Fable - Ask The Canal

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first

Kristen Pirian

Pirian's Chosen
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Kristen had to strain mightily against blurting out Kalix's name reproachfully, very much as her own mother did whenever she as a little child committed some faux pas of which she sorely disapproved. Her lips were pressed thin. If only there was a way to make Kalix see himself in this moment! He was berating a child, a child! One that had been rude to them, yes, but such was no license to act in a juvenile manner in turn! Yes, a certain irresistible sternness needed to be applied, for they were here on a mission and it was imperative that the Mayor's proclamation (and Lord Banick's behind that) be heard by the people of Elyr'Adith, of which these children were a part.

Still, despite Kristen's own misgivings about it, Kalix's projected menace perhaps channeled an undeniably paternal force which the youngest of the two children could not withstand. He went scampering off further into the house, not in flight from fear but with an urgency which suggested he was, indeed, hurrying to fetch his grandmother.

Well, again despite her misgivings, she needed to support her companion in this effort. Especially so while they were actively engaged in said effort. 'Twouldn't do at all to naysay and second guess him on minor quibbles.

Kristen nudged Kalix in the side and, hidden behind the elbow of one of her folded arms, flashed the Dreadlord sign language (of which she was getting better at!):

Good work!

And she went back to sternly--with such sternness she could muster at any rate--regarding the older of the two boys while they awaited the younger and the grandmother.

Kalix
 
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Kalix

Zael’s Pet Cat Boi
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Kalix couldn’t help but look smug. Look at him, being all politically correct and great delegator and shit. Walter Banick should be proud!

See? Was that so hard? Your lil bro is smarter than you.” What a surprise! Kalix always assumed that the older brothers were the smart ones! Look at him and Lysander after all! The older brother looked at Kalix and shook his head.

“You’re not gonna like grandma.” He whispered ominously. Kalix rolled his gold eyes.

Uh huh yeah right, what’s some old lady gonna do? Nag us? Try and chase us off as they hobble along?” A deep yet feminine voice chuckled as the young brother ran back.

Grandma had arrived.
72A156CC-4B28-4323-928A-635BC7498B5B.png
[art cred]

Seven feet tall. She was seven feet tall at least! Even Kalix was admitting that yes, he was shorter than her. That yes she had bigger arms and biceps and shoulders and legs and back and everything about her was huge! Except her bust, sucked that it was so lacking. If the two elf kids hadn’t called her grandma Kalix would have assumed her to be a man.

A big strong buff man that could easily bend Kalix over and have their way with him—

“Boys, what has granny told you about guests at the door?” Grandma asked with a stern sweetness, pointedly looking at the eldest brother.

“To get an adult…” he muttered, all of a sudden looking quite embarrassed. “B-but they said they wanted to speak to our parents and…” his lip quivered.

“Oh, Saemos,” the old(? Dang even old elves were hot!) elf woman said and patted his head while also opening the door further. “I’m sure they’ll come back home.” She looked over at the two initiates, a somber expression on her face as a melancholy smile appeared. “My daughter and her husband haven’t come back from their travels, it’s been a year. What do you need Eogair and Caelita for?” Kalix wrinkled his nose— elf names were always so… strange.

Kristen Pirian
 

Kristen Pirian

Pirian's Chosen
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Kristen paled at the sight of the elven grandmother. Her mind's eye had been flooded with the images of the archetypical matronly woman, whether of highborn or commonblood station, but these of course were all from her biased memory. They were all of elderly human women. Whom she saw before her now, towering above herself (oh joy!) and Kalix was a woman who could charitably be described if one were to throw generic descriptors of both elves and orcs scrawled on parchment pieces into a hat and then blindly pull out a fistful of them, speaking them all aloud.

At least she...seemed friendly enough? But for all those muscles though, and that astounding, Sable-dwarfing height! Mayhap Kristen had erroneously judged a tome by its cover.

Kristen, regaining some of the composure backed by the presence of Lord Banick and the hundreds of Banick soldiers all throughout town, straightened and said, "Apologies, madam, for any miscommunication, but we do not specifically need to speak with Eogair and Caelita. Your Mayor, Ulthelian, has requested that all citizens of Elyr'Adith gather in the town square, for he would address you all with an important proclamation."

Then, because she felt it necessary, she added with a smile she hoped was a cordial as she intended, "You must attend."

