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 The Journey(R)

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Torik Valgard

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PostSubject: The Journey(R)   Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:56 pm

Lord Hakor peered from the third story window of his great keep overlooking the small city of Northwind.  Down below , outside of the gates of his keep, he could see the courtyard - more or a marketplace on these days.  It was a square area, about fifty feet across in both directions, surrounded by shops and made of cobblestone.  Merchants and farmers from the outskirts sold their goods on ragged stalls in the middle of the yard.  The loud chatter and banter of the crowded residents was muffled behind his glass window.  Hakor then heard footsteps, growing ever louder, and closed his eyes for the inevitable fury of his associate.

The doors behind him swung open and the footsteps stopped.  "What the fuck's happening?" the man said, quite angrily.  The room was Hakon's personal offices, where he managed Northwind and held court with his officials.  He had his desk sitting in front of the window, facing the double doors, and a set of chairs and small tables between the two.

"Please," he said, "take a seat and I'll explain.  Besides, it's not as much a problem anymore," he said, trying to calm the man down.  This man was a mysterious man, only going by the name 'Master'.  He wore a black traveling robe over his body and mostly hid his face under a black hood.  The Master's face showed grim anger and he sat down in front of Hakor's desk.  "The weapons, food, and slavery shipments were put on halt because of a dragon threat."

"Dragon threat?  Why are they so far south?  I trust you've sent -"

"It's being arranged as we speak.  My father, King Rogas sent me aid, one of his special agents by the name of Torik Valgard.  He's an aged man, but he's clearly seen lots of action.  And Rogas has always trusted him with these kinds of matters.  I believe he served in the Knighthood many years ago.  Anyway, Torik is here on behalf of the King to help deal with this threat.  He's already taken matters into his own hands, and as we speak he's gathering a team of individuals to head north and deal with this... this dragon."

"And the shipments?"

"As soon as word arrives that it's safe, the weapons, food, and slaves will be sent northward at once, Master."

"No.  I need them now.  Send them as soon as Torik and his team leave, the dragon will have them to worry about rather than my convoys."

"I can't do that, it's to risky.  Besides, just as soon as Torik notices these shipments he could very well send word to father and then I'd have treason on my hands."

"Well then," the Master said, rising up and putting his hood on, "I suppose you should send someone up north yourself.  Track Torik and his team down, and once the dragon is dealt with have him and his entire team assassinated.  If Torik and his team can slay a dragon, and he's in service to the King, then we can't that to deal with in the future."  Hakor nodded in approval.  The Master turned to leave the room.  "And send those shipments as soon as possible, Hakor.  The day is upon us."

-------<->-------

"Commoners!  Farmers!  Mercenaries and brigands!  The dragon threat is true and could encroach on Northwind at any moment!  Burning your homes, your farms, your very families!  Come forth, and sign up for the dragon hunt of a lifetime!  Show service to your king, the good Rogas, and be paid a hefty profit for your deeds!"

The town crier droned on and on, much to the distaste of the old warrior, Torik Valgard.  He wore traveling gear, some light leather armor, boots, gloves, and a weather coat, equipped with only a shortsword.  All around the marketplace were people from all around, who had read fliers and notices about an impending dragon attack.  They were now coming together to, as  Torik saw it, sign their life away.  But it was for the better.  The King had sent Torik to help Hakor deal with the threat.  Lord Hakor was one of the laziest, shadiest, and most strangest of Rogas sons.  But Torik had vowed to respect and honor him, just as he did with his king, Rogas.  Torik was simply ready to get this over with and continue his investigations - the real reason he was here.  Disappearances, armed conflicts, and food shortages were strangely rampant in the north and on the border.  Could be the dragon, but these occurrences seemed rather coincidental.

Torik simply sat on a bench by the inn as the crier attracted the attention of would-be dragonslayers.
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TheDarknessOfLoyalty

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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:26 am

The sound of a town crier gave a seemingly young girl quite the rude awakening as she attempted to sleep off er fatigue. with a growling yawn she pushed herself off the bed with a little mre force than intended, nearly causing her to hit a wall. growling again she moved back to the bed and picked up the dress she discarded prior to sleep the night before. quickly putting it on and adding the rest of her garments to the ensemble. shifting her shoulders slowly she made sure the dress was a bit more comfortable on her body before turning to the door and opening it, storming out, ignoring her messed up hair, as she ignored the patrons looks while she stormed down the stairs and out the door, the Aegis of Celestials floating down from high to her.

"For fracks sak! Shut the hell up man!" She yelled at the town crier, "Vour voice grates on the ears like the nails of a succubus down an obsidian wall! And echoes like a banshee's wail!" Her venomous words emitting she turned aay with a huff, nearly smacking the man in the face with one of her wings. and began to walk back to the inn, her horned face a pitcure of rage, framed by her hair.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:08 pm

They say the farmer works from sunrise to sunset every day, those people are wrong. The field hands work begins much earlier, even when they weren't in the fields, there was always more to be done, preparations to be made but somehow they made time for fun frivolous little outings and adventures.  Today a daughter of the rich Southern fields would set out on the adventure of a lifetime, but as always work came before play and there was still a great many things Alexandra needed to tend to before chasing a young girl's dream.

An ox cart weighed down with all manners of crops and an abnormally large passenger rolled through the gates of Northwind as  yesterday gave way to tomorrow. They passed as slow and steady as they could to avoid disturbing the sleeping city, but the heavy hoof steps and the shifting of the wagon wheels on the uneven cobblestone  path certainly woke up a few unfortunate people living on the main street. By sunrise Alexandra had already finished unpacking the wares of the elderly driver.  The man owned the farm next to her father and had agreed to take her to meet the lord's recruiters in return for help moving his goods. The old man's body was too worn to load and unload the heavy cases of produce, and Alexandra's helping hands allowed him to leave his sons behind to tend their livestock.

