Private Tales Old World Clues

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Alteria Eos

Lost Scholar
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The sun was close to setting when Alteria arrived in the city of Alliria. He had been on the road for weeks, but if all goes well, he only needed to stop in the city for a night to restock before he heads out once more, and hopefully with another pair of hands or two with him. Though he had grown to enjoy the serenity of only having himself and nature to comfort him, he knew that it was foolish to delve into haunted places by himself.

He's been in the city a few times already, having been wandering the realm for over a decade, so it didn't take him long to find supplies for the road, the basic preserved foods in quantities that will last him until the next settlement. Now all he needed was for a few adventurous types to do some exploration. He had been hoping to find one or two on the road here, but it seemed he'd need to delve into the taverns.

He didn't have much to pay them, but the young ones were often more than happy to take what they find in their little explorations as payment. Alteria didn't take much himself since he'd more than likely set off after all was said and done, and it made him a lot less tempting of a target by bandits. Besides, he needed to be nimble to tread the paths less traveled.

The tavern he chose to do his recruitment was the first one that wasn't filled to the brim with caravanners and merchants. While they were more than likely capable, they also wouldn't be the type to go delve into old ruins, at least not without a huge crew that would sooner break a relic or two just because it wasn't made of gold.

Pulling his hood back as he made his way to an empty seat, he began to scan the room, trying to pick out the able-bodied and whoever looked to be sober enough to comprehend his words. Though approaching them can wait until the drink he ordered from a kindly barmaid arrived.
 

Azlat Ushus

Priestess of the Draconic Order
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The tavern was less crowded than the others, which made it the ideal place for Azlat to enjoy a drink before her return to the kingdom of Route. The place had become a second home to her when she wasn’t out on on a diplomatic mission. Which usually entailed far more spying and scouting than actual diplomacy, but she didn’t dare tell them that. Truthfully, she meant to spy on Route too, but was so taken by the place that she accepted an offer to stay.

But there she was among peers, and here Azlat no doubt looked peculiar among the tavern patrons. She most always did anywhere else she went in the northern continent of Liadain. She was among the first to set foot on the continent upon its discovery by Thagretis less than a year ago, and her holy robes carried the same style of the city. One completely foreign to the locals – most were likely to assume she was a sorceress, rather than a priestess of the Holy Elder Dragon.

Part of her motivation in making these travels was to plunder an offering, and there was nothing more fitting for Him than gold. To return with the knowledge she’d gleamed in her personal expedition would greatly benefit her bid for high priestess, and to return with a valuable tribute on top of that would all but guarantee it. She was a wealthy woman with plentiful gold herself – but far from suitable as an offering. She also had the good sense not to display it, and kept it hidden through concealed pockets and obscuring magic.

Seated alone and with her drink in hand, Azlat took one last sip before placing the empty glass on the table, awaiting the barmaid’s arrival with a refill. She’d a few more hours to kill before it was time to make her way back to Route, provided there was nothing to distract her from a prompt return trip.

Alteria Eos Aeden
 

Aeden

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In the past few weeks, Aeden had spent more time in this tavern than they'd really care to admit.

Not that they'd been drinking every night, no, only-- Well, he was bored. He'd returned to Alliria shortly after leaving the swamp simply because it was nearby and familiar, but in such a large, bustling city, things could get terribly routine, terribly quickly. Each day they awoke and went about doing the same normal little activities, the same normal little tasks, again and again. It was grating.

That was what brought Aeden here: They were on the hunt for something to disrupt that normalcy. To meet a strange person, to hear some tale of a far-off land he'd no doubt then take off to explore.... Hell, they'd settle for a bar fight at this point. He hoped it didn't come to the point where he'd have to start one.

No, he'd rather it was an adventure, one that would draw him away from Alliria. He was beginning to feel cooped up in the city, and he'd rather set off with a destination in mind than without.

He longed to stretch his wings.

They were lounging at one of the innermost tables in the room, drink sitting untouched in front of them, listening closely to snippets of conversation all around themself. So far, nothing of note.
 
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Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar

The Warden
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It was getting late when Valdr arrived to the tavern. And it wasn't his first time today finding himself in this tavern. There was some disappointment when he heard the Bard and his companion had moved onto a different tavern in the city, but it was short-lived.

