Open Chronicles Dark Offerings in the Light

Voraak Tyrethian

The Pale Sorcerer
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Voraak found himself once more in Vel Anir to take a quick break before setting off to study darker magicks once more. There was a tavern that he frequented a lot in Anir Square and decided to take a few drinks and relax. He was on no one's time hardly had time for himself. Taking a seat in the corner of the tavern he was quick to analyze patrons in the bar and mentally made secondary and tertiary routes of escape in case someone charged at him.

His Raven, Vulka; took watch outside on the thatched roof of the tavern. A barmaid came over to the Pale Sorcerer and prompted.

"What can I get you hun?"

Behind his sly smile, he would reveal a voracious smile.
"Some stout ale will be fine gorgeous"

The barmaid smiled and ran off to fetch his drink. Taking out his coin purse he removed a smooth black stone from the bag and rubbed his fingers hardly against it. He was weary and burn out but he had so much to do in so little time.

Before Voraak could put a battle plan together, the barmaid smiled at him and brought his ale over to the table. In his delight, Voraak put two coins in her hand and closed her hand with his. "Thank you.....this is yours....keep it"

Taking a few swigs of the ale, Voraak had stashed away a stale piece of bread he had brought back with him from his journey. He wasn't penniless but he would rather spend his extra money on alchemical and magickal supplies rather than food. He was more than dedicated to his work and had no time for anything else......If only his past was changed, he could have tried things with Roselia and maybe his path wouldn't have been so dark.

Scarfing down the stale piece of bread and downing the rest of the ale, Voraak took out a piece of paper and unrolled it out on the table. He was analyzing the text and pictures that adorned this aging parchment. It was the rough blueprint of an ancient building but the location and purpose of the building eluded him. He knew that a warlock lived there but he couldn't find information on the structure or subject. Anir Square was getting busier today and perhaps foot traffic would lead nearby people into the tavern.

With Voraak studying intently, he was still aware of any newcomers that would venture inside.
 

Anima

A Shadow
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The barmaid had been dead for several weeks. And yet here she stood. Tending a tavern in Vel Anir as she always had. Only her grandfather knew of her passing, for he had seen it with his own eyes. The barkeep and those frequent patrons of the tavern did not know.

They did not know that Emilia Muirset was dead.

And that Anima wore her face.

Anima had been there. Shadowing a rogue named Vincent when he confronted Emilia. Vincent had come on behalf of someone in Alliria. Someone who wanted Emilia dead. A transgression of some manner. Vincent picked the lock to the grandfather's house. They entered. Found Emilia and her grandfather there. The door shut. Pleas of innocence from Emilia. Pleas of mercy from her grandfather.

Anima held the grandfather back as Vincent stabbed Emilia in the chest. The sorrow palpable. The taste of black tea on her tongue. And Vincent had not a hint of horror, for he had long ago given in. He had embraced that which resided in the dark recesses of his heart. And his sin was the love of money, the willingness to do anything for it. Thus Emilia lay dead at his feet.

Parting words. Vincent's exit. And Anima stayed with the grandfather. Terror arrested him, then sadness, a flash of anger, grief, and sadness once more. A heady mix of emotion. The partaking thereof. They talked. A certain hesitation on his part, but they talked. He began to wish over and over again that he have just a little more time with his granddaughter. Just a little more time.

And Anima offered. Disbelief, naturally, from the grandfather. Horror, as Anima described her method. But he relented, such was his desperation. And that very night, Anima carved delicately the face of his granddaughter and put it on and the dark magic of the Masquerade fused it to her own and her body slowly changed and changed until she became Emilia in total. Her red hair, her green eyes, her height, her voice, all.

Emilia's emotions overcame her. Yes. She had done things. Foolish things. She and the man she loved. She fled from Alliria to Vel Anir after her husband had been killed, thinking herself to be safe with her grandfather. And she had thought wrong, for she could not escape that which she had done. In the form of Vincent it found her. The inevitable manifest.

And there. In her grandfather's house, the very same beheld his granddaughter once more as Anima became her. She said his name in Emilia's voice. And he broke down in tears.

No. Anima was not his beloved granddaughter. Nor could she be in the truest sense.

But she was then as close as could be. A shadow of that life which once graced Arethil.

And the grandfather held Emilia in his arms again.

Weeping.

* * * * *​

"What can I get you hun?"

She had been coming to work as normal. Living Emilia's life. Reliving the haunting apprehension and the vague fear that she might be found out one day, as the true Emilia had been. A powerful dread, but one not quite at the forefront. A constant, if ethereal, emotion to savor. A difference in kind to the overwhelming emotions on offer that night.

Some stout ale will be fine gorgeous.

Anima smiled Emilia's smile. Ran off to fetch the patron's drink. Emilia did enjoy this manner of work. Not as much as what she had done in Alliria, but still, there was enjoyment to be felt. She filled a mug full of ale. Walked toward the patron's table. Saw in his hand the smooth black stone. She set down the mug of ale and the patron placed two coins in her palm and closed her hand with his.

The closeness. The contact. Emilia balked at it, fearing it, that paranoia again. But Anima embraced it. Craved it.

Thank you...this is yours...keep it.

She looked him up and down. Said with a smile, "It is these little moments that are cherished, are they not?"

Emilia's voice. Anima's words. A slight lifting of the veil that was the Masquerade. But time was growing short. She could feel it. The sorcery's power fading. She would need to remove Emilia's face tonight. A final farewell.

She walked with the two coins in her hand back behind the counter of the bar. Pocketed them.

Morgan, a perpetual day-drinker and frequent patron of the tavern, fell out of his stool and spilled his ale over the counter. The dripping of the liquid off the edge and to the floor as Morgan in his drunken daze cursed and the barkeep in his anger cursed. Morgan stood and paid his due and stumbled to the door of the tavern and pushed it open and walked out into Anir Square proper. Anima picked up some cloths and set about wiping up the top of the counter and the side of the counter and the floor below.

Stolen glances to the patron who had gifted her the coins as she did so.

For soon the Masquerade would be over.

And she would need to shadow someone again. To bask.

Yes.
 
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Voraak Tyrethian

The Pale Sorcerer
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As Voraak downed his drink he maintained eye contact with the barmaid when she offered a brief smile and uplifting comment. To even his own surprise he nodded and gave her a curt smile.

"Any moment should be cherished.....as we may never have them again"

She was eyeing him up and down, did she remember him coming into the bar months ago? Did she feel threatened? Did she find him attractive? He did not know and he did not prod further as he went about his studies once more.