Despite the effort she put in, it was clear to Alexandra that she was the one benefiting the most form the arrangement.  It would have been far more profitable to do business somewhere else. Northwind was a long ways to travel, and business was slower do to the city's small size. The prices were fair because of the low supply of fresh fruit this far north, but it did not change the fact that they would not be here if not for her.  This opportunity only came to her through the generosity  of others, not only was her neighbor sacrificing both time and profit to bring her here, but her  parents and seven brothers and sisters would all have to put in extra work to cover her absence. She owed it to them to make the most of this journey. She would not only come home alive, but come home a legend, on top of helping old man Magee sell what goods didn't spoil on the trip north.

With endless gratitude she happily worked through the morning. She hummed cheerfully between customers and always greeted all who stopped with a big smile. Business was surprisingly good thanks to a number of contributing factors. While the people back home had grown accustomed to her size and pay little attention to the matter, she was quite the oddity to the villagers of the town. Many stopped by just to get a closer look, and most who did would overlook the competing vendors in doing so. Beyond that, the news that had attracted them to the city had brought along crowds of others as well, some with deep pockets, and those stuck waiting in line to sign up for a chance to hunt the dragon with Sir Torik would often pay for small snacks to hold them over.

Although she was more than happy to compensate farmer Magee  knowing all he had done for her, and she was proud of her success, Alexandra grew nervous and impatient as the day grew on. She enjoyed dealing with the people, especially the knights and nobles whose armor and gowns were all equally fascinating to her, she could not get over her worries that the open spots in the party would fill before she had the chance to offer her services to the kingdom, or that perhaps she wouldn't be good enough to catch his interests even if she did make it in time. She rushed through her work, making sure that a new crate replaced each depleted one right as it was emptied and that no customer had to wait. As she worked she stood as tall as she could, hoping by some miracle to draw the recruiters eye, if only there were some way to impress him from way back where she was.

In her haste, she most have knocked the wares off a nearby cart, or perhaps a passing stranger dropped what they were carrying, all she really knew was that something had  crashed to the floor and startled the steer that had been sleeping when it shattered. The frightened animal snapped the rope that was meant to prevent it from wandering and charged through the crowd. Miraculously, no one was hurt. The panicked crowd was extraordinarily swift in moving out of the way.  Without thinking, Alexandra dropped what she was doing, she would have to pay for the goods she dropped later. The bull turned and charged to meet her. If the bull had grown up on her farm, it would have known better, but grazing just one field over, it had never before seen or had any way to expect what happened next.  After grabbing the beats horns to bring it to a stop, she pushed it back, worked her way  under it, and lifted it into the air under her shoulders screaming as she did, "You stupid bullheaded slab of meat! What makes you think I'll let you run around  breaking things? You'll be lucky if Mr. Magee doesn't have you chopped and sold to cover the damages."

Her whole life, Alexandra had scolded uncooperative animals.  She had cursed at cattle, mules, horses, even the occasional hen. Never before had she thought anything of it. But now standing in front of a crowd of unfamiliar faces staring up at her, she suddenly felt very self conscious and very foolish. As she walked back to her stand she found herself wishing that she didn't stand out quite so much.
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Paradox

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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:11 pm

"Oh dear," Meera said after hearing the announcement, "a dragon. That group is going to need a healer."

"But Miss Meera," her apprentice said, "you shouldn't sign up. It's too dangerous. We need you here."

"Oh, don't worry about me. You can handle it here."

She curtsied to her apprentice and went to join the line of adventurers.

"You don't seem so tough."

Meera turned around to see a rather large man.

"Well, I'm not tough." She smiled, "I'm a healer, so I help the ones like you tougher."

She turned back around to continue her patient waiting.
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Chronos

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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:19 pm

Normally it wouldn't be so much of a hassle to get out of bed, especially at nine in the morning, but the windows were left boarded up from the previous night's ritual. Vaslav laid bare naked on the floor again, sprawled in the center of ousted red-wax candles and breathing heavily. Funny, the floor had been more a bed than his actual bed, but it wasn't like Vaslav ever slept to begin with. He just finished a ten-day ritual to appease a certain sect of daemonic beings from distant realms and entire dimensions far apart from his own. Whether they were real or not didn't exactly seem to pass through his head, but given the fact one of their lesser cousins was inhabiting his body and soul it was worth a shot. Ripping the boards away he'd hear about talks of a dragon hunting to be done. He wasn't exactly the type to hunt anything, but Vaslav knew if he could kill a dragon he'd have a whole slew of ritual ingredients ready to reap from the corpse. Grabbing his clothes on he'd walk outside and up to the individual who proclaimed the need for hunters. "Where exactly do I sign up for this 'dragon' hunt?"
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Aroro

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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:05 pm

A cheery tune was carried on the wind as a rogue man approached. He sat on top of a grey mule. Its ears flicked as flies whizzed by, its tail twitching from side to side. The man whistled as the mule carried him forwards, albeit very slowly. With his hands behind his head and his eyes to the sky, Rico seemed at peace with the world and everything in it. This lighthearted fellow did indeed find the smaller things in life to be the most valuable, especially the few gold coins he plucked off of a merchant he passed by. Of course, this pickpocket would never admit to pickpocketing. He was, after all, a gentleman. He would find the gold a new home, one where it wouldn't be abused by all the migrating. Maybe that home would be in the barkeeps pocket or a wenches' bra. Rico pursed his lips dreamily. Yeah... or maybe even both.

His (inappropriate) daydream was cut short as the mule came to an abrupt halt. Its head bent down, its ears still twitching, and its mouth opened up to rip grass from its dirt bed. Rico bounced his body weight up and down, urging the mule to keep on. Instead of obeying, the mule looked at Rico over its shoulder, huffed, and went back to eating. The now motionless rogue grumbled under his breath.

"Chu know, if cha move, I'd give ya a carrot," Rico said enticingly. Or at least, he thought he did. He was severely disappointed when there wasn't even a huff in reply and the mule continued tearing grass up. "Two carrots?" He asked, his voice an octave higher. Still nothing. "Oh come on now, three carrots? I ain't going any higher, chu know. Them things are expensive and chu eat enough as it is."

And that's what got him a reaction.

