Open Chronicles Killing Time

Faerlin

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Faerlin had been gently, but firmly told by her superiors that she needed to take some time off.

It had been the result of a long string of incidents that led to this moment, so the paladin couldn't put her finger on exactly had been the straw that forced her captain’s hand. It might have to do with the fact that she’d been signing up for every extra shift and training session she could. Or it might have to do with her brutal treatment of her opponents in recent fights (the only way to treat opponents, in her mind). In short, the army was worried about her burning out or snapping and were making her rest for a bit before coming back to active duty.

While she had protested, there wasn’t much she could do to disobey a direct order like that. So now she had to find something to fill her time with. So far, she wasn’t coming up with much.

She’d spent the morning in the temple of Nykios, praying, centering herself, and reaffirming her relationship to her god. However, there was only so much time she could spend there. She loved Nykios, but even she knew that there was only so much time he would demand from her on any given day. Besides, he’d probably be much happier with her if she was out fighting.

She knew she would be.

After leaving the Temple, she’d just wandered the streets she had basically grown up on. The familiarity was comforting at first—the sound of merchants hawking their wares, of blacksmiths and builders practicing their craft, of boots marching in the streets and chatter filling the air—but she quickly grew bored. After all, she knew the fortress city like the back of her hand. Just walking around aimlessly wasn’t doing much for her. In fact, she longed for something new. Plus, it was probably what the army actually wanted from her.

So she made her way outside the city, in the direction the Falwood. She’d never spent a significant amount of time near the forests there, but it was close enough to Vel Anir that it was impossible to miss. Seeing as she wasn’t patrolling, she didn’t have her full armor on. However, she had her sword at her hip. In the pack she had some rations and a waterskin, as well as a flint as steel. This was just supposed to be a day trip and maybe a short hike, so she didn’t really need much.

Seeing as she was still close to the city—indeed, she could still see the walls in the distance—there probably wasn’t much danger. But she prayed to Nykios that something more exciting might happen. If she absolutely had to take time off, she was going to make the most of it.
 
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Lectrix

The Ghost of Reckoning
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So, thought you could hide from your fate, huh?

Lectrix's voice echoed though the small dreary room. The man inside was shaking, a sword barely grasped in his hand. He looked like commoner, but looks could be be deceiving. And this man was no commoner. He was a corrupt coward of a paladin,named Ryocu, one who sold his compatriots to slavery for some silver in his pocket. One who was famous among the army for his "heroic" efforts as the sole survivor of the Battle of Cyschaka, where he gave all he had to "protect" his comrades. He was scum.

Lectrix would make sure that never happened again.


Do you ever think about them? The ones you sold to those god damned orcs for what? A few bits of silver. You. Are. Scum.

His shadow in the room grew, approaching the petrified man. The man looked around, carefully weighing his options. His eyes fell to a halt at a dirty window.

Answer me!

"Piss off, creep!" Ryocu yelled, as he threw his sword to the shadow and raced to the window. Lectrix gave chase, but he couldn't stop the man from jumping arm first into the window, breaking it and sending him into pavement of the empty street. He rolled to his feet, and ran toward the public road toward the city. Lectrix cursed under his breath, and vaulted out of the window after him. He followed the man at full speed, slowly catching up to his target.

The man cut to the main road, and raced in the direction of a suspicious looking female, but Lectrix didn't pay much attention. He had fire in his eyes, waiting to kill the man that caused so much hurt to his allies. The only focus breaking noise that caught him was the loud "Help!" that came from the mans mouth.
 

Faerlin

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Faerlin hadn’t made it very far in her trek when a voice called for help behind her. She whirled around, hand instinctively springing for her sword, eyes seeking out the disturbance. It wasn’t hard to find: a terrified looking man was pelting towards her at full speed, being pursued by what appeared from this distance to be a shadow.

Oh good. A chase. This day was definitely looking up.

The pursuer and his prey were headed right towards her, and she drew her sword in eager anticipation. Although she wasn’t supposed to be working—though seeing as she enjoyed her work, it rankled to be given orders to take time off—she was still supposed to take care of any crimes in progress should she stumble upon them. These gentlemen were courteous enough to stumble upon her, so she’d repay them by doing her very best.

And her very best was very good indeed.

Planting herself in the path of both running men, she raised her sword in one hand; in the other, she pooled divine energy, pulled straight from Nykios. Though she didn’t do anything with it quite yet, and therefore there was no sign unless one had a magical sense, she was filled to the brim with divine might. After a morning of prayer, she could lay down some pretty nasty curses. While she wouldn’t do that without cause (after all, she wouldn’t need her magic to take down some common thugs), she almost wished it would come to that.