There was something about this woman. Voraak had encountered this barmaid before but his gut feeling was focused on her.....or something about her he couldn't quite put his fingers on. Going back and forth from his drink and the parchment he was studying he would occasionally look up and see the barmaid who would look back into his eyes in the same gesture.

The corner of his lip turned into a sly smile. For now he was getting distracted and couldn't afford that....not right now at least. A noticeable chunk of the parchment was missing, to which Voraak pulled a second sheet of parchment and laid it down on the table.

Holding the two pieces together, a faint blue aura came out from his fingers and re-attached the two sheets of paper back together much like two lovers coming together at last. With the parchment complete he read over from top to bottom and could be seen making mental notes about the subject material.

He was close to finding the information he needed

Voraak was even closer to inspecting this 'barmaid' carefully.
 

Anima

A Shadow
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The spill cleaned. The rags brought to the back washroom and washed and wrung out. The rags returned to their place behind the counter. Emilia. The name of the woman she inhabited. She turned to look at the barkeep. He indicated a group of three armed men, caravan hands or mercenaries or adventurers or the like, that had just then entered and found a table.

And she walked with Emilia's free-spirited gait over to the table with the men and introduced herself and asked what they would like to drink. Hun. Emilia fancied calling people hun. Effortlessly did the word roll off the tongue. A means of closing the gap, the inherent separation. The underlying implication. You have not been met. But you are known. For in your very heart lies the self-same potential common to all.

Yes. All are allowed to fall, aren't they?

Anima as Emilia went and got their drinks and walked back to the bar and stood beside the barkeep as he cleaned some mugs and she surveyed those in the tavern. The table of the three men. Two women sitting together. An older man and his friend. A dwarf.

And the man who had gifted her the coins, he who wore the dark mail armor. He sat at his table with his parchment, pulling another from his belongings and binding them together with a subtle magic.

Perhaps merely a student of an arcane discipline, studying, practicing. Perhaps something more. A man in search of something. Perhaps something dear to him. Perhaps something he coveted. Differing possibilities, offering differing peculiarities of basking. But those driven were always the most engaging to shadow. Simple people living simple lives, firm and secure in order and peace, offered little. Bare subsistence, and the hollow staving off of lethargy.

Those driven. Yes. They were a delight, provided they were open to company.

A feeling then. Warm. Wet. Where her right ear met her jaw. Behind her hair. And she touched it with her index and middle fingers. Glanced.

Blood on the tips of them. A scant amount. But blood.

It was soon. Sooner than she had expected. But the Masquerade was never definite, a hint of variability. And the sorcery had begun to wane. It would only get worse. The peeling of the skin would come next. Unseemly, in public. Best to leave soon. She did not know how much time she had left.

And so she wiped her fingers behind her apron, hiding the stain. A glance to the barkeep. Idle chatter, between him and the dwarf, both recounting their old days at sea. Distracted. Good.

She walked out from behind the counter and approached the man who had gifted her the coins. Stood by his table. Placed a hand on his and canted her head. Said, "Will you stay here?"

A smile. Her hand sliding away. And she turned and walked and pushed open the door to the tavern and stepped outside and into the Square and walked away as the barkeep called the name Emilia in a confused manner after her.

Perhaps he would stay.

Perhaps he would not.

And the tavern door closed.
 

Voraak Tyrethian

The Pale Sorcerer
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Voraak continued to mull over the details of the parchment. Various script written in a different language in which one could only use context clues as to what the words meant. The fortress that the parchment detailed was elaborate and very well-defended for that of a magical warlord. Many entrusted and gifted with magic would just use magic to protect the fortress.

This warlord had the structure built solid as a rock in case he were to perish before the fort did....which this was the case. The item in question that Voraak was after was something that this warlord had. A blade. Not just any blade but Niergoth's Blade which was a finely crafted sword that cut deep and left the enemies freezing in its wake. Out of all the elemental magicks Voraak had encountered-- he favored frost and ice. Something comforted him when it came to the cold. Voraak just needed to find the location of the fortress on this piece of parchment. He narrowed the location to being somewhere off of the Cortosi Coast.

Before he could study any further, a familiar voice greeted him once more. The barmaid.
"Will you stay here?" She prompted him. The Pale Sorcerer cocked his head in wonder and bewilderment as he felt her hand on his. Smooth to the touch he smiled.

"I.....I will stay for a while longer."

Before he could add any context to the question and follow up with her, she departed outside the tavern just as fast as the words left his lips.

Shaking his head, he laid a map over the piece of parchment and started to circle areas of interest to find this "fortress of Niergoth".
 

Anima

A Shadow
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A hour passed. Maybe more. Maybe less.

And the door to the tavern opened again. A woman entered. Taller now than Emilia had been. Her skin nearly the same, a subtle difference. Her hair much shorter, and black. The green gone from her eyes and the light gray back into them. Her voice her own again, her thoughts, emotions. She wore her dark leather armor. Boots instead of soft shoes. A sheathed sword on her hip and a traveling pack over her shoulder.

Anima had taken off the mask. Emilia, even the faint shadow of her that Anima had been, was now gone. Goodbyes given and received from her grandfather, who had allowed himself to be so deceived by the Masquerade that he was shocked when Anima announced that it was time. All at once it hit him again, the final realization. They embraced for a while and he apologized over and over, wishing he had done more to save her, cursing the sickness that befell Emilia's mother and father, lamenting the corrupting influence of Emilia's husband.

But the inevitable had come round again. Emilia's spirit had departed, and now it was time that the remnants of her body follow.

And thus her time as Emilia ended.

Here. Now. She had returned to the tavern wearing no mask, wearing the clothes and the armor which suited her and what small collection of provisions in the meager pack on her shoulder.

And she looked about the tavern. There the man who had gifted her the coins. She walked casually across the floor and to his table and unshouldered her pack and set it down before she pulled back an empty chair to his left and slowly sat down. Uninvited.

She sat there a moment. Observing him.

A smile.

The coins she set on the table beside the parchment, drawing her hand away to reveal what she had placed. The exact same two he had gifted her earlier.

"It is these little moments that are cherished, are they not?"
 

Voraak Tyrethian

The Pale Sorcerer
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Voraak was tiring away at the piece of parchment. Lord Niergoth went by another name in his 'former' life--Lord Carnifex, only up until his timely 'demise'. Calloused and worn hands caressed over the parchment and every single fiber and fold could be felt due to the age of the material.