A sliver of fear slid up Rico's spine as the mule slowly turned its head towards him. He offered it a nervous smile, his hands moving up in surrender. There was an evil glint sparked in those black animal eyes. Stuttering and stammering, Rico tried his best to calm down the angry beast. "Ch-chu are a beautiful mule. Best looking ass out there," Were some of the lines he said. Still, those words meant nothing to an angry female mule and Rico found himself flying through the air, screaming bloody murder.

"I hope they make glue outta chu!" He exclaimed, shaking his fist as he rubbed his sore behind. This wasn't the first time he was bucked off his steed but that didn't mean it didn't hurt like a son-of-a-gun when it happened. Wobbling, bemoaning his throbbing coccyx, the thief managed to find his way into town without further animal-related incidents. Until, of course, there was a stampeding bull.

Unexpectedly, Rico's reflexes kicked in and he narrowly escaped the gauging horns of the angry beast. He was suddenly very thankful he didn't ride those on a regular basis as he liked his body without holes. The bull was stopped by a gigantic woman, who lifted it above her like it was nothing. Rico's brown eyes went wide, releasing a slow whistle. He felt bad for that lady's suitors. Then again, despite her size, she seemed a little young in the face. Rico shrugged it off, meandering through the crowd.

He was in the middle of tactically acquiring some coin purses when his ears twitched. "Dragon" and "paid a hefty profit" were the two things that stuck out to him. Immediately, his ever greedy mind ran through the possibilities. Dragons hoarded treasure, everyone knew that. If the dragon was killed, who would take care of the treasure? The poor treasure would be so lonely. It was Rico's obligation, no, his duty to ensure the treasure was taken care of! Some people could be very inconsiderate of it, leaving it behind or worse, donating it to some people who didn't need it as much as Rico did.

The man snorted at the thought, earning him a few strange looks. Rico turned his head from side to side, looking at his neighbors accusingly. Then, with a sudden burst of energy, he forgot about the pain in his tailbone and bounded, taking two steps at a time, up onto the stage where the town crier was. This also earned him a few strange looks, making a total of several within a minute. Rico paid it no mind, though, as he grabbed onto the surprised Crier's hand. He shook it with enthusiasm, clasping it with both of his own hands, and exclaimed, "Don't chu worry, I'll take care of the treas--er, I mean, dragon!"
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TheDarknessOfLoyalty

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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:36 pm

Amat facepalmed and turned towards the crier again, not because of the noise the man was making but because of the man who was obviously too enthusiatic for his own good. She breifly shoot her ead to move some hair away from her eyes before calling to the man, "If you're going to take care of it... why don't you prove that you've the strength to survive it?" she raised one of her hands slightly to shift the Aegis of the Celestials into the form of a warhammer, which she then grabbed and rested on her shoulder.

"From what I hear dragons can rend mortal bodies asunder, like a battle axe through bacon, Incinerate steel with their breath and stand so tall that even giants are as dwarves to them!" She added, "Prove your claim!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:02 pm

“Eh?” Rico asked, turning his head towards the voice in the crowd. Immediately, his eyes were drawn towards a strange looking woman, one with six wings and a tail. Rico blinked a few times and rubbed his hands against his eyeballs, leaning his head forwards. He then shook it rapidly, staring rather unabashedly, eyes as wide as saucers. Really, he didn’t think the mule threw him that hard. He opened his mouth, looking to the crier with an unspoken question, pointing limply at the half angel, half demon. He waved the crier off before the man could even answer his question (which, to date, has not been asked) and leapt off the stage.

Again, a slow, low whistle left the rogue’s lips as a warhammer was created and the woman rested it on her shoulder like it was nothing. What was it with the women around here being impossibly strong? He was starting to feel a little emasculated. He pouted a little, his bottom lip reaching high as his chin wiggled. He poked his left bicep with his right index finger, looking at it bemusedly. Then, as his right hand returned to his side, he snatched something out of the shirt pocket of the man next to him. It was quick and fluid, unnoticeable to the human eye. Of course, it was more than possible for someone inhuman to see it but what would they say? It had already gone into the secret pouch Rico kept on him, the pouch full of valuables and not-so-valuables. Actually, Rico didn’t even know what he grabbed. It was more like a reflex than anything. Some may call him a kleptomaniac but he preferred to say it was keeping his skills fresh. Not to mention, no one would complain if he somehow acquired something useful. Then again, it was very rare that he ever grabbed anything useful. In fact, he usually acquired a wide variety of things. Forks, spoons, compasses, watches, a few horsheshoes (don’t ask how that happened), they were all things that were rattling around in his never ending bag. Therefore, what he just stole would remain a mystery, much like the strong demon-angel in front of him.

"From what I hear dragons can rend mortal bodies asunder, like a battle axe through bacon, incinerate steel with their breath and stand so tall that even giants are as dwarves to them!" Rico blinked a few times. He hadn’t thought of that. There was, after all, a reason why dragons were so feared and they managed to keep all their treasure. She then added, "Prove your claim!"

Rico, ever being the brave warrior man, held up his hands in surrender. It was just like the mule situation. Females always seemed to get riled up around him. Maybe they were just unused to the charm that rolled off of him in waves. Or maybe it could have been his narcissistic attitude, but Rico preferred the former. “Chu know chika,” He said, taking a cautious step forward. He didn’t want to be in range of that huge war hammer thing. He liked his brains inside of his skull, “If I’m gonna take the trea—I mean, dragon, then that gotta mean I gotta save my strength,” He said, keeping his hands up, “I gots a family back home, chu know. I got four kids to feed. I ain’t gonna put any food in their mouths if I’m dead,” He added, thinking he sounded very smart right now, “And to not get dead, I gots to save my strength. Chu see? I can’t fight cha if I gots to save my strength.”

“Besides,” He added with a sly wink, “Mi mami taught me to never hit a lady. Specially one as beautiful as churself.”
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TheDarknessOfLoyalty

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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:20 am

"Oh yes you can save your strength," She said, her face barely changing despite the obvious flirting of the man, "Strength you'd use to leave the fighting to warriors and sneak off at first chance with all the treasure you can carry. I heard that little slip up,"

Amat then added, "You're also not well versed in how give a heroric declaration as well. After all if you were any kind of real man... you'd have told the masses your name!" She added with a toss of her hair. The Aegis shifted, as she lowered her arm, into the shape of a rapier, "Besides. what can a Mortal do? You could throw millions of humans at the dragon and it's scales would not be dented."

