Interactive Story: White Night



  • Ria

    The pleading look on the prince’s eyes paid no persuasion to Ria’s decision, but the concern she held for the people, and that of her distant cousin. If the Ghiscari Empire mean to cut us from the inside, then the Kingdom of Hyrkoon will surely act on our weakness, Ria thought with worry, she had paid much attention to the concerns of the court. The matters of the empire were not her concern, but if she could save its people by foiling this eunuch’s attempts to undermine the Amethyst Princess, perhaps it was worth the risk of trusting a stranger.

    “Tell me more,” Ria pressed, making Jalhar’s eyes beam in excitement. “You’ll agree to help us?” he exclaimed with an ecstatic tone, to which Ria reluctantly nodded after another moment of thought. If there really is something wrong, it’s my duty to act on it, she reminded herself, taking in a deep breath. A wide thankful grin spread across Jalhar’s face, but he tried his best to keep himself contained. “Brilliant,” he simply chirped, to which Ria impatiently beckoned for him to continue.

    “You must understand, I’m not the one pulling the strings here, I’m merely a messenger in this instance,” Jalhar explained, making Ria scowl at him from behind his mask. “A messenger?” she seethed in frustration, feeling her time was increasingly being wasted. She stood up irritably, ready to leave this nonsense behind, but Jalhar’s large bodyguard took a step in front of her, blocking her path. Ria sized him up before turning her glare to Jalhar.

    “Do I need to put down your dog? Or are you going to let me go peacefully?” Ria warned, and she could feel Galor the Giant tensing up before her. Jalhar frowned, also rising from his stool. “I understand you’re disappointed, but I promise you will get answers. The man you want to see is Lord Merid,” he explained, to which Ria pressed on. “Who is Lord Merid?” she spat, staring daggers in his direction. Jalhar gulped.

    “Well, that’s not his real name, of course, but I’m sure you understand the necessity for dual personas,” Jalhar stated, but Ria’s glares made him hesitate from dragging, “Lord Merid is the leader of the Lost Merids, they are a spy network operating across Eastern Essos. He will clarify any queries you have,” Jalhar assured him, but that was not enough for her. “Where do I find him?” she hissed, making Jalhar frown. “If I knew, I’d tell you,” he claimed genuinely, “his people will find you, they know everything that happens in and out of Tiqui. They’re how I managed to find you so soon,” he admitted, which made the hairs of the back of her neck stand. She was being watched.

    Jalhar placed a hand on his guard’s shoulder, ordering him to stand down. Still tense, Ria slipped past the giant and into the alleyway where Jalhar’s guards made way for her. Before she reached the end of the alley she heard the beckoning of Jalhar’s voice again. “Remember, Pale Lotus, we all serve the Empress,” he stated in a tone which made a chill run down her spine. Ria remained halted for a moment, studying the placid look on Jalhar’s face before taking her leave. She fled with haste down the alleys, and in difference, she took her route home by the rooftops.


    The Pale Lotus had taken a longer route back to her home, taking extra care to cover her tracks and remain concealed to the shadows. The mention of this Lord Merid had left her in a state of paranoia. A mere prince could bait me so easily, she thought with concern, feeling stupid for chasing after the huntress when she did. She hoped that the girls she left were okay, she knew now that she should have stayed to help them.

    Knelt down in the corridor that separated Lord Shu’s estate from Lord Keshero’s manor, Ria observed her own home before approaching it. There was still one light glowing from the downstairs living room, making Ria gulp. It was nearly dawn, who could still be awake? She didn’t want to know.

    With haste she darted to the side of her manor, taking hold of the iron gutter and climbing to the second floor where she would leap to her window sill adjacent to her. The window was left open ajar, just as she had left it. She squeezed her fingers through the gap and released the latch, pushing the glass doors open. With ease she thrust herself through the opening, then turning back to lock the window behind her.

    Safe, she let out a sigh of relief and leant her body against the wall, allowing her eyes to adjust to the darkness of her room. It was shortly lasted however, has her heart clenched in shock as a match was struck, and a lantern igniting to set an orange glow, revealing her. Ria instinctively unsheathed her blade, merely stopping herself as she recognised her room invader to be Old Mei. She let out a sigh of relief, lowering her sword.

    “Old Mei,” she puffed, lowering her hood and removing her mask. “What are you doing in my room?” she asked, and the old crone stared at her with hard eyes, and a look of annoyance on her face. “You were meant to be home an hour ago,” she hissed, clutching the encrypted note that Ria had left for her before she left. Ria sighed, loosening her robes and stripping down.

    “I know, I’m sorry. Something came up,” Ria briefly explained, but it was clear Old Mei was not complacent with this excuse. “Something came up?” she snapped, throwing the scrunched piece of paper at Ria’s nude body. She struggled to rise from Ria’s bed, but when she did Ria received numerous slaps on her shoulders and near her head. “Do you know how worried you leave me when you don’t come home on time? Keep this up and I will tell your father!” she assured her, waving her finger in Ria’s face with the same threat she had used for the last year.

    Ria sighed, kneeling under her bed to remove one of the floorboards where she could conceal her equipment. As she rose, Old Mei dressed her in a silk night gown, tightening it around her waist with an emerald dyed sash. “Your father is still awake,” Old Mei informed her, making Ria’s eyes widen. “For what purpose?” she asked with concern, making Old Mei roll her eyes.

    “He came to speak to you about that boy who was here earlier, Fhang Ji, but you weren’t here. I told him you had snuck out to go meet him,” Old Mei stated, making Ria let out a sigh in relief. “Oh thank you, Mei,” Ria praised, kissing the old woman on the cheek. Old Mei just waved her hand, “Don’t mention it,” she mumbled, “but you should go put him out of his misery. He hasn’t moved from his chair for hours,” she stated, to which Ria immediately nodded.

    “I will, thank you,” Ria smiled, running for the door, to which Old Mei scowled. “And stop running stupid girl, you’ll twist an ankle!” she snapped, to which Ria concealed a warm laugh as she fled from her room. She tip-toed down the hall and quietly descended down the stairs to the living room. The dim candle had nearly burnt out, the melted wax having set on the oak table. There she spotted her father, his hair let down and his hands grasping the arms of his chair as he stared at the flame. Dark bags resided under his eyes, and he lifted his gaze once he noticed her, holding a spiteful look on his eyes.

    “Where have you been?” he grumbled, but he remained seated, forcing Ria to approach him. Her eyes were apologetic, she had no idea he had been up all this time. “I-” she started, but he only raised his hand. “Don’t give me the Fhang Ji lie, I already contacted Lord Ji and he informed me that his son was alone in his quarters. So, where have you been?” Shen repeated, making Ria gulp as she tried to think up another lie, but her mind was useless with the lack of sleep. She tried to maintain her balance, but either his piercing gaze or her extreme tiredness brought her unstuck. She tumbled into the wall, almost losing her footing.

    Shen rose from his chair, approaching his daughter and taking her arm to stabilise her. He lifted her gaze to his, studying her eyes. “Are you drunk?” he asked, almost disgusted with the idea with it. At a loss for ideas, Ria chose the lesser of the two evils and nodded. “I’m sorry father, the girls invited me out to some party, we had some to drink,” she lied, but it was better for him to hear than what she had truly been doing. Shen scowled at her, but guided her to the couch and set her down.

    He took his place in his chair, burying his head in his hands. It pained her to see how worried and broken he was, he truly didn’t deserve it, and she hated having to lie to him. It’s better this way, she told herself, but she wondered to what cost. Despite all this, a small smile touch his lips as he stared back to the candle flame. “You must think I’m the blandest man in the world,” he sighed, to which Ria immediately shook her head in disagreement. “No, of course not, father!” she exclaimed, but Shen ignored her attempts.

    “I used to be as outgoing as you, back when I was young. I’d go out and drink with the men after a battle, or just to spend a night not debating with the other lords and nobles. I never met another woman so lively and outgoing like I was until I met Lian,” Shen remarked, a sentimental smile forming on his lips. “It was a political marriage, organised by my father and her’s, and perhaps it was the only wise decision my father ever made. It was certainly the best for me. She and I used to go out as the sun was setting to the west, and come home as it arose again in the east.”

    “I was so in love with that woman, and you are the product of that love,” Shen stated, to which Ria smiled sympathetically, “I know, father,” she assured him. “I can respect your decisions to have fun, and the gods know you’re more than prepared for any boy that would try to do you wrong,” Shen acknowledged, but there was sadness in his voice. “Yet I want you to experience all these treasures of life with the love of your life,” he explained, making Ria frown, she should’ve seen this talk coming.

    “I know you’ve yet to find that person, but there are more than plenty eligible suitors which have approached both I and you, and I’ve given you free reign over this, but you’ve made little effort to try. Ria, I want you to start coming to more functions with me, meet more people and try to find a man you could love. Could you do that for me?” Shen pleaded, making Ria frown even more as she sighed. She did not want to argue with her father over this, especially not now when both of them were so exhausted, but making such a promise, could she even keep it?

    She had gotten herself entangled in something much bigger than she knew now, with this discussion earlier in the alley, and this talk of an omniscient spy lord. There was too much for Ria to just hang up the cape now and look for a husband, but she couldn’t continue defying her father’s wishes, and if she continued to postpone this, she would run the risk of him choosing for her, or worse, him discovering her secret.

    [Promise him] [Don’t promise him]

  • [Promise him] Going with him more often will leave her with less time as the Pale Lotus, but is better that she convinces him before going to the Lost Merids.

  • [Don't promise him]

    Nitric posted: »

    Ria The pleading look on the prince’s eyes paid no persuasion to Ria’s decision, but the concern she held for the people, and that of her

  • [Promise him]
    Come on Ria,Dont make your Father mad

    Nitric posted: »

    Ria The pleading look on the prince’s eyes paid no persuasion to Ria’s decision, but the concern she held for the people, and that of her

  • Ah, I really love this storyline that is developing here :) Now, I have absolutely no idea what to make of Jalhar. He is, at best, a very shady ally and I could absolutely see him trying to manipulate her into doing some bad stuff in order to weaken the empress' position and then have an easy target to blame in the form of a vigilante. However, I just as well could be wrong and he is really just a bit shady, but ultimately well-meaning. He seems to be respectful enough, but one can be respectful and still an antagonist. I like Old Mei though. If Ria is Batman, she's her Alfred and they are working really well together. I don't know if she knows everything about her nightly activities, but she seems to know enough. Ah, I could praise this storyline for days, I just love it so much =)

    [Promise him]

    Well, the way I see it, Shen could be one of the few people who can actually cause trouble for her outside of the whole Pale Lotus business. As her father, he undeniably has a degree of control over her and I think it is best not to ignore that. His wish is fairly straightforward and simple. She can give it a try, sure, if something develops there that won't be too bad either. Of course, this will take some time away from the Pale Lotus and her actions, but she needs to make sure that it remains the only true hardship she has to overcome, she cannot afford having her father growing suspicious and further harming her efforts.

