Private Tales The Sound of Steel

Kaius

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Kaius made sure Arwyl got onto the horse, the acquired dagger once again finding itself in the face of a foot soldier who rushed toward the mount with a spear in hand. "Alright, go!" he growled out the demand to the elf and slapped the beast's rear as more and more soldiers poured in from the main gate, and the dreadlord emerged. It was starting to look more and more hopeless with every second, but if Arwyl could get to the east wall without being cut down then he'd have done his job.

He pried the spear from the dead soldier's grip and tried to keep as much of his attention on Arwyl as he could, his energy stretching to project his shield around the prince to fell any bolts that flew on target. He took a bolt through the back of his shoulder meanwhile and stumbled forward onto a knee with a pained growl.. "Shit.." he looked up with a grimace, watching the elf ride for the wall.

His attention shifted toward the woman's offered hand and he winced as he wasted no time in gripping hold and pulling himself onto the mare behind her, pain hissing through his teeth.. "Go!.." he barked as soldiers quickly closed in, and he pulled the spear back with his good arm and javelined it with an aim at the approaching Dreadlord's chest..
 

Arwyl Minras

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Arwyl rode on, head down and reigns gripped tightly enough to send his knuckles white. The horse had already been ridden hard, probably by some junior officer trying to get in on the glory before the battle was done. To get his pick of the locals before the enlisted started tearing the town apart.

Two local soldiers stepped out into the narrow street he was riding ahead of him. They didn't take very long looking at Arwl as he rode towards them. Arwyl expected them to flee, but they both turned and set their spears against the cobbles.

"Fuck's sake," he muttered under his breath. They should have turned and been running if they had any sense, tried to get their families out of the town. Perhaps they thought bringing down one cavalry officer was a way of getting some payback on the victorious force.

There wasn't time for this. Arwyl took his hands from the reigns and brought them together. As he pulled them apart he drew a crack in the very fabric of the world. Displaying his exceptional balance he stood in the saddle, lifting the javelin of spirit glass over his head and throwing it. It cut through the soldier on the right and his spear clattered to the ground, giving him an opening to ride through.
 
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Riley

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Riley hunched down forward, fingers gripping the reigns tightly. She urged the already spooked horse forward.

"Watch those hands," she growled but the temporary smirk would be lost to the man behind her. They were close behind the other elf. Hazels widened not just at the spear he made appear in his hand but at his...acrobatics.

"What're you two in...the fukin circus?"

Around another sharp turn and fleeing villagers, the wall loomed at the end of the street ahead. Riley risked a glance back and saw a wave of water chasing them through the street.

"Here!" She yelled and shoved the reigns in Kaius' hands and twisted in the saddle so she was half facing him. Those hazel eyes of hers weren't trained on him or his beard. They were behind. Hand reached out over his shoulder and her fingers spread. The wave of water suddenly halted and pressed against an invisible shield, splashing and hissing along the edges greedily, trying to break through.

She could feel more of her energy drain.
 

Kaius

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Kaius swore as the spear was slowed by the Dreadlord's wall of water and he curled his left arm against his chest with a grimace of searing pain. He ignored the woman's words and wrapped his other arm around her firmly as she made a sharp turn.

He gripped the reins with a frown "What are you--?" he glanced behind him and didn't need to finish the question. Shit. He tried to see past her, and could only grip the reins well enough with one hand as his other was slowly going numb. His jaw clenched, watching Arwyl with as much attention as he was able to afford and far more than he should have in his current predicament.

More soldiers started running into their path in front of Arwyl. Just a clench of his fist sent soldiers flying up off of their feet and flailing through the air with a clatter of armour onto the street, but Kaius felt the effort of it and slumped slightly against Riley. His vision blurred slightly as he tried to keep his sights on Arwyl and keep the elf's shield up.

He hadn't noticed the other rider running straight for them, or the crossbow.. or the bolt headed straight for their horse's neck.

"Fffuuuu---"

The horse nosedived, flipping them and momentum propelled the two riders forward through the air. Kaius landed hard and rolled to a stop only a few feet from the wall, and his shields dropped.
 