Se let go of her weapon and it reverted to it's default form, floating idly next to her shoulder, "My name is Amat Ceras Arasu. I am kin of both angel and demon. And the quest that overly noisy human was yelling about? Consider it accepted." With that she turned away with a flourish before adding, "And young man... next time you try flirting with a girl, put your heart into it instead of your balls."
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Riffus Maximus

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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:37 am

There is an old saying stating « Evil never sleeps », something a friend told Theodore once too many times in the times when the Witch Hunter teamed up with a Paladin to take down an evil cult of fanatics who were bent on seeing the destruction of the world. The reason Bane often recites that to himself is from the constant negotiating with his Paladin friend about waking up early in the morning to pursue their journey. As such, Theo became an early riser, something he wasn’t before meeting Erik. This all brings to a lone man, his armoured body concealed under a thick black cloak, riding a large black warhorse peacefully through a forest trail leading to the nearest city. It was early in the morning, the sun was barely rising at the horizon as he was already geared up and traveling on horseback.

It has been a few days since Theodore went his own way after the evil cult mission. Both men had very busy occupations; Bane was constantly traveling on the lookout for potential evil mages to stop, while Erik the Paladin was roaming the world, seeking injustice to be righted, evil-doers to be punished and poor people to help. There were rumors of some suspicious activities happening Northwind, which brought adventurers, mercenaries, merchants and people of all kind to this city. Theodore was no exception when it came to being attracted by the opportunities that could be found there, and so was the reason why he was riding his horse to this town.

Due to having taken up the road so early in the morning, Theo arrived in town sometime in the morning when the sun was up in the sky, instead of arriving late in the afternoon. Upon arriving at the gates of the Northwind, Bane was surprised to see the townsfolk up and about so early in the morning. Already, the people were gathering in the streets, merchants were yelling about their merchandises, the common folk were out discussing gossips and hot topics and traders were bringing in their stuff and animals with hopes of finding good coins for their goods.

Amidst the shouting of a man mentioning something about a Dragon that got his attention, there was a woman yelling to him, obviously frustrated by the high-pitched announcements of this man, a woman man-handling a bull like a father who would play around with his 10 years-old boy, and a man either full of confidence or incredibly foolish trying to convince the crowd that he will defeat this dragon. While there were quite a few remarkable candidates gathered here who would be fit to engage in such a dangerous quest, the lack of information from the crier was more concerning to Theodore than the would-be adventurers who would undertake this mission.

It was apparent from the looks of things that some were wary of being accompanied by some individuals, as the semi-angelic woman called out on the ladies-charmer to prove his worth to her. Hearing the two talk, Bane kind of felt the charmer was more like a scoundrel than a warrior, from his words to his stance. It was hard to imagine someone like him would actually want to risk his own life in such a dangerous task, but Theodore knew that greed could be the driving force behind those kinds of men. After all, the Witch Hunter paired up with a lot of these people in his earlier days of adventuring.

After hearing out what was happening, Bane’s horse stopped short near of the gathering near the crier. Its rider hopped of the animal’s saddle, his steel boots hitting the ground with a metallic sound. The Witch Hunter tilted his hat upwards, his eyes wandering over the few interesting people who have amassed on this day. Within doubts, his eyes fell upon the giantess holding the bull above her shoulders and the half-angelic beings with a warhammer in hands. Those sure were some mighty-looking individuals, but were they good partner materials? To be strong is one thing, but to cooperate is another different thing. Powerful individuals tend to have a more difficult time working with others than weaker individuals.

As the Witch Hunter walked towards the group, those with talents in magic could feel a certain uneasiness in the air. Some people heavily focusing on magic could even feel powerless the more Theodore approached. Magic items began flickering as his aura was eating away the magic in them. Bane approached the angelic being and the ladies-charmer, busy throwing the ball at each other.

“As unlikely of any help one would appear to, any skillset has its purpose in a mission. There is no shame in letting the strongest take care of more direct matters and let the witty find a way around difficult situations.” Theodore stated to the two, giving his thought about their situation.

“My name is Theodore Shadowbane. It is very likely that we travel together if you are intending on undertaking this quest.” The Witch Hunter offered his steely-armored hand for a shake with Rico.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:28 am

It'd seem that more and more persons would be called forth from unknown corners and far reaches within the near vicinity to the call of dragon hunting, a prospect to which one wouldn't so easily jump to for the taking considering the target was a massive reptilian entity of raw physical and magical wonder. Vaslav wondered if he'd fair against a dragon, but he assumed he'd have to follow others on the journey to find and slay such a monstrous being which made him relax a bit. He'd seen dragon-like beings in dreams induced by Cthulhu, or those small bee-like beings with glowing heads. They seemed dragon-like, but that wasn't the case as a young man seemed to have taken a hold of the crier that bared the prospect of dragon hunting. Just the man's rambunctious presence ruined Vaslav's attitude for the day no doubt. Pulsing in his body was a growing feeling of disgust, but it would be his better judgement to go against going up at the boy for his ruffian-like behavior.

It'd be another person who'd comment at the young man's behavior, a rather peculiar woman of the strangest anatomy Vaslav had ever seen in person. She wasn't a conglomeration of a series of floating orbs and a massive body of wispy like tentacles, nor was she a dark, goattish like creature with one too many eyes, but she had her oblivious difference. Vaslav's eyes wouldn't gaze on her form for long, as yet more people would have their own special reason of sticking out amongst the crowd of would-be mortal heroes and such, as such as a woman was simply playing about with a bull as if a ragdoll and a quaint warrior in black would stroll along.. Not sure if it was all just a terrible coincidence or simply luck, Vaslav looked around and said not a word, taking in the rather new info laid before him.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:59 am

Rico placed a hand over his heart, leaning back dramatically and his jaw dropping at the accusation. "I would do no such thing," He denied, shaking his head. The challenge of his name made a small smile come to Rico's thin lips. He bowed, halving his height in an overly flourish show, and then sprang back up onto the stage. His arm wrapped around the surprised crier's shoulders. With a grin, he used his spare hand to wave to everyone.

