The rhythmic chugging of the train hummed an enchanting lullaby slowing usurping Elliott’s energy turning every blink into a battle to remain conscious, though he may be stronger than a human even he is no match for the sand man. The vast green landscape outside the car faded to black before turning into something just as serene, but much more sentimental. A much younger Elliott stands at the edge of pond bathed in a soft effervescent glow and surrounded by the occasional lilac, though a memory the half-breed could swear he smelled the sweet scent of the lovely flora and hear the swishing of waves turning over from a soft breeze. The young boy turns around to be confronted by a feminine silhouette, “Mother…?”, he whispered as the shadow began to approach him. Just as the figure reached the light a buzz began to resound through the area followed by a booming voice, “We are now approaching Vi‘ Sentis, capital of our beautiful motherland Guardiana and home to the Council‘s headquarters!”. His eyes shot open and slowly he began to rub them in an attempt to fully wake himself up.
The chugging of the train was soon muffled by the roar of the engine’s whistle followed by the screeching of metal pressing against metal, “Here we are! Please leave the train in an orderly fashion. We hope you have a wonderful stay in our beautiful city.”, the PA system grew silent and the murmuring of the other passengers became louder. Many of the passengers were excited to be visiting the city for the first time, others were happy to return home after a long trip, while the rest were just happy to finally leave the train. He got up from his seat with a tired groan and exited behind a group of human females chattering amongst themselves about seeing a group of Asuras earlier that day and how frightful they appeared, one even went as far to say that she would have nightmares for the rest of her life because of their dark appearance. The Lucresian paid it no mind, he merely chuckled to himself as he walked around the group running his hand through his ivory mane to calm itch.
As usual after coming back from a trip to his home village he decided to stop by the local tavern, “The Crooked Wyvern”, to relax and catch up on any gossip or rumors that might have popped up during his absence. On his way there he passed by a group of merchants fawning over a strange ware, a man and woman fighting over whether or not he was attracted to her mother and sister, and finally the local drunkard who had finally ran out myr and got tossed out yet again. Upon reaching the establishment’s front door he took a minute to enjoy the peace and tranquility before entering a den of intense banter and alcohol influenced conversations about who could please who’s wife better. Elliott smiled as he entered feeling quite at home, strolling up to the bar he waved at a few of the patrons whom he had developed acquaintance ships with. “Hey there Harle,”, he greeted the grey haired bartender with a smile as he reached into one of his back pouches pulling out 20 myr, “I‘ll have the usual.” Harle smiled back as he reached for an empty mug and began to fill it with a blackish-brown concoction, “Here you go Elliott, one advent drake.” The older gentleman took his myr and went back to doing whatever repetitious chore could be expected of a man in his profession.
Taking the beverage in one hand he turned around in his seat to face the rest of the building and slowly sipped it as he thought about how he would spend the rest of the day, sitting at the bar and drinking until nightfall was a tempting idea but one that would cost him the night in an alley as opposed to one in the inn. He quickly discarded the thought while taking another sip from his mug, lazily glancing around the tavern looking for any new faces that looked like they held any worthwhile stories.
Crooked Wyvern was buzzing with activity per usual, men fawning over the barmaids and the clanks of mugs hitting the tables. However, against all odds, a particular conversation from the corner of the inn seemed to penetrate through the veil of noise. It was two men, one of them an older man and a construction worker by the looks of him, wearing torn jeans and having left over crystalized dust from setting up the magitech machines - cheaper versions with crystals more prone to shatter due to the strain of the gears drawing too much power. The other man was more of note, a cloak thrown over his shoulders and a steel blade sheathed to his side, marking him as some sort of warrior but of course there was more. The man had several runes along his arms and a small magitech vest that held a crystal in the middle, part it crawling up what was supposedly his sword, apparently meant to augment his abilities as he was only human.
"Haha, are you serious?" The worker's words were the first to be heard as an amused grin spread across his lips and he shook his head in disbelief.