Clad in gleaming silver armor etched with gold and a brilliant winged helm, Valdr stuck out like a silver ingot amongst a scattering of hay. He had been a busy man, but like someone else in the tavern tonight, he was heading back to his second home.

He made his way to the counter and offered the tender a bow of the head. "Lambech, I have returned."

"Back so soon? How went your last adventure?" The bartender asked with a grin. "Make anything else to add to your fortune?"

"In time, I'm sure." Valdr responded with a laugh. "What are your thoughts on Mister Mayfield?"

"Real piece o'work, 'e-is. Someone oughta give him a nice hard smack." It was Lambech's turn to laugh. "I hear yer good for it.. Man treats his women like dogs." He added with a wily and questionable teeth-filled grin.

Valdr removed his helm and tucked it into his arm as he leaned against the counter, revealing a broad smile. "I don't do it often, Lambech. That's slander." He joked. "But when I do, it's to send a message. I agree though. He barely counts as a man." He would clap the old tender on the shoulder as the man doubled over from laughter. "I'll see to you when i need another."

It was a good time to relax, to unwind. And that's when he saw her and that smile turned to a broad grin. "Azlat!" He immediately began to beeline for the familiar Priestess and he was coming in hot. "If it isn't my dear Lady Azlat." He would say more measuredly and with a respectful bow of his head before he bent down to hug the woman tightly. "It is good to see you, again, my friend."

Azlat Ushus Alteria Eos Aeden
 
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Alteria Eos

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The barmaid returned with his drink, a classic mug of ale that always seemed to fall short on the taste buds. But it was nothing a little addition couldn't fix. From his pouch he withdrew a small vial filled with a pale red liquid that he poured into the drink, and swirled around for an even mix. "A little taste of home," he'd mutter to himself before taking a mouthful.

The tavern held many figures that fit the adventuring and explorer type, though only a few seemed to be viable at this time. He saw a full table of four on the far side, however their slack-jawed appearance didn't make them out to be a group that could remember what they'd sign up for in the morn. At another was a pair of youngsters who were, to put it shortly, in the process of courtship. Best not have an old wizened gentleman interrupt that scene. Another table was so full of mugs that it was difficult to discern any of the features the individual with their face to the table had.

Of all the potential candidates, so far only two looked promising, a young lad and another robed figure by themselves. Being the closest without having to cut through a couple of tables, he chose to approach the dark-haired youth first.

Mug in hand and staff bound securely on his belt, Alteria walked on over. "Apologies for the intrusion," he said, his gravelly voice sounding somewhat sore. He didn't wait for an invitation to sit down across the youth, and just grabbed a chair to settle on. "I am Alteria, and I find myself in need of able-bodied adventuring types to scour a rumored haunted ruin, a day and a half away from here."

His gaze drifted towards the other prospective individual he planned to hire to make sure they were still there. Luckily, the robe was easy enough to spot. Another person had approached the robed lady, one that he hadn't spotted before but seemed to be a good candidate as well. Perfect. He'll have the chance to try and convince them both as soon as he was done talking to this youth.

"The ruin was recently discovered and the hauntings might have staved off the unprepared from venturing too deep, so while I can't offer much, any non-magical treasures we'll find, you'll get to keep. I am only really interested in studying arcane artefacts we may come across. And even then they might not be worth my time. Are you interested?"

Azlat Ushus Aeden Rangvaldr Taldeneshaar
 

Aeden

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Aeden noticed the human man shortly after he walked in. The stranger walked with purpose, which, Aeden thought, was quite promising. He was looking for something. Hopefully, their goals would align.

Sure enough, "Alteria" approached the table, pulling up a chair and sitting across from them without a moment's hesitation.

Without an invitation, either-- quite rude.

Oh, well, humans always tended to have a certain disregard for good manners, and Aeden wasn't inclined to begrudge him this small transgression. Not when he promised an adventure, treasure, hauntings... No, the opportunity to accompany Alteria on this journey was infinitely more valuable.

They offered the older man a sharp smile, nodding. When they spoke, it was in a light, lilting voice, "I am. Ruins, a day and a half away, you said? I believe I've heard those rumors you speak of often enough around here in the past few days, though the hauntings I haven't heard tell of. I had assumed they were explored already. Yet, if what you say is true, I would happily accompany you and whatever other companions you choose to bring along."

