaus instead dropped to his knees. Still his hands were outstretched in worshipful beseeching.

"These walls will fall, Magnificent One!"

"I told you, King of F—...well, actually, that one's not that bad."

"You are the One who will bring Judgment upon Ostdorf!"

Zael, continuing to ignore the ramblings, just said, "There's a gold coin in it for ya if you can get one of my friends to call me 'Magnificent One.'" He glanced around the yard. "They'll be back soon. You'll like em. Probably come up with some fancy names for them too."

Edric Gaage Eberwhit Fennec
 

Edric

The Warrior
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Edric was the second to return, his chat with Guard Captain Tillmen having gone surprisingly well.

Another thing he had learned over the past few months was the threat of violence was often just as good as the violence itself. Not as satisfying, mind, but it got results. Augmented with a bit of coin and the weight of the coming Anirian Reclamation it had been exactly what the Guard Captain needed.

Their bargain had been a simple one; every key to the place in exchange for the man's silence and life.

A deal that Edric had ensured when he reminded the good Captain Tillmen that his own Master would likely see him strung up for the failures that were about to occur. Killing him would have assured his silence, but Edric was confident the little rat would stay quiet.

"Whose your friend?" Edric said with a nod to Zael as he approached the bench. The arsonist that had been tagging along with him earlier noticeable absent.

Somewhere in the north wards he could hear a commotion stirring, but then again that wasn't too unexpected. Garage was always one to make a racket. It was why he'd sent him after the Half-Giant in the first place.
 

Gaage Eberwhit

Wild Thing
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Eberwhit only had the time to raise back up to his knees before the mob of angry prisoners was on him like a bunch of flies on a corpse, eager to feast on what they saw as a dead man walking at the beck and call of the half-giant bitch he was here to kill. Who the fuck did they think he was? This wasn't some scrawny little shit who just poked around pissing off gangs for his health.

Gaage was a fucking Dreadlord.

So the red-haired Initiate reached out for the first limb he could grab through the hail of puny little punches and kicks from these two-bit prison goons, and tore at it. A scream, a splash of warmth across his face, and a chunk of flesh coming away with his grip. The crowd around him widened for a bit as one of their own, a human male, staggered back with a stump where his hand should have been and fell to the ground screaming.

He wasn't the last; what should have been a one-sided affair turned into a bloodbath. For every fist and foot that collided with Eberwhit's flesh, another of his attackers fell away from the crowd with a grotesque injury that put them out for the count. Broken and severed limbs, gashes, and gouged flesh, Gaage lost himself in the viscera, tearing through the wall of flesh around him as though he were clawing through a paper bag.

When the violence finally stopped, it was a beaten and bruised Dreadlord Initiate, dripping in the blood of her lieutenants that stood before Tial.

Nah, he hadn't offed all of them. Most of them would probably bleed out if they didn't get help, but there were a few he'd just knocked around enough to keep them off their feet. Mostly the bigger ones, Shifting their bits around was a lot harder. Something to do with density and shit like that, he didn't know for sure.

"You're a freak, red-hair." The giantess growled, widening her stance and brandishing a large chunk of stone from a crumbling wall that she'd fashioned into a weapon. Raising one foot, Tial took a thunderous step forward, but Gaage raised a hand and she hesitated.

"Sure that's a good idea? You wanna take the chance? What if I do to you what I did to them just like that?"

Her features twisted, a toothy snarl bearing down on him. Whew, Gaage coulda swore he felt her breath from here. Long as she didn't call his bluff, he'd be alright. If she made a move on him anyways... well, he was tired as shit, to be honest. It wouldn't be a square fight.

"Mmm..." Tial seemed to stew in her thoughts, taking a step back. "What do you want, little man?"

Now they were getting somewhere. Gaage let go of the breath he'd been holding.

"I want you to work for me. Do what me and my friends say, and maybe I'll set you up with a way out of this shit-hole in return. How does that sound?"

It probably only took her a couple of seconds before she nodded, and relaxed, but gods above if it didn't feel like an hour at least. "You think you have a way out? Fine. We'll do things your way for now. Little man." She smirked down at the bloodied boy.

She was trying to piss him off, and it was working, but Gaage knew when he couldn't win a fight. Recruiting Tial hadn't been Edric's orders, but he didn't think he'd have much reason to complain. "Alright, come on then. We have a meeting to make."
 

Fennec

Lil Wisp
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The show did not disappoint. Not only did Gaage provide ample entertainment, but the throngs of prisoners circled round chanting and jeering were equally impressed by the show of blood and gore. Savages, the lot of them - taking over this prison would not be difficult at all. Beasts like these would be easy to tame with shows of might and ferocity. Fennec would need to get a bit creative perhaps, given her smaller, slighter stature, but capturing Yorin's followers would take a slightly different approach anyway.

Yorin was older, less keen on direct confrontation. A plotter. A planner. It was a pity to dispose of him, but the Komodo was nearing the end of his lifespan. His thoughts told her of the illness plaguing his body - a rarer sort of his kind but no less deadly. He had been holding on for one thing and one thing alone and that one thing would ensure Niala's unquestioning service to her.

As Gaage's affair came to an anticlimactic end, Fennec tipped her bowl to her lips and drained the last of the porridge tailings. Waste not, want not. She kept the bowl for reasons and turned to head back into the prison complex. It was time to find Yorin's second in command.
 

Zael Castomir

King of Flames
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And there was Edric.

Zael jerked a thumb at Henelaus. "He's the only one of the Crimson Marks who didn't think today was a good day to die. Lindet had em all spun up tight, but there's a loose thread in every potato sack, right?" Then to the survivor of the Marks himself. "Hey. Henelaus. Say hello."

Henelaus, with that same wide-eyed look of reverence, took Edric's measure in a slow pan of awe. He met the larger, younger man's eyes, and then he proclaimed, "And He is the Reaper of Mortal Souls, the ghostly scythe which cuts a swath through the pious and the sinful alike!"

Zael shook his head and waved a hand dismissively. "He's spouts a lot of that gibberish. Occasionally it's good." He crossed his arms. "Did you dump the arsonist in a deep hole somewhere?"

Edric
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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"Not yet." Edric answered curtly, a shrug rolling over his shoulders. "I have plans."

A smile flickered over his features that was almost...downright pleasant. It was an expression that did not a tall fit Edric's face, and no doubt Zael would feel a slight hint of discomfort when he first saw. "Isn't easy, running a prison."

Edric remarked.

"You have to make sure that everything is in ju-" Before he could fully finish Edric couldn't help but notice Gaage and his new friend trundling over. His eyebrow raised ever so slightly, and he glanced over towards Zael.

"I think..." He said with a frown. "Things are about to get more interesting."

Edric remarked. "That or we have to kill Gaage."

An event he wasn't unprepared for, giving the boys history.