    Nitric posted: »

    Ria The pleading look on the prince’s eyes paid no persuasion to Ria’s decision, but the concern she held for the people, and that of her

  • The Voting is Closed! Ria will choose to promise him, a choice which will no doubt appease the wishes of her sickly worried father, but how will this affect her life as the Pale Lotus? We shall find out ;)

    The next part is ready, and it is a Kaliza part, as promised. Also for those following the Invasion, the next part for there should be out in the next couple of days :) Here's a recap on Kali's adventure: Sailing for weeks on end to arrive at a new home; Tiqui, Kaliza was locked away in a storage box for her own safety, however such protection was compromised by the sickly abusive crew that took advantage of her. This abuse was tolerated only for so long until Kali took action, causing a gruesome end for her abuser, and resulting in the coincidental freedom of her as the ship arrived at Tiqui. Reunited with her brother, Driznor, and introduced to her smuggler, the captain of their ship: Kreqnir Ahzi, they docked and took a moment to unwind. Driznor chose to unload some stress at the brothel, while Kali was faced with a decision of either going to a nearby tavern or remaining in the markets. You chose for her to remain in the markets, and this part picks up where the last left.

    Nitric posted: »

    Ria The pleading look on the prince’s eyes paid no persuasion to Ria’s decision, but the concern she held for the people, and that of her

  • Kaliza

    She took a second glance towards the saloon before sighing and shaking her head. No, that wouldn’t be wise right now, she decided with some thought, although she admittedly did not feel persuaded by her judgement. Regardless, she decided not to dwell on the thought, and instead took to occupying herself with the merchandise at the stalls.

    Naturally, Kali’s feet roamed around the markets with a slow rhythm, her eyes scanning over the produce until they caught something of interest, and her pace came to a halt. She stopped before a foreign woman with a dark skin tone, standing behind her stall which displayed a wide variety of colourful stones. “Here to buy?” she asked, her accent thick and unknown to Kali. Her hands gently lifted one of the stones from their display, and her eyes were lost in the almost fiery translucence of the gem.

    “What are these?” Kali questioned in awe, to which the lady grinned, revealing her black stained teeth. “Blood of the Fire Mountains,” she quipped in explanation, her fumbling hands securing around another stone, this one a deep transparent purple. “And this,” she added, opening Kali’s other hand and placing it in her palm, “this is the Eye of Ulthos,” the woman stated with a chipper tone, making Kali furrow her eyebrows.

    “Ulthos?” she queried, to which the merchant’s grin widened in glee. “My home,” the woman explained, placing her hand over her chest. “You have, special price for you,” the merchant bargained, and Kali was truly lost in the gaze of this purple stone, staring into it for what felt like hours, but must have only been seconds. She shook her head and placed the stones back on the bench. “No, thank you,” Kali smiled awkwardly, feeling oddly entranced by what she had seen.

    A saddened look fell upon the merchant’s gaze, and as Kali took a better look at her, it was clear the woman did not fend well. Her long black hair was filthy with grim and body oil, and had clotted and split at the ends. A dark powder coated her face, and found its way onto her fingertips and underneath her nails, and her grey gown was tattered and stained. Kali sighed, a frown coating her face as she picked up the purple gem again. “How much?” she asked, and the dark eyes of the merchant gleamed in excitement.

    “For you, two for price of one,” she offered, placing the fire stone in Kali’s hand as well, only making Kali sigh again. “How much?” Kali repeated, her tone firmer with a hint of irritation underlying in her voice. The woman laughed awkwardly, closing Kali’s hands around the stones. “Sister Stones, four gold pieces, as price for one,” the woman grinned pleadingly, but Kali only shook her head.

    “Too much,” Kali stated, placing the stones down and turning away, but the merchant was persistent. Grabbing at Kali’s arm, the Ghiscari runaway instinctively reached for her sheathed dagger. “Three gold pieces,” the merchant bargained, a sorrowful look on her dark eyes. Kali gulped, letting go of the dagger as she regained her composure. “Okay,” she submitted, and the merchant adopted an ecstatic look in her eyes.

    Taking the gold from Kali’s hands as soon as she freed it from her purse, the woman placed the stones into a leather bag and gently handed them to her customer. “May they bring you good fortune,” she wished with a warm smile, to which Kali raised an eyebrow but did not say anything more, instead turning to go and peruse more of the market.

    Once she was out of sight from the Ulthosi merchant stall, Kali sighed and freed the leather bag from her pocket and peering inside. What a waste, she thought with hindsight, thinking of how that gold could have gone to something more useful than some pointless soul gems. It was too late to do anything about it now though, and while it was trivial, Kali took some comfort in how they managed to steal her attention, even if only for a moment.

    Her glance briefly lifted when she spotted two figures approaching her, and naturally her hand reached back for her dagger. Her eyes quickly studied the two, and it was certain walking in her direction, although for what purpose she did not know. The older of the two was armoured to the teeth in iron, an arakh swinging from his hip. His hair was cut short and was blonde in colour, while his eyes were an emerald green, yet there was little doubt that this man was YiTish from his complexion. The same could be noticed by his companion, who was significantly younger and much worse for wears in his attire.

    “Excuse me, ma’am, but could I borrow a moment of your time?” the older of the two asked with a polite tone, but Kali didn’t allow herself to be swayed by pretty words; she kept a firm grip on her sheathed dagger “What do you want?” she snarled, causing the younger of the two to gulp awkwardly as he looked to his older companion for guidance. The armoured YiTish shed her a small courteous smile, dropping his hands by his side and taking a bow.

    “My name is Sianq, although many call me Sianq the Knight, for reasons I’m sure are clear,” he quipped, but Kali maintained a cold glare in his direction, causing the man to sigh awkwardly. “This here is my squire, Hionor,” Sianq added, patting the boy on the head. “We’re new to Tiqui, and were hoping you could point us in the direction of the main district,” Sianq explained, to which Kali sighed and shook her head. “I can’t help you,” Kali answered shortly, and as she noticed the boy eying her bag of stones and quickly secured them to her belt.

    Sianq raised an eyebrow. “You are Ghiscari?” he asked, to which Kali felt a cold sweat run over her. “What’s it to you?” Kali mumbled, instinctively lowering her glance and trying to shield her face in the shadows. The ‘knight’ only lifted his hands in calm gesture. “It’s of no consequence, I was only-” he began, but was quickly cut off by the summoning voice of Kreqnir Ahzi, who took by surprise.

    “Arkara, there you are!” he exclaimed, making Kali furrow her eyebrows before she quickly realised what he was doing. “I’ve been looking for you all over, we have a ship to catch” he scolded, pulling her behind him before flashing the YiTish a short smile. “Forgive my daughter, she is quite the inquisitive one. Good day,” he bid them, securing a hand around Kali’s waist and guiding her away.

    “Ser?” Sianq called, making Kreqnir scowl as he came to a halt. “We’re only looking to get to the main district, could you point us in the right direction?” the knight pleaded, to which Kreqnir forced a smile. “Of course,” he muttered, and explained the directions briefly before leading Kali away and back to the docks. “I told you two to stay put,” he scolded, pushing her into Driznor. “Do neither of you understand what’s best for you?” he spat, to which Driz scowled at him.

    “I know that the death of our enemies is what is best for the House of Rakhan,” Driz sassed in return, making Kreqnir tighten his fists. “Mind your tongue, boy. You may be the new head of your dead house, but that does not give you a right to backchat me,” Kreqnir warned, to which Driz only turned his gaze away. The captain sighed, rubbing his forehead and scratching his curly black beard. “Come with me,” he muttered in order, passing them and heading inland.

    He led them to two shady figures, a man and a woman, standing by wooden freight crates, both appearing impatient and on edge, though the woman appeared relieved when she spotted Kreqnir. “About time,” she muttered, revealing herself from the shadows and grasping Kreqnir’s forearm as the two met. “Sarella,” he grinned, a gesture which she reciprocated. Kreqnir turned to the Rakhan siblings and introduced the new faces to them.

    “This is Sarella Nym and Sonq, they are sellswords employed by the Jade Dragons, an underground criminal network which controls most of Tiqui now,” Kreqnir informed them, making Driznor raise an eyebrow. “The capital is ran by thugs?” he questioned, however his tone was hardly offending, but more astonished. Sarella flashed a smug grin in his direction. “We have some influence,” she stated laconically, making Kreqnir smirk. “Some,” he emphasised, hinting that she was under exaggerating the power of her employers.

    Kali took a firm glance at each of the sellswords, learning their faces while she could. Sarella Nym shared a complexion close to their own, however she could spot easily that the woman was from Rhoyne. She was quite beautiful, with her braided black hair and uncommon green eyes. Sonq meanwhile was YiTish, wearing simple and light clothing. His curly black hair fell to his shoulders, hiding his big brown eyes, but his shaved face was clear to the eyes, revealing his pointy chin.

    “Sonq will be taking your friend here to the boss,” Sarella informed Kreqnir, nodding to Driznor as she summoned Sonq to her side. “The King of Crime is quite eager to meet you,” she added, a smirk touching her lips. She then turned back to Kreqnir, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Same with you,” she added, “your brother is on his way to meet with the King, but is hesitant to leave the palace without a guard. I’m looking forward to seeing the look on his face when he finds out I’m it,” she grinned, but Kreqnir only frowned in turn.

    “My brother is a fool, but he’s also Ghiscari, and that makes both him and you a target,” Kreqnir acknowledged, then turning to Kali. “Kaliza is quite the warrior, she could assist you,” Kreqnir suggested, but Kali was taken by surprise with this proposition. She turned her glance to Driz, who frowned at this sudden request. Sarella shrugged, “I’d be happy to have the help,” she stated, to which Kreqnir gave Kali a glance which heavily advised her to take on the offer, yet Kali was unsure.

