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Edric

The Warrior
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Allir Reach - Outside of Peddlefoot
Rain crashed down from the sky in great droves, casting onto roof tops, fields of hay, and onto the dirt roads which surrounded the tiny fishing village. Despite the lamplight still looming from some of the houses, taverns, and the few ships moored besides the dock; Peddlefoot was quiet.

The storm had sent most home early, and as the hours passed sleep came easily to most of the residents. They had no idea that just a few minutes away, in one of the very fields that fed them, a fight had run it's course. Two Dreadlords had met there, and through brief flashes of brutality one had met his end. He lay now, within the muck and mud, the hay around him crushed down and singed from his own magics. His breathing was shallow, the blood washing away from his wounds almost as quickly as his heart pulsed.

Over him stood his better, though a year ago no one would have called him such. "There's-"

A violent cough wracked his throat, his hands clamped upon his bruised and broken throat. His voice nothing less than a haggard rasp, desperate to be heard over the sound of rain.

"There's going to be more." He said, another cough echoing out, blood spilling from his lips. His eyes, half-lidded, focused upon the figure looming over him. A hatred that had already been expressed in a thousand different ways burning through his gaze. "You're fucked. Th-they just sent me on ahead. After what you did, they'll never stop hunting you."

"I know." Edric said, his voice cold steel. The massive burn upon his chest slowly wriggling as the skin began to heal. His eyes no more harrowed than they had ever been. "And I'll kill them too."

The Rogue Dreadlord raised his boot, and then smashed it into the other man's face.

"Guess we'll have to find another way back onto the boat." Edric said to his unseen companion, her amulet still hanging around her neck. He didn't know if she would hear him, or if even she would care, but whoever else this man had brought was likely back in Peddlefoot. The ship they had taken here was docked there, taking on supplies for the rest of their journey.

He'd have to be careful getting back.
 
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This had been a rather curious turn of events, though Chasmine couldn't say she was surprised that Edric had been hunted down. Rather, if she was surprised about anything, it was that they knew where to find him. Someone on the ship must have recognized him for who he was. It couldn't have been anyone else. They'd only been in Alliria for a few days, far too short a time for anyone here to send word for Vel Anir's dogs to come for him. The journey was much, much too far.

Surely Edric had thought of this, too?

"Guess we'll have to find another way back onto the boat."

Wishful thinking.

"You should not go back there," Chasmine's voice echoed out to him, more faintly than ever, "someone on that ship may have given you away." And not like a blushing bride at her big day, no.
 
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Byron's lifestone went out in his palm.
Salak let out a sigh.
Byron was a good person at heart. Like him he took no pleasure from his tasks. From the evils he did to try and protect the fledgling Republic from enemies without and within.
"Powers take you Comrade. Find rest."
He did not believe in the Gods, only that otherworldly forces sometimes enacted upon the lives of mortals.
He turned away from the window and put the black pebble back in his pocket.
"We have run out of time."
The woman in the chair stirred, eyes wide, mouth slack.
"The Traitor Edric was seen leaving your ship. Where is he going?"
The Captain, mind addled from the pains of Salak's venomous touch, slurred a response.
"Don-know. Hurz!"
Salak leaned forward on his cane.
"I don't believe you. Where are you going?"
"Pleesh!"
"Where did Edric board your vessel?"
"Hurz!"
"If you do not respond I will not only leave you like this, I will kill you crew and see your ship sunk. Speak!"
"Didn, tell me! Pleesh, hurz!"
Salak was often accused of being too harsh. He didn't think so. He liked to believe what he did was measured and responsible.
The Captain was truly a pitiable sight. Drooling over herself, barely able to speak from the agony.
He had given her the venom of the red leafed Orchid. Which had the common term Skull-fire for the intense head pain that became debilitating in mere seconds.
Salak believed her at last.
One could not drink from a dry well. So he brushed his thumb over her forehead and took the poison away.
Relief caused the captain to slump.
Salak put his palm then on the back of her neck and gave her myst poppy extract. A sleeping poison that effected the mind. She would wake, sore and confused but with little ability to recall what had happened or who she was with.
This was his mercy.
This was what meant he did not have to silence her permanently.
With that he left and exited the small abandoned cottage, heading for the Captain's ship and there to await the return of Edric.

