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Lacernella Rubra

The Red Tower.

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The swell of the hill came to an abrupt end as the path narrowed and then widened once more. A small bridge was crossed, the flowing stream beneath it a gentle roar beneath the hooves of the beasts of burden. The tower stood in front of them, easily seven stories tall – though it appeared the top most floor had a large chunk taken out of the ceiling, leaving it open to critters and weather alike. Shanna didn’t care, it was home. The base of the tower was round, large enough that it would take twenty minutes to walk it’s circumference, with a small, two to three horse and a wagon stable to the side. Gentle archways and steep pointed pillars that rose upward with each floor. It peaked at the seventh, and the imposing brick was stained crimson, hence the name. The lands around it were rocky, but gave way to grasses and forest shortly beyond the towers construction, the colors in varying degrees of oranges and reds, like an eternal autumn.

A small pool filled with water in front of them, gently lapping at the shore in a lazy manner as it dipped and rolled back into the pond. The dark waves settled as the wagons approached, halting in front of the tower. The large stained glass windows allowed for little view inside the tower, but the sunset flickered in the colors, reflecting back at them. From the inside, Shanna was sure they were gorgeous. The tower loomed above them, ominous and promising. A few bricks had fallen onto the ground below, and would need to be replaced, but thankfully it was structurally sound. With the craftsman that were coming they would have the place right as rain in no time!

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“JARO! JARO! LOOKIT!” Shanna exclaims, a hand pointing out towards the tower as they approach, the woman nearly toppling out of wagon in excitement. Unable to contain herself, she tumbles out onto the path in her excitement, tripping over robe and feet alike. The excitable mage looks upon the tower in awe, though it is in disrepair and missing a few panes of glass, neverminding the giant hole in the top floor, Shanna is in love with it upon sight. It was everything she could ever hope for, damaged or not. It is likely the small stable is full of rodents and wild creatures, or worse yet, nested into by wood eating bugs, but she doesn’t care.

“It’s perfect.” The woman whispers quietly as her crimson gaze peers up at the tower in wonder, mouth slightly agape. Her companion wolf sits at her side and sighs, knowing that the work that will be put into the tower will likely bankrupt his mage, and he knows that she won’t care. With a heavy sigh, he plods forward to sniff at the new home they seem to have claimed. He growls at a few rats that scurry away from the predator.

Shanna grins to herself as she flails a hand at Jaro, grasping ahold of his sleeve as her sudden show in strength pulls him to her as she motions to the tower in entirety with a hand. “We’re home. Eeee!” She suddenly releases him, her joyous bubbling too much to contain as she rushes through the door. She steps over twigs, and fallen debris from where former residents may have left it open to public. Small animals screech and flee into the masonry or out into the forest. Her thunderous footsteps carried her through the foyer, the wood creaking beneath her feet as she sprints from corner to corner – a squealing noise escaping her throat as Brutus plods behind slowly, sniffing at the wood a bit as he moved forward.

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@Frostborn

Edited by Lacernella Rubra

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It was a mental exercise he had been performing. One of the many meditative techniques he was attempting to put into practice and was deeply in his own little pool of calm and serenity. Until Shanna made very sure he could hear his name and his eyes snapped open. His heart jumping a bit. Half expecting bandits to be shooting at them from the accursed trees or some other foul creature charging at them. After quickly darting his eyes about to see no immediate danger his eyes moved to give a glare at Shanna for scaring the ever loving crap out of him before he noticed the large structure. A low whistle escaped him before she managed to haul him single armed out of the wagon. "Damn" he muttered under his breath as he marveled at her strength.

Whatever else he was about to say was lost as he looked up at the building that was to be their new tower. "Shaped a bit like a pancake.." The color could certainly use some work in his opinion. He followed Shanna in even as his brain was working full overtime as he hadn't imagined the towerish construction would be so large. "Hmm timetable is going to be way off." Muttering more to himself then his energetic companion as he doubted she could even hear anything over her own squealing. Still it forced him to chuckle as he looked about. Nudging a bit of refuse the toe of his shoe.

