Fable - Ask Odds and Ends

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first
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The man known as the One-Eyed Devil of the Sea was really named Emil Hazelhurst. Hardly a terrifying name, it was no wonder that he preferred for everyone to call him One-Eyed Devil although in a few seedy brothels, he would let slip his first name. Tracking Emil hadn’t been too difficult because he was a wanted man. Vel Anir wanted him for the destruction of dock and a stolen ship from Vel Luin, Alliria wanted him for destruction of a couple of merchant ships, Oban wanted him for stealing priceless jewels from nobility, and it seemed plenty of others were intent on hunting this man down.

Didn’t help that there was a bounty on him from a private sector. But things seemed to have worked out in Proctor Ebersol and Initiate Varian’s favor. A band of mercenaries had given the two of them information one where Emil was planning on heading next. His boats needed lots of slaves to keep up with all the rowing, and every spring he would return to Cerak At-Thul to gather more. It seemed winter often decreased his numbers tremendously each and every year.

Regardless of Emil always returning to Cerak At-Thul, he was secretive. He only ever went to one slaver and that man was like a ghost. He had less of a trial than Emil did. That was when the mercenary group decided that the two of them should team up with them. Of course, Everleigh and Varian would be getting the worst job of the plan: the two of them were brought to Cerak At-Thul as slaves. Both were instructed that under no circumstances should they use magic or even show that they had any arcane might. The mercenaries had sold them to the slaver, the story a simple one that they had been from a merchant caravan.

They would wait in the cells with the other slaves. It was expected that Varian would get chosen by Emil, and when he was out of the cell then they could move. Inside the underground dungeon they would have to move fast: capturing Emil but also letting the mercenaries on the outside inside so they could rescue their group members and maybe collect some other bounties. It was going to be a mess when it all happened but…

It’s kinda boring right now, isn’t it?” Everleigh said to Varian, glancing over at him. Her violet hair and eyes usually made her stand out, but in this dungeon surrounded by goblins and orcs and tieflings, she felt she looked too normal. “It’s almost been a week. I wonder how much longer we’ll have to keep waiting.” And she couldn’t help but wonder if the mercenaries were still outside waiting.

Varian Armata
 
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Varian Armata

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"I don't feel that way at all, ma'am. Time passes by when you keep busy." Everleigh would notice Varian keeping busy with the same routine since arriving at the holding cells. The initiate did not share the same sense of boredom that his superior felt, a tranquil aura about him despite his current position. Varian addressed Everleigh much the same, with the respect that a subordinate would give his officer.

"Four ninety-eight, four ninety-nine..." Varian was on his palms, standing upside down as he completed his daily push-ups. Despite the difficulty of his position and the amount he did, it seemed like little more than a warmup as the initiate leaped from his hands and onto his feet, wiping a sliver of sweat off his brow. "Five hundred."

"The food here isn't up to snuff with what they serve in the academy. It's hard to keep your energy, but it's just enough for me to stay battle ready.
"
Varian didn't seem to mind their current accommodations, tugging at the threadbare outfit of his disguise.

With his warmup completed, Varian took a stance away from Everleigh, facing his side's wall and performing a variety of strikes both with hands and feet. "What would your idea of fun be, if I may ask, ma'am?" He kept at his workout, hoping the small talk would somewhat ease their prison's dreadful atmosphere.

Everleigh Ebersol
 
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The proctor made a face at being called ma’am. Sure, she was a proctor, but she wasn’t even twenty yet! But she let it slide, if only because Varian reminded her of Zael. She had watched him for the last couple of days be diligent in his routine and it was that sort of earnestness that made her appreciate him more than some of the other initiates she often got stuck with in training.

If you’re hungry, you can have my portion. You should’ve said something earlier.” She said, hiding the fact that she felt a sort of shame in her gut for not realizing sooner. She should have figured out that with all of Varian’s activity he’d be hungry, and it’s not like they were being fed well here. Some days they got no food at all, or they would be given food that was so rotten it was dangerous. But rotten food wasn’t harmful to Everleigh, it was just getting over the taste and bad memories that came with eating it.

