Private Tales Dangerous Ground

  • 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 private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Cillian

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Cillian's grin grew even wider at her obvious ire despite the feeling it was going to cause him a lot of pain in the future. There was just something about getting under her skin that he found rather intoxicating. Perhaps it was because she had snubbed him in the beginning thinking him nowt but a drunk and a ruffian. Or it might have been because he knew she was a Dreadlord and he had not spoken to one of those in quite some years. Their training was iron clad and it was unusual to see emotion like this in one of them. It made him want to push more, dig more. Clearly she had thrown enough of her indoctrination out of the window if she was helping children escape the academy.

"Well, considering ye thought I was a stumblin' drunk I should suppose ye are of high rank to look down ye nose n cast judgements wit'out knowin' a man," he smugly looked back out towards the road and gave another puff on his pipe.

"Now... why woulda dreadlord be helpin' kids out o' their precious city?"
 
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Sierra

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“Are you judging me for judging you?” She huffed. “And in my defense you were a little ways off and YOU swayed.” Even if he hadn’t she would say he did.

Head tipped back and she looked at the stars before leveling off her gaze to look at him. He was smart. She’d give him that. Could resist her magic. Had stuck to his word so far. Was sincere. And his peculiar eyes...

A low, long sigh. Pain flickered across her face. A flash of apprehension. She wouldn’t be with Rose for Christmas after all. Luckily the caretaker wouldn’t ask questions. She’d assume it would be because Sierra had been called on Anirian business.

“Because I’ve seen the Academy ruin too many lives and no child should have to go through what I had to.” Her voice remained low. She didn’t want the little ones in the barrels to hear. To get more scared than they probably already were.

“From your tone can I assume you don’t frequent this precious city much?”
 
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Cillian

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Cillian didn't know the full details of what happened in the legendary Academy but there were rumours. Not many from the citizens themselves, Anirians were proud things even if they left the city to choose lives elsewhere. But there were enough rumours from people who had dealt more closely with them in trade or in times of war. Then there was the fact their steady advancing of lands meant they took over cities and towns that had once been free. Their children and mages suddenly subject to the same laws as other Anirians. Those were the most harrowing tales. So his grin faded at her words and he puffed hard several times on his pipe instead, casting glances over to the barrels.

"No Lass, far from 'ere. I'm from a small group o' islands down to the south, east of these shores. But I have travelled to many cities on Arethil and beyond. Magic is a lo' more common there. Tis probably more unusual for my kind not to 'ave magic," he offered her a lopsided smile then before taking out his pipe and gazing at it.

"Ain't you worried about wha' they'll do tae ye if they catch ye?" he raised a brow.
 
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Sierra

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Sierra wasn’t going to prod him further about what his kind was. He’d share if he wanted to. She tried to imagine a life where magic was normal. Where those with it weren’t forced to serve their city-state. A life full of travel. Without having to look constantly behind.

A hand dragged through auburn waves. The other remained loosely on the reigns. Stormy eyes found those of gold once again. Like beacons calling her back to them in the night.

“Some things are worth the cost. I’m more worried for my...,” she paused, unable to finish the sentence. “You’ll forgive me if you dont learn all my secrets in one night wish granter who is not a drunkard.” And for the first time that night, her mouth relaxed.

“Should be a path off the road up here. Might be best to stay off the main road from here on out.”

They’d need to find a place to camp soon as well
 
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Cillian

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"Well, I've got at least two days to try and win some more from your lips, Duchess," his eyes twinkled as his grin crinkled them and revealed two disarming dimples in his cheeks.

The moon was high in the sky, her full luminosity dominating the night and obscuring the stars nearby. He gazed up at it thoughtfully for a moment and then down towards the split in the road that was approaching them. it wasn't much more than a dirt track that veered off through the forests. He arched a brow and glanced back towards her.

"I can understand not wanting tae be on tae road lass, but... forgive me but I dinnae think tae elves liked your folks?" they were far more likely to encounter them off the beaten path. "I mean t'aint much o' a fan of fae either but ye'll be keepin' tae heat off me."
 
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Sierra

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Eyes rolled beneath the moonlight at the nickname. She nearly uttered a protest but kept it on a leash. For now.

She still veered for the dirt-track. But a look of curiosity sparked within her eyes as she studied Cillian. "Not a fan of the fae? Did you happen to rile an elven woman by whispering sweet nicknames in her ear?" The right side of her mouth twerked upwards. "Stared too hard at a taken one's beauty?"

