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Thread: Astoria Historical Enthusiasts (IC)

  1. #1
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    Default Astoria Historical Enthusiasts (IC)

    Here is a link to the OOC thread: http://pokedream.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15390

    The woman known now as Pandora tugged the hood of her pale blue cloak lower to ensure her face was completely hidden in shadow. The shimmering silk spread elegantly over the rump of her steed, the ivory lace trimmed edge of her snowy gown peeking from beneath. Tiny hands clad in white kid gloves held firm to the bridle as the delicate hooves of the dainty white mare picked their way carefully across the stream, the thin golden bells attached to her harness jingling merrily.

    The last droplets of splashed water refracted the rays of a sinking sun in a brilliant array of colors and the sharp scent of pine sap permeated the air as the girl pulled her horse to a stop. The towering trees guarding the thin stream stood watch, the air melodic with the sounds of mountain finches calls. It was still at least an hour before full dark, but the danger of sunlight was worth the risk.

    “My old friend, this is where I must leave you.” said the woman in a voice as soft and bright as the bells.

    “And I tell you, I don't like it,” grumbled the grizzled man. He shook his head furiously, salt and pepper beard brushing against the worn and scarred leather armor covering his chest.

    “George, we have gone over this many times. What will be, will be.” she replied, her tone gently chiding, but warm with affection. “I would that you had allowed me to purchase green armor for this expedition. Stealth is required.”

    “Why would I want flashy green armor? What use would that be?” He barked.

    Exasperated, she rolled her eyes and explained with overdone patience and a slight pout, “To better blend into the trees of the forest. Honestly, George, you'd think a man of your age would know these things.”

    “Alright girl, I'll play along. List a few animals that are good at hiding in the forest.” He said, a bemused smile playing across his heavily wrinkled face.

    “Rabbits, deer, raccoons...” She began, before he interrupted.

    “Now tell me, how many of those are green?” He all but shouted, the smile disappearing completely from his face.

    With a black look and a final shake of his head, the older man faded into the nearby forest, the soft brown shades of his attire blending imperceptibly with the undergrowth. A crotchety voice echoed from the shadows, “I still don't like it!”

    Giggling softly to herself, Pandora clicked to her horse and trotted toward the small cluster of buildings that had sprouted around the ancient stone structure now called The Orcshead Inn.

    In the stable yard, she paid the boy to see to her horse and from the look on his face she had either severely under or over tipped him. She was simply no good at money matters, yet they were a sad necessity in these times. It was too bad she had to relinquish George to greater duties, he would have normally seen to such things.

    Once inside, she sat diminutively in a corner, an untouched goblet of wine before her. Her table was placed as far away from the designated meeting location as possible, while still holding it in her sight. She would enjoy seeing who responded to her advertisement before they knew of her presence.

    Amber eyes glittered from the darkness of her cowl as she watched all those present.

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  2. #2
    This pic is definitely of me!! Solly's Avatar
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    Malta never did like the rain. It got him all soggy. Then he would feel heavier than usual, and he would always tear a bit, and then he would feel some pain and he would have to pause as the magic slowly repaired itself. It really was quite the hassle. Now he found himself traveling through 3 days of rain, and now it just stopped at the very end of his trip. It was just his luck. At least now the sun was out to dry him.

    The inn itself looked rather old and stingy. It reeked of magic, though, and Mata knew it all too well. The Orcshead inn is where he and the Marquis set off on their first adventure. It was also where they ended their last. Malta had grown quite attached to the inn. Indeed, he had accepted many missions in it.

    Malta opened the doors and walked to the designated area. He sat down and waited, not wanting to make a fuss.

    "I say old bartender, if you may,
    Put the usual on the way?"

  3. #3
    A low to mid functioning sociopath. Shadow's Avatar
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    A figure moved through the trees, his black cloak making him nearly invisible as he moved among the heavy twilight shadows. "If memory serves me right, I should be near the Orcshead Inn", he whispered to himself. "I wonder if they're still pissed about the fight I started last time I was here?"

    He watched carefully as he stepped slowly out of the trees towards the old building. Earlier while on an assassination mission, he had heard about an interesting opportunity. Since he had finished that mission, received his payment, and was now free, he decided he would check this out. He didn't fully trust what he had heard though, as he knew people would hold fake conversations when they thought spies were near. With one hand on his sword, he walked up to the door. "Well, looks like they fixed it up pretty good since my last visit", he thought. "They didn't get all the blood though", he said to himself as he noticed some streaks of blood near the door.

    Stepping in, he took a look around. Feeling no threat, he took his hand from his sword. There were the usually random travelers around the room, a single man at what he assumed was the meeting place, and an out of place young lady. Taking himself a place at the meeting table he looked at the man across from him. He looked familiar, he had probably seen him here before. Dismissing that train of though, he addressed the bartender.

    "Hey barkeep, got any tea?"
    "You again, eh?" the bartender replied. "You ask that everytime you come 'ere. We got the same crap as usual."
    "Great then, I'll take the water! And some dried persimmons as well." He replied with a a bright but creepy looking grin. Continuing so the bartender wouldn't hear, "I tried the tea once and nearly died."

    After giving the barkeep a few gold coins, he sat back to relax and enjoy his snack while he continued to survey the various beings in the inn.
    "I can't explain just how it feels,
    the thoughts of my premature burial.
    Inside this oblong box I lie,
    with the hope I'll be buried alive."



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  4. #4
    Make your move Muttsy's Avatar
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    With the sun nearly gone the streets were mostly emptied; Fewer people milling about, fewer animals prancing around and no more children running about the streets in laughter playing. It was the latter that had really caught Avalynn's attention, as outside of the Harmyn Temples it was really the only time she ever saw children. Well that was not quite true. They had children as patients in the Temples sometimes, but out here was the only place you could really seem them as children.

    Behind her large and light blue eyes Avalynn continued to contemplate the enigma of children as she walked. Her long blonde hair fell almost to the small of her back, and even in movement it seemed to stay still and in place almost as if trained. She was a little taller then the women walking next to her, but they were equal in posture.

    "Well Darling Avalynn, it looks as if this will be another day without pay." The figure striding beside her said as she began to play with her long auburn hair.

    "Come now Gwenyth, can we really expect so many people to sacrifice their earnings? They need to live as well as we do." Avalynn said.

    "Still," Gwenyth replied with an air of complaint, "I remember days when people were happy to give a few coins to traveling herbalists. 'Coins for Harmyn, what a noble thing to give for!' they would say. We're always giving. Giving, giving, giving to others! Is it so much to ask for a few coins to bring back for our elders?"

    "Oh Gwenyth," Avalynn smiled "First, we did not come out all this way for coins. We came for herbs which Stella has already found. Second, you would not remember such times as they were before my time and I am your senior."