Working out isn’t bad,” Everleigh said with a shrug, glancing down at the small space of dirty straw and cold rock between them. She watched his feet move for a second. He wasn’t anything like Zael in his footwork. “And it’s fun when you challenge yourself.” Not that she could ever do those handstand pushups Varian had mastered. “But I much prefer gambling. Makes you think a little more usually. Plus, life is boring if you aren’t ever taking any risks.” She paused, listening for footsteps or any shouts.

But inside this dungeon, it was the same as it had been since they arrived.

I’ve been captured before and sold as a slave before in Cerak At’Thul.” With Henk, Tinker and Zael. But that had been a rather fun affair, especially when they had gotten to participate in the ruthless colosseum games before making their escape and heading back to Vel Anir. The purple initiate yawned. “Didn’t think I’d have to do it again. You’re not nervous at all?

Varian Armata
 

Varian Armata

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"Nonsense, please do try to keep your strength up." Varian shook his head at the offer, pausing momentarily to lean against the wall, blue eyes tilting to look up at the molded stone above them. He coughed at her response, the idea of gambling almost foreign to him given his background." I wouldn't call it fun. My abilities work well when I'm in shape. So keeping a regiment going even in conditions like this is essential."

After, Varian moved towards the bars of their holding cells, leaning there as he looked out, observing the guards move about outside, other slaves within the cells doing what they could to survive. It may not have been part of the mission, but he couldn't help but think of liberating this place. He had more than enough ability to do so.

"Sounds like a story I'd like to hear after all this is sorted out. If you're willing to share it." He shook his head at her question, smiling as he felt the cold metal of the bars between his fingers. "Not at all. You're my superior, capable of making it out of here just fine. And I'm not particularly eager to brag about my capabilities, but I haven't seen anything I should be worried about. The only thing I can think of is our mark might not come at all."
Everleigh Ebersol
 
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She snorted, not dishearteningly so but because she couldn’t help it. He was just so earnest about it. She stood up, getting to her feet easily and even taking the time to wipe off the straw that stuck to the thin tunic she wore.

Tell you what, Varian. I like to think of myself as one of the cool proctors, we get out of here with our mark and I’ll take you to this little rinky-dink bar I know of.” Mirth and mischief danced in her violet eyes, looking through the bars and standing beside Varian. She lowered her voice, if only because she still didn’t trust the prisoners around them. The guards weren’t too close, but regardless the proctor made sure to whisper.

If he’s not dead, he’ll be here. I trust that information.” She had confirmed it with others in the same business, and the logic of it all made sense. He was a ruthless man, buying slaves up to the hundreds and then watching die off one by one as he worked them in his pirate fleet. “He’ll pick you.” Everleigh said, glancing over at Varian, her gaze meeting his bicep.

Must be nice to be that tall, she thought to herself before looking forward again.

You’ll be moved to a different room, I’m sure, but I’ll be behind you. Just make sure you’re close enough to Emil to grab him and restrain him and I’ll knock everyone else out. Then we’ll have to let the merc group inside and take care of the rest. We’ll sneak out and let them take the fall for it.” She saw a big fat rat scuttle past, searching for crumbs from the rotten bread they were served the night before. A door opened and everyone inside went silent, even the guards as they straightened up and stood proud.

Varian Armata
 
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Varian Armata

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"Alright, I'll hold you to it. It's not often I get asked to grab drinks." He offered a shrug. Bars weren't something he would venture into, but it was rare that an invitation like this would fall into his lap. Varian often kept to himself, even within academy walls, keeping his head down and doing only what was asked.

"If you trust the information, I have no reason to doubt it." A nod, his gaze tilting down to match her gaze, his eyebrows raised. His posture straightened as the entrance opened. It was instinctive, but he stepped forward, ensuring his proctor stood behind his frame, now squared, facing the bars of their cell.

He watched as an entourage of guards made their way, no doubt preparing the goods for a significant person. Varian's jaw tightened; the many guards were of no consequence to him, but others could get caught in the ensuing melee. He had to time the confrontation perfectly. Swift and fast, without a hitch.

"Just in case this plan goes sideways and turns into an old-fashioned ballroom blitz, I'll make sure to weather any harm that comes your way." He gave Everleigh a thumbs up and nodded before facing the cell's entrance, awaiting the inevitable inspection.

