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Zenophoenix

Rebuilding Izabal [Open]

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[SIZE=1][FONT=book antiqua]Backstory

The young commander had taken his two loyal soldiers, Rio and Zeo, to the Orisia Isles. For some time now, they had taken in the sights of the different cities. But one of them stuck out as odd. The small, and now desolate, port town of Izabal. It was located a great distance from the capital, but it was close to the Areder Mountains.

He had pondered the lore of the island, noting that the attack by the Great North had left this town and others in ruins. But the other cities and towns had been restored to their former glory. Except for Izabal.

After perusing through rubble and ash, Exa had decided that the three of them, now laden with enough gold from the Queen's coffers to take on this task, would rebuild Izabal.

Exa

He knelt down on the ground, along with his two soldiers and pulled out a sheet of parchment with a broad sketch of what he had envisioned for the town.

He pointed to the coast, where he would put fishing docks and where Rio would command his naval troops. Once they were recruited.

He pointed to the center where the Town Hall would be, the administrative affairs would be centered here.

He sketched a few lines in front of the town hall, where the residents would live, strewn with markets to encourage trade and commerce.

Finally, he drew a rough circle around the area of land where his Izabal would be and wrote the simple note: 'Palisade Wall'

As for Zeo, he would command the ground troops and they would comprise the Military Division.

Rio and his troops would make up the Naval Division and be responsible for all naval warfare.

Exa would lead them both in the position of ruler of Izabal and Knight Commander of the Izabalian Military.

Such big dreams would have to be built upon and built up from scratch. And he was determined to do just that.[/FONT][/SIZE]

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[COLOR=#0000ff][SIZE=1][FONT=book antiqua]Exa

It had been weeks and most of the important structures had been placed down. There were still many things to be done, mostly in the residential areas, but the group had begun to make some headway. Zeo decided to leave and handle the militia affairs and Rio had personally overseen the construction of three naval ships. Men, both burly and scrawny, made their way to the docks, cannons in tow. Rio had gathered two others to captain the ships. Under them, served a group of Navigators and First Mates. Rougly, 20 crewmen had assembled to board each of the ships. They were ready to counter the ever approaching assault of the Buccaneers and Brigands. All they would need is the final attack orders.

Meanwhile, Zeo had gathered men from Orisia and those wayfarers from the Areder Mountains to join in his ranks, as well as his two allies from his former homeland, Ark and Duo. The both of them quickly joined and helped Zeo establish some semblance of a military. With his military established, he planned his first operation, storming the mountains and searching for bandit leaders in search of stolen goods that he would "liberate" in the name of Izabal.

Things had begun to pick up and Exa was glad. A smile etched on his face, his plan was drawing closer to completion.
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[FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=1][offtopic][B][I]Enter~[/I][/B] [URL="http://www.valucre.com/showthread.php/16929-Daeynn-Zephyr?highlight=zephyr+daeynn"]Zephyr[/URL][/offtopic]

She had watched most of the construction from the rooftops in the residential area, moving occasionally to tail individuals who had aided the new naval force. The whole operation was rather curious. she wasn't sure what she felt about this. The newly imposed militia wasn't doing harm- but she had heard rumors about killing bandits. This part bothered her. A lot. That was her job. Assassination. Regardless, the Night Elf hopped down from the rooftop she perched on. Her black leather clad form wasn't entirely uncommon in these parts- but her magenta skin and diamond-like were. Her eyes glowed a brilliant white and around where her pupils were, they were bluish in hue.

Put her dark-violet hair on top of this, and she really stood out.

The curved sheaths on her hips shifted slightly as her knees bent under her as she landed. She rose to her feet, cracked her knuckles, and then jogged to the street corner.

Zephyr poked her head around the corner and then pulled back. She slipped the twin daggers out of their homes on her hips and gripped them tightly. She then slipped the lace veil up and over her nose and mouth- adjusting it to fit comfortably over her exaggerated ears. She exhaled heavily.

