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Defending the East

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[Outpost View #1]


With the sun lowering over the east side of Morgana, the outpost that provided as an observation point had taken notice of something peculiar. The tree tops were dancing despite the fact that there was no wind moving, or not enough to cause such a disturbance. Even through the patches of woods where hills ousted themselves from the surroundings, it would be most difficult to see that the shadows from down below were moving. Closer and closer the darkness would come, until finally, the four guards that stood watch could feel it.


The wooden tower would shake. A silence would pause momentarily before they could feel it again. All of them stood to look out in the direction, and it was then that they knew something was coming. Trees would fall, and the sound of breaking wood could be heard as the darkness was nearly upon them. But before they could do anything... it was too late. Darkness would sweep at the base of the tower where shadowy fiends could be seen shredding it apart, causing the entire tower to topple over. The four guards would hold on for dear life as they fell. Two would die from the fall, the third would be thrown from the tower to meet an unknown fate, while the forth was unfortunate to survive.


The fall had rocked him hard, but yet his instincts took over and he knew what he had to do. With bow in hand, he could see his quiver just a few feet away. His panicked eyes looked behind him to see a wall of darkness approaching, they were so close that he could see their ghastly green eyes. Trying to use his legs, pain coursed throughout his body as they were broken. Using his arm strength, he pulled himself forward just enough to reach a single purple tipped arrow. With as much speed as he could, and with whatever strength he had left, he rolled upon his back to notch the single arrow. 


He could feel them pulling upon his broken legs, clawing at him as he pulled the arrow back. They were killing him, he was going to die and he knew it. Before it would be too late, he would release the arrow to soar into the sky. The dark creatures would consume his body before pressing forth... drawing closer and closer to Morgana.[/spoiler]


- - - - -


From inside the city, guards would stammer at the site of an exploding arrow off in the distance of one of their outposts. The east side of the city was under attack! Guards would mobilize, whistles could be heard and the citizens of Morgana would quickly get out of the way. Shouting could be heard as the Guards would organize and gather their things. One guard, clad in the black armor of Orisia, would appear near the hospital and give orders to the rest around him.


James would start to direct his people as he made sure his own gear was ready to go. Black hair, slate eyes and a solid mass of 150 pounds stood firm and ready to go. With a giant sword upon his back, James continued to shout his orders. "Reinforce the wall, put archers on top in two tiers. Prepare ground forces on the inside of the wall in the event that they break through." His eyes would search around him as he thought through the process. "Close down the mining enclave until this is over." They all would listen without fail, dismissing themselves to tend to these tasks. James knew that this day would come sooner or later, he just hadn't expected it so soon.



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[imgalign=left]http://i57.tinypic.com/330d1t4.jpg[/imgalign][Outpost View #2]


The Guards standing at the front gate of Morgana had been going about their normal business just like any other day. As the sun would go down, they had started to take notice of something odd however. The horizon appeared to be darker than normal. They whispered between themselves in order to not disturb those coming and going, but it definitely held their attention. It seemed that the entire edge of sand, from where they could see, was outlined in a black thin line. The darkness would even cast a shadow from the sun as it turned the white sands a hue of red.


As the four guards talked among themselves, it was then that they heard the loud explosion off to the east. The sun had just set and at the height in which the explosion took place, it could only mean that it was one of their fellow guardsman who shot the warning arrow from their Outpost. The guards looked at each other as they understood what it meant, that they were under attack. "In, in. Everyone inside. Go now." They said trying to get people inside to safety. They would pull their weapons and hold their position, letting the enemy come for them if they even got that far. 


Yet despite the distraction of all the clamor going on inside, one of the Guards stopped and froze. "Guys... did you see that?" He asked as he pointed with his sword off into the horizon where they were watching earlier. The sands were moving, shifting from the dark red to a shadowy black as the sun had nearly faded from complete sight. "Shit, we are under attack! Warn the others now!" Saying this, the guard beside him would reach for his bow and pull forth a purple tipped arrow. Launching it into the dim lit sky, the beautiful projectile would soar with the grace of gods before exploding and lighting up the area. 