    "Only by a moon." Gwenyth retorted then with a huff pressed to a different topic "At least Stella has a place to sleep tonight."

    "They were such a kind couple to take her in." Avalynn noted "We have our things and we've traveled this far without any shelter. We'll be fine."

    It was customary for herbalists of the Harmyn Temples to travel in three's, and it was the elders choice that Avalynn, Gwenyth and Stella were to come out this way in search of supplies. Gwenyth had always been a bit head strong, more then most of the women, but Avalynn knew the elders were working to break her of it. They had for the most part, but it was on solo journeys like these, away from the constant vision, that she was apt to get a little moody once again. There was some truth to what Gwenyth was saying, it would be nice to bring back money for the Temples. Everything seemed on short supply lately, and how could they help many with so little? In other light though they did not starve and never had before. They had all been trained with bows to catch their own food which was how they had provided for themselves on this journey thus far. They traveled light and on foot, and along the way they would share their expertise with those in need and sometimes they would be taken in, fed and given a bed to rest in for a night before moving on. Now Stella was staying with an elderly couple. She had worked to help mend his broken arm and the couple insisted that they treat her but they did not have room for all three girls. It was fine by Avalynn, it was the way.

    As they continued forward Avalynn noticed Gwenyth's head turn as they passed the Orcshead Inn. She marveled at the light coming from it in want.

    "Oh, maybe we could stay here!" She said excited, tugging at Avalynn's sleeve.

    "You need coins to stay in an Inn dear." Avalynn said "And quit that tugging, you'd be strapped for that at the Temples!"

    Gwenyth did stop then pouted in response. She went back to playing with her hair, and began to tie it up.

    "Gwenyth, you are not permitted to wear your hair up in a public place. It is the way." Avalynn scolded.

    "Curse the way!" Gwenyth suddenly shouted breaking forth at a run and laughing, "Curse the coins and curse the temples!"

    Gwenyth threw her arms up in the air and laughed some more spinning in circles "Let's get away from here Ava! Oh, we could go anywhere. I want to go into that Inn!"

    Avalynn was entirely appaled and stood frozen, unsure of what to do. Gwenyth was high spirited but this? This was in need of serious attention. Avalynn didn't even know where to begin, she knew she was most utterly appaled with the cursing, but calling her 'Ava' instead of her proper name and to make a public menace of herself prancing on the streets on top of all that?

    "Gwenyth, MIND. YOUR. PLACE!" Avalynn said with more harshness then volume.

    Gwenyth suddenly faded in bravado and shrunk back, letting her arms fall slowly back down to her side, her hair unfurling loose once more.

    “I'm sorry.” She muttered to the ground without looking up “Forgive me, I was not thinking. I only acted.”

    “It is this very 'acting' that has gotten you in trouble before” Avalynn said.

    “I just wanted to bring some coins back Avalynn, really, that was all. I was hoping that after asking around that people would share. We need them terribly so back at home.” Gwenyth sighed.

    “Forgiveness will be on pending. It is not my place to give it.” Avalynn answered, indeed it was the elders place. They would have to be informed of this behaviour on their return and they would deal with it there.

    “I understand.” Gwenyth sighed, reluctant to press forward.

    She did not glance up and Avalynn felt a moment of pity for her. The elders would have no patience for Gwenyth this time, arriving home would not be plesent for her

    “Gwenyth, while we are here you ought to check the message board, perhaps their is a small job we can do for pay. Perhaps we'll get your coins afterall.” Avalynn said.

    Dutifully now, Gwenyth glanced over the various signs on the board, smiling at some, frowning at others. In Avalynn's experience it was mostly a place for people to buy and sell things, but the odd job was listed on them sometimes and the jobs sometimes promised coins for pay. As long as they did not interfere with the way, Avalynn and Gwenyth would be allowed to take a small job for coins.

    “Nothing this time Avalynn. Except for this maybe. 'Astoria Historical Enthusiasts is the club for you'. It promises fortune.” Gwenyth pointed “Avalynn this could be the perfect opportunity! Imagine what the elders could do with a fortune! The Harmyn Temples would no longer be struggling.”

    “It is a club?” Avalynn asked curious.

    “Yes.” Gwenyth replied “We can apply at the meeting. Oh I remember clubs when I was a little girl! That was before I was chosen for the Temples. We'd have meetings all the time and talk and giggle. Avalynn, it will be nothing really. We would only have to stay for a short time, just until we had some coins to bring back.”

    “Is that really all it says?” Avalynn asked, it seemed curious to her. How could they offer so much? Avalynn wasn't sure she knew what a club was entirely yet.

    “This way, we have to come in to apply.” Gwenyth lead her into the Inn.

    “Rememeber, we have no coins! Buy nothing...” Avalynn began to remind her but Gwenyth was still talking.

    “Oh a club is a simple thing really.” She said “Friends, fortune, fame. That's what it said Avalynn, this is perhaps one of those rare opportunities. We shouldn't pass it up.”

    Avalynn was suddenly seated by Gwenyth, mildly reassured by her exuberance but still a little unsettled. Perhaps she should have read it herself before letting herself get dragged in. On the other hand, what harm could it be? Though Avalynn had no idea what a club was, Gwenyth did and seemed entierly comfortable about the idea. She continued to rattle on about her childhood, when it came to that subject Gwenyth tended to rattle on wich Avalynn found surprising. Avalynn thought that there really wasn't much to talk about before the days at the Temples. They had been chosen so young, their lives beofre so distant and so quick. What had they done really? Avalynn could barely recall but some seemed perfectly capable of calling up any and every memory at a moments notice.

    Avalynn sat still and perfect, careful not to stare or to slack in posture. They must have looked odd there, Gwenyth with her auburn hair, green dress and greed coat, herself in a blue dress and coat. As was custom, Avalynn's skin was covered from her neck down. Her coat's long sleeves came up to her wrists, and the dress which looked more like a skirt would have dragged on the floor now if she were standing. They were the only other women in the tavern besides a women in the corner at a table, at least from here she looked to be a women. Seated alongside them at what Gwenyth called the meeting place were two other men. Where they here for the same club meeting?

  5. #5
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    By any standards, Pandora was not a large woman. Quite the opposite, actually. Slender and slight, her she stood at barely 5 feet tall. She was fortunate if her head passed the shoulders of any woman, and most men towered over her petite frame. It was not uncommon for her to be mistaken for a child until the observer took in her poise and gaze. This was simply as it was, and nothing that she had ever spent much time contemplating or bemoaning. However, when she saw the towering blond giantess join the small gathering, a small pang of jealousy clenched her heart and one corner of her mouth turned down in a slight frown.