    They had only just arrived in this unfamiliar city, and Kali and Driz had survived so long by sticking together, now with him going to meet the ‘King of Crime,’ Kali was uncertain of either of their safety. She trusted Kreqnir, and if his brother was anywhere near as faithful, she knew it would be a good opportunity to prove herself to him, but would leaving Driznor alone be worth the risk? All we have done has been a risk, she reminded herself, but still, she wondered how far it was necessary to push their luck.

    [Go with Sarella] [Stay with Driznor]

  • [Stay with Driznor]
    The other option isn't bad at all,She can now much more and can go on an adventure to Crime lord.But it's a risk and dosen't worth that much.So sticking with Driz will be better(Not Best :D )

    Nitric posted: »

    Kaliza She took a second glance towards the saloon before sighing and shaking her head. No, that wouldn’t be wise right now, she decided

  • [Stay with Driznor]
    I think she should meet the king of Crime with her brother.

    Nitric posted: »

    Kaliza She took a second glance towards the saloon before sighing and shaking her head. No, that wouldn’t be wise right now, she decided

  • [Go with Sarella]

    Nitric posted: »

    Kaliza She took a second glance towards the saloon before sighing and shaking her head. No, that wouldn’t be wise right now, she decided

  • Huh, it took me like way too long to vote on this part, I am sorry. The weekend has left me with pretty much no time until now, even if I have read the part right after it came out actually.

    And well, I really liked this part as well! Kali continues to be a treat I never thought I'd see again in a story, so I am all kinds of happy having her in here. I spotted that name reference though and it caught me by surprise, well done ;) Gotta say, one thing that particularly caught my interest are these stones she bought here. I have read way too many stories to not know that they'll turn out important in some capacity, but what for? Eh, I got no idea about that. So, I'd say it was probably a wise decision that she bought them, but I could see them not playing much of a role in a long while and then coming back when everyone in and outside of the story has all but forgotten about them.

    [Go with Sarella]

    Now, I know this'll create a tie. I know and I feel a bit bad for it, but I kinda like the opportunity this option would provide us with. See, I don't think Driznor is in any particular danger here. I like them together, so I am tempted to pick this option as well and won't be unhappy if it wins (means, if no one breaks the tie, just pick the option you like better :D), but the other option sounds like a great way to develop some of the new characters we met here, such as Sarella. So, I lean more towards this particular option right now.

    Nitric posted: »

    Kaliza She took a second glance towards the saloon before sighing and shaking her head. No, that wouldn’t be wise right now, she decided

  • Well unfortunately this vote never fell out of a tie, and as customary I'd like to set in the common rule that if a tie does pop up in the voting, the creator of the character's vote stands above all else. So with that being said, Kali will choose to go with Sarella. Both of these choices have interesting outcomes to them, and we'll see the result of this choice in her next part.

    For now however, I have the next part ready for you guys, and it's for Dickon. I'm afraid it's only a short part, since his beginning storyline is a bit dry currently and its difficult to motivate myself with it at times, however it's coming along. I'll give you guys a recap directly, but firstly I'd just like to explain my situation and what's new. So as you guys are probably aware, I haven't posted much for a couple of weeks, courtesy to beginning university, and I highlighted a little on this when I posted on the Invasion thread. Well not much has changed there, but I do have a lot of mini-assessments happening over these next two weeks which I'll need to put my attention on. Unfortunately they're assessing very dry pieces of the course, such as citation and essay structure, so it'll drain a lot of enthusiasm and time from me and likely hinder my already slow writing pace, so I do apologise again in advance. I'll still dry to post once a week now that I'm settling into the routine, but forgive me if I miss a week.

    So without further ado, let me recapitulate you on Dickon's storyline. In the beginning, there was Dickon... and an Old Man, but that's pretty irrelevant. Anyway, we saw Dickon being stranded on a wrecked Ghiscari slave ship which would beach on Qarth, where he and the other slaves on board would quickly be herded up. He and a few others would be taken back to slave auctions, and there, he and a Dothraki slave by the name of Remmo were bought by a Prince of the Thirteen going by the name of Rhaedon. Dickon was later questioned by Rhaedon about his story, and you guys chose for Dickon to reveal his past to his master, and so this parts picks up from there.

    Nitric posted: »

    Kaliza She took a second glance towards the saloon before sighing and shaking her head. No, that wouldn’t be wise right now, she decided

  • Dickon

    He turned his glance back to the prince, a sneer of contempt thick on his expression as the Qaathi waited patiently for Dickon to begin. The West Wolf sighed, not even knowing where to begin, littleown if he should. He could use this against me, Dickon thought with precaution, but he knew he had never been one for picking his words. That was always Bran’s talent, he thought with envious sentiment. He both hated and love that man, it tore him in two.

    Taking in a deep breath, Dickon thought carefully about what he was going to say. It made him feel like he was confronting his father, yet that resulted the same every time. “I am Dickon Stark, though I have not always been, and do not deserve to be,” he began, making Rhaedon raise an eyebrow as his hand motion prompted for him to continue.

    “I was born the second son to Brandon the Bloody Blade, a legendary warrior of the First Men, and the son of Garth Greenhand. He was a heavily feared and revered man of Westeros, having driven the giants out from his father’s kingdom, and causing lakes to flow red with his fury. When my grandfather divvied up Westeros for all his children, my father was given all the land north of a marsh pit known as the Neck,”

    “This land was known as the North, and it is vast and plentiful, but harsh and unforgiving. Here my father took a wife, and had his first son: Bran, commonly known as ‘Bran the Builder’ in the North.” Rhaedon raised an eyebrow to this, interjecting half way through. “Your father gave his name to your brother?” he questioned, to which Dickon furrowed his eyebrows a moment, but then nodded. “Yes, it’s our culture,” Dickon muttered, to which Rhaedon simply nodded, ordering him to continue.

    “I was his second son, a bastard-” Dickon mumbled, but Rhaedon’s expression displayed confusion, to which the West Wolf had to clarify. “My mother was not of noble birth, making me a bastard, a stain to the family,” Dickon muttered, to which Rhaedon allowed him to continue. “I was never intended, and my father hung my mother when she presented me to him. He’d have done the same for me, had my brother not pleaded for me to live,”

    “My father reluctantly raised me in his halls, and took pleasure in reminding me of my worth to the family, a beating dummy for when he was drunk. When I started to throw punches back, then things got worse. Fists were eschewed for clubs and leathers. My brother was the one who named me: Rickon, but my father always called me by Dick, so I guess that’s how those two came together,” Dickon sighed, touching the bump at the back of his head, he bit his tongue to stop himself from grimacing.

    “Are we done here?” Dickon finally asked, to which Rhaedon smiled but shook his head. “You’ve told me nothing about you, Dickon Stark. All I know is you had an abusive father and a constructive brother, yet neither of them are in my service,” Rhaedon stated, to which Dickon sighed. “What do you want to know?” Dickon muttered, narrowing down his options. Rhaedon was quite clear with what he wanted.

    “Tell me why you came to Essos, and how you ended up in chains being auctioned in Qarth,” Rhaedon ordered, to which Dickon rolled his eyes. “I sailed to Andalos after my father died, learned your common tongue there, ended up with a sellsword crew known as the Company of the Cat. I ran with them for a while, but later they stabbed me in the back, and I was sold out to the Ghiscari slavers. That is how I ended here,” Dickon clarified bitterly, making the prince smirk as he turned back to his Ghiscari bodyguard.

    “I think I preferred the laconic grunts of the Dothraki,” he jested, making Dickon scowl and clench his fists. “If you have just come here to mock me…” Dickon warned, taking a step forward, but he was halted by an equally warning spear tip under the chin from Captain Hanse. “No closer,” he hissed, but Dickon was persistent, pressing the spear tip into his flesh and letting blood drip down the blade; evoking a savagely amused grin from the Qaathi prince.

    “Yes, I think you will do nicely, as well as that barbaric horse fucker,” he grinned, placing a hand on the shaft of Hanse’s spear to lower it. Dickon held a scornful glare on his master, but a touch of concern crawled over him as he feared what this man had planned for him. Nothing could be worse than the pits, Dickon thought to himself in reassurance, but the malicious look on the Qaathi’s small eyes made the West Wolf feel less sure of his reasoning.

    The prince’s eyes trailed over to the far end of the room, stopping over a wooden trunk that sat beneath the window. “Within that chest is all the gear you shall require. Don yourself, we will depart at dusk,” he informed, to which Dickon furrowed his eyebrows, pushing the spear from his face. “Depart where?” Dickon spat impatiently, and by then Rhaedon was at the door with his guards closely behind him.

    “Asshai,” he answered, and before Dickon could consider the idea of questioning the location, the prince departed with his guards, and the lock of the door fumbled once again. Dickon walked to the door to assure himself he was indeed confined to this room, and he was not surprised with the outcome. Tightening his grip around the knob, he leant his head against the door and shut his eyes, letting himself have a moment to assess what had just transpired.

    “What was his plan with that?” Dickon muttered to himself, wondering why the man even cared what his story was, or if it was just some sort of mischievous ploy that Dickon had not figured out yet. Whatever it was, he knew he didn’t want to stick around to find out, and from what he had heard from rumours, Asshai was not the direction he wanted to head for.

    He opened his eyes, his gaze falling onto the trunk which sat alone by the window. Reluctantly, Dickon pushed himself away from the door and slowly approached the wooden chest, studying it a moment before attempting to open it. There was nothing special about it, which perhaps singled it out the most from everything in the room; its blandness. An iron lock was in the centre of the lid, and the iron clasps rested loosely, prodding the lid open ajar.

    Hesitant, Dickon peered within, but it was of little use; the shade within the box obscured whatever lied in it. He bit his tongue as he weighed his options, and as he came to a decision, his hand quickly lifted the lid open and he took a step back, anticipating something was about to jump out at him. Nothing did, and for a few dauntingly long minutes, a tense glare was held with the box and Dickon, until the West Wolf finally took a step forward to peer in.

    The contents shouldn’t have surprised him, they were exactly what Rhaedon hinted to when he alluded that he should suit up. Leather gear was piled within, along with some iron pauldrons and braces, and an iron dirk. Dickon’s hand reached within the box, picking up the weapon and unsheathing the blade from its scabbard. He ran a finger of its edge, inspecting its sharpness, and it was just. Why? He wondered with concern, sheathing the dagger back into its scabbard.

    He looked up a moment, peering out the window and down to the courtyard. It was a luxurious estate both inside and out, with tall palm trees and mini oasis’ that welled in the sand surroundings. Dickon placed a hand on the window, feeling the warmth of the glass transpire onto his hand, and dreaming of what it would be like to be free again. It had been so long.