Arwyl Minras

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"No!" his cry cut through the air over the sounds of battle. There was a Dreadlord coming, soldiers rushing from every corner to pillage the town. Men who despised all elves.

Arwyl had reached the wall. From the back of his horse he could have climbed up; it wa not much of a wall. There was a reason the siege had lasted scant hours.

Instead of getting up he got down. There was no frustration on his face, no humour, no panic. He calmly drew another crack in the world, holding it like a sword. Three men rushed him. Their blades caught nothing but air as he danced through them.

"Get up Kaius, you're not done yet!" he hissed as he darted towards his mentor. Behind him the three soldiers were still collapsing.
 
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Riley

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Their horse went down.

Riley's head whipped back as she went airborn. Teeth grit. An invisible force would wrap around herself and Kaius as they bounced off each other and the ground. The shield broke as her head clunked against something hard. Stars danced across her vision.

Hazels blinked rapidly.

"Fukingshshhhhrrammmit," she slurred.

Her face was smashed against a scratchy beard, body tangled on top of another. Arwyl's voice focused her.

Oh, so this was Kaius.

Usually knew a name before getting into a position like this. Addled mind sharpened and she peeled herself off the man. Pushing to a staggering step, her back leaned against the wall that stuck between them and out of this hellhole. A bolt buried itself in the wall an inch from her shoulder.

Hand raised as her head pounded and the air crackled in front of the three. Blood began to drip from her nose as her wrist shook. Another bolt aimed for Arwyl's back bounced harmlessly off the air.
 

Kaius

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Kaius had nothing left. The old human man in the cell hadn't exactly had much energy to give, and it'd been far too quickly spent. The bolt in his shoulder buried itself deeper, aided by the weight of the woman who'd landed on top of him. He clenched his jaw hard and growled, his eyes squeezing shut against the pain of it.. "Buy... me dinner first..." he groaned, and coughed as she rolled herself off of him, pulling air into his starving lungs.

He frowned up at Arwyl for a moment, blinking to clear his vision.. "Told you to go.." he muttered, his words slurring like he'd had a few too many fire whiskies. He watched as bolt struck shield his fingers splayed and curled, confused for a moment as he knew it wasn't his work, his bleary gaze fell upon Riley and he knew she was almost as close to being snuffed out as he was. "No matter what..you run.." he rumbled at Arwyl and allowed the elf to pull him to his feet. He wasn't giving up yet, but if the Prince was killed trying to save him then everything he'd done would have been for nothing.

"Riz. I'll need your help on the other side of that wall - move." he commanded the orc who stood shooting at oncoming soldiers. He picked off one more rider and launched the empty crossbow at another, knocking him clean out before he leapt and scrambled to the top of the wall and hung over the edge to reach down, offering his hands. They'd have to run at it, but the horses were scattering and there was no other way up.

"Go, quickly.." Kaius grumbled at Arwyl, his face a contortion of pain as he shoved the elf toward his escape and he stumbled back toward the girl.

"Forgive me.." he huffed in elven and reached an arm around her waist and, without the strength to carry her, half drag her toward the wall and Riz's outstretched hands. He laced his fingers together to offer her a footing to push her up into the orc's grip.
 
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Arwyl Minras

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Arwyl didn't run. Not this time. He ran several strides away from the wall and flicked his left hand forwards. It had been open, but a shard of spirit glass formed in his grip at the last moment. It flung through the air, a reflection of light more than a solid object. The crossbowman yelped as it struck him below the sternum. The others turned and ran.

There was a Dreadlord in the city still. There might have been more with the attacking army for all he knew.

Now he ran. As Kaius gave the girl a leg up with Riznak he ran straight at the wall. Two light steps against the stones and he made the ledge, seeming to defy physics to make the top.

He ignored the human. She could make her own way down the other side of the wall. He joined Riznak in offering Kaius a hand each.

"There will be skirmishers behind the wall I'm sure."
 