    “All will be as it must be.” She said, stilling her features and emptying her mind of negative emotion. To long for what one cannot have is not the way, she chided.

    Standing, she glided across the dusty barroom like a swan, her face as still as calm waters. With each small measured step, her skirts did not move. It gave the impression that she floated on a gentle breeze. It was merely one of the tactics she employed to overawe the common man. If she was perceived as more than human, more even than a great mage, they were likely to do her bidding without hassle.

    Stopping just before the assembled group, Pandora lifted her slim hands and slid back the hood of her powder blue cloak. Even in the dim light of the tavern, her great beauty was immediately apparent. Ebony hair fell unadorned down her back like a curtain, it's true length hidden by the cloak. With skin as pale as milk and lips redder than the blush of a rose, she would easily turn heads and might prove a difficult charge to guard in a crowded and rowdy bar.

    “Welcome to the Astoria Historical Enthusiasts. Thank you for attending this, our first meeting.” A slight smile played tentatively on the brim of her claret lips, giving a hint of pleasantness and her voice was as to the tinkling of chimes on a soft wind. “I have never been one to beat around the bush, so let us get right to the point. It is my mission to assemble an elite group of archeology admirers to join me on an expedition to retrieve lost and stolen artifacts from across the continent. Our journey may even take us into the uncharted territories that lie beyond the Mystic Mountains. Your pay in my service will be great, no expense spared. In addition, every living expenditure will be covered, and if you do not own a mount one will be provided.

    “The artifacts we seek existed before the Breaking, and may prove difficult to find.” She paused to allow this to sink in, her eyes briefly locking with those of each person, “Please be aware that there are those who would impede our mission, and the danger is as great as the reward.”

    Calm eyes never wavering, she allowed the small smile to expand, taking on real warmth, “If you are interested, we will leave in the morning. An advance in pay will be available to those who request it to purchase supplies for the expedition. Food and shelter will be provided, but it is always wise to anticipate every eventuality. Please be personally prepared.”

    Tip tilted, almond shaped eyes the color of honey caressed each individual. They possessed a weighing quality, giving one the feeling that their soul had been laid bare. “If you have any questions, do not hesitate to give them voice.”

    Almost as an afterthought she added, “Oh yes. After we have located the first artifact, you will be sealed to me. I will extract an unbreakable vow that you will keep my secrets in the fires of your heart for all time, and you will find it impossible to betray this mission. Until then, you may turn back at any time, collecting payment for services rendered. Your duties will include assisting in the search for the artifacts, retrieving them, guarding them as well as guarding my person and possessions. It is simple.”




    ((OOC: I realize that your character isn't that tall, Muttsy, this is jut the perception of my rather small character... lol))

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  6. #6
    A low to mid functioning sociopath. Shadow's Avatar
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    Taking his last persimmon, Shadow noticed the girl in the corner stand up. Chewing his morsel, he watched out of the corner of his eye as she began to cross the room. "A blueblood, huh?", he thought as he noticed the way she walked. It was a common thing for the women of aristocratic families to walk in such a way. To do anything "inelegant", was considered dishonorable."But that means...", scanning the room he found no signs of her guard. "There's no way, a noblewoman would be somewhere such as this without a guard."

    Reaching the table, she pulled down her hood. Seeing her beauty, Shadow knew without a doubt that blueblood flowed through her veins. "That still doesn't explain the lack of guards though", he thought as she began to speak.

    The mention of the Breaking caught his ears. He tried to remember what he could, but all that he could recall were the fragments of legends passed down among the oldest elven clans. "Whatever this is, it sounds like just what I've been waiting for, a chance to reclaim my place among my people", he thought as she finished. Catching her eyes, he notice a fire, old but strong. "She may have a similar determination", he thought as she turned to each at the table before speaking again.

    “Oh yes. After we have located the first artifact, you will be sealed to me. I will extract an unbreakable vow that you will keep my secrets in the fires of your heart for all time, and you will find it impossible to betray this mission. Until then, you may turn back at any time, collecting payment for services rendered. Your duties will include assisting in the search for the artifacts, retrieving them, guarding them as well as guarding my person and possessions. It is simple.”, she finished.

    Sensing that now was the time to ask questions he began."May I ask about the nature of the artifacts we seek?"
    "I can't explain just how it feels,
    the thoughts of my premature burial.
    Inside this oblong box I lie,
    with the hope I'll be buried alive."



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  7. #7
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    Pandora hesitated slightly before answering, "The true ownership of the relics rests with my family. They are quite old, and few living would consider them valuable. Though those who do seek them would be willing to kill or die for their possession, they might be considered little more than heirlooms to most people. I must see that they are retrieved to the last one as soon as possible, no matter where the quest may lead. Does that satisfy your curiosity?"

    While her expression was not unkind, it was apparent that speaking of the relics made her increasingly uncomfortable. She hoped fervently that the topic would close, though she suspected that more questions would arise, if not now then later. It was the nature of people to be curious. And with the topic at hand, she couldn't blame them.

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  8. #8
    A low to mid functioning sociopath. Shadow's Avatar
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    "Hmm, I see. I accept this mission then. I may require the use of these artifacts myself, depending on what they are, and of course, provided you don't mind." He said. Scanning the others at the table, he wondered what thoughts and questions the other might have.
    "I can't explain just how it feels,
    the thoughts of my premature burial.
    Inside this oblong box I lie,
    with the hope I'll be buried alive."



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  9. #9
    This pic is definitely of me!! Solly's Avatar
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    Malta was apathetic towards danger. The unbreakable speech thing did not seem too bad either. After all, he already had one speech spell laid upon him. Surely another wouldn't be that bad. Family heirlooms were usually not just heirlooms in his experience, but he could keep his trap shut about them like no other spirit.

    His team, however, did not seem like they would be that helpful. A cocky fellow and two babes were not the ideal treasure seekers, in his experience. The team leader seemed enigmatic and Malta could tell by her elegant and all-knowing attitude that she was more experienced than she appeared. Malta had dealt with these kinds of people before. At least she was more emotional than usual.

    "Excuse me ma'am, but if I might ask,
    What magical properties are there to this task?"

  10. #10
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    Pandora smiled graciously at the young man, and bowed her head slightly in his direction. He would certainly do. He seemed an honorable sort, and as such... “I am honored, Sir. Thank you for your trust, I will try to prove myself worthy of it. Please sign the sheet I have left on my table with your name and particulars, so that I might know who I am paying. That goes for any who are interested.”

    A shady looking fellow spoke up from his place leaning against the wall, “Begging yer pardon, but I ain't signing nothin' 'til I know a few particulars myself. First one, what's yer name? And secondly, how will I be bound to you exactly? I don't like the sound of that, not one bit. Will my head explode if I go to far from you?”