Watching her run corner to corner he chuckled and shook his head. "Shanna do be careful. Just because a place is abandoned does not mean it is empty. Do be careful." he blinked and growled a bit "Idiot, you made us say it twice." With a shake of his head he moved to open a door to the next room and had just managed to step inside somewhat when a loud *TWANG* could be heard. The runes on his cloak flared brightly as he got struck hard into his left shoulder. Jaro used the momentum of the hit to spin back around to the safe side of the doorway. "Shit." Cracked his now reverberating voice, his irises awash with a pale blue glow as his leather gloves burnt and flaked off under the intensity of the runes on his hand. His right hand slipped into a pouch to withdraw a sapphire that gleamed with a matching light until he threw it into the room where it exploded in a dazzling wash of energy. In it's place stood a sapphire colored humanoid statue which raised it's hands at the nearest would be attacked and impaled him with a sudden flurry of icicles.

"Looks like we are going to have to clear this place out." An odd grin plastering his face despite the growing crimson stain on his shirt. 

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“What timetable?” The flighty mage questions her companion, only paying enough attention to catch the tail end of his utterance. However, the thoughts that were remaining on such a thing were quickly forgotten in favor of her exploration. The sudden expletive from her partner, however, had Shanna up in arms.

“Jaro! Are you ok?!” She questions suddenly, her fists clenching at her sides in anger that someone would dare attack her friend! Shanna was fine with it, until the blossoming crimson spread across the cloak of his. It catches her gaze, causing it to widen before a feral sort of noise escapes her throat. Savage and intent, her magic lashes out across the room at those who dared do harm.

The first man is hit square in the chest, causing him to double over as her magic takes root. A cry of pain escapes his maw, the sound of crunching bones filling the room as the man’s form collapses upon itself. Shanna’s gaze is without remorse as the grotesque shifting of skin and cries of pain become more and more pitiful and rodent like, until before them lays an exhausted Snow Ermine. Brutus lashes forward, devouring it in a single, messy bite.

The woman’s attention then shifts towards the others, the raw power of her magic stretching outwards and tickling along spines. The pressure of it causes hair to stand on end as her hand raises, preparing yet another spell.

“I won’t tolerate trash. Leave now or suffer the same fate as your friend!”  Those behind them watch with horrified gaze as the woman makes her threat, they are certain they do not desire to anger her, and they stay far back, out of range of her magic. 

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Spoiler

The rolls for this magic were done by The Hound. I have screenshots if needed. 

 

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"I will live for the moment." Not exactly thrilled with the prospect of having to take out a crossbow bolt later. As her own magic took hold and the horrible sounds of bones twisting and wrenching in ways entirely unnatural he concentrated his own magic once again. His sapphire minion blasting out another hail of magical darts and cutting another one of the would be ambushes down. His preparations complete he leaned out into the threshold once again as another bolt zipped past his face. "Your far too kind Shanna." Despite the placid visage he was downright furious.

His hand extended and a finger pointed to a point to the far back of the large room and a surge of arcane washed over himself and Shanna before he ducked back to safety. After a heartbeats length of time passed before the area he had pointed to suddenly darkened and a dark green cloud exploded out to cut off any retreat. An orchestra of light hissing would follow in its inexorable push. One of the more perceptive members yelled in alarm as they realized the true nature of the fog. In the wake of its path the random assemblage of furniture and detritus of past and current occupants were melted away in the acid fog. Two of their ambushers were swallowed up by the deadly cloud before any began to rush out of their cover towards himself and Shanna. A third, in the process of vaulting over a upturned table, was caught as he landed hard on the floor and was too slow to recover. He screamed in agony as he discovered the sensation of being dissolved from toe to head until the cloud snuffed the man out completely. After a few more feet the green tide finally stopped and hung inside the room. The ceiling and floor remarkably unscathed by the destructive force. 

"That is my limit. The rest are up to you. Tristram should be proficient enough to tend my wound." As he rested his back against the safety of the stone wall the magical light faded from his eyes. Once the dim glow disappeared the puppets strings were cut and he slumped into the floor. The wall keeping him in an upright position so he didn't fall on the bolt at least. The sounds of screams and battle had brought the handful of guards from their mini-caravan running and their heavy steps could be heard getting closer. 