"Hallo, everyone!" He said, making his voice loud enough to be heard by the masses, "Me llamo Rico Rodriguez. And this beautiful angel-demon girl is Amat, who, after meeting me, decided to join," He pointed at the woman he was talking about. Then he waved it off, shaking his head dramatically and closing his eyes, "Obviously it must be because she found me so enticing and she wanted to spend more time with me. Either that, or the idea of a terrible death befalling me was too much for her mind to bear." Rico placed the back of his hand against his forehead, pretending to swoon against the crier. The crier didn't look very amused. Rico decided to keep going with the show, getting down on his knees and clasping his hands together.

"But, dearest Amat," He said, his voice lowering an octave. A few people leaned in closer to listen to what Rico had to say, "My heart is too full of love for my three children," A few women let out coos of endearment while others furrowed their brow in confusion. Didn't he say he had four before? Ignoring, again, the strange looks he received, Rico reached up for the heavens, "I must remain on task. Destroy the dragon, save my children's lives, and use the treasure to better it." His hand formed a fist, his bottom lip overlapping his upper and his chin wobbling. If there ever was an over actor, this would be it.

With that declaration, Rico slid off the stage and melted into the crowd, returning to where Amat was with a goofy grin. She chastised him about his flirtatious skills before turning away. Rico's grin faded as she walked away from him and he chewed on the inside of his lip. "Chu know..." He mumbled under his breath, "I don't think I like her very much."

A man in armor approached Rico, explaining how Rico could be of use. After feeling very emasculated by both the strong women and then this pretty set of armor, Rico was very uplifted by the idea of him being of any use. His cheeks and chest puffed out as his spine straightened. He nodded once. Rico never had any magical abilities, only pure physical skill, and therefore he did not feel the side effect of the Witch Hunter's presence. The man outstretched his hand after introducing himself.

"Me llamo Rico Rodriguez," He repeated, taking the man's hand in his own. As soon as the contact was made, there was a clinking noise behind Rico. Without letting go of the Witch Hunter's hand, Rico turned his head to look. A shiny goblet was laying on the ground. Rico wondered, for a second, where the heck it came from. His question was answered in a few seconds as a variety of items fell out of his enchanted pouch, clamoring onto the dirt. Rico released the Witch Hunter from his grasp, yelping in denial.

The rogue hunched over, picking up plates, rope, a few pairs of earrings, a monocle, and a whole bunch of other random things. He threw them all back into his enchanted pouch which seemed to have stabilized once the Witch Hunter stopped touching him. Once he gathered all the fallen 'treasures' he tapped the bag accusingly and wagged his finger. "Don't chu ever do that again," He scolded the pouch.
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TheDarknessOfLoyalty

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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:11 pm

Amat sighed, "I only signed up because of one thing," She spread her wings, "Because I need something to vent my pent up anger, and random people who think they have a chance with me are... hardly fair game for demonkin." She said, "I honestly couldn't care less why you're after the dragon, Rico." she then halfturned back to the men, "You're too shallow. For me." Then her gaze shifted to the armoured man.

"Shadowbane..." She muttered, then raised her voice "Theodore... Your surname is... familiar." she said now fully turning towards him, showing no signs of the slight saping of her power she was feeling, "Mayhap you be the mortal that went from berzerker to vigilante whn it came to Magic?" She asked, curious.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:48 pm

Meera watched everything after she was able to sign up. The interesting people gathered in one group, except for the large girl. She wanted to go up and talk with them, but the one who identified himself as Theodore seemed a bit scary to her.

She began walking toward them, all the while feeling a bit of her magical energy draining. What was that?

"H-hello," she said as she stepped up to the intimidating group of people, "M-my name is Meera!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:45 pm

Theodore raised an eyebrow in curiosity as the man named « Rico » was beginning to lost stuff from his pack, clinging as they hit the ground. While Rico was not aware of it at first, Ban saw the various amount of garbage and things, ranging from little to moderate value, falling from a pouch that was impossibly sized for that amount of stuff. As soon as the man released his grasp from the Hunter’s, the pouch seemed able to contain unrealistic amount of objects in it. By now, Theodore figured it was a “bottomless” container, something he had seen the use of from his former colleagues when it was time to bring an incredible amount of gear for long treks.

“Sorry for that. I haven’t realized you carried such an object on you.” The Witch Hunter openly said, hinting at his abilities.

The seasoned adventurer then turned to the angel/demon-kin woman, her weapon having disappeared a moment ago to become the orb floating beside her. It was surprising this object didn’t seem affected by his presence, or perhaps because there was more to the object than just magic. The blood-mixed being spoke Theodore’s name, as if he was someone she would know vaguely. Having not met her before, Bane assumed the woman must’ve heard his name somewhere before. Then she mentioned something about passing from a berserker to a vigilante. To her words spoken, the Witch Hunter nodded.

“Indeed. I have no shame admitting that I was once a man who have strayed from the path of morality. Learning from the mistakes of the past, I am the man I am now today, a hunter of evil sorcerers.” Theodore confirmed the hybrid’s assumption.

Coming to join the group of adventurers that have already gathered was a timid-looking woman. She introduced herself briefly as Meera. In response, Theodore removed his hat and brought it to his chest with a small bow of his head.

“I am Theodore Shadowbane. What can we do for you, miss?” the Witch Slayer said as he replaced the hat on his head, tilted up enough to leave his eyes exposed to the looks of others.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:21 pm

Vrael had been watching the crowd of would-be adventurers for a while now, waiting for a promising group to form. He was pleased with what he saw, for the most part. He did have some qualms about this 'Rico' fellow. He decided to approach the group, and see if they needed one more. He lightly pushed through the crowd, apologizing to anyone he may have bothered. When he reached the group, he bowed to them, and said "Greetings. My name is Vrael Lithron, and I was wondering, do you require another member of your dragon-slaying group? Unless, of course, I'm wrong in the assumption that you are a group."
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:31 am

To her surprise, the scene Alexandra thought she had made went largely unnoticed by the swollen city street. The crowd quickly reformed after the bull induced scramble, and only afforded her a few passing glances. While her actions solicited some attention, the few new onlookers seemed more interested in her ability to lift the bull than her impulsive scolding of it. Seeing has no one was hurt, Alexandra briefly pondered the possibility if the one bull stampede was destiny's answer to her silent plea for the recruiter's attention.
 