Raf Kalix Alistair Krixus
 
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Kalix

Zael’s Pet Cat Boi
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The linebacker grandma looked over at Kristen and nodded her head in understanding, although there was a pale brow that was raised in curiosity at what the announcement could be.

“Oh that’s all, why not say so, sooner?” She said and then smiled kindly at Kristen. “I’ll head right out. Thank you for coming to inform us.” She added and then looked down at the older elf boy who was pouting. “If that is all then…” her gaze then went over to Kalix. “I just have one suggestion for the two of you.”

The older elf woman leaned down and over, still towering over Kalix and placed one large hand on his shoulder. A few pats before she squeezed it. Kristen may not have been able to see Kalix’s face but the rambunctious initiate had practically frozen in place from the sheer pressure of this elf’s might.

“It might be best in your interests to not terrify children.” She said tersely, a smile still on her lips that didn’t reach her eyes whatsoever. “Especially my grandchildren.” She then turned around and it was only then that Kalix saw the large butcher cleaver strapped to her back. When she turned back around she then handed Kalix and Kristen a piece of hard elven sweet bread. “We appreciate your services, have a snack.”

Y-you got it.” He stammered. He took a step back, lamely looking at the sweetbread in his hand before looking at Kristen. “So… next house?

Kristen Pirian Raf Alistair Krixus
 
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Raf

The Mimic
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The door went clattering into the Elven man's home. A loud curse erupted, and when Alistair stepped inside he would be greeted by the hulk of a man staring at him with an angry red face.

Raf meanwhile was standing on the street. The clattering sound of Alistair knocking down the door drew more than a few eyes. Half a dozen men and women peeked out of their window, a few others stopped on the street to look at what was going on. Raf stared at them awkwardly, then put on his best smile.

"Nothing to see here folks!" The Mimic anounced.

It was, of course, an obvious lie. Through the doorway one could easily see Raf. Not far from him was the hulking Elf. His face was a mask of red rage and fists like barrels formed together. "Please proceed to the town square! There is a meeting called by the Mayor. Everything will be just fi-"

Before he could finish speaking Raf found himself rudely Interrupted.

"OI YOU FUCKIN LOUT BROKE MY DOOR! DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG IT TOOM TO FIX THAT?!"

The hulk of an elf demanded as he charged towards Alistair. Every step he took seemed to shake the rickety wooden floor. Sending a pulse through it as he ran towards the Initiate and tried to grab him.
 
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A large lug without speed might as well just be a punching bag. Alistair activated a rune of speed enhancement and a rune that helped him perceive time at a quicker rate. The large elf might as well be moving at a crawl now.

Alistair nimbly ducked beneath the grab, taking his time to stab his sword deep into one leg and his dueling dagger into the other.

"The door will be fixed once you comply with the mayor's order." Alistair had no idea about that. He could fix it, but this man had now officially annoyed him. This was taking too much time. It would be much easier to kill him, but he would hold back for the moment.

"Raf, you may announce the meeting to other neighbors. This won't take long."

This had not been how Alistair had hoped things would go, but he also understood from people like Kalix that sometimes the only answer is strength. Hopefully, the neighbors also understood that and made the remaining process easier.

Raf Kristen Pirian Kalix
 

Raf

The Mimic
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The large elf let out a scream of pain, his voice echoing out followed quickly by a string of curses that Raf didn't quite understand.

"No need to panic!" The Mimic called out over the whispers that were now running over the streets. "This is just a man not complying with a duly lawful order!"

Raf had absolutely no idea if that was true or not. "I SUGGEST..."

As he began to shout the massive lug of an Elf screamed out, but this time not in pain. He roared, his ham like fists coming down to reach out and grasp after Alistair once more. Except this time they came from opposite ends, and even with wobbly legs he lashed out.

His forehead came forward a the same time, aiming to smash Alistair in the face.

"...THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION IS TO PROCEED TO THE SQUARE!" Raf was shouting now, doing his best to motion people away from the fight and instead head towards the Square.

An action that some complied with, clearly afraid of what was going to happen to them should they not comply. Others however stayed put, either out of a sense of obligation, or pure morbid curiosity.
 