He paused, as he watched the tall man who had been joking with the bartender turn and approach a woman seated at a nearby table. The man appeared to be an adventurer, if his armor and the way the bartender had addressed him were any indication. The woman was dressed in some peculiar robes, of a style quite unfamiliar to Aeden- perhaps a sorceress, and certainly an intriguing character. As she seemed to be an acquaintance of the young man, perhaps she, too, would be likely to accompany them.

They tipped their head to the side in a subtle gesture to the table the strange pair occupied, and raised an eyebrow at Alteria.
 

Azlat Ushus

Priestess of the Draconic Order
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Azlat! If it isn't my dear Lady Azlat."
He knew her name, and she knew that voice that spoke it. It was the tall, swarthy Kaliti Killer from Route! He revealed that much when they were introduced. She would have love to be regaled with grisly detail, or even a string of ears taken as a trophy – but that was not the type of man she’d learned Valdr was. A touch disappointing that she’d not hear of it, yet that he had a sense of honour about him was also endearing. It was a display of maturity; or so she shifted her view to shed the best possible light on the man who had slain those she so despised.

“Valdr!” she replied in a chipper tone that belied her dark and somber appearance. Draconic eyes lit up as she straightened herself in her seat, smiling as he bowed before welcoming him with a hug and a peck to his cheek.

"It is good to see you, again, my friend."
“You’re quite the wonderful sight, yourself.” She gushed, shifting over some to allow her new company a seat beside her. The barmaid had just arrived, and with good timing, too.

“More wine, madam?” Asked the barmaid.

“Please. And a glass of your finest for my friend Valdr here.” She replied, placing the coin in her hand before she poured drinks for the two of them. Raising the vessel to her lips, Azlat took a sip of her drink but noticed eyes watching her from the corner of the room. Her serpentine eyes gazed back at Alteria for a moment, and only a moment.

She could only wonder what this one wanted, his was a look of curiosity and not concern. The surprise company of Valdr was a comfort – she feared no harassment in his company. Granted she felt perfectly capable of handling that on her own, but she couldn’t deny that watching the Anirian knight sort others out to be greatly enjoyable. If things would come to that. She didn’t sense such motives in Alteria, but Azlat still had no clue what he was up to. Currently busy in conversation with another, perhaps they were next due for a visit. With her new company beside her and her new drink in hand, Azlat was content to relax in Valdr’s company.

Alteria Eos Aeden Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar
 

Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar

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He had never seen her so happy, except when gorging on a cheese table, so the fact that his presence had brought such light to her eyes was very endearing. He wasn't expecting the kiss, but he would be remiss if he didn't return the gesture, so he would plant a peck on her own cheek.

He would smirk at her praise. "Oh I know. Its the beard. I am very happy I got to catch you on the road." He offered a nod of thanks to the waitress and even fished out a coin or two to tip her. "Any swashbuckling tales i should hear? Any hearts you've broken?" He teased.

He noticed the shift in her eyes and followed it. Unlike her, he didn't look away immediately, in fact, his golden eyes focused on the pair, one of which who had just nudged their way. He leaned back in his seat before looking over to Azlat, his voice now lowered. "If they come over to bother you.. tonight will not ending the way they hoped."

Azlat Ushus Aeden Alteria Eos
 

Alteria Eos

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He nodded at the youth. "I was hoping the same," he said in response to youth's nudge of the head. Alteria took another swig from his mug and stood up. "If you would come along so I won't have to repeat any plans, that would be appreciated."

By this time he was aware that he had gotten the attention of the very people he planned to approach. As he reached the table, he gave an acknowledging nod to them both. "Pardon the interruption, I'll keep this brief," he started off again. "I am Alteria, and I find myself in need of capable explorer and adventurer types to join me in delving into a newly-discovered ruin that's rumored to be haunted, just a day and a half away from here. I won't be able to offer much, but whatever treasures we find there you are all welcome to split amongst yourselves. I am merely interested in the magical artefacts that may yet still linger there, should they be worth my time that is. Are either of you interested?"

He tried to keep things as concise as he could manage as rambling for too long might get them to cut him off before he finished. As he waited for them to consider his offer, he swirled his drink around idly before the dryness of his throat deemed it necessary for a sip.

Though he thought that even with just the youth joining up with him he'd be fine, he kept his eyes scanning for other potential parties that he could approach should neither show the interest he was hoping for.