The warrior then shrugged before lifting his mug to his lips. The foam from the beer stuck to his mustache, forcing him to wipe it away as the mug came to rest on the table once more. "Aye .. small little thing too. She just walked up to the front desk and asked to register ... no rune markings, no magitech - nothing. Just a blade strapped to her back and some light armor."
The worker pressed his palm against his forehead for a moment, letting out a small laugh. "She's got some serious guts ... did they let her in?"
"Yeah," the warrior replied with a small grin, "but she had to do the skills test, just like anyone without magitech. Doubt she lasted."
Earlier that day ...
"Yes, I'd like to register." The woman had bright white hair and pale skin, but healthy skin and wore black light armor across her chest. The most notable thing, being that she was standing in the middle of the Vi' Sentis Adventurer Guild, was the blade strapped across her back. No one made much particular note of her just yet as warriors of various races, mostly humans with magitech and Lucresians are varying different species, crowded the main hall as they went through the job offering boards and merchants that had set up shop.
The clerk at the registration office looked up and examined Valerie real quick, raising a slight eyebrow. It was a slightly older woman that had apparently had a measure of experience working at this position as she worked with quickness and little errors. Her own hair was in a bun and a set of glasses sat on her nose. "Uh .. hm .. right.." It was easy to notice that Valerie didn't have any magitech, so the first question seemed obvious for her. "Race?"
Valerie shifted a little and glanced around before looking down at the paper that clerk was filling out. "Human.." The clerk started to fill it out only to look up with some mild confusion, but she didn't directly question her answer. They went over a few other answers such as height, weight, gender, so on and so forth. When it came down to skills, she simply responded with sword magic - which of course was practically unheard of as anything, but it was put down regardless before she was sent to sit down and wait to be called.
Finally, her name was called and she was directed into a hallway and to the second door on the right. As she entered, she found herself in an room with only a desk filled with paperwork, a single chair, and a man dressed in more adventure-friendly gear. He was holding a piece of paper in hand as he nearly glared at it, leaving her in silence as she slowly approached the chair in front of his desk. Suddenly, he slammed the paper against the desk and huffed at her. "Is this some kind of joke? A human with magic and no magitech? Why are you wasting our time? ... ugh, just leave so I get on with my life, hm?"
"W-wait! I can do magic!" she argued quickly, having been caught-off by the rude and quick judgement. The man responded with a sharp 'tch' and just shook his head, but seemed to look at her with an expecting look in his eyes before gesturing her to continue as if humoring her. Settling her nerves a bit, having been worried that she wouldn't get a chance, she slowly drew her sword and took a deep breath. Valerie wasn't sure what this would do in the long run or if the men that had pulled her into the ally would return or not, but she was given this and she needed to do the right thing with it. She then swung her blade in an arc, letting the magical energies flow from the stone in her chest into the blade as it erupted into a fire, the flames licking the sword's edge hungrily.
The flaming sword caused the man to nearly jump out of his seat, the chair strapping against the floor as his eyes widened. "How? ..."
Will be moving to 12-hour shifts (7 days a week) until November. Posting will be slow!
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Adair swung open the tavern door and strode through, his lip twisting into a sneer of disgust at the sight of the establishment's patrons, the majority of whom would have been considered somewhat sub-par even by the standards of the lesser races. He walked forwards a few paces, glancing around for someone who looked like they might have the information he sought.
Then he gave up. It was harder than it sounded picking out one filthy piece of human flotsam from another.
"Ahem." he coughed, trying to draw attention. That didn't work, well, except for a few people close by who turned around and began mocking him either for the fact that he'd walked into a bar and said 'ahem' or for his coat, which apparently made him look like a ponce.
Adair narrowed his eyes. It was getting harder and harder to put up with these imbeciles with every moment that passed. If this continued much longer then someone would end up dead, and it wouldn't be him.
"Alright, you mindless, drunken oafs!" he yelled at the top of his voice. "Someone had better give me directions to your mercenary guild, right now, or I'll brutally murder the whole damn lot of you!"
"Wait, forget the bit about the murder... especially if any of you are guards."