The wheels of the cart ground out the dirt beneath them as they veered from the main-road. "And no. They hate our kind. Most," if not all, "have good reason to."
 
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Cillian

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Cillian gave a short, surprise bark of a laugh but had the good sense to look ashamed of himself as he rubbed the back of his neck beneath the wild tangle of curls that was his hairs natural state. He shot her a look and then took advantage of the fact they were moving off the road onto the dirt track to not answer her straight away. The tree coverage was thicker now and the moonlight scarcely managed to seep through giving them snatches of light. It was dangerous for the horses to keep moving in the dark so he stood up on his moving wagon to light the two lanterns that hung from his wagon. It gave them a more stable pool to see in front of their horses hooves to avoid a nasty accident.

"Aye, now ye mention it t'ere was a young pretty elven lass, but the fueds between our kinds is an ancient thing. Tae elves like tae think o' themselves as the oldest magical creatures in tis world but it is not the case. Tae fae know a lot more ancient magics than tae elves."
 
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Sierra

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Sierra studied him quietly as he worked. He was well-traveled. Well prepared to travel dark-wooded roads. A part of her admired him for it. But she'd certainly never tell him that. That mischievous twinkle in his sun-goddamned setting eyes. Due to Sierra's up-bringing she was a tad slow about the different races. Sure, she knew more about elves - the primary enemy of Vel Anir.

But fae?

She couldn't even remember any stories her folks might have told her before those at the Academy came to collect her when she was five. Lips pursed trying to remember anything she'd read at the Great Libraries. She hadn't spent as much time there as Luther had. And now she was kicking herself for it.

"I've never met a fae before," she admitted slowly, wary of admitting anything as a weakness. That being ingrained to them as apprentices and dreadlords for so long, hard to shake off the habit. "I thought only elves lived this close to Vel Anir but you're telling me Fae do too? And your own kind have a bone to pick with one of their own?" A sideways glance in his direction as she pulled the wagon to a slow stop, spotting a moonlit clearing and a small stream. She pointed silently.
 
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Cillian

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FrauFrau slowed too and gave a stomp of her hoof to show she was impatient to be unrigged from the cart. Cillian was never one to keep a lady waiting so he hopped down from his seat and began to remove the gypsy cobs harness.

"Aye, well, sort of. Tae Fae and Elves are different. Fae are what ye humans call fairies - everything from tae little brownies up to the true nasties who run the courts. Tis a wide net. They operate in these... court systems and ye, suppose we do fight our own quite a lot, but.." he twisted his mouth in concentration to lower the wagon off of FrauFraus back and grunted with the effort. "Tis like ye humans, different races even within your race so ye don't always ge' a long. But elves and fae are different and yea, there's a bunch who live out here," he led his horse over to one of the trees and then let her go with her bag of oats.

Why was he telling her all this? Cillian liked to keep the matter of who he was a secret but he found the words kept pouring out to his abject horror. He wiped his hands down on his coat. Maybe it was to make her feel like she could trust him, maybe he was just in a talking mood. Maybe he was just a fucking idiot for trusting an Anirian and a Dreadlord at that.
 
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Sierra

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"I'm surprised they live this close to Vel Anir...considering. And maybe that's why I felt more unease than usual around those wall-guards," Sierra said it before really thinking about it. Maybe those human guards had known deep down in their bones - on instinct - that they'd been around someone with ancient magic. Apparently, he had kept true on his promise, pulling another secret from her lips. Dreadlords usually liked to keep which magic specialty they had secret for as long as possible. And just like that he knew she was an empath now.

Should've just shouted it from the tops of these trees, she mentally chided herself.

She climbed down with the fluid grace of a warrior. Someone trained since childhood to fight and survive. Reaching beneath the bench, she tugged out a quiver and bow that had been hidden and quickly slung them on, finally releasing her own mare from the cart.

The mare began munching on the grass, making a lazy beeline toward Cillian's horse and those oats. Sierra watched for a second and shook her head, turning her attention to the barrels. Stepping into the back of the cart, she began lifting the lids very carefully, so as not to spill the decoy wine on top.

A mop of dark curly hair popped up immediately as Jacob exclaimed. "FAIRIES and brownies?" Little eyes widened and his head swiveled as Sierra scooped him up and helped him out, setting him on his feet. "Ma used to tell me stories about them snatching babies away, is that true?" Jacob's little eyes went to Cillian and glued onto him with wonder.