Edric
Chasmine
 
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Alistair casually sat outside the abandoned cottage while Salak did his work. Like many other Dreadlords, Alistair had been trained in the arts of torture, but Salak seemed to be the more qualified given his abilities. So, Al was taking a moment to just sit and admire the scenery.

The area had little magical energy so he could not see much without spending his own energy, which he was not inclined to do. Feint whiffs of Salak's green aura wafted from behind him, but it largely left Alistair there to listen to the world around him.

They were tracking Edric and it had been surprisingly easy with his sight. It was like following death, the neutral grey lifeless aura did not disperse easily. It had clung to the ship Captain.

He was finally interrupted from his thoughts when Salak opened the door. He merged in step beside him as they began their walk.

"Do you really think he will show back up? If he has already killed Byron then he knows we are on to him."

Alistair grew quiet once again as he began to think about this journey. They had tracked Edric for some time, and the man was suddenly heading east. Where was he going?

Salak Edric Chasmine
 
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"Shit." Edric said quietly, knowing that Chasmine was right.

More likely than not someone on the ship had sent word before they had even left Alliria. He knew there was a reward for him, a small fortune in fact. Not as high as those pinned on Gilram, Duncan, or some of the others, but he had killed quite a few notables now.

That earned him a bounty enough to turn heads.

"But..." He knew he was being a fool, going back to the ship would likely lead to another confrontation. "All my gold and stuff is still back there."

Edric said quietly, frowning. He could probably make his way across the spine without the gold, but his things? He needed clothing, his second set of boots. The magic that kept him alive could carry him far, but up in the mountains there was little life to sustain him.

That was a lesson he'd already learned once. "I'll be careful."

He said, quickly setting off back towards the ship at a sprint. The wheat around him slowly beginning to curl and die as he drew upon it. Knowing he was likely running directly into another fight.
 
"He doesn't have much choice Alistair. It's either return to the ship or face the wilds and the further from the coast he goes the less there is to sustain him."
Salak was aware of the parasitic nature of Edric's abilities but he did not fully understand them.
Still, Byron had faced him away from the populous and that spoke to something.
Peddlefoot was a nowhere, small and forgettable. A lesser person would have destroyed the town yet despite Edric clearly having the capability he opted to keep clear.
"If he returns we have him and if he takes his chances we can wear him down in the chase, take him while he's weak or better yet, come across his corpse and call it a day but one thing remains and we have Byron to thank for it."
Salak paused, his cane hitting the stone cobbles of the street as he went.
*Tack, tack, tack.*
"A direct confrontation is suicide."

Alistair Krixus
Edric
Chasmine
 
She could not argue against that. If they were to make it to the wylds, Edric would indeed need his things or he would be forced to steal more. Chasmine could not condone a life of thieving where it wasn't absolutely warranted. Not when he had everything he needed back on the ship.

But she was not very much use to him now. Peddlefoot sat woefully within yet another large gap of the leylines, its population spread out too thinly along the towns fields and countryside for any solid source of energy, and it was far too draining for her to manifest for any extended period of time.

"...perhaps if you can get close enough to the ship, I can fetch your things for you."

She could find a deckhand to possess on board and quickly retrieve his belongings to deliver. That would be easier and less straining than attempting to poltergeist them out and less of a risk on his part.
 
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Well, that wasn't exactly true. There were other options, but they may not be ones that Edric wanted to partake in, such as theft. It was strange, for Edric to be so wreathed in death and killing, the man had a strange moral compass.

"What do you suggest?"


Alistair's preferred method would have involved luring Edric into some type of area that had been prepared for battle, such as the maze where Alistair had last seen him.

"Once on the ship, I can take a lookout position. He won't be able to sneak up on me."