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Riley

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She was too tired to protest. To growl out as Kaius got handsy with her. Hazels would turn up and glare at him though. Narrow full of that wrath, fury, and spitfire simmering just beneath the surface. Who was he to drag her away from a fight? She decided WHEN to walk away.

But she didn't resist.

Didn't reject those folded hands as her boot was placed in them, a hand temporarily on his shoulder for balance as the orc hauled her up as if she weighed less than a sack'o'flour. Had to keep moving. Ignore that pounding in her head.

She gave one last look on top of the wall, trying to keep the shield around Kaius and the rest of them as long as she could. Back of her hand wiped the blood away from her nose.

And that was it. The shield faltered and it was gone. Looking over the other side of the wall, she swung one leg over then the other and let herself hang before dropping the rest of the way to the ground. They were close to the treeline. Might have a shot at disappearing in them if they could get there.

There was movement on her periphery as scouts spied them. Staggering over, she snatched up a hefty size branch. "Batter up mothafukers." They charged; she swung.
 

Kaius

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Kaius growled as the woman's hand planted onto his shoulder and his cheeks puffed with air that he slowly hissed out through his teeth. His jaw clenched, and he staggered against the wall the moment her weight was lifted from him. He wiped at the unruly locks of dark hair that was stuck to his clammy brow and looked up with a grimace to blink at the offered hands of Arwyl and Riznak..

He honestly wasn't sure he could do it, and he looked across the courtyard at the chaos of battle and at the foot soldiers who were rushing toward him from the other side of the square. He looked back at Arwyl, his eyes heavy and his features a grimace of defeat. He had no idea what awaited on the other side of that wall, or how much he could protect him, but he knew that letting him face it alone whilst he still had breath in his lungs simply wasn't an option.

Kaius pushed himself back from the wall, and took a stumbled run at it, leaping forward and planting a foot to send him up to grab at the waiting hands with a loud cry of pain as it seared through his arm and shoulder. He gripped hold with all he could and allowed the pair to pull him up. He rolled over and landed on his feet on the other side before stumbling to his knees.. "Will someone get this FUCKING bolt out of me?!" he roared as he tried to push himself back to his feet.

His head snapped around as scouts rushed at them, and to Riley who had chosen a branch to fend them off with.. "Riz!" he barked. Kaius had no fight left, he was useless, but he'd watched the Orc take on ten human men at once with nothing but his bare hands and knew he was up to the task. The Orc roared as he charged at the men, giving the rest of them time to get into the forest.

"Let's go!" he barked and reached an arm around Arwyl's shoulder and turned to look back at the girl. "You too Sparky."
 

Arwyl Minras

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Arwyl had not the slightly inclination as to what the odd human was spouting this time. Fortunately Kaius was there order Riznak into the fray.

He slipped underneath Kaius' arm, keeping his left hand against him to keep him steady. Summoning a shorter blade of spirit glass, he sliced the bolt away from near Kaius' shoulder.

"Leave the rest in you daft old bastard," he hissed. "You're not allowed to die today. Stop bleeding so much."

He could snap at him, but harsh reality was that he couldn't imagine being without Kaius. He hated him most day - a reminder of his past. Yet he was the biggest part of that legacy left on Arethil. The only person left giving him any sense of direction at all.

With a blade of spirit glass he hacked at branches. They had scouts on their backsides so there seemed no point trying to hide their tracks yet.
 
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Riley

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She managed to knock one scout in the kneecaps before that orc came in and took care of the rest o'them. Good cause Riley was struggling to stay upright. Felt like she'd run the gauntlet of the Falwood only to be told to run it again. And black spots kept threatening to take over her hazels.

Sparky?

Lips parted, some smart-arse retort on the tip of her tongue. Instead, Riley managed an extraordinary amount of restraint that was unlikely to be repeated. Perhaps that was because she was thinking if she should even follow them. She'd been on her own since the Academy.

Maybe she'd just stick with them a tad longer.

