Dreadlords Blood Lost

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The Warrior
Character Biography
Mountains of Feldraza - Southern Anirian Territory

"Kress Kid, do you ever get tired?"

Edric turned his head, one hand still holding to the cliff wall as he looked at the man behind him. "No."

The wind lashed at them, cutting and biting with intrepid cold. It whipped snowflakes into their faces, obscuring the path ahead and giving them no ease to their concerns. Even on the best days the mountains were not easy to traverse, and it seemed their mission had come in the worst of time. A blizzard struck them, whipping the small party of renegade Dreadlords and doing it's best to obscure their path.

"Well the rest of us fucking do."

Leilwin griped, her eyes rolling as she clipped her rope onto the next hook. Ensuring she wouldn't fall if her foot came down on the wrong rest.

"We'll stop here, hunker down and wait out the storm. Vel Draz should be right up over that cliff."

Edric paused for a moment, and then nodded.

Vel Draza was, unlike most who had earned the title, not a city. Instead it was a fortress. Many other civilizations would call it a monastery, though Vel Anir had no state religion. Instead the old Citadel was more of a repository. Old stories, ancient books, and forgotten pieces of history were stored there. No one really had any interest in the place, at least not anymore, and yet Gilram had seen it fit to send them there anyway.

The Old Archon had offered to share his reasons, but Edric had told him no.

Surprise had colored the man's features, but the former Initiate had made his play. Edric was sure it had been the right move. "We should go while the storm is raging!"

He shouted in Leilwin's direction.

"It's good cover, we'll make it!" The Elder Dreadlord stared for a moment, considering, and then slowly nodded her head.

"You're right!"

She admitted, her head lulling in a nod. A sigh of exasperation lost to the winds. She turned away from Edric, shouting orders to the others.

Despite their exhaustion, the small party of renegade Dreadlords continued along the mountain path. They crept close to the cliffside, clinging tightly to the rocky outcropping until the Fortress of Vel Draz came into view.
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Vel Draza, the forgotten fortress, so it was not much of a fortress. It might have been at one time or another, it certainly looked like one with its stone walls and sturdy appearance, but like the brothel worker who is getting up in age says, It is what is on the inside that counts.

Inside Vel Draza, it was clear the structure operated like some tucked-away library. Home to hundreds if not thousands of scholarly scrolls and books on just about anything and everything that has even remotely been connected to Vel Anir.

The fortress of knowledge was manned by well-trained soldiers. Well, they were mostly soldiers in name only. All of the monks were trained for war, many choosing to carry around a chosen weapon, but no wore armor. Many of these monks were also elderly in age with only a select few young who had chosen this path from the earliest of years. These few claimed themselves to be the guardians of knowledge worth its weight in gold.

In truth, most of the people of Vel Anir forgot this place existed. However, for the select few that knew of it, Vel Draza was often a place one could find answers, which was why Alistair Krixus currently found himself here.

His first weeks working in the Vigilite had involved him largely focusing on a strange pattern of murders that features some old form of blood magic. After weeks of chasing dead ends, it was decided that he needed to look for answers somewhere else. It had led him here, to Vel Draza.

He had even been given some initiates to accompany him and help him in the research process. While Alistair enjoyed his fair share of action, there was nothing like surrounding oneself with books and finding hidden and challenging answers to the problems of the world.

"Can I get you anything else?"

"Nope," Lumen smiled at Kurby, the assistant librarian, as he adjusted his glasses for the tenth time. A rosy hue was brought forth to his cheeks at her smile. Lumen eased it back.

"You know where to find me if you need anything at all," he beamed and puffed his skinny chest out. A rock back and forth on his fine shoes as he spun around, offering one more offer. "Anything, Lady Lumen."

An arch of a golden-brow at his back as he walked away. He'd been smitten with her since they'd arrived. A small shake of her head as she scooped the scrolls and books into her arms and walked them over to the Dreadlord in charge. One Alistair Krixus. He was the most wormiest of book-nerd she'd ever met. Most at the Academy were more toward the brawn. But Alistair was a breath of fresh air.