While the purpose of such an arrow was to signal that their location was also under attack, it did something much more for them. It only lasted seconds, but it illuminated the shadows that were coming forth. Like a tidal wave, a blanket of darkness filled with unknown creatures approached. There was no telling how many monsters had come forth, but even the sky was slowly becoming darker and darker. 


"Where in the hell did they all come from?" 


Another guard would rush out from the inside of the city to meet the others. Just like his brethren, he too wore the black armor of Orisia. Tall, and with a bow staff that was taller than he, his voice would call out to the others. "Prepare yourselves, we must hold them until the others can arrive." The four guards looked back to the fair skinned man who dawned yellow hair and green eyes, they all shook their head in approval and agreement. It was apparent that this guard held authority here as he shouted out the orders. "Yes sir, we shall hold this position Sajur!"


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The Fae had been spending her time relaxing in Morgana. Her duties had overwhelmed her plus things in her past had disturbed and disrupted her. She had come here to help the people of this little land.

She looked towards the forest now as she felt something wrong. The tree branches were snapping and she saw the wind bend them every which way. Not a good sign.

Especially for a divination Faerie like herself.

As James and his men rushed to gather there equipment, they ran by her pushing her and she almost fell to the ground. Unsure of what could be coming for her visions were cloudy and she couldn't make out the figures.

In fact for the first time in her life she didn't know what the visions even meant with their murky shadows and unbearable whispers.

"What's going on?" she asked then.

She knew something was bad if everyone was running to grab weapons.

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Maria Aureolin in nicer attire.


Orisia. Maria Aureolin's mind was ablaze with rapid-fire thoughts as she lounged on one of the many staircases down to the docks, looking out with a wistful stare over the dozens of ships bobbing lightly on the waves that came rolling into the picturesque inlet on the Ranthus. To think that she'd ever return to beautiful Morgana – but in a way, she never had. The young woman who came here before and the one here now were different. So very different...


You know, I've always despised this place.”


“Why so?” Maria blinked, delicate lashes closing the curtains over golden rings. A faint hint of bloody red seeped in around the edges of the irises, but another blink and they were gone. “This place is rather refreshing to me.”


Talking casually to the air, the young woman collected the glances of a few concerned passerby. People who heard voices typically belonged to the more dangerous echelons of society, whether they be the wielders of eldritch magic or denizens of an asylum.


The air is suffocating with wrongness. And no, not the city, though I hate that too. This entire island is an offense against nature.”


Vermillion's voice echoed in her head again, raw with disgust. The other personality was vehement in her denial of Orisian anything, and didn't seem able to go five minutes without at least an offhand mention of her hatred of the place.


“You, too, are an offense against nature, you know. And on the contrary, this seems like an island blessed by the Mother.” The golden-eyed woman sprawled out onto the sun-warmed cobblestones and, stretching her hands towards the sun-streaked sky, traced the fiery clouds with her fingers. “I like it. It's radiant with harmony – a being of chaos like you would hate it, wouldn't you?”




She watched the sky a bit longer, basking in the peace of the place. To Aureolin, at least, it was a nice break from romping about Genesaris to kill everything that breathed foul. Even zealots needed rest – Vermillion surpassed human determination for her thirst for blood, but she was a special being (and Maria made sure to hide the disdain in that label well). Her breathing slowed down steadily, and, hands folding into a pillow for her head, closed her eyes for an evening nap.




The woman sat up, grasping at her stomach and gasping for breath, eyes widening at first, then narrowing into slits as the air took on the stench of malice.


Something's coming.”  Vermillion seemed almost overjoyed at the fact.


“Something's here.” Her face darkened as she rose from the ground, and she reached to unsheathe her swords. The silvery blade of Caelia nestled into her right, and the Seven Kill Steel into her left. “Is there truly no rest for the wicked?”




“I meant you.” Maria cut the voice off before it could make the snide comment that it had kept on the tip of its thorny tongue. The sun had finally set, and darkness began to fall in both the celestial and the supernatural sense. Two explosions lit up the air, one to the east and one to the south. Abruptly, activity ground to a halt, and the crowds dissolved into panicked chaos.


Vermillion was undoubtedly having a field day inside her head, and Maria was about to feed fuel to the fire.