    His eyes only widened in recognition when he looked down at the dirk again. This was not a prison, nothing held him here. He peered out the window, searching for servants or guards, but to his surprise he could not spot anyone out in the yard. A perfect opportunity to escape, perhaps too perfect, but it was an opportunity at that. Better than becoming a stone man, Dickon added in thought as his memories roamed to what he had heard of the recent epidemic in Asshai. He had his chance, and if he was to take it, now was the time.

    [Escape] [Stay]

  • [Stay] While there are several reasons to stay away from that humongous accursed city, maybe is safer than trying to escape.

    Now we know Brandon of the Bloody Blade was a piece of work (which isn't surprising for someone with that nickname). I'm still a bit confused if Brandon the Builder is the first Stark, or that's just how they call each other for now.

  • Well,I am quite happy to know the origin of the name Dickon


    Nitric posted: »

    Dickon He turned his glance back to the prince, a sneer of contempt thick on his expression as the Qaathi waited patiently for Dickon to

  • [Escape]
    Maybe he should try, but I'm not to certain that he can.

    Nitric posted: »

    Dickon He turned his glance back to the prince, a sneer of contempt thick on his expression as the Qaathi waited patiently for Dickon to

  • edited March 2018

    Now we know Brandon of the Bloody Blade was a piece of work (which isn't surprising for someone with that nickname). I'm still a bit confused if Brandon the Builder is the first Stark, or that's just how they call each other for now.

    Yeah, the origins of House Stark is a bit of a grey area, and really anything I say in relation to it is going to be non-canon, simply due to the lack of information published by GRRM.

    Edinosaur23 posted: »

    [Stay] While there are several reasons to stay away from that humongous accursed city, maybe is safer than trying to escape. Now we know

  • Ah, an interesting part. It's nice hearing more about Dickon's backstory, it somehow feels like becoming a slave isn't even the worst thing happening to him in his life XD Rhaedon intrigues me though, I am not sure if he is charming or a complete asshole.


    Eeeeh, I know I am causing a tie and I am very sorry for this, because I usually try to avoid this, but in this particular case, I am certain that staying is the better option. See, Rhaedon does not strike me as a fool. I consider him a man who plans ahead and as such, he is likely making sure that Dickon won't escape all that easily. And a failed escape attempt could make things way harder for him, so I think he should not just try and escape all that quickly, but he should come up with a smart plan.

    Nitric posted: »

    Dickon He turned his glance back to the prince, a sneer of contempt thick on his expression as the Qaathi waited patiently for Dickon to

  • [Stay]

    Nitric posted: »

    Dickon He turned his glance back to the prince, a sneer of contempt thick on his expression as the Qaathi waited patiently for Dickon to

  • The Voting is Closed! Dickon will choose to stay. This is definitely a safe choice for now, but for how long? Well I'm happy to announce that you will get to see the grim situation of Asshai in this next part, which goes to Eldric, as promised. It's only a short part, however it gets across what I'm wanting to show with him so far, so allow me to give you guys a recap.

    The last the time we saw Eldric, he was working in his smithy when a strange customer came to his store and asked for him to construct an interestingly designed dagger. When Eldric admitted he was unable to even afford half the ingredients on his client's list, she presented to him a large bag of gold that would not only cover the price of the materials, but also would leave him filthy rich after. You guys chose to begin his material hunt at the markets, where he would go in search for a ruby for the hilt of the dagger.

    Nitric posted: »

    Dickon He turned his glance back to the prince, a sneer of contempt thick on his expression as the Qaathi waited patiently for Dickon to

  • edited March 2018


    The blacksmith fingered the golden coins in his pocket anxiously as he walked through the streets of Asshai, black and gloomy, yet far from empty. There was an omniscient presence along the quiet pathways that made the hairs on the back of his neck rise, a haunting force that watched over him like the prying eyes from the merchants who had closed for business and retreated to the safety of their homes.

    Eldric tried not to focus on the vast emptiness of the city, keeping his wits about him and his gaze alert, he focused on his objective. If the jeweller is even open, Eldric thought with worry, but forced the concern from his mind. Still, the quietness of the city at this hour was a chilling sight, even in the warm climate. Asshai had never been a populated city, but with the spread of the Grey Plague, it was as good as abandoned from the naive eye. If only that were true.

    He hurried along to the city square, where most of the stalls had been packed away and only a few merchants remained. The gloomy lanterns that hung over the market gave off little light, allowing for the thickening shadows to spread as their light began to flicker, drowned by the darkness. However the darkness was no unfamiliarity to the Asshai’i, and Eldric knew his home well enough to navigate in the night.

    The few remaining traders quickly packed their merchandise into leather bags and iron trunks, loading them into the backs of cartons that were pulled away by nervous mules. Eldric gulped as he recognised the jeweller he had come for was doing the same. The blacksmith quickened his pace, arriving at the stall merely before the man had carefully placed the last of his jewels into his satchel, a fearful expression haunting his face as he was startled by Eldric’s presence.

    “I need a ruby,” Eldric stated bluntly, but the man shook his head, slinging the heavy satchel over his shoulder. “The night is late, come back tomorrow, blacksmith,” he ushered, trying to push past, but Eldric caught him by the elbow, causing the old man to flinch. “You owe me, Dardowl,” Eldric reminded him, taking the liberty to free a couple of gold coins from his pocket and flash them before the jeweller.

    The bald man’s eyes gleamed as his eyes were lost to the golden beauties held between Eldric’s fingers. “Where did you get those?” he asked, to which Eldric just frowned and tightened his muscular grip around jeweller’s forearm, causing him to grimace. “The ruby, Darmond!” Eldric spat, notably growing uneasy as he felt the darkness choking the court. Darmond Dardowl gulped, rubbing his forearm as Eldric freed him, and quickly attending his satchel and fumbling his fat hands around the bag.

    Eldric scouted around him, but it was of little use, the night had consumed them, and only one lantern remained lit. Eldric felt sweat running down his brow as he turned his glance back to Darmond, who was now on his knees and frantically searching through his satchel. He lifted a gem up to the last remaining light, studying it a moment before tossing it into the pile of discards, and continued to search.

    “Hurry,” Eldric hassled, feeling his hand gravitate to the head of his hammer. Darmond shook his head, running his hands over his head, terror flashed across his face. “Damn you, Eldric, just take them all you bastard,” he cursed, snatching the coins from Eldric’s hand and leaving with haste. The blacksmith groaned in frustration and impatience as he knelt down and quickly pushed all the gems on the cobblestone back into the satchel. I will bring them back tomorrow, Eldric swore, flinging the heavy bag over his shoulder as he rose.

    Trying to navigate his surroundings, he stopped a moment and took in a deep breath, looking back to the street lantern to orient himself. It would do him no good without a light, especially at this hour. He decided to make his way to the final light source, walking with haste as he noticed the light beginning to flicker with the wind. Eldric took hold of the street pole as he reached the lantern, scanning around him for any threats, but the light had stolen his vision, and all he could see was darkness. Yet what he could hear, it terrified him.

    Eldric freed his hammer from his belt, and his left hand clutched onto the satchel on his left. “What’s in the bag?” a croaky voice sounded from his left, making him quickly shift to its direction. “Those pockets look heavy,” another spoke from behind, forcing the blacksmith to quickly spin around. “Drop ‘em,” another ordered, this one game enough to enter the light, revealing itself to him.

    Eldric held his breath, his grasp tightening around the handle of his hammer as his eyes locked onto the thing before him. It wore a ripped sleeveless shirt, along with ragged long pants and a tattered stained hood. Eldric’s eyes looked down to the dagger that was in its hand, its grey flaky hand… His eyes quickly lifted back up to the face of this thing before him, which was barely human. Completely coated with a layer of touch scaled skin, one eye had caved in, while the other was bloodshot and rapid. It took another step towards him, making Eldric gasp.

    “Drop it, or I’ll give ya somethin’ worse than death,” he threatened, extending his hand towards Eldric’s face. The blacksmith took a step backwards, hitting the street pole behind him, sending a surging shiver down his spine as he quickly looked for an escape. The infected creature was joined by his two plagued comrades, a fowl yellow-black grin on one of them, who extended his one arm towards Eldric as well.

    Panicked, Eldric reached out for the lantern, feeling the immense heat burn his hand as he threw it between him and the three shrouded ones. They hissed and shielded their eyes as flames rushed into the air, escaping the broken glass and igniting on the oil reserves that spilt out the canister. Eldric quickly reached into his apron, freeing his thick gloves which he struggled to pull on with his hammer in his hand.

    “Get ‘im!” the ringleader shrieked, and one of its obedient followers leaped over the growing flames just as Eldric had pulled on his last glove. The shrouded one slashed at Eldric’s face with its clawed stone fingers, something which only merely missed the blacksmith, but flung the jewels from his shoulder. Eldric lifted his hammer for a mighty swing, planting it in the scaled creature’s skull, an explosion of yellow and dark blood spraying onto Eldric apron. He was unable to free his hammer in time for the second attack, as the one-armed shroud lifted Eldric in the air.

    Eldric grasped the creature’s arm, kicking at its chest in a desperate attempt to be released. The creature released its grip, and Eldric crawled away backwards as he spotted the ringleader emerging from the flames. The one-armed shroud regained its balance and joined its leader, and Eldric spotted the one with his hammer implanted in its skull rising from the cobbles. Fuck! Eldric wanted to scream, but his throat closed around the lump that had formed within, and he could barely breath, little-own utter a word.

    “I warned ya, smooth-skin. Consider this a royal welcome to the Kings,” the ringleader stated, extending his hand to reach for Eldric’s cheek. The blacksmith lifted his gloved hands to shield his face, shutting his eyes and cursing his stupidity in fear. He blood began to boil as he felt an intense heat rush over him, scorching his clothing and singing his hair. A deafening trio of shrieks erupted from the shrouded as Eldric lowered his arms to look at them, and the scene he found himself in was unlike the one he had just hid from.

    The one-armed infected was roaming around ablaze from head to toe, a painful screech which toned in and out of human-like scream to a demonic shriek erupting from it as it fell to its knees. The hammer-headed shroud was still beside Eldric, a burning corpse, and before Eldric knew it, the fire-wielder was already upon him, ready to conjure her magic onto the final creature; only, Eldric could no longer see the ringleader.