He would likely see Edric's aura before he ever saw Edric. Alistair had learned that a person's magical aura was largely connected to their magical talent and capabilities. If that was the case, then Edric should stick out like a candle flame.

Salak Edric Chasmine
 
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"I have a radical notion Alistair. If you don't like it I'll understand and won't force you to be part of it."
Salak liked Alistair, he was serious and did his job well.
So he did the great courtesy of letting him know in full advance what the idea was as the approached the dock to lay in wait for possibly one of the most outright dangerous fugitives either had ever faced.
"I'm going to talk to him. Try to get him to come back with us willingly.

Alistair Krixus
Edric
Chasmine
 
Edric tilted his head in a nod, though realized a few seconds after that Chasmine wasn't able to see the gesture. "Okay."

He said, leaving the feels on the outside of Peddlefoot and quickly slipping into the town itself.

There, his magics did not stop their slow draw. He plucked at the life-strings of the villages inhabitants, taking just a sliver of their vitality. The wounds he had sustained within his fight began to knit shut, his aching muscles felt a reprieve. In the morning those he took from would feel tired, lethargic, but none would endure any true suffering.

At least as long as he didn't take any more.

Crossing the little town did not take him long, fifteen minutes at the most until he approached the docks. There three vessels sat moored, each one no larger than a brigantine. In the middle sat the Furtive Pony the ship they had taken to come here.

"Okay." Edric said as he came to a stop behind one of the large warehouses on the dock. "Is this close enough?"

He asked Chasming, crouching behind a large barrel.
 
The docks, mercifully, had a more compact population of workers and for as small and innocuous of a town, Peddlefoot's halflings were a merry bunch. Chasmine could hear cheerful voices echoing beyond that of Ed, and somewhere on one of the boats someone was singing a work tune. What a terribly lovely place to have a face-off between Dreadlords.

"Mm..." Chasmine's presence pooled out of the amulet to settle beside him, manifesting as a faint, stooping haze to allow her to better view their surroundings. They weren't far from the docks, "Yes."

She looked to Edric then, "I will find you. Run, if you must."

A ghostly hand touched upon his shoulder for a moment as she faded from sight again and moved off toward the boats.
 
Alistair was silent for a long time as he contemplated the idea. It certainly was a radical idea. Talking, it had not served Alistair well in the past when dealing with Edric. Frankly, if Salak was able to talk Edric down when he could not then he was going to feel slightly insulted.

"That...is an idea. Let's call it plan A. I'll provide support." Plan B was going to be Alistair locked Edric in a lead box until he could not pull from anyone...So maybe Plan A was the better start.

If he was honest, Alistair did not like the idea. It completely gave away any element of surprise. Then again, he had just voiced his belief that they did not have any of that, so what did that matter?

He ignored his remaining hesitation as they turned the corner and quickly arrived at the docks and made their way towards the ship in question.

Salak
 
Salak smiled to himself.
Alistair had a good sense of timing and was reliable.
The stopped by the boat and waited not particularly inconspicuously.
"We'll give him till eventide. I imagine the captain will be up and about by then. She won't remember us but she'll be in a poor mood."
His eyes scanned the alleys and side streets.
"She'll either leave then or stay. Staying would be for a good reason, which means Edric will be coming back. If she leaves it will be without him and we start tracking."
His tone became conversational.
"How are you at cross country Alistair?"

Alistair Krixus
Chasmine
Edric
 
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Edirc perched himself in place, keeping his eyes fueled with a trickle of his stolen vitality so that he could see better through the dark.

He could not see Chasmine, not when she had floated beyond the veil, but he could count the seconds while she was gone. It was an arduous, and outright boring task, but it kept his attention on the forefront of what was going on.

Every now and again he would look behind himself. His muscles tensing only when he heard the soft palor of conversation ring out behind him.

"How are you at cross country Alistair?"

Shit
. Edric swore in his head, almost immediately shifting and rounding the barrels besides him.
 
