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Voldemort

I Can Explain (Lo'Bre)

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A small boat drifted down a narrow water channel in Lo'Bre's market district; its sole passenger slowly working his oar as he stared upwards at the night sky. Cloudless, the sky offered a beautiful portrait of stars that well-traveled passenger wasn't entirely familiar with. With its thief problem, Lo'Bre wasn't an ideal place for day dreaming, especially in the dead of night. The passenger didn't seem to care, however, knowing his heightened senses would protect him from being caught off guard. Plus, he was also a thief. Being robbed would be a tad ironic. 

Reaching his destination, Arthur Uskglass tied his tiny boat to the side of the channel, lowered his oar, and lifted himself onto a cobblestone walkway. The mage walked briskly through town, keeping a low profile as he stuck to the shadows. He wasn't exactly dressed like a sneak thief, looking more like a wizardly gentleman in his black shirt, yellow tie and gray slacks than a scoundrel. Black shoes and a long, open robe of the same color rounded out the outfit. Golden suns and silvery crescent moons decorated the robe's fabric, illustrating what Arthur was after if one knew what the alchemical symbols meant. The garment was settled comfortably upon his broad shoulders, its sleeves (folded up to elbow length) were empty, being whipped around by the wind.

Arthur turned a corner, only a couple dozen feet from his target. A jewelry store said to store a ruby the size of the mutant's fist, which intrigued Arthur greatly. He was always looking for materials to have enchanted, and the pendant would be a worthy implement for further study and experimentation.

Hearing voices, Arthur quickly stepped into an alleyway, donning his robe's hood as he utilized the darkness to remain unseen by the passing errant couple. The mutant grinned under his hood at the giggling duo, watching with his fiery orange eyes as they walked by. Stepping back onto the sidewalk, Arthur made the rest of his way to the storefront. The front of the store was dark and the closed sign was displayed on the front door. Making sure the street was empty, Arthur produced a set of lockpicks from one of the many small pockets in his robe and made quick work of the front lock, working carefully lest he trip some sort of trap.

With the door open, Arthur strolled quietly into the store. His nose picked up a faint yet sweet smell upstairs. The owner, he surmised. The mutant closed the door behind him and lowered his hood. It was time to get to work.

@Mickey Flash

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Shelly was exhausted. When she first changed locations for her store to Dashkanchay, or Dash as most locals liked to call it, she thought that she'd made the right choice. Business was booming the first couple of weeks she'd opened up shop. But soon the novelty of the new store in town wore off, and now it's been two months with sales going down every day. She had good products, rare gems that you can only find on the bottom of the ocean floor. That meant little to the people used to magic and their own stash of strange gems, or crystals, lying around for everyone to turn into their own personal jewelry. She'd had to get more and more creative to bring in the clients. She was just too tired to worry about it anymore.

She had a feeling she was going to have to move her new shop to another new location, and she hated that. It meant a loss of more money. It also meant another new beginning, and she was tired of that too. She wanted to be able to find a place she could call her own. She was tired of feeling homeless and without purpose. She wasn't the most confident person, not like her sister. Pearl seemed to have all the answers and took no prisoners. She wouldn't have wasted her time on anything as boring as a jewelry store, but if she had she would have made it thriving somehow. Shelly could barely keep her business afloat.

She finished sweeping up the floor of the store and locked and closed the door, flipping the sign to closed for anyone who might decide they wanted to buy some jewelry this evening. Not that anyone would. She then trudged slowly up the stairs to the small apartment section. There was a couch, dining table, and some cabinets with paperwork. She dragged out the papers again to crunch the numbers. Feeling heartsick after the first half hour, she lay down on the couch for a moment. She slowly drifted off to sleep.