    Instead, the fire mage stood above Eldric, a spark igniting in her hand as she prepared to direct the flame. Eldric screamed, “WAIT!” he pleaded, making the woman lift an eyebrow as he lowered her lit hand a moment. “It speaks!” she cried, holding Eldric down with her foot. She waited a moment, as if to hear a reply, but all they heard were shrieks in the distance. Eldric lifted his hands to his face. “Please, I’m not one of them!” he yelled, praying that she would not burn him. A burning anticipation loomed over him as he could feel the fire drawing nearer to him.

    “Show me your face!” she hissed, knocking one of Eldric’s gloved hands away from his head. Eldric reluctantly moved the other, and the woman brought her flaming hand towards Eldric’s face to study him. She was unlike any woman Eldric had ever seen, her skin as black as the night around them, while red tattoos like flames danced around her dark brown eyes. Her dreadlocks fell to her mid-back, and the rest of her was hidden under a vibrant red gown with great drooping sleeves.

    She scowled in clear frustration as she backed away from him, glancing around her. “Get up!” she barked, half pulling Eldric to his feet as he began to get up. She closed her flaming fist, extinguishing the fireball to a mere single flame that darted off her fingers. “Come with me,” she ordered with an impatient tone, darting off into the darkness with haste. Eldric quickly freed his hammer from the burning shroud corpse, and rescued them gems from the darkness before chasing after his rescuer.

    “Who are you?” he asked with an exhausted and timid tone as he reached her. She maintained her quick pace, keeping her gaze firmly ahead of them. “I am Daenera Naer, a priestess of the Temple of Light,” she announced with a disinterested tone, sharply turning down a dark alley. Eldric admittedly struggled to keep up with her fast pace, and with her long drooping dress, it looked as if she hovered rather than walked.

    “Where are you taking me?” Eldric queried, to which Daernera answered laconically. “To a safezone. Our acolytes will quarantine you there,” she informed him, making Eldric slow his pace as he tossed the words around in his head. Quarantine? It was a word he was unfamiliar with, and one he didn’t like the sound of.

    They darted across a street which Eldric vaguely recognised, it was a few blocks away from the hill that he lived upon. “Keep up!” Daenera ushered impatiently, continuing on into the darkness. Eldric stopped, glancing at her flame fading out into the distance. Maybe he could make it back to his home, he knew the way. A distant shriek was accompanied by a half-a-dozen more, all in the direction which Eldric needed to head if he were to run home. Perhaps it was safer with the priestess, but what would they do to him once they got to the ‘safe zone’? Was it worth the risk? Was running home worth the risk? Eldric had to quickly decide.

    [Follow Daenera] [Run home]

  • [Follow Daenera]
    Let's see what happens

    Nitric posted: »

    Eldric The blacksmith fingered the golden coins in his pocket anxiously as he walked through the streets of Asshai, black and gloomy, yet

  • Gotta say, Asshai would be creepy on its own, without the whole Greyscale plague going on, but this part really showed just how bad things are. We pretty much got us a zombie apocalypse there, but with somewhat sentient zombies, also known as the most horrifying kind. That part has given me the creeps from beginning to end and it suddenly made the whole Asshai storyline one of my favourites at the moment.

    [Follow Daenera]

    Not even a choice for me here, this sounds way too interesting to miss out on. Running home, well, that doesn't sound like something that'll be exciting, but this safe zone and Daenera and this whole stuff, it intrigues me way too much to miss out on.

    Nitric posted: »

    Eldric The blacksmith fingered the golden coins in his pocket anxiously as he walked through the streets of Asshai, black and gloomy, yet

  • [Follow Daenera]

    Nitric posted: »

    Eldric The blacksmith fingered the golden coins in his pocket anxiously as he walked through the streets of Asshai, black and gloomy, yet

  • [Follow Daenera] The fact that nobody knows who, or what, originally built the city is possibly the least disturbing thing right now.
    Our blacksmith shouldn't be alone right now, and we don't know how far his house actually is.

  • [Follow Daenera]

    Nitric posted: »

    Eldric The blacksmith fingered the golden coins in his pocket anxiously as he walked through the streets of Asshai, black and gloomy, yet

  • Alright, well it appears everyone has voted, so I will bring it to a close early. Eldric will choose to follow Daenera. This certainly will be more interesting for story potential, however it may hinder Eldric's tasks in his new project for the mysterious Grey Lady, a character we will see more of in the next part, which goes to Elda. I also noticed I referred to a character in this part by the wrong name, and that was Damian Dardowl, who was actually meant to be Darmond Dardowl (Damien is his son). So my bad, that error has been corrected but I thought I'd just give a little humiliating announcement for your benefit ;)

    At any rate, the Elda part won't be out for a few hours yet, as I'm just writing it up now, however I'll give a recap of Elda's last two parts while I'm at it. So, when Elda started her story, we saw her on board the Valyrian vessel belonging to Vellera Essaar, a 'sellsail' as she classifies it. She was contracted by the well-known sellsword company; the Stormcrows, to transport them to Asshai for a contract. During this part, Elda introduced us to the faces of the Stormcrow's, including Jaeron Galiar, an Andal sellsword and a recent member, Corysu, the second-in-command, and commander: Erin Erenford, known commonly as the Mad Heron. Elda was summoned to speak with the Mad Heron, to which he had a proposition for her when they arrived at Asshai. He needed a fellow diplomat to accompany him to the meeting with their new contract, but also someone to do some undercover work to gain some information about their mysterious contract. You guys chose for Elda to play the diplomat by the end of this part. Later, Elda went off in pursuit to find Corysu after he was acting quite shady. She found him in his quarters, and briefly had a conversation with him about her new mission to provoke his envy, which was unsuccessful. Little to her knowing, Jaeron Galiar had overheard this confidential conversation, and used it in an attempt to blackmail her into his bed. You guys chose for her to cut out his tongue, and this new part is a continuation of the last!

    Nitric posted: »

    Eldric The blacksmith fingered the golden coins in his pocket anxiously as he walked through the streets of Asshai, black and gloomy, yet

  • It's also a shame for me, As a submitter of this character,I can't figure it out.DAMN!!

    Nitric posted: »

    Alright, well it appears everyone has voted, so I will bring it to a close early. Eldric will choose to follow Daenera. This certainly will

  • Elda

    She re-adjusted her grip on the hilt of her dagger, lifting her spare hand to touch Jaeron’s cheek. She had to admit, he was quite the handsome figure, with high cheekbones and a chiselled jawline that pointed into a prominent chin. Above all this was a finely groomed beard of a chocolate brown colour, the same going for his shoulder-length hair.

    Elda placed caressed his cheek, a mischievous look in her eyes as she smirked at him, a gesture which he remarked with a lustful grin. Without a second of hesitation, Elda tightened her grip on the dagger, stuck a leg behind his and with a swift push, the Andal sellsword was on his arse before he even knew what was happening. Elda was already on top of him with a hand around his throat and the dagger teasing into his mouth by the time he began to retaliate, and by then it was too late.

    He groaned in terror as he clamped his jaw shut, squirming beneath her as Elda tried to pry open his teeth with her dagger. The commotion drew the attention of the quartermaster’s cabin, as the door swung open with a creak and out came the ghastly Corysu, a stern look on his cold expression. “Lady Elda,” he chided, barely gaining the attention of the occupied commander.

    Jaeron managed to free an arm from underneath Elda’s knee, to which he struck at her face, provoking her to turn her attention to the new threat. She took hold of his arm with her spare hand, holding it down against the floorboard, to which she then held it down with her knife as she lunged it through the palm of his hand. A loud yelp erupted from him, and with a new found strength he managed to get Elda off of him, to which he then attended to his hand.

    “You bitch!” he spat, freeing the blade from his hand and slashing it at her. Elda smirked, easily dodging the lazy attempt and bringing her foot to his chest, sending him back a few metres and leaving him winded. He dropped the blade, clutching onto his bloody hand as he gasped for air, collapsing to his knees and staring at the blood that ran down his arm. In this instant, two of the company came rushing to his aid, sending apologetic and timid glances in Elda’s direction before helping the Andal to his feet and guiding him away.

    Elda turned her attention to Corysu, who held a scornful glare on his golden eyes as he crossed his arms at her. “You wanted something?” Elda queried with a mocking tone, to which Corysu only rolled his eyes, the first humanly gesture Elda had ever witnessed from him. “Only for you to take your business elsewhere, but it seems it’s of no consequence now. Goodnight,” he muttered, returning to the confinement of his room when the door locked between them.

    Elda let out a sigh, turning her eyes back to the bloody scene she had just created. I did warn him, she thought weakly in her defence, but she knew that Erenford likely wouldn’t be impressed with her little outburst, even if Corysu had reacted so calmly to it. Corysu, Elda thought with a grimace on her expression as she thought of the vile creature of stealth. She had been with the Old Thieves for years, learnt everything there was to stealth and theft, but that green thing took it to another level.

    She shrugged it off after she spotted her bloody dagger alone on the floorboards surrounded by the blood of her victim. Elda sighed, walking to the scene and picking up the bronze blade. Crokus, she thought hopelessly as she examined the dagger that her lover had left with her before the Old Thieves split. She missed him, and in truth, she had still not allowed herself to take refuge with another man. He was still with her, perhaps not physically, but certainly in spirit, and this last piece of him was all that she had left of him.

    She cleaned the blade against her red tunic, slotting it back into its sheath and inhaling a deep breath. It had been a long time since she had seen him, too long, and the likelihood that he was alive after what happened was slim. She knew she shouldn’t place her trust in hope, but she did regardless, she had to, no matter how much it pained her so. It was a heavy burden, and one which left her weary. It would be a few more hours until Erin would want her to accompany him to the meeting. Time for some rest, she thought with some relief, making her way to her bunk where she would fall into a quick and restful slumber.


    The hour was noon, but it could hardly be deterred from the light of the day to distinguish that. Elda stood on the docks with Nkos, Jaeron and Vorro “Eagle’s Eye” in silence as they patiently awaited the arrival of their boss, who spoke with Corysu onboard Vellera’s ship. Elda studied the three that would accompany them to the docks, each of them holding a different expression.

    Nkos, the Brindled Man of Sothoryos which had taken a liking to Elda because of her origins, held a solemn expression on his angular rugged face, standing the tallest of the company; and the most silent. It’s no wonder the men call him the Tower, Elda thought laconically as she turned her eyes over to Jaeron. A glowering expression resided on the handsome man’s pained face, his right hand gently massaging his bandaged left. His eyes immediately darted away from Elda as she looked his direction, making her roll her eyes. He got what he deserved, she told herself, and Vellera too agreed with her, but Erin was less in favour of Elda’s actions.

