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  #111  
Old 02-24-2009, 03:42 PM
die2self die2self is offline
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Default "The Empire Beckons" (Crae`s detour from Telethos)

The untamed weather slowed the arduous journey back to the Empire’s borders, making it seem quite longer than was initially intended. The long roads ahead, which snaked around the mountains, hillsides, and wide rivers, had been covered with ice and snow for miles. As the ice melted in the warmer areas, snow became water, and the once hard-packed dirt became pools of mud. Furthermore, the abrupt changes in temperature only made the trip that much more unbearable for the Inquisitor, being susceptible as he was to the seasons. A low chuckle burst from his mouth, as he thought back to such a foolish thing: a witch hunter with allergies…

Crae had at least one piece of fortune, as he was given the convenience of traveling within the confines of the iron reinforced carriage, typically used for an envoy of the Empire. The Inquisitor, however, would much prefer to be mounted atop Seraf, the mare which had been in his company for several years and who he came to trust in any given situation, than to be holed up in a stuffy metal and wood box. Seraf, hadn’t worried too much though, being yoked with the other horses to pull the dark carriage, a task that was guided by two riders. For much of the journey, Crae was just happy to be warm and dry as the paralyzing affects of his ailment kept him from doing much of anything else. He took the very last of the medicinal mixtures which he had acquired while in the City of the Mountain Kingdom, hoping they would take affect and end the miserable illness.

Crae stared unmoving, under heavy eyelids, toward the bloodied white cloth’s strewn along the floor of the carriage. The incessant coughing that had started in the first leg of their journey caused small tears inside his throat, which bled, mixing with saliva and coming out onto the rags. At this point, laying his head against the worn cushion along the side panel, he was pretty sure that this would be his last journey between realms for a long while. Of course, in the same mindset, he knew that wasn’t true for many reasons.

The will of the Emperor, Ajen, was an honor to abide to. It was more than life itself, even under severe circumstances. The Steel Empire was a force to be reckoned with, a power-house of innovation, military might, technological and agricultural advancement, and true insight into the future of the surrounding realms. Each sect and sub-sect had strict rules and disciplines to adhere to, which ultimately became a cornerstone in the various organizations. Training was structured as such, that each member knew what the other was thinking before either reacted. As an Inquisitor, it was priority-one to dig into the supernatural realms, to understand the aspects in order to combat the evils which reside therein. To crush those who oppose the greater good, under the mighty hammer of justice.

Aside from his primary objective and servitude to the Empire and the cabal, Crae realized that he had also failed in his promise to the elven ranger, the lovely Lady Iridris. Compassion had not come as easily to the, otherwise stoic Inquisitor. Then again, not much within his chosen profession has given him the opportunity for such trivial feelings. How could one sympathize with demons, as they spread their lies and wickedness through the land?...or, perhaps, the undead, whom walked the earth as though they truly belonged in the same plane of existence? Crae shook his head at such a thought. But his word, for the most part, had been his bond. To give a promise of ‘spirit and sword’ is such that would not be given lightly, and yet Crae had no other choice in the matter than to pull out of his initial journey. However, the will of his liege could not be overlooked, no matter how much his cold heart was warmed by the presence of the woman with the deep blue eyes.

Details of the reasons behind the abrupt exodus from the Mountain Kingdom seemed almost a moot point, considering the riders who escorted the Inquisitor had very little knowledge in the pending mission. Even the letter, which was initially given to Crae upon the announcement was nothing more than that...an announcement. This, of course, spared them from having to hide anything in the event that force was used to pull information. Whether it saved their lives in the end, however, was a different story. As far as Crae was concerned though, it matter not what the Inquisition’s intentions were, since there was rarely a case of wasted resources. With his rank and skill set, brought him into greater responsibility, leading small raiding parties, deciphering unmarked manuscripts (via Agents working with them at times), overseeing executions and exorcisms, traveling beyond the Steel Empire’s realm to intervene in the name of the Emperor, and many other positions within.

Denizens of the Underworld never slept, and the Inquisition was to be prepared at a moment’s notice.

His eyelids weighed down with sleep, as he stared out of the small opening on the carriage door. The rain had been beating against the roof for quite some time, making it harder to fall asleep. Crae knew he needed the rest before arriving within the Empire’s great walls, and there were still days ahead of him before the journey would come to an end. Although, the little bit of peace he found was short lived by the loud calls and commands of the two drivers and six armed horsemen, whom were assigned to guard the carriage and it`s drivers. Crae`s ears quickly perked up, followed by his eyes opening and focusing on the source of the commotion. The shouts and calls came from all four directions, as the horsemen began to pull in their ranks tightly along side the accelerating carriage, and quickly drew their swords. The drivers, snapping the reigns to gain greater speed from the horses, pulled crossbows and kept them at the ready.