She didn't know what woke her, but she suddenly jarred awake. She sat up on the couch in alarm. She thought she might have heard something downstairs, though she wasn't sure. Unknowing if there was going to be danger, she took off her collar she wore to protect the common folk of Seinaru Forven from being effected by the mesmerizing sound of her siren voice. She would use all the weapons in her arsenal. She grabbed a jewel encrusted sword from off the wall. She'd thought that it would make a lovely show piece, until one of the local children had tried to touch the sharp blade. She'd prevented him from possibly losing a few fingers and hung it up here for safekeeping ever since. Now she grabbed the handle of the sword with purpose. She didn't know how to use it, except to put the pointy end into the body of whomever decided to wish her harm. But she would do her best to protect herself with it. She held the sword threateningly in front of her, while she made her way down the stairs.

“Show yourself!” she demanded with her siren vocal chords ringing true to whoever it was.

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Arthur drifted around the jewelry store floor room with purpose, using his heightened vision to search the various glass displays in the pitch blackness of the store. There were all manner of special items for sale, or for the taking if you were Arthur. The kinds of pieces that would drain a coin pouch of its contents right before adorning a finger or neckline in brilliant fashion. Stepping up to a display on the opposite end of the store, Arthur's eyes glinted with interest as they settled on a series of large gemstones, glittering like tiny stars, and cut to perfection by a skilled craftsmen. They were exactly what the wizard was looking for. 

Taking a step back, the mutant concentrated and stilled his mind. Arcane formulae flashed across his vision as he recalled a transmutation that would aid him in the second phase of the heist. A spell would render either one of his hands into a monstrous claw, capable of scratching a circular hole out of the glass display. Seizing the needed energies for the spell, Arthur began the process of his spell only to be interrupted as sounds from upstairs stopped the mutant dead in his tracks. The presence he had sensed upon entering was moving about and would soon make its way down the stairs slowly.

Furtively, Arthur stepped towards a faraway dark corner of the store, donning the hood of his robe before pulling the garment across the front of his muscular form. The magical fabric seemed to cling to the shadows, making the wizard difficult to locate within the dark store. As the woman called out, Arthur scoffed internally, realizing he had little to worry about. He would remain quiet and simply keep out of the scared woman's sights until she disappeared. It wasn't his first rodeo, after all, and he figured he'd finesse Shelly as he had so many others. However, and to Arthur's ultimate surprise, those plans went up in smoke when the compulsory magic that laced the siren's words coaxed a sudden reply from the unsuspecting mutant thief.

"I can explain!"

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Holding a sword was much harder work than Shelly realized.  She'd never had a reason to hold a heavy weapon for a long length of time.  Strength wasn't one of her talents.  She was trying to put on a strong front, one even her sister would be proud of, but she caught the sight of the sword wobbling in her hands and lowered it for a moment.  She couldn't rest it on her shoulder, because she'd more than likely end up cutting herself.  The strong impression she was trying to give probably looked like a pathetic attempt in the wake of her shaking jelly arms. She just hoped the soft flowy material of her coral blouse hid the weakness. 

She turned to the voice that spoke out, but was alarmed to find that they were still standing in the shadows.  She distinctly remembered telling the intruder to show themselves.  The fact that they didn't wouldn't have alarmed her normally, but she had used her siren voice.  Not many creatures were able to resist the allure of the captivating sound.  The fact that he'd spoken wasn't reassuring.  He hadn't done exactly as she'd asked, and therefore he was unpredictable. 

"I... I asked you to show yourself!"  At first, her voice had come out as wobbly as her tired arms, but she'd persevered and gave her command more force.  She pushed her gift at him.  She didn't want to admit it, but she was powerless without her voice's influence.  The thought of being alone and weak with no powers to help her, against a male opponent she had yet to see terrified her.  She bit her full lower lip as she waited for him to make his move, or worse....... not make a move. 

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"I'll give you credit," Arthur replied, not seeming too worried about the sword the woman wielded nervously, nor Shelly's enchanted voice which was bashing up against the wizard's prepared mental defenses. Though powerful, his defenses had been taken by surprised and it wasn't every day that the wizard was compelled magically to do anything. "I did not want to say that to you."

The mutant stepped away from the shadows, allowing the ambient light to illuminate his presence for Shelly's viewing pleasure. Arthur even lowered his hood, revealing a wolfish smirk which while amused showed no true malice. His fiery eyes settled on Shelly, while his hands drifted casually but purposefully into the folds of his robe. "This isn't your voice, darling. I just see no use hiding. Please do not yell for the constabulary."