Aeden Azlat Ushus Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar
 

Aeden

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Abandoning their drink, they followed Alteria to the pair sitting at the other table, carefully lifting their wings so as not to let the feathers drag on the ground. The tavern floor wasn't what one would call... sterile, and while Aeden didn't consider themself a stickler for cleanliness, they certainly preferred not to drag their wings through whatever filth had built up on the ground.

The two figures had clearly noticed his earlier gesture; they were more perceptive than he thought-- or perhaps they had just been watching him. He abandoned any attempt as subtlety as he and Alteria reached the table, gazing more clearly at the adventurer and the woman in the strange robes.

They stayed silent as Alteria explained the journey he wished them to join him for, watching the pair for their reactions.

Azlat Ushus Alteria Eos Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar
 

Azlat Ushus

Priestess of the Draconic Order
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“Oh, none that I know of... Adventures or hearts.” Azlat replied to Valdr, with an endearing smile worn on her lips. Soon after, a third joined their table, and it was the man whose gaze she had meet a moment prior, with Aeden in tow beside him.

Was this leading into some sort of sales pitch? She was about to interrupt but ultimately stopped herself from doing so. If he was a salesman, maybe he had a lot of money? Which might become her money through a process of forceful and unwilling redistribution. Azlat took another sip as while awaiting the topic that would follow. She hoped gold would be involved.

Rather than a sale, he spoke of ruins that were newly discovered, and were that the case they were unlikely to be plundered. At this, Alteria had Azlat’s full attention – this could be exactly the sort of tribute she’d been searching for. More money than could be pilfered from him, seemingly. Any notion that he might be worth robbing was dissuaded by the lack of pay he offered, and his own disinterest in the riches that could lie within. Azlat found the attitude towards gold a touch confusing, to say the least, but ultimately that meant more of it might become hers.

“If there’s any go͞ld, I want it!” Azlat blurted out, neglecting any decorum in her impulsive response. There was little else presently on her mind now that gold had been mentioned. Still, Azlat realized her blunt and tactless tone upon hearing it aloud and attempted to correct herself.

“I me̶an… Yes, I am inter͠ested.” Azlat sheepishly added after.

Aeden Alteria Eos Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar
 
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Dauner

Lightning Reaper
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It had already been a few weeks since Dauner arrived on Arethil, and he had mostly adapted to his new environment. It was definitely much livelier and more fun as compared to the dark void he had spent the most part of his life in. The only downside, was his purse, because he didn't have any. He had lived mostly off of wild animals he hunted in the wilds, but ever since coming to the city, he had been in a slump. He couldn't even get himself a mug of ale, even though he hungered for the taste of it once again.
Luckily for him, the city of Alliria was full of busy people moving around the rowdy streets. It wasn't hard for him to help a few get rid of their not so heavy purses. That night, he had decided to celebrate his freedom with a couple mugs at the tavern.
As the saying goes, birds of the same feather, flock together. Dauner instantly hit it off with a rowdy bunch of local drunks, and they got drunk and laughed and made merry, except for Dauner who was quite good at holding his liquor.
Dauner happened to notice a few others who were coming together from their different tables. It didn't seem like they were friends having a reunion, though. This piqued his interest as he wondered what it was they were gathering for.
Leaving his drunk pals to their liquor after emptying his, he made his way over to the group, from what he could hear, they were most likely heading towards adventure and a few extra coins.
Got any room for another on this gig?” Dauner said, stepping forward. The young, or at least young looking man, held his black jacket over his left shoulder, while his other hand sat in the pocket of his black pants. His black, short-sleeved shirt was tucked into his pants.
 

Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar

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"Well, we can add me to the heart list." He would tease with a smirk, before his gaze shifted to the new arrivals. The older man made his sales pitch, it wasn't a very good one. But it at least informed Valdr why he wasn't at one of the other taverns getting the mercenaries or other sell-swords. He was relying on the pull to adventure and the unknown, rather then the actual promise of riches.

It would take all of his willpower to not laugh as Azlat accepted for the coin, like a dragon hoarding their gold. He glanced at her. "Way to really hold out and drive up your price." He teased.