Enough to survive away from these scouts. Get more distance between herself and that dreadlord after the runaway. Then she could head back to the city and cause as much hell as she could. Yup. That was this young adult's solid, rational plan.

Back of her hand wiped more blood from her noes and she dropped the branch, feet dragging as she caught up to them. She eyed that shard the red-haired one held suspiciously.

"I can do a healing rune. When we stop," she breathed, hoping she'd have enough energy by then. "Ain't promising it'll be pretty," she huffed as a qualifier, hearing Riz join them with his crashing steps behind - covering their rear.
 
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Kaius

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Kaius managed a grunt of a laugh at Arwyl's words and he shot a side glance to the elf with a smirk.. "Sorry to be inconveniencing you your fucking majesty.." he muttered, his words strained. His legs were weak, and he was glad of Arwyl's support as he stumbled through the brush and into the trees, trying to ignore the ringing in his ears and listen to the movement around them. He heard Riley catch up to them, heard three more scouts approach and Riznak snap two necks and crush another's skull with a rock.

He didn't have time to stop, but his free hand reached out, fingertips brushing against the trees within his reach as he passed them, stealing small drops of energy but only enough to keep moving forward. It was quickly spent. The sounds of clashing steel and screaming men was growing fainter as they continued to trundle into the thick wood..

"Up ahead.." he nodded toward a sheltered rock formation after another few minutes, his head lolling forward and his eyes threatening to close. Arwyl would feel his weight start to bear a little heavier and his feet started stumbling over one another..

"Riz.." he mumbled, his hand grabbing at thin air, hoping the Orc would take the signal to grab hold of him before he collapsed. "Riz.." he repeated with another grab at nothing, and darkness..
 
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Arwyl Minras

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Riznak looked at Kaius in confusion. He didn't understand until Arwyl and Kaius went down together.

"Ah," went the orc, plucking Arwyl out of the way and picking up Kaius.

Arwyl staggered a couple of steps as he found his own balance. He had come through the escape relatively unscathed. However he had started that flight after being roughed up by the guard and chained up.

He looked towards the woman who had fled with them. Because of her there was possibly a Dreadlord on their tracks. His arrogance almost kept him from mentally admitting that she was responsible for them getting out.

"I am going to lead any more scouts astray," he announced to her. He hoped she knew what that word meant. "I suggest you hide with my orc."

Arwyl turned away and took a few steps before stopping to look over his shoulder.

"I would be grateful if you didn't tell Kaius I put myself in danger again," he asked with a thin smile. Arwyl would not be gone long. He knew there was a stream nearby. If he made tracks in that direction and reached the water's edge it would be assumed they crossed and went up or down stream a little way to break the trail.
 
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Riley

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Riley hoped she still had enough energy to draw on enough magic for a healing rune for Kaius. Her legs felt like heavy weights and her feet were dragging. But a frown tugged on her lips as the red-headed one announced his plan.

By himself with the woods teeming with the enemy? Sounded as prideful as some of the apprentices in her dreadlord class. Her face soured.

"Not wise to go blundering off alone right now," she muttered but made no move to stop him. She was too tired. "And don't worry, I won't tell your lover."

It's what made sense in her mind. Why else was Kaius so keen on protecting this one? And the presence of the orc. Perhaps they liked a threesome.

Who was Riley to judge?

"Just, get back in time," Riley added and turned to catch up to the other two, giving Arwyl no time to explain or contradict her. It wasn't long before Riz found a small, hidden grove. There was a large boulder to their backs. The orc set Kaius on the ground then looked to Riley.

Fingers pushed her mop of charcoal-brown hair from her face as she knelt down in the soft grass next to the bearded, unconscious elf.

"Alright, lesse," she frowned and peeled away some of the ripped fabric already on his tunic from those bolts. Hazels closed as she whispered the healing incantation, fingers drawing the shape of a rune in the air just above his wounds. Sweat beaded along her temple and her fingers shook. The dried blood on her nose began to dampen from fresh blood.