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Kristen Pirian

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Was it nerve-wracking? Yes. The grandmother's sheer physical presence (how those five words came together and perfectly described the situation, Kristen would never know) was intimidating--and Kristen's shoulder wasn't even the one bearing the weight of her hand and the force behind it! But, Aionus was watching, for the grandmother assented to the request of the mayor without incident. And, as it so happened, agreed with Kristen with regard to the children! And maybe...Kalix's measure of someone was in fact mostly height based? The pliant stammering suggested something of the sort.

Kristen gave a small nod to Kalix. "Yes, next house." And, stepping away and out of earshot, she tilted her head in a bit closer to Kalix and said, "Alistair made a good point earlier: mayhap it would be best not to eat that."

Speaking of whom, Kristen wondered how his and Raf's affairs have been going. Good, she would hope. Lord Banick had warned them of possible resistance, whether that be simple non-compliance or potential involvement of "the Fellowship," yet with the soldiers outnumbering the residents of Elyr'Adith the dangers seemed lessened.

Soon enough, they'd have all of Elyr'Adith gathered in the town square, the Mayor could make his announcement, and that would be the first of three parts to this grand mission done.

Raf Kalix Alistair Krixus
 
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A headbutt...the most uncivilized of techniques. Alistair activated his emergency defensive rune, skin hardening. His body went rigid, as the rune took away mobility to improve strength. The large man would feel like he slammed into a metal door. Alistair would not feel much of anything...until the next morning. When the recoil hit him later then it might feel like a hammer had been taken to his skull, but for now, it would do.

As soon as their heads collided, Alistair dropped the runes magic and went back to the attack. He lashed out with two more cuts into the elf's legs before kicking at his knee and sending him sprawling to the floor.

Alistair placed the tip of his rapier at the hulk's throat. Since he was sure that Raf was outside, so there was some distance between them. Alistair began to whisper to the man.

His normally stoic manner slipped into a seething rage.

"Listen here you pompous asshole. Do you think because you are bigger than people that somehow you do not have to obey the laws of your city? Don't be a fucking child. I am already half a mind to kill you, and I am tired of convincing myself not to. So, if I don't like the next move you make, I am going to take this sword and stab it through your throat. The best part is no one will care because they will all know that you were being an idiot."

His anger seemed to grow at every word, but his voice never rose above a whisper. He pressed the sword firmly on the skin, drawing just the slightest amount of blood.

Raf
 

Kalix

Zael’s Pet Cat Boi
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Kalix looked at Kristen and then at her hand that was still holding the sweet bread and then looked back down to the one he held in his hand. Alistair said not to eat anything? Why? Kalix’s lips tilted downwards for just a moment before he realized why Alistair would even say such a thing.

Give that to me!” Kalix said, grabbing the sweet treat from Kristen and then immediately shoving it into his mouth. Through mouthfuls he spoke to Kristen. “Youf seen howf fackin’’ twall shef was!” He pointed out as Kristen and him began walking, readying to alert the other citizens in their sector to go to the town square. He swallowed. “Whatever these tall bastards give me I’m gonna fucking eat it.” Kalix said right as he took a bite of his own. That was when even the dense initiate took notice of whispers and heard the citizens talking about a fight and human soldiers.

KP, let’s head over there,” Kalix said, grinning, wiping the crumbs off of his hands as he then sprinted over to where the crowd was in mere minutes, his armor clanging all around him. And look at that! A fight was going on!

KICK HIS FUCKING ASS ALISTAIR! I KNOW YOU’RE SHORT BUT YOU CAN DO IT!” Kalix shouted. If Alistair wasn’t going to kick someone’s ass then Kalix would! He hoped he’d get the chance.

Kristen Pirian Raf Alistair Krixus
 

Kristen Pirian

Pirian's Chosen
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"Kalix, that's not--"

Oh dear. Too late now. She could only hope that Alistair's sense for danger was a touch overtuned and that there would be nothing to fret about. Maybe it would have been a good idea (at least, had the Academy known this very specific case of gifts would be an issue) to have had an Initiate specializing in poisons on this mission--Everleigh or even Trix. But, yet again, too late now.

Kalix caught wind of the commotion a moment before Kristen did. He got a headstart on her, sprinting off, and Kristen yelped and called after him, "Hey! Wait!" and went sprinting in his wake. Oh, so it was that Proctor Magomo's running regimen was paying off now!

When they got past the ring of onlooking soldiers, she saw Raf there among some of the populace, and then Alistair...holding a sword to a large elf's throat.