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How cute. Her lips curled up into a easy-going smile as she was met with the sight of Varian’s back. He thought she needed protecting? She wasn’t insulted by the notion, years ago she might have, but now she took it in stride. The sentiment was friendly more than anything, and after last year and her awful “graduation” she had decided to encourage friendliness among initiates instead of discouraging it.

That was why she had devised Death Lotto, although she had some incendiary attempts in getting the initiates to fight amongst themselves. Sometimes she still craved a little chaos, but who could blame Everleigh Ebersol, the gambling queen of the Academy?

The guards walked through, each one looking gnarlier than the last. They were hardly the sort of guardsmen you’d see in Vel Anir. They were burly but had a soulless look in their eye. They weren’t the sort of men or women who restrained their slaves. Everleigh could see it in the way they walked, in how they looked over the men and women in the cages.

Any sort of disrespect that was directed to these “guards” and Everleigh was certain they would be beaten black and blue. She was quiet, leaning over to look past Varian’s frame so she could watch the guards filter in.

Behind them was a man, or at least half of one. His skin was an unnatural gray and his eyes were a pretty seafoam green that shown brightly despite the dim lighting. He had a thick, burly beard that was braided and reached down to the middle of his ribs. From what Everleigh could tell, he was bald, but she felt that wasn’t a choice or fashion statement. His broad shoulder form moved like a wold cat and even the third level dreadlord had to admit she was impressed that his thick, sturdy leather boots made little sound against the dirty stone.

“Not a bad crop this year,” Emil said to the slaver. Everleigh barely noticed him, for while Emil was like some grand great oak tree, Emil was much more like a single shoot of bamboo that would bend instead of break. The slaver was wearing spectacles and despite being next to one of the most dangerous pirates in Arethil, he was naturally calm.

It was evident that the slaver didn’t fear Emil.

“Go ahead and have a look,” the slaver said lightly and gestured for Emil to walk about. “Although I think you’ll like my most recent additions. A young man and woman. Both should be to your liking for your needs.” Everleigh suppressed the grin. This was going to be easy. “And those orcs from Mothal. I even got one of those special gray orcs from Dornoch. You know orcs are always the hardy sort.”

“Of course,” Emil murmured, taking his time as he began to step between the various cells, peering into each one for a minute or more. He said nothing, only moving his left hand for the slaver to take note of what he wanted. Everleigh saw him make a fist or hold up two fingers pressed together or kept his palm flat but raised vertically.

Varian Armata
 
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Varian Armata

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Varian watched intently as the prison grew quiet, at attention as a notable entity slinked into the underground stronghold. His gaze remained steeled, focused at the entrance to their cell, blue eyes shining with an unwavering tint. He watched as the battle-scarred brigands that he assumed to be part of Emil's crew scouted ahead like a pack of wolves sniffing out prey for their master.

He glanced back to Everleigh as the slaver spoke in the distance, clearly referring to the both of them. He would hope to be placed in a different room, as she mentioned; it would help avoid collateral damage that might occur. Varian exhaled a sharp breath as the sound of heavy footfalls neared.

Finally, two imposingly tall figures stood at the entrance of their cell, clad in black painted plate and chain. They were grizzled veterans, large and brutish, towering over even Varian. One of them brandished an axe, its head big enough to cleave a horse's, the other a morning star just as large.

"This the meat the slaver mentioned?" It was a deep voice; his gaze shifted from Varian to Everleigh, and a grin could be heard as he looked the proctor over. "Think the master might want to look at the bigger one. Those arms'll row a few thousand leagues before breaking."

With a rusted key, the cell door unlocked, the one wielding the morning star stepping in and behind Varian.

"Move." The guard's command was met with a rebellious silence.

"I said move, meat." His words were emphasized by the pommel of his weapon meeting Varian's back. To his surprise, the young initiate's body remained unperturbed by a push that would cause most to stumble onto their knees.

"I heard you the first time, friend." Varian's tone was as flat as his steps toward the outside of the cell. After a few moments, Everleigh was left alone, the cell locked back up as events fell into place according to her plan.

Everleigh Ebersol