A very quiet word slipped off of her tongue and between her magenta lips. And in an shower of white sparks, the Night Elf was sprinting down to the pier, her body entirely wrapped in a cloak of invisibility.[/SIZE][/FONT] Edited by Clockwork

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[COLOR=#008080][FONT=book antiqua][spoiler]Off topic: Welcome to the thread, PM me with questions.[/spoiler]

[BOX]Rio[/BOX]

Rio was rather impressed with how many men came to his aid. He did a mental count of how many would be assembled on each ship. For the Posiedon, captained by no one at the moment, he expected a 20-gun ship, manned by a crew of 50. He estimated the same number for the Nautilus as well, and he hadn't selected a captain for that ship either. The only one he wanted to captain the mighty Leviathan, would be himself. He had expected that to be his crowning achievement, although at the moment there was no way his dream would be accomplished, instead he settled for his 24-gun ship, which he dubbed the Leviathan. It along with two smaller vessels would head out to do the first of many coastal patrols. He needed to assess the enemy's movements, hopefully there wouldn't be any enemies at all. And to do that, he needed to have the men board the ships efficiently and quickly.

The men had finally gathered at the docks and Rio then gave them their orders.

"Men, we know that there is a possibility of being invaded by sea. This has happened before, but with your help we can secure this area of the Orisian coastline and prevent any invasions by sea to the city of Izabal. Each of the smaller crew ships have 12 guns. If you encounter an enemy, use hit-and-run tactics. You are advised not to fully engage the enemy, if they're encountered."

With that, the men dispersed and rolled barrels, filled with supplies, to the decks of the three ships. Each one was captained by one of the crewmen chosen at random. Even still, they all were under Rio's command and were responsible for following his orders. He was confident that the Naval Division would be the one to bring Izabal the most glory.

Just as the commander was about to board the Leviathan, he thought he heard footsteps creak amongst the wood of the docks. It may have just been a crewman, or it may have just been his imagination. Besides, he knew there were no such things as ghosts.[/FONT][/COLOR] Edited by Zenophoenix

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[FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=1][offtopic]Sorry for the short post, I'm battling a rather severe case of writer's block.[/offtopic]

Zephyr watched the men gather and part, scrambling around like bees in a hive- moving in accordance to who, she assumed, was the man in charge. She watched them board the fleet and she darted between the men with precision and expertise. She was careful to avoid bumping into them- there was no need to spook them before they went into battle. And by the looks of things, they were gearing up for a pretty intense fight. The Night Elf paced carefully across the dock, crossing one foot in front of the other- watching them as she moved. She paused with a cringe when her leather boots caused the old wood under them to squeal in protest.

The man-in-charge seemed to notice.

[COLOR="#4B0082"][I]Is this the end of my journey here?[/I][/COLOR] she gulped and then stepped forward again, exhaling in relief when her boot touched a silent board.

Zephyr sidestepped another scrambling man as he scurried with a barrel onto the same ship the captain boarded. These ships were weighed down with guns.

Her glowing eyes shifted to watch their leader finish boarding the ship before she bolted forward and boarded after him.[/SIZE][/FONT]

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[SIZE=1][FONT=book antiqua][COLOR=#0066ff][I]Off topic: [/I]
Don't worry, I could give you some ideas if you needed them. For right now, just follow Rio around[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#0066ff]"Set sail!" the young captain roared so that all three ships could hear.

His words were followed by the release of several strings of rope from the docks. Bells rung as the ships veered from the docks. It was still mid-afternoon and the sun was high in the sky. Barring any approach of the enemy, their patrol would be done in under two hours. There were no people on the docks to see them off and the ones that were there, just did a salutatory wave as the ships left. All three ships had left, spreading themselves about a few yards apart. Rio had advised them to stay close to each other, just in case. If they couldn't win at a weapon's advantage, then they would overwhelm them with numbers and tactics. And tactics was Rio's strongsuit.

The captain stood idly by as his Navigator, a young woman named Nina, peered through her telescope. From the expression on her face, Rio could tell that she saw nothing. Her gaze returned to him and with it a shake of her head. There were no enemies in sight. With silence, he motioned his right hand forward, signaling his First Mate, another woman named Lyn, to steer the ship forward. According to Exa's commands, the three ships were to head approximately thirty minutes away from the docks. If the enemy approached, they were to engage from a distance. Not necessarily the most honorable of tactics, but well needed until the town began to pick up in its economy. Although, he was proud that there were a few fishing ships that would undoubtedly bring in some well needed revenue. From his position, he saw that the others had not seen an enemy as well. Things were going well, for right now.