From out of the small opening, Crae could see the dark spots moving down the distant hillside at a rapid pace, dirt and debris kicking up in their wake.

"Mountain raiders" He managed to mumble under his breath. "and the rancid goblins, no doubt..."
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  #112  
Old 02-27-2009, 08:12 PM
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Taieyos Baskelris Taieyos Baskelris is offline
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"Taieyos Baskelris it is then. I am sorry sir, I am sure you know more than to expect to meet the Lady simply by coming up to me and demanding it." the bent innkeeper replied levelly.

Raising his hands in defense he nods in understanding at the blasphemous idea. Pulling his hood back over his hair he rolls his eyes as the old man continues speaking, turning his back to the wrinkled man.

"It is in our best interest here at the inn, to ensure the privacy of ou-"

The innkeeper was suddenly interrupted by a rich and melodious voice coming from the direction of the stairs.

"Is there a problem? I thought I heard someone call my name..."

A raised brow comes from the Robed man's face just before a smile quickly pursues. Pulling his hood back from concealing any of his face he turns to the woman putting the back of his hand against his lower back, as his right hand crosses his chest with a humble bow. "Me Lady! It's great to see you once more."His voice quiet as eyes fixate on her. Talking a few steps towards her his gaze drags towards the ground. "I 'eard you was back in town! His cheerful voice matching the large grin in his face as he slowly raises his head once more.

Ye durned fool! Ye're a Storm Lord! 'ave some dignity for Ale's sake! Never the one to be proper around Nobles his lack of manners are more than obvious with his discomfort. Ye durned craftless, anvil dropping, heap of anthracite! Say somethin' else!

"I was curious if ye 'eard from yer sister." Catching his mistake his voice quickly stammered "Lady Lysiris, I mean. Putting his other hand at the small of his back he clasps his hands together, nervous to be in her presence once more. Though it has been quite a while since he's had the pleasure of being in the same room as a Farandir.
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  #113  
Old 03-01-2009, 10:49 PM
die2self die2self is offline
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Default "The Empire Beckons" - Chp II

The stray arrow whistled by a horseman`s head, ricocheted off the iron bars along the carriage, and planted itself into a passing patch of grass and mud.

"So it has begun..." Crae whispered, staring out into the distance as the swarm of raiders close in the gap at great speeds.

To the best of the Inquisitor`s knowledge, the large band of black-clothed riders had inhabited these open terrains for decades, preying on merchant caravans, weary travelers, and otherwise. Seeing that the Empire had decided to utilize such a well-protected carriage, iron reinforcements and all, the raiders presumed that it`s contents were most likely of the diplomatic nature. Which in their minds, meant something worth more than the small amount of gold or jewels they had on board. Leverage had always fetched a higher price, knowing that a high ranking official of the Steel Empire, or the Mountain Kingdom in some instances, would be well worth the fight.

Crae came to regret being escorted in the belly of the steel beast, which had been more of a target than any real protection. Although, in his current condition, fighting wasn`t going to save him either. Much. Whatever ailed him, was slowly sapping the strength from his body, as well as his tired mind. His hope had to lay with those appointed to bring him safely across. It was now a race to the Empire`s borders, as the carriage cut through the mud road with fifty plus black riders on it`s tail.

Last edited by die2self; 03-04-2009 at 04:20 PM.
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  #114  
Old 03-02-2009, 09:29 AM
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Wyeel Wyeel is offline
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Her hands were clasped behind her back as Iridris regarded the human Storm Lord who spoke with a thick dwarven accent. Her expression held a quizzical look as the human attempted to explain himself. The fiery haired man finished with a cheery grin, one which the elf returned with a small smile, out of courtesy. Looking at his eyes, however, Iridris was slightly surprised to find that the colours did not match. It didn't bother her much though, being used to Count Thoredar's own unmatched pair. Contrary to the Count's icy stare, this man's eyes held a flicker of doubt in them, as though he were unsure of himself.

Iridris straightened her back and was about to politely excuse herself - he must have gotten the wrong person, or something - when the Storm Lord abruptly continued, with a question that caught the ranger off-guard.

"I was curious if ye 'eard from yer sister." Catching his mistake, Taieyos' voice quickly stammered "Lady Lysiris, I mean."