He figured this quest would be a bust as far as riches went, as it wasn't uncommon for recently discovered ruins to have already been ransacked but he wasn't about to ruin her dreams of gold. "I too, have interest in magical artifacts or relics. If you're a scholar, you should be fine with documenting some and parting with them. If that's acceptable, we're in."

He would pause as another person just walked up to their table and apparently was just eavesdropping on their entire conversation. He made his mental notes, fate had once more willed Azlat into his presence and his oath didn't have an expiration date.

Azlat Ushus Alteria Eos Aeden Dauner
 

Alteria Eos

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He raised a brow at the lady's strange outburst, though he chuckled and nodded, pleased that there was another who would join the expedition. He then looked to her companion, who asked if Alteria would part with some artifacts. "As I said, I'll take possession if it proves to be worth my time. I'll be willing to part with them, of course, but I will need to study them first. For the more complicated ones, I may need to take with me unless you're willing to wait around for an old man to scribble down all his notes." He let out another chuckle before drinking the rest of his brew.

An eavesdropper made himself know in requesting if there was still room in the expedition. Alteria wouldn't turn away a volunteer, especially with the rumored hauntings taking place. He gave the new arrival a once over and recognized him as part of a group he deemed too drunk to comprehend his words, but this one seemed sober enough.

"You may join if you wish. I'll not turn down anyone who deems themselves capable. and willing to delve into the unknown."

He set his mug down and from a pocket on his robe he pulled out a piece of parchment, the rips on the side suggesting it was hastily torn from a journal. On this parchment was a rough sketch of the settlement on the corner and a cross near the diagonal opposite. Connecting between them were two landmarks. One of the main roads was sketched, but the drawn path quickly diverted from it.

"Not the most comprehensive map, but after referencing a map from a caravan on the way here, I feel I have our route plotted. If we leave in the morning, we should be able to reach our first landmark before dark, a broken down cart underneath a tree that's been used as a hunter's post. Said hunter, I've been told, will let us rest there for the night for some supplies, which I have already procured. Once we set off again, we'll keep heading to the northeast until we find the sinkhole that leads to our ruin. With any luck, the specters that roam that place would have kept people at bay. If not, we can hope whoever we meet there aren't hostile towards fellow explorers."

He lifted his gaze from the parchment and looked around his future company. "I hope all of you have had experience out in the wilderness."

Aeden Azlat Ushus Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar Dauner
 

Azlat Ushus

Priestess of the Draconic Order
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"Way to really hold out and drive up your price."
“What can I say. A la͡dy wants w͟͢͏hat she wants.” She remarked, playing off his teasing. Though Alteria raised an eyebrow at the remark, he too didn’t seem dissuaded. At least they found her gaffe amusing, which was far preferable to concerning. Plus, she’d rather keep in Alteria’s good side now that she’d abandoned any notion of robbing him. She had no idea where this place was and was reliant on him to lead her to this suspected source of glittering gold.

Valdr just wished for magical items too, much like Alteria. Unlike Alteria, the desire did not seem nonsensical – she didn’t expect to quarrel with her dear Valdr over gold. Partly because she simply couldn’t see him standing in the way of what she wanted; quite the opposite. But partly because he’d surely known that she would simply spoil him anyhow. He knew of her wealth, he was one of the few she trusted with such wisdom. Not that she openly bragged about it. With how freely she spent it however, he must have known by now.

“Oh, I couldn’t st̢̕and to br͝eak that heart.” Azlat teased back to Valdr with a mirthful grin, before Alteria began to speak in detail of their destination. A third approached as well while all were gathered at her table. Azlat took another large sip from her wine glass. She had gone from sitting peacefully to hosting a small gathering within moments, and she could use the nerve stilling drink. Besides, the last time she went drinking she had established diplomatic relations with a foreign kingdom, so it couldn't be all that bad.

Got any room for another on this gig?” Spoke Dauner, and Azlat turned to look upon him. Well, if he had overheard them, then he surely overheard her blurt out her great desire for gold. She didn't know what Dauner's terms would be, but he knew hers and Azlat would wait for likewise insight.

"I hope all of you have had experience out in the wilderness." Concluded Alteria. Azlat simply returned a nod. She had taken to travel in the north quite well by now, having travelled across much of the continent thus far. Her bow was suitable for hunting game.

And should they encounter a hostile party as he warned they might, it was also quite suitable for puncturing holes into pagans.