Stepping past the sliding doors and out of the train, Danae was met with the sight of an extremely crowded train station with people hurrying about, probably eager to get home. She had never seen so many people in her life, and so many different races… she’d never seen a human before this let alone one of those other scary races she’d forgotten the name of. It seemed so surreal… until she got shoved in the back as a polite way of saying hurry up. Apparently people weren’t really nice here, Danae decided as she got sucked into the crowd and ended up pushing her way through with occasional apologies to the people that accidentally got rammed by her staff.
Danae stumbled out of the open station and into Vi’ Sentis, the city she’d travelled so long to see and it certainly lived up to her expectations, with its slightly modern feel and the hordes of people roaming the streets. She took a deep breath to try and calm her nerves and started walking along with the crowd, trying to blend in. There were many shops around with mansions and towers all around her and Danae would bet it looked even more beautiful at night. She walked along, following the street and turning her head, trying to take everything in at once. It was so different from the compound and Danae couldn’t help but feel it was much more suited for her even though she’d only seen a handful of Lucresians like herself.
As she walked on, Danae realized she would need a place to stay. Although the towers seemed like a good place to stay, she doubted she had enough money to last her more than a few weeks. And that brought up another problem: she couldn’t rely on pick-pocketing. Not only was it morally wrong, she had almost gotten caught the last time she swiped a grinchy, rich old man's wallet. And all of a sudden, she found herself questioning her actions. What had she been thinking, trying to run away from the compound? Sure, it was a horrible place with her clan elders constantly putting her down but at least she had a place to sleep, something to eat, books and all the like. How could she ever survive here?
The young Lucresian shook her head, running her hands through her jet-black hair. ’I can’t think like this. Be positive! Although nothing good ever came out of being positive…’ She thought and regretted reading all those volumes on psychology. All her knowledge about seemingly trivial things was utterly useless right now. If only she’d read things on how to survive alone in a bustling city.
She was so absorbed in her thoughts she had no idea where she was heading and as she focused once again on seeing the sights, she found herself in front of a building of sorts named ’The Crooked Wyvern’. Burning with curiosity, Danae decided to at least give it a look before leaving in order to look for a place to spend the night. She knew it was a tavern, a place in cities and villages where people – although mostly men – went to have a drink. At least, that’s what the books said… Gripping her staff tighter, Danae entered the tavern behind a man who’d tipsily walked in and inconspicuously slid into a corner next to the bar. Well, it certainly seemed as rowdy as she’d read.
Stepping off of the train platform, his bountiful hair and shining white overcoat gently lifting in the breeze, was Astin Galactique, son of the Great House Galactique. He stood about a head taller than most people that bustled around him. He looked over their heads and scanned the crowd, a reserved yet confident smile on his face, and strode through the crowded station at a pace that could be described as a gallant stroll. Following behind him was a much smaller man in a crisp, black suit and some canine features that marked him as being a rather pure-blooded Lucresian. Astin continued to press through the crowd and into the street before spotting a tavern a convenient distance away, and made a beeline toward it. His apparent servant followed him all the while.
Just as Astin was about to enter the tavern (dubbed The Crooked Wyvern), his servant objected, "Master Astin, you're not actually going in there, are you?"
Astin stopped and turned to face his retainer, placing his hands on his hips in what was inadvertently made a threatening gesture by the presence of a sword at his hip. "Should I not be, Douglass? The refreshments provided on the train were unsatisfactory; I quite desire a drink."
The servant, now known as Douglass, pleaded with his master. "This is a most... unkempt part of the city, sir. That tavern is certainly host to all manner of ruffians and ne'er do wells. Surely there are better places not too far from here to refresh yourself. As well, your most honorable mother, siblings and grandfather are awaiting your return at the family manor. You do not wish to keep them waiting, do you?"
Astin's smile only widened as he slapped Douglass on the back in a very brotherly manner. "Ahh, Douglass, my friend, you must learn to worry less. Regardless of where they live, the citizens of this fine city are my ward, and it is my privilege to know and walk among them. And besides, I have only been gone a week. Our car will wait. What's another ten minutes while I have something to calm my nerves?"