Just as she was feeling confident in her abilities to hold her own with the others looking to set out on the dragon hunt, the bickering between two aspiring adventures struck the young girl's confidence like a volley of poison arrows. How brash could she be to think she had any place in a dragon hunt. She had heard the legends of such beasts, and she was terribly out of place. She had never even seen a real sword out of its scabbard before, much less actually held one. Nor had she ever been in a real fight. What good would her days of backyard wrestling and playing knight in the following fields do her against a real, honest to goodness dragon.
 
No. She had to stop herself. She had to break the negative spiral that the strange looking noble woman's careless words had thrown her into.  After all, she was abandoned as a baby on a doorstep in a small farming community and blessed with unmatched size and strength. If that wasn't the origin story of a classic fairy tale hero then what was? Besides the world needed more mortal heroes, not self-righteous aristocrat half monsters from the lands of gods. Despite her dirty patchwork commoner clothes Alexandra stood with her held high like the legend she was certain to become. She stood even taller when the mysterious man in black walked by, as if a small burden had been lifted off her shoulders, if only for a passing moment. This man's choice in attire had caught her attention. Today she had seen all sorts of fabulous outfits, but his stood out from the vibrant fabrics draped around the nobles and the shimmering armor protecting the nights and sellswords.  He stepped between the two who stood out the most in crowd, even if the only talent evident in either was the art of proclamation. She wanted to join the crowd forming within the crowd, but alas duty called.
She returned to the produce stand and sat the bull down where it had been before. She trusted that it had the sense not to cause another scene. She forced an overly broad toothy smile as she tried to push the remains of their stock on the crowd. After the pep talk she gave herself she was more eager than ever to head even further north, but at the same time the concern that she would miss her chance to apply for a position grew ever more pressing. A few individuals had already begun to stand out as likely picks, and she was stuck vending apples and melons.
 
"Go Alex," and old gruff voice commanded from behind. It belonged to Farmer Magee. She turned to give him a blank stare of confusion. In her shock shy may have muttered something to the affect of a" huh?"  She couldn't leave until she finished her work. They had a deal, she had a responsibility. "I said get going. What's left can sell itself and even an old man can load empty boxes. I'll be damned if I hulled your giant ass up to this frigid hellhole for nothing." A lack of tact was not something unique to the upper-class of the land. Even the most uneducated farmers could pull out a few choice words when so moved.  "Now get going and don't you dare comeback until there a full scale pewter statue of you holding a bloody dragon head smack down the property line of me and your pappy's farm you here?"  She started to run, or rather skip off when the now somehow heroic old man called her back. "Take this." He handed her something long and wide wrapped in a purple blanket. The fabric was too soft and smooth to be made by any seamstress in is family, while old and worn, it had  clearly belonged to a noble or someone of similar wealth somewhere down the line. When Alexandra began to unwrap is she saw a sword hilt underneath. "That there's a claymore. Belonged to a lord of some renown in my granddad's day. He took shelter in the farmhouse during a nasty revolt. It's completely ornamental, so don't go swinging it around, but with some luck you can sell it to by yourself the real thing. Then you can bring us farm folks the fame and recognition that two timer promised us generations ago."
 
Alexandra stood speechless for a few moments. In the fifteen years she lived by Magee farm's she had never heard the old man speak as much as he just did, the last few minutes outweighed all the previous utterances she had heard from his lips in her lifetime. This meant something to him, more than it ever had to her, and now not only did she carry his sword, but the hopes and dreams of both their families with her. With her steps lightened by his parting words Alexandra took her place among the other would be heroes. Stingingly silently but with great presence one thought rang through her mind, "Alexandra Lavin, Dragon slayer."


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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:43 am

Vaxal had been holding back from approaching the crier. He had come to this town to get AWAY from prying eyes, not to jump into the middle of a battle. Yet he also knew he couldnt just leave this world be if he wanted to rule it someday. He had to groom it and perhaps there were people here who could help him do it.

Above him circled the raven who usually perched on his shouldier. Through it he could map out the surrounding area and knew that if the dragons came, it would mean the end of this place. He couldnt have that, could he. He stepped forward and took his place next to the one named Alexandra. "My name is Vaxal Sunderborn, and I shall also serve you!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:56 pm

Clang!... Clang!... Clang!... The streets echoed with the sounds of metal banging into stone as Nine marched through them, his cape flowing behind as he went. Locals ran to the sides of the road to get out of his way where they would stop and stare at him in wonder. Of course, he hadn't been the only strange thing they'd seen today, but a man made of armor was unheard of. He removed his hood and nodded to them all with a smile. As he made his way toward the center of the city, he came across several people he felt needed his help. One was an old man--a blacksmith--whom he noticed was having trouble moving boxes of ore into his store. Nine eagerly aided the man in doing so, being incredibly strong as he was. It didn't take long for him to do. Later he noticed a woman begging for food on the side of the road. Nine gave her one of the several bags of coins he kept at his side for just such occasions. She thanked him and disappeared.

Eventually he made it to the center of the city, where it was clearly the most busy. There was a town crier calling out for volunteers to slay a dragon who had been terrorizing the land. This was the reason Nine was here. He knew his skills would be useful in taking the dragon down. He stood at the back of the crowd and watched everything that was going on. There was quite a show to see. Several... unique individuals had gathered on this day. It made Nine feel not so out of place. Not that he ever did anyway. He was very proud of who he was. Of what his father had made him.

A young man approached Nine and stated, "Wow! A living suit of armor! I-...I've never seen anything like you! And that's saying something, considering all the strange individuals here today. Are you too signing up to hunt down the dragon?"

"That I am, citizen," Nine replied to the boy as he crossed his arms over his chest.

