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18+ Demons in the Dark

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by Thesius, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    Every place has dark secrets. Some, are darker than others. Such is the case in this story. In the fiefdom of Anticlere, in the Breton homeland of Highrock, there once existed a noble house, of the name of Gravus. They dwelt in a grand castle, on top of a large cliff, overlooking a small hamlet. In the old days, the village was plagued by necromancers and other foul creatures. The house Gravus responded with a force of knights and men at arms, the lords of the castle leading many assaults themselves. For centuries, the battles continued, and house Gravus continued these wars against evil, even as the rest of the Breton people fought their petty wars of succession and conquest.

    The royal house lost many of its' people, and gained itself the enmity of dozens of necromancers, liches, and other foul creatures. For every noble warrior that fell in battle, the enemy gained a mindless minion. Eventually, their foes took the upper hand, pressing the noble house again and again- to the point of breaking. However, their end came not from without, but from within. One of the Gravus sons, fascinated with the occult, and necromantic arts, became ensnared. A night of summoning, terror, and bloodshed took place, and come the dawn, house Gravus was no more.

    The village below endured though, with necromancers and cultists using the peasant population for their dark rituals. The castle on the cliff became known among the commoners as Château de désespoir. As the decades passed the village and its castle became largely forgotten, and a forest sprang up around the castle and village. This is no normal forest, however, but a blighted place, filled with darkness, and foul, mutated beings, that prey on foolish hunters or merchants. The village has become a place under siege, with palisades and high wooden walls. The castle above became a cursed place, where screams of agony and mad cackling can be heard on moonless nights.

    Shortly after the end of the civil war, a Breton lord, naming himself as the lost descendant of the Gravus family appeared. He waits in the city of Crossmore, south of the village, and has sent out an announcement: Any who help him reclaim his ancient home and purge the surrounding lands of evil will be rich beyond their dreams.

    This is a grand opportunity for the brave, foolish, greedy,and desperate. However, there is no guarantee these mercenaries, adventurers, and 'heroes' will be able to overcome what lurks in the woods, and the villagers have become less and less trusting of outsiders, due to their years of bitter strife.


    HHHHHHHHH


    Important NPCs'

    Lord Jonathan Gravus, head of the expedition
    Gavin Feller, Master of Coin
    Tollis Thraen, advisor to lord Gravus

    (standard npc dialogue colour.)

    Cast

    Thesius :
    Pyrus Vanius and Jysella Vanius

    EpicVakarian : Kira Woodsley

    Specter of Death :
    Maelin

    Madrar : Aldrem Dane

    TheDreamerverse : Breyrenna Ferrow

    Signus : Andros Haorsson

    Andre Marek: Gelae Angwenyl

    Hale Loneshadow: Hale Loneshadow

    TheArgonianDrell : Sothas Abrium and Aylira Taliir


     
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    #1 Thesius, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  2. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    Pyrus Vanius, sitting on bench of the wagon they'd hired to take them to the Breton town of Crossmore, grunted as the wheel struck a rut in the road, and sent the impact up through the floor. Across from him, his younger sister, Jysella Vanius, glanced out at the driver. It was the fifth day of their journey that had started at the Paladins' headquarters in Cyrodiil. The journey had been uneventful, mostly. A few random bandit attacks, of course, but that was to be expected.

    The war had just ended a few months ago, and hundreds of soldiers had come home from Skyrim. Most simply returned home and reunited with their family and friends and lived their lives. Not everyone was like that, however. Some men, once they'd started fighting and killing, they were unable to do anything else. Or worse, they found they enjoyed killing, and decided to continue doing so,along with robbery and rape. Neither Pyrus nor Jysella had hesitated in giving the latter type of men their just rewards.

    Sitting across from him, Jysella stared off into space, the fingers of her left hand drumming against her thigh. She was restless. They both were, but Jysella had always been the more fidgety of the two. She caught his stare, and her fingers stilled. His sister turned to the driver, who has humming softly to himself as they made their way along the road to Crossmore. "How much farther, driver?"

    "Not long now, ma'am. You can see Crossmores' tower from here, see?" The man pointed at something in the distance. The man took a deep breath a looked up at the sky, "Aye, you can be sure the town will be busy today. Weather means the fishermen will be coming in with boatfuls of fresh catch."

    Jysella thanked the man and leaned back against the side of the wagon. As the driver had said, it was not long before they were at the gates of the town. Pyrus dropped a heavy sack of coin in the mans' waiting hand, and hopped out, glad to have his feet on the ground again. With one hand, he adjusted the hammer at his belt, the other shifting his shield so he could comfortably carry it and his pack. The gates of Crossmore were open, allowing entrance to any who wished to do so. The scent of sea water and fish that had been left too long in the sun reached the pair on a light breeze.

    "Now all we have to do is find this lord Gravus." Pyrus stated as they entered the town itself. The driver had not lied about the chaos in the town. People were out in large groups, eager to get their supper, and, Pyrus suspected, curious about this lord Gravus, if he was indeed somewhere in the town. Jysella brandished a carefully folded piece of parchment.

    "We're to go to the town square. He'll be waiting for us." She informed her brother.

    The paladins of Arkay let themselves be carried along by the crowd, until they reached the town square. It had, for lack of a better word, been conquered. Standards flying a silver crescent moon on a field of blue were at each corner. Soldiers in the same livery stood nearby, carefully watching the crowds. Several pavilions had been set up, a couple which had tables covered in food, as if some great feast was expected. In the very center was a large tent, its' inhabitants hidden from view, but guarded by half a dozen heavily armed and armoured men.


    "I assume that is where we'll find the lord." Pyrus guessed, nodding towards the tent. With Jysella beside him, the pair made a beeline for the tent entrance. When they were less than a few metres away, the guards crossed their halberds, blocking access.

    "State your business!" One man, presumably a captain, ordered.

    "Pyrus and Jysella Vanius. We are here on behalf of the paladins of Arkay, to assist lord Gravus in reclaiming his home." Pyrus announced.

    The captain bade them to wait, and he entered the tent. Leaning close so that only Pyrus could hear her, Jysella murmured
    "he certainly takes his security seriously."

    "As the last of his line, he may be right to be cautious." Pyrus said back, just as the guard captain emerged from the tent.
    "His lordship, Jonathan Gravus, will receive you now." The guards lifted their weapons, allowing the two imperials passage. The interior of the tent was dimly lit by several candles, held by candelabra stationed at the corners of the tent. A table, nearly the width of the interior, was a little further in, covered in scraps of parchment, inkwells, used and fresh quills, and an old map. Beside the map was a tattered looking book, with no clue given as to what it was.

    Leaning over the map was a young looking breton man, dark haired and clean shaven. His bearing hinted that he knew how to use the sword at his hip. He wore a rich burgundy tunic, but plain pants, that had clearly seen travel recently. A ring graced his right hand.
    "Welcome!" The man exclaimed, face lighting up in a genuine seeming smile. " I, am lord Jonathan Gravus. Head of the expedition to reclaim my ancestral estate. It means much to me that you have come, noble paladins."