[B][Interior: Captain's Quarters][/B]

With another wave of his hand, he motioned for his Navigator to follow him into his quarters, a spacious room adorned with maps and a globe. He moved towards a mahogany desk, seating himself in the chair behind it. Nina had sat in front of him, peering at the map of Izabal's coast and Orisia. Nina was the first to speak.

"Captain, should we take our patrol out further?"

Rio shook his head in response, his blue hair moving in sync. His azure eyes locked with the Navigator's intently.

"No, Commander Exa advised us to stay closer to shore. That way we can make a hasty retreat."

"But captain, you are ultimately responsible for all naval warfare that is conducted at sea. You are the one who has the final say-so when it comes to these things."

"I cannot risk any of my men coming to harm due to any egotistical notions that I might have. I do want the pirates to be decimated, but not at the risk of death to this crew. Besides, we are too low on funds to take on a full-scale war right now."

"Yes captain, I understand."

"Now, if there are not any further questions, I would like to be left alone."[/COLOR]
[/FONT][/SIZE] Edited by Zenophoenix

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[SIZE=1][FONT=Palatino Linotype]Bells rang in her sensitive ears, voices echoed across the the deck, and the ships pulled away from port. She found herself aboard the flagship, right in the center of the entire operation. She followed the man she saw earlier, not wanting to lose sight of him for even a second. She accidentally ran into a sailor and pushed him aside as he let out a surprised yelp. She was going to need her hands to get to her target. She slid her wicked looking daggers into their holds on her hips and then ducked under a pair of men struggling with a rather large crate. The Captain shouted orders with an air of confidence and his men obeyed without question. A silent exchange between he and the Navigator proved there were no threats on the horizon. The Captain signaled for the first mate to steer the ship straight and true.

Zephyr's stomach lurched as the bow of the ship sliced the waves out of its way. She remembered sailing a ship ages ago. It had been an elven ship, one with a slim and almost arrow-like profile. Nothing like the galleon she rode upon now.

All was quite in the sea, for now. It brought her comfort. If a battle were to rage, she would engage the enemy and that would mean revealing herself. But after fighting alongside of them, the sailors would not question her loyalty.

Zephyr tailed the Captain all the way into his personal quarters. The Navigator from before followed him and Zephyr had to double back to avoid bumping into her as she stepped directly in her path. She slithered between the door and its frame in the last second and took place in the corner of the room.

[B][I]"Captain, should we take our patrol out further?"[/I][/B] the Navigator asked plainly.

[B][I]"No, Commander Exa advised us to stay closer to shore. That way we can make a hasty retreat."[/I][/B]

[B][I]"But captain, you are ultimately responsible for all naval warfare that is conducted at sea. You are the one who has the final say-so when it comes to these things."
[/I][/B]

[I][COLOR="#4B0082"]So he is truly the man in charge. The overall commander. How intriguing, this rank system.[/COLOR][/I] The Night Elf thought, leaning against the wall and crossing her arms over her chest.

The Commander went on to talk about not wanting to put his men in harm's way. There apparently weren't enough funds to handle a full scale war.

The Navigator respectfully accepted his decision before leaving him alone at his request.

But he wasn't alone. Not in the slightest.

Zephyr's concealed lips parted in a smirk.[/FONT][/SIZE]

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[COLOR=#0066ff][FONT=book antiqua][SIZE=1][B][Leviathan Deck][/B]

Suddenly, from the starboard side of the ship, a loud roar shot from one of the other ships that were alongside them. Fire erupted from the other ship and smoke bellowed from where the enemy's cannon had landed. From there positions on deck, the crewmen of the Lea Gabriela scurried to their battlestations, manning their cannons. They knew it was time for battle. The Navigator's telescope saw the silhouette of a pirate ship, its black flag waving fiercely in the winds. They had gotten the first strike and it dented a gaping hole in the other crewship. It wouldn't be long before the Lea became its next target. With a suck of her teeth, Nina hurried down from the crow's nest and dashed into the captain's quarters.

[I]Damn it. [/I]she whispered, praying that there was only one ship that they were up against.

Just as she rushed into the room, another cannon fired into the other ship and it succumbed to the cannons of the enemy. The enemy was fierce and undoubtedly the Lea Gabriela was its next target.

[B][Captain's Quarters][/B]

Nina burst through the room, panting as she leaned her arms against the table. Worry and tension lined her face, anxiety shook her arms, and sweat adorned her blue eyes. With an intent stare, she delivered the news.