Making a few marks on his map of the region, Voraak filtered the location(s) even further to the multiple islands off the Cortosi Coast. Instead of having the scour the entire land to find this ruin, he was able to deduce the location to just a chain of islands that would be a few days trip--max. Another sly smile escaped his ale-ridden lips.

Voraak kept his map out to determine points of travel that would be best beneficial to his trip. The barmaid had left the tavern in quite a hurry and she told him to stay put.

There is something about her. I may not have been here much but the sudden urge to leave the tavern.....was alarming.

He had felt a....presence...of some kind. Magical and Arcane no doubt but it was a common feeling he would get around other magic users--nothing to worry about....yet.

As figures came and went from the establishment, a few moments later a young woman came through. Wearing quite intricate armor and having short black hair caught his eye. She was coming in his direction as if she knew he was there.

Holding his hands under the table he made very brief somatic gestures to get a defensive spell ready if she were there to cause trouble for him. Voraak didn't like surprises that much. The woman pulled up a chair, observed him and smiled--as if they were old friends. Tyrethian didn't forget a face but this woman eluded him greatly.

Then she said it....

"Hmm....either the barmaid is a spy for you or you do a really good job at acting..well done"

A soft clap came from his hands as he smiled and glanced at the coins he gifted her moments prior.

"Are you here to assassinate me? So you can give me the pleasure to feast my eyes on who my true assailant is?"

Being very interested in this woman's approach he offered no more banter as to let her have the floor with the conversation.
 

Khyros Amhran

Bard
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The door to the tavern opened once more, and a bearded man with a lute case slung over his back and an odd looking dog walking next to him. The mans face held a perpetual grin, as he took in the sights within the room.

It was not extremely well patroned, at this time of day, but he did note the woman in dark leather speaking with a scholarly chap at one table. His finely tuned social senses told him there was some tension there, but it caused Khyros no more than a shrug as he turned and seated himself at a table on the other side of the doorway from them.

The Bard set his lute case on the table and opened it before taking the instrument out and sitting down to casually tune it as he waited for a server that seemed to be in another room of the tavern.
 

Faerlin

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Faerlin knew the instant she had caved in to the demands that she join her fellow Guards for a drink that she would regret it. The paladin didn’t drink for fun. And she especially didn’t drink socially. Or do anything, socially, for that matter: her idea of a good time was a vigorous sparring session, or better yet, something or someone to kill.

Unfortunately, those had not been on the menu for this evening. Faerlin had recently been transferred to a new unit in the Anirian Guard. It was a fairly typical occurrence; House Weiroon often reordered their troops to their liking, in lieu of giving them anything useful to do. The peace was wearing on the paladin’s nerves. She’d signed up to serve the great cause of Vel Anir, not patrol or worse, look pretty at events

But aside from a few minor disturbances—and one nasty incident involving deserters—the Anirian Guard had been lying dormant and Faerlin with them. Oh sure, they were still training, preparing for the next great war, but it wasn’t the same. All the training in the world couldn’t compare to a real fight.

Which is maybe why the paladin had finally given in; despite the fact that her fellow soldiers didn’t even like her much, they’d convinced her to go out with them in the name of ‘unit cohesion.’ She had mostly tagged along out of boredom. As the whole group of soldiers arrived in a cacophony of excited chatter (out of armor, but in their off-duty uniforms), she quickly moved to a corner as they made their way to a bar. The group seemed to spread out to fill all the available space, swarming towards the bartender who gave them a familiar nod. Seemed this place was popular with the troops. Faerlin wouldn’t know.

One woman, whose name was escaping Faerlin at the moment, hung back, glancing over at the paladin. The other woman was dark-haired and beautiful and quite popular with the men, a stark contrast with the strawberry blonde and more plain-faced paladin. Still, they were the only two women—who were rare in the army, even in Vel Anir—so perhaps that conferred some sort of solidarity. “Can I get you anything?”

Faerlin just stared at her. “No. Thank you. I’ll be fine.”

The woman shrugged. “Suit yourself.” And with that she was gone, leaving Faerlin alone for now.

Just as she liked it: the paladin scanned the room, ignoring her comrades to take in the other patrons. Unbidden, her left hand went to the pommel of her sword (she wouldn’t go outside unarmed if she could help it), while her right hand pulled out her belt knife, which she played with idly as she made her observations. Most of the people here were unremarkable, though Faerlin frowned at the dwarf. They were uncommon enough in Vel Anir that finding one in a random tavern was notable. The bard was not a particularly welcome sight either, though in a very different way. Unsurprisingly, Faerlin wasn’t a fan of revelry. Maybe she could pay him not to perform. Would be easier than the alternative.

Keeping the dwarf in the corner of her eye, however, the paladin soon found her attention focused on a pair at a different table, a man and a woman. Their body language was interesting, to say the least; the man in particular seemed wary and uncertain. Faerlin couldn’t exactly blame him. Although she wasn’t afraid of any opponent—her martial skills and the divine blessing of Nykios would see her through any battle—the tall and armored woman was imposing, to say the least. Hopefully her observations weren’t too obvious, though frankly the paladin didn’t care much. Indeed, she scooted her chair closer to the pair’s table, hoping to overhear some of their conversation. Mostly, Faerlin was making sure the two of them didn’t come to blows as well as studying the other woman to think of the best points to target if it did come to a fight.

Almost, the paladin wished it would.
 

Anima

A Shadow
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She did not notice the door to the tavern opening and closing. Those coming and those going. The goings-on of the patrons about the bar and the other tables.

Anima stared at the man who had gifted her the coins as if he were all the world had to offer. A single star in the night sky. Smiling, as she often did. Not of mirth nor warmth. A nascent interest, like the orange glow of a flame cradled in a stack of tinder. A perishing lay in store, or a bursting forth into a full fire.

A cocking of her head. The slight dangle of her hair along with the gesture.

Cautious words. Fair. She had not approached another in this manner before. Similarities, yes, as with Erik, but none exact to match this circumstance.

"You wish to do no such thing, do you? No. There is no assailant." She placed her hands flat on the table. "You place your hands upon the table. All is well. You merely sit and you merely talk."

Her smile opened into a grin. She said, "And you are keen to know, aren't you?"

A watching of him. A listening.

A deliberate vagueness.
 

Voraak Tyrethian

The Pale Sorcerer
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As Voraak observed this woman closely, more and more newcomers were coming into the tavern to take a load off their shoulders. A bard had walked in and sat at a nearby table and started playing his lute. The tune reminded him of a much more innocent timeframe.