This might be the release she needed after all. Not some forced vacation, not praying to find her balance, but a good old fashioned apprehension of a criminal, of the kind she hadn’t participated in for some time. She sent up a prayer of thanks to Nykios as she prepared to receive the two men.

For they were both men, she could see as they came closer. Faerlin raised her voice to its loudest and most authoritative pitch. “Halt!” Her command rang out, clear and strong. She’d been trained to be heard over battle, so the normal bustle was easy. “In the name of the Anirian Guard, both of you halt!” Once she got them both to stop, she would sort out who the perpetrator was and who was the wronged party.

Of course, if they resisted arrest, well, she couldn’t be entirely held responsible for what happened.
 
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Lectrix

The Ghost of Reckoning
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"My savior!"

Ryocu yelled out, his legs shaking to give away. He reached into his pocket and pulled out some sort of crest, and with it he raised his hand into the air, waving it in the air.

"I'm Captain Ryocu Mythros, this man is an assassin!" he said, his voice cracking and his breath heavy.

When he got to the woman, he quickly got around her sword and pointed toward Lectrix. "Detain that man and I'll go get back up. I'll be back." he said assertively, yet with just a hint of detectable worry. And with that sentence, he ran off from the altercation, approaching a stable where his horse was residing.

Seeing this, Lectrix knew his chase was over, he slowed to a halt. He took a heavy breath, but he stood straight, hood over his head and hands at his side. He had been used to standing this way, standing in defiance against an authority figure. It confused them, which allowed Lectrix to either get away with a well timed smoke pouch, or to attack with the crossbow or hidden blade in his bracer.

The woman would surely recognize the crest of the paladins in the mans hand and defend the crooked man, but even so, he could still deal some damage.

He flicked his wrist and raised his arm, aiming the crossbow on his bracer at the head of the man. If he couldn't be detained, then Lectrix would send him to be judged and punished in the afterlife.

He directed his middle finger to the button on his bracer, releasing the bolt past the woman, and hopefully through the man's skull.
 

Faerlin

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Faerlin snarled when Captain Mythros—or whatever his name was—flashed his crest at her. It looked like the kind that many paladins carried. She didn’t, but that’s just because she didn’t need a tangible symbol of her faith, given how strong it was. Regardless, Faerlin didn’t care who he was, nor was she willing to take him at his word. After all, she’d told them both to halt, and neither of them seemed inclined to do so.

What was it about men, that they so often chose to ignore a woman’s words? Well, no matter. She’d be happy to teach them the error of their ways.

As Ryocu darted around her sword towards the stables, she glanced backwards at him for just a moment. “I said stop, idiot. You’re a captain, so you should know an order when you hear one.” Still, he didn’t seem to listen to her, so she snarled, “Nykios take you,” and thrust her free hand out towards him. A crimson bolt sped from her hands; it was a weakening curse, intended to slow him down, making him lethargic, draining his endurance, sapping his strength. He wasn’t getting far with that. And the best part was that it was non-lethal, which meant that she wouldn’t get in trouble for being too aggressive again.

Now, she had the pursuer to deal with. She wasn’t too worried about it. Despite his confident stance Faerlin had been taking down petty thieves (and more powerful foes) for a long, long time. She was pretty good at it.

However, as he raised his hand and pointed it at the fleeing captain—Faerlin didn’t know whether it was magic or some weapon, nor did she particularly care—she narrowed her eyes. “Captain duck!” If the prey chose not to heed her warning, that was his problem.

Hers was the man she was forced to conclude was an assassin: as a crossbow bolt sped past her towards the captain, she charged ahead, planning to tackle the assassin to the ground. As she ran, she began gathering more divine wrath to her. At the same time, she couldn’t help but feel a spark of anger. Vel Anir was starting to have an assassin problem, and she very much didn’t like it.

Strength of arms and might was one thing, one she very much approved. But she only approved of it in fair fights; skulking around in the shadows, taking out targets when they were vulnerable and unprepared was for cowards. And Faerlin despised them.
 
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Lectrix

The Ghost of Reckoning
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This wasn't Lectrix's first encounter with the divine paladins, and it was going to make sure it wasn't his last.

And although the bolt had missed the man who had followed direction, it wasn't his biggest problem. He caught the charge of the woman in the edge of his eye. He seemed to stand still, yet he movement of his thumb summoned a small explosive from his bracer. He stood still waiting for the opportune time to spring into action.

Once the woman was a few steps away, he got a bad feeling in his stomach, one that he recognized well.

Magic. The ultimate settler in a battle. He always hated the idea of a few spells ruin the tides of a battle, and with that in mind, he relied solely on his bracer, which had been enchanted long ago to make Lectrix immune to the effects of any spell, but he was still at the immediate damage a spell could inflict.