Sierra lifted another lid and helped Kristine out. The little girl had pale, golden hair. When Sierra tried to set her down, she wouldn't let go, her little arms tightly wrapped around Sierra's neck, "But what if they come tonight and want to eat us?" The little girl whimpered looking into the dark night.
 
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Cillian

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Cillian chuckled and was about to offer more insight into not only the fae but the many other races that live around Vel Anir when she disappeared around to the back of the wagon.

Oh fuck.

Not just Sierra, but two small children too he had just divulged secrets too. He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly at their exclamations. The boy at least seemed interested in finding out more, which was usually the way of boys, but he hadn't intended to scare the young lass. He cleared his throat and wished it would clear the blush from his cheeks too before sweeping his hat from his head and dipping into a bow.

"Ah me young Master, there is truth in e'ery story you 'ear. Yes his true that some of the fae take children away and leave in their place a fae child who takes on the babes features. But they only do that if you anger them and tis not a horrible life in faerie land. The human child is raised like one o' their own. Taught magic and now to fight," he winked to the little girl and made a flower appear from behind her ear.

"'Ow tae make wishes come true."
 

Sierra

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Sierra hid her amusement as she felt and caught snippets of Cillian's emotions. She was impressed that he was trying with these two refugees and that he wanted to try at all. Kristine buried her face into Sierra's shoulder, peeking up as he came closer.

Jacob gave off a low, "Wow," at the fae with the golden eyes and one giggle at the title he got.

The little girl finally lifted her face cautiously and blinked, face lighting up with wonder at the flower. Kristine was close to Rose's age. Just a year or so older. Out of habit, Sierra rubbed her hand in small, comforting circles on the girl's back. "Look what he made for you. It's okay."

Kristine held out her hand for that flower, hesitantly. A timid smile on her tiny lips.

"Wishes?" Jacob bounced up and down. "Miss Sierra, can we have wishes?" Hopeful face cast up to the dreadlord. "And I bet if I'd been taken by the fae I would've become the greatest of warriors!" He scooped up a stick from the ground and batted at the air. "The greatest swordsman in all the land."

"Oh stars help us," Sierra whispered to Cillian and offered him a brief smile. "It seems he has energy to burn after being closed in that barrel for so long." Her smile faded as she went inward. It was easy to forget that perhaps she'd been like this. So long ago. Before the Academy broke her, stripper her down, and built her into the weapon they'd always wanted.

"And as for wishes," she gave Cillian a look. "You'll have to ask him. But first I want you to go get the tent set-up. There it is. Go on. Just like we practiced." Jacob gave a low, long dramatic sigh, clearly not the thing he wanted to do right now.
 
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Cillian

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"Aye there's that gorgeous smile I knew you had," Cillian grinned and gently pinched the girls rosy cheek as she clutched the flower in her tiny little fist. He had always been good with children, they were far less difficult than adults were and his tricks kept them occupied for hours at a time. It was probably a relief for both him and other adults present that he took it upon himself to be their entertainer at gatherings. With the young girl charmed he turned back to the lad and couldn't help the chuckle his words brought out. It grew into a louder laugh at the tone of Sierra's voice.

"hey now laddie, warriors always have to camp tis an important part of the slaying," the large canvas was far too heavy for the kid to lift so Cilli hoisted it over his shoulder with one hand and used the other to tossle the boys hair. "C'mon how about we set this one up for the lasses and then you and I can build a proper one out of what we find in the forest, eh? Like in the stories..."

He kept chatting away to the young lad as he wandered over to the best place for the tent. With the boys energy it didn't take them long to get up the tent and turn to the much more fun game of building their own opposite. Of course it descended every five minutes into an epic sword fight with the branches but eventually the pair got it set up and Cillian had successfully tired the young lad out. He was practically falling asleep against the leprechaun who was tending to the fire.
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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The ripples of Jacob's joy and Kristine's sense of ease were like sweet music to the empath's senses. Sierra managed to get a few more supplies from the wagon as Kristine slowly fell asleep curled into the dreadlord's arm. Water. Rations.

Crouching into the tent, she gently set the little girl down, wrapping a blanket around her before she exited and joined the fae by the fire. She had some ration packs in her hands and offered one to the male. It consisted of dried meats, break, cheese, and some dried fruit.