The flesh along Kaius's wounds would begin to knit together and heal, slowing the blood that was seeping from them until it stopped all together. The dark spots that had already been flirting with her vision began to spread and increase.

"Awww fuk," Riley muttered and slumped to the ground as the over-extension of magic took its price.
 

Kaius

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He felt nothing. Not the fall or being lifted and dragged, nor the healing magic or the knitting of his wounds. His energy had been used in the battle they'd faced before being incarcerated, beaten and bloody. Since then he'd stolen dribs and drabs, enough to simply keep going and keep his shields around Arwyl..

Arwyl...

He began to stir. Incomprehensible mumbling uttered under his breath as he forced his heavy lidded eyes to open on the bloody nosed woman who’d slumped in a heap beside him. She was still breathing, and he let out a breath of his own that he hadn’t realised he’d been holding. A groan rattled out of his throat as he pushed himself up, aching from head to toe but no longer bleeding. He prodded at the shoulder, still sticky with blood, and rolled it with a sigh of relief as he felt little pain.

“Arwyl?”.. Kaius looked around, and then to Riz who was standing guard, looking shifty. He hadn’t realised the elf had wandered off until he’d got here and by then there had been no sign of him.

“He ent here ser ..” the Orc stuttered nervously.

Kaius didn’t have the energy to expel the amount of rage he felt in that moment. He simply stared at the Orc, his jaw clenched and mute demand in his eyes..

“I.. I’ll go find ‘im ser ..” he muttered and went storming off to track the Prince.

Kaius seethed, and his heart found it’s beat again, from slow and shallow it now pitched to frantic. Energy or not Kaius growled as he pulled himself to his feet and swayed dizzily, a few stumbled steps had him fall against the jagged bark of a large cedar tree. Palms pressed to the trunk and fingers splayed, the flesh of the tree glowing faintly with converting energy that rippled its way toward the elf.

Kaius’ eyes closed as his starved body pulled at the tree’s life, drinking it in as he spoke whispered elven words. The lush green canopy above him started to brown as the leaves dried out and shrivelled, loosing from their branches and falling in slow cascade to the forest floor, encircling him with a newly crunchy carpet, the life that had been theirs, now his.

His eyes opened and he looked up at the barren tree with a quiet word of thanks and he stretched before turning back to deal with the matters at hand. He moved toward the woman and delicately slipped a hand under her back to prop her up against the stone. The green of his eyes shone that bit brighter as he looked over her pale features, and his hand hesitantly came to rest on her cheek with the same soft glow against her cheek.

Kaius couldn’t heal people like she had, but he could both leech and share energy. The cedar had offered a generous amount, and Kaius quietly spoke as he shared, hoping she wouldn’t startle.
 

Arwyl Minras

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"What are you doing?" Arwyl hissed.

Riznak, who had been crashing through the undergrowth stopped rather sharply. He turned his head back and forth.

"Where are ya?"

"Shhh." As Riznak had smashed a path through the trees that anyone with the power of sight could follow, he decided to drop down from his branch.

"Low your voice. I had," Arwyl whispered angrily, "Been trying to sneak back after leaving a fake trail. Whilst you're leaving a very real trail. Kaius is up?"

Riznak threw his hands out to his sides in exasperation. He was fed up of the two elves giving him different orders and then shouting at him. He couldn't work out which of them was supposed to be in charge.

The young one was apparently deposed royalty, but was a Prince of fuck all. The older one knew what he was about and yet switching from ordering Arwyl around to asking for guidance.

"We go back now?"

"Yes. Try not over any trees on the way."
 
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Riley

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It was execution day. The elven prisoners were bound to the tall, wooden poles in the courtyard already filled with two feet of snow. They were blindfolded and gagged, arms bound behind their back. The apprentices in her class lined up, one prisoner for each dreadlord hopeful. Those that had survived this long. On command, each seventeen-year old stepped up and killed the prisoner with a sudden display of their magic or a thrust of a sword, dagger, or arrow. Only the cocky ones used magic, most wanting to keep it secret until the trials a year later - if they were still alive by then.