"I wish I was strong enough to kill a dragon. I wish I could be a hero," the boy said solemnly.

"You can be. Perhaps not the kind of hero who can slay a dragon, but there's always people who need help, and you can help them."

The boy frowned, shook his head, and said, "If you say so," after which he turned and walked away.

Nine sighed. Not how he had hoped for that to go. He did the best he could to inspire others to help others. Anyway, he turned and made his way through the crowd. He made his way up the wooden stairs of the platform and to the crier, who stopped what he was saying to stare at Nine.

"I would like to join the hunt," Nine told him.

"O-okay then. You and the.. others will be told what you need to do by Torik Valgar once the recruitment is finished."

"Very well, citizen," Nine said. He then turned and walked up to the other individuals who had joined.

"Greetings, fellow hunters. It is conceivable that we will soon be joined together for a common purpose. I am Nine."
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:29 pm

As Torik sat on the bench just outside the tavern, and the town crier was yelling to the citizens about the dragon problem, he could notice that several unique individuals approached the area and took an interest in it. When he saw that enough people seemed to take an interest he decided to make his move.

Torik stood up, hearing his joints crack and stretching his muscles. With a deep inhale and quick exhale he proceeded to walk up onto the wooden stage. The crier did not notice him and kept on shouting, a bit unpleasant for Torik. "Alright, that's enough," Torik said to the man as he pushed him to the side, "go about your daily business, your work here is done," he said to the crier.

The crier nodded and strutted off the wooden stage to go about his business. Some of the crowd quietened down and paid more attention, eager to hear what else this newcomer had to say. Torik cleared his throats and clasped his hands together before preparing to speak:

"Friends... strangers... good people of Northwind. As you are now well aware, a dragon has indeed been spotted north of the city." Sounds of hushed whispered and gasps of reality could be heard. "But fear not. King Rogas has sent me to deal with this threat and I am here to ensure your safety. Now, for those of who would like to accept this quest, please enter the inn behind me," Torik pointed behind him, to the Bleak-Wind Tavern, "sign your name on the enlistment form on the notice board, and prepare for the morning. Go ahead and do whatever else needs to be done - be prepared. I will supply you with horses at the northern gate stables by morning. Head north from there. I do not know the exact location of this dragon, but I am sure you'll be able to find it if you use your smarts. Reward will be waiting back here in Northwind upon your achievement. Thank you, that is all."

Torik nodded and walked off the stage and the loud chatter of the crowd began again. He turned and walked into the Bleak-Wind Tavern. It was dark, dimly lit and without windows, but smelled of sweet mead, ale, and liquor. Torik bought himself a drink and decided to drink the rest of the day away. He had business elsewhere and could not stay for to long.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:03 pm

Before any of the others could answer Nine, the man named Torik stood up and made his speech.

"Excuse me, fellow hunters! I apologize, but I must be off. I am sure you must do the same, to prepare for the beginning of our journey together tomorrow. I will see you all soon. Take care!"

With that, Nine turned and walked into the tavern. There, he signed up for the journey to slay the dragon, and was quickly accepted thanks to the usefulness of his skills. He then left. He had no reason to stay as alcohol had no effect on him. He needed not to eat or drink. Nor did he need to sleep or rest in any kind of way, so he stayed up the whole night. He patrolled the streets of the city, keeping an eye out for any miscreants causing mayhem on the streets at night. When morning came, he made his way to the northern gate, where he saw Torik and several horses. Unfortunately, Nine was too heavy for a horse. He would crush the poor beast. Luckily, he had the strength and endurance to keep up with people on horses.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:41 am

Rico woke up the following morning with a shuddering groan. He dared not open his eyes, already feeling the stinging pain from the sunlight through his lids. His stomach was terribly twisting. Small men with hammers pounded on the inside of his skull. Why in the world did he feel so horrible? He strained to open his eyes, breaking away the Sandman's gift. The first thing he saw was a bottle of rum, laying on its side, completely empty. Well, that would explain that, then. But why did his cheek feel so sore? And his feet! In fact, his entire lower body was in pain. Rico momentarily panicked, lifting the sheet to check his most valued accessory (besides his bottomless pouch), breathed a sigh of relief, and leaned his head back on the pillow.

He laid there for a minute or two, attempting to assuage his headache. He gave up after a while. He swore to never drink again as he swung his feet out to meet the floorboards. He sat in that position for a while as well. It was slow moving on days like this. In fact, it took him almost twenty minutes to get dressed and get downstairs. 

As he walked down the stairs, he gripped on the railing with a tight hold. His brown eyes scanned the area as slowly as he could, considering any movement made his stomach turn. He saw the barkeeper cleaning out a glass and glaring ferociously at him. Of course, the cheery vagabond waved as best as he could, grimacing at the pain. People walked up and down the stairs, passing by him like they were super speedy. He wasn't sure how in the world they managed that when everything was all... fuzzy. Maybe some people were good at walking on fuzzy things. Fuzzy like fluffy. Fluffy like bunny. Bunnies hop. Hopping makes headaches worse. Rico winced and raised his hand up to his head. Just the idea of hopping sent a needle through his brain.

Finally, the hungover rogue made it to the bottom of the stairs. He didn't stay there very long, although, as a sound he knew all too well approached. Rico froze in fear, barely having the courage to turn his head towards the source. That sound was the angry walk of an angry woman. He looked to see who was approaching just in time to see a petite palm come towards his face, smacking his cheek exactly where it throbbed beforehand. Bright lights exploded in Rico's mind as his ears rang and his headache screamed. He crumpled to the floor without a fight.

"Yer nothing but a scoundrel, Rico Rodriguez!" Shouted the wench, "I told ya I weren't a wench but yer dumb drunk mind didn't know that, now did it?" Her hands were on her hips, her foot tapping furiously. Rico was too busy cradling his head to pay attention. "And despite me lover throwing ya into the table," Oh, that explains the body aches and the glare, "Ya still had to insist that I had a price. Well, shame on ya, Rico!" She shouted, "I hope ya never show yer face around here again!"