    The siblings exchanged glances, taken aback by the lords enthusiasm. Both bowed at the waist, "we are, of course, at your service, lord Gravus." Jysella said.

    " I am relieved to hear it. Allow me to introduce my companions, Gavin Feller, my master of coin, " a corpulent man bedecked in jewelery smiled and nodded at the pair. "And Tollis Thraen, my dear friend and advisor." The second man was extremely thin and dressed in plain robes. His gaunt face was framed by graying hair. In one hand, he clutched an intricately carved staff. The mage inclined his head fractionally. "Now, please, take some rest. We can discuss the details of the trip once the rest of our companions arrive. Food and drink await you outside."

    The pair of paladins bowed once more, before retreating from the tent.
    "He seemed nice." Jysella noted, as they headed for the shade of one of the pavillions. "Agreed. I just hope our 'companions' will not seek to take advantage of his kindness."


     
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  3. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    Aldrem Dane approached Crossmore on foot. His horse had been shot out from under him the day before, victim of a bandit ambush. The would-be murderers presented little challenge to the experienced swordsman. His seeking of a challenge was what had lead him to the town in the first place. What little he'd heard of this 'lord Gravus' and his expedition, sounded like it would be full of dangers. And perhaps, Aldrem would finally find an opponent worthy of his skill. The lords' cause seemed noble enough, though the imperial had never heard of house Gravus before, but that was to be expected. He'd only been to High Rock a few times in his life, and most of those he'd been more concerned with tournaments involving skill at arms, rather than rumours that popped up in dark tavern corners.

    The imperial ran a hand through his short dark hair, as a cool, gentle breeze came from the ocean. The rumours of Gravus' expedition hadn't exactly specified where in Crossmore he'd be, but Aldrem suspected the lord would be out in the open. If a lord wanted to attract mercenaries and adventurers, it would behoove him to set up shop somewhere obvious. With that in mind, the imperial started forward, easily slipping through the crowd of people. Most, he assumed were local, dressed in simple clothes and headed, for the most part, the same way Aldrem himself was. Looking over the heads of the crowd, he noticed several standards, shifting in the wind. A silver crescent on blue. Almost certainly not local then, if the murmurs of the townsfolk were to be believed.

    The closer he got, the more thicker the crowd grew, their curiosity compelling them to investigate. As he broke free of the press of bodies, Aldrem saw the reason for the gathering. Several pavilions, most providing shade for soldiers that shared the same livery as the standards, were placed in the town square. By one of them, a pair of imperials stood, engaged in conversation. Their gear indicated that they weren't with the group of soldiers present int the square. A large tent, heavily guarded, hinted at Gravus' location. The imperial made for the tent, but when he was a few paces away, the guards, six in total, barred his way with their halberds. One of them, Dane guessed a captain, demanded his business.

    "I come to offer my sword arm to lord Gravus. I heard he was looking for adventurers to join his expedition."

    The man ordered him to wait, so he did, locking gazes with each of the remaining five guards, mentally calculating the most efficient way to kill them. The guardsmen stared blankly back at him, doubtless doing the same. It was nothing personal, of course. Neither Aldrem nor the soldiers knew each other. It was something that went through the mind of every warrior, at first meeting. Several moments later, the captain came back and told him to step inside. Aldrem strolled easily past the soldiers, moving the tent flap aside, and stepping inside.

    A trio of men stood around a wide table. An older man, standing to the right, was so thin he appeared skeletal. The staff in his hand, along with the robes he wore, indicated he was a mage. On the left was a man that, physically, at least, the mages opposite. Clearly well fed, and if the rings on his fingers were any indication, more than a little wealthy. The center man, however, had a warriors build, despite the rich tunic he wore. He smiled, seeming perfectly pleased to have an armed stranger not three metres from him. "Welcome to Crossmore, sir. Might we know your name?"

    Aldrem bowed, before answering "Aldrem Dane. I assume you are lord Gravus?"

    "Yes. My companions are Tollis Thraen and Gaven Feller, my advisor and master of coin respectively."

    "A swordsman." The man who'd been introduced as Gaven Feller remarked, "how...unique." There was a hint of sarcasm to his tone.

    "Begging your pardon, sir, but every swordsman is unique. Each has a different style of fighting, unique as different gemstones, for comparison." Aldrem stated.

    "Indeed," lord Gravus agreed, "I am sure you'll have an opportunity to demonstrate your skills on our expedition. For now, please avail yourself of the refreshment outside. There are a pair of paladins you may wish to make the acquaintance of. "

    "As you wish, my lord." Aldrem bowed again, and left the tent, making a direct line for the shade of the pavilion where his two fellow imperials stood. "Greetings. Aldrem Dane, of Cyrodiil. You must be the paladins lord Gravus mentioned." Spotting a goblet of wine sitting on the long table nearby, he seized it, following Gravus' suggestion.
     
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  4. TheDreamersverse

    TheDreamersverse Brit Fahiil Vahdin

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    Pulling the hood of her cloak further down, covering her face, Breyrenna snuck by all the townspeople of Crossmore. More or less wishing she could just push them out of her way would it not have brought to much unwanted attention to her. Ever if she had left the group, she still found herself acting like she was a criminal. Hiding from the public eye, and those of Guards alike. She had heard of this Lord Gravus and his 'noble quest' to reclaim his home completely by chance while she was sitting at an inn she overheard a conversation about the unheard of Lord requiring help in the reclaiming of his home. She then decided that she would come to Crossmore and find the Lord Gravus and inlist to help the man. After all, she knew what it felt like to lose a home, plus she was in dire need of coin. And where Lords are, coin flows. Halting her inner monologue she notices a rather large tent, and starts towards it at a brisk pace. She passed a table with with three people sitting on it, two of them seemed to be Paladins, the third a swordsman. Breyrenna then shook her head of the thoughts and dicked inside the tent. Three men were standing around a cluttered table, clearing her throat to announce her arrival she said to the men, "I assume one you you is Lord Gravus," the young Breton man was the one who answered her "Yes indeed, I am Lord Jonathan Gravus, it is a pleasure to meet you. Now is there anything I could do for you Miss?" Such manners, well what was to be expected from a Lord. She looked to his companions before she answered. "I have heard that you were in need of people to help you reclaim your home. I would like to offer my services to you Lord, if you would have my help that is." The young lord looked her over, though she may not have looked like much under her dark leather armor she was mostly muscle. The Lord seemed to be in deep though, and Breyrenna was sure he was about to turn her away when he finally replied "yes, I think you will do nicely. Please help yourself to some food and meet your companions for it will be a long journey. You might have seen them on your way in two Paladin siblings and a swordsman. I suggest you go meet them." "Of course my Lord." She replied and bowed deeply before she turned and walked out of the tent, rolling her eyes as soon as she was sure he wouldn't see. "Great now I go 'make friends' with the others chosen to help with this so called quest." She quickly noticed said warriors and made her way towards them. She only heard the last part of their conversation though. "You must be the Paladins, Lord Gravus mentioned." Said the swordsman, Breyrenna then took this as her chance to sit beside the man. "Yes, you must be the swordsman. My name is Breyrenna Farrow, it's a pleasure to meet you all."
     