Almost instantly, all traces of mirth evaporated from her face to be replaced by a dark cast which shadowed her visage. Iridris took an involuntary step forward and spoke in a stern voice, cold and hard.

"Who are you? How do you know about my sister?!" She demanded, hands now clenched at her sides. The tavern keeper wisely decided to fade into the background, as he left the other two to their devices.
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Character Profiles: Lysiris Farandir & Iridris Farandir

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  #115  
Old 03-03-2009, 05:12 AM
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Taieyos Baskelris Taieyos Baskelris is offline
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"Who are you? How do you know about my sister?!" She demanded, hands now clenched at her sides. The tavern keeper wisely decided to fade into the background, as he left the other two to their devices.

Raising his hands up in a defensive manner he quickly looked around to see if her raised voiced as brought any unwanted attention. "Me Lady! We went to school together! I didn't mean to upset ye! I was just.." Quickly taking a few steps back he turned for the door running a hand through his hair. Making his way out of the inn in a quick fashion he slammed the door behind him looking around almost expecting guards to be already waiting for his quick escape.

With his heart pounding almost out of his chest his true colors showed. On the battlefield Taieyos was considered a wild beast, but when it came to Noble socializing he had the strength of an insect. His overreaction could easily be considered an insult. "Thought she was gonna do me in!" Placing a hand on his chest he feels the the irregular hear beat. He brings his other hand up to draw his hood over his hair, his eyes quickly scanning the crowd for guards before making his way back towards the Old Tankard, slamming the door behind himself once again.

A curious look coming from Tuor behind the bar counter brings a quick nod from the Storm Lord, and a raised hand to order a pint. "Tuor! I aint 'ere! If the guards come around!" Screaming over the other patrons of the tavern Tuor smacks an open palm across his own face as he watches the Storm Lord move to the upper level joining Whurten and the others back the table, cries of joy coming through the Old Tankard.
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  #116  
Old 03-04-2009, 07:16 PM
die2self die2self is offline
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Default "The Empire beckons" – Chp III

Once the borders were reached, which they all hoped would be sooner than later, it was unlikely the black raiders would continue their pursuit. The Steel Empire took little for granted, keeping eyes and ears peeled for any disruption within their realm. Humans, and non-humans alike, who were not part of the regime, were typically shunned upon and declared a threat in many instances. There were exceptions, though, depending on the nature of their presence and also whether the Emperor himself was fore-warned of new arrivals within his land. With the threats from the surrounding creatures of the wild, security in and around the Empire has continued to stay tight, allowing very little to slip through the cracks.

Several projectiles flew past the guards, some hitting the iron supports of the carriage and falling to the ground while others embedded themselves into the dark wood that made up the bulk of the body. Arrows, crossbow bolts, darts, and even lead or stone shot forth from a sling, hurled toward the small group of Empire officials, as they furiously rode strong and hard toward the distant borders of their homeland.

Crae kept his wits about him, not allowing the chilling grip of illness to pull him down from a possible fight. The horsemen assigned to guard the carriage totaled in six, not exactly an army though. The drivers themselves were well trained in combat, mêlée as much as ranged, however if the enemy closed in enough then there would be a great loss on our side simply due to their sheer numbers. The Inquisitor knew enough about these rag-tag groups of mongrels to conclude that, regardless of their lack of coordination and combat discipline, bandits typically out-numbered their targets five to one. It was a lowly strategy, to say the least, but an effective one for what they were primarily out to accomplish.

Annihilation.

Another rain of deadly ranged attacks streamed along, landing a few hits against two of the mounted guards. Crae flinched slightly as a stray arrow struck the interior window frame, only inches from where he had been peering out. His heart began to speed up, not out of fear though, but the eagerness to retaliate, to rid the outer lands of the over-saturation of scum inhabiting every corner. However, the Inquisitor learned to take the rage that welled up, and turn into something he could use, a force that kept him moving forward and focused on the objective. His attention turned to one of the guards, skewered through the back by a tribal spear and quickly losing control of his horse. One of the other guards rode up beside him, grabbing the reigns and keeping him steady. Another shout, the shout of relief, came from the lead guard.

“Two miles!”

The Inquisitor let his head fall back against the seat rest, staring at his weapons lying atop the seat directly across from him. Each one had a little bit of a story behind the steel, wooden, or leather construction. Each one had a place within his arsenal, and a purpose to serve the Empire.

“Home…” Crae mumbled to himself in a throaty voice.