    Finally, the Dothraki warrior had sat himself on a barrel beside Nkos, having a mutual silent friendship with the foreigner. Elda had observed that the two both had a connection, likely due to their limited understanding to the common tongue, along with their tall stature and similar behaviour. Vorro was a tall man, standing six-and-a-half foot tall, around the same height as Corysu, but still nothing on Nkos. He was also quite an attractive man however, with short scruffy black hair and a stubble beard, his almond-shaped eyes were a light brown in colour. Unlike his people, Vorro did not have the tattoos of the Dothraki, but he still chose to wear their leather attire, which showed off much of his copper skin.

    Vorro held a slightly bored expression on his face as he tied the bowstring to each end of his recurve bow. Elda meanwhile noticed that Jaeron had taken a seat and began to run a wet rag along the blade of his bastard sword, while Nkos stood as still as his title, his spear standing tall beside him. Elda let out a sigh, looking at Jaeron before walking over to Vorro and Nkos. Jaeron probably doesn’t want my company right now, she thought blatantly.

    Nkos gave her a firm nod when she stopped beside them, while Vorro slung his bow over his shoulder and freed his arakh from his sash, running his hand over its blade. “Little lady,” Nkos greeted with a deep but warm tone, to which Elda gave her a respectful nod in return, but she turned her attention towards Vorro. “I doubt your bow will be of much use to us if we have to fight here,” Elda stated plainly, evoking a smirk from the Dothraki who lifted his glance to her gaze.

    “The Dothraki bow is not like Andal bow,” Vorro answered simply, sheathing his arakh back to his sash and pulling his bow off his shoulder. “I show you,” he added, his smirk settling down as he reached for an arrow from his quiver. Elda took a step back, and Vorro looked to her in confirmation, to which she gave him an unsure nod, but she admittedly was interested in what he had to demonstrate.

    Without hesitation, Vorro nocked an arrow quickly to his bow, stretching the bowstring and sending the arrow flying. It landed between Jaeron’s legs, along with the other three that followed at a rapid rate. “Seven hells!” he swore, grasping the hilt of his sword as he barely realised what had just transpired. A chuckle erupted from the solemn Dothraki, who took a mischievous bow as Jaeron flashed him a glare. Elda was surprised, especially to see a smirk on Nkos’ lips as well, she gave her compliments to the archer.

    Before long, Erin Erenford descended the ramp that connected from the ship to the docks, a sour look on his naturally ambiguous expression. An impatient look was on his dark brown eyes as he passed Elda and stopped ahead of them. “You fuckers ready to go?” he beckoned with an irritated tone, which brought everyone up and got them moving. Elda wondered if this ire of his was just part of his normal behaviour, or if something had happened since she last spoke with him. Either way, she chose not to question it, joining him by his side as they walked to the harbour.

    There they found two figures awaiting them, one a tiny female with long curly black hair that was tied back into a ponytail, and the other a tall bald burly man with tattoos and a red face mask. Both had olive skin complexions, and were easily distinguished as Asshai’i. The smaller of the two took a step forward. She was young, no older than sixteen or seventeen, but she held a fiercely confident expression on her face which made her look not to be trifled with.

    “Lord Erenford,” she greeted with a loud tone, taking a bow and encouraging her companion to do the same. “I am Lyudmila, and this is Raqzi Lavaar. The Grey Lady has asked that we escort you to the meeting point,” she announced before turning her gaze on Elda and the others, “who are these with you?” she asked bluntly, making Erin smirk as he crossed his arms. “Your mistress will have to forgive me, but I will not take the word of a stranger as my shield. These are my guard, and this one here is one of my commanders: Elda,” he announced, taking Elda by the arm and bringing her forward.

    Elda gave the little girl a bow, but she barely gave her the luxury of her attention, turning her gaze back to Erin, a pouty expression coating her young face. “Follow me,” she sighed, summoning for Raqzi to follow her as well. Elda raised an eyebrow to Erin, who only shrugged at her and beckoned for the others to follow after them, which did so with hesitance.

    The two emissaries of the Grey Lady led the party through many dark roads and damp alleys, taking a complex route which felt like an eternal walk, but when they arrived at the destination it was unlike what Elda had expected. The old docks were significantly worse for wears than the harbour their vessel had docked at. The bay water was stagnant and polluted with debris, giving it a grey colour that only darkened the old harbour further. The docks had crumbled and collapsed, along with most of the warehouses, bar one.

    Lyudmila brought the party to a stop, turning her gaze to Erin. “This is as far as your friends can go. Raqzi will remain with them, you will come with me,” she instructed, but Erin shook his head. “Elda will accompany me,” he stated firmly, bringing a frown to the young girl’s face, but she granted his wish with a small nod. “So be it,” she uttered, turning and leading the way. Erin followed after her, and Elda began to do the same, but her forearm was caught by Nkos’ firm grip, spinning her around suddenly.

    “Be safe, Little lady,” he grunted, releasing her, to which she nodded. “This place haunted,” Vorro mumbled, tightening his grasp on his bow as he reached for an arrow to nock, but was quickly intercepted by Jaeron, who placed a hand on his shoulder. “Agreed,” he added calmly, then turning his bitter gaze to Elda. “Better not keep him waiting,” he muttered, placing his bandaged hand on the pommel of his sheathed sword. Elda could spot the Shadow Man tensing up as his hand reached for his sickle, but Elda relieved his stress as she gave Jaeron a nod, taking her leave.

    Elda arrived at the warehouse just as Lyudmila and Erin were entering, the guards stopping her a moment before Lyudmila turned back and excused her, giving her entry. The internal of the worn down factory was as expected, baron and a mess, but along with it Elda could tell this was a secret stockpile, and she wondered why their new contract had arranged for their meeting to be here. They would hopefully soon find out.

    Lyudmila guided them to a small table with a chair on either side. “Take a seat, Lord,” the young girl offered, pulling out the chair for him, but Erin shook his head. “Let the lady have the seat,” he muttered, pushing Elda forward, but she could see past his courtesies. He was putting her life forward before his, both of them knew what the stakes were, and the likelihood of a trap.

    She gulped as she did what she was told under the scornful glare of the Mad Heron. As she sat, she stared at Lyudmila, awaiting something to happen, but after a moment of uncomfortable anticipation, nothing eventuated. Elda let out a small sigh of relief, and from the body movement of Erin, she could tell he was solaced as well. “The Grey Lady will be with you soon,” Lyudmila informed them before bowing and taking her leave.

    Once Lyudmila exited, the warehouse was lifeless, save for the presence of Erin, Elda, and a few guards. Elda crossed her arms, her eyes scanning around the large room. “This doesn’t feel right,” Elda muttered, to which Erin grunted in response. “Stay alert.”

    The wait dragged on for long minutes, which added as their anticipation and concern became greater with their growing impatience. Elda fingered the pommel of her sheathed broadsword with one finger while she tapped the table surface with her others, all the while, the Mad Heron paced around the table impatiently, only adding onto the anxiety that Elda felt. “How long does this bitch expect me to wait?” Erin grumbled, to which Elda had no answer for him, and the silence drew on for another few minutes until they heard the doors opening.

    “Lord Erenford,” a voice greeted him from the shadows, charismatic and seducing to even Elda’s ears. Both Elda and Erin turned to meet the hooded figure that approached them, covered from head to toe in a grey cloak. Elda arose from her seat, taking her place by Erin’s side with her hand still on the pommel of her sword. Under the hood was a golden-like eye that tracked Elda’s every movement.

    The hooded figure stopped before Erin, extending her gloved hand to Erin, which he reluctantly shook as he eyed her bitterly. Erin cleared his throat, bringing Elda forward to introduce her. “This is my third-in-command,” he started, but the hooded lady lifted her hand to silence him. “Elda,” she stated, finishing his sentence. Elda raised an eyebrow and took a step back, grasping the hilt of her sword.

    “How do you know my name?” Elda muttered, glancing at Erin for some clarity, but he only glared at her with a resentful gaze. “Elda,” he grunted, glancing at sheathed sword and shaking his head firmly. Reluctantly, she moved her hand off the hilt of her blade, but she refused to shake the hand of this hooded entity. “Please, sit, and let us talk,” the hooded figure begged, taking her seat at the other end of the table. Erin had Elda take her seat at the end of the table again, taking his stand by her side with his arms crossed.

    “I am the Grey Lady,” she announced calmly, and with hesitation, she unveiled her hood, revealing her face. Elda’s eyes widened as she studied the features of the woman. On one side, she was beautiful. Her skin tone like amber, and her eye almost gold in the lighting. She had long eyelashes and a small delicate nose with prominent cheekbones. However, this was only one side. Her left side was riddled with greyscale, extending from the left of her neck and covering half of her face, even blinding her left eye. Her dark blonde hair was tied back into a loose bun, and despite her defects, she still maintained a beauty that she was thoroughly aware of, and she wore it like armour.

    Elda lifted her glance to Erin, who began to look at his hand with concern as he stared at the greyscale on the Grey Lady’s face. A small sigh erupted from her, and she clasped her hands together. “Do not fret, Lord Erenford. Had I wanted to give you my curse, I’d have removed the glove. You are safe,” the Grey Lady assured him, but Erin only scoffed at this.

    “Am I? I’ve brought my company to a city which is plagued with the likes of your kind, and I doubt all of them have the courtesy of covering their coughs around my men,” Erin grumbled, to which the Grey Lady nodded. “Yes, and you were well aware of these risks when I wrote to you, but yet you still came,” the Grey Lady responded calmly, making Elda frown as she noticed Erin beginning to become short of temper.

    “What is it you want from us?” Elda asked in his place, gaining the instant attention of the Grey Lady. “I have a dream, a dream of bringing peace to all of the Further East, but there are those out there who would try to stop me of reaching this world,” she riddled, making Elda furrow her eyebrows. “How do you mean?” she queried, bringing a smile to the Grey Lady’s lips.

    “The Empire of the Great Dawn has ceased over the years, being in part to blame for the spread of the Grey Plague over Asshai, but that is not a curse, but a blessing. However this is not recognised by all, specifically, those who call themselves the ‘Cleansers’: A group of R’hllor fanatics led by a man named Saetrus the Blessed,” the Grey Lady clarified, to which Erin Erenford took a step forward, placing his hands on the table.