 

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Four, count them, four little bandits left for dead~.

As Jaro extends his magic in the form of a disinigrating rape cloud, the bandits screech and cry out. They are growing more desperate now. Frantic with panicked eyes as they desperately seek an out, only to find it blocked. Shanna’s hand extends once more, magic at her fingertips in a bright blue orb.

Her attention broken for the briefest of moments as Jaro falls to the ground in his weakened state. Fearing the worst, Shanna’s teeth bare in a vicious manner, pointed and sharp as her lips draw back too far.

“JARO!” She screamed then, calling for him desperately as the magic suddenly exploded, enveloping her form. Shanna was consumed by the blue flames that flicked along her skin, giving an ethereal look to her form as fangs protruded from her maw. A hiss escaped her as her now azure gaze flickered to the bandits. Brutus, at her side, was of the same. Their light together was nearly blinding, and the woman’s visage twisted into one of delight.

“It’s really a shame you hurt my friend.” Her voice, while usually shrill and annoying, was a low timbre as Shanna drew a hand up to her chin as she peered at the bandits. “Now then, what to do with this lot…” A clawed appendage tapped her chin.

“I know..” Her hand lashed out, with it, a tendril of magic followed. The first man split directly in half, separating and then falling to the ground in shock as he managed a moment of screaming before his body realized it wouldn’t survive. The others were turned towards as well, and Shanna twisted her hand, curling fingers inward. With this movement the next man began to fold into himself, until his intestines came outside of his body as he turned inside out. The others, too afraid to move, were watching with wide eyes. Shanna moved for them, a growl in her throat.

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“You hurt my friend.” Her hand sunk into the chest of one as she withdrew his heart, neverminding the well cauterized hole that it left. Crushing the organ in her hand, she grasped the next man by the hair, holding him as the flames devoured his flesh.

When there was nothing more than ash piles left around them, Shanna swayed with the magic as it pulled away, disappearing into the air as quickly as it had graced her pleading fingers. Woozy and lightheaded, Shanna turns her attention quickly to the man against the wall. She rushes forward, letting out a deep breath as the strain of her magic is visible on her visage. She looks, perhaps, more simple than before – more pathetic. She has dark circles under her eyes now, and she grasps gently at Jaro’s cloak.

“Please, please fix Jaro!” Her gaze turns towards Tristram as he approaches, pleading and hopeful her crimson gaze waters before him. “Please…I need him.” It is at this point, no one notices for now, but the excess of Shanna’s magic has manifested itself in the form of an extra appendage. Jaro would likely notice when he woke, that he now has an extra finger on both hands.

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Luckily Tristram was spared the sight that belonged only in stories told by grizzled war veterans and horror epochs. To his credit the man had his sword in hand as he dashed through the door. With an expert's eye for assessing danger he glanced around the room to ensure he wouldn't get attacked before tending to his new employer. "Stick together and go clear out the other rooms on this floor." Sheathing his sword as he spoke before motioning to one of the others "Stay and watch our back while I tend to him." Finally he regarded Shanna and nodded "He will be alright Lady Shanna. You will get your lord back before you know it." 

He knelt next to Jaro and carefully laid him down to the floor before probing his fingers around the bolt entrance. Satisfied at whatever he was checking for he wiped his hands on his shirt and pulled out some bandages to have them ready along with a sewing kit. After a moment to brace Jaro down he yanked out the bolt carefully and checked the wound once again before ripping open the man's shirt. Tristram paused a moment at the sight of runes that seemed to floated around on the man's chest like ships adrift in the ocean before setting himself to task again. He poured out a bit of something from a flask he had at his hip before stitching the man up. 

"There, all done Lady Shanna. Judging from his color he still has plenty of blood left in him so no worry of that." He took off his surcoat and used it to prop the man's head up a bit before looking to her. "You alright? Shall we grab some fresh clothes for Lord Jaro and a snack for the two of you? Or I could have the caravan cook prepare something if that is what you prefer?" Acting, for her benefit most likely, that this was all simply just another day on the job for him.