This was a strange, different kind of mission for Lumen. "Sir," she cleared her throat, approaching the senior dreadlord. "Found more material on what you wanted. Also some strange mentionings about a city called Thanasis. Dragons am I right?"
He'd been far too careless.

In all of the work that he'd accepted during his 'vacation' from the Dreadlords and those who had broken from them in the name of Gilram, Henk had been careful never to venture too far back into Anirian territory. The risk of getting into an altercation was simply too high, especially after his encounter with Sable Pembroke. The unfortunate truth was, though, that he was running out of money.

Enter Ascillian Erendias.

He'd met Erendias a few weeks ago, sticking out like a sore, well-dressed thumb in a dingy tavern along the road out of Anirian territory. The foppish and eccentric man was doing his best to get himself killed, trying to sell this job to anybody with a sword who walked through the door, making claims of the great and vast rewards he could offer.

Of knowledge.

Suffice it to say not many mercenaries were looking to be paid in books, but in this odd fellow, Henk saw opportunity. If the books Erendias claimed lay hidden deep within the guts of Vel Draza were as rare as he claimed, Henk could fetch a price for his choice of them. It would keep him going for a few months, at least.

Enough time for him to finish his preparations. Enough time to find what he was looking for.

As easy as the job was supposed to be, Ascillian had spent hours now eagerly skimming through every tome on the shelf, narrating about all the knowledge he already had on the subjects.

"Mr St. Preux! Did you know that the Elven people evolved to have pointed ears because of an ancient need for..."

"Mr. St. Preux! Orcs are not as close to goblins as you might think! In fact, they're far more closely related to..."

"Mr. St. Pruex! Have you ever studied the reproduction habits of gnolls? I think you'll find them to be very..."

He couldn't be bothered to listen to more than half a sentence every time the man spoke. Henk was taking a massive chance sneaking him in here, and to make matters worse a raging blizzard outside meant they would likely be spending the night here, at least until sunrise. The idea of trying to sleep within five miles of Ascillian was...

"Mr. St. Pruex... do you have any idea who those people are down there?"

Oh no.

Henk quickly reached out and grasped Ascillian by his frilly collar, pulling him away from the railing that looked out over the lower level of the large chamber they were in. The academic quickly opened his mouth to object, but Henk clasped a gloved hand over it and brought a finger to his lips.

They had company, it would seem.

"Found more material on what you wanted. Also some strange mentionings about a city called Thanasis. Dragons am I right?"

Henk inched his way to the railing, peeking out just barely over the edge. Sure enough, his worst fear had been realized. Alistair Krixus was here, with some members of the next class of Initiates, if he had to guess. That was perfect. As far as the Dreadlords were concerned, Henk was a runaway, an exile. His presence here wouldn't be tolerated.

He wasn't ready yet.

"We're leaving." He whispered to Erendias as he pulled his cloak up over his mouth and nose. "Get behind me, I'll find us a way out."
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Just like Lumen, Aelita was one of the Initiates tasked with assisting Alistair in his mission. The absence of obvious signs of being a blood-thirsty sociopath gave the proctors enough cause for the nomination.

A little bit ago, Aelita finished gleaming over a book – A Treatise on Ancient Cortosi Magic by Ameth Zia. She spotted nothing in the book that could even tangentially be linked to the blood magic murders. Though, she left the book by Alistair’s side in case he found something she missed.

In search of more material, Aelita found herself wandering onto one of the upper levels. She caught a glimpse of assistant Kurby hovering near Initiate Lumen. She noticed the blushing cheeks and swagger.

Hmm?” Aelita hummed.

Moving on, Aelita found herself in a section about rituals. She looked over the titles along the books’ ridges.

Spells for Speaking to the Gods

Did not seem relevant.

A Cure for-​


The Guide to Haruspicy

A pause.

As a just in case, Aelita took this book. She had yet to get the full details on the murders.

Making Your Love Come True



After Henk pulled Erendias back, the sound of footsteps approached. Leather on the hard surface of the upper level floor.

Aelita haphazardly approached while in search for more reading material. Her attention remained on the bookshelves rather than the pair.