When Voraak was younger and when he first met Roselia, she too; played the lute and did so beautifully. Voraak and Roselia would run about in the woods--to the meadows and she would play a relaxing tune. Looking in the bard's direction, he gave a curt nod and smile as if to say "keep it up".

Then....trouble walked in.

Tyrethian didn't have issues with the military but in his line of work, it always put him at odd ends with the servicemen/women. This woman came barging in with a few other soldiers, unassuming yet alert of their surroundings--as they should be. As the unit sat down at another nearby table, the environment was getting hairy which made Voraak's heart pump a little faster. He used the energy from his heartbeat to yell at a bartender

" 'nother drink! Grab one for my dark-haired friend too"

If she wasn't there to assassinate him then maybe there was more to her. This would be interesting.

"I simply wish to live long enough to find all the knowledge I seek. You seem very well-versed my fair lady. Tell me; if not to kill me, then why did you walk this way? Is there something you want to know?"

Her words imitated the sweetness of honey, but the dreadful feeling of fear. He did not fear her per se, but he did feel more and more curious about her. A woman shrouded in mystery and a face he did not remember. A woman who could have easily assassinated him then and there....but didn't.

She was there for a reason and he was going to find out why.

As the bartender brought ale for the two occupants, Voraak gifted her two coins for the two drinks and thanked her.

Picking up the tankard, Voraak focused his eyes into hers as if it meant his life and as he focused, his hands emitted a faint foggy aura of blue.

The tankard was being frozen and Voraak was using a simple trick to super-chill his ale.

"Let's....break the ice shall we?"
 

Elise Darkwater

Dread weaver
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She walked with a small skip in her step. It had been a long time since Elise had been free. They must really want him brought back to them....
Or the more likely explanation was someone who had them by the balls from the shadows wanted back.
The college could be quite crooked in its's dealings.
Elise knew all to well being a product of those very types of dealings.

The mark had called.

She had come.

It had been that simple.
So now she was here. A good "source." had led her here.
He was here. She saw the raven and knew before she even entered.
She wore a sleeveless black undershirt with a hood which she now wore up, and black leather pants.
Two 5" hunting knives were strapped to her belt, and though she wore no shoes her feet still seemed supremely clean as dirt seemed to roll off of her skin.
Her fair skin seemed to glow in the moonlight that touched it.
Each arm bore a tattoo.
On her right was a mound of skulls with a panther sleeping atop it. It spanned from her wrist to her shoulder.
Each skull a kill when she was apart of the skull panthers.

A bandit gang that razed the outskirts of Elbion until put down when a group of noble's joined their armies and wiped them from existence.
A Kraken coiled up her left arm clutching a burning black ship.

The mark of someone who had sailed with Michael "Skull and Cross" Kendrick's on The Night Runner.
A ship so evil It was said its wake turned the sea around it red with the blood of it's victims.

The sharpened fingers of her black steel gauntlets dug into the wood handle of the door as she pulled it open softly walking inside. She walked in slight skip to her step and saw her target. He fit the description give or take. He reeked of death.
The whispers had been correct. Then again her master was never wrong.

Her right hand slipped to her right hunting knife...

"Danger..."

The whispers rasped in her ear as she turned where they beckoned. Her eyebrows rose slightly with excitement as she saw the guards...Paladins no less.. This would be interesting and require a slightly different approach.

She removed her hand from her dagger and noticed the woman he sat with as she approached with a friendly grin on her face and a truly manic glint in her glowing red eyes. The woman was dark haired with grey eyes that seemed to dig into your soul until their curiosity was satisfied. A brooch glinted as she came even closer.

A crow...Something about that stuck out to her..A long time ago..A woman who had visited while Elise had been guarding Luna and the shrine...

She had asked questions and left...Luna had mentioned another more recently, 8 or 9 months ago by Elise's reckoning who wore the same brooch.
She was more weary now but her confidence and smile never wavered as she pulled up a chair and turning it around so she could rest her elbows on the neck rest.

"Voraak! Love! How are you!? I hope I'm not intruding.." She said grinning at Voraak good naturedly letting her aura wash over the pair filling them with fear and dread for a few moments before passing slightly a she gave an apologetic nod to Anima.

"But I cant even begin to tell you how hard it was to track you down!" She said pulling her self up to the table.

" I found you all the same Vor...It's what I do...And Im very good at what I do..I mean....You didn't think you were going to be able to run for forever did you? You had to know they had people like me to bring people like you back. Right?" She giggled.

"But..Im not one to beat around the bush. Im as much a puppet to them as you are sooo...You have two choices.." She said.

Her grin now turning slightly sinister. Her sharpened canines were on full display as her eyes began to glow slightly.

"Come back quietly, Or come back with no arms or legs."

She then turned to Anima.
"I'd leave if I were you. Unless you have some misguided loyalty to this thief, in which case I can promise any involvement will result in your death." She said calmly like she was discussing the weather.

Her grin remained as she began scratching her back with her right gauntlets sharpened fingers and let out a yawn. The fingers dug into her flesh deeply with the razor thin cuts bled and closed almost as quickly as they appeared.

"So how's it going down Vor ol buddy? Creepy lady...? I havent got all night. So make a move or give it up." She said looking at each of them in turn.

"Though if I were you..I'd make a move.." She said in a mock whisper after glancing around and holding up her hand giving them a playful wink.
 
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Khyros Amhran

Bard
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Khyros lifted his feet onto his table, and began to strum the lute with more intention. Notes of music drifted through the tavern, though he was careful to not play so loudly so as to drown out conversation. As he played, his lips moved in a whisper of song that could only barely be heard by even Khyros's odd hound at his feet.

As he played and sang his eyes traveled around the tavern, taking in the group of soldiers carousing, and the lone soldier who looked like she would rather be almost anywhere else. He took in the scholar and his pair of rogues, who seemed to be having quite the conversation, though he couldn't overhear anything and those lips that were moving were not in clear view.
 
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Faerlin

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Faerlin’s instincts were nagging her, and her blood was practically singing with anticipation. Though she couldn’t put her finger on exactly what was going on here, she knew that the situation between the man—who was either a mage or knew magic, if the glowing around his fingers was any indication—and the woman who’d sat down with him was not exactly normal.

And that was before the second woman showed up, and this one sent a shiver of fear creeping down Faerlin’s spine.