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  5. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    The unlikely pair walked side by side down the road to Crossmore, and drew more than a few curious stares as they passed through the gates. One, was a massive argonian, with iron grey scales, paling to a more ashy colouration underneath his jaw and at his throat. A pair of long horns emerged from the back of his head, and smaller bone growths lined the underside of his jaw. A shield, most often referred to as a 'tower shield' was slung over his back, held in place by a broad leather strap. At his hip was a hand and a half sword, though of a different make than most saw. The heavy plate finished his intimidating appearance, covering him from foot to throat in steel. Sothas Abrium was, perhaps, the most heavily armoured individual within several kilometres of Crossmore.

    Beside him, strode someone that, if judged merely by the gear each wore, could be considered his opposite. Aside from her shoulders, forearms, and some very light reinforcement across her torso, she wore all leather armour. She moved with considerably more grace than her menacing companion. She carried no shield, but a dagger rested on one hip, and a strange, sickle bladed sword on the other. The hilts of a dozen throwing blades could be seen emerging from a bandolier that crossed from her right shoulder to her left hip. Onlookers could have been forgiven for assuming the dark elf was the kinder of the two.

    She disproved that theory as she shouldered and elbowed her way through the thick crowd of breton townspeople. "Out of the damn way." She snarled, earning herself a dissaproving glance from her argonian companion. "What?" She demanded.

    "You seem to be in an unusually foul mood." He remarked, his voice deep and gravelly.

    "We sailed to High Rock. You know I hate sailing." Aylira said, continuing to use her arms to clear a path. Her statement wasn't strictly true, of course. It was the water that she couldn't stand. And an extremely large, deep body, like the ocean only made her more uncomfortable.

    "We were in Valenwood when we heard of lord Gravus. It would have taken us months to reach Crossmore from there on foot." He reminded her. His dunmer companion looked away and grumbled something under her breath. She'd lost the argument, and she knew it. Before she could inflict more elbow-related injuries on the innocent townsfolk, Sothas tapped her on the shoulder and nodded to a large tent, guarded by a formidable group of soldiers. "I think we've found who we're looking for."

    "Let's go say hello." The companions passed through the sentry line of soldiers. They were stopped for a short time by the men guarding the tent, before being admitted entrance.

    A trio of human males stood opposite them, a cluttered table between them and the tent entrance. One, a young breton man, looked up as they approached. "Ah. Good, more brave adventurers. You aren't the first to arrive but...ah..." He eyed Sothas with more than a little apprehension, "you certainly seem ready. " He quickly introduced his two companions, a Gavin Feller, and Tollis Thraen. "More are coming, I believe, but for now, help yourself to food and drink outside."

    Sothas dipped at the waist, while Aylira, arms crossed, did not. The two left the tent, and when they were a dozen steps from the guards, she said "I'll wager a hundred septims that the mage in there is bodyguard, more than he is an advisor."

    "Does it matter?" Sothas asked, leading her to a table where four others already sat.

    "No, but why lie about it? Something doesn't add up."

    "You're being paranoid. Come let's meet the others." As they reached the table, the argonian warrior inclined his head, "greetings. I am Sothas Abrium, and this-" he indicated the dunmer at his side,who was mumbling something about Sothas being a naive oaf, "is Aylira Taliir. I take it we'll be working together on this expedition."
     
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  6. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Moderator
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    "Here we are ma'am," the gruff, older looking man spoke as he turned around in his seat at the head of the carriage. "Crossmore Proper."

    "Lovely," Maelin spoke with a dismissive sigh, flowing out of her seat and onto the broken stone road that awaited below. She didn't look at the man again, but rather haphazardly tossed a pouch of septims in his general direction before continuing on her way through the town's main gate. The town itself was bustling with crowds of people; Breton, beast and mer alike. The putrid smells of drying fish and sea air wafted themselves into Maelin's nostrils, and the salty breeze could be described as almost rough on her fair skin. Likely the only enjoyable features of her new surroundings were the clear sky and sun's warmth, and perhaps even the familiarity that the town brought to her mind. It had been longer than she cared to remember since she last felt actual warmth, let alone semi-familiar surroundings in her time living in Skyrim. It had been what at least seemed like a decade since she had last seen any part of High Rock or it's architecture. Though her memories of the province were not all pleasant, she still found it easy to be content despite the obvious foul day she wandered into the town on.

    "Well then, enough dallying," Maelin spoke smartly to herself, starting a proper pace towards the centre of the town, "I'm not one to leave a Lord waiting."

    She walked elegantly, and powerfully; standing tall with her head high as she moved. She was surprised to find that the skirt of her dress was not getting caught on dried plants poking through the paved paths, unlike her usual walkways where she'd have to keep the skirt lifted, so she allowed her idle hands to meet near her navel and come together with interlaced fingers. As she stepped, she read the almost frantically moving folk around her as they went about their lives. Business owners, fisherman, vagrants and beggars, even the occasionally obvious pick-pocket. All seeming to ignore not only her as she moved through them, but each other. All of them acted with a certain underlying urgency that she couldn't quite pinpoint, but Maelin felt the urge to take a mental note. No city, no matter the size of populous or structures, operated in such a way. Certainly, there is always a hustle and bustle but never an overall urgency--when it comes to everyday life for most peoples, things seem more mundane and almost relaxed. Why the frantic energy, she wondered. Maelin then took the time to glance around at the settlement itself, and as she made her way into what seemed like the edge of the square, she noticed large blue banners with silver moons posted in the high traffic areas around the town's centre. They stood out from the rest of the township, clearly new instalments as they drew attention away from the drab and unkempt majority of Crossmore's overall appearance. Maelin took another mental note before her eyes caught glimpse of a large, flashy tent a the centre of the square. Without hesitating, or even thinking, she gracefully flowed in its direction.

    As she approached the general circumference of the new structure, she noticed the populous stood clear of it--flowing around it like a creek over stone. Perhaps it was the unnecessarily large amount of guards marking its perimeter, but she guessed it was more than likely having to do with the same urgency and ignorance she had just noted. To her best guess, it wasn't disgust or distaste, but more possibly mistrust. It was evidently clear to her that this Lord had only arrived in Crossmore recently, and to her knowledge gained through rumour and study, he was, by all means, the cliche "long and lost" protector of the township. This would explain the semi-obvious distrust, but nothing about the energy she felt from the citizens--and Maelin guessed that she would be getting the answers to that mystery shortly. As she headed closer to the tent, a pair of guards interrupted her with crossed halberds and suspicious stares.

    "State your business!" Another guard boomed from behind two of them.

    "Ah," Maelin began with a polite nod of her head, "Captain, if you'd be so kind as to inform his Lordship that Lady Maelin of house Armelle has arrived."

    The man without moving a muscle glanced at her up and down momentarily before staunchly turning his back to her and disappearing into the tent. In the time he was gone, Maelin caught sight of 4 out-of-place looking individuals crowding around one table packed with food. Two of them clad in formal warrior or knightly armours and with similar facial features, one noticeably hiding under the guise of a hood and another in steel plate-mail. Before she had time to think about the two other "hired" types that exited before him, the Captain returned from inside the tent and gave a welcoming gesture in her direction. Maelin gave another polite nod of her head as the two guards in front of her gave her room to pass.