“Get out here and help me, damn it. We're closer to the East, so that's where we will head.” The wave of flesh that was fleeing away from the East Gate was signal enough that, indeed, that was where the trouble would begin to brew. A few flashes of dying light indicated armed guards moving against the current, heading to reinforce the gate.


Oh? You desire the help of a murderer?” Her voice was almost mocking. She answered it with the annoyance implicitly requested. “I desire the help of a killer. This darkness must be purged.”


Fine. Let's move.”


A sword in each hand, Maria jumped down onto the docks and dashed towards the east, boots thudding against the slicked stone at a smooth but rapid pace, the runes upon each sword glowing in tandem to hasten her journey. Though the two Marias despised each other, too often did they find their interests in parallel. A more superior team of two would be rarer found in such times of duress.


To bring light into the darkness, and to kill ceaselessly – as Vermillion kept drumming into her head, “Isn't it just so cute that they are often one and the same?”


And she would always reply, “An unfortunate truth of humanity. I don't question the finer details.”


Maria made it to the wall in a minute, then bounded up the steps to the Eastern Gate. Already desolate of civilians, it had become a writhing mess of soldiers and equipment. An organized, writhing mess, granted, but a method to madness does not excuse it from being madness. At the center of it all, a man stood firm – presumably the commander of this place, and the pillar around which the madness writhed.


She wound her way through the bustling crowd, noticing the wave of darkness that had begun to creep from the distant forests – the cause of the unsettling aura in the air – and stopped beside a small faerie looking thoroughly lost and out of place. Two golden citrines, tinged with red, appraised the faerie quickly, and decided that she must be a foreigner. None of her concern. Her focus was on two things only: that which she was about to smite, and the man which seemed to be organizing the smiting.


“Greetings. You seem to be the leader around here.” Her voice was quick and curt, dispensing with all the unnecessary formalities. “I, as a bearer of the light, will lend my strength to the repulsion of this darkness.”


I, as a bearer of death, would not mind killing all of –“


“I am at your disposal. Though I suggest placing me alone. Collateral is something that I can guarantee.”


Maria flashed a quick smile that didn't quite reach her eyes, and watched the foe draw closer.

Edited by Just a First Mahai

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Had there been a city, the last time he'd visited this place?


Beast tried to remember.  Some parts of it did seem familiar... but deserts all seemed to blend together after a while.  Since he'd begun counting his age in millennia, it had become harder to remember the details of long-ago.  Perhaps it didn't really matter.  It was warm, the locals did not seem to mind his presence, and he was content.


He wandered through the streets for a while, admiring the sheer diversity of Morgana.  So many different kinds... there were even some scaled ones here, like him, though they were somehow quite different.  Still, it was more comforting than being stuck in a city full of humans again. 


The ground thumped as he moved through the crowds.  They flowed around him like a river around a rock, their bustling frantic in comparison to his slow tread.  He could move as fast as any of them, even faster than most.  But Beast had no need to hurry.  Even with his newfound goals, he did not mind waiting years to find the right opportunity.


But before he could truly relax, a second sun lit up the orange sky.  Something shining, up in the air.  It had an immediate effect on all those around him: they stared and murmured, pointing.  To the east, he heard shouts, loud and urgent.  The people were worried, Beast could feel it.  This only made him confused.  The explosion hadn't harmed anyone.  What was the cause of all this worry?


The thumping of the great lizard's footsteps became a loud pounding as he broke into a run.  There was little else for him to do, he may as well investigate this.  That, and he liked this place, and its people.  If something threatened them, the honorable thing to do would be to serve as their champion, and crush it in their stead.


Beast slowed as he neared a mass of guards.  The warriors.  They would know what was going on!  One in particular, with hair and armor dark as smoke, stood out.  He was stronger than the others, his voice betraying not hint of fear, but he did not speak with arrogance or overconfidence.  This was the vol of these soldiers, what Beast's people had called their leaders. 


A massive shadow loomed over James and Maria as the lizard walked up to them.  The guards muttered worriedly, for though Beast did not stand out among Morgana's varied inhabitants, his presence was still notable and more than a little threatening. 


He spoke, a low rumble akin to the grinding of stone against stone.  "You in the black, and you with the blades who stand with him.  You are the leaders here, yes?"  His eyes met theirs, a fierce and primordial glare.  He respected their authority, but he would not bow to them.  "Something threatens this place, and you know this.  Tell me what it is, and where I may find it."