    “So you want him dead, and then you will give me the answers I seek?” Erin concluded, then begging the question. The Grey Lady reclined in her chair. “In time, yes, but my dream has a flaw, and that is me,” the Grey Lady stated, to which Elda connected the dots. “You’re dying,” she stated boldly, to which the Grey Lady nodded. “Slowly, yes, but without a shadow of a doubt, I will soon be lost,” the Grey Lady added dryly, to which she turned her attention to Erin.

    “There is a man among your ranks who survived his greyscale, I would like to speak with him,” the Grey Lady announced, but Erin just chuckled and shook his head. “You will speak with me,” Erin grumbled, making the Grey Lady frown. “Sarlzo’s greyscale ceased when he was a child,” Elda added, to which the Grey Lady sighed. “A rare case, he was lucky,” she reconciled, shaking her head.

    “It is of no consequence, I believe the cure to this plague lies south, in Ulthos,” the Grey Lady stated nonchalantly. “The tribal communities of the dark continent have been known to be connected with their dark gods,” the Grey Lady explained, “one specific tribe, the Rockru, use greyscale to mark their soldiers and slaves, demanding absolute obedience until they either die or serve their time, to which then they are cured,” she reputed, making Elda raise an eyebrow.

    “How?” she asked, to which the Grey Lady smirked. “That’s what I want you to find out,” the Grey Lady admitted, making Erin roll his eyes. “So we get you this cure and then you give me what I want?” he grumbled with impatience, to which the woman nodded. “Precisely,” she replied calmly, making Erin groan. “Fine,” he muttered, “our business is done here, we’ll set sail by dusk,” he informed her, turning his attention to Elda. “Come on,” he signalled gently, pulling Elda’s chair from the table and beginning to make for the exit.

    “Just a moment,” the Grey Lady called, bringing both Elda and Erin to a halt. “A word with her alone, if I may,” the Grey Lady requested, but her tone was more commanding than inviting, which made Erin snarl. He turned his attention to Elda, giving her a firm shake of his head. “It won’t take long,” the Grey Lady added, rising from her chair and clasping her hands behind her back.

    Elda glanced at the cloaked woman, trying to deter what it was she wanted, but she couldn’t be sure. Erin expressed his firm disapproval of her request, and made it known with his hard glare that he placed on Elda. She knew if she let her curiosity be sated she would suffer the repercussions of the Mad Heron, but what she didn’t know was what this Grey Lady wanted. Perhaps what she has to say could be useful, Elda thought, but as her eyes flicked from the scaled woman’s eyes, a shuddering thought crawled over Elda’s skin. What if she means to infect me?

    [Speak with the Grey Lady] [Leave with Erin]

  • edited March 2018

    [Speak with the Grey Lady]

    Nitric posted: »

    Elda She re-adjusted her grip on the hilt of her dagger, lifting her spare hand to touch Jaeron’s cheek. She had to admit, he was quite t

  • [Speak with the Grey Lady] Considering what little we know of Ulthos, it's not even known if it's a separate continent or a subcontinent of Essos or Sothroyos, this is going to be an interesting journey.
    I doubt she would try to infect her, but it probably has something to do with those dreams.

  • [Leave with Erin]

    Eh, I think the Grey Lady is an interesting character and this whole storyline sounds quite fascinating, but there is one thing that really rings the alarms here. She gave this piece of information that the Rockru tribe infects their workers on purpose, to demand obedience and force them into servitude. I doubt that was just a random snippet of information, so what if she intends the same? We know she doesn't have much time left, so I am pretty sure she is a bit desperate and this might imply she seeks to infect Elda to make sure that she will go through with finding the Greyscale cure. Of course, I could just as well be a bit too paranoid here, but I don't trust this Grey Lady one bit and given that she has to be desperate by now, she might decide for drastic measures.

    Nitric posted: »

    Elda She re-adjusted her grip on the hilt of her dagger, lifting her spare hand to touch Jaeron’s cheek. She had to admit, he was quite t

  • [Speak with the Grey Lady]
    I was going to pick the other choice, but I'm too curious to not know what she wants to tell her. It could be important.

    Nitric posted: »

    Elda She re-adjusted her grip on the hilt of her dagger, lifting her spare hand to touch Jaeron’s cheek. She had to admit, he was quite t

  • [Speak with Grey Lady]

    Nitric posted: »

    Elda She re-adjusted her grip on the hilt of her dagger, lifting her spare hand to touch Jaeron’s cheek. She had to admit, he was quite t

  • Well, I think this vote came to an obvious close a day or two after it was posted, but I best announce it. Elda will speak with the Grey Lady! This choice will have some pretty interesting impacts on Elda's storyline, but I'll leave that for her next part to elaborate on. For now, I think I need to explain where the hell I've been for this last month and a half.

    To start with, university has been hectic, and I did not expect that everything would hit me like the wrecking ball that did (forgive the lame reference). However along with that I've had to endure the social life and the loss of a few friends, and just overall trying to find myself and all that cliche crap that I won't get into :D At any rate, my assignments month is finally over, which gives me a month to prepare for exams. I've got a few short parts for here which I'll post now, and one part on the way for the Invasion that I'll hopefully post later today. I'm hoping to get a few more out before exams pop through, but we'll just have to see how I go. I do apologise for my absence, and especially that I didn't inform you guys either. I've just been flat out under the pump, and as I expected to release a part a week after the last, and then a week later, and so on, I just gradually forgot. I am sorry :#

    Anyway, onto the parts at hand. I have three, although one is very short, and the others are shorter than my usual length. They go to Crokus, Alexandros and Nithral. I'll give you guys a brief recap on where they're all at.

    Crokus was last seen with the commanders of the Company of the Cat in search for the missing queens of Hyrkoon, but were captured by the Dothraki in their search. Crokus was brought before Khal Verro, who tried to gain the support of the Company of the Cat through Crokus by force, and then later Crokus was awoken by Zhali (their captor), who ordered him to come with her. You guys chose for Crokus to obey this order.

    Alexandros was last seen with Markus Hyrkoon, desperately trying to bring his friend out of the darkness and back to the kingdom that desperately needs him. In a drunken and weak state, Alexandros chose to manipulate Hyrkoon's vulnerable state and try to change his mind on the conquest. You guys chose for Alexandros to try and get Hyrkoon to agree to focus his attention on the impending Jogos Nhai threat.

    Finally, Nithral was last seen in his first part, where he was about to leave the Jogos Nhai camp with his friend: Vesemir. However jhat Ugnak later tried to convince Nithral to stay with their cause, and you guys decided that Nithral would agree to stay. All of these parts take off where they left.

    Nitric posted: »

    Elda She re-adjusted her grip on the hilt of her dagger, lifting her spare hand to touch Jaeron’s cheek. She had to admit, he was quite t

  • Crokus

    The cell door swung open with a creak, and Crokus grimaced as he turned his glance back to his fellow commanders of the company; all engrossed in a deep but restless slumber. He felt he should have been doing the same, he had no idea of what awaited him over the horizon with the Dothraki horde, and it raised the hairs on the back of his neck with just the thought of it.

    Regardless, he followed the enigmatic Dothraki blood rider, who darted swiftly into the night, luring him into the darkness that consumed his body and vision. When he grew disorientated, he felt the hard tug of her rough riding hands pull at him, steering him in whichever direction she pleased. He was completely at her mercy, and he did not know if it feared him or excited him.

    They hugged the sands as they crawled passed the dimly lit tents of Verro’s khalasar, the sounds of quiet murmurs could be heard from some, while others the loud moans were hardly obscured for the restful ears. A sudden thought came to mind as Crokus pitched in on the active couples of the night, and he wondered if this Dothraki woman had taken a liking to him. He wasn’t sure how to feel about her if that was the case, he was already a taken man in his eyes, but there was so much doubt with that. I haven’t seen her in years, I don’t even know if she lives, he thought grimly, looking at Zhali. He had to know.

    “Where are you taking me?” he muttered quietly, and for a moment he thought she hadn’t heard him as she remained dead silent. As he began to repeat the question, she spun around and firmly covered his mouth with her hand. “Quiet!” she hissed, glaring at him strictly, which made Crokus widen his eye. When she released him and continue her crawl, Crokus took her by the forearm and spun her around, staring firmly into her violet eyes.

    “I won't go any further until I know,” he stated in rebellion. Zhali easily freed herself from Crokus’ grip, and with the motion she brought Crokus to the ground before he knew what was even happening. She crawled on top of him, pinning his arms under her knees. “If you stop, you die,” she murmured, looking around cautiously as if she was in fear of being caught. Crokus only shook his head.

    “How do I know you’re not just leading me to my executioner?” Crokus muttered, snarling at her from his captivity. Zhali released him, rolling her eyes impatiently. “You don’t, you will just have to trust me, Westerosi,” she whispered with a semi-seducing tone, then turning around and crawling ahead. Crokus bit his tongue, glaring at her in frustration as he reluctantly followed on.

    When they had passed the crowded tents of the khalasar, they began to climb up to the ridge of the valley that accommodated the Dothraki camp. Zhali climbed with a great pace, one which Crokus admittedly struggled to keep up with, consistently losing his footing to the loose stones and sand that crumbled beneath him with every step; each leaving an avalanche trail behind him.

    By the time Crokus had reached the top of the ridge, his adjusting gaze spotted the Dothraki girl a few hundred metres ahead, traversing into the next gully. Crokus cursed her under his breath, halting a moment to catch his breath and looking around him cautiously. The lights of the Dothraki camp set a glow onto the night sky, which was a clear beacon for miles all around. They’re definitely not hiding their presence, Crokus confirmed, which only made him feel uneasy.

    He began to follow Zhali’s faint trail down the mountainside, a brief thought of escape crossing his mind which he quickly ignored as he thought of all risks of his re-capture, little own the consequences it. Already he was committing a great risk in following this girl somewhere he did not know, but he had gone too far now to turn back, and so he pressed on.

    Following blindly, they eventually came to a stop after climbing over the third and final ridge, where the glow of the Dothraki camp had dimmed and fallen nearly out of sight. Zhali waited for him by a sandstone boulder, her arakh resting on her lap as her gaze focused down into the small crater-like valley before them. Crokus’ hand naturally gravitated to the hilt of his sheathed blade, but he came to a brief shock as he was reminded that all of his gear had been taken from him.