Sitting upright, giving up all pretext of pretending not to observe the trip, the paladin examined the latest arrival. The pale-skinned, guantleted, tattooed woman was tall and fit looking, but there was something just a little...off about her. Maybe it was her demeanor: she strode over to the pair like she was stalking them, and the way she giggled and grinned was just a bit too calculated, a bit too sharp. The claws on tattoo lady’s gauntlets also gave the paladin pause; they were unusual, to say the least.

Then the woman’s eyes started glowing, and Faerlin’s own eyes narrowed. There was too much magic being casually thrown about (and too much mystery and intrigue in the air) for the paladin’s liking. Plus, she was bored. The bard’s low music was setting her nerves on edge, and Faerlin spared a moment to glare at the man, hoping to cow him into silence.

Then she was moving: without conscious thought she stood up and strode over to the strange trio, confident and bold and not a hint of worry in her posture. After all, here, in Vel Anir, surrounded by her fellow soldiers, there was nothing that could touch the paladin. While her suspicions might be entirely unfounded, it was always better to be safe than sorry.

Coming to a stop before the table, Faerlin stood there, hand resting on the pommel of her sword. “Is there a problem here?” Her challenge rang out clearly over the soft music; if the patrons of the tavern hadn’t noticed anything before, they surely would now.

Including Faerlin’s fellow Guards, who looked her way sharply, then subtly rearranged themselves so they could cover the exits and the paladin’s back. Nothing needed to be said for the Guards, the best trained fighting force in the world, to get ready for what might come their way. Even Faerlin’s current position was calculated: she had placed herself beside the man, across from the second woman. From there, she had a number of options available to her depending on how these three reacted. Most importantly, she was close to the bulk of her fellow soldiers. While she wasn’t planning to retreat, they could reach her more quickly and if she absolutely had to she could reach a more defensible position with ease. Nykios as her witness, though, the paladin wouldn’t need to. Despite her advantages, the paladin did call upon the spark of divine magic dwelling within her. Unlike the other two obvious users of magic present, Faerlin didn’t glow or do anything so noticeable, but she was ready to curse someone at a moment’s notice.

However, hopefully the show of force and the fact that the three were clearly the center of attention would prevent anyone from doing something foolish. And if they did, well, Faerlin would relish showing them the error of their ways.
 

Khyros Amhran

Bard
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Khyros caught the look of the lady knight, and smirked as his lips continued to sing a song too soft to be understood, and while his fingers continued to move along the lute with a sureness only a true craftsman could understand. He watched as she stood and strode over to the trio who were speaking to eachother with quiet intensity.

Coming to a stop before the table, Faerlin stood there, hand resting on the pommel of her sword. “Is there a problem here?” Her challenge rang out clearly over the soft music; if the patrons of the tavern hadn’t noticed anything before, they surely would now.
The feel of the room shifted, as surely as a plate falling to flagstone will shatter, so too did any pretense of revelry shattered with the Paladin's words. The Guards, previously off duty, changed with the room, moving only minutely so they could guard their comrades back.

With the changing of the room, Khyros shifted his music. The tune did not change, and neither did the barely perceptible words, but the feel of the song shifted, almost as if the music itself had become something else, gaining a purpose as the room itself had.
 

Anima

A Shadow
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He purchased a drink for her. A generous man. A curious thing. What was the root from which that generosity blossomed? To each their secrets contained in the heart. All things to be discovered.

And a revealing in his reply. In what he said. In what he did not say. He was a seeker of knowledge in general. Potential there, for he did not seem apathetic or callous or stoic in his pursuit. Such would be anathema to Anima. A state of being little better than loneliness. Perhaps she, too, would feel the fires of his dedication, the passionate joy of achievement, by basking in his presence. Should he allow it.

Is there something you want to know?

"Yes. You are guided by curiosity." A finger laid upon one of the coins he had gifted her that rested on the table. Gentle circles made with it. The soft scraping of formed metal against wood. Her eyes down to the motion of the coin. "And it is never enough, is it? There is only more. More and more. A seeking without end. Because this seeking is born of a thing which is insatiable. That which you carry with you."

Her finger stopped. She looked at him. "And you know its name, don't you?" She smiled. Tapped the coin with her finger.

"Yes." Tap. "You." Tap. "Do." Tap.

The drinks came. The man used his magic to chill his own. And then...

Another arrival at the table. A different woman. She who appeared to know this man. She who called him Voraak. Anima sat back in her seat and waited patiently, her expression cordial. And the tenor of this woman's introduction changed the more she spoke. That of a friend to that of a violent pursuer.

And she looked then to Anima. Suggested that she leave. An accusation of thievery of the man. And thereafter a threat. Other words spoken, but the threat remained.

And Anima laughed. A deep and delighted laugh, her head thrown back and a hand to her stomach. So taken was she by her fit of laughter that she hadn't the breath or opportunity to respond.

And she laughed even as the table was approached yet again and a firm question was asked. As armored men and women took up positions about the tavern.

Order would fall to chaos once more.

Let it come.

See then those involved reveal the truths in their hearts. The man Voraak. The tattooed woman. The stern, armored woman. What would become of them?

How shall they let themselves be known?

All things to be discovered.

Yes.
 

Voraak Tyrethian

The Pale Sorcerer
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As Voraak sipped on his ale, he noticed that this mysterious woman prompted his questions with further thought-provoking answers. A woman with riddles, yet a woman with hidden answers. Interesting.


“Guided by curiosity yes, she is a mistress of mine that I try to treat very very meticulously.”
The Pale Sorcerer observed this woman further as she played with the coins he gifted her prior.

“Hm….yes, much like a hunger that is insatiable. A seeking without end as you put it.”
Carrying something…..yes he carried many things with him. Many things.

“I carry many things, my fair lady. Resentment and dedication. A resentment for many things that may bore you to tears, but dedication as strong as a roaring wildfire.”

“If you think I carry something specific…..do tell.”



Before any other statement could be offered, another figure entered. Another woman, this one however had a slight skip in her step. Unpredictable. Which meant potential danger.

Walking his direction, he thought that she was a friend of the mysterious woman sitting at his table but alas….she was there for him. She even told him so.

“You know, I have met a handful of assassins and headhunters and none of them ever approached their target and told them their intention. Cute attempt. You must be really bold…..or you could be underestimating your opponent.”

The assassin wore black and she was of thin build and was adorned in various tattoos, which means this woman must have deep connections in the underworld. An interesting day indeed.