Little too late maybe?

 

@Mickey Flash

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Shelly wasn't soothed by his admission, or the fact that he was sneaking his hands into his robe to retrieve whatever weapon might be secreted away inside.  She lifted the sword back up, having sufficiently rested her arms long enough to have the strength to do so again.  She pointed it in his direction, and said with determination and confidence.

"Remove your hands from inside your robe, please thief.  I will not ask you again."

Her voice sounded confident, but it was all a bluff.  What she was really doing as she pointed her sword at him and slowly walked down to the bottom of the stairs, was making her way slowly to the entrance of the shop.  If she could make it to the door without being detained, maybe she could get some help.  As it was, it was too late at night to think there would be anyone close to hear any screams she may have, or to help her if she needed it.  She was in the middle of the business part of town, but most businessmen went home before it got this late.  She inched closer and closer to the door, her sword still pointed toward the male. 

He didn't look to be the thieving sort.  He was attractive, and his attitude was more along the lines of an amused gentleman at a dinner party.  But the eyes...... the eyes looked wild and animalistic.  They say the eyes are windows into the soul. Looking into this man's eyes, Shelly could believe him capable of anything.  She moved closer to the door, almost upon it. 

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"Whatever you say," Arthur responded non-confrontationally. The last thing the mutant wanted to do was spook the woman any further, causing her to run off to fetch an officer of the law. He didn't want to have to leave Lo'Bre in a hurry as it wasn't always easy to acquire passage on a ship, especially on short notice and in the dead of night, and even more so when you were wanted for robbing a brunette sword-wielding damsel. His hands reappeared casually from the obscuring folds of his robes, albeit not empty handed but not threatening either. On the contrary, Arthur's right hand gripped the draw strings of a bulging coin pouch. Hopefully it was a clear indication that despite his less than honorable introduction, he meant to be a paying customer from that moment forward.

Wild eyes watched the siren carefully, waiting tensely for the woman to lash out with her sword but quickly noting that she was slowly making her way for the door. Arthur waved his hands in an attempt to be disarming. "Just stay right there," the wizard told the siren as he took a short step towards the door, "I have money and I want the large sapphire behind me here. I'll step outside and wait while you fetch it, or I'll just leave if you'd prefer. In any case, I pledge on my power that I have no reason nor desire to hurt you in any way." He could have been lying, of course. However, as he pledged on his power, a light hum could be heard as arcane energies were released. In his world, pledging on his power was an action of the utmost seriousness, and though Shelly had no reason to know. Arthur wouldn't speak such words lightly, his stern look speaking as much.

@Mickey Flash

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The stern look on the man's face did nothing but alarm Shelly further.  His aggressive attitude in this situation showed her that he wasn't frightened at all, nor thought much of her sword skills.  He'd be right not to respect them, but she didn't even have that much of her bluff going for her at this point.  It was time to cut and run.  Then her eyes caught the sight of the pouch.  It jingled daintily as he held it out.  Money.  Money that can be used to help her shop.  She bit her bottom lip.  The sight of the pouch made her hesitate, but only long enough for her to question his motives.

"You broke into my shop, snuck around and planned to steal from me.  Why would you do all that carrying a pouch of money?  And why would I suspect that you planned to use the pouch now, when it's obvious you have no fear of me or this sword?"  She swung the sword inexpertly as she said this.  It hit the glass display beside her and glass shattered all over the floor.  "No!" she exclaimed, as some of the precious pieces fell on the floor in a heap.  Her eyes swung back to the thief.  She didn't know if he planned to grab the jewels and run, or if he planned to hurt her.  Either way, she couldn't do anything about it here and she seriously needed to get some help at this point.  The pouch was forgotten at the sight of the destruction  of her store display, which wouldn't have happened if this thief hadn't have come along and made her feel like she needed this stupid sword.  Her eyes narrowed at him accusingly.  She dropped the heavy sword and turned to run out of the door to call for help. 