Alteria Eos Aeden Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar Dauner
 
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Dauner

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"I'd be more than happy to!" Dauner responded to Alteria's words. The first thing Dauner did after joining the group was make mental notes about everyone at the table.
Alteria, to Dauner, looked like a wise old wizard. He looked like one of the hermits Dauner knew, who sought only the pursuit of knowledge. Dauner thus branded him as minimum danger level. Azlat on the other hand, looked thirsty. Just like him, he felt she had an almost insatiable greed for the shiny coins. This was not necessarily a bad thing, as it is better to have an ally whose desires are known to you, rather than one who hides his drive. Valdr had a rather chivalric smell on him. Although Dauner didn't have anything against chivalrous knights, he had slain more of them than he could count in his day as his methods sometimes went against their beliefs. They were among his best allies when he fought a good cause, but were fierce enemies when he resorted to cruel tactics. Overall, he could make a good ally in time. As long as Dauner could keep secret some of his less humane actions.
Finally, Aeden. A winged being who drew curiosity out of half demon. Since coming to Arethil, Dauner had seen many a strange creature he's only ever dreamt about, and the winged Aeden was no different.
Dauner might have needed money. It was hard for the once young master of a wealthy merchant family to do without the benefits it provided. However, what he needed more at this time, was connections, so he wouldn't fight over what little they'd unearth in the ruins.
"Nice to meet you all. I'm Dauner A. Light" he proceeded to introduce himself. Seeing as Alteria wasn't interested in the valuables they might dig up, the loot was left to the four of them to share. "I'd be content with only 20% of the find" he said after making his calculations.
He listened to Alteria brief them about the plan, making sure not to miss anything. He knew how even the most minute details can sometimes be the difference between life and death on an adventure.
"I hope all of you have had experience out in the wilderness."
Dauner nodded. He'd starved in the wilderness while being on the run from enemies more than once before, so he guessed it'd be easier this time since he's not going to be starving, nor is he being chased or injured.
"Now that I think about it, ghosts aren't edible" he murmured under his breath. "Guess I'll need to buy something before leaving" he continued, almost tearing up at the idea of having to use up the little bit of coin he had left on him for supplies and a new sword.
Alteria Eos Azlat Ushus Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar Aeden
 

Aeden

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As the newest addition to their party approached the table, Aeden glanced over at him. He appeared to be observing the group the same way Aeden themself had been. The man seemed deep in thought, highly focused on Alteria's words.

Already knowing the basics of the task at hand, they allowed themself to tune out the explanation, instead pondering what valuables they might find at these ruins. Any magical items that seem too intriguing will likely be taken by Alteria, and the gold will be valued far more by Azlat and perhaps this newcomer than by Aeden, as their father, having little need for it in his newly-empty house, had gifted a generous sum to them on their last visit which would keep them well-fed for some time. No, he would really only be coming along for an adventure to occupy his time.

"I hope all of you have had experience out in the wilderness."

He abruptly tuned back in to the conversation. "Yes, yes, no issues with that from me." He assured, nodding at Alteria.

Alteria Eos Azlat Ushus Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar Dauner
 

Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar

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Valdr would watch the rest of the exchange with idle interest. It would be an early day and at what he believed to be a wizards question, he would nod. He was no stranger to sleeping in the forests or dirt.

He would drain his tankard and set it down. "Then we should call it a night and head out extra early." As the barmaid hurried over to refill his drink, he would wave her off by setting the tankard upside down and rising to his feet.

"Azlat, if you've yet to get a room, you may share mine. Just keep your inquisitive hands to themselves." He mused with a smirk to her, before looking back at the others. "Gentlemen. We'll see you in the morning."

Azlat Ushus Alteria Eos Dauner Aeden
 

Alteria Eos

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At the very least, his companions were experienced with the outdoors, so that's one less thing to worry about. Though it has been replaced with another as the sorceress and the knight made it clear to everyone there that they were sweet with each other. But so long as they remained content, he'd have his mind distracted elsewhere.

He looked to Dauner, the only one so far between the four accompanying him to actually introduce himself, other than Alteria of course, though the knightly-looking one did call the lady by Azlat. "Ah yes. I'm glad you brought up the topic of supplies. The hunter will be able to host us on the night we arrive at her camp, but beyond that, we're responsible for our own provisions. So stock up as necessary."