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Exhaustion tugs at Shanna’s consciousness, and Brutus growls with it as Tristram pulled the bolt from Jaro. A relieved look crosses Shanna’s face as she peers at him, trusting the man to restore her friend back to full health despite barely knowing him.

“Thank you.” She manages to whisper, unable to keep the heavy weight of her exhaustion from lacing her voice. Shaking now with the exertion that had taken a toll on her body, Shanna clutches her cloak around her, drawing it tight as her crimson gaze watches Jaro’s chest rise and fall for a long moment. She seems entranced by it – before Tristram’s question pulls her from her reverie.

“Mm…I’m ok.” It’s a lie, thick and bitter on her tongue, but Shanna knows she can’t sleep yet…she has to see that Jaro is taken care of first – it would do no good to leave the tower to the hands of strangers just yet.

“Brutus will need to eat. Let’s get some clothes for Jaro and I’ll help the others clear out the rest of the tower. Can we set up a bed or cot for him?” The lines etched into her visage look much older than Shanna is, the woman barely nearing her thirties…which for the mages – she was still muchly a baby, and yet more than old enough to have a firm grasp of her magic.

Had she been more careful, Jaro would not have been harmed. Guilt ate at the edges of her mind, creasing the lines between her brows even further. Helping to gently raise Jaro, Shanna neverminds the ache of her muscles and the protesting of her joints as he is carried to a cot, left just inside the inner door with a guard. The man doesn’t need to be told that if he fails in protecting her friend, Shanna will rip his heart out – a simple look is all that is needed to pass between them.

“Brutus, stay here.” The woman commands, the wolf having no issue following the command as he drapes himself over Jaro’s legs in a protective manner. While the wolf-hound may not have much love for the man, he is certain it would devastate his witch should anything happen to him.

Shanna reluctantly leaves his side, traipsing through hall and floor alike as she follows after the other guards.

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Edited by Lacernella Rubra

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Tristram could tell the bold face lie for what it was. One did not last long as a mercenary of any kid without being able to read people to some degree. "I meant physically." Mustering as much sympathy as his grizzled veteran status could allow into a soft voice meant just for her. "Good idea." So they went and retrieved the things and he set the caravan to setting up some tents and the cook to make meals for when everyone was done. He certainly didn't envy the man who was set to the task of guarding Jaro after the look he recieved and followed along with the woman.

Once they are away from prying ears he took a different flask and offered it to her. "Old soldiers recipe. Nothing illegal but it will give you some energy for a bit till you crash hard anyways. Can tell your pushing yourself. If you don't trust me Jaro has offered the job of steward for your trouble filled tower to yours truly. I do not see him as a man to make that sort of decision lightly." Just as he saw that his new lord had a grand capacity for both generosity and destruction in equal measure. The rest of him was hard to place. 

--

After they had concluded their exchange and caught up with he guards one of them approached quickly. "My Lady, Sir, we have dispatched a few more occupants after they wouldn't surrender. We have run into a situation." He was one of the younger guards and that wasn't saying much. The lot of them were all pushing at or over their third decade, but one could tell he was unnerved. "They have hostages. All women. They.." He glanced to Shanna and swallowed hard. "They don't look like they have had an easy time." We are pretty sure the last of them are holed up in there about three or four not including the leader. The rest of the hostiles might even have surrendered, but seems the boss is in there with them keeping them in line. Probably knows a hanging waits for him if he doesn't." Gregory's teeth grit hard for a moment until Tristram clasped him on the shoulder. "You did good. Take us there." 

Nodding the man complied and started leading them while Tristram looked to Shanna. "Your going to have to decide how you want this handled. Personally I am for not letting the man walk away alive." 

---

Two of the guards waited on either side of a door that most likely lead to some large kitchen area and larder looking relieved at their companion's return along with reinforcements. "Orders?"

The boss of whatever self proclaimed bandit group was inside with a knife to a woman's throat yelling through the door. The remaining men having their own hostages and doing the same. "You'll never take us without the women dying! Just let us leave and we will set the women free!" 

Edited by Frostborn

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Shanna’s trust is easily won, hardly a challenge. It is doubly easy for the man who has plied himself as a helper, and seen to the well-being of her friend. His actions have given her a sense of peace before the storm, and the flask is brought to her lips as she lets the liquid within warm her throughout. It fortifies her presence and her determination to ensure that no one else is hurt on this errand.