    Tilting her head to the side, she listened carefully as the human spoke. Smiling enigmatically, she responded, “You may call me Pandora, or if you prefer, Lady Pandora.” She said, always careful not to tell an outright lie. She did not say that Pandora was her name, it was merely implied by saying she may be called such. “And as to the nature of the vow, nothing so severe will result, I assure you Sir. I am certain our alliance will be mutually beneficial.”

    Pausing, she considered leaving it at that, but soon thought better of it. These good people were trusting her with their very lives, and it was the least she could do to be as forthright as possible without endangering the mission, “The vow I would extract is a simple magical matter. You swear to hold my secrets, and in doing such you will find it impossible to speak of them to any not in my presence, or indeed against my will. But it is only on this matter that you will be held. You will be unable to speak of the artifacts, where they were located, what they can do, and so on and so forth. If you were to try, your tongue would not cooperate. That is the best way I can explain it without a demonstration. The remainder of our adventure will be the stuff of legend, and you can tell any and all of it, but the nature of the relics must remain a sacred trust held deeply in your heart. Is this so great a favor to ask?” She explained eloquently, imploring to be understood with large eyes, liquid with passion for her task.

    “The mystery regarding these artifacts is over 2,000 years old, and their existence is not common knowledge, let alone what they might be capable of.” Suddenly she stopped speaking, her mouth closing with a click and though suddenly realizing that she had said too much.

    As she finished speaking, the spellbound paper golem spoke a question in the form of a limerick, “Excuse me ma'am, but if I might ask,
    What magical properties are there to this task?"

    She considered his question carefully before responding, “In the task itself, I am not certain there are any magical properties. We might meet magical maleficium, though that is not at all guaranteed but to be perfectly honest and frank with you, it does seem likely. The task is merely tracking down and retrieving ancient relics that once belonged to my family and seeing to their reconstruction. Once this has been done, I will speak with you further regarding the final stage of the task. But let us not get ahead of ourselves, the road before us is long and winding. There is no guarantee we will see the end.”

    Unintentionally, she ended on a rather dismal note. It was not her habit to be unnecessarily pessimistic, but once said she knew not how to retrieve the statement.

    “I ain't having none of that,” said the rather shady looking fellow. “You gotta know when to walk away, I don't care how much money you offer, I ain't risking myself on this.”

    With that, he strode to the bar and Pandora immediately dismissed him from her mind.

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  11. #11
    A low to mid functioning sociopath. Shadow's Avatar
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    Taking the pen and paper, Shadow began writing. When he finished a frown passed across his face. He hated writing. His style always aroused suspicion of his noble heritage, although he had so far been able to make an excuse.

    Finished, he set the pen down and pushed the paper away. Pulling his hand back, he revealed what was written. There, on the paper, in a flowing and visually pleasing script Were the words. "Name: Shadow, Particulars: I prefer to sleep alone. (I have my own accommodations) I prefer to walk. And I like my privacy."
    "I can't explain just how it feels,
    the thoughts of my premature burial.
    Inside this oblong box I lie,
    with the hope I'll be buried alive."



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  12. #12
    In Soviet Russia, Editor is protected from YOU!! The Editor's Avatar
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    "Thank you for your help," said Mezbit, crouching down next to the body of a large wolf.
    "Eh, no trouble," replied Richard. "Always happy to help the law."
    "By rights we shouldn't need that help," replied the guardsman, standing up again and looking sheepish.
    "Ah, don't worry about it, lad. A pack of wolves can be a dangerous foe." I think I'm late, he thought. "Give my best to the captain of the guard," said Richard, walking quickly towards the inn.
    "Will do," replied Mezbit, waving. "Damned wolves," he muttered to himself, giving the corpse a hefty kick.

    Late late late bloody late, thought Richard, barging through the door of the inn. Of course he would be delayed before a meeting for the first job in weeks. Still, couldn't leave a guard to die. Wouldn't be right. His eyes wandered quickly around the room, spotting a likely looking group of people. He crossed the room as fast as he could without breaking into a run.
    "Sorry I'm late," he said, "had a little trouble with some wolves. I'm here about the, uh..." He pulled a piece of parchment out of his pocket and squinted at it. "'Astoria Historical Enthusiasts'... thing." He put it away again and smiled. "So, um, is this it?"

  13. #13
    This pic is definitely of me!! Solly's Avatar
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    Noticing the cocky fellow passing down his hastily written, but rather good looking, resume, Malta decided that he should probably inform his employer of his own traits.

    "My name is Malta, and I'm a spell-drawn man,
    I'm in for any magical plan,
    I do not sleep, so I can stand watch,
    If I touch ink I will botch,
    My hearing and eyesight are incredibly good,
    But I cannot smell like a regular man would,
    I'm also immortal, although my recovery's delayed,
    And I don't actually have to be paid."

  14. #14
    Make your move Muttsy's Avatar
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    When the women from the corner strode forward, Avalynn was shocked by the way she carried herself, such grace and power, but more shocked when she identified herself as the one who set up the meeting. She would have thought this a man's job, or if a women one who was not so beautiful and perfect. She seemed so important and yet so small at the same time, a perfect contridiction.

    As the women began to explain herself and the objective of the club, Avalynn became more uncomfortable at each word. This was not the "club" she had in mind, nor the one that Gwenyth had depicted. It was not a good idea to have come, she realized and had only served to dash Gwenyth's hopes. She would have fidgeted in her seat had she not been taught better.

    “Oh yes. After we have located the first artifact, you will be sealed to me. I will extract an unbreakable vow that you will keep my secrets in the fires of your heart for all time, and you will find it impossible to betray this mission. Until then, you may turn back at any time, collecting payment for services rendered. Your duties will include assisting in the search for the artifacts, retrieving them, guarding them as well as guarding my person and possessions. It is simple.” The women concluded before opening up to more questions.

    Avalynn listened intently a little longer as some of the men around them began to ask questions; some of which she was thinking herself. The ebony haired women answered curtiously, she certainly gave her the impression of a good women and a good employer. How effective could three herbalists be as gaurdians though? They had no training or expertise in this kind of journey. Avalynn felt she could trust the womens intentions however, though some of the party around them she was no so sure off. One odd fellow in particular, a man-like object that was beyond thin puzzled her for a moment, but she did smile when he asked his question with a rhyme (Avalynn wasn't sure if it had been intentional or not, but it amused her never the less.) Another man was paricularily harsh in his demands, but from his questions they were at least able to learn the women's name. It was also a comfort to learn that they would not suddenly die if they left Miss Pandora. Another man with strange red eyes spoke up, he was much more courteous in his speach.