Just as the monks that tended to the fortress, Aelita spared herself of her Initiate armor. Yet just like the monks, she carried her bladed staff upon her back. She now carried two books – their titles obscured to Henk and Erendias.

Even before Henk chose his current lifestyle, he and Aelita never met. Though the tunic Aelita sported would bare the emblems of a Dreadlord Initiate.

With each second, Aelita inadvertently took a step closer to the pair...
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Edric and the others moved silently through the storm. They crept through the snow, crouching within the white powder as the blizzard obscured their forms. Quickly they moved until the ancient walls of Vel Draza hung over them.

Above the barest hint of torchlight could be seen. Edric shifted, motioning the others quickly with Dreadlord hand-talk.

Leilwin moved against the wall, and then motioned towards Edric. The two of them shared a look, and the older Dreadlord's eyes suddenly seemed to change. Her pupil peeled away from itself, a singular dot forming into four strange points circling around one another.

With one swift motion Edric grabbed the other Dreadlord, throwing her up to the top of the parapets.


Before the warriors monks strangled cry could call over the blizzard he collapsed onto the wall. His crumpled form laying completely still save for the rise and fall of his chest.

Edric pulled himself up onto the wall, glancing over towards the corpse like monk. The Elder Dreadlord looked down at the man, and then let a shrug roll over her shoulders. Within seconds the others joined them, and then moments later they crept through the lower halls of the ancient fortress.

As they passed through, the monks in their way were quickly disposed of.

A knife to the throat, a single glance by Leilwin, a brutal snap that seemed muted within the forgotten halls.
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Alistair looked up from his own book and adjusted his spectacles. He nodded appreciatively to Lumen before taking the books. He hastily flipped through the book on Thanasis, as it was possible some old form of dragon and blood magic could be the cause, but quickly dismissed it when he Malakath. The odds of such magic reaching all the way to Vel Anir were low. He would return to the book if need be, but it was unlikely.

"Thank you Lumen."

It still took some getting used to being referred to as 'sir' so often, but it was one he would have to quickly become accustomed to, such is the hierarchy of the Dreadlords.

"Aelita, anything on your end?" Alistair yelled out to the above initiate.

His current readings were his own shamanic practices in the area before Vel Anir was even found, perhaps the forgotten remnants of ages past.

"Brother Gavilar, can you grab that Treatise on Elbionese ritual magic? Thank you."

The research had begun to give him some hints, but there still seemed to be a long way to go on the matter. The process had been sped up when he placed several of his runic eyes on the clothing of the Brothers. After all, why would he keep asking them to find books when he could simply see what they were looking at?

He switched to another eye but frowned to see it was dark, which meant something was covering it up. Had brother Bogges removed his shirt, or maybe he was on cooking duty and had an apron on...Strange, he did not think the man was a cook.

Edric Lumen Henk Aelita
Lumen straightened at the compliment. Even though she aced all her classes and it was clear the Proctors had high expectations for the girl because of her performance and record, compliments were few and far between. Kriff, they felt good.

Tawny-eyes like a Savannah loth-cot swept across the library for her fellow, blonde initiate. Even as she caught Kurby's eyes on her. He blushed and disappeared behind a stack. An inward sigh. Did she have to explain to him that she was in a serious relationship with a prince who was writing her letters from a far-away land? It didn't matter that she'd never met this Prince Bazabwebwe. How could he not be real with the way he made those words come off the parchment?

If only she could gather the amount of coin he needed to escape his imprisonment. Then he promised he'd meet her and they could be together. Hopefully in the next few fortnights she'd be able to get closer to getting at least half the coin.

A flash of movement on the second level. She saw that bob of blonde behind a precarious stack of books. "I'll go see if she needs help," Lumen offered and began making her way toward the stairs. Head cocked to the side, listening.

"Strange. Don't the monks usually ring the bells on the hour?" She said it moreso to herself but perhaps Alistair heard as well. Most likely, she'd just tuned the sound out by now.
His companion's continued protests were muffled by Henk's palm as the Rogue Initiate slowly pulled him in between rows of books. He didn't blame the frilled fellow for being so confused, but Henk had no time to explain the situation to him at current. He was too concerned with whether they'd been spotted or not. There wasn't any shouting, but the sound of steps against the ground slowly approached the narrow nook they'd tucked themselves into.