Kristen stiffened, her eyes widening. Her hand made a half-effort to rise up to her mouth, to cover it in demure shock, but this impulse was resisted. This was not the place to be Kristen Pirian, the Darling Daughter. This was the place to be Dreadlord Kristen Pirian, or as close to it as she could possibly manage.

So while she paled slightly at the sight of an Alistair that was far more deadly than what she was used to, she had to remind herself. This is what they did. This is what they were here for. And, foremost, she hadn't seen the beginnings of this altercation. She hadn't seen it. She didn't know. Alistair had a good reason for his actions. Of course he did, she had the utmost faith that he did. He was not Jaxan or Ignatius or Charon.

He would do the right thing.

Raf Kalix Alistair Krixus
 

Raf

The Mimic
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"Have no worries citizens!" Raf called out, doing his best to mimic the sound of some of the more respectable Proctors back home. "It's all under co-"

KICK HIS FUCKING ASS ALISTAIR! I KNOW YOU’RE SHORT BUT YOU CAN DO IT!

The words echoed out and Raf turned around. "Oh hey guys."

It was as if he forgot the entire problem at hand, the crowd behind him suddenly not existing anymore as he turned his focus on the two other Initiates. It was that flicker of attention that allowed one of the men in the crowd to slip away, not heading towards the town square but instead running in the other direction.

As Raf greeted his companions, the hulk of an Elf took in Alistair's threat.

His face paled, his fingers curled, and his eyes flickered down towards the blade that now sat at his throat. Anger still colored his features, face as red as a tomato as he looked to the Initiate. A scowl broke on his face and he spat.

"Fine."​

He grunted.

"I'll go to your stupid bloody meetin'."​
 
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A friendly smile appeared on Alistair's face as he quickly removed his blade from the elf's throat. He sheathed his weapon and offered a conciliatory bow. It was clear that Alistair did not consider this man a threat.

"Thank you. Sorry for my ham-fisted response, but we have many citizens to share the news with and must hurry for time."

Alistair turned his back to the man and stepped clearly into the street so that more people could see him. He called out in his most commanding, yet unconfrontational tone that he could muster.

"The mayor has requested a mandatory meeting at the town square for all citizens! Please make your way there as soon as possible in an organized manner! Thank you!"

Alistair had been to focus on the large elf to notice any citizens sneaking off in the commotion, so his worries were currently minimal.

Raf Kalix Kristen Pirian
 

Kalix

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Kalix was not the type to make sure that missions were completed correctly. Missions would be completed yes, just not a hundred percent how they should have been completed. He wasn’t the sort to give two flying craps about if he messed up a little, did VIP get from point a to point b alive? Yes? Then who cared if a couple hundred people died along the way— VIP was still kicking!

Dang, we’re doing such a great job.” Kalix said, nodding his head in agreement to his comment. Sure, it sucked that Alistair had cowed the giant elf into submission so Kalix wasn’t needed to help kick some ass— but Kalix could always respect when a short little guy like Alistair still held his ground around a giant like that elf or Kalix.

Really, lord… mister… sir…? Whatever, Banick is probably so lucky that we’re on this mission here with him.” Kalix said and then looked over at Kristen. “Oh but… we haven’t finished our side though. You think word of mouth will be enough or do we really need to knock on every door?

Kristen Pirian Raf Alistair Krixus
 

Kristen Pirian

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Kristen let out a small sigh of relief. The belligerent elf relented, and Alistair could sheathe his sword safely. So far the peace had been maintained, and it would be a tragedy if it were shattered. Yes, Lord Banick was taking over their lands here Elyr'Adith, but...at least he wasn't fighting a battle for them. It was the most charitable thought Kristen could summon on the matter.

Alistair made a general announcement to the gathered crowd. Raf was trying his best in his own peculiar way (his problem seemed to be in maintaining a certain degree of focus, but bless his heart for his valiant attempts). Kalix, now that the commotion and potential incident were over, reminded her of their side.

"Hopefully not every door," she said. "But the town seems to be in fair enough motion now. Let's go make sure not a house is missed."

* * * * *​

Gathering in the Square of Elyr'Adith under the picturesque sun and blue sky were the elves and humans of the town.

Among them, an elf named Aderyn. Of the Fellowship.

He prided himself as one of the most devout of the Fellowship's cause. When the elders, in their great wisdom, conceived of a plan which they regarded as highly sensitive and of the utmost importance, Aderyn was one among the few in the upper echelons that they trusted without question. Because Aderyn knew that sometimes difficult choices needed to be made, and difficult action needed to be taken.