Having nothing else to discuss, he thought it was time for him to head out. "We shall meet at the northern gate. A group of caravan drivers have made a small camp there for the night. If you have need of me before our departure, that is where you'll find me. Now, if any of you have concerns, now would be a good time to bring it up before I get too deep in the wine," he'd smile.

Azlat Ushus Aeden Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar Dauner
 

Azlat Ushus

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"Nice to meet you all. I'm Dauner A. Light" The man introduced himself.

“I am Azlat, and thîs is my friend Valdr here.” She replied, gesturing and turning to Valdr as she spoke. Better make it explicit that the Anirian warrior was in her company. She didn't know what to make of Dauner. He'd referred to this little adventure as a gig, so it seemed more than likely this was a source of income. He undoubtedly desired the same thing she did, and would confirm this after a moment of deliberation.

"I'd be content with only 20% of the find" Dauner added a moment after, confirming that he might become potential competition for the believed golden prize. But if the others had passed on gold there was just Aeden to split the gold with. And that left 80% to be split between her and them, unless Aeden passed up on it, too. She desired as much gold as she could obtain, but that wasn't a demand that could be made explicit.

Well, not again, anyways.

“Ac̶͘cept̷̢ed.” Was Azlat's short and stoic response. No need to put a number to the gold she sought. The others knew what she wanted, anyhow.

"Then we should call it a night and head out extra early." Spoke Valdr.​

“Yes, it'd be best to get a go̷̧ò̡d night's sle͏͠ep.” Azlat agreed. She didn't care much to keep up and socialize, having arrived to enjoy a drink by herself. Not that she'd be alone; the unexpected blessing of Valdr's company was a much better alternative to solitude, anyhow.

"Azlat, if you've yet to get a room, you may share mine. Just keep your inquisitive hands to themselves."

She'd the gold to afford much more comfortable accommodations, but that would be a needless display of wealth before those who would become travelling companions. They might rob her, were they to learn of her wealth. Despite her preference, the situation just wasn’t suitable to treat Valdr to a nicer establishment. At least he would be present to share this hovel with her, having delightfully made the offer.

“Well, I couldn't deny su̡ch a kind offer. “And n̸o̶t͟hįn͠g of the sort, of course. Just simple cnversation as alw͠ays.” She teased back with a smirk and finished her drink.

“I've no concerns that come to mind.” She replied to Alteria, with a nod before turning to Valdr.

“Well then, let us retire for the night.”
She stated and stood up from her seat, before slipping away with him.

Alteria Eos Aeden Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar Dauner
 
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Aeden

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"You may call me Aeden." They cautiously revealed-- though not their true, full name, of course, their instinct led them to be careful with it.

"I'm not in this for gold. The rest of you can split it; I'm mostly along for the ride." He shrugged.

"Then we should call it a night and head out extra early."

Aeden nodded at Valdr's words. "Yes, yes, best to be well-rested to begin our travels. I'll be off, then. Good night and sweet dreams to you all," He added, half-joking.

Alteria Eos Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar Dauner Azlat Ushus
 

Dauner

Lightning Reaper
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Dauner was content with having manage to secure himself a spot in the group and at the promise of not having an empty wallet at the end of their adventure. This however broke when everyone else turned down the valuables as rewards.
Dauner had an innate love for money. Could be because of his upbringing, or because he had the blood of a merchant, there was no way to know. So the thought that he would only get 20% of the loot that was to be shared between Azlat and him made him cry internally, while keeping up his smile on the outside. What annoyed him the most was, it was all his idea.
Whatever the case, he needed to get away from the table before he made a public display of an old man, or young man as the case may be in the eyes of the others, crying.
"Then we should call it a night and head out extra early."
"Good idea!" he responded hastily. "I'm a little tired today, so I guess it's about time I hit the hay" he finished. He was the first to leave the table, grabbing a drink from the counter as he made his way to his room upstairs.

Alteria Eos Aeden Azlat Ushus Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar
 

Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar

The Warden
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Valdr would return the old mans smile. "Enjoy the wine, we will find you in the morning at the caravan camp."

Once all members of the party had gone their separate ways, Azlat and Valdr would retire to his room. There, they would drink and talk long into the night, catching up on their most previous exploits and sharing other tales from their pasts.

He had a feeling this was all oddly cathartic for the two of them. And once they finished up this adventure and secured her new riches, they would continue onto Route together.