“Incoming! Watch the flanks!” The warnings came from the guards along side the carriage, as another small group of black raider shock troops, armed with scimitars and hand axes , rushed out of the thick brush several yards away and headed toward the racing carriage. Crae quickly mustered up every ounce of strength he could and grabbed hold of his crossbow, loaded a poison-tipped bolt, and took aim. From his position within the rocking carriage, the possibility of a miss was pretty good, but he waited until the targets were in a fair range before he took the shot. Four of them rode hard, swinging their crude weapons above their head and chanting battle cries as they closed in on the Empire’s caravan. The gap was closing quickly, and within that moment, Crae let the first bolt fly, piercing the lead raider in the chest. It wouldn’t be too long before the poison took full affect, coursing through the victim’s blood, essentially shutting down their body. The Inquisitor couldn’t help but grin, as he reached over to grab another bolt.

“The God Emperor, Ajen has allowed his grace to shines down on us this day!…” He exclaimed, his voice hoarse but lively with anticipation, as he slid the next poison bolt into the groove and pulled back on the string to lock it in place. Crae inhaled deeply, steadied his aim once again, targeting the charging axe wielder, and exhaled as he readied his finger to the trigger.

“There is no mercy for the wicked…” He said to himself, narrowing his eyes, as he released the bolt and it quickly buried itself into the side of the barbarian rider.

“…because no mercy would ever be granted by them…”
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  #117  
Old 03-08-2009, 05:29 AM
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Wyeel Wyeel is offline
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Iridris stared open-mouthed as the robed man (who didn't even bother to introduce himself) made his abrupt and rude departure. She felt both puzzlement and ire at the man's behaviour. It was not until a patron politely cleared his throat that she moved away from the counter, allowing the old innkeeper to serve him.

Dismissing the odd occurrence, Iridris was about to make her way to a booth when the tavern door opened with a bang, the gust of wind that blew in was followed by the appearance of a green plumed hat. The big man strode into the rest-house, a wide grin on his face.

"Ah, m'Lady! You're up and about! Thought I'd have to go bang on your door till the whole house comes down with it."

The ranger was taken aback at the appearance of the Dragoon. Obviously she knew he was coming, but not this early...

The sudden toll of a bell confirmed her suspicions. Nay, it wasn't early, the Dragoon was right on time. She must have dozed off on her bed.

"I see you've brought friends..." Iridris replied coolly when she noticed two others standing behind Arten.

"Indeed I have! m'Lady, meet Gabriel. I brought him along because he might be able to help in our little discussion." Arten boomed, gesturing to the man on his left.

"Gabriel, this is Lady Iridris. The person I told you about."
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  #118  
Old 03-08-2009, 10:00 PM
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The conversation, for most of the trip from his study to the tavern, was scarce, dropping in little bits of small talk to pass the time. However, passing the time wasn`t something he was accustom to. In fact, very little of his time seemed to be spent alone, but instead constantly surrounded by others would were more than willing to take up the peace he so longed for. Gabriel truly wasn`t sure what to expect with the resurfacing of the map, found so long ago and yet lost with time...or so he thought. With Arten involved, the skyguard knew it was quite more than just an interesting find...but a key to something untold. Even more, who was this friend he spoke of?

Gabriel`s thoughts circled about for several minutes, until the abrupt unlatching of the front door to the tavern snapped him back. The bronze-bearded commander, Arten, made his way a few steps into the tavern before both his elven companion and the skyguard captain followed behind. Gabriel quickly glanced around the room, as several of the tavern`s patrons stopped cold at the entrance of the trio. The captain couldn`t help but feel a little out of place, until Arten, in his booming voice, greeted the associate that he had sought out.

"a friend, indeed..." He muttered to himself with a grin, as his eyes locked onto the elven woman adorned in a simple, yet neatly kept dress.

Who was she? ...so beaut-...

At the mention of his name, Gabriel blinked quickly before composing him. Uncertain as to what his next reaction should be, the skyguard simply bowed in his military fashion toward the elven woman.

"Any friend of Arten, m`lady, is a very much...a friend of mine..."

He straighten from the bow, lowering his right arm from his chest as he concluded the typical formalities. He withdrew his gaze for a moment, eying the other patrons with an almost suspicious stare, before returning his attention to the Lady standing before him.
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Last edited by Raven; 03-12-2009 at 08:38 PM. Reason: SOMEone didn`t like being called a "creature" ;)
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  #119  
Old 03-11-2009, 09:41 PM
die2self die2self is offline
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Default "The Empire beckons" – Chp IV

The long road ahead came to an end, as the caravan made it`s way across the borderlands and into the realm of the Steel Empire. The black raiders, a band of misfit soldiers from all walks of life, were forced back by the Empire`s border patrol before any breach could be made. With the help of technological advancement, the eye of the Empire stretched quite far from it`s borders, allowing little room for error or surprise.