It wasn't enough long or dark enough, the two of them would be spotted as soon as whoever walked behind them rounded the corner. Erendias seemed to shiver with sheer nerves as Henk bit down on the inside of his cheek, removing his hand from the gentleman's mouth and pressing his palm against his back. Trust me, Ascillian, you'll thank me later.

Erendias wouldn't be killed for a transgression like trespassing on a barely used archive. If he was suspected of harboring a renegade Initiate, though... it wouldn't look good for him. Shoving his companion out into the open, he stumbled clumsily over his own feet with a foray of colorful interjections. "Gadzooks! I hardly feel that was apropos, Mr. St..." He trailed off as his eyes met the young woman he now stood before; gaze as blank as a doe to a hunter as his hand slowly raised in a wave. "Oh! Hello there!"

That momentary distraction would offer Henk just enough time to begin scaling the shelf of books to his left, using the ends of his feet against the small empty space at the end of each shelf to clamber up and over into the next aisle, behind the woman who'd been tailing him.

Of course, he hadn't anticipated another headed up the stairs.
The blizzard raging outside masked the sounds and sights of Edric and his crew working through the monks. Aelita continued her search until Alistair called out for her.

We can yell?” Aelita quietly muttered.

To answer Alistair’s question, Aelita first glanced at one of the two books she carried.

The Guide to Haruspicy

Found one book on divination. By entrails,” Aelita replied.

Then a glance to the second book.

And, yeah, still searching,” she concluded.

Shortly after that, Aelita heard several frantic steps against the hard library floor. She turned her head to see Erendias.

Hello?” Aelita responded in greeting to Erendias.

Henk’s movements apparently occurred beyond Aelita’s attention.
Another monk tumbled to the ground with a muted thud, his body placed gently on the ground so it's sound would not echo through the halls.


Leilwin's voice echoed through the darkened tunnels. The odd shape of her eyes almost seeming to shimmer within the night. Edric glanced at her, focused for a brief moment, and then slowly nodded his head at the Dreadlord. "There is no one below."

He said softly, sensing no life save for rats and insects. A short pause followed, and then there was a quick nod of acknowledgment.

"Stay here, if anyone tries to venture below, kill them."

The former Initiate jerked his head in a quick nod. Taking up a position besides the doorway the four other Dreadlords quickly rushed into. The echo of boots on marble steps ringing out as Edric's allies headed into the undercroft of Vel Draza.

Yet as they went he barely seemed to notice, his thoughts instead filled with the flickers of vitality he did feel.

Those just a few hundred meters away. Two of which, he was very familiar with.
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Alistair could care less for the frivolities of this fortress. This place was technically not a library and most of the brothers were helping them in their search. Therefore, he would yell as much as he wanted to, as long as it was efficient.

"I don't think we need the haruspicy book. Just keep looking."

He was about to go back to his own reading, but stop as he started to think about what Lumen had said...She was right, the monks were very exact about their timing. His eyes flashed once more and another one of the runes was not covered up but staring directly up to the ceiling.

Slowly, Alistair made his way to his feet. "Keep looking. I will be right back."

No need to alarm anyone, but Alistair quickly began walking out of the repository to the hall where he believed the brothers should be...Something was wrong.
A glance over her shoulder at the senior dreadlord. Perhaps he'd had too many coffees and teas and it was catching up to him. A quick nod in Alistair's direction as she turned back to the stairs. Aelita's voice filtered down to her talking to someone that decidedly didn't sound like a monk or Kurby.

Lumen was halfway up the stairs when she saw it.

A grown man scaling down a bookshelf. Eyes narrowed. That just didn't seem nor-.


A mixture of natural and sconce light hit the man's face. She recognized him immediately. He had his face on Ysobel's wall of hot people at the Academy. And she'd seen him once or twice from a distance at the Academy. There was one time she'd seen one of his sessions on the training grounds. His hands were magical. As in skilled combat fighting. She'd always wanted to ask him to give her a lesson at the Academy but it just never happened, her own time occupied with separate missions and trainings.