Like killing Idreth in Alliria and making his murder seem the work of vengeful Anirians.

Here, in Elyr'Adith and Alys Seranine—Elyr'Morath was unfortunately a lost cause due to their own misguided foolishness—a similar approach. Oh yes, the Fellowship had its many ears. Listening. Children often made the best spies, and there were plenty in Ostia Anir. Word had reached Aderyn only yesterday, before these Banick Anirians showed up on the shores of Elyr'Adith. Not much time to prepare, for while there were others of the Fellowship in Alys Seranine, they would be hopelessly outnumbered by the Anirians.

The city needed to be roused to fight, to not capitulate.

And so Aderyn needed to make the difficult choice. Take the difficult action.

Elyr'Adith needed to be sacrificed. A massacre by the Anirians needed to be provoked, to enrage and frighten the populace of Alys Seranine to fight and repel the defiling humans from their lands. And it rested upon the shoulders of Aderyn and but a few of his brothers in the Fellowship to ensure this grisly deed was done, so the greater victory at Alys Seranine could be realized.

* * * * *

THE SQUARE

Elyr'Adith was not a large town. All of its residents, between hundred and two hundred in number, fit inside of the Square but did have to pack themselves in a touch. Some space was given for the elderly to sit, kids sat atop the shoulders of their parents or grandparents, friends stood shoulder-to-shoulder, but the crowd was not tightly packed.

In the center a small platform, where perhaps traveling bards and troupes of entertainers came to put on shows for the adventurers who often passed through, the nexus around which lively nights in idyllic conditions revolved. Now it was Mayor Ulthelian atop this platform, giving a long-winded but heartfelt speech to the people of the town he presided over. People he had known and lived among for years.

"...and that we have forged many fond memories here. Yes, my friends, I know that what I am about to say will be hard to hear, but please, I ask of you..."

Walter Banick and his personal retinue were standing close by the platform.

Kristen and the Initiates were off to the outer perimeter of the Square. All five hundred soldiers couldn't possibly have fit within the Square, so while there were some fraction of that number keeping watch by the pathways between buildings leading out from the Square, the majority were spread further out.

Kristen and the Initiates had the throng of Elyr'Adith residents to their front, and a squad of Banick soldiers to their back (who, it had to be said, were looking rather bored with standing dull guard during Mayor Ulthelian's speech).

As the Mayor prattled on, a somewhat sheepish look crawled over Kristen's expression. She looked to her fellow Initiates and said, "Well! This has gone splendidly, hasn't it? Mayhap we could get something to eat after the speech?"

Despite Alistair's cautioning, Kristen's stomach was starting to second guess the warning and take a more Kalix-like approach. Maybe she shouldn't have been so hasty to disregard those gifts of food and drink from the locals.

Raf Kalix Alistair Krixus
 
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Raf

The Mimic
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Raf stood with the others as the Mayor began his speech, words lost to his ears almost as soon as they were said out loud.

He cared about this meeting about as much as...well, he couldn't even really describe it. A haze flickered over his eyes, thumbs hooked on the loops of his armor as he stood in place. The Mimic was practically falling asleep before Kristen spoke over the din.

"I could eat." Raf declared.

They hadn't really gotten the opportunity this morning, and unlike Kalix and Kristen the locals hadn't exactly been showering them with meals. "Feels like my stomach is getting ready to turn on itself."

He frowned, glancing at the others. "Maybe we should just go now?"

Raf suggested. It wasn't like the Guards standing behind them couldn't keep this crowd in check.
 

Kalix

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Kalix felt a sense of pride within his broad chest, staring out from behind the crowd. He didn’t really understand the droning speech of the mayor, nor did he actually understand why this announcement was so fundamental in everyone’s livelihood. Because one thing Kalix had yet to learn was sometimes things for the greater good, that his mentality of “if the end justifies the means” was that many people got hurt. Many innocent people.

Yeah! Let’s just call it Vel Elyr'Adith and call it a day.” Kalix said loudly, getting quite a few looks from the guards around them as well as some of the townsfolk. However with his stupidly wide grin and shimmering gold eyes, he looked as if had just completed the first part of his mission. He at least felt like he had, because look, there was Walter Banick, standing right up there with the mayor.