    At this point, Avalynn stopped listening so she could consult Gwenyth even though the women continued to converse with the man. To retain some privacy, she whispered in her ear.

    "I don't think we can participate in this Gwenyth. She is proposing a very long journey, we have only a few days before we have to make our way back." Avalynn said.

    "Oh, but Avalynn she said we can turn and leave at any point!" Gwenyth argued "Think, with all three of us together we could earn quite a few coins in that time. It sounds like Miss Pandora has a lot of money. Especially since she is offering to pay in advance."

    "It is not proper to commit to a journey only to leave in a few days time. We don't know if the elders would approve of this." Avalynn countered.

    "Yes, which means we also don't know if they would disaprove Avalynn." Gwenyth said with a proud grin.

    Avalynn didn't want to start another argument with Gwenyth and stopped before she provoked Gwenyth to another outburst. She glanced away and looked at the other attendees of the meeting and watched as the one man who had been particularily rude got up.

    “I ain't having none of that. You gotta know when to walk away, I don't care how much money you offer, I ain't risking myself on this.” She heard him say before leaving and Avalynn had little doubt that she missed something important.

    She began to run the scenario through her mind, trying to review what she knew exactly since the sudden burst of information seemed slightly overwhelming. They were going to travel with this wealthy women to gather artifact heirlooms. Others were apparently looking for these artifacts also and were willing to hurt others for them. Pandora would pay them at any time and they could walk at any time prior to the retrival of the first artifact. After that, they were bound by some magic. It was a dizzying proposal.

    "Listen Avalynn, I have an idea!" Gwenyth interupted her thoughts, "Why don't we sign up and join, the three of us, and we'll send a letter back to the elders explaining the situation. They should get a response back to us before we find the first artifact and then they can tell us if we should stay or go! If they say we have to return, then we'll take our pay to that point and leave."

    Avalynn had to admit that Gwenyth had some sense on the idea and considered it. She would have to start and send the letter tonight if a messenger bird could be found; perhaps Pandora herself would be able to help them send it though Avalynn had to be careful not to be a burden on the women. The temples themselves had their own messenger birds for a return letter. Surely, for a few days at least, it would be alright to go along the journey. They would need doctors after all, wouldn't they? That was a service they could provide.

    "It's a rare opportunity, remember. We can always leave, but we will not have the ability to join again if we don't join tonight. What if the elders find out we turned it down and are upset? Is it not better to act in caution? We have nothing to loose by declining and everything to gain by going along. I think I can speak on behalf of Stella when I say we should join." Gwenyth said.

    Gwenyth was smart to bring in Stella, and Avalynn knew that she would side with Gwenyth. Besides, it wasn't entirely up to Avalynn what the three of them did. She was not in charge of them technically but they did have to act as a unit, and it appeared she was out-voted.

    "Alright, pass the paper please I will sign us up and explain our particulars." Avalynn said "But I will also speak to Miss Pandora and explain the situation. I do not want her to feel as if we are taking advantage of her."

    Gwenyth retrived the sheet from another man that had been asking questions earlier, the red eyed one, and she caught his name from the sheet. He called himself Shadow, she assumed it wasn't his given name since he seemed a private person, but it was also none of her business. She began to write their names underneath.

    Names: Stella Fiore, Gwenyth Blumstein and Avalynn Tresler. Particulars: We are herbalists from the Harmyn Temples and have training in medicinal matters. We travel light and on foot; two of us are armed with bows for hunting food and are prepared to provied for ourselves.

    Avalynn wasn't sure what else to put or what one expected in the particulars but in following the style of the name before her she decided that brief was best. She left the sign-up sheet with Gwenyth at the table and went to discuss with Pandora the circumstances of their commitement. They would not be leaving until morning, so they had time to fetch Stella.

    In the time that she had taken to write out their names and particulars, another man had entered the Inn with the intention of joining the club and Avalynn noticed him now. He was several years older then herself, though he bore his age well so Avalynn couldn't peg with any certainty hos much older he was. Avalynn waited her turn patiently as the man presented himself to Pandora. Another man, the strange paper-thin man at that, was also in the process of talking to Pandora (continuing in the rhymes, which made her smile agian). Avalynn kept a polite distance so she did not appear nosy. Hopefully she still stood close enough for Pandora to acknowledge that she wished to speak to her.

    (OOC: Uh, I just wanted to point out that a herbalist of the Harmyn Temples aren't supposed to be in want of "money" or bound by "money". It's one of those laws that's been around for centuries and even though they all need money to get by the law of the temples is that you can't change the law of the temples. The women -elders included- cheat this rule by calling them "coins" instead. That's why Avalynn will always insist that she be paid in "coins" and will never call it "money." It's a word she's sort of not allowed to have in her vocabulary. Coins and money are the same thing yes, but they see it as a technicality.)

  15. #15
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    The corner of Pandora's mouth quirked up in a slight smile when she noticed the lad was using a pseudonym. Shadow, is it?

    Just as she was about to comment, a rather enthusiastic man burst in. Smile still clinging to her lips, she replied, “Yes, it is. There is a sign up sheet just there. Write your name and particulars, we leave in the morning. Be prepared for a long archaeological expedition. If you require an advance in pay to outfit yourself for the journey, please just say the word.”

    When she finished speaking, the paper golem spoke a poem and it was all she could do to keep from clapping her hands in delight. In her experience, while unpredictable, mageless golems tended to be very trustworthy for they typically had few personal motives. “I am delighted to have you join us Malta, I am certain we will have many interesting conversations in the future. Thank you for your interest.”

    From the corner of her eye she had observed the tall blond girl waiting patiently for quite some time. Her manners were impeccable, as was her poise and grace. How very rare.

    Before speaking to her, Pan took a moment to glance at the sign up sheet. So the two girls were from the Harmyn Temples. And there was a third. Very interesting, she thought. She had always been impersonally fascinated with the faith. Were they followers of the Creator? Did they adhere to any particular religion or merely dedicate their lives in service to others? For the life of her, she couldn't remember why she hadn't taken time in the past to familiarize herself with the belief. She would enjoy picking the brain of one of the acolytes, and she considered herself quite fortunate to have three herbalists join her party.

    “Yes dear?” Pandora softly inquired of the girl, “You wish to speak with me? You have been waiting quite patiently for some time now. I admire your patience. It is something many humans do not learn until much later in life.”

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  16. #16
    In Soviet Russia, Editor is protected from YOU!! The Editor's Avatar
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    Just in time, thought Richard, quickly putting his name down on the sheet. Particulars? He tapped his chin thoughtfully. He didn't think of himself as having any, but maybe he just took some for granted. He toyed with the idea of putting down "freedom to abstain from morally questionable endeavours", but decided that would imply he thought the leader was morally questionable. Instead he settled for "none as of yet".