"Captain, the enemy is attacking!"

Without missing a beat, the captain rose from his chair and rushed onto the deck.

[B][Leviathan Deck][/B]

"Men, to your stations! We will defeat this foe!"

Rio moved to the starboard side of the ship, waving his right arm towards shore, signaling the allied ship to retreat. It had suffered enough damage for a small-bodied ship. He resumed command of the Leviathan, barking orders left and right.

"Lower those sails men!"

"Reload those cannons men!"

"Nina, give me exact coordinates and distance from them to us!"

Nina quickly drew her telescope, extended it and drew it back again. With her [/SIZE][ABBR=Device used by Navigators to determine distance while at sea]sextant[/ABBR][SIZE=1], she yelled to the captain:

"The enemy is less than a [ABBR=1000m = 1km]klick[/ABBR] away!"

"Why didn't you see this before!?"

"The enemy must have sped up their course just as we went to the Captain's Quarters."

"Tch, don't let any mistakes like that happen again!"

"Yes, captain." responded a defeated Nina as she climbed solemnly to the Crow's Nest.

By then, the allied ship had retreated far enough to free up space so that the Leviathan's crew could let off what would be the first of many rounds of cannon fire. As he roared the orders, the crewmen let off a volley of cannonballs. A few of which scraped and even hit the enemy ship. Lyn, Rio's first mate, rushed to steer the ship towards their foe. She knew that Rio would've commanded her to do it, so she beat him to the punch. With a mighty twist of the steering wheel, she banked the ship to the right and now the bow would be facing their foe. She had planned for them to get in closer to the ship and close the gap between them. Glancing back, she saw him give her a gratifying nod. He was pleased with her decisiveness.
[/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR] Edited by Zenophoenix

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[SIZE=1][FONT=Palatino Linotype]She had heard the sound of cannon fire before the watch could even alert the Captain. Zephyr's muscles tense in her body as a certain nervousness set in. This was the very reason she hated sailing. She chomped down on her lower lip and ran for the door- not caring how much noise her boots were making. It would be difficult to sort the light pitter-patter of her own steps from the heavy steps out on deck. Right as she reached out to pull the door open, Nina burst through the door, causing it to slam into the Night Elf faster than she could react. Zephyr tumbled backwards and twisted her body to the side to avoid hitting the desk and rolling over it.

[B][I]"Captain, the enemy is attacking!"[/I][/B]

The Cap'n rose to his feet and strode out into the deck. Zephyr lay sprawled out on the floor for a few seconds before she shook her head and rose to her feet. Her nose was bleeding. She tugged the veil down off of her nose and dabbed at her bloody nostrils with the back of her hand. It hadn't hurt, but tears came to her shimmering eyes. She sighed before reaching out more cautiously to open the door, and then stepped out onto deck.

It was utter chaos as the sailors scrambled to their battle stations, arming cannons and guns. The Captain shouted orders- his words soothing the burning chaos almost instantly. His presence was comforting. Zephyr watched the entire thing from right in front of the closed door- a look of twisted confusion on her face. Nina shouted that the enemy was fairly close- close enough to for the ship the Night Elf stood upon to be in danger.

The sound of cannon fire roared above all else on deck. It stunned Zephyr for a moment before her ears got accustomed to the sound. The ship whirled around to rocket towards their foe, shoving the defiant tides aside as though they were nothing. Zephyr weaved between the sailors on deck until she stood behind the Captain. She slid her daggers from their sheaths slowly, allowing them to make the very eerie sound of sliding steel. She inhaled a breath of the salty air before sliding her soothing voice through the wind:

[COLOR="#4B0082"]"I have your back."[/COLOR]

She said nothing more.[/FONT][/SIZE]

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[COLOR=#0066ff][SIZE=1][FONT=book antiqua]The deck roared with the sound of a second volley of cannonballs that pelted the enemy ship. But the enemy had returned fire with equal vehemence. The resulting blast rocked the captain and the other crewmen from where they were standing. Maintaining his composure, and scanning to see if the others had risen, the captain ordered that the sails be lifted back up. He had grown impatient with the enemy and wanted to bring this battle to a close. However, this enemy was no mere foe. They moved tactfully in a dance of death, matching movements with the Leviathan. From behind the captain's ear he heard it. The voice of a woman, a Goddess maybe, whispered into his ear:

[B][I]"I have your back"[/I][/B]

[I]Was that a spectre? A Goddess? [/I]

He dashed the thought and resumed command of the ship. Thirty minutes had passed and the ships were in close range. As the Leviathan approached the side of the enemy ship, they both let off their cannons. Cannonballs pelted the guns of the enemy ship and the enemy ships cannonballs pelted the Leviathan. The hulls of both ships were lined with holes, and their decks scattered with a few injured crewmen. With a slam, the enemy laid down several long planks in between their ships and a few of them flung themselves onto the Leviathan's deck, assisted by a tough fibrous rope. Others began to tread their way across the planks, eager for victory over the crew of the Leviathan. Still others knelt below the railing, lining up their shots and firing off rounds from their rifles. Gunpowder and hot ash now sped toward a few of the crewmen aboard the Leviathan, but they were resilient. Many of them carried sticks with which they hauled off on the pirates that flung from the ropes. Others returned fire, matching shot for shot with the enemy riflemen. Chaos ensued upon both decks as their ranged naval battle became a close quarters melee.

Rio leapt from where he was, drawing his rapier, and dove into the fray. With a quick swipe, he took down one of the pirates, whose limp body fell before him. Another pirate was foolish enough to clash swords with him. After ducking from the pirates attack, Rio countered with a well-aimed thrust, plunging his rapier deep into the chest of the foe. He knew what he had to do to end this battle. His sights were set on the enemy captain, a burly man with a thick beard, black hat, and a large greatsword. Gloved hands gripped the rapier tightly as Rio dashed forward, taking down and evading the fodder that stood in his way.
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[SIZE=1][FONT=Palatino Linotype]It was time.

Time to make herself known.

Time to make an appearance.

It was the slap of boards against the deck that made her head jerk around and her grip on the twin blades in her hands tighten.

It was with a battle cry that she leapt head-long into the fray, black daggers first.

She met her target without any resistance, as there was no way for him to see her coming. What could be seen first were the handles of the long, twisted blades curling out of his collar on either side of his head. He would be able to see those out of the corners of his eyes. The next thing everyone around her would see were her fingerless gloves- accompanied by her magenta fingers. Slowly, a trail of sparks would slide up both of her arms and down her torso until her entire, leather-clad form was visible. Her eyes flashed even brighter against the dark-violet hair that whipped around wildly in the wind. She ripped her daggers free with a hefty yank, spattering blood on herself without meaning to. The pirate buckled to his knees before Zephyr swung back around and decapitated him with a single swipe.

She kicked her boot forward, nailing another pirate in the chest hard enough to knock the wind out of him. She was on him faster than he could pull his rapier around to block. She dropped down and swept his legs out from under his with a twist of her own and then promptly sunk a dagger dead in his chest. It was a meaty hand on her shoulder that tore her off of him. The sound of a blade whistling towards her head made her twist free and duck. The jagged blade sailed over her head and Zephyr countered with a sharp elbow to the gut, spun around, and kicked the burly man in the temple- hard enough to send him stumbling off the ship and into the water.

She searched for the Captain. He wasn't too far ahead. Zephyr leapt up to balance on the very edge of the deck and sprinted forward. There was a feminine battle cry off to her left, and instinctively the Night Elf twisted her left blade inward- preparing to block another melee attack. Instead, the air cracked with gunfire. Her bare shoulder was met with an iron ball. Zephyr's veiled jaw tightened as she suppressed the pain as best she could. She twisted her torso around to find the woman that shot her and when she saw the female pirate perched on top of the bow of the opposing ship- she snarled.

She needed to get across if she wanted revenge.

As though a god heard her thoughts, a rather dull man swung across in her path. Zephyr dispatched him with a well planted slash to the gut, wrapped the rope around her right forearm and then swung across the gap onto the enemy ship. She released her grip on the rope and dropped onto the deck, breaking her fall with a roll off of her good shoulder. She dove at the woman, sliding under the many swings of blades that came her way. Zephyr hit her so fast the woman didn't even have time to aim the crude firearm she clutched in her arms. It was a tackle with such force behind it that it knocked them both over the edge and down towards the water.

The Night Elf released her grip around the woman's stomach and looked around for some way to save herself from hitting the sea. That water would feel like smacking into solid stone at this speed. She uttered a strand of Elvish words under her breath. Her body slowed and she kicked one leg out, tucked the other under her body, and then swung both arms back. She seemed to defy gravity as the spell kicked in. She was gliding.