Uneasy feelings were emanating in the tavern but Voraak kept calm and detached as best as he could. The music that the bard was playing helped him calm down a bit. So many witnesses and so many avenues of approach to this debacle. But that’s not all.

The Paladin finally showed her hand and proceeded to their table with her hand on the pommel of her sword asking if there was trouble.

“Problem? No problem here. Just enjoying drinks with a few ladies as well as enjoying the music. No problem here…...Paladin”

He gave her a sly smirk. There wasn’t any trouble…..yet. However, the assassin was close enough to where she could slit his throat and god knows what else. Setting his iced-over tankard down, sloshing came from the cup and he proceeded to put away his maps and parchment. He knew something was going to happen.

In this split moment, he didn’t know who his allies were. The Paladin was there to enforce the peace--admirable. An assassin was there to collect on his body--dreadful. His intellectual new acquaintance was there offering a more-than-decent conversation--pleasing. Rolling his neck back and forth, the three at the table could hear his neck cracking as he gave a gruff sigh.
 

Elise Darkwater

Dread weaver
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Elise paused for a moment as her statements drew scornful remarks from her target and laughter from the grey eyed woman sitting next to her. Elise stared at the woman as she laughed, and she saw something.
The woman's eyes held a sort of excitement in them.
She knew what might happen.
She knew the worst and seemed simply thrilled by the chance it might occur.
Rather than being unnerved however Elise giggled along with her. Until she was interrupted by the paladin she had noticed before inserting her presence into the situation.

“Is there a problem here?”
She sized up the woman with a quick glance. Her fiery strawberry blonde hair..Her cold green eyes.. Elise paid no attention to those things at the moment. She looked seeking out facts and weak points. Human, Mortal, Broad Shouldered..Battle hardened...She flexed her claws examining each of these small facts separately with a bored yawn making the glance seem more nonchalant and less sinister in it's intentions.

“Problem? No problem here. Just enjoying drinks with a few ladies as well as enjoying the music. No problem here…...Paladin." Voraak was the first to respond with a sly, good naturedness that made Elise smirk.

This would normally be the part where Elise would pull out a few papers and hand them to the Paladin. Showing this was simply an above the board bounty for the College of Elbion.
She would then receive no hindrance with carrying out her gruesome duty and carrying his head back to her superiors.

However...
This wasnt one of those kinds of bounties...
There were no papers...
No names...
What he had stolen would look bad for the college to be in possession of let alone to be looking for after losing it.

Whether it was artifacts, or notes and research Elise had no idea. It didn't matter. What did matter was the fact they had Mrs. "The Law." butt in.
She held herself back as the urge to just kill everyone in the room crept in along with the bloodlust building in her gut.
She couldnt.

She would have to start with the Paladin giving Voraak plenty of time to escape. He was quite the elusive man when need be, and having him in front of her was a rare opportunity.
She simply needed to time her strike and make it count.
With that thought she swallowed it back down adopting a an easy going expression.
Her eyes dimmed but still held a slight edge to them.
Like a wolf that was deciding if it was hungry or not. Calm for the moment.

"Bit aggresive isn't she?" She said nodding to the paladin with a sigh cocking her eye brow at Anima grinning.
"Anyway. The only problem here is that this cheapskate won't buy us more drinks." She said with a playful pout folding her arms with a huff.

She turned her head to face away from Voraak allowing her eyes to finally meet the paladins. Her blood red eyes met the cold green for a brief few seconds.

For those few seconds chaotic fury, stared into calculated order. Each deadly in its own right. Each being the base of great kingdoms. Neither having a strong like of the other.
 

Faerlin

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The paladin wasn’t sure exactly what was going on here. But she knew that she disliked it more with each passing moment. First the bard was still playing, which Faerlin felt was entirely inappropriate under the circumstances (or any circumstances really). Second, the first woman laughed at the paladin’s approach, and it wasn't the most pleasant sound. Next, the man marked Faerlin as a paladin—not that it was a secret, and not that every paladin had magic, but it was one advantage squandered—and smirked at her. Typical. Finally, the tattooed woman basically ignored the paladin at first before responding with some inane comment about drinks. The paladin seriously doubted anyone had offered free drinks to anyone else here.

Faerlin tamped down the spike of annoyance she felt at the whole situation. Although her instincts were still screaming at her, it seemed that no one was going to get hurt immediately. Still, she was invested in this now. She was particularly interested in how the man swept his papers back into her bag, though she only saw it out of the corner of her eye since she was still watching the second woman. The tattoed woman who didn’t seem perturbed in the least by the paladin’s presence, if her words were anything to go by. “She is standing right here,” she shot back at gauntlet lady, her voice not losing its aggressive edge.

Narrowing her eyes at the group, Faerlin’s fingers drummed a beat on the pommel of her sword as she considered her next steps. She could always walk away. But something about this whole situation rubbed her the wrong way. So she decided to stick around for a bit. Baring her teeth at Tattoo before turning her attention back to the man, Faerlin gave him a wink, though hers was anything but flirty. If anything, it was intimidating. “Well then I trust there won’t be a problem if another lady joins you.” Not that Faerlin was a lady by any stretch of the imagination.

Without waiting for an answer she snagged an empty chair from a nearby table and slid it next to the man. Leaning her arms on the table, she braced a foot on one of its legs. Her pose might’ve looked casual but it was anything but. Still, the tension in the tavern dropped slightly; Faerlin’s fellow soldiers, while still watchful, lost their defensive postures and went back to their conversations. However, they were alert now and would respond swiftly and decisively to any threat. It felt good to know they had her back.

A barmaid timidly approached their table. Faerlin didn’t blame her: it was clear that this group of strangers didn’t exactly like each other and the potential for violence or a confrontation was quite high. “An ale for each of my new friends,” the paladin told her before anyone else could interject, pulling the appropriate coins (plus a hefty tip) out of her belt pouch. She shot a challenging look at Tattoo, a direct response to the woman's earlier comment about waiting on ales. Time to see what happened when the drinks arrived.

Then Faerlin turned back to the barmaid and added, “And if you could let the bard know he should play something a little more cheerful or else clear out, I’d appreciate it.” Although the paladin wasn’t a fan of music, in this particular case she figured it might cut the tension a bit. And maybe, just maybe, the bard would actually leave and she could get some peace and quiet.

Or at least as much peace and quiet as she could surrounded by people she didn’t know and didn’t particularly want to be with.