Raf did have a great idea though.

Yeah, what’s the point in us staying here? I could grub right now, too.” He then looked over at Alistair. “And Al gotta buy the first round of drinks.” Kalix said impishly, smiling to reveal his white teeth and the pair of incisors that really were just too long for a normal human.

Plus maybe since we’re the heroes of this town now and have… “ crap, what was that word? There was a word, Kalix knew it was a word and it was on the tip of his tongue too. What was it, what was it…? “Combined it to the other two towns then we can flirt with the ladies!” He said this part too loudly and received a couple more dirty stares.

Alistair Krixus Kristen Pirian Raf
 
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Alistair was staring off into the crowd with a scrunched up expression on his face. It looked like he was trying to solve some sort of test problem that only he could see. He kept mumbling under his breath as his eyes darted around. This would be the place. Everyone was here for the announcement. That helped Walter announce the change, but this was the best chance for those extremists to start something. It would send the biggest message and reach the most amount of people.

He was taken from his thoughts for just a moment when the others started talking about food. His right eyebrow raised in confusion as he looked at them all.

"What? Now? We are working." Alistair did not say it with a critical tone, but more just outright confusion. Did they not see that this was the part most likely to go wrong. This was when Bannick would need them the most.

"I'll get drinks, but only after we are done."

He turned to look back at the crowd and his eyes sharpened. The next thing that he said was almost more to himself, but he said it so that the others could hear.

"Focus on a certain age range. Those that try something will be in the prime of their life, capable of fighting and running at a moments notice. That removes the need to pay attention to children or the elderly."

Kristen Pirian Kalix Raf
 
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Kristen Pirian

Pirian's Chosen
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For a brief moment, Kristen was swept up in the suggestion by Raf and the concurrence by Kalix. Vel Elyr'Adith (yes, indeed, christen it as such now) would be safe without their watchful presence. Why, that's what all of the soldiers were for! Surely they wouldn't be missed. And what good would they be to Lord Banick if the lot of them were feeling peckish?

But Alistair, steady Alistair, brought her back down to her senses. Oh but it was good that he was here! A fine nobleman he would make, and she would go so far as to say that he was right on the cusp of it. Kristen herself, even accounting for being two years his junior, still was a while yet from becoming the noblewoman House Pirian had been shaping her to be.

"My apologies," Kristen said to Raf and Kalix. "Alistair is right."

They ought to wait until they were properly dismissed from their active duty. Especially with what Alistair said next. He'd a mind for the potential trouble which could arise from malcontents, and what those malcontents would look like. Such advice had a potent sobering effect on her, washing away the complaints of her stomach and recalibrating her to her task. She looked over the crowd, seeing the backs of heads and sides of faces, all attention on the Mayor.

And an arm rose from the crowd.

"TRAITOR!" came the yell in Elvish.

The sleeve of that arm burst open. The small, wrist-mounted crossbow fired. And Mayor Ulthelian dropped in midsentence upon the stage, the bolt having penetrated his chest.

All hell broke loose.

From the center of the crowd came a series of loud pops and booms (magic or a clever device, but in either case, something to further stir up fear in the crowd). The twang of another wrist-mounted crossbow, and Walter Banick narrowly lunging to one side as another bolt hit a post on the stage.

Panic spread virulently through the crowd, with a haste unrivalled by any other phenomenon. Screams of terror preceded the mass of elves and humans rushing in all directions away from the center of the Square. The Banick soldiers arranged at every avenue out of the Square, confused and on edge, fell back onto their training, forming shieldwalls upon which the citizens crashed. Shouts of "Get back!" and "Stand down!" were met with terrified pleas and crying out. The mass of panicked citizens were pushing into the shieldwalls, pushing into each other.

And flooding onto the Initiates like a wave.

Kristen was nearly swept away by it. But she reached out toward her comrades, hand flailing against the tide, and grabbed hold of Kalix. She managed to pull herself free from the mass of people and beside him.

"Did you see him!?" Kristen shouted above the commotion. The one who shot. The one who started all this. Her eyes were wide, looking at Kalix. "Did you see him!?"

Raf Kalix Alistair Krixus
 

Raf

The Mimic
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Raf wasn't as lucky as Kristen.