"You're...really good with them," she said quietly. A hand rubbed at the back of her neck. "I'm sorry I misjudged you." Apologizing wasn't something Sierra normally did. Those blue-grey eyes of hers flickered to the fire as she chewed on some bread. "Do you think a fire is safe to have out here?" Fires could attract more than Anirian scouts. Her bow was set within easy-reach and the quiver still slung on her back.
 
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Cillian

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Those golden eyes looked almost as alive as the flames in between then as he looked up at her offered rations. A small smile touched his lips and he shook his head with a muted thank you and motioned to his own pack that was by his feet. Fresh fruit could be seen just peaking out of the top alone with a neatly wrapped package from the bakery. She hadn't been entirely wrong about him though because the top of a bottle of whisky was also visible. He hadn't touched it yet but with his advanced years he didn't really need to eat all that much.

"Keep it, the kids have a lot further to go than you thought originally," he kept his voice low so as not to disturb the dozing child against his side, who he glanced down to with a warm smile when Sierra complemented his skills with them.

"That's alright Duchess, I would 'ave made the same judgement if I saw someone stumblin' about covered in t'ash," he chuckled and ran a hand through his still filthy hair. "I had to make a quick exit after delivering a present," again with the truth. He shook himself and tried to reprimand his tongue. "Bu' I've always had a bi' o' a gift wit' kids, maybe on account o' me bein' one," he winked.
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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He was right. Even after the portal stone. However, after the portal stone she'd feel extremely more at ease. No one would mistake her for a Dreadlord. An Anirian maybe. Perhaps a mother traveling with her two children. But not a Dreadlord doing illegal business or making an Underground run.

"Yeah a big ol' kid," she poked back. Auburn brows nearly disappeared into her hairline. "Makes me wonder what kind of present you left if you had to make a quick exit, hm?" There was that ghost of a smile of hers. A nod through the dark and thin tree-line to their left.

"There is a river right over there," she said dryly. "Unless you prefer to be dirty." Another twitch of her lips.
 
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Cillian

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"A purple pony wrapped up in a bow," Cillian winked. He spoke in a way that meant his words could have easily been both fact or fiction and his smirk made it clear he wasn't going to spoil the fun of letting her figure it out for herself. When she nodded towards the river however both his eyebrows shot up into his hairline.

"Tryna ge' me outta me clothes already lassie? Ye dinnae need to come up with such an excuse, bu' ye will have tae buy me a drink first," he chuckled and then stood carefully, gently picking up the now utterly out of it young lad. Jason set him down into their tree tent on his roll mat then took off his trench coat and laid it over the stump he had been sitting on.

"Ye should be alright for a while, I set up some wards around tae place it should deter our forest friends from coming closer," he gazed around the darkness on the edge of the camp then nodded to himself. "I'll be back, now no peakin'," he wagged a finger then sauntered off towards the stream.
 
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Sierra

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Head shook, eyes narrowing in on the fae. She couldn't tell if he was being serious but she wouldn't put it pat him if he was telling the truth. Hell.

"Oh please," eyes rolled, though her lips twitched in the darkness. "You're not my type." Her type was...well. Long gone. For a moment she saw a flash of dark hair and cold, ice-blue eyes.

"But good to know all it takes is a drink," she called over her shoulder as his sauntering form disappeared in the darkness. And had he said 'from coming closer?'

Her frown deepened as her eyes swept the outskirts of their campsite. The last thing she needed was vengeful little fairies coming into the camp. Doing a quick check of Kristine and Jacob, she finished off her own food, nibbling quietly. There was movement in the woods. She caught a pair of smaller, glowing eyes once or twice. As soon as she saw them, they disappeared and changed position.

Moving slowly, she made a point of sharpening the daggers along her bandolier.
 
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Cillian

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Faeries were curious little things. They liked mischief and yet they depended on the care of strangers; they were both things that liked company and yet were most often found on their own. The smallest of them swooned over the larger fae and followed them like little puppies, which was the most likely reason they were attracted to the little camp. Leprechauns even amongst their own people were rare. They were some of the most secluded of the fae and stuck to their own isles. Only a few ventured onto the mainland and even then they shunned the courts they were technically allied to.

Cilli shooed a few of the water fae off as he sunk into the water, his clothes neatly folded on the banks.

"I swear, if ye touch me clothes I'll make ye wish you hadn't been born," he called as a warning to nobody in particular but the giggling told him they had heard. Even so, he washed quickly, dunking under the frigid waves to rinse the ash off of his hair.