It was just enough to get her close enough to the Gabriela that she could dig her daggers in (without puncturing the hull, of course) and haul herself up.

The battle raged on.

Luckily for her, the Captain was charging the enemy Captain. Zephyr gathered this quickly and dropped down into a writhing mass of sailors engaged in battle with the foe. She dashed forward, a slice here, flash of black blade here, a stream of blood there and joined the Captain in his charge. She moved around him and crossed her daggers in a downward "x" to block a heavy blow from a pirate carrying some form of axe. She kicked a leg almost straight up into the air, kicking the man in the chin so hard his head snapped back with a sickening snap.

The Night Elf caught back up with the Captain and watched the pirate captain dispatch one of their own crewmen. She turned her head to look at the Commander. Her glowing eyes blinked once as her head dipped in a nod. She turned back to face her enemy, her injured shoulder aching more and more by the second.[/FONT][/SIZE] Edited by Clockwork

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[COLOR=#0066ff][SIZE=1][FONT=book antiqua]Time stood still as Rio felled the last of the pirates in his way. He saw her form become visible as sparks glittered throughout her splendid frame. The woman who had been hiding herself very carefully had shown her form and bravely took down a few of the enemies that had attempted to board their ship. Her movements were graceful as she landed blows on their enemies. Blood danced loosely around the quick swipes of her twin daggers that slid throughout her foes. She was the epitome of Dark Elven expertise and due to her efforts, she had cut a path that Rio took to rush towards the enemy captain.

The captain's eyes were fixated upon his target, the man whose gruff beard greeted Rio with a sly smile, lined with rotted yellow teeth. Rio's steps quickened to the point where he resembled a blue demon. With worry and anxiety, Lyn and Nina looked on. They knew their captain had become a beast. His rapier sliced through the enemies who thought to protect their captain. His legs kicked would-be enemy riflemen over the edge of the boat. His flurry of movements stopped as his rapier met the enemy captain's greatsword. Their eyes met, their weapons clashed as the two of them seemed seperated from both time and space. No others bothered to interfere with their match, knowing that they, along with their mortality, would be swept up in the flurry of swords.

The enemy captain taunted Rio between strikes of his greatsword.

"Boy, you must not know of the pirate champion, Gran, do you!?"

"Gran, well met! But I am captain of the Leviathan, the Lea Gabriela! I am Rio, and today will be your last!"

The two of them fought for what seemed like an eternity. Rio striking the blade of Gran's greatsword and cutting mere flesh wounds into his body. Gran attempted to come down with the blunt of his greatsword. Rio managed to dodge it by moving to Gran's right and countering with a well-aimed thrust to Gran's side. As the rapier plunged into Gran's flesh, his red and black overcoat fell to the ground, revealing a body toned in blackened muscle and lined with deep scars. This captain had been through hell in his life and his anger and suffering was reflected in those scars. Rio pulled his blade from the captain's flesh and swiped it, flinging the blood from it onto the deck. His mouth was slightly agape as Gran's eyes flickered a demonic red tint. With a powerful jab of his fist, Gran had knocked Rio to the ground.

The fallen captain clutched his chest in agony as Gran drew closer. His right hand grasped his rapier tightly. He refused to give up, even when his body was pummeled with kicks. Gran landed a nasty kick to Rio's side, the pain making the captain faint and tumble over. The enemy captain, assured of his victory, tightened his grip around Rio's neck, strangling him within an inch of his life.
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[FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=1]It was with a furious, almost foreign wail that ricocheted from Zephyr's mouth that she sailed through the air, arched her body, and planted herself firmly onto the enemy captain- twisted daggers first. She had hit her mark. Beautifully.

Both daggers sank straight through the burly arm that was wrapped like a vice around the Captain's neck, their tips forming a wicked "x" shape. Blood spewed from the wounds, dripping all over Zephyr's ally. The Night Elf wasted no time. She tore them free, jumped backwards, evaded a rather blind swing, ducked under an attempted grab, and jammed the sister blades underneath the bicep of the pirate captain's other arm. He managed to grab her, only forcing more blood out from his now open wounds on his left arm and only drilling the daggers into his right bicep even further. He squeezed her around the chest, trapping her arms by her sides as he exerted more and more force. Zephyr grimaced as the oxygen was squeezed from her lungs. The enemy captain squeezed even harder- only this time there was a loud pop, followed by a hissing noise.