_____________________________________________

The next morning, Valdr awoke on the floor, his cutlass beneath his head as a pillow, with an actual pillow atop it for padding. It was early yet. He entered the fresher, and well, freshened up for the days adventures. He would get dressed and at some point stop long enough to put a hand on Azlat's should. "Az, up and at em, m'lady. The bathroom is yours."

He would step away and finish the act of buckling on his armor. Next his sword was fastened, his gear re-packed and he was ready to go.

Valdr would wait for Azlat to finish and then they were off. They would stop in the stables to retrieve their horses and it would still be dark out when they arrived at the caravanners camp near the north gate. Several fires were still lit and their own guards kept watch over the sleeping.

Instead of waking the old man, he would guide his courser beyond the camp and find a seat amongst some of their barrels and wait for the rest of their party to arrive. "So, Azlat, perhaps when we're done with Route, I'll bring you and Esme to my lands. It's a long journey, but very much so worth the travel."

Azlat Ushus Alteria Eos Dauner Aeden
 

Alteria Eos

Lost Scholar
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As the party broke for the night, Alteria felt a nagging at the back of his head, one that wasn't so easily silenced in the company of travelers gathered around a campfire who were regaling each other with their inebriated tales of exceptional deeds and adventures. For his part, Alteria had many tales to tell from his decade's worth of wandering the roads, both embellished and not.

The group would soon break as well, as the majority of the participants would be on the road come morning. Alteria found a resting spot by a rock, and he was joined by one of the caravan drivers who he had a rapport built, having seen him on the road a number of times. In fact, he was the one who made Alteria aware of the haunting.

Alteria awoke to the sound of the caravans packing up. It was early day, barely the crack of dawn. He shared some dubious stew with them as they idly chatted about their plans in hopes they may increase their chances of running into each other again.

Yet the nagging persisted. The idea of delving into a haunted ruin had never fazed him before, but this one just made him feel an impending sense of doom. Which is why he had to go. His mind wouldn't be able to find peace if he ignored his instincts.
 
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Azlat Ushus

Priestess of the Draconic Order
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For the ride? Azlat knew what she’d heard, but it still hardly made any sense to her. Alteria and Rangvaldr had an interest in the arcane, and that was understandable. Dauner’s desire for money was far more sensible, one she could empathize with. That Aeden would follow through with the arduousness of travel and exploration simply for its own sake was found rather perplexing.

"I'm a little tired today, so I guess it's about time I hit the hay" Dauner added, and took his hasty leave from the table, the first among the group to make their departure. He must be truly exhausted to have such an early night, she figured. Well, hopefully that meant he’d be well rested for the adventure to come.

“Goo̶dnight then, and rȩst well.” Azlat spoke, taking Valdr’s hand and departing for the room he’d so kindly offered to share. It had been many months since she’d last been to Thagretis, and had been in the company of those she could be honest with. She had quite a lot to share. Azlat spoke of her home, and her upbringing within the city. Of the attack, and of the loss of her family. The subject did not last very long, as to even make brief mention of it left Azlat in a pit of emotion. Yet to share it brought catharsis, and that she had a sympathetic ear to listen did help her sleep easier.

* * *​

She was the first to pass out, dozing through the night and well into the morning until roused by a gentle shake of her shoulder.

“Mmrnhn.” Was Azlats response; about as articulate she could be immediately upon waking. The first to sleep and last to wake, Azlat hadn’t a clue that Valdr had spent the night with the floor as his mattress. Applying facepaint took the bulk of her time, though she didn’t take too long to get ready for the day. Once the both of them were set, a quick ride on horseback would lead them to Altera. He was still fast asleep, and Valdr wisely suggested waiting some distance away.

“I will ha͜ve to see Vel Anir, if the sights are as you say.” Azlat mused aloud. Such a trip might also bode well for diplomacy. Many lived in the northern continents, beneath the banner of numerous kingdoms. Thagretis had few allies and given that the two kingdoms seemed to share the same threat, and alliance seemed palatable. Amol-Kalit could simply not be trusted.

It was not much longer before Azlat noticed Alteria stirring.

“He’s woken up. We should ch͟eck in with him, soon.” Remarked Azlat in observation.

Alteria Eos Aeden Rangvaldr Tal'deneshaar