When they got to Riley, she let the sword in her hand drop to the ground.

'No,' she growled out.

She hadn't killed the small runaways either and that had gotten her a beating and a month in the hotbox in the middle of summer. Luckily it was also monsoon season, so she'd had enough water to survive. Funny how the mind tried to forget details to survive physical and mental trauma and how those details could resurface when unconscious.

On execution day she remembered her sword dropping. The short, verbal sparring match she'd had with the proctor before she'd felt his magic. As if he was ripping her apart from the inside out. Then being dragged across the snow. Then being thrown into the 'hot box.'

The cold box.

How her hands had shook. How she'd tried to use her shield during to keep herself warm during the worst of the cold. How they'd dragged her out after two weeks and how she'd had to kill for them anyway.

The nightmare twisted.


She felt a hand on her cheek. A flow of energy that ghosted the edges of the memory. Color would slowly return to paled olive skin. Hazels snapped open, a sharp intake of air as her chest rose. She didn't know what a gentle touch was. Hands had always been there to punish her. Cause pain. Mold her.

And the moment of not recognizing Kaius in those hazels and from being jolted awake, he'd suddenly find a fist flying toward him while her other hand went to wrench that wrist of the hand on her cheek away. Wild hazels, their color a mixture of green and yellow in this light as she pushed her body forward to try and pin him to the ground.

Rapid, erratic breath, then a slowly, creeping recognition painted across her face.

"What're you doing?!" The growl would leave her throat as quickly as the fight left her eyes.
 

Kaius

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Kaius's lips twitched with some small semblance of a smile as he watched her eyes flickering under her lids and he hoped he wasn't about to disturb a pleasant dream. Her pallor improved, and he subconsciously ran a thumb across her cheek just before her eyes snapped open. He'd been about to speak when the fist came flying at him. She caught the side of his jaw as his head turned reflexively and he let out a growl as his lip burst. Already unsteady in his crouched position next to her, he toppled easily and landed hard on his back under her pin, blinking up at her with a mixture of incredulity and amusement.

His hands came up to splay at either side of him in surrender and he gave a husky laugh under his breath "Easy Sparky!" he growled and licked at the coppery blood on his lip.. He stared up at her for a moment, pulling a deep breath and waiting for her to calm, his earthy green eyes sparkling with mischief and amusement as he studied her delicate features, though he was well aware that she was anything but delicate. "I was just trying to help.." he rumbled at her in thick elven accent.

"But once again..You're on top of me.. If you want my attention so badly all you have to do is ask.." he smirked and gave a subtle wink.
 
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Arwyl Minras

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"Really Kaius? With a human?" Arwyl asked as he stepped into the shelter.

He was more than aware that this was a struggle. It seemed an opportunity for a small dig.

Casual and seemingly heedless of the tangle of limbs, he strode past them both and perched on a rock. Almost every inch of his body ached, but he summoned some grave from somewhere to glide across the room.

"Humans don't break as easy, as elves" Riznak reasoned. Apparently he was coming to Kaius' defence.

"Your insight always leaves me speechless Riznak. Now why were you fighting a Dreadlord. Don't get up on my account."
 
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Riley

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Was he...was he flirting with her?

It was hard for Riley to place that wink, the trail of his eyes and the light dancing in them. During the little downtime apprentices got, most of them went into town and most went to the brothels. They’d probably be better at picking up on flirting than she could. Riley had earned very little free time during her eight years at the Academy. She was always mouthing off to a proctor.

Brows furrowed.

“Again? You keeping track?” The quip was short as the redhead’s voice startled her from behind. That and all that crashing noise the orc made.

Oh shit the lover was back.

And he was apparently late.

How long had she been out?

With a hard shove of her palms at the elf’s chest, she’d push to a stand off him.Legs wobbled and one hand caught herself against the rock she’d just been leaning on. Up too fast too soon. But not too soon to indignantly clarify things to the two lovers.