But he was no longer just that student a year ahead of her. He was a traitor to Vel Anir. A wanted man.

"HENK. Surrender immediately and you won't get hurt."
His boots had just hit the floor when Lumen's boisterous call for his attention drew his gaze upwards. Henk hadn't seen the second woman ascending the staircase, but he should have expected it. Now that he was spotted, the runaway straightened his back, hands slipping quietly underneath his cloak and fingers wrapping around the handles of his unseen weapons.

If possible, he wanted to avoid fighting any of the Academy's people, but if it happened that he was left with no choice...

"Hello there. Miss Lumen, aren't you?" He did vaguely remember the blonde woman, an eager one. Reminded him somewhat of Kristen Pirian, if he was being honest. "I'm truly sorry, but I can't surrender to you at the moment. I wish going home was an option for me, but I still need more time." There was a chance that what he searched for was in this very place, and he was far too close to renege on his personal assignment now.

Behind him, Erendias gave a little bow, albeit a nervous and trembling one, to the strange woman he'd been revealed to. "Ah... dreadfully cold day we're having, isn't it? I was... I was just leaving."

Lumen didn't appear to be in any mood to step aside, unfortunately. Henk would be certain not to wound her badly, but he couldn't stand around and idle any longer. Slowly he began to draw the weapons from his hips...


A strange feeling began to burn against his chest, something familiar but foreign all the same. Henk hadn't felt it since...

Henk released his weapons and raised his hands, a worried crease replacing his calm and confident expression from a moment earlier. "Where is Alistair headed? I need to speak with him immediately."

If the humming object in his chest pocket was anything to go by, then there was about to be a big problem. An Edric problem.
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Now The Guide to Horuspicy became dead weight in Aelita’s arms.

Not having been informed of who could enter the fortress, Aelita took a step away from Erendias as if she was to move on. However, she heard Lumen’s voice. Aelita looked over toward the staircase and maneuvered her way to get a better view.

Aelita spotted a glimpse of Henk slowly drawing his weapons. In response, Aelita pulled out her staff from behind her back. She grasped it with one hand and rested the bladed tip on the floor. The other arm continued to hold the two books she carried from before.

Should we bring in this guy too just in case?” Aelita asked aloud as she pointed at Erendias with her chin.

Then, Henk appeared to give up any prospects for a fight. Aelita tilted her head. When Henk asked for Alistair, she looked out to the first floor to see the senior Dreadlord no longer there...

Hm... he’s not there?” Aelita announced.
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Edric stood, waiting, watching.

Then he felt it.

A flicker of life, that ever distant vitality slowly beginning to move towards him. A slow breath filled his lungs, fingers curling into fists. He closed his eyes. Thoughts dragging to distant and close things. To why he was here.

A few moments passed. His heart thundering in his ears. Then, slowly, he pulled himself away from the cobbles within the wall.

Shrouded in the darkness of the corridor he spoke. "Alistair."

The word would float down the empty hallway, reaching the ears of his former peer. His face and features were obscured, and yet his voice was undeniable.

"Turn around." Edric continued. "There's nothing for you here."
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The further Alistair walked away from the library, the more this sense of dread began to rise inside of him. It was the silence of the place. Libraries or sites like this were meant to be silent, but there was a distinct lack of life, a lack of footsteps just barely within earshot.

As the dread grew, so did Alistair's apprehension and wariness. As soon as he heard a voice speak to him, some runes flared up along his eyes and neck before he even properly registered who talked to him. None of the runes were attacking, just defensive in nature.

Alistair quickly registered the direction of the voice, and who it was. That dread was no longer building, it was here.

"Edric, funny, I should say the same. You never struck me as the reading type."

The far more uncomfortable truth was already apparent. Edric would not be here alone, and Gilram did not seem like a man who enjoyed reading for fun...There were others here. The question was how many. His hand slowly wanted to rest at the sword on his belt.

"It would be polite if I could talk to you face to face."
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Edric took a slow, measured step forward.

The bare light in the hallway struck over his featured. Edric's odd snake like eyes seeming to shine within the dim light, his expression a stern rebuke of any true emotion. He stared at Alistair, hands resting at his side, no weapon in sight.