    "Thank you, Captain," she spoke eloquently to the man as she passed him, staring deeply into his eyes before she ducked into the tent herself.

    The interior of the tent was luxurious in appearance, lit comfortably by sparsely placed candles in each of the corners and filled by a cluttered table and 3 men. She ignored the contents the table held and moved from man to man quickly before stepping forward. One was a thin and borderline sickly looking mage-type, the other was his polar opposite and dressed in overly lavish attire. The final man was who Maelin quickly made out to be the young Lord--young clean face, dark hair, fit physique, and understated but wealthy attire. She bowed at the man, with one foot pointed and both hands lifting either side of her dress's skirt respectively. "Lord Gravus, I presume," she spoke softly.

    "Lady Armelle, I'm told," he responded with a simple nod of the head, extending a hand in greeting, "Welcome to Crossmore."

    Maelin took his hand and stepped closer to him. He guided her hand to his lips, then released it with a smile. She smiled back despite the turning of her insides. Bloody Breton customs, she cursed to herself. The traditions and manners that Breton Nobility practised never ceased to disgust her, the last thing she ever wanted was overly intimate contact with others--no matter how necessary it may have been in order to come off as a "proper lady". Though necessary was exactly what it was. "Thank you, m'Lord."

    "A pleasure, my lady," he spoke again in a formal tone, "and may I introduce Gavin Feller and Trollis Thraen. My master of coin and trusted adviser respectively."

    "Of course," Maelin responded, nodding in kind towards each of them.

    "House Armelle of Wayrest," the gaunt man interjected, "I'm not aware that the Lord and Lady Armelle had children."

    Maelin stared into him, letting a smile grace her lips before speaking, "I'm afraid they weren't able to conceive, Master Trollis. I was adopted by them shortly after my birth and raised as their own. I assure you though, if it's my education or understanding of Nobility that you are unsure of, I'll be happy to inform you I was top of all my classes and have done nothing but bring my House more honour and influence than ever before. I'm currently on leave as Ambassador of Wayrest to Skyrim's Imperial forces. I was on my way back to Solitude from meeting with my family and some of the other Houses in Wayrest when I caught word of Crossmore's returned Noble Lord. Thought it would be in the best interest of all the Houses that I investigate and lend my aid where I feel it is needed."

    "I assure you your aid is much appreciated," the young lord spoke, glancing at Gavin in question before meeting Maelin's eyes, "now if you would join the others outside, we have a bit of time before we plan on getting everything prepared for discussion. Help yourself to any food or refreshments, and don't hesitate to let me know if there is anything you may need."

    "Of course Lord Gravus, and thank you," Maelin responded while stepping forward. As she gave a kiss to each of the young man's cheeks she didn't break eye contact with the larger man. Without turning her back, she bowed once more before exiting the tent. As she turned to face the others, she closed her eyes and let an uncomfortably shiver escape her form with a heavy exhale through her nose.

    When she opened her eyes, she glanced at the group she had seen on her way in. They were not paying much attention to anybody but themselves and their own conversation filled with short words and awkward introductions, which suited her just fine. Maelin preferred not to initiate with others unless they offered something worth her time, however she was ready for them to approach her with the same meaningless formalities that began all working relationships. She sat at the table opposite the six of them and poured herself a small glass of red wine which she sipped shortly. She decided not to read her new "partners" in this little event until it was necessary, as she already knew what she needed to based on her first look at them and the fact that she was able to hear every word they spoke to each other mere feet behind her. Instead, she turned her head to find the guard Captain she had embedded her eyes into minutes ago, hoping the seeds of manipulation she had planted began to sprout. When she found him, her answer was given immediately when his eyes were undoubtedly on her frame. Pig, she thought definitively as she batted her eyes at him. She saw a slight smirk flicker on his face before he shook it off and looked away from her. What use she had for him was unknown to her still, but in her opinion, it was never a bad thing to make unknowing allies--and perhaps it would make the others underestimate her as the "Noble Floosey Woman" she was expertly putting off.
     
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  7. EpicVakarian

    EpicVakarian Calibration-Master General

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    The first thing to come into view was the castle, towering up into the sky. As Kira crested a hill, the town of Crossmore a short distance away slowly revealed itself too.

    Why is she doing this? This is insane! This place did nothing but hurt her, hurt us.
    Kira squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head, pushing the voices away for a little longer. Truth be told, she almost agreed with them. She hadn't been back to her home in thirteen years, with good reason. If she joined up with this adventure, she'd be forced to. She had no urge to relive her childhood, but the opportunity was just too much to pass up.
    She'd heard a rumour of a long-lost descendant of the Gravus family, the family that had owned the castle decades before Kira was even born, and that had been thought wiped from the history books by the dark magic that had taken over the castle. The descendant intended to fight off the evils, reclaim the castle, and free the village from the living hell it endured every day.
    Of course, as much as Kira wanted to help, it wasn't out of the goodness of her heart that she was coming to see for herself. The promise of riches beyond her wildest dreams was what really overcame her fears in the end. She'd been living with little to no money all her life - they said money can't buy happiness, but it can definitely buy comfort.

    As soon as Kira stepped between the gates of Crossmore, the voices seemed to get a little louder, as though they were desperate not to go any further into the village. She crossed her arms over her chest, kept her head down, and approached the massive tent that she could spot over the smaller, surrounding tents.

    A small group was gathering outside the tent already. They weren't soldiers, so Kira assumed they must be adventurers, there for the same reason as she was. She averted her eyes, and approached the tent's entrance, passing by a slim woman, slightly taller than Kira and with deep red hair. She was gorgeous, and Kira couldn't help but stare. Luckily, the woman didn't even seem to notice her, and Kira headed to the tent entrance, before being blocked by the guards crossing their weapons.
    A soldier in more elaborate armour, presumably a higher rank than the others, asked her business. Her mouth opened slightly for a second.
    What is she going to say? Just tell him it was a mistake and leave. No, don't do that, that'd look stupid.
    She mentally shushed the voices and spoke back to the soldier.
    "I, erm, heard there was a Lord Gravus here? Wants adventurers for help?"
    The soldier seemed to barely hear her, but retreated into the tent, coming back a few seconds later and waving her through.

    Kira had barely had time to notice the three men gathered in the tent before one approached her with a wide smile.
    "Ah, another young lady to join our cause! I am Lord Jonathan Gravus, and I'm leading the expedition you've come to join." He took her hand, shaking it before lifting it to his lips. "May I ask your name?"
    Despite being more than a little uncomfortable with Gravus' friendly introduction, Kira managed a strained, faint smile in return.
    "Kira Woodsley, my- my Lord."
    "Pleased to meet you, Kira. This," he gestured toward the rotund man who didn't seem nearly as friendly, "is Gaven Feller, my master of coin. And this," he pointed over to the wizardly-looking, very thin man who gave her a polite nod, "is Tollis Thraen, a friend of mine and an excellent advisor." He paused, as though expecting Kira to say something, but didn't seem disappointed or upset when she didn't. "In any case, we're obviously not quite ready to charge in right this second, so if you'll excuse us? Your fellow adventurers are gathered outside, please take the time to rest."
    "T-Thank you, my Lord."
    Gods, she's pathetic sometimes.