Rico peeled his eyes open to look at the woman. Her ample bosom was heaving up and down, her mountainous flesh visible. Rico slowly rose to his feet and simply said, "Chu know, maybe if chu didn't dress like that, I wouldn't think chu was a whore."

Not waiting to hear the screams or to see how red her face was, Rico bolted out of the door.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:35 pm

Amat sighed and simply told Torik, "I have no need of a mount, so long as I bear my wings," her words then walked to the in to accept the quest properly before simply leaving the inn and walking north, waiting on the northern edge of the town, sitting on an elevated position boredly.

The woman didn't sleep, however. Rico's antics somehow plagueing her mind and forbidding her the task she set herself of thinking more about the man who's name was on her amulet. She growled lowly to herself, cursing the rogue for distracting her thoughts.

As he hours rolled by her gaze turned from the night-time sky, to the ground, silently watching the first rays of dawn wash over the land, giving in to a slight desire to sing softly. The song that emitted was one she learned centuries ago and was thus in an ancient language few knew.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:20 pm

"Oh, well," Meera said to Theodore, "I just wanted to join you all."

She turned toward Torik as he started to speak. "It seems we should go sign up, then!"

Meera went to the inn and signed up. Seeing as how she didn't have anything else to do and she wasn't tired, she waited at a table. She watched what happened to Rico and felt sorry for him, "Poor guy."

After a while, she decided to leave and wait in the night for morning.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journey(R)   Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:58 pm

The more time passed, the more fellow adventurers, warriors and gifted people alike would join the call for slaying the dragon. In addition to the scoundrel Rico Rodriguez and the mysterious celestial-kin, an Elf came to join shortly after Meera. After him came the giantess from before. Thereafter came a shady-looking man with a rather strange crow perching over his shoulder. And finally, a most interesting being appeared from the crowd to join their cause, a being made of armor. With all these strange individuals here, it was beyond the shadow of a doubt that Theodore Shadowbane will have his hands full watching over some of these individuals.

Albeit undertaking this quest mainly to put an end to the Dragon’s evil, he had taken an interest in the would-be heroes who volunteered to bring the mighty beast down. What would drive people to challenge such a powerful opponent? To take such a being down, it requires a tremendous amount of power, a power that can also be used to do evil. It is not rare for Bane to actually be on the lookout for his own partners, gauging if they could be potential threat in the future. Such occurrences rarely happened in the past, but some events showed him he couldn’t let his guard down. He could clearly remember one of his former companion, a pyromaniac nicknamed “The Phoenix”. Despite questing for evil, this peculiar individual went mad with power and tried to kill Theodore’s whole adventuring party with the burning flames of insanity. In the end, Theodore put the mad pyromancer to rest, but at a great cost. Ever since that day, the Witch Hunter was warier than he ever was.

Theodore would’ve taken this opportunity to sense the auras of his future partners, but a man stepped up where the crier was and announced himself as Torik Valgard, envoy of the King himself to ensure peace was restored to his kingdom by defeating the monstrous Dragon. From his words and his stance, Theodore recognized the man as a famed and experienced warrior in the kingdom. For such a man to be informing a bunch of misfit dragonslayers, the problem was dire indeed. Heeding the words of the man representing the King’s wishes, Theodore Shadowbane nodded to himself as soon as the officer stopped talking, pointing them to the inn. Gallantly, the Witch Hunter rose his hat to the few adventurers he would soon call “partners”.

“It seems like our objective is set. It will be a pleasure to meet you all again tomorrow.” Bane told the group as he put his hat back onto his head, now concealing his eyes.

Theodore excused himself as he passed through the crowd to reach his horse, who had been obediently waiting at the same spot for the time his master was occupied. Standing beside the horse, the mage-slayer took the horse’s reins in his hands and motioned the horse to walk beside him. Before going to the inn and stay in town for the rest of the day, Theodore wanted to make sure his mount had some place to eat and rest before the trip tomorrow. Despite trusting his mighty steed to valiantly take him wherever he wanted to go, Theo was caring for his trusty companion and wanted it to be at its peak to undergo the journey they were about to take. It took but a few minutes and gold pieces to reach the local stables and house the Witch Hunter’s steed safely for tomorrow. In the morning, Bane would come back for his horse and meet the others, all set for the mission.

After making sure his steed was properly lodged, Theodore made his way back to the inn mentioned before by Torik Valgard, where he would sign up for the dragon-slaying task. Among many others. After signing up and speaking with a few curious individuals who wanted to know more about him, the Witch Hunter ordered a few mugs of ale at a table on the far side of the tavern, where he was amongst the shady individuals who preferred to be at peace rather than being interrupted by the casual rabble of the inn.

For most of the day, Theodore was sitting at his table, his back leaning against the wall and feet on the table, quietly drinking his alcohol and smoking while listening to gossips going all around town and the kingdom. Always seeking out evil mages to root out, Theodore was actively hearing to others conversations in case he might overhear rumors of wicked individuals to put down. Such were the ways the Witch Hunter get to know his targets.

By evening, Theodore walked to the innkeeper and asked for a room, paying a few coins for it. He went upstairs just before witnessing Rico being thrown at a nearby table, who was obviously causing a scene because he mistook a lightly-dressed engaged woman for a prostitute. He hoped there wouldn’t be that much ruckus tonight, for he wanted to rest his body and soul for the next day.


Early in the morning, before the sun even began to rise on the horizon, Theodore Shadowbane was already awake. It took him a few minutes to get up from bed and get in gear, strapping his armor into place and placing his claymore on his back. Today was the beginning of another journey. He wasn’t a materialistic kind of man, but Theodore could not help but wonder what the reward was waiting for them after they would get back alive. Killing a dragon was a reward by itself, for the honor and fame it brought, but surely such a task was well-rewarding too. With this in mind, Theodore finished gearing himself up and went downstairs, ordering a breakfast before setting out to take his steed back from the stables.

Despite this, it was still too early in the morning for the others to meet up. As such, Bane took the opportunity to take a stroll in the quiet streets of Northwind, breathing the fresh and cool air of the morning. He would do so until the sun was beginning to rise, and the dragonslaying party to gather up in front of the inn.
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