She was a few feet from grabbing him, only a few seconds from certain injury, but he remained still, calm, almost lifeless. He closed his eyes, focused on the gust of air the charge produced. The slight warmth that was produced by the build up of magic. The smoothness of the ball of chemicals in his hand that upon impact created a cloud of smoke.

She got closer. Time slowed down around him, his reflexes at their peak. He opened his eyes, and in the blink of an eye, he placed his right arm on the shoulder of the charging lady, and used her momentum to send him jumping upwards, springing over her and pushing her slight to keep her off balance, all the while dropping the small ball of chemical on the ground.

The smoke detonated, and Lectrix landed on his feet, behind his charging foe.
 

Faerlin

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Faerlin’s charged closed the gap between the pursuer and her rapidly. Surprisingly, he was standing his ground; most people, when confronted with a charging paladin, even without armor, would scatter. Or at least do something other than stand there cooly.

Then everything got confusing.

The man reached out and put his hand on her shoulder. Her eyes widened as he vaulted over her: that took a feat of strength and dexterity few could accomplish. His weight pushed her forward, made her stumble a bit, though she was too graceful to lose her footing completely. She was already turning when smoke exploded into a cloud around her. Faerlin gritted her teeth. She was getting really tired of assassin’s tricks.

Still, if the assassin (or whatever he was) had been hoping to disorient her, he’d be sorely disappointed. Not only did Faerlin have an excellent sense of her body in relation to her surroundings—the product of years of training—she also had grown up on these streets and knew them intimately. No one was going to elude her, not for long.

Completing her turn, the paladin, darted out of the smoke cloud. She was annoyed to see that she’d misjudged slightly, and had come out at the wrong angle. However, the distance between her and her target wasn’t that large, and she instantly adjusted, arms and legs pumping.

She felt pure joy bubbling up from within. Despite the danger to the captain, the paladin was enjoying herself. It had been too long since she’d run someone down in the streets of Vel Anir, and it was a welcome change of pace, even if it probably wasn’t what her superiors had in mind. With that thought, however, Faerlin knew she had to do something before she lost too much more breath. Although she could run and march for hours in full armor—so this light jaunt was easy for her—she needed her breath.

“Anirian Guard, citizens of Vel Anir, this is Paladin Dercaiya requesting assistance. Apprehend those men!” The crowd around her, which had mostly been dodging out of the way so far, looked at the captain and the assassin, then at Faerlin.

Then some of them began to move towards the fleeing men. Faerlin felt a savage grin forming; let’s see how the assassin liked the fury of Vel Anir. Once roused, it wouldn’t be satisfied until its hunger had been sated, task completed. Nykios she loved her city.
 

Lectrix

The Ghost of Reckoning
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Well this one was... unexpected, to say the least.

In Lectrix's experience, the people around that fight would want to get out of the area as soon as possible, none of them brave enough to try to intervene, especially after a move like he had just performed. But these people, they heeded the call of the paladin, who he now knew as Dercaiya. Sounded familiar, from something. Maybe something from his army stint. He couldn't put his mind to it.

Regardless, he was being surrounded quickly, and the paladin at not given up her charge. The problem was, these people were innocents. The last thing he wanted was to hurt any bystanders.

He stood up straight, arms at his side, his eyes darting from side to side. He had a crowd slowly charging at him, his target moving slower to his steed, and the paladin charging again. No way the same move would work twice, and he didn't have enough smoke bombs for crowd control. He stared into the fiery eyes of the woman, her movements telling him that she was out for blood. Out for action.

Maybe, maybe that could work to his favor.

Give up, anger the woman, leave her sloppy, vulnerable, then make your escape. No, no, she's a paladin, she wouldn't be so quick to make a mistake from anger. Wait... where's her squad? Her paladin comrades? she's alone in the prime of the army's season? Why is that? Maybe, maybe something is wrong with her. Maybe I could exploit that. But first...

He reached for his blade, a long, slender, lightweight majestic silver blade. It took the lives of many wrongdoers, but this time, it's would be much more important.

He only had a few seconds left. He had to act quickly.

He slammed the blade into the ground, leaving the hilt sticking out. He pressed a button on his bracer to activate the reload pattern, which gave him a few seconds to execute his plan. He place a foot on top of the sword, and sprung himself into the air once again. This time, he trained his crossbow to the head of the captain, who slower speed made it impossible for him to miss.

He heard the click of the new bolt in the bracer, and fired.
 

Faerlin

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Faerlin felt a fierce swelling of pride in her people and her city. They heard her call, and responded to it in the way she knew they would; since there was mandatory military service for every man, and many women joined as well (though fewer than the paladin would’ve liked) the citizens of Vel Anir were no strangers to conflict.