    Kira left the three men to their meeting, heading back outside to the group gathered in the pavilion next to the tent. She knew the polite thing to do would be to introduce herself to everyone, but she was tired and nervous, feelings that were only exacerbated by her current location. So instead, she skirted around the group, keeping her eyes down and her arms crossed, and sat herself down in a corner, leaning against the tent's fabric.

    The group seemed quite a mix so far - besides the woman she'd passed earlier, there were six others. A tall, muscular man with what looked like his shorter twin sister, both of whom looked equally competent in combat. Speaking to them was another tall man, who didn't appear to be quite as well-built as the twin, but who still looked big enough to crush Kira with one hand.
    Sat right next to that man was an attractive woman with deep black hair wearing black leather armour and a greenish cloak. There was also a huge grey-scaled Argonian, with long horns. And close to him, a rather grumpy-looking dark elf. Every one of them looked like they could kill Kira with a thought.
    Not a chance that she can match up with any of these. But let's see.
     
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  8. Signus

    Signus Member

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    Andros Haorsson felt more than a little out of place in the bustling crowd of peasantry, beggars, and the occasional thief. All of them were headed in same direction, driven by a seemingly desperate need to investigate whatever lay that way. It wasn't the sea breeze, bringing the scent of slowly rotting fish that had him skirting the edge of the crowd, keeping himself at least two metres distance from the breton townsfolk at any given time. It was the blood. That sweet, alluring scent, as beautiful as a bed of roses might be to a mortal. It sang to him, luring him in, urging him to sink his fangs into the exposed neck of- "No." Andros glanced around, but no one had noticed that he'd snarled the word, not even the nearest, a dark haired breton woman attempting to shepherd several young children.

    The thirst was bad today. With so many people out and about, it was bound to be. 'What did you expect would happen, fool?' He mentally chastised himself. Coming to Crossmore was, any way he looked at it, a bad idea. On the other hand, jobs were slim these days, with the war over, and hold guards in Skyrim free to handle criminals themselves. This 'expedition' lead by some breton lord Andros had never heard of seemed like a great opportunity to make a good amount of coin, and keep him away from innocents. There were bound to be plenty of bandits and other less savory things to slay on this trip.

    He shook himself out of his considerations as the crowd began to thin slightly. Some, were standing around, talking in small groups, and watching a small army of soldiers in blue and silver. Judging by the flags of the same type flapping in the wind, the men had been responsible for taking over the town square. Past them, a collection of tents, most of them open sided, with tables and chairs set up under them. At the center of the square was a larger, closed tent with six guards standing at the entrance. Assuming that was where the lord was, he approached. When he was a few feet away, the guards crossed their halberds. "State your business!" Barked one of the men, presumably a captain.

    "Andros Haorsson. I've come to offer my services to your lord Gravus." The captain looked him up and down, before motioning for him to wait and heading inside. A few moments later the man was back, and waved for Andros to enter.

    It was surprisingly well lit inside the tent, candles situated at the corners of the tents, and more on the table which three men stood behind. One, was so gaunt he looked like little more than a skeleton. The other was his opposite, covered in jewels and finery, and clearly well fed. The central man, however, wasn't like either of his companions. Fit, dark haired, clean shaven, and wearing a fine shirt with modest pants. A sword rested on his belt. He glanced up from whatever it was he was examining on the table and smiled. "Another adventurer. I trust the road treated you well?"

    "Well enough. Lord Gravus, I presume?"

    "Just so. And you are Andros Haorsson, so I'm told. Ah-"

    "A bounty hunter, from Skyrim, my lord." The gaunt, robed man informed Gravus."

    "Of course. Thank you, Tollis. I'm sure you will be a valuable addition to our expedition. If you-"

    "Hold on." Andros interrupted, noting that the lords companions seemed less than pleased with the bounty hunter. "I'm all for helping you on your quest, but there is the question of pay."

    "You will be paid adequately, bounty hunter. Of that I can assure you." The fat man sneered, "at the end of our voyage, of course."

    "Ah, yes- this is Gaven Feller, my master of coin. He'll be handling pay for the entire expedition. Now, feel free to introduce yourself to the others, and help yourself to some refreshment. "

    "As you wish." Andros said curtly, performing a short bow before turning and leaving the tent. A group sat or stood around one of the tables, made up of a couple of imperials who looked like they might be related, a third imperial, an massive argonian, beside a dunmer woman, and a wood elf. Standing apart from the group, was a woman in a forest-toned dress, and carrying herself like some sort of noble. It was little wonder she stood off, away from the others. A second, small breton, was also sitting off by herself, fidgeting nervously. He approached the larger group, deciding to introduce himself to the pair of bretons later. "Andros Haorsson." He stated bluntly, "I suppose we should get introductions out of the way."
     
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  9. Hale Loneshadow

    Hale Loneshadow Well-Known Member

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    The Ranger sat up in his seat on the outside porch of The Laughing Gnome, pipe in hand and being steadily drawn from, smoke winding in the crisp air.

    He had quietly observed each individual entering the encampment of this errant lord with ever-increasing interest as he stayed seated in what the bartender had come to describe as his post over the last couple of days. The ranger noted in particular the nervous looking girl who looked like she just needed a helpful friend, and the alluring yet shady red haired woman (whom Hale decidedly suspected of being a mage...though he would certainly have to dig deeper with that one).

    Before heading to join the growing party, Hale moved a bit further into the village to go see his old friend - and contact -Doc Theodoryan Jr, both to gather some necessary knowledge on whom he may be getting involved with, as well as procuring some extra supplies for this upcoming trip. One piece in particular was being held on special order for him, something that could very well come in handy in the coming days.

    Pushing open the door to the storefront, Hale was greeted heartily by his compatriot.

    "Hale! Helloooo!" Doc Theo yelled with enthusiasm.

    "Hello Theo, good to see you again," Hale replied with a wry grin, remembering his friend's penchant for always saying hello, no matter the situation.

    Unnecessarily glancing around furtively at his empty shop, Theo waved for Hale to come into the back of the store, whereupon the merchant unhooked a freshly woven shirt of mithril mail, complete with an enchantment to resist the effects of magic.

    Thanking his friend for acquiring such an item, Theo merely scrunched up his mouth and waved the compliment away, already opening up a hidden drawer to reveal a shorthanded letter.

    Looking at it, Hale glanced at Doc Theo and inquired, "I'm assuming this is the most your people could get on this upcoming road we will be traversing? Nothing on the keep or village?"

    "It was the best we could do on short notice, but my men did note an increased activity in the undead closer to the village proper," Theo replied with no small pride for his small but well organized ring.