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The mage moonlighting as a piss poor thief stood patiently as he lightly jingled his coin pouch. He had hoped to entice the siren into ceasing hostilities and to instead reach some agreed upon price for the stone. And for a moment, Arthur thought he would sway her. Rightfully, however, Shelly was skeptical of his words, questioning his motives much like Arthur would have under similar circumstances. The mutant lowered his arms to his sides, though he kept them visible particularly where the coin pouch continued to hang.

"I'll have you know that thieves carry wallets just like everyone else." Arthur came back with what seemed to him a pretty obvious answer. He shrugged his broad shoulders in almost a matter of fact way. After all, a pouch like his was a perfect hiding place for precious gems, stolen or bought. The mage would have continued his explanation, telling the woman exactly why he didn't fear her or her sword. Fate had other plans as Shelly recklessly swung her heavy blade, and it came down to Arthur to show rather than tell. Swiftly, the mutant reached into the folds of his robes, pulling forth a long sword of his own as if from nowhere whilst he sprinted the short distance that separated the pair. The blade flourished in Arthur's deft hands, swinging in a circular arc from below to meet Shelly's misguided stroke just before it struck the display. The resounding clash would prove forceful, their blades sparking and hilts rattling at the collision. Arthur, a swordsman, was ever familiar with such sensations and knew how to maintain his grip. However, the mage was sure that the force of the parry would come as a complete surprise to Shelly. 

The mutant wouldn't advance any further upon his opponent, as his intent was to show the opposite. They weren't opponents and he didn't want to cause undue damage to her store. Gemstone aside anyways. He remained vigilant, though, as he couldn't know how the scared siren would react. With a snarky grin, Arthur made his case in a single word.

"Truce?"

@Mickey Flash

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The sound of the clang of his sword hitting hers, startled Shelly.  She hadn't expected it.  The weight was heavy, and she instinctually resisted the push of it.  The sparks were alarming and bright.  She feel a frisson of terror skitter along her spine.  She'd never been a participant in a sword fight, never having had to be in one before.  She'd always had the advantage of her powerful voice to get her through any scrapes she found herself in.  If that didn't work, she usually had her sister.  Now she found herself alone, no advantage, and no sister. 

"Truce?"

The word didn't even register in her mind.  All she knew was that he'd pulled out a sword from nowhere.  And he'd struck the sword she was holding, which she considered aggressive.  Anyone with any skill could tell she was inept at using the weapon.  There was no need for him to go swinging his sword around and scaring her half to death.  She did the only thing she could do in her situation.... she threw the sword at the intruder, hoping the distraction would be enough to allow her to escape. 

She didn't wait to see if she'd caused any damage, or if her ruse worked.  She ran out of her door into the darkened street like a wild woman.  She wasn't wearing her collar, so she didn't fear that she could find help just as soon as she could see someone to ask help for.  She didn't think about screaming at the top of her lungs, which would have been quickly effective, and the smarter thing to do.  Instead she ran quickly, making herself out of breath.  She didn't see the man in front of her until it was too late, and she'd already ran into him so hard her teeth rattled. 

"What the Hell!" The man wasn't a gentle soul by any means.  She could smell his body odor and foul breath from a mile away.  Had she just ran right into the arms of someone more dangerous than the man she'd just ran from?  The thief in her store at least was attractive, and though she had been pretty close to him she hadn't smelled........ this noxious odor that was wafting off of the solidly built man before her.  She was about to tell him to unhand her, which would have gotten an immediate response of him doing just that.  But the muscle bound thug in need of a bath had grabbed her by the throat, and she couldn't get a squeak past the pressure he was placing on her vocal chords. 

"What have we here?  A pretty little pigeon?"  His hand tightens on her throat, and she realizes while she's gasping and trying to breathe that he's not alone.  There are a whole group of rowdy, stinky, dirty, rotted teeth and lapping tongued men there.  They were all looking at her with gaped and rotted teeth grins.  Some were even drooling.   She struggled harder against the hand that held her throat. 

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