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There was a dark brown horse galloping at very high speeds across the sands of the surrounding area. With each gallop, a cloud of dust appeared behind him. It seemed as if they were running from something terrifying, something dark and evil. The man who rode the horse was a former researcher and mage...Zelgius Maganti; a man who obsessed over the element of fire. His long black hair reflect the light of the moon, each strand of hair flying furiously as he felt the wind slap against his face due to the horse's speed. The man's long red dark crimson trench coat blew behind him as the wind caught the tail of the coat. Also, he wore black gloves and black leather pants, along with black leather boots. On his right shoulder was his pet snake, Scias, clutching tightly among his arm trying not to let go. Though Scias is usually a friendly snake, he is not afraid to attack those he deem as a threat. Finally, on his waist was his incredibly long eight foot katana, Zaros; his back carried a much larger, six foot long sword, Labyrinth. Each sword were forged in fire and could insane amounts of fire damage to foes. If someone other than Zelgius is so much laid a finger on any of his swords, they would suffer major burns...unless they are of that element. Luckily, the swords did not touch the horse, or else the horse would suffer major burns. 

"Go! Hurry!" Zelgius shouted at the horse.

The horse did not belong to him, instead, it actually belonged to a stable not far from where they were. Once he heard the blast and caught glimpse of something chasing him, he stole the horse and rode it as far as he could which led him toward the city of Morgana. It seemed to be the closest and safest place to hide from whatever it was that was chasing him. 

[i]"You cannot escape them[/i] said the strange voices in his head.

He did not pay attention to them, though, instead he focused his attention on what direction he was going. He was drawing closer and closer to what seemed to be a gate and figured that was Morgana. He screamed when he saw others standing inside the gates.

"Open the gates!" he yelled at them. "Hurry! We don't have much time." 


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The air around her was really hot. It was hot just a millimeter above her skin and it was normal further away. She was named Zeo. She was walking around nearby Morgana, in the south as she noticed someone on a horse galloping scared towards the city gate. Zeo followed him secretly as she wanted to get into the city as well. She got closer to him as she wondered what he was so scared of. She didn't think much more of it though.


At this point she was standing just a few meters away from him. She walked towards the gate. She could melt her way inside, or even explode the gate open, but she had a feeling that this was a bad idea. So instead she just giggled a little as she sat down. She looked at the guy on the horse. She noticed the sword and she also noticed something was different with it, though she didn't really care. As she sat down she giggled, then closed her eyes.


Zeo is a fire salamander that was mutated into a humanoid female form with an almost legendary control over her fire element powers. She is able to manipulate fire and heat very good. She she sits on the ground she has no clothes at all and are completely naked, but she herself didn't see any problem with it, she doesn't see the point with having clothes on, it restricts the movement of the body in her eyes. That of course is dependent on the clothes.


As Zeo was sitting there she just waited for the gate to open up, and when or if it did she would quickly get inside. She could get inside by melting herself inside, but she didn't want to do that and only would do it in case the gates didn't open.

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James had been attempting to organize the guards, given the little time they had to prepare, it wasn't all helpless. Yet, just when things had started to get more steady smooth, a second bang could be heard coming from the South. "A secondary attack?" James spoke aloud while attempting to put all the pieces together. It seemed that this would be a two prong attack against the city, or that the first wave was simply a distraction for the second that approached by the South. Though he was attempting to analyze the unknown enemies tactics, it would be the flash of yellow hair that caught his attention.
"Sajur! Tend to the South gate!" 
The guard would nod firmly, and without second thought would press forth to assist the south side of the city in whatever attacks were to come. As his exit took place, the arrival of a few others had pulled him from his worried mind. Two females, one wielding swords and the other a fae, and the third to arrive was a man... err... reptile. His presence alone seemed to tower the three of them, but each were unique in their own right. Something captivated James with the fae, perhaps it was because it was the first time he had ever seen one in real life. Then there was this woman, her face etched into his memory for one reason or another. He had seen her before, he even knew her name... Zerint... Zarent... Zaran... Zarin. Finally, her last name came back to him and he had wondered what had come of that situation in their past.
Shaking off these fleeting moments, James would recollect his firm stance and answer the questions that were all presented forth. "I am James Sprague, the city is currently under attack. We don't have enough information as of yet to define our enemy, and I can't recruit you three until we know what we are facing. I will not be responsible for the deaths of strangers, you should all seek shelter." His words seemed stern and absolute. Though James had relied on others in the past to help the city, it was different this time. A city wide attack meant that many would die, and this was no game. His slate eyes would peer upon the grizzly form of Beast before offering a slight sigh. Deep down, he knew that he could use all the help that would be given to him. 
"Tell me your names, and if you wish to vanquish the darkness that threatens our beloved home, then so be it." He would then pull his hand to the sleeve on his arm. Ripping the black cloth, taking a few seconds in doing it just right, the black ribbons would be separated into three. Though James would be sleeveless now, he didn't mind. After they had offered their names, he would give each one a black piece of ribbon. "Tie this around your arm and my people will know you stand with them. Once you're ready, head to the east wall and help reinforce the gate area. The enemy shall be upon us soon, and I will catch up as soon as I can." 