    Donning his newly acquired gear and re-fitting his leather and steel cuirass over the mithril shirt, Hale bid a fond farewell to his friend and sauntered over to the ring of tents, settling into his confident, rakish attitude that had kept him alive these years in this land. The ever observant ranger felt two minute pinpricks in each of his pectorals, but he was on the move and chalked it up to the mail shirt settling into place on his body.

    "Greetings, salutations, and all that drivel my lord!" Hale exclaimed, slipping past the objecting captain. He wanted to get this damn show on the road, and he first desired to take stock of this lord-errant. This also meant taking stock of how Gravus and his council reacted to surprising situations. Hale noted how the perfume-coated fat man on one side nearly defecated in his finery, whilst the wizardly-looking fellow looked as if he was beginning spellcasting.

    Throwing his hands up in mock terror, Hale got ahead of this potentially tragic situation.

    "Oh but put down your staff, mage! I mean you and your lord no harm. In fact, I mean the exact opposite. I mean to help you take back your homeland," Hale confidently stated, now looking Lord Gravus right in his eyes.

    There was a kindness in there, a kindness that came through experience and not just lessons from parents. Hale also saw grim determination, which was something he understood all too well.

    Hand still loosely on his sword but an inviting smile on his face, Lord Gravus calmly said "Oh, put your staff down Tollis. This man obviously means us no harm, else he would have begun striking us all down already no doubt!"

    Cracking his half smile that was famous with barmaids and noblewomen alike, Hale replied with equal humor. "Ah but no doubt your friends out there would have taken me before a single blow would be struck!" Sticking out his gloved hand, Hale made his introductions.

    "Hale Loneshadow, ranger, at your service. I heard the clarion call for the retaking of a long lost homeland, and that is something I can under--well, it's a cause I can certainly get behind," The Ranger said, with some trepidation as to how much to reveal to this lord, not to mention any perked up ears from the table of adventurers just outside.

    "Well then, be welcomed to our company of heroes then!" the errant lord replied. "Go ahead and grab some wine and food outside. We were not aware that you were coming, so it may be good for you to get to know those you will be travelling with."

    Nodding in assertion and giving a slight bow of deference to the Lord Gravus, Hale slipped back outside, walking over to the increasingly filled up table. Whipping his pipe out, he quickly packed and lit a bowl of the finest pipeweed available to a ranger like himself. He then sat himself down at one of the head chairs, swung a leg up to rest on the table itself, and grabbed a glass of wine and plate of boar meat and vegetables.

    With many eyes on him, Hale let them stare until he had finished his meal. With a final swig of wine, Hale poured himself yet another glass, finally looking up to his compatriots. His eyes lingered - for vastly different reasons for each - on the nervous girl, the blood-haired woman, and the bounty hunter, for just a moment each before he spoke.

    "Well now, aren't we all a fine looking crew! Hale Loneshadow," He said with that disarming grin, pointing a thumb backwards at himself, "And who, pray tell, are all of you fine people?"
     
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  10. Andre Marek

    Andre Marek You can run, but you'll only die tired...

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    The sun was already well over the horizon when Gelae spotted thin wisps of smoke trailing upwards, signaling to her that she had almost arrived at the small town of Crossmore. Due to the thick forest that surrounded the village, it had been hidden from view to her until now, despite that she knew it was only minutes away. Her pace quickened at the thought of finally reaching her destination, her padded boots making hardy a whisper as she strode down the worn earthen path. She was no stranger to the open road, having spent the better part of the last five years in constant motion, never staying in one place for long, but after several days of travel her supplies were thin and she was eager for a proper meal. Besides her anticipation of finer nourishment than rabbit stew, Gelae was also curious to see the supposed Lord Gravus and determine for herself what kind of adventure she was to have in the near future. The pamphlet she carried was rather brief in its call for would-be adventurers.

    Beside her, padding along even more stealthily than Gelae herself, Banrion yawned expansively, revealing a maw filled with huge fangs and easily large enough for Gelaes head to fit in, should she have been so unlucky. The huge senche-cat that had come to be Gelaes closest companion was eyeing the smoke trails rising above the trees ahead while her large ears swiveled this way and that, ever alert to the threat of danger. With a gentle nudge at Gelaes arm, Banrion gave her a knowing look and softly whined at her elven counterpart.

    "Ahh, you're probably right." Gelae muttered through her scarf as she began to spot the walls and rooflines of buildings through the thick trees, "You had better make yourself scarce until I've left the town again." She gave the huge panther a pat on the shoulder as Banrion veered off the path and, almost instantly, vanished into the undergrowth of the dark forest that surrounded them. Gelae stared after her for a moment as she rounded a bend before setting her gaze forward again. It was common for Banrion to make townsfolk more than a little uncomfortable and so Gelae had decided that it was for the best that her companion waited outside whenever she ventured into a settled village or city.

    Gelae didn't worry about Banrion as she approached Crossmores diminutive gates. She was confident the predator could take care of herself. The two men guarding the archway into the city were another matter though, as Gelae had crept to within a scant ten meters before either of them spotted her. 'And I wasn't even trying this time.' Gelae thought with a grin.

    Although startled, neither man offered any resistance as she strode past them and into the town proper. As she traversed the narrow streets of Crossmore, Gelae began to notice the urgency in the locals steps and a general nervousness that seemed absent from other towns she had visited. As she got closer to the town center she caught a glimpse of standards flying in the slight breeze along with a large swath of blue near the center of the square. Her view however was obscured by the huge mass of people milling about. Some wore the drab garb of the locals while several, mostly soldiers wore blue tunics and had swords dangling from their belts. Not for the first time, Gelae wished she were slightly taller. Eventually she found her way towards the large pavilion that she assumed belonged to Lord Gravus. As she neared it, she noticed a small group of people clustered near a large banquet table. None of them sported the blue of Gravus' retinue so she assumed that they must be fellow adventurers that had also answered the Lords call.

    Moving on light feet, Gelae slipped past the rag tag group and approached the tent, proffering the parchment to the guard at the entrance. Briefly examining it and then giving her a cursory glance, he turned and asked that she follow him.

    Inside the tent Gelae was greeted by three men. One was thin and stood off to one side of the space, while the second stood near a large table covered in maps and other documents and was, without a doubt, the most well fed of the group. The third man, a tall figure with a a healthier build than either of his companions turned to face her as the guard announced her presence.

    "My Lord, may I introduce Miss... " The man paused and glanced at her expectantly. Gelae stepped forward, remembering that she hadn't actually told the guard her name, "Gelae Angwenyl," she said with a nod of her head, "At your service. I came across your notice and thought I may be of assistance." She left out any mention of Banrion. 'No need to make the man nervous. Better I leave that introduction for once I've got a little trust.'

    For his part, Gravus listened to her introduction before stepping forward with a smile he took her hand and, with a slight bow, kissed the back of it,
    "Always a pleasure to have another lovely lady with us." Gelae very nearly rolled her eyes at the overly familiar greeting and fabled, Breton 'manners' but instead she simply smiled back in what she hoped was a charming manner.