When the chaos broke out he had been about to argue with Alistair, intending to point out that there wasn't even really any work to do. Never even realizing that the man two feet to his left was one of those who had a crossbow. "Listen. There is n-"

Before he could finish speaking the first bolt flew. The Mayor collapsed, and the crowd erupted into an utter cacophony of terror. People began to shout at one another, women screamed, and the guards called to protect the Noble.

Explosions then rang out, and Raf's head immediately twisted around like a meerkat's.

He searched for the sound, trying to pluck out who it was when suddenly a massive meaty fist came crashing directly into his face.

There was a solid echoing thud drowned out by the sound of the screams around him. The young Initiate struck the floor with an 'oof', air expelling from his lungs as he was thrown onto the ground. Disappearing in the muddled mass of people as they struggled against the shields of the Banick Guards.

Boots trampled onto him.

They kicked his side, stomped on his ribs, desperately attempting to get out.

Raf curled into a ball, drawing his hands over his head as he tried desperately to protect himself from the panic of the crowd.

Alistair Krixus | Kalix | Kristen Pirian
 

Kalix

Zael’s Pet Cat Boi
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Kalix huffed at Alistair and his comments. Okay, was he right? Yes, technically he was. Did that mean Kalix have to like it? Heck no. He was about to make some snide comments about nobles and their priorities when it happened. Someone shouted and the next thing Kalix knew the mayor was dead. Crazy. Why kill the mayor and not aim for Banick first? If it were Kalix that’s what he would have done and look: because they shot the mayor first Walter had plenty of time to dodge!

Then everything went awry with the crowd. Wave after wave they swarmed over him.

Kalix gritted his teeth and held his ground against the crowd, but even with his impressive stature, he had to use magic so he wouldn’t be shoved aside. Any of the townsfolk that tried to push him aside or bump into would feel as if they had ran straight into a steadfast wall. He looked over at Kristen, only then realizing that she was struggling against the crowd.

Without a second thought he put a arm around her shoulders and brought the youngest initiate close to the side of his chest. He held her there as she shouted and looked around. Of course he hadn’t seen who had done it, he was too busy focusing thinking about food and pretty women.

No clue, KP. Someone get to Banick!” Kalix couldn’t quite remember if Walter had said to use or not to use magic when a mayor had been shot and was bleeding out on the podium in the town square while the townspeople stampeded around like a wild herd of horses. And technically, he wasn’t using violence on the people, just magic. Because right now there was no way for any of the initiates to reach Banick with this raving crowd.

A serious look was on Kalix’s face as he bit his lower lip, garnering all the focus and concentration he could muster before unleashing his gravity magic that had been built up. Minus the soldiers, the initiates, and those on the stand, a little over half of the townsfolk would float up and above the square. Despite Kalix’s indomitable magic, maintaining his density to be heavier and then have over a hundred people floating in the air, he could only keep those afloat roughly six feet off the ground.

It also meant whoever it was that attacked could still be on the ground or in the air, and Kalix may have helped them get a better position to aim a more fatal shot. At least he helped to thin the crowd enough for someone to get through and make sure Banick remained safe. He looked over.

What the fuck was Raf doing on the ground?!

I can’t hold it forever!” He warned his fellow initiates, the veins popping out beneath his skin from the strain and were especially evident in his forehead and neck.

Alistair Krixus Kristen Pirian Raf
 
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Fuck!

He had seen it, just seconds before it happened. Alistair had almost had time to react as he reached his hand up to begin a spell, but it was already too late. He could only watch as the bolt slammed into the mayor. That was bad enough, but what really mattered was protecting Banick.

It was time to put his cards on the table. He needed to do too many things at once. The first priority had to be Banick and the attackers. He would have to leave Raf to Kristen.

"KP, help Raf!"

Alistair moved towards the stage, shutting his eyes tight as his magical eyes activated all of his body. He would find each and every one of the attackers. He had spotted both of them by the time he had made the stage.

Alistair interposed himself between the elves and Banick before firing two bolts at the elves that fired the bolts. However, upon contact, the bolts would do not damage. Instead, the targets would begin to glow with an identifiable blue light.

"It's those two!"

Kristen Pirian Kalix Raf
 

Kristen Pirian

Pirian's Chosen
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"Raf!" Kristen yelled, watching helplessly as it appeared as though he was subducted beneath the stampeding crowd.

No clue, KP. Someone get to Banick!