While guilt plagues her mind, burdening her with it’s ever whispering insecurities, Shanna contemplates the cot that holds Jaro for a long moment until they are disturbed by yet another guard. As the situation is explained, Shanna’s face contorts into one of a calm rage. She will never understand the lesser morals of people, nor will she understand why they choose to inflict harm on others when there’s no need. Her figure falls into step with Tristrams as she moves forward – nose wrinkling with each step as a subtle hissing starts to come from her form.

The bandit’s exclamation is the last straw, and Shanna’s form explodes into a flurry of snakes and anger. Her lips draw back to reveal the fangs once more, though she is surrounded by snakes at this point, even her hair has become them. One large snake curls about her shoulders and stares at the guards with amusement.

“Stay there. Do nothing.” Shanna commands as five smaller snakes break away from her form and slither under the door. Their coloration blends into the brick as Shanna’s eyes become luminescent, bright as she uses the snakes own vision rather than her own. As the creatures slither beneath the door she guides them – moving around the skirts of the terrified women to each of the men.

Snakes are silent unless they want to be heard, and Shanna is grateful for this as the men’s attention is more than likely on the door, and not the floor where the snakes gather.

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And how will you escape?” She asks the men through the door. “Where would you hope to run? If we were to let you go, what promises would you make that you would not return?”

She hopes to keep them distracted while her snakes climb their boots. Once near the thigh, the snakes would all strike at once. Anyone who has ever been bitten by an animal with fangs knows how much it hurts, especially when it is in sensitive skin that is not a usual victim of pain. Pain tends to do one of many things, it causes involuntary reactions among many, whether that be to move their body to rid if of the offending object, or simply to try to flee.

Shanna waits as the men screech and pull back from the women, allowing them to flee into a corner of the room. With this, Shanna pushes on the door and swings it open, her imposing form entering the room as her gaze narrows.

“No. I cannot forgive your trespasses or your sins. You, who would prey on those who are weaker or in search of your aid. You, who don’t value life or care for anything but yourselves.” Her teeth bare as Shanna stares down the men now, who look properly frightened at her gorgon like form.

“Vanish.” The growl escapes her throat as the men gasp, the venom having worked through their bodies and into their hearts, each one of them dropping slowly to the ground as their body tried desperately to fight it off. Foaming at the mouth and spasming like a seizure was being had, the leader gurgled desperately as Shanna merely watched, waiting for them to finally still. After a few moments of violent thrashing and horrific gurgling – the room became still. The snakes vanished from Shanna’s form and she swayed a bit with exhaustion at the transformation. Already low on energy, it had sapped the last of it.

The women in the corner huddled, fear lacing their gaze as they watch the woman mage with apprehension and awe.

“Don’t worry, you’re safe now. I’ll keep you all saf…e…” Shanna murmurs as she sways, before her form suddenly tilts, the room going sideways. Her eyes are closed by the time she hits the floor, unable to keep upright with the amount of magic that has left her body today.

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Once the commotion had all finally settled down Tristram peeked his head in carefully. His eyebrows rose on his otherwise stoic features and let out a soft thinking sound that escaped into a light sigh. He stepped in slowly and kneeled down near Shanna and checked her pulse and relaxed noticeably upon discovering her in good condition. His immediate concerns sated he looked about. As his gaze fell on the frightened and battered women he attempted to ease his face in to one more friendly as he had briefly for Shanna. "Ladies.." Stopping briefly as he spotted a particularly effeminate young man with them and continued as if none the wiser despite the chill down his spine. "For your safety I will be leaving a guard here with you while the rest of us make sure this place is cleaned of this filth. I want to point out you are by no means our prisoners and will be free to go if you choose as soon as we deem it safe to do so." He have his closest approximation to a formal bow that he'd never had to use and moved back to the guards waiting outside. Tristram singled out a man. "Go grab what women were with in our caravan and have them tend to the women inside. Try to ease the shock a bit. Have the rest that are not currently busy prepare a room for our masters. The rest of you clear out the room of the bodies so they don't have to look at them before finishing up the sweep. I will be seeing to Shanna and Jaro." Offering them all a chagrin smirk before going to keep watch over Shanna while his orders were carried out.