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Fortunately she'd been able to spend some time on their ship manifested along the upper decks at night while most of the crew slept. This allowed her to recognize it in small moments of incorporeal presence, ephemeral like the sea breeze that flitted through the docks. She found a deckhand onboarding supply crates and shifted into his body just as he'd set a fresh crate down below deck, sending a deep shiver up his spine and through his extremities that made him shudder with a surprised yelp.

"What's on ye?" one of his crewmates eyed him quizzically.

"Just got a right chill up me arse," he responded, "must be a storm comin'."

As he turned to make his way toward the stairs that lead back to the top deck, Chasmine settled into full control. His eyes fluttered erratically and his step staggered at the base of the steps.

"That chilled arse of yers best get out the way," said his crewmate who shuffled roughly past him.

"I just... ehh," Chasmine's words in the voice of the man, she gripped a railing above his head to steady his body against the slow dip and yaw of the boat in the waves of the rising tides, "need a moment."

She waited for the man to clear the deck entry before turning and heading off to the crew quarters where Ed's stuff remained in the rafter nets above his hammock.
 
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As they neared the ship, Alistair wasted no time in making his way to board the vessel and give everything a once over. Maybe he could add a rune or two before Edric got here.

"Cross country? It's not a preferred hobby, but we were run ragged at the Academy for a reason. It won't be the first time I've tracked someone down."

Although, he did prefer tracking someone in the city. Which was why it continued to confuse Alistair about Edric's path of travel. What was Gilram looking for out east?

"I would prefer if Edric did not draw this out."


Finally making it to the vessel, he bounded onto the boat, not caring for any complaints that he may face from the sailors.

Salak Edric Chasmine
 
"As would I but we are at his mercy on that account."
Salak said more to himself than Alistair as he ascended the gang plank.
"Ah, quartermaster!"
He intercepted the man attempting to follow Alistair on board.
"No need to be alarmed. My companion is merely wondering as to the worthiness of your vessel. We are planning a journey to the Anirian Republic and would be happy to hire your ship to take us there. Should you and your Captain be agreeable of course."
Salak made sure to keep his fat purse visible as he talked.
He needed only buy Alistair time.

Alistair Krixus
Edric
Chasmine
 
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So Alistair was here, but he had no idea who the other Dreadlord was. Edric wasn't entirely sure if that was a good or bad thing.

Whatever was going to happen here, he knew there was likely going to be a fight. He didn't want to have to kill Alistair, and he was fairly certain...he wouldn't have to, but someone else? Well, there was never any telling how they would react.

A frown touched his lips, and he glanced down at the amulet around his neck.

Briefly, he cursed himself for not asking Chasmine more about how any of this worked. His hand reaching up to gently wrap around the amulet. Fingers folding into place as he thought really hard. All of Edric's focus pouring into the amulet. Chasmine. Alistair is here, with another Dreadlordi

He sent determinedly into necklace, having absolutely no idea if that would even work. Then, he quickly pulled himself up and ontop of the barrels. Using the added height to then clamber onto the warehouses roof top. Once there he moved towards the edge, getting closer to the docks and catching sight of Salak and the Sailor he had half-caught in conversation.

"Eh? 'Fraid that's not gonna happen, Ser. We're headed to Tyr! Doubt my Captain would turn 'round now." The man said with a chuckle.
 
Nope, the amulet did not work like that. Without Chasmine, it was just an amulet.

Back on the boat, not-Chasmine had plied Edric's belongings free from the netting and stashed it away in another crewmember's pack, exchanging Ed's old and worn bag in its place. If they were to head out on foot, he would need quality gear. Theft wasn't something Chas felt proud of, but at the very least she'd left a replacement - even if a poor one it was. She turned for the stairs leading up to the top deck and paused as another man was making his way down.

"Rick, where ya headin?"
"I'm off here," Chasmine responded in Rick's voice, "that's it for me. Didn't the Captain tell you?"
"No I... guess it slipped her mind."
"Hm, or she doesn't care. See ya round then."

Oh bother, she was about to really muck up this man's life, wasn't she? Chas pressed him on past his crewfellow and up the stairs, wincing as he strode out into the daylight of the main deck. When his eyes finally adjusted, they fell upon the sight of a rather familiar face and Chasmine, in all her friendly-natured self, nearly said Alistair's name in greeting.