  17. #17
    Make your move Muttsy's Avatar
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    Pandora did indeed notice her, and taking proper time to address everyone else she made her way over

    “Yes dear?” Pandora spoke to her, Avalynn noticed that she did so with great gentleness “You wish to speak with me? You have been waiting quite patiently for some time now. I admire your patience. It is something many humans do not learn until much later in life.”


    Avalynn in turn curtised with a slight bow of her head.

    "I thank you for your compliment. I find patience is also easy learned and used with one who is worthy of the effort." Avalynn said reverting back to her standing position "I would first like to thank you Miss Pandora for the opportunity you are giving us. I must also, regretfully tell you that although we are interested in accompanying you we are bound by the laws of the Harmyn Temples and our gouverning elders. We can accompany you for but a short time without the permission of our elders. For now, you have the three of us in your party but I must write to the elders and ask their permission before we are permitted to stay. Please understand, we do not want to lead you on in false belief but we are bound by our call to the Temples."

    Avalynn paused a moment before continuing, trying to predict how Pandora was going to take the news.

    "I will write the letter tonight to send back to the Temples. There, the elders will decide the proper course for our trio and send a letter back with one of their messanger birds. It will be a few days at least before we get a final word back, depending on how much ground we have covered. Since we are not leaving until morning however, the sooner I can send out the letter the better. We do not wish to be a burden to you."

  18. #18
    The watchers on the wall dragon_berry's Avatar
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    “Welcome to the Astoria Historical Enthusiasts. Thank you for attending this, our first meeting.” The woman spoke in a graceful yet powerful tone.

    Eh? What with all these talking, that poster promised ‘Riches and Adventure’, so can we just skip this part please? Regne spaced out a few while after he was seated. I mean, of course everyone here are ready to accept the job right? Well, if it will actually bring me to those promised ‘Riches and Adventure’ and stuff, I guess it’s worth waiting

    “….and may prove difficult to find.” Regne blinks rapidly and quickly put his attention back on the woman as he heard the word ‘difficult’ “If you are interested, we will leave in the morning. An advance in pay will be available to those who request it to purchase supplies for the expedition. Food and shelter will be provided, but it is always wise to anticipate every eventuality. Please be personally prepared.”

    Ah, I think I’ll need the money. I haven’t had too much clothes and I’ve been running out of food lately. Wait, all these just for her family heirloom? Rich people these days really are something. To think a heirloom of 2000 years could worth this much expedition and such. I really need to pay more attention.

    “Oh yes. After we have located the first artifact, you will be sealed to me. I will extract an unbreakable vow that you will keep my secrets in the fires of your heart for all time, and you will find it impossible to betray this mission. Until then, you may turn back at any time, collecting payment for services rendered. Your duties will include assisting in the search for the artifacts, retrieving them, guarding them as well as guarding my person and possessions. It is simple.”

    Regne took his quill and paper and spaced out for awhile. I didn’t have anything special to write here. Errr.............. He wrote a short, simple description of himself: ”Name: Regne Vingersky, Particulars: I’m a musician and an archer from Glade. I can prepare foods and hunt a bit, and I guess I’d need the ‘stocking-up-money’ to buy some arrows and a few clothes.” Wandering around, Regne peeked to other’s paper. A nice handwriting inscribed on the paper "Name: Shadow, Particulars: I prefer to sleep alone. (I have my own accommodations) I prefer to walk. And I like my privacy." Regne smiled and added a few lines on his paper: "I can sleep anywhere, but I’d rather sleep in a dry place”. Regne gazed up so he can see the guy’s face to say thanks. The guy, more or less, was 6 feet tall with white hair and a silver eye patch. He chose the wrong guy to peek at.

    “Ah! Sorry to peek on your writing. I really don’t know what to write so uh…. I kind of….” Regne hesitated as he saw the guy’s rather-ominous smile.
    --A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world--

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  19. #19
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    Smiling gently, Pandora nodded acceptance, "Of course, I would never come between you and your faith. If the Light is willing, we will have many more conversations and perhaps we will find the time to discuss your calling. I must confess, I am quite interested in your temples and your greater purpose. Though now, if you will excuse me, there is something that I must attend to."

    Nodding her head once in polite dismissal, Pandora removed a small embroidered purse from an inner concealed pocket of her cloak and dumped the contents onto the tabletop. Golden and silver coins jingled happily and rolled around the table in a brilliant display of reflected lamplight before falling silent.

    "Let any who have need of it take early payment to secure supplies for our coming journey. Please take what you like." She said, gesturing toward to money. "There is plenty for all."

    Surreptitiously the lady watched the table, and what would prove to be the questers first test. Would greed hasten their hands, or would they only take what would see to their comfort? George would likely disapprove of her method, it could prove a waste of resources and she smiled at the thought of what the old goat would say when he heard. But this simple test would reveal much regarding the nature of those gathered and she was always interested in learning all she could about her allies and enemies alike.

    "One more thing." She said to the woman-child from the temple, "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name, but something that might prove helpful to you occurred to me. Once your letter is written, if you are willing, I have a magical conveyance which would allow your message to be delivered and a response returned immediately, no matter where our location. If you do not object, I will add a personal assurance of your safety in my presence, and inform your superiors that our mission is a just one, and one that will not hinder your faith."

    After a brief pause, she added, "If your leaders would be willing to allow you to accompany me to the journey's end, I would be happy to contribute a sizable donation to the coffers of your organization. Many could benefit greatly from such a benefaction, and your presence could ease potential suffering on this most crucial mission. Would this be acceptable to you?"

    Looking thoughtful, she considered her motivation in promising an endowment to the temples. She had never before had the impulse to do such, and they did good work all across the continent. Theirs was a worthy cause, but she had never personally contributed more than a few coins at a time to it. What was it about this child before her that made her desire such a thing? Was fate pushing her, or did she simply speak without thought? She did not long consider the puzzle before returning to watching the others to see what they would do regarding the seemingly free riches. What will be, will be. All will be well under the Light.

    A sudden thought occurred to her, widening her eyes slightly, It could prove to be my last good act of this life. A flurry of emotions flickered across her features before she firmed her mouth with resolution, Regardless of the response I receive, I will send a large grant with these women for their temple. It is decided, it is right, and it is the will of the Creator that they were brought to me at this time. For what use is gold to the dead?