Even as he projected a clam appearance he was thinking of all the things that needed to be done before nightfall. Ensure supper was organized, shelter for everyone, cleaning rooms, tending to the injured, tending to their sudden 'guests'. The list went on and he found a smile crept on his face. All without a single coin to show for it! His new master should have been a merchant with how he sold him the position. His reverie was broken as the guard finally returned telling him all had been prepared. Now he had to just convince a wolf creature to let him move Jaro. He would just have to convince the wolf it would be easier for him to watch over the both of them if they were together. What a day, he thought to himself before setting himself to the tasks of the evening.

---Elsewhere...---

Well this is different. Yes it is. Jez is that you? Who else could it be? Hells if I know, I am not even entirely sure what this is or what is going on. Not dead at least. No, definitely not that, some sort of magical backlash perhaps, or feedback from using so much magic at once, we I have never done anything like that before. Yeh sure what you said, seems like we need some practice. Yes we sort of went from nothing to full on slinging death around didn't we? Feels so weird to use *WE* and have it be comfortable. Yeah sorry, think I should put it in the disclaimer for the next one? Next one? Well now that i know it works you can't be the only one. Hmm, I suppose. Strange I know how you feel about it, but we both know for numerous reasons why it shouldn't and can't be just us. Yeh, we are still our own persons yeh? Good question?, well i still am rather not fond of the outdoors, you? What your still getting all city boy about some dirt and sap and leaves and whatever else you spent the whole trip harping to me about?, oh when you weren't feeling sorry over yourself about Shanna? ...Answers that question rather suitably, leaves the important one of what the hells is going on. Should we try, I dunno,  feeling around a bit? Normally I would chastise you for such a simple way of putting it, but as I lack any better ideas... *Well there we are.. hungry and hurting. Both sensations we are not unfamiliar with at least. Face feels warm, sunlight perhaps. Let us work on getting our eyes open next.*
 
---

At first he squinted hard at the bright rays of sun shone through the freshly washed windows. ~Damn, morning already?~ Noticing how everything seemed blurry his hand reached up to clear away the crust that had formed on his eyes. With clear vision he finally had a chance to look around and carefully as to not irritate his wound. His comfort let him know they probably had made up a bed with one of the ones he had brought along on the trip. The room was large and recently cleaned, if a bit musty, complete with a breakfasting area. It looked liked a rather fitting for a lord. As he turned his gaze he finally noticed a large creature at the foot of his bed. Jaro noted it as odd that Brutus would be here with him. At least until he looked next to him and saw Shanna's sleeping form. The red flushed into his cheeks and he could hear the hearty laughter of a suddenly very annoying voice in the back of his head. ~You reap what you sow.~ Then kept on laughing. Jaro took a deep slow breath to calm himself and noted he would not be able to get out of bed without help. If it had to be between Shanna or Brutus it was an easy pick.

"Shanna. Shanna wake up." his voice a whisper for some incalcuable reason. Be it from embarassment or the odd reverie of the moment. Maybe just plain old fear of Brutus' reaction at the situation. Hopefully the hellwolf would allow him a final meal before he killed him at least. He was so hungry. Jaro reached over with his right hand and shook Shanna's shoulder gently.    
 

Edited by Frostborn

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Tristram would likely find his work cut out for him. The women that Shanna had rescued ended up being maids of sorts, and in thanks to their rescuer, decided to stay on and assist with the clean up. They were more than happy enough to help toss the bodies of their abusers into a pile outside of the tower, where they were properly disposed of.

As for moving Brutus, he would find the wolf responded well to reason, though he didn’t let Jaro out of his sight. When he found them both on the same bed, he snorted and rolled his eyes. Humans truly were stupid, sometimes. Despite that, however, he watched over both of them as they slept.