"Al-l right there, Ser? You look a little lost. Are you on the right boat? Didn't think we were taking on any passengers."
 
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This was annoying. He could tell Edric had been here, but it was that very fact that was making this difficult. Edric's aura coated this entire ship, it hung in the air like some sort of disgusting musk. No one else could see it though.

He turned for a moment at what thought could have been his name but instead was just a sailor greeting him. His grey, glassy eyes turned onto the sailor but without ever focusing on him. For a moment, he looked confused at this sailor speaking with him, but a casual smile quickly spread on his face.

"Maybe a little, I was actually looking for someone. Maybe you can help, he is about 6'2 with brown hair and blue eyes. He is traveling alone."

As he spoke his eyes turned to scan back towards the direction that they had come from, like he could feel something was there. Maybe that was just his anxiety.

Edric Salak Chasmine
 
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"Come now, surely an arrangement can be made, we are but two fellows, no bags."
Salak inclined his head smiling sweetly. It felt oddly good to run distraction. Nobody at the Academy seemed to put together why he wore a blue robe with yellow markings but sometimes it helped to be noticed.
"And Try, why if we would have far better chance of getting back to the Republic from that port than this one. Please, permit me a word with your Captain. If I cannot convince them then, well we shall have to wait."
*Hurry Alistair this man shall not be patient with me forever.*

Alistair Krixus
Chasmine
Edric
 
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"Eh, I don't think so Ser. I'm sorry, Don't mean to be rude, but you'd be a fool to talk to my Captain about this. Man's likely to have you beat'."

Edric overheard the limits of this conversation, and he recognized the sailor having it. His name was Pedreig, good man really. Somewhat simple but he did mean the best. The fact that he was trying to wave the Dreadlord off was a mark on him.

"Think you best be off. Tyr's on the otherside of de world than Vel Anir!"

Pedreig said, shaking her head and motioning Salak to be off.

The Rogue Dreadlord cringed on the roof top, his bright blue eyes flickering over the ship as he searched for any sign of Chasmmine.

He wanted to be out of here as soon as he possible could. Lingering would only endanger everyone, including himself. Come one, Chas.

Edric encouraged quietly.
 
"I've not been on this ship long," the man replied to Alistair, lifting a hand to itch at the stubble on his chin, "but that does sound like one of the young fellows that hopped on back in port'Alir."

He shifted and pointed back to the doorway he'd just come out from that lead below deck, "Last I saw him, he was in the crew quarters getting some brek."

Was it just her, or did Alistair look different? Had he gotten a haircut?

"I'm afraid I can't be much more help to you, I've got my hands full with my own work. Oh and, don't let the Captain catch you snoopin' about. He won't like that." The man tipped a floppy, sunbleached hat to Alistair and headed off.
 
As soon as Chasmine turned her back to him the smile dropped from his face, and his right hand drifted towards the knife at this belt.

"Mind if I have a look in that bag? Pretty sure that doesn't belong to you."

He had really hoped to avoid all of this, but Edric's aura was thick on whatever that man had been carrying. And while he did not know how Edric had convinced the man to help him, he had no plans on letting this man leave so easily.

Alistair spotted Salak still interacting with another soldier, but it looked like things might get a little annoying.

"Let's make this easy on all of us."

Chasmine
Salak
Edric
 
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Salak smiled at that.
"Will *he* now?"
It seemed they had been discovered.
Possibly Edric tipped them off somehow but it was no matter. The ruse was useless now. It was time to ensure Edric had no means of escape.
Salak gripped the quartermaster by the hand and gave him a taste of night viper venom. Lethal if unchecked but a potent sleeping agent even in small doses.
"You should have taken the money friend."
Watching as the man before him gurgled himself to unconsciousness gave him no pleasure.
The job was the job. More lives than his were at stake. He sat the man down and it looked at once like he had simply fallen asleep.

Alistair Krixus
Chasmine
Edric.