    "You are most welcome Miss Angwenyl. We have already garnered quite the group for my quest. Had I known my plea for assistance would be so successful, I might not have hired so many additional soldiers," He glanced at the portly, well dressed man before continuing, " As it stands though, several fellow adventurers such as yourself have already arrived and are refreshing themselves just outside. I invite you to do the same for we have a daunting task ahead of us and I can not say when you may have the opportunity again." With that he gestured towards the entrance, indicating the audience was over.

    Gelae dipped her head,
    "Of course." She muttered, almost as an afterthought as she exited the pavilion. To her left, a long trestle table had been laid out with food and drink of all types. The aforementioned group of travelers stood around the table, either talking among themselves or helping themselves to the various delicacies available.

    Finding and pouring a tall glass of red wine, Gelae leaned on the edge of the table as she studied the group while hoping to remain unobtrusive.

     
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  11. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    Pyrus had barely finished speaking with his sister when another imperial, this one armed with a sword, armoured in steel plate , with chainmail covering his arms. Despite the confident gait that came with years of experience, his face was unmarked by scars. The man grabbed a goblet of wine before saying,"Greetings. Aldrem Dane, of Cyrodiil. You must be the paladins lord Gravus mentioned."

    Pyrus inclined his head, "I am Pyrus Vanius. Of the paladins of Arkay." He nodded to his sister.

    "Jysella, also of the paladins. A pleasure to meet you, sir." She smiled, in notable contrast to Pyrus' blank expression. Before conversation could continue, more adventurers approached, a bosmer woman arrived, and began speaking with Aldrem. Next, came a truly massive argonian, encased in armour with an appropriately large shield strapped over his back.

    Beside him, a dunmer woman strode, muttering under her breath as they approached. The argonian was Sothas Abrium, a strange name for his race, and the woman was Aylira Taliir. The two paladins introduced themselves once more, even as a woman in a dress left Gravus' tent. She seemed out of place, considering the others so far. Pyrus suspected she was a mage of some sort, and resolved to keep a close eye on her.

    Jysellas' attention, however, was on a different woman. A small girl, really, blond haired and looking more than a little nervous. She sat by on her own, touching nothing on offer at the table. With a polite nod to the others approaching, and a quiet excuse, she stepped over to her.
    "Jysella Vanius, of the paladins of Arkay. And what might your name be?" She said as way of introduction.

    Meanwhile, Pyrus narrowed his eyes at the gruff, axe wielding warrior who'd just joined them. The paladin guessed his was a nord by his accent, but there was something...off, about him. Before he could put his finger on it, a loud man, in the garb of a ranger, approached and announced himself as Hale Loneshadow. Behind him, another bosmer slipped out of Gravus tent, the elven woman heading off to sit on her own.
     
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  12. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    The two paladins introduced themselves as Pyrus and Jysella Vanius, of the paladins of Arkay. Before they could speak more, a bosmer woman approached Aldrem. "Yes, you must be the swordsman. My name is Breyrenna Farrow, it's a pleasure to meet you all."

    The swordsman bowed the elf. "A pleasure to meet you as well, Breyrenna." He turned away as more adventurers and mercenaries appeared, most of them armed and armoured for combat. The second to last to arrive, a breton who introduced himself as Hale Loneshadow. The man seemed a little boisterous, but Aldrem shrugged it off as eagerness to get on the road.

    "Well met, Loneshadow. Aldrem Dane, of Cyrodiil." He didn't bow, though his attention was no longer on the breton ranger either. One of the first bretons to arrive, a pale skinned woman, with dark red hair, sat alone opposite the group. It wasn't that, or rather, it wasn't only her voluntary solitude that drew his eye. Where the others were garbed in various wargear, she wore a dress.

    A dress. Not a pilfered one, either, by the quality. He noted no weapons on her person, leading him to assume she was either a mage, or incredibly deluded. Whatever the case, Dane was intrigued. Murmuring an excuse, he parted from the group. "Good day, madame. Aldrem Dane, at your service" Once more he bowed, "I notice you exclude yourself from our...ah, gathering. As it seems we'll be working together, perhaps you'd be willing to tell me your name?"
     
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  13. TheDreamersverse

    TheDreamersverse Brit Fahiil Vahdin

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    "And who, pray tell, are you fine people?" Said the Ranger. "Breyrenna Farrow, at your service, Mister Loneshadow. Tell me why a ranger would come to help Lord Gravus hm?" I said calmly, in an almost bored tone as I sipped my Ale. Looking around at all my other "companions" for this journey. Hopefully, they'll make it out alive.
     
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  14. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    While Aylira remained distant from the others, scowling at those that got to close, and paying special attention to the man who'd introduced himself as Andros Haorsson. His mask did a fine job of covering his features, and that in itself made the dunmer assassin suspicious.

    Sothas, on the other hand, nodded pleasantly at the newcomers. Some seemed more social than others, such as the man who introduced himself as Hale Loneshadow. The bosmer woman that was the last to arrive selected a glass of wine and leaned against the far table, keeping to herself. Sothas left Aylira to her own devices, and approached her.

    Now that he stood before her, it became obvious how small she was. The argonian warrior looked down at her. "Greetings. Sothas Abrium. I must say, you certainly seem like you know your way around the wilderness. Surely lord Gravus will be glad to have you."
     
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  15. Andre Marek

    Andre Marek You can run, but you'll only die tired...

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    Gelae had only just finished pouring herself a glass of wine, an imported red that she couldn't identify, when she noticed a shadow extend past her and onto the table. Setting down the bottle, she turned, glass in hand, only to find the source of the shadow was the argonian she had noticed earlier. Although she figured he couldn't have been much over six feet, her own diminutive size gave her the impression that she was facing a mountain. The fact that he was outfitted in heavy plate armor only added to that idea.

    "Greetings. Sothas Abrium. I must say, you certainly seem like you know your way around the wilderness. Surely lord Gravus will be glad to have you." The argonian said with what approximated a smile.

    Gelae smiled in return, tilting her head back and pulling her hood down to greet Sothas,
    "Mmm, greetings." she offered, taking a sip of wine.

    She wasn't sure what gave her away as being skilled in the wild but she couldn't deny that he was right. Not that she thought any of the others needed her help though, as all of them seem no stranger to the open road. That was, save for the red haired woman wearing the dress. Gelae could only assume that her lack of other accouterments meant that she was some kind of mage.

    She glanced up at Sothas and wordlessly offered him the bottle of wine as she surveyed the others,
    "I'm sure you've had your fair share of adventure. The both of you," She nodded towards his companion, who was still frowning near the end of the table, "I imagine the lot of you would manage to find your way just fine but I'm glad I can be of some help." She ended with a small grin, hoping she had come off as friendly.

    Taking another sip from her glass and then topping up the beverage, Gelae glanced around to see the other would-be adventurers had slowly begun to talk among themselves. She wondered how long it would be until Gravus saw fit to address them as a group and get their group on the move.
     
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  16. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Moderator
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    A few others came into the square as Maelin sat and sipped her spiced wine, dwelling contently on her own thoughts. One even flaunted himself at them all, scarfing down a full meal with the swiftness of a starving wolf and raising his voice at what seemed to be the entirety of the town as he announced himself. She didn't look in his direction once but she swore she heard the heal of a heavy boot plop itself atop the dining table as he spoke too. Why are all lone travelling men so filthy and uncivilized, she asked herself silently.