Douglass shifted from foot to foot uncomfortably. "Please, sir, I beg of you. I don't want to go in there. Could you please postpone your drink until we return home?"
Astin suddenly stood up straighter than usual, almost bending back, as he put on a theatrical air of judgement. "No, no. I have made my decision. I will pop into this fine establishment, order a drink, consume it, and then we shall collect our ride home. You may wait outside if you like."
The servant gave a very dog-like whine with his head hung and mumbled, "Very well, sir."
His smile returning, Astin spun on one foot and boldly entered the tavern. Right away he seemed out of place, with his pristine appearance, aura of nobility, and the cool confidence of his demeanor. The eyes of those in the tavern seemed to generally travel to his face, to the gleaming silver sheath at his hip, to his blazing, blue eyes, to his white, silken clothes, and then back to his sword. Astin strode further into the tavern, apparently oblivious of the stares he received from around the room, and seated himself at the bar with one leg crossed over the other like a stereotypical dandy.
"One gin and tonic, my good man." said Astin (a bit too loudly) to the bartender as he fished out of his pocket a hundred-myr note.
The bartender picked up the bill, examined it to see if it was real, and then stared at Astin blankly as he asked, "Do you expect me to be able to break this?"
Astin pondered this for a moment before grinning again and replying, "Perhaps not! However many rounds as that will buy for everyone are on me!" He slapped the counter theatrically as he finished speaking, and broke into chortling laughter.
The bartender shrugged and pocketed the bill before quickly mixing Astin his drink. The knight took the drink with a word of gratitude and spun around in his seat to look over the other patrons as he sipped his beverage, still smiling to himself.
Ahem The older lady looked up from her papers at the sound, but aside from the masses of regular guild goers the main hall of the Vi'sentis adventurers guild was, the area in front of her desk was empty. Thinking her imagination was playing tricks on her she went back to her papers, Ahem the sound came again, this time the lady was sure she had heard something but like last time she didn't see anything, down here madam said the strangely child like voice the woman stood and peered over her desk to see a boy of perhaps ten peering right back at her. Her first thought was he was another kid hopping to be trained by one of the adventures, of course the guild didn't handle things like that, so she was about to tell the lad to go away, before she could say anything however the boy spoke up againI assure you madam that I am not here looking for the training your thinking of he stated. The woman paused shocked by the boys answer to the question she hadn't asked, Then what exactly are you here for young man she stuttered Well mam I'm here to offer my services to your guild the boy answered without hesitation. How easily he said that caused the woman to take a second look at the strange boy, and she quickly found out her first guess couldn't have been farther from the truth.
Oh he looked enough like a regular boy but if she looked closely he was giving off some kind of weird light, it reminded her of the glow given off by smouldering embers just before you put out a fire, and while that could be considered weird enough he was clothed in priest robes clearly made for someone far larger than himself and wearing white linen cloth over his eyes, was the boy blind? No, he was clearly looking at her when he talked so that wasn't it, maybe he was a loon one of them religious nuts here to try and preach at the guild, but that didn't make sense ether because he was carrying a tall walking stick with runes and glyphs drawn all over it and priests never used magic as far as she knew. The woman sighed and sat back in her chair, first the magic woman now a glowing kid she was to old for this, what skills are you planing on bringing to the table young man she said simply while pulling out a sheet of paper,I'm a weapon smith by trade madam and i'd like to be of service to those whose armor or weapons are in need of repair. This brought another long pause from the woman, she supposed he could be a smith he looked a bit tall for his age and maybe he would grow into those robes given time, another sigh alright kid name and race, the boy smiled he had always liked this part I'm a Half-man mam and that's the Truth.