Crae lifted his head from the reclined position, as the familiar archway leading up toward the main central city of the Empire came into view. As the sun began to set, the lights of the great city could be seen for miles, glimmering against the light of the moon.

"Home..." The Inquisitor mumbled under his breath, as his mind wandered to his awaiting bedchamber. The first leg of the journey was over, but rest was desperately needed to take on the days ahead and he knew that there would be plenty of those. For an Inquisitor to be pulled away at a moments notice typically indicated an urgent matter, something which could not be denied.

The carriage continued on toward the quarters which housed the various sects of the Inquisition, and came to a halt outside of it`s wrought iron gates. Crae opened the door to the carriage and grabbed his equipment before stepping out onto the cobblestone street. The familiar voice of Edward echoed through the corridor, which lead out into the front gates.

"Ah, Crae, I see you`ve made good time...but, that comes as no surprise to me." Edward`s aged visage always had a rather friendly appearance, which went along nicely with the tone of his voice. He reached out to unlock the latched the gates from the inside, and motioned the Inquisitor inside, arching an eyebrow in his direction. "Are you okay? You look quite ill, pale almost..."

Crae put a hand on Edward`s shoulder, and grinned. "So I`m guessing this means I have a free pass to sleep until next week?..."

They both chuckled, as Edward locked up the gate and they made their way toward the main corridor leading into toward the meeting hall. "Well, my friend, you know I would allow you to sleep as long as you need, but this matter needs your full attention...first thing tomorrow, if possible."

Crae`s eyes widened for a moment, not realizing that his time for rest would be quite limited, and whatever time he was given would have to count.

"A trip to the apothecary is in my near future, especially if I`m going to be coherent enough to accomplish this task." Crae blankly stated.

"Oh absolutely, I`m sure the herbalists will have something to insure a speedy recovery." Edward paused for a moment, and a wide grin formed across his face. "Besides, Elisa will be happy that you stopped by to see her...".

Crae shook his head for a moment. "Oh hell, she still around? I figured that girl would`ve already moved away from the City."

They both made it across the courtyard to the foot of the stairs leading up toward the meeting hall, and Edward turned toward the Inquisitor. "Alright, I need to retrieve a few signed documents for tomorrow, but I`ll meet you in the hall for the briefing in about fifteen minutes. Allow me to take your equipment back to your quarters, it`s the very least I can do for you."

Crae half-smiled, handed the few weapons and bags he had on him, and made his way up the staircase.

"by the way, Crae...Elisa didn`t leave, because she was awaiting your return. Contrary to your own self-judgment, the girl really does care for you." Edwards echoed voice trailed off as he turned a corner.

The Inquisitor reached the second level, took a few steps and sat down on a a wooden bench that was pushed up against the wall. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes, hoping for just a few minutes of peace before the storm.

"but there is another who has my stone heart..." Crae mumbled to himself, as his voice drifted off.

Last edited by die2self; 03-11-2009 at 09:46 PM.
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  #120  
Old 03-16-2009, 08:13 AM
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Wyeel Wyeel is offline
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"Crae...?!" Her voice caught in her throat and it came out as a whisper, which was probably fortunate.

Iridris stood rigid her eyes wide with surprise when the Wing Commander introduced himself. A frown creased her forehead as she tried to make sense of what she was seeing. Only when the man straightened from his bow did she realize that her mouth was slightly agape. Luckily his attention was reverted somewhere else, this gave her time to scrutinize the man's features more carefully with her disbelieving eyes.

No, he's different... She concluded.

For the moment, the ranger had thought that the man in front of her was the inquisitor who so profoundly affected her, in a way she had never before experienced. Her spirits were momentarily lifted, but her new-found joy was quickly dashed upon the rocks of reality. No. This man had stronger features, and his built was broader than Crae's, though the similarities were there. The sudden silence between the trio caught Iridris' wandering mind. All three men were looking at her, expecting her to speak. Almost angrily, she berated herself for appearing so distracted. She was not herself, not lately.

Inclining her head towards the other, she spoke in her usual tone,

"It is my pleasure Captain. Forgive my lapse, I had only just rested from a long journey. Now please, join me at a table gentlemen."
She gestured at a nearby booth and moved towards it.

"What did you say your name was?" She asked the soldier, an eyebrow arching sharply.
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