"What the-" Gran exclaimed as the Night Elf wriggled from his death grip.

It was something he was most likely new to- the concept of smoke bombs. Luckily for Zephyr, he had squeezed on her belt hard enough to actually pop one of the iron containers and a smothering, eye butchering smoke poured from her hip. The Night Elf's eyes quickly adjusted as the smoke poured forth, smothering all three of them in a thick cloud of black. She exhaled another battle cry and leapt at Gran again, fist first. Her blow connected, breaking her foe's nose as he stumbled dumbly in the smoke. She ducked under his arms and then slid between his legs as he grabbed at the air. She twisted her blades free, sending more blood to coat the already drying layer on her magenta skin.

Zephyr jammed a dagger in between his ribs on his left side, ducked, and then another into his right side. It was with a final cry that she hammered both fists into the hilt of the daggers simultaneously. The wound on her shoulder ripped even more, causing her to stumble backwards in pain before finally bringing her to one knee. She wasn't sure if she had defeated Gran or not. The smoke began to settle now and the salty wind blew it away from the grudge match. She rose to her feet, mustering as much strength as she could to ignore the intense pain she felt. There was a deep grunt from behind her.

The Night Elf made an instant decision. And with a single word in her native tongue, her eyes rolled back in her head and her body crumbled lifelessly to the ground.

If you watched carefully, there was about a second's worth of time you could see a glowing light transfer from the Elf's body into Gran's.

It was a skill Zephyr rarely used. One that drained most of her energy.

It was a near desperate spell.

Zephyr's spirit now resided in Gran's body- attempting to force her own will upon him. She fought for control for a few brief moments and on the outside it would appear as Gran staggering around as though he were drunk. When she had finally gained control, she steered his body to the edge of the deck.

"No! No! No!!" He roared in anger.

[COLOR="#4B0082"][I][B]"Such brute force can only be coupled with a weak mind, can you not see?"[/B][/I][/COLOR] Zephyr's voice could be heard as though it were a whisper.

Gran stepped off the deck.

The white light sped back up out of his falling body and up across the deck, and finally back into Zephyr's mouth. She opened her glowing eyes and sat up. Her entire body felt weak and her shoulder burned with the angry fury of a thousand fires. It sure felt like it, anyway. She half-crawled-half-walked to the Captain's side.

[COLOR="#4B0082"]"Are you well?"[/COLOR] she asked in a pained voice, a hand stretching across her body to clutch the gun shot wound.

Something wasn't right about that wound.

Maybe the ball wasn't iron after all.

A pained sigh slipped from between her lips before her knees buckled and she hit the deck again.

She wouldn't hear the Captain's answer.[/SIZE][/FONT] Edited by Clockwork

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[COLOR=#0066ff][SIZE=1][FONT=book antiqua]"Are you well?"

The last of the Dark Elf's words lingered in his subconscious as he drifted into a deep sleep. He began to rouse himself and pull himself from what seemed like a blinding light and a state of torpor. He felt no pain. He heard no other words other than:

"Are you well?"

Why had the Dark Elf stowed aboard his ship?

What ulterior motive did she have?

Did she hope to kill him? She could've easily done it, if she wished...

But she chose to save him. Chose to protect him from Gran.

The captain's coughs burst from his mouth as he gasped for air. His shallow breaths deepened, his breathing was restored. At his side, were Lyn and Nina kneeling beside him. They smiled as their captain awoke. Their smiles were a warm welcome to what was a chaotic battle. His eyes darted, searching for the Dark Elf who had saved him. Her limp body was lying across from him, the doctor, a young blonde man dressed in a white coat, white shirt and beige pants, tended to the wound on her arm. With silent precision, his hands glided along her forearm and her shoulder, feeling for the iron ball. His mouth opened into a gasp as he drew from the wound, a small shrapnel. The shot that hit her had burst into tiny shrapnel that hopefully only spread throughout her arm. The doctor had to act fast, he gloved his hands and slowly, without causing pain, he carefully extracted the last of the tiny shrapnel from her arm. He had ordered Lyn to bring him a hot iron, he would need to cauterize the wound. A sharp pain would shoot throughout her arm, signaling the last of his first-aid treatment.