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He was buried in sand, up to his chest. The wind had blasted him as he drunkenly slept against the wall, near the entrance to Morgana. He'd likely be slumbering peacefully in the bar, if his comments about that man's wife weren't met by opposition. In his defense, she was wearing a particularly skimpy dress, and the man seemed to have a low enough IQ to want to marry her. Long story short, a fight broke out, the whore's---sorry. "Escort's", husband got his jaw broken, and the guards were called post haste. Now, if they were called pre-haste, Somar, our aggressive scholar, sorcerer, and quite obviously self refered, "Liberator of Knowledge Wherever It May Be Found", wouldn't be buried in fucking sand, sleeping until it was light enough for him to haul ass from this glorious desert city, and look for a new government to study, and likely slander at the slightest provocation. Somar obviously wishes that were the case, but here he is, about to get caught up in something bigger than himself. And how convenient for him to be surrounded by sand after mile of sand. As the sun set, creatures that at this moment defy description are approaching the city, and the dusty mage is a sitting duck, or vulture, as would be more appropriate for the environment. It wasn't until the screaming of the guards interrupted his dreams of the beautiful Lydia that he roused from his sleep, noticed where he was, and allowed the sand to flow away from him into two neatly made dunes. One yawn, a few seconds of stretching, and a look of horror upon realizing what was running straight towards him later, Somar's right hand was raised, cestus adjusted for maximum jaw crushing capacity, and a comparatively small amount of the infinite sand around him was twisting around his left hand, ready to be shoved down the throat(assuming they have throats) of anything that would dare fuck with Somar Pulventum.

"Guards! You're gonna need all the help you can get! Luckily for you poor saps, I'm here" Edited by TheWilySpookster

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Sajur's green eyes would watch as the horsemen approached with haste. Despite the fact that they were just closed, Sajur had no issue signaling to the others around him to open it back up. "Quick, everyone get in." This would be everyone's last chance to retreat to the inside walls and safe haven that Morgana had to offer. The horseman, the fire salamander that followed, and even the sandman who approached would all have their chance to take refuge. "Inside, now. Go!" Sajur yelled one last time. 


Once everyone was inside, his eyes would scan the horizon one last time. A horde was upon them, and they didn't have enough men to hold this gate as is. It was here and now that he signaled to the four other guards he took up arms with, to retreat inside the gate to reform a plan. As he and the remaining guards entered, after the three before him passed through, Sajur would continue to shout out orders. "Get me archers up on this wall now! Bring reinforcements, we don't have time." His voice was strong as it projected. 


Despite the chaos that reigned in upon them, the guard had not ignored Somar completely. Within ear shot of Zelgius and Zeo, Sajur would confront Somar for anyone to hear. "I'll take any help that we can get. Many of our troops had pushed to the east wall, it'll take time for more forces to arrive." Saying this, his green eyes bounced from one person to the other, even those who were close to them in the crowd. As the gate was closing once more, Sajur would continue speaking to anyone those around him. 