Elliott was not even half way done with his drink before a man with colorful hair came into the tavern inquiring about the mercenaries guild…in a sense. He merely chuckled to himself thinking back to the hundreds of other loons who came in making similar threats only to meet their ends days or weeks later on a job they lacked the skill to even perform. After a few shakes of his head he downed the remainder of his bittersweet drink, before he could place his mug on the bar a man of clear noble lineage walked in and ordered a drink using paper money, something only used by those with vast wealth, offering to buy drinks for the house instead of having Harle break it into myr for him. Being one to not turn down such a gracious offer he turned to the bartender, “I‘ll take a refill on behalf of our kind friend here.”, a slight grin formed on his face as the alcoholic elixir took its hold. Everyone else in the establishment was just as quick to capitalize on the kind man’s generosity with some even starting to cheer and a few beginning to sing, if slurred yelling could be referred to as such.
When the half-breed went to pick up his fully replenished mug he heard a sound coming from the corner of the establishment, the low rumbling laugh of Gregory Roster who happened to be the self proclaimed drunken peace keeper of the Crooked Wyvern. “Oh great, now I have to watch this troglodyte beat this poor guy‘s brains out.”, Elliott thought to himself as he turned his back to the room for a view of the back wall.
“Youuu tink yur so tuff struttin up in ‘ere wit yur fansee lil‘ coat?”, the man mocked as he walked up to the colorful man grabbing the shoulder of his coat and rubbing it between his fingers as if he was fiddling with a dress. “You ain‘t nuthin ya hear me? Now if you apolosize I won‘t put a whoopin on you.”, he cracked his enormous knuckles, “So, what‘ll it be?” Due to his enormous size many people would just walk right back out of the tavern and be on their way since no will really wants to fight a 7 foot giant with the strength of several men. By now the building had become so quiet you could hear a pin drop, but instead all you heard were the whispers of lesser men making bets on if the smaller man would leave or fight and if he would survive. Everyone sat by waiting to see what would happen.
Last edited by Helter Skelter; 01-06-2013 at 02:13 PM.
Adair smiled broadly.
"I don't need to be tough, you inebriated imbecile," he said cheerfully, "because I am intelligent."
As the onlookers gazed on, he was surrounded briefly by a corona of green light, then vanished. As the thug peered perplexedly at the spot where Adair had stood a moment ago, the hired killer reappeared, but this time with his right arm protruding from the other man's chest.
"Guh!" his would-be assailant choked piteously. Then, due to the fact that he was now lacking a heart and was therefore nothing more than dead weight (literally), the man collapsed and began bleeding out all over the floor.
"Also: magic. That's another thing I am." he announced smugly, then turned away from the corpse and back to the patrons of the tavern, giving them a manic grin. "Now, I'll ask again; do any of you worthless oafs know the way to the mercenary guild?"
As she stood in a corner of the tavern, observing the people’s strange behaviour under the influence of the alcoholic drinks, a haughty noble strutting in caught her eye. He made a show of treating everyone to a drink and that made Danae sniff in disdain. What kind of noble was he anyway? At any rate, as bloodthirsty and cruel her tribe was they still held themselves far better than the guy who just walked in. However, she decided to take him up on his offer and as the bartender lady got closer, she caught her attention with a wave of her hand. When the lady asked what she would like, Danae was stuck. She could tell no difference between the drinks so instead she just pointed to one of the drunk men’s drink and said, “I’ll have that, please.”
Danae watched the crowd as the lady got her drink ready. They really were a rowdy bunch, she decided, sidestepping out of the way as one of them staggered in her direction. And to top it off, another guy walked in and started yelling at the hopelessly drunk men to point him at some ‘mercenary guild’, whatever it was. She vaguely knew what a guild was, and decided to find out the next morning if she could join one as well, preferably a magical one. She was snapped out of her thoughts by the lady putting her drink down in front of her, smiling.
Sitting down on one of the recently vacated barstools, Danae took a sip, not knowing what to expect. As it slid down her throat, it took all of her willpower to hold it in and not spitting out, instead opting for choking silently with her head down. The burning sensation in her throat was definitely not expected and before she knew it, Danae was sliding the drink along the counter back to the lady. “No thanks,” She murmured, still coughing. It was the absolute worst thing she had ever had the pleasure of drinking! What was in that monstrosity and why on earth would anyone ever want to drink that? She shifted her attention back to the rich noble and she couldn’t help but give him a disapproving look, despite trying to remain inconspicuous.