“NOTHING was happening.” Her back leaned against the rock wall now, arms crossed stiffly beneath her chest. A glare at all of them. Back of her hand cuffed across her nose, wiping away dried blood.

Hazels tracked to the ginger at his question.

“Because Vel Anir doesn’t like it when their own fight back against the pile of dragon shite they’ve been shoveling at someone for the past eight years. Well. That and he’s a goddamned muppet.”
 

Kaius

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Kaius' brow quirked with a wry smirk at her question and his lips parted to answer before Arwyl's voice caused his attention to shift and he stared at the elf upside down, his expression now suddenly void of amusement as he sauntered in and started asking the questions. He grimaced as Riley shoved herself back to her feet and he rolled onto his side to huff at the redhead, his glare fixed.

"Never mind that where did you go prancing off to? Wait until I pass out from trying to save your pampered arse so that you can swan off and potentially get yourself killed first chance you get? If that's not a kick in the teeth lad I don't know what is.." his jaw clenched.

He pulled himself up and drew his eyes from the elf to look over the woman, a hint of amusement in his eyes at her defensiveness over their tumble, but his expression was once again blank as she started to speak. She spoke in the common tongue and yet her words simply made him blink in confusion. The fuck was a goddamned muppet? Who was shovelling dragon shit and why?..

"I think a thank you would be a better start..." he rumbled, shooting another glared glance at Arwyl and looking back to the human with a sigh, pressing his hand to his chest. "I am Kaius.." he introduced with a polite dip of his chin.. He jerked a thumb behind him toward the Orc "This is Riznak, and this little shit is Arwyl.." he huffed with a look to Arwyl. Of course, the Prince had titles, but he wasn't entirely sure the woman could be trusted with such information, and so little shit would suffice for now.

"We wouldn't have got out of there alive without you, and we're all grateful, Miss..?"
 
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Arwyl Minras

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Never mind that where did you go prancing off to?
"I went to leave a trail headed in a different direction you grumpy old bastard," Arwyl replied.

He was aware that he would pay for that. Despite technically being royalty Kaius was in charge of his lessons. It was a duty he took very seriously. Not so seriously that he would not turn an entire lesson into gruelling physical punishment for some snide remark Arwyl had made.

"Riznak stop pacing. They'll hear you crashing about the place and what is a muppet?"

The question slipped out even as he turned to chide the orc. His brain simply couldn't let it slide any longer.
 
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Riley

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Hazels tracked from Kaius and up to Riznak, then down to...little shit Arwyl. Amusement rippled across her face. For being romantically involved, these two certainly had a unique...love language. Eyes with flecks of gold, brown, and blueish-green shifted back to the grumpy old bastard.

"Riley. Just Riley. No miss or ma'am."

Charcoal-brown brows knit across olive skin at Arwyl's question. Did elves not get out much? Too many forest revelries while getting drunk on dingam berries? Prancing about in the meadows with flowers in their hair and beards?

"Y'know. Like a puppet. Really?"

Anyway.

"What're you three doing in Anirian territory?" It wasn't exactly the safest for anyone without rounded ears.
 

Kaius

Grumpy Old Bastard
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Character Biography
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His jaw clenched at Arwyl's response and a brow arched as he glared up at him, holding back his thoughts.. How many times must he almost get himself killed trying to get out of the scrapes he had gotten them into? How long would he live after Kaius did finally succumb to injury or execution? When would he grow out of his fucking petulance?

"Forgive me. I forgot, you're full of smart ideas.. slipped my mind for a moment there who the brains of the operation is..Must have been all that blood that I lost.." he commented dryly and returned his attention to Riley with a light smirk at her aversion to formalities.

Her question had Kaius rubbing at the tension in the back of his neck with a quiet laugh as he turned his face toward the heavens and shook his head slowly.. "Ah I've been asking myself that very thing, just Riley.. This fucking mastermind just fancies causing us as much trouble as he can.." he murmured, lacing both hands together behind his neck and keeping his head tilted back to fill his lungs with a few deep breaths as he closed his eyes and listened to the forest, and for any sign that they were being tracked..