"Place a piece black of cloth around your arm, tie it so we can identify you as a friend." It seemed simple enough, they didn't want to be mistaken for enemies when fighting within Morgana. Guards could differentiate between themselves because of their armor and past relationships with each other, but these new people were obviously foreigners. Yet this would hold true for any citizens who would decide to take up arms to protect the city, all it took is a black cloth wrapped around an arm. Unlike James, a friend of his who didn't wish to get others involved, Sujar wouldn't hesitate to rely on anyone's aid. They were low on man power... and this looked like war.


"If you wish to assist us, at least give me your names. I am Sujar. Please, prepare yourselves!" 

Edited by Ayden

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Zeo did see all the enemies at the horizon, but she didn't really care a she loved to fight. She grinned a little as her body temperature was rising slowly because she was getting excited. "This will get interesting." She said as she looked at the horizon.


She noticed the gate was opened with a following voice shouting for them to get inside. She grinned a little as she got inside pretty quickly. As she was inside she looked around as it was a mess right now because of the war coming up. She grinned once more as she heard she had to take on a black cloth on her. She denied and said: "No, I won't put anything on." She said while standing there naked talking to Sajur. She looked towards the enemies. "You got quite the problem." She said as she snapped her fingers as she was looking at the sand, around 20 meters away from the wall. What was created here was a little fire wall that was decently hot. This fire wall was 50 meters long and the flames was 1 meter high. Major burns could be caused if one jumped straight into the flames without jumping. Though this also depended on how fast they was going, this fire wall was only made to give them a few extra seconds.


"When does the fighting start?" She said as was getting hot of excitement. The stone under her feet could be seen glowing ever so slightly because of her heat, but this was just right under her feet and no where else.


As she was standing here she was showing she was not an enemy, but she also showed that she wasn't on their team either. She did what she wanted when she wanted to do it. She wouldn't protect other guards or innocent people, if they got in her way she would kill them too.

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Just as the guards re-opened the gate, Zelgius made it just in time before they closed it. The horse stopped in front of the all, keeping his back towards them while stepping down from the horse. He heard one of the mentioned that they were in serious need. He did not know what was chasing them, but the attack had to stop soon. In fact, he grew tired of such a thing. He reached into his back pack to find something black that he could wrap around his arm, to allow the guards to know that he was a friendly. He stopped wrapping a black wrap he found in his pack, when he noticed a large fire wall just outside of the gates. It was something he has never seen before...Looking over to spot who was responsible for such a flame, he saw that it was some sort of creature; she looked of the fire element sort, indeed. That was when the voice within his head mentioned how she could be the key to finding out who was behind those strange fire artifacts from that cave he ventured into long ago. But this was no time to sit, study, and research. Though he would speak with the creature later. For now, they had to do something about the incoming mob. He stepped forward after completely wrapping the black cloth around his arm and looked to the side at the sandman and Sajur. 

"You there!" he pointed toward Sajur, "What is the meaning of this! What is going on here?" he questioned.

Granted, Zelgius was not immortal neither was he an advocate of total war...he was but a man. A simple researcher who also feared death. Despite that, he was no stranger to the art of melee or magic. However, he was never in a position where he had to use much of his ability of swordsmanship. This fight they were going to take part in, made it officially the first time ever he would do battle. 

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Somar sprinted into the city, while simultaneously firing a stream of the sand he had coiled around his hand towards the wall of flame, which seemed to appear from nowhere. The stream shaped itself into a band about the size of Somar's arm, as it flew into the fire, and with a little extra help from him, melted into a solid ring of obsidian. The ring returned to its creator, who shoved it on immediately, in case someone turned out to be a little stab happy within the city walls.

"Don't kill me, I'm here to help. Direct your attention to the ring, or band, or whatever it is"

Somar looked around, and caught sight of who he assumed to be a head guard. He was the one who called out to him, and the others, so it felt appropriate to stick with him. Always one to show off a little, Somar transmuted himself into a form he would have much more control over, and flew over to the guard, propelling every one of his grains to do so. Took a lot of co concentration, but was necessary to make sure he didn't lose any part of himself. When he reached his destination, he coalesced back into his original shape, and occupied his cloak again.

"The name's Somar Pulventum. You seem to have a problem that could use killing"

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She let out a sigh as she didn't want to be mistaken for an enemy, even though she herself isn't really on their team. She looked around and walked towards a guard nearby, she then ripped off some black cloth that was on him. She didn't care if she was allowed or not, she just did it. She then wrapped it around upper part of her arm.