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  20. #20
    Heart of Gold, Soul of Silver. Midnight the dark Espeon's Avatar
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    It's not a bar Luke, it's a tavern. Anyone ever hear of a tavern fight? No. Of course not. There will be absolutely no reason for the proprietor to call in guards... No reason whatsoever. Lucas Chambers sighed as he opened the door to the Orcshead . Glancing around he saw a table loaded with coins. That must be the riches and fortune part. "Excuse me, my name is Chance... Where can I find this Historical Enthusiast Club, exactly?" He asked to just about everyone in the tavern. The rugged Barkeep glared at him. "Guess I'll look... Over... Here..." Lucas saw the sign up sheet. "Anyone got a pen? Quill? Writing stone?" Keep your mouth SHUT. Do you really want this job? It's not bad enough the Chieftian wants you dead, now it looks like there's an entire bar out to get you. YOU'RE IN A BAR! "Found one..." Lucas said quietly, and wrote on the paper Name: Chance. Particulars:Hate pubs, Bars, Taverns, Inns... Civilization mostly. "That should do..." SHUT UP YOU MORON!!!
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  21. #21
    Make your move Muttsy's Avatar
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    Avalynn was pleased to hear that Pandora took her explanation well. She nodded with a smile as she left and watched as she put down coins on the table. She saw Gwenyth's eyes instantly light up.

    "Let any who have need of it take early payment to secure supplies for our coming journey. Please take what you like." Pandora said, gesturing toward the money which Gwenyth continued to eye ravenously. "There is plenty for all."

    Avalynn, with a swift graceful walk was instantly behind Gwenyth once more, ready to stop her eager hand from picking up some of the coins in front of her. She was a little to late however, as Gwenyth already had some in her hand.

    "We are in need of absolutely nothing Gwenyth. On top of that, it is rude to accept pay before a job done; no matter how gracious and giving the employer." Avalynn scolded, but Gwenyth was still reluctant to put them down.

    "Avalynn, she said it was alright." Gwenyth replied.

    "Alright how? We have done nothing yet to earn it, and do not even know if we will do anything to earn it in the future. Pandora explained that the pay was for supplies, supplies we do not need. I should not have to tell you twice in one night to mind your place. Perhaps this was a bad idea, you've been gone too long from the watchful eye of our elders." Avalynn said with some pangs of guilt, Gwenyth was only continuing to add to an already shocking sentance of misbehaviour.

    Finally, Gwenyth put the coins back on the table one by one. It was only then however, that Avalynn realized that there was still the matter of delivering that letter and for that they might actually need a few coins. No where near the amount Gwenyth had decided to take, but it was a fact that Avalynn now had a hard time accepting. There was a chance that someone would get her letter delivered free, but...

    "One more thing." Pandora said to her, breaking her from her thoughts, "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name, but something that might prove helpful to you occurred to me. Once your letter is written, if you are willing, I have a magical conveyance which would allow your message to be delivered and a response returned immediately, no matter where our location. If you do not object, I will add a personal assurance of your safety in my presence, and inform your superiors that our mission is a just one, and one that will not hinder your faith."

    Avalynn was immediatly soothed by the offer. Although Avalynn knew little of magic outside of the healing practice, and even that was limited knowledge, she could only imagine that it was no simple feat. She was about to thank her for her kindness, when Pandora spoke up once more.

    "If your leaders would be willing to allow you to accompany me to the journey's end, I would be happy to contribute a sizable donation to the coffers of your organization. Many could benefit greatly from such a benefaction, and your presence could ease potential suffering on this most crucial mission. Would this be acceptable to you?"

    Again, Avalynn had to greet Miss Pandora with another curtsie and Gwenyth immediatly stood up mimicking Avalynn. Such a generous offer! What a beautiful gift, Avalynn stayed long in her curtsie and bow simply out of speachlessness. What a rare opportunity indeed, Gwenyth had at least been correct about that. Surely her elders would not hesitate to let them go now. To think, what they could do with a sizeable donation! It was not in the practice to turn down any patient at the Harmyn Temples, but there just wasn't enough to go around now adays and instead of helping everyone to their full potential, they had to cut corners. Avalynn might never have too see a patient skipping a meal for a long time, and they could afford perhaps even to improve their infirmary beds. No more would they have to tend to sickly children on the floors.

    "Again Miss Pandora, your hospitality is most flattering. I am sorry for not better identifying ourselves. I am Avalynn Tresler, my friend here is Gwenyth Blumstein." Avalynn finally began, finding her words but it took all of her will power to keep from crying out in happiness. If they could help this women see the end of this journey, not only could they make this world better for Miss Pandora, but for their own home as well which in turn could help so many others.

    "Your kindness will not be forgotten, and it is more then acceptable. I will write the letter now explaining your offer and the situation so it can be delivered immediatly. I appreciate your willingness to address our elders yourself, but I am afraid that to say our jorney will not hinder our believes is too grand a statement to hold yourself accountable too. I mean no disrespect, but it is part of our way that makes a women responsible for her own adherence to the faith. You also need not assure our personal safety, for on the contrary, it is our responsability to asssure ourselves of your safety."

    With that said, Avalynn could think of nothing to do but politely excuse herself so she could see to the letter right away. She easily found a parchment and quill for the job, and set to work. Elders always insisted on long letters, but the women in response to this learned to write quick. Avalynn began the letter with the explanation of their journey to this point; how they had found the herbs they had been sent to find and were ready to return until this opportunity presented itself. Although she worried for Gwenyth, she also had to admit and point out her behaviour on the trek. With as few details as possible (Pandora did say they were bound and unable to share to much about the voyage) she felt she explained as much as necessary, and was sure to include the but about the donation. When the letter was finished and ready, she was prepared to give it to Pandora and found herself mildly anxcious about the response they would recieve. No one would have been able to pick up on her thoughts however, as she still retained that same perfect posture, a friendly smile on her face but otherwise unmoving. Gwenyth during this time had moved back outside and was waiting for the letter response.

  22. #22
    A low to mid functioning sociopath. Shadow's Avatar
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    Hearing the sound of pen on paper again, Shadow turned to glance at the writer. Seeing an elf, he gave a large grin. "Another elf, eh?", he thought. As he looked, the other elf quickly looked away. Apparently he was either shy, or he was yet another to find Shadow creepy or scary.

    Turning back to Pandora, he was just in time to see her take out a purse and empty it contents upon the table. "Let any who have need of it take early payment to secure supplies for our coming journey. Please take what you like." She said, gesturing toward to money. "There is plenty for all." Shadow thought for a moment, he had some money thanks to the job from earlier, but he could get even better supplies if he were to take a little of the money from the table.

    "I have a question." he said, making it clear he was talking to pandora. "Are our rooms for the night covered?"
    "I can't explain just how it feels,
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    with the hope I'll be buried alive."



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  23. #23
    The watchers on the wall dragon_berry's Avatar
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    "Another elf, eh?" The guy grinned, noticing Regne.