When the morning came and Jaro was the first to wake, Brutus was amused that he attempted to rouse Shanna, who had plastered herself to his side. It seemed, Shanna was quite the snuggler, and while the wolf knew this, Jaro likely had not. One leg of Shanna’s was draped over the man, and she had pulled him to her like a giant teddy bear, snoring ever so softly as she latched to his midsection. The mage was mindful of his injury, however, having taken careful precautions to miss touching it even in her sleep.

At his words, however, Brutus peeked open an eye and stared at Jaro in a manner that clearly said, ‘You’re not sneaky.’

With that being done, however, the wolf turned and hopped from the bed as he stretched, padding across the room to scratch at the door, before sitting and waiting patiently.

Jaro might notice a large chest at the foot of the bed, similar to Shanna’s bag. Inside of it were all manner of things, but for now it was tightly closed and bound. Brutus stuck his tongue out as he waited for a moment, and Shanna whined in response to being shook.

“Nojustfivemoreminutes.” She murmured at Jaro as she seemed to squeeze him a bit harder – and perhaps he should be concerned for his ribs at this point. One of the women from earlier gently pried open the door, peeking in. When she spotted Jaro awake, as Brutus slipped past her to relieve himself outside, she shuffled in and gently straightened her skirts.

“Uhm…Excuse me, Lord Jaro…what would you like for breakfast?” She asks a bit nervously, her hazel eyes perhaps a bit too large for her face. Once she is given an answer, she heads back down towards the kitchens, closing the door behind her. It is the sound of the door closing that causes Shanna to bolt upright in bed, her hair falling over her face as she sits straight up.

“I’m awake!” She cries suddenly, flailing a hand towards the door before frowning as her sleep addled mind realizes there is no one there. With a frown, she looks around, surprised to see Jaro.

“Oh. Hi.” She offers, seemingly unconcerned about the fact that they were sharing a bed. She rolls, moving to stand up as she stretches languidly, hair a mess. “How are you feeling? How’s your shoulder?” She presses her questions as she watches him, seeming awake in mere moments. As she waits for him to respond, she looks about the room in curiosity, finding it spacious and comfortable. Was this the only room? Surely not. Shanna grins a bit as she spots her chest, squealing as she rushes to it. Prying the lid open, she pulls out all manner of things, random scepters, small bobbles, crystal balls, and outfits. Goodlord all the outfits. Finally she pulls out a small bottle of sorts.

“Here it is! This’ll make you right as rain!” She chirps, bouncing back over to Jaro as she flops on the bed, offering the clear liquid to him.

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Jaro blatantly ignored the look from Brutus. How was it his fault that people made the assumption he lead them to? If it wasn't for his ribs he would be quite pleased with himself. Besides it is not like he put himself in the same bed as her. They were both carried. So yet another guilt free morning filled with the very unusual, but not unpleasant, sensation of waking up with someone attached to him. Then someone he had no idea came in. ~How long were we out?~

Gods and hells and damnation. Now someone had the gall to ask him questions within minutes of awaking? "MMmmm breakfasty stuff. Bacon, eggs, pancakes and the like." He let out a relieved breath as the woman left. That is of course until Shanna gave him a heart attack. "Hells Shanna.." he supposed he was awake now too whether he liked it or not and at her mercy since he couldn't throw himself out the window quite yet. "Sore, bemused, intrigued, tired, cranky and pleased. And old. And not in that paticular order." Well she asked and he gave it straight. At the sudden squeal of excitement his eyes went crosseyed and grabbed a pillow to shove over his head, contemplating seriously about smothering himself and deciding it probably wouldn't work. His face emerged from hiding and he grabbed her hand to pull himself up into sitting position with a grunt and a wince. 

"Oh? And is this for the shoulder." Then he held up a hand to her face. "Or the extra fingers?" Regardless he plucked the vial out of her fingers and downed it. "Gak. Tastes vile. I should learn healing magic if I am going to be dashing into unexplored ruins." True he had just called their new home a ruin, but he was a dour sort in the morning. Then his face softened a bit "You ok? How did we end up here?" he reached a hand up to rub at a temple irritated at how slow he was in the morning. This must be how normal people felt all the time. No wonder they were terrible all the time.

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Shanna manages to gain a properly sheepish look when his hand – six fingers included – was held up in front of her.