She looked at the new people here, she was interested in the guy with the strange flame sword, though it wouldn't be effective on her it was an interesting sword it seems like. She also noticed the new sand guy that came in to the city, though she didn't really care that much for him, period. She hoped she could get to have some fun fighting, but she was worried that they maybe was too weak. Though she still shouldn't let down her guard.


She looked at the one she thought was captain. "So what are we gonna do... Caaaptaaaiin?" She said with a jokingly voice at the end. "You shouldn't look at the numbers, though they was high numbers, we got power behind our attacks." She said, copyinga qoute she heard some time ago, she wasn't clever enough to come up with it herself.


She created a fire ball that was hovering at the side of her head, just because she could. Though it was a small fire ball at the size of a golf ball, it was hot enough to be felt pretty from a few meters away. She had this fire ball just in case she wanted to attack something really.


She looked towards the guy with the flame sword. She grinned a little as she said: "Interesting sword you got there kiddo." She sometimes said kiddo to people as most of the time she was older than then since Zeo herself was around 50 000 years old.

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Ah. That's why he looked familiar.”


A thoughtful mutter grated across Maria Aureolin's mind with the screech of a braking train on rails, and the slim hand that had reached out to grasp the improvised marker of Orisian soldierhood faltered to a halt. “Eh?”


The golden-eyed woman did not have a very strong grasp of memories that Maria Vermillion had made prior to the acquisition of the heavenly sword Caelia, which had added Aureolin's personality to the roster. All the adventures, journeys, and murders were hazy at best, and Vermillion was hardly eager to share all the excruciating details with the ever-virtuous light-bringer. Whatever terrible things she'd done, Maria couldn't know – which was why every single neuron in Maria's mind revolted at the thought of acting with such a vague comment – from Vermillion, no less – haunting her comprehension of the state of things.


Those kinds of muttered nothings turned into certain somethings as they filtered through the mouth of the killer, where the tiniest bits of afterthought usually hinted at some greater travesty that Aureolin had not been present to keep in check. Or, more usually, it meant that Vermillion couldn't keep it in her sheath, and someone somewhere of something important died at her hands.


For the moment, Maria was praying that Vermillion had not killed James's brother the last visit. Or, for that matter, any other member of his family, the royal family, high-ranking military officers, or any number of civilians in public.


Praying could only do so much to past histories, unfortunately.


Face twisting into a mask of feigned intrigue in the bricks of the house directly behind Sprague, Aureolin drew back her hand with a smile and a “Pardon me” and strode into the parting crowd of metal and man, seemingly with the intention of inspecting said bricks. Convincing the others of her dual-minded insanity was not the right way to begin – although if Vermillion had rampaged through the city sometime before, the opportunity for a decent first impression was long gone.


“What is it now.” Her eyes-narrowed, gravely flat tone made it clear that it was less of a question than an order. Vermillion gave the overwhelming impression of shrugging within the closed confines of her mind in a show of utter apathy. Aureolin's mouth tightened in response. “I dearly hope you didn't do anything last time you were here.”


Of course not,” came the indignant reply, as if Vermillion had ever felt righteous indignance in her life. “I was merely reminded that Mr. Sprague there simply knows me by a different name.”


Aureolin waited expectantly with a dark look on her face.






I fe –“


“You felt like it. Of course. That is so...you.” Maria sighed heavily as she traced a hand over the cracks in the brick to keep up the already tenuous facade, shooting a careful glance behind to ensure that the others were not already distrusting – which, dealing with the Marias, they should have been. But that's neither here nor there at the moment. “Alie, you said? I'll join you on your endeavor, then.”


Weaving her way back across the sun-baked cobblestones and the sun-sweat soldiery, she strode back to James and grabbed the proffered piece of cloth. With a quick twirl, she wrapped it about her wrist, letting it trail in the evening breeze as she drew the Steel again. “Alie. We may have met in the past – that's little matter.”


“For now, let us take the task at hand.” With another reassuring smile, Maria left the three's company, making her way atop the East Wall, standing alone atop the gate-tower in golden-eyed vigilance.

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