    “Eh? Me?” Regne asked clumsily “Sorry for earlier. I might’ve just accidentally crossed to one of your ‘privacy’. And yep, I’m an elf as well” Regne replied with another grin, realizing this Shadow guy is much nicer than he looks.

    "Let any who have need of it take early payment to secure supplies for our coming journey. Please take what you like." She said, gesturing toward to money. "There is plenty for all." She added. In a split sec, Regne saw a mysterious smile on the woman’s face. A kind of smile that waits for what’ll happen and WILL noticed everything she’ll see. Regne blanked out for three second and noticed the sudden mood changes in the room.

    The taverns atmosphere quickly melted after Pandora ended her speech. The sound of people chattering and glass banging began to fill the entire room, a few people still scratching their paper with their quill and pen while more of them crowded the pile of silver and gold coins. Shadow passed Regne and walked toward Pandora and seems to chat a bit. Ah, I should ask a few things to her as well. A bit about the money and I guess I might hear something interesting as well.

    “Ah, excuse me Miss Pandora. I think silver coins will be too much for me to buy a few arrows. It would be troublesome if I lose the changes when I got back here since I won’t be able to pay that much. I think I’ll only need a few bronze or perhaps a few arrows, if it’s not too much of a trouble.” Regne went right beside Shadow and asked plainly right after they finished their conversation.

    Regne noticed that only a few people approach Pandora, including shadow, a few young long-haired women, a man with a leather jacket and a few others. They seemed to be the only few people who actually consider the expedition seriously, although Regne saw a few considerable people who picked a few money after asking one or two question to Pandora. This expedition might be far more interesting than what the poster promised for. I guess I’ll enjoy it more than I enjoy being a musician back in Glade. Regne thought to himself and smile excitedly.
    --A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world--

    Fallen_wings Global "Warming" Poke_Hunter Eon Spirit Trixie God

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  24. #24
    This pic is definitely of me!! Solly's Avatar
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    Malta had no need for money. He was sure if he was mortal and actually ad need of supplies he would've taken a hefty amount. But now all he needed was the money to pay the bartender for his glass of ink. He reached forward and grabbed one silver, then gave it to the bartender. It was, perhaps, a gross over-payment, but Malta didn't really care. he doubted the people who grabbed the currency had much need for too many supplies either. How would they have gotten here otherwise?

  25. #25
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    Taken aback, Pandora smiled gently, almost apologetically, and nodded once in acceptance of Avalynn's words. She had underestimated the girl, assuming her little more than a childlike acolyte of a church, sheltered and unworldly. It would seem that her guidance was unnecessary. Still, she had every intention of guarding the presumably untarnished mind of the acolyte dearly. It wouldn't do for the children to be corrupted in her service.

    "I have a question," Shadow said, breaking into her reverie. "Are our rooms for the night covered?"

    “Upon enrolling in my service, all your living expenses are covered. That includes your room and board this evening.” She replied. “If you are a drinking man, I suggest imbibing your fill this evening for alcohol is scarce on the trail.”

    As she finished speaking, the newest arrived elf spoke up, “Ah, excuse me Miss Pandora. I think silver coins will be too much for me to buy a few arrows. It would be troublesome if I lose the changes when I got back here since I won’t be able to pay that much. I think I’ll only need a few bronze or perhaps a few arrows, if it’s not too much of a trouble.”

    “Please accept payment in silver and gold,” she replied with a tiny smile. “You are advised to purchase the best arrows available, in a quantity sufficient to see you for quite some time. I know not when we will have the opportunity to restock our provisions, so prepare for a long journey.”

    Then, turning to Avalynn, she spoke again, “When you have finished with your correspondence, please let me know and I will prepare the spell. It is a simple matter of folding space and will take but a moment to weave. As you seal the letter, concentrate on the person you wish to receive it, if you will.”

    ((assuming Muttsy's compliance with this portion of the post, feel free to retcon any input necessary))

    Tugging off her white kid gloves and tucking them into a pocket, Pandora held out her hand to receive the missive. When the heavy parchment was placed in her small white hand, her slender fingers closed over it and her eyes fell shut. Lifting her empty hand, she placed it over the folded paper, a peaceful expression adorning her delicate features.

    A slight stirring in the air arose, and the light in the room seemed to dim. Shadows from all corners grew in dimension and gathered weight. One dense shadow beneath the long, gleaming mahogany bar seemed to form grasping fingers and reach out, brushing against the pristine lacy edge of her skirt.

    Sourceless, timorous wind whipped Pandora's pale blue cloak until the worked silver clasp at her neck gave. The silken garment danced backward where it hit the hewn stone wall and slid lifelessly down. Ebony hair billowed around her face and though her heart beat wildly, the mage remained stoic throughout the event. The only indication of emotion was the ephemeral fluttering of Pandora's eyelids.

    As quickly as they formed, the shadows receded, shrinking back to their usual shape. The wind died abruptly. The golden glow of lamplight returned to the room, seeming more sweet and wholesome than ever after the sight of the oppressing shadows.

    A trembling white light so bright and pure that it made one desire to look away surrounded the missive, finally settling into the form of five ethereal swallows, each a different color of the rainbow. The brightly colored ghost-like birds swirled around Pandora's hand in a squall of colors, blurring together in a tiny tornado of pigmentation. Until, with a faint pop, they disappeared along with the letter.

    A slight sigh of relief escaped the lady's lips, she had been certain for a moment that the spell would corrupt with unpredictable consequences. Her amber eyes seemed to glow with a quickly fading inner fire, seeming to reflect the low light of the room. A small but triumphant smile graced her flushed lips, and high color stained her cheeks. It had been a closely done thing but now it was finished.

    “It is in the hand of the recipient now, your message has been delivered. A similar display of light and air will complete the spell when the individual seals their reply. It will leave their hand and return to mine.” Pandora explained. “I do hope they are not too startled, it can be an unsettling affair to witness if one does not expect it.”

    Perhaps the light and color display was unnecessary, but it added flare to the prestige, and Pandora enjoyed it. Then again, perhaps without the calling of light, the shadows would not have responded. She decided that in the future, it might be wise to minimize the effects of her spells. Chaos was gaining ground, and the nature of magic was growing ever more dangerous.

    With quiet hands, she smoothed her snowy skirts, and self consciously checked each aspect of her garment after the impromptu wind storm. The swooping neck of her low cut gown was embroidered with miniature black roses, complete with rambling thorn covered brown stems. A veritable brier patch of roses climbed the tightly fitted long sleeves, to end in a small puff on each shoulder. A thin silver belt engraved with apples clasped her petite waist, but she was otherwise unadorned with jewellery.

    Yes, a close run thing, she thought to herself, composure restored. Grandeur be damned. Such risks can no longer be taken.

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