“In my defense, it was an accident.” The woman grumbles, a pout caressing her features. “And then after that, there were some more bad guys! But I took care of them, and then. …I don’t remember. I made Brutus stay with you, so…maybe he knows. But he just left, so maybe he doesn’t.” Her shoulders shrug as her gaze peers at him as he downs the liquid that was slimy and thick. Bitter as any pill as it slithered into his stomach and settled for a moment before the bolt hole in his shoulder would close rapidly.

“THERE! ALL BETTER!” Shanna exclaims as her hands throw themselves into the air in delight. She grins at him, unable to help herself, wide and toothy as her delight is made known.

“Uhm…About your fingers…though….I don’t know how to fix that. I might have something in my chest, though.” She points at the end of the bed where the large trunk lay.

“So anyway, I assume Tristram brought us up here?” Shanna offers as she bounces to the end of the bed to resume digging through the trunk. After a moment, a full dresser comes out of it, and flops onto the ground.

“Where is that…Ahah!” The jangling of glass jars is heard as Shanna pulls out an entire rack of capped vials, each one containing a dubious liquid of varying color within.

“One of these…should take care of the fingers…I just…don’t remember which.”

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HIs rather peturbed and grumpy expression softened as she looked suitably sheepish. Then despite his combined annoyance at his new digit and the god awful chipperness of his surroundings his features softened a bit. The fact that despite the horrid taste in his mouth his shoulder felt better and an innumerable amount of ache and creaks in his bones and joints evaporated as well. As he listened to her he sighed a bit, both at his felt artificial age and what he had left her to take care of without him. "Sorry I was not there to help." Her giant smile keeping him from going full sourpuss, even if it was still too hells be damned early for all this commotion. She watched her bound over to her chest and he finally got up out of the bed and stretched. His eyes rose a bit as he finally realized he was in someone else nightclothes. A moment of panic gripped his heart and his eyes snapped around to look for his cloak. Seeing it folded nicely atop one of the leftover pieces of furniture caused him to let out a deflated sigh.

As she searched through the suddenly appearing moire he gave a nod and followed it up. "Most likely. He is our new Steward afterall. More curious however is the maidesque woman I saw. What is the story with that? I am certain I didn't hire any this early." A soft thoughtful sound thrummed from him softly before she regrabbed his attention. He looked from the rack of vials then to her and repeated the action several times before opening his mouth... closing it then finally speaking. "Shanna... I believe it would be best if we waited on the fingers. You should really label your potions, before attempting to hand them out. What if one of those is poison?" He mimicked her gasp he had heard on several occasions. "You weren't trying to poison me were you?!" Of course he was teasing her to his fullest ability. A sudden realization dawned on him then. Well two. First he looked her over and blushed a bit before clearing his throat. "Perhaps we should get dressed for breakfast. Then we can discuss our plans for this place and I can tell you about Jezehr."       
 

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“Oh, that looked like one of the women that I rescued from the bandits after you took a nap.” Shanna offers nonchalantly as she sets the vials down on the floor to the side, hoping that they do not get knocked over as she rummages a bit more. She gasps suddenly, pulling out a new dress and a slightly fancier robe. She wiggles it, looking pleased.

Shanna pauses at his accusation, though she recognizes that it is playful in nature, she finds herself frowning. The crease between her brows deepening as the woman considers for a moment, before turning her all too large gaze on the unsuspecting man.

“Do you think I’d really do that, Jaro?” Her voice wobbles, unable to contain the momentary hurt that he would think her capable of harming him. “Mm…I suppose that’s fair, though. I should have labeled them.” She concedes after a moment before slumping visibly, shoulders hunching as a pout graces her features. Demurely, the woman stands and moves to a screen that had been put up the night prior and changes into the other robe, pulling it over her visage. She sinches the waist then with a belt of gold as she snaps her fingers, peeking out around the screen.

“Ah, that reminds me, I wanted to know if you could make the bag connected to this place so we could just send stuff back as we find it.” Shanna grins, wide and bright as she stretches languidly as she slips her slippers on her feet.

“Mmmm, Jaro do you have other clothes? I think they took yours to mend them because they were ripped.” For now his comment regarding an unknown name is ignored.

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