Unfortunately, the assassin didn’t seem deterred in the slightest: he kept chasing down the captain, though he seemed to change tactics this time around. Instead of continuing to run, the assassin slammed his sword into the ground and vaulted off of it.

As the airborne man raised his arm, the paladin’s eyes widened, though she kept her cool. “Captain, dodge!” she called out, hoping he’d heed her warning and get out of the way.

However, she wouldn’t trust in that. Even as she kept running, she swiped her belt knife with her left hand and raised it above her shoulder. Though it wasn’t weighted properly—and though she was running and trying to hit a moving target—Faerlin didn’t really need to severely wound or kill the assassin. She was simply trying to throw off his own aim.

Besides, she had a secret weapon.

Imbuing the dagger with a draining curse (similar to the one she’d thrown on the captain), the paladin drew her hand back and threw. The dagger, now glowing a sullen and ugly crimson sped through the air toward the assassin. It was a little off center, but true enough. Even if the dagger itself missed, the curse would continue on to its intended target.

This happened over the course of a few seconds: all the while, Faerlin kept up her run. She quickly closed the distance between herself and the assassin—it was impossible to gain momentum in the air, and he’d been foolish enough to jump high—and, depending on where the assassin came down, the paladin would be waiting to take care of him. One way or another, she would win this engagement.

She wasn’t going to lose to another assassin, not after the horror of last time.
 
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Lectrix

The Ghost of Reckoning
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The thing about magic is that it was always a crutch in Lectrix's eyes. It was all the same. It was a way to get an easy win out of a fight, a cheat, if you would. That's why he never taught his sister to fight. Her magic could be used for other things, but fighting was not one of them. He always considered fighting an art, one that conducted with the right amount of grace and elegance combined with strength and speed was the decider in battle, which made magic, a force of destruction and other worldly, so horribly malicious.

Magic was the decider of battles. That's why he swore to himself he'd make himself immune to its affects. He got his bracer imbued with a spell that made the effect of magic dissipate, if not destroy it. Curses, curses were something else. The magic that can surpass anything he ever found. The bracer on his arm could only do so much. It would lower it's effects, but it still put him at a disadvantage.

That's why when the glowing dagger flew by, Lectrix felt it's effects, just as much as he felt the slight churn of his bracer struggling to deflect its power. Whatever Dercaiya laced it with, it was potent, and made him sloppy. He felt his arm move to and fro, but maybe, he could make it work to his advantage. He focused, making sure he would miss his target, but not completely. If he wasn't going to get a bolt between his eyes, anywhere else would still incapacitate him.

When he fired, the spell was its most fierce. Lectrix felt dreary, and hated the feeling of it. But, in the end, it didn't matter, because he was just conscious enough to hear the captain shout in pain and looked up to see the bolt in his lower thigh, one that could potentially lead to a gruesome death via bleeding out.

That'll do.

His landing was off center, causing him to roll sloppily once he reached the ground. He quickly got up however, and faced the paladin, who was now only a few feet away from him. He could see fire in her eyes. The need for a chase, for a fight. He felt it when he was in the army, felt it longer when he became a criminal, but never felt it again.

So he dropped to his knees, unsheathed his dagger and threw it on the ground, and put his hands behind his head.
 

Faerlin

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Her curse connected, even if her knife didn’t. Unfortunately, the assassin's bolt also hit its mark: Faerlin cursed as she saw the captain drop. She couldn’t see the extent of the injury from here, but in her experience assassins didn’t play fair. No doubt the crossbow bolt was coated with some poison or something, and that meant she had to act quickly.

She put on an extra burst of speed, but to her shock she saw the assassin get down on the ground and put his hands behind his head. Not wanting to waste the time—or her good fortune—she kicked the dagger out of the way. “I don’t know what you were hoping to accomplish here, but you failed.” Then, she sheathed her sword and knelt down, planting her knee on the assassin’s lower back, assuming he would let her.

She was planning to pat the assassin down for weapons (starting with that wrist crossbow), but first she had an injured man to deal with. There were alarm bells ringing, so help was on the way, but she couldn’t afford to wait. Unfortunately, she had no medical training herself.

Fortunately, she wasn’t alone.

“Someone go fetch the healers. If anyone has experience with medicine or healing, please check out the captain. You’ll be well compensated. The rest of you, stay back.” She jerked her head at the fallen man.

A woman stepped forward, already pulling objects from her belt pouch. “I’m an apothecary and former army medic. I’ll keep him alive until the healers get here.” With that she went over to the injured captain.

Faerlin nodded in acknowledgement. “Thanks,” she grunted out, before returning her attention to the assassin. Now it was time to find out what, exactly, was going on here, besides the obvious.