"I'm telling you." The words carried through the air, his voice holding a surprising softness.

Edric stared at his former companion. "Walk. Away."

His voice soured as he continued, but his expression never changed. Slow breaths drove his chest to rise and fall, his own magics slowly beginning to flow through his body. Muscles flexed, tendons grew taught, and slowly he took another step forward. "Go back to the library, forget you saw me."

It would be better that way.
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"Wish I could Ed, but...you aren't here by yourself, and whatever Gilram is after, I have an active interest in causing him a headache."

He knew what Edric was, and he remembered the things that Edric had done to the others members of the class, especially before the revolution. He was treated like some sort of boogieman for their class at the Academy, but Alistair had never had a problem with him. Edric had just been doing as ordered, while Alistair received the punishment for failure. Simple as that. Even now, he did not find him hating the young man. He still remembered Edric's look when he left with the disgraced Archon.

Alistair could not count the number of times that Edric had been turned on him as some type of punishment back at the Academy. The beatings, that horrible empty feeling when his powers worked on you. Once a weapon for the Academy, and now a weapon for Gilram. A part of him screamed to walk away...

He took a step forward as more runes began to light up across his clothes and his skin.

"What are they after Edric? Tell me."

Alistair had always wished he could perform studies to see just how fast Edric's abilities worked, but the overwhelming consensus was too fast. Still, Alistair had a few tricks up his sleeves to buy him some time.

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Lumen would be lying if she said she didn't have an internal fan-girl moment the moment Henk called her by her name.


Now she could understand why Polly-what's-her-name crowed about dating a graduate and why it was so much better than dating a fellow student. Something about those older boys. It's why Lumen was so close to the Prince she'd never met before.

Even with inner-fan-girling, Lumen never lost the edge to her gaze. Or her alertness. One hand swooped the circular shield free from her back. Her other hand rested on the hilt of her sword, ready to draw it. Aelita was right. Alistair wasn't here.

"He said he'd be right back," Lumen told them both, eyes never leaving Henk's. As for the other dude. "I dunno, maybe tie him up for now?" They could question him later. As for Henk..,

"Why don't we all go find him together. Nice and slow. No funny business." Lumen did finally draw her sword and began back-tracking down the stairs, keeping the point tipped upward and ready. She trusted Aelita to guard the rear in case Henk decided to backtrack.

"Don't suppose I can convince you to bind your wrists up?"

Whether they found Alistair or not, they were taking Henk in. One way or another.

"Hey Kurby," the ever-watchful assistant came forward like a puppy-dog being called and about to get a treat. "Can you go try and find Alistair? Tell him we've found an old friend, Henk, and we're on our way."

Kurby nodded, a worried look across his scholarly face. "Yes Lady, right away." His chest puffed up as if he had the most important mission in all Vel Anir and he scurried out into the hall.
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Well, so much for the diplomatic approach. At least the Academy wasn't lacking for confidence in their new class, the fact that Lumen was so sure of her ability to handle what Henk could give her was a testament to that. It didn't change the fact that Henk couldn't be taken in yet. If his suspicions were correct, Alistair was going to need his help in a matter of moments.

"I'm sorry, Lumen, but we won't make it in time together." Henk shook his head slowly, taking a glance behind him to look at the other girl. Well, he couldn't retreat, and he couldn't charge through Lumen without risk to both of them. Guess that left him with only one route to take... "We'll meet again, and I'll make this up to you. You've my word."

With that, Henk lept over the railing overlooking the ground floor they'd come from.

It would have been a painful fall at that height, but a few muttered incantations under his breath and the freefalling exile would begin to give off the blue hue of arcane energy. Henk wasn't one to rest on his laurels, and his time away from his peers had been spent learning, and training himself to be stronger. With the spell on his tongue, his body fell feather-light to the floor beneath.

Of course, he'd rather not go into this upcoming scuffle alone.