Once he was done he dressed in his trousers, slung his shirt over his shoulder and picked up his boots to walk back barefooted. He noticed the knife and raised a brow, setting his shoes down slowly.

"Now, just 'ow many o' those do ye have on your body?"
he raised a brow.
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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A mild amused look crossed her face. Perhaps at his question or perhaps because he deemed it necessary to come back with his shirt off. And those goddamned giggles in the woods she heard.

"I don't think you actually want to know the answer to that question. But it's safe to say," a casual look down his chest and back up to his eyes, "more than you have on your person." The end of her dagger was pointed toward the treeline around them. Small whispers. Sets of glowing eyes.

"This lot gonna stick around us the entire night? They seem very interested in you." Sierra could feel their sets of emotions. Whispering along her lines of magic. It made her wonder if this was normal for fae. Or there was something about Cillian.
 
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Cillian

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"Aye you're lucky I came back wit' any clothes a' all, tae shits," he threw a half hearted glare to the forests and there was a rustling amongst the bushes as the Little Folk hid. He shook out his shirt which was wet on account of him having to wash it after the mischief makers decided to cover it in mud, and then set about making a small washing line in order to hang it over the fire. He pulled his trenchcoat on in the meantime.

"I dinnae need daggers, the sword does well enough and if not t'at t'en well, I 'ave good luck," a slight shrug before he sat down and stretches his bare feet out toward the fire with a satisfied sigh. The warmth seeped into his skin and he found himself relaxing despite the danger he was in alone with a Dreadlord. He wondered what level she was at.

"T'ey might, my kind ain't exactly common in these parts. They're only curious though, no need to worry. The most a brownie will do tae ye is tie ye laces together for no' offerin' 'em some milk," he smirked. "'Armless. Really."
 
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Sierra

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With the comments about coming back with no clothes...

He drew out an actual smile from Sierra. One she wasn't forcing. One that wasn't hidden. One that only another dark-haired man or her daughter had been able to pull from her lips. But as quickly as it came it was gone.

"Well," she sheathed the dagger. "If I find my boot-laces tied together in the morning, I'll know to blame you." Another twitch of her lips. "I'm just glad Jacob is asleep. He'd want to run beyond the wards after them. So...what're the worst of the fae? At least, ones that we might run into out here." Protective-mother instincts. Dreadlord training.

She wanted to be prepared.
 
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Cillian

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Cillian shifted a little in his spot and cupped his hands behind his head with a satisfied huff of air. He was a man who lived on the road and found it easy to get comfortable no matter where he was. Even if that was on a cold winter floor opposite a woman who looked as though in that moment she would quite happily throw him to the wolves if it protected her two charges. Cilli couldn't say he blamed her.

"The Duanann, no doubt,"
he grimaced and glanced behind her to the trees beyond. They swayed in the breeze, their gnarled branches scratching against one another. The cold of the breeze seeped into his coat and he found himself pulling the trenchcoat tighter about him. "They're the fae who can change t'ey're shape, the ones who do the deals wit' humans and what' not, stealing kids..." he ran a hand through his hair with a sigh. "I dinnae know about many in these forests bu' they travel often."
 
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Sierra

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Sierra's lips pressed tightly together. She couldn't help her gaze travel to Jacob's slumbering form within the shelter he and Cillian had built. Then her eyes went to the smaller form of Kristine slumbering beneath the canvas.

"Hell, might have to start bumping up the pay of the smugglers that normally do this." Sierra knew it wasn't easy or safe. But she'd always assumed the bulk of the danger had been from the Anirians. And they were paid but they were mostly like her. Serving a cause than serving coin. She scooched closer to the fire, bringing up her hands and trying to flex the chill out of her cold fingers.

"Let's hope your wards hold. If you want to sleep I can take the first watch."
 
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Cillian

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Cillian grunted at that; smugglers would always appreciate more coin no matter what the reasoning. Though perhaps telling them there were faeries wanting to toy with and then kill them wasnt a good idea. Though if they were the type to not run from danger it was always better to be informed.

"I dinnae need much sleep, not like humans do. You sleep I'll keep watch unless ye dinnae trust me," he raised both brows. He was genuinely asking and not in an offended manner either, his tone was nowt but curious. She had two precious bits of cargo with her and Cillian would respect her choice to stay awake if she so desired.

"I'll even stay off tae booze," he chuckled.
 
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