Kristen, now caring not one bit about the instigators of the panic and solely on her fellow Initiates, looked to Kalix, their faces in close proximity, and said, "No! Raf! We need to help Raf!"

Kalix had his own plan though. One that left Kristen as well as many of the Banick soldiers (and all of those who didn't find themselves suspended) speechless in their awe. It was as if a kind of pause (perhaps from the God of Time Aionus himself) had descended on the madness, buying a temporary measure of reprieve. Kristen just stared up for a moment, her mouth working but no words coming out. She'd never really seen Kalix unleash his magic on such a scale before.

KP, help Raf!

Alistair's words sharply reminded her, and a Dreadlord's focus washed back over her. Her head snapped to where she'd seen him disappear, and there, down on the ground where above floated a heap of slowly turning, confused and frightened citizens, lay Raf.

Kristen hurried over to him. Dropped down. Touched him through her fingerless gauntlets and searched his body for spots of blood, for broken bones jabbing against or through the skin.

"Raf! Are you alright!? Are you hurt? We have to move!" They were under the shadow of the mass of the crowd. "Kalix cannot maintain this kind of strain for long!"

* * * * *​

Walter stood back up. His elite bodyguards had swarmed around him, weapons drawn and shields raised. Then Initiate Alistair, up on the stage, showed why he was the Initiate with the most promise among his peers and identified the assassins with a clever use of his magic.

Walter drew his own sword and pointed the tip toward those marked.

He commanded loudly, "Apprehend them for the crime of murder!"

Raf Kalix Alistair Krixus
 
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Raf

The Mimic
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Raf grimaced as he felt Kristen's hands on him, searching for blood and cuts.

He winced as she touched his ribs, the broken bones letting out a muted scream of terror through his nerves. Eyes popped open wide, but he managed to bite his tongue and conceal some of the pain as his head swiveled upward towards his companion. "I'm alright."

The Mimic grunted, clearly in pain as he pulled himself up from the ground. "Where's-oh shit."

His eyes caught on the floating bodies hanging above them. Lips thinned, and then suddenly he heard Lord Banick's calls. Head immediately swiveled once more, catching onto Kalix as he held the crowd aloft. A spark ran through Raf, seeing the aura which floated around his fellow initiate. The Mimic's eyes flickered with color, changing and shifting to a deep purple.

Then he turned.

Still half sitting his hand extended outward towards the two men Alistair had set a glow. Fingers curled as the two figures rushed towards the edge of the square. Suddenly they found themselves wrenched backward. Feet falling from beneath them as their bodies lifted from the ground and gravity pulled them back.

Raf letting out a yelp of pain as the backlash of his copied magic sent another spike of agony through his shattered ribs.
 

Kalix

Zael’s Pet Cat Boi
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Sweat had begun to pool profusely around Kalix’s brow, his legs and arms beginning to quiver slightly from the inevitable strain of holding up such weight up in the air. In truth, Kalix should have been able to hold more people up, and deep down inside, he knew this. The main issue wasn’t necessarily the weight, it was with how many “items” he was reducing their density and weight with so that they could float.

But that was the nice thing about being on a team, Kalix realized. Alistair was able to get to Banick, but not only that, he was able to make the culprits glow brighter than a full moon in a cloudless night sky. But Kalix couldn’t move. If he broke his concentration, even by turning around and accidentally focusing on something else, then everyone would come crashing down. The initiate was positive that Banick didn’t want the citizens to then deal with a bunch of broken bones.

Raf did come in handy. And… had he… wait… that’s what Lys could do! Kalix blinked, and for that incredibly brief split second, his grasp on the dozens upon dozens of dozen folk faltered just a bit so that it seemed they were about to fall down to the ground. Luckily he caught it just in time to get everyone back at that seven foot mark. Still though. Did that mean Kalix could do something similar? In truth, he never even thought to try such a thing. Why would he? Making things float or get extra heavy or having his punch feel like a million tons was his thing!

Kalix continued to hold up everyone. He could hold on, just a little bit longer for someone to actually grab the bad guys and tie them up. He could do it. He was fucking Kalix! The strongest initiate here! Another couple of seconds or even a minute of this?! He could take it!

A bursting, thick rivulet of dark crimson blood began to run down his nose from his nose and over his lips to only drip down from his chin. Kalix closed his eyes tightly, baring his teeth for all to see, a slight grunt of exertion coming from him.

Alistair Krixus Kristen Pirian Raf
 
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