Examining the two women and the man, Faerlin tried to evaluate her options. It was hard to do that without more information though, which meant it was time for her to ask a few questions. “So. What brings you folks to Vel Anir?” Faerlin didn’t even pretend to be casual or polite. It was clear from their accents—and the lack of deference they showed the Guard—that none of them were from the city.

And Faerlin was very curious what business had brought them to her fortress.
 

Anima

A Shadow
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Her laughter died down. And she again placed her hands upon the table. Keen glances to those who spoke. Eyes to the man Voraak, to the tattooed woman, to the armored woman, each in turn. A certain unstable peace, a clinging of order. It was as if all of them were tasked with a shared holding of a thing most delicate. A caution from the three, and surely the reason differing for each. Yet all remained reluctant to be the first to shatter this peace, this fragile thing they all collectively held. Therein a reticence.

But underneath, a yearning, wasn't there? In each that said yearning, all veiled by this pretense of peace. Hints thereof. A slyness from the man Voraak, a joyous lunacy from the tattooed woman, a latent anger from the armored woman.

And Anima stared at her now, the armored woman. Stared as she procured a seat and sat down at the table and ordered yet more ale and directed a fierce glance at the tattooed woman and made a reference to the singing bard and then, yes then, asked a question that was less of a question and more of a hostile accusation.

Anima stared at her. The faintest taste of raw, bloody meat manifesting on her tongue. Sweet was the iron.

A rhythmic tapping of her hands on the table. Her left, followed by her right. Her left, followed by her right.

Dm, Dm...Dm, Dm...Dm, Dm...

An exhaling.

And Anima said to the armored woman, "What a lovely...lovely...thing to witness."

Dm, Dm...Dm, Dm...

"Those white stars shining against the night. Desperately do they burn. Certain is their fall."

Dm, Dm...Dm, Dm...

"And you know it to be true. Don't you?"

Dm, Dm.

Anima stopped tapping. Gestured her head toward the tattooed woman. Said, "There is a problem. This woman intends to kill you. You and all else who come between her and the capture of this man."

A smile. "And you've given up the initiative, haven't you?"
 

Voraak Tyrethian

The Pale Sorcerer
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What a day this was turning out to be. As far as an assassin goes, he expected a man--not a woman. This change was surprising and interesting which kept him invested in this….’party’ that was going on.

“I am no cheapskate….you were just late for the party I am afraid. No matter.”

A sorcerer, spy, assassin and paladin sharing a table? Now that would be an interesting story to tell someday...should he make it out alive. Which he will. He was determined to be tact and just.

“Aggressive? Aggressive women are the best. They know what they want and no bullshit would be involved.”

Shooting a wink to the leather-clad assassin he welcomed the Paladin to sit with them by holding his hand out to an empty spot at the table. He could ‘feel’ the magical aura that the company possessed. It was worrisome. Voraak was more than adept at Frost Magic by this point but he never likes to downplay an enemy when they present a notable threat.

Voraak clasped his hands together and thought of the very delicate situation he was in. The Paladin was a lawkeeper and would keep the peace, so if the assassin broke out there would be some allies involved. The woman with the crow seemed to take a liking to him--so he thought so perhaps the assassin would be outnumbered enough for him to break free. It did not matter. The Paladin bought them drinks so he would stay.

He gave the Anirian soldier a playful wink and gave her a smile.

“I don’t have a problem, not sure about these two. I am just sitting here, doing research and having an innocent drink”

Holding his tankard in the air to each of them he would mutter “to better opportunities”

“Voraak Tyrethian….pleasure to meet you my fair lady”
he said to the Paladin.

Gulping a few mouthfuls of his drink the Pale Sorcerer looked over at the bard and held his tankard in the air motioning him to a toast.

“Lovely pieces you are playing lad”

He knew that the bard was working on the Paladin’s nerves and in a way he was cheering to that.

The Paladin broke the literal ice by asking their business, as all lawkeepers do. Easy answer.

“I am taking a brief rest from a weary journey. Research, trial and error….boring stuff I am sure so I wish not to bore you with details.”

He was speaking the truth after all. What he had to do to get information on Lord Niergoth was…..questionable.

Tensions arose at the table. The assassin’s intentions were relayed to this Paladin. What happened next would be when he would act.
 

Khyros Amhran

Bard
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The Bard heard the request from the Lady Knight to play something more cheerful or clear out. Khyros had little to no intention of clearing out, not when the night was young and there was a story brewing right before him.

He never actually stopped playing, yet the music shifted once again. The tension in the room seemed to lessen as the rogues and scholar talked their way out of being thrashed by the guards, so Khyros let the threads of music become simply music again.

At the same time, he shifted his fingers up an octave, playing higher on his lute and increasing the tempo to something more cheerful. He shifted the words he was singing and raised his voice to be heard along side the light plucking of his strings.

"I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts," his fingers played a few notes from the low end of his lutes range before picking up the melody on the higher end. "There they are a-standing in the road," he played at the very lowest note on his lute thrice. "Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head..." and continued to play such for the time being. A nice, bouncy, cheerful tune.
 

Elise Darkwater

Dread weaver
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The paladin joined them baring her teeth at Elise as she sat.
"Keep those teeth in your head love. No use baring them at me." Elise said with a toothy grin that showed her fangs.
She rose her tankard with a half hearted sigh as Voraak raised his to each of them in turn.
Dark energy seeped from her gauntlets in thin, unnoticeable, strands. It branched out ensnaring the legs of the table and the legs of the others chairs.

3 wove between the guards legs like snakes as thin as spider silk. She seemed completely relaxed, though the effort of maintaing such thin intricate energy was weighing on her. A slight shake of her hand that could be chalked up to jitters.
Her silence was being covered up quite well as Vor was talking enough for everyone at the table. A thin trickle of tar black blood had began to leak from her nose when the grey eyed woman spoke.
It was mostly gibberish and Elise couldnt spare the focus to listen.
Then the woman gestured her head toward her and spoke.

"There is a problem. This woman intends to kill you. You and all else who come between her and the capture of this man."

She paused for a moment as a smile spread across her features.

"And you've given up the initiative, haven't you?"

"I would say she has..I really wish you hadn't let her know. It was supposed to be a...surprise."
She said with an eyeroll.
Before thrusting her hands forward making a fist with both hands causing alot of things to happen at once. The tendrils lacing between the guards legs grew razor sharp as they tightening incredibly fast around each of their ankles slicing through them like butter leaving them footless.