    Maelin had been deep within her own thoughts, occasionally batting eyes at the now smitten Captain near the other end of the square, when a voice sounded over her shoulder. She turned to him and caught his eyes scanning her form as his words met her ears.

    "Good day, madame. Aldrem Dane, at your service," he bowed politely at her, "I notice you exclude yourself from our...ah, gathering. As it seems we'll be working together, perhaps you'd be willing to tell me your name?"

    She raised an eyebrow at him and pursed her lips as his eyes finally met hers. She tilted her head, and let her gaze drift away from him and to the people just behind him. She saw a pair of eyes on her frame shortly before flashing away. Why must all folk judge a woman solely based on her outfits, she asked herself silently once more. She took a momentary pause to consider the many different assumptions of her there were in the heads of this particular set of curious individuals. Mage, for my lack of weapons and ignorant choice of attire, she deduced to herself. She doubted anybody thought anything different than that and wanted such assumptions to change if she could help it.

    She rose from her seat, not removing the glass of wine from her left hand's grip. She nodded and half-curtsied at him before making eye contact and speaking, "Lady Maelin of House Armelle. I simply prefer not to intrude in the conversations of mercenaries. I'm afraid weapons and armaments are a slight bit out of my comprehension. But I'll make exceptions for the rarer...wondering and wandering gentleman warrior."

    Maelin raised her eyebrow again, and let a subtle wry grin on her face grow with it. She scanned his body in a way that could be easily obvious to him, then returned to his clean face. He was Imperial without any question, pale eyes with a face framed by waves of dark hair accompanied by a subtle olive complexion. His body was slim and wore his mail and plate armour well, and his posture and stance suggested he was a warrior of decent calibre at least.

    "Lord Gravus will need strong swordsman, seems like you fit that bill well," she spoke soft blink, "I'm happier knowing we'll have some real skill out there protecting us from whatever it is we need protection from. A royal advisor isn't an all-powerful position for an adventure."

    She glanced around behind Aldrem once again, noting the almost exclusive presence of armour and weaponry within the group in some form, even minor. Then her eyes returned to meet his.

    "What exactly do you suppose we'll need such.....powerful and skilled warriors such as yourself for in all of this?" She questioned, gesturing to him and taking a short sip from her glass. What was going on in the heads of her new comrades, she wondered.
     
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  17. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Aylira turned to the masked man, her eyes narrowed. None of the others held any real interest for her. Most seemed like the typical mercenary types, except for the pair of breton women. The masked axeman however, was an unknown, and he made her a little uneasy.

    Deciding there was one way to solve this, she made her way over to him, ignoring the others. "You...Haorsson. Do you have a reason to hide your face, or are you as hideous as I've heard nord men are?" A quick glance at the male paladin told the dunmer that she wasn't the only one who was suspicious of the man.

    Meanwhile, Sothas smiled down at the bosmer woman as she asserted that both he and Aylira had seen their fair share of adventure. "I imagine the lot of you would manage to find your way just fine but I'm glad I can be of some help."

    His smile grew, pebble scaled lips lifting to reveal carnivorous teeth. "True enough, I suppose." He rumbled, "but I'm better at fighting than I am at directions." Sothas shrugged, his shield clanking against his back armour as he did so. He glanced to the large tent, wondering when they'd be on the road. The others were beginning to speak among themselves, though he noticed Aylira confronting the masked human. He heaved a deep sigh, not really surprised that his volatile friend was already alienating their companions.
     
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  18. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    The woman tilted her head slightly, quickly observing the group behind Aldrem. Then her attention was back on him, as she introduced herself as lady Maelin of house Armelle, standing with a half curtsy. She explained away her solitude, even as her eyes roamed over him, with a certain predatory gleam and a wry grin. It was not the first time a woman had looked at him in such a way. It was, however, the first time Aldrem felt that she might be seeking weaknesses as well. There was something about her that intrigued and at the same time concerned the swordsman. For a supposed noble, she brought no retinue, though he suspected that was by design, rather than disfavour. And, if his suspicions were correct, she was a powerful enough mage to not need a guard. A valuable ally, then. He hid all of this beneath a bashful grin, "madame, you do me too much credit. I'm merely a swordsman,lending my blade to a righteous cause. I'm afraid I wouldn't know the first thing about...gentlemanly behaviour." That, was a polite, but obvious lie. His mannerisms in his greeting had already given away that he was far from a mere sellsword.

    He bowed again at her soft spoken praise, though it was the question that followed that caught his attention. "I suspect the road to be perilous." He admitted, his eyes gleaming with anticipation. After all, Aldrem had left Cyrodiil behind to find ever greater challenge. "We may face worse than mere bandits." 'I hope' he added silently. "I am sure, of course that lord Gravus is equally glad to have your skills among the group. If you'll forgive me for presuming, but you are a mage of sorts, are you not?" The woman sipped at her wine, and Dane took the opportunity to observe the rest of his companions from a distance. Most seemed much like him, save for a breton girl sitting on her own and, of course the two paladins. Of the newcomers, both seemed to be rangers, though one, the breton seemed a little different. His bearing was more of a warriors than that of an archers. Curious, but nothing that couldn't wait.
     
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  19. EpicVakarian

    EpicVakarian Calibration-Master General

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    Oh gods someone's coming. Run. They're coming to hurt you.
    Kira tried to bat the voices away and think more rationally. The twin sister had excused herself from the group, kneeling down to introduce herself. Up close, could see her small but varied scars, and the slender blade that hung at her hip. Her eyes were a piercing pale green, but had a certain kindness to them.

    "Jysella Vanius, of the Paladins of Arkay." Kira gave a faint smile. "And what might your name be?" she asked gently.
    The voices gave her a thousand different ideas on her response, but she managed to push through the noise.
    "I-I'm Kira." She paused. "Kira Woodsley." She cleared her throat and folded her arms, clutching at her wrists. "S-sorry, I'm not very good with... with people. Not with new people, anyway." Giving a slight chuckle, she forced past her fears to hold out her hand, for Jysella to shake.
     
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  20. Signus

    Signus Member

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    "You...Haorsson. Do you have a reason to hide your face, or are you as hideous as I've heard nord men are?" The dunmer woman who had so far been silent demanded of him. Andros was almost impressed by her willingness to fling insults without any real provocation.

    "I'd rather not have everyone know what I look like." He replied with a shrug. "You make a lot of enemies in my line of work." As he spoke, he shifted his gaze to the hammer wielding paladin. The man seemed to have locked his expression to 'suspicious' and was eyeing the crowd. But the nord vampire hadn't missed the slight narrowing of eyes when he'd looked at Andros.

    He suspected something. Of course he did. Andros probably wouldn't have joined up with the expedition if he'd known not one, but two of the zealous fools were going to be accompanying him. 'Two late to back out now.' He realized, fidgeting absentmindedly with the grip of his axe. 'That one will bear watching.' He glanced back to the dark elf. " Do all dark elves have this foul attitude, or is it just part of your charming personality?"
     
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