"Surely you aren't going to give up that easily, Miss Lumen?" He called up the stairs towards the girl with a smirk before breaking into a furious run, following that unholy sensation he knew far too well down a hall leading deeper into the depths of the archive. Hopefully she would follow. Henk could use spunk like that on his side if he was going to get out of here alive

The walls grew dark, the muffled sounds of voices his only guide. shaping a ball of light in his palms and sending it flying down the labyrinthine halls ahead of him to search for his target.
For a few seconds Edric didn't move, didn't speak. He stared at Alistair, memories flickering to only a month back to the Urr Estate.

To what he had done to that girl. That Dreadlord.

A knot twisted in his stomach, lips thinned, and then suddenly he glanced over Alistair's shoulder. The pit that had formed within his abdomen only seemed to grow. Something on his face seemed to shift, a desperate pleading almost entering his eyes.

"Alistair." He said softly. "Please."

The other boys question was ignored. "Just walk away."

"I promise you. I swear to you."
His words were so soft, so quiet, a whisper that only the two of them could hear. "We're on the same side."

Light cast from just behind Alistair as Edric's eyes once against met his, Henk's light shining over the two of them fully. "Don't make me hurt you."
Alistair was not blind, he could see Edric's genuine pleading. In fact, he believed that they were on the same side. Edric still had the same look as when he went with Gilram, but that did not mean Alistair could just walk away. Walking away would not only mean punishment for himself but also for the two initiates that he had brought with him. They might be on the same side, but they were still walking different paths to the final destination.

He watched Edric's eyes move behind him, and every part of him wanted to turn and see what he was looking at, but he could not afford to take his eyes off Edric.

"This can be avoided if you tell me what they are after. You can even leave. Think of it as a gift between old friends."

No matter what side they were both on, Alistair was not about to just let this place be ransacked by Gilram's men. They had already killed several of the older brothers.

Edric Henk Lumen
Were all...upperclassman that polite? For a moment she just stared as he called her Miss and apologized. He must've been enrolled in those extra etiquette classes that noble dreadlords were required to take or those who would be used as protectorates during balls and soirees.

And she was mildly insulted.

Excuse him. She was an excellent runner and was at the top of her class. But as he backed away and looked over the edge of the balcony she was already moving. "Don't you dare!"

Spinning on her heel, she dashed down the few remaining steps and followed him like an avenging angel.

"STOP!" She yelled at his back as she began closing the distance between them. Looking around him, she saw the light he sent ahead. It lit up poor Kurby who had just left and plastered himself to one wall, looking like he was about to pee his pants. And further, she thought she saw two figures. And one had the magnificent dark frop of hair that was signature Alistair.

"C'mon Aelita!" A call over her shoulder even as she kept her attention on Henk.
"Alistair. Edric."

The light would illuminate Henk's face as he approached from behind Alistair, having slowed to a brisk walk as he drew nearer and observed that they weren't trying to kill each other yet. Certainly, they wouldn't be pleased to have a third party joining this already tense standoff, but if there was anything Henk could do to prevent them from fighting, he had to take a chance.

"Fate has a funny way of shaping things, bringing us all here at the same time..." The air was thick with tension. Tension that made Henk's face crease with a visible sadness. Only months prior the three of them lived together, spoke and fought together almost every day. Now... they were all pitted as enemies. At any moment either of them could move to attack him, as he walked out from behind Alistair so that he could see Henk as well.

Henk wouldn't have blamed them for doing so, either. Not really.

An uncomfortable silence hung over the trio now, a mutual unknowing of what to expect from the other two. Alistair's expression was stoic and determined, undaunted by the risk before him. Edric's face wore a look of desperation he'd never seen on the man before. Seeing such a powerful figure so reluctant to fight was enough to send a shiver down his spine.

"We don't have to do this, you both know that." And indeed, they didn't, but unlike Henk they'd both picked sides. The luxury of neutrality was afforded only to him, and now it felt like an albatross around his neck. One that tightened its grip with the approaching footsteps behind him. "Please Edric. You know Gilram can't be trusted with what this place holds. You've seen what he is willing to do."

Reluctantly, Henk shifted closer to Alistair.

"If you try to hurt any of these people, I'll stop you. I know you're better than that."

Perhaps Alistair would be reluctant to take help from an exile in any other circumstance, but against somebody like Edric? Henk doubted Krixus would deny his aid.