As the table and chairs were yanked from under each of the people sitting. Two chairs were slammed into Voraak.
Another table and chair slammed into the Paladin.
The strands thickened from spider silk to rope sucking back into her gauntlets as she stood.
She reached out her right hand as void energy shot from it with the goal of ensnaring Voraak.
 
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Faerlin

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Well, this situation just got more and more annoying. And strange: when Tattoo bared her own teeth, revealing fangs, Faerlin found she wasn’t even surprised. “Cute. You sharpen those yourself?” The paladin’s voice indicated how clearly unimpressed she was with gauntlet lady’s display.

Alright, enough was enough: Faerlin was done being called aggressive and talked about as if she wasn’t here. “What I want is to find out more about you folks.” Her voice cut like the knife on her hip. Thankfully the man started giving at least some explanation, which placated the paladin. For now, at least.

It also helped that the bard started playing a much funnier song. Even Faerlin, who didn’t get enjoyment out of this sort of entertainment, found this one slightly amusing. Of course, she was distracted from it by the situation at the table. In particular, the first woman—the one that Faerlin couldn’t really read—was drumming her fingers on the table in a confusing and annoying pattern that did not at all match the beat of the song.

The paladin did her best to ignore it. After all, she had information to gather, even if it felt like pulling teeth and herding cats at the same time. Maybe pulling cat’s teeth. She didn’t know, she wasn’t a scholar nor a detective, nor an interrogator, so she was simply doing her best to keep up. Seeing as Faerlin didn’t drink, she didn’t join the toast.

Still, she’d probably have to take the man at his word (though she’d continue to try to poke holes in his story). That just left the two women, who were both triggering the paladin’s instincts in very different ways. Turning to the two, Faerlin glanced between Tattoo and the other woman—who she decided to call Creepy, for the sake of her unblinking stare and lack of normal reactions to their conversation—trying to figure out who to talk to first.

Then Creepy started talking (incidentally proving her nickname quite apt) and Faerlin forgot all about asking more questions. The paladin’s eyes narrowed as the other woman spoke of witnessing, and stars falling, and giving up initiative. None of that made any sense. Faerlin didn’t know anything to be true or for sure except that she wouldn’t trust any of these people without some proof.

And it made even less sense when Creepy said Tattoo was here to capture Voraak.

The paladin stood up and placed a hand on the man’s shoulder. “You have any proof of that claim?” she challenged Creepy. It was an outlandish thing to say, even if it did happen to be true. Eyes darting towards Tattoo, the paladin gave the gauntlet lady Faerlin’s most intimidating glare. “And if you are here to take him, then you better have permission and you better not be planning to kill someone in the process.” Not on the paladin’s watch at least. And not on the watch of Faerlin’s fellow soldiers, who were suddenly fully alert again.

Placing her right hand on the pommel of her sword (she could draw it almost instantly), Faerlin stood firm before the other two women. “Listen. I don’t know what your deal is, either of you. But I think it’s best if you left me and Mr. Tyrethian here to sort it out.” It would be their one and only warning, and Faerlin was being gracious even with that. Far as she was concerned, someone had just reported a potential crime, which meant she was duty bound to do everything in her power to stop it.

Then a lot happened all at once, and it was only afterwards that Faerlin was able to string it all together.

Screams as people around them toppled to the ground; furniture flying through the air, causing the paladin to duck under a table and dodge out of the way of a chair; the scent of blood splattering the air, acrid and coppery and sharp; Tattoo made a fist and darkness slithered back into her gauntlets.

It all centered around Tattoo, the woman who was supposedly here to kill the man. Gauntlet lady, Tattoo, whatever her real name was, was clearly the biggest threat. While there might be more danger here, Faerlin knew she had to take out whatever that woman was—her magic was unlike anything the paladin had encountered before—swiftly. And it appeared she’d have to do it without much help. From her peripheral vision the paladin could see that something had taken out her unit, and she felt a spike of righteous anger and vengeance spark a flame deep within her.

Faerlin’s blood sang with anticipation. Killing this bitch was going to be quite satisfying.

Shoving Voraak behind her and hopefully out of the way of an incoming spell, the paladin broke into a sprint. Charging towards the gauntleted woman at full speed with a piercing battle cry that had startled many a larger and more seemingly imposing opponent, Faerlin unsheathed her sword in a practiced motion. At the same time she focused her full attention on Tattoo. That included her magic: it laced out of her in a sickly red bolt and Faerlin sank as much power as she dared into the curse. “Nykios take you,” she snarled as the bolt streaked ahead just in front of her. Even if Tattoo tried to dodge, it would home in on her unerringly. Only some sort of magical protection would save her from the weakening curse that Faerlin had just cast; Tattoo would find her stamina sapped to almost nothing, her limbs both sluggish and weak, and her magic drained, and her head in debilitating pain.

The curses of Nykios were nothing to laugh at.

Of course, Nykios and Vel Anir had taught Faerlin that relying on her magic—or on any one tool—left one weak and vulnerable. So even as she continued her casting her curse, she used the momentum from her charge to slash horizontally, intending to behead Tattoo. Probably the paladin should try capture her target alive, but Faerlin wasn’t going to take any chances here. Besides, that wasn’t her style. The paladin could see that the gauntlet lady was single mindedly focused on Voraak, sending some sort of dark energy towards him; apparently Creepy had been right. Well, in that case, Faerlin had to keep the man out of Tattoo’s clutches.

It would be her absolute pleasure.
 

Elise Darkwater

Dread weaver
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"Didn't sharpen them myself love. They come custom.." Elise said with a chuckle.
Admiring her handy work. She saw the bolt streaking at her.

"And what's th-" She almost was able to scoff as the bolt slammed into her chest.
She barely had enough time to old up her arm to block to horizontal swing for her head. She seemed to miscalculate however and in her tired state hadnt blocked correctly with the gauntlet.

The blade cut through her entire arm easily and sank half way through her neck as she let out a blood soaked gasp in surprise. She clutched at what was left of her neck and throat with her remaining hand stumbling before slumping on the paladin for a moment leaning on her.

"I guess... I underestimated...you...."

Was all she was able to gurgle out. Blood pooling on her lips splattered the paldins cheek and ear with each word she whispered before she began sank to her knees her cheek pressed against the paladins right thy as she rasped out her last breath and died leaning against her foe.

Her black blood pooling around her from the gaping wounds.

It was as thick as tar and her body seemed to hold quiet a bit of it. Her eyes no longer glowed and she was no longer breathing.
The ghost of a smirk played on her lips frozen there by death... She was gone...
 
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