"There, that should do it. I would still advise that she goes to the infirmary once we get back on shore. There may still be shrapnel within her body."

Rio was thankful that the woman had risked arm and limb to save him from Gran. He had remembered that he saw the behemoth man toppling over the railing of his own ship. Was that too the work of the Dark Elf? He shuddered at the thought. He had taken off his jacket, a long blue overcoat, and draped it across the still Elven form. He motioned for one of the crewmen to hand him a cold towel with which he placed gently on her forehead. For a moment, he wanted this mysterious woman to be alive so he could thank her for her valiant efforts.

"What happened after Gran fell?"

"We defeated the rest of them with almost fluid-like ease. Afterwards, we brought you and her aboard the Leviathan again. You were the first to awaken and the doctor said that you had only suffered minor wounds. But she had been shot during the battle and unfortunately they had used ammo that contained shrapnel."

"Shrapnel?"

"Think of it like tiny pieces of metal that split apart upon impact."

"I get it. So we won...?"

"Yeah, we won."

"Good, tell the men we're heading back. We sure do have a lot to figure out before tomorrow."

Rio glanced at the Dark Elf, that mysterious woman who stowed away on his ship, whose body glided across and took down a rifleman, well riflewoman, and who took a shot that was meant for him. Who was this mysterious woman? Their answers would be obtained after they reached the shore. The Leviathan's bow was headed towards the not-so distant coast of Izabal, followed by another allied ship who uneventfully didn't get as much action as Rio did.[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR] Edited by Zenophoenix

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[FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=1]Her body had been so overwhelmed with pain and exhaustion that her mind had seen no other option than to shut down and repair as much of her stressed nerves as it could while the doctor worked outside to repair her body. She was almost completely aware of what was happening around her. It was something she had learned a long time ago. Her subconscious mind was actively taking note of everything that was done and said while she was under.

Especially the kind gesture the Captain showed by laying his coat over her and placing the cool towel on her forehead.

Luckily, her body had always been one to heal quickly.

Her body jolted as she snapped awake. There was nothing graceful about that. Without thinking much about her wounded shoulder, she sat up quickly. A loud gasp hissed from between her lips when the sharp pain dug its talons into her shoulder and scraped all the way down her arm. She crossed her good arm across her chest and clutched her shoulder with a grimace. The burnt flesh there was still extremely tender. She pulled her hand away when she felt the new sting. A familiar coat had been draped over her body and now rested around her waist and over her legs. It was the Captain's. [I][COLOR="#4B0082"]The Captain...[/COLOR][/I]

She could remember hearing his voice after she had blacked out- he was alright. She also remembered a word, one she didn't like at all.

Shrapnel.

The doctor had told Captain that there still could be pieces of the vicious metal within her system and that made her relax slightly. If there were more pieces, she didn't need to be so tense, otherwise there could be near fatal consequences. Zephyr kicked herself. She had blown it. Looked weak in front of the group of humans. Her sharp jawline tensed. She wanted to speak to the Captain and make sure for herself that he really was alright. But before she did that, she lifted the overcoat off of her legs and examined them. The slick leather had been torn in what seemed to be only a few minor places were the pirates she had bolted through managed to nick the front of her thighs and the backs of her calves. Her body held enough energy for her to manage a quick healing spell on the cuts, but as far as the wound on her shoulder went, she would have to let traditional medicine handle it.

Her eyes closed as she extended a palm out towards her legs. A strand of Elvish whispered through her lips as a white light twisted from her fingers and wrapped around her leg like a serpent. It extended glowing tendrils to dig into the cuts on her thigh, pulling the muscle back together and sealing them with a flash of bright green. The two nicks on the back of her calf were sealed in the same fashion. She moved on to her left leg and made short work of healing the gash on the front of her leg. She opened her eyes again as they shimmered a bright green for a moment. Zephyr looked at the Captain, a look of near admiration on her half-veiled face.

She lifted her good arm up and tugged the veil down to rest around her neck. One could see the full extent of the beauteous markings on her face. Under her eyes and all the way down her cheeks, her skin was a darker, almost violet pattern that resembled an upturned leaf. She turned her head to the side, casting dark violet waves of her hair to cascade down over her shoulder.

[COLOR="#4B0082"]"Welcome back."[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT] Edited by Clockwork

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