    He walked to the boulder, glaring at the Dothraki girl with a demand for answers, but her gaze remained fixed to the valley with a look of concern. “What are we doing here?” Crokus muttered, approaching with closed fists, though his bitter march was brought to a halt as Zhali calmly lifted her arakh to his chest. Crokus gulped, but held a firm glare on the girl, who still only kept her gaze on the valley. “So I was right,” Crokus spat, taking a step forward and feeling the steel press into his chest.

    Zhali’s gaze turned to him with a scowl as she removed her blade from his torso, rising from the boulder and pointing down to the valley. “He awaits you, down there,” she directed, and Crokus raised an eyebrow before following her gaze to a small tree, which, to his surprise, was green and alive; a contrast to the dead shrubbery that coated the Bone Mountains. Beside this tree was a small crack in the earth, too small to be a ravine, but within an orange glow emitted.

    “Verro?” Crokus gulped in confusion, but Zhali only shook her head. “I will keep guard here. You would do well not to keep him waiting,” she ushered, pushing at him with the end of her blade. Crokus quietly cussed as he scowled at her, feeling like a sheep being prepared for the slaughter as he cautiously approached the lit cavern.

    When he arrived at the tree he laid his fingers on the leaves, somewhat surprised by their fertility and vibrancy, but also concerned by what had caused this one to be an outlier to the rest. Crokus was no fool, he knew of the powers that the gods had bestowed on some men, giving them strength and abilities that were unthinkable to the common mind. Crokus’ thoughts only had to do stretch to his comrade, Harridan, to think of a prime example.

    He turned his gaze back to Zhali, who for once was now gazing elsewhere than the valley, which only added onto Crokus’ nervousness. He turned back to the small crack in the earth and approached with caution. Kneeling down, he braced himself on either side of the opening before dangling his legs into the hole and descending. The sandstone walls were friable, and before long Crokus found his footing starting to give way beneath him, and his handholds crumbling beneath his fingers.

    He slid down the deep crack in the earth with a great yelp of fear, coming to a sudden stop as he reached the ground below, erupting a cloud of sand and debris as he landed. He coughed as he inhaled the dust, and lifted his arms to shield his face from it, groaning in pain as his legs and arms had obtained grazes from the fall. I’ve suffered worse, Crokus remarked dryly as he waved away at the sand and found his feet.

    When his vision had emerged from the dust, he spotted a figure sitting by a wooden bench with homed a variety of green pot plants. Yet what concerned Crokus was the man who tended to them, it was certainly no Verro, or any other Dothraki for that matter. This man had a strange look to him, almost like he was from the west. He was tall, his mighty stature could still be admired even when he was seated, and despite his old age he still appeared in reasonable shape, save for a round belly.

    “Who are you?” Crokus mumbled, feeling something strange crawl down his spine as he carefully approached. The old man remained focussed on his plants, but a small hearty chuckle erupted from his chest. “I am no one special,” he responded warmly, now turning to meet Crokus’ gaze, “but you, that is another tale,” he added, making Crokus raise an eyebrow. “What do you mean?” Crokus asked, perplexed, now studying the man’s face.

    He had a round face with a predominant snub nose, and above this, two large grey eyes with a radiating warmth to them. His hair was wavy and a light green, falling to his shoulders and decorated with twigs and small flowers, and atop his head sat a wreath of flowers weaved from vines. Yet what stood out to Crokus was his magnificent grey beard which fell to his upper chest. “You’re from Westeros?” Crokus realised, and a small grin touched the man’s hairy lips.

    “You have a keen eye,” the man observed, to which Crokus shrugged. “Only one,” he mumbled, but the old man took jest to Crokus’ dry humour, pulling a stool out from beside him. “Please, sit,” he beckoned, turning back to his pot plants. Crokus took a seat beside the man, observing each of the plants with mild interest. How has he managed to grow all of this here? Crokus wondered with awe as he reached to touch the leaves of a tomato plant, but the back of his hand was quickly slapped by the old man.

    “I am Gourd the Green,” he introduced dryly, pruning the small rose bush before him, “but many here refer to me as the Old Man,” he added with a chuckle, which only made Crokus furrow his eyebrows. “Where are you from?” Crokus queried, wondering if this man possibly knew of him from his time with the Old Thieves. Gourd only shrugged, maintaining his focus on his pruning.

    “Everywhere, nowhere, I do not remain in one place very long,” Gourd admitted laconically, which did not assist Crokus in any means, “you and I are more similar than you think,” he claimed, making Crokus raise an eyebrow to him. “You don’t know me,” Crokus stated in his defence, albeit, his tone was weak and unconvinced of his argument. He felt a strange familiarity with this old man, but he could not place his finger on it, and he was certain he had never seen him before.

    “No, not in person, I admit,” Gourd mumbled, plucking a thorn from the rose bush, “but in my dreams, I know everything there is to know of you, Crokus. Your past and your future,” Gourd stated, to which Crokus just rolled his eyes. “The last man who claimed he knew my future ended up with his head rolling on the floor,” Crokus remarked dryly in warning, to which Gourd chuckled.

    “Yes, a travelling Red Priest in Ar Noy, if I recall correctly?” Gourd mumbled, which instantly brought Crokus to his feet in shock. “How did you know that?’ Crokus gasped, stumbling back a few paces as he felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise. Gourd shifted his gaze from the rose bush to Crokus and grinned. “I know a great many things,” he stated enigmatically as he tapped his forehead and pulled his stool forward.

    “Please, sit. What I have to tell you will not be easy for your mind to comprehend,” Gourd stated calmly, beckoning for Crokus to take a seat. Reluctantly, Crokus did so with obedience, and Gourd turned back to his rose bush. “A wolf from the west prowls towards the east, and there a dynasty will crumble, and a generation of night shall fall onto the world,” Gourd prophesised slicing his finger on the thornbush as he secured his hand around the stem of the plant.

    “A great evil will ride in with the darkness and consume all in its path, and one hero will arise to stand in its way.” With a sudden but swift motion, Gourd snapped the plant at the stem, blood streaming down his hands as the thorns pierced through his flesh. Gourd turned his gaze suddenly to Crokus, “Go west,” he commanded, before touching Crokus’ forehead with the tip of his two fingers.

    Crokus felt a sudden weight fall onto his shoulders, and his eyes fell weak and rolled to the back of his head, erupting a world of darkness and disorient. He felt the world spinning around him, and no matter how hard he tried to hold on, his balance betrayed him and he came crumbling down to the ground. In the distance he could hear the screams of women and children, and the shrieks of creatures that he had never heard before. A great chill coated his skin, and words were chanted in a tongue that Crokus had never heard before, but spoke clearer to him than any other tongue. Bring the night, Bring the night!

    No decision.


    Lex let out a heavy sigh, crossing his arms and staring into Markus’ stern glare for a moment before giving him an answer. “I think this conquest needs to wait,” Alexandros admitted, making Markus groan in annoyance. “Curse Alithis, Lex, you as well? I thought better of you,” he grumbled, backing away from the railings of the balcony and heading back into his quarters. Alexandros quickly followed after, acting on his argument.

    “And I thought better of you, Markus. Your father and forefathers spent their lives rising this kingdom from the dirt, and I will not see savages overrun our lands and slaughter our people for your conquest!” Lex shouted, grabbing the flagon from the table before Markus could pour himself another cup. “Would you listen to me?” Lex pleaded, to which Mark rolled his eyes.

    “It seems that’s all I do,” he muttered, “no one will listen to their king,” he added, taking a seat at the end of his table and burying his head in his hands. Alexandros rolled his eyes with frustration, placing the flagon down and approaching his friend, to which he placed a hand on his shoulder. “The kingdom listens to you, but if you continue down a path of greed rather than duty, you will have no one left to hear you,” Lex lectured him, making Markus sigh.

    “What would you have me do, Lex? What should I do?” he mumbled in a vulnerable tone, a weakness he would not even reveal to his wives or sons. He had only ever let himself be this vulnerable with Alexandros, and regretfully Lex knew how to manipulate it. “You must put your kingdom first, brother. Turn your eyes to the impending threat from the north, the Jogos Nhai will hit Kayakayanaya first,” Alexandros informed him, to which Markus sighed.

    “The Kayan’s are legendary warriors, they can fend for themselves,” Markus stated neglectfully, but Alexandros shook his head in opposition. “The Kayan’s are the greatest warriors of all the Alithians, yes, but the Jogos Nhai are a hundred thousand in force. They outnumber them ten to one,” Alexandros stated, which left Markus silent for a dragging moment.

    “A hundred thousand?” Markus remarked sternly, to which Alexandros nodded. “Perhaps more, and if Kayakayanaya falls, nothing will stop the stone giants of the White Mountains from leaving their realm,” Alexandros added, causing Markus to frown. “We must act then,” Mark decided, arising from his seat, and Alex nodded in agreement.

    “Have Raptis send doves to Yinishar and Adakhakileki, the Adakan’s and Yinasharen will march with our forces to Kayakayanaya. You will lead the defence,” Markus stated, causing Lex to raise an eyebrow. “Me?” he mumbled in shock, “and what about you?” he queried, regaining his assertive stature. Markus only smirked, tapping Alexandros’ shoulder and walking to the doors of his quarters.

    “As you said, I must rule my kingdom. I will continue to plan our conquest while you take care of this problem north. After you have defeated the savages you will lead what is left of my army down to the Steel Road to Trader Town, where our navy will meet you, and together we will liberate our port city,” Markus informed him with a calm tone, making Lex frown. “Go find my bastard, Lex, he will be your second-in-command for this mission,” Markus stated before opening the doors and exiting his quarters, leaving Alexandros alone to his thoughts.

    [Find Aegis] [Find Notus Raptis]


    The hot air that radiated off the dry grasslands of the Jogos Nhai plains warmed Nithral’s cheeks as he exited Jhat Ugnak’s tent, a touch of confliction within him. He had decided to give the Jogosi a chance, be that his place or not, and remain by his side in the war to come. Yet what made him fret was what his companion, Vesemir, would think of this decision, and it did not take much hard thought to assume his reaction.

    Damien spotted Nithral before the Valyrian spotted him, and the boy was on his tail like a jackal after an antelope. “What decision?” the boy asked bluntly, making Nithral sigh. “I fight with you, Dardowl,” Nithral stated in an almost defeated tone, making the young man grin like a maniac, but when he noticed Nithral not taking part in his excitement his thrilled eyes turned to concern. “What wrong?” Damien nagged, pulled at Nithral’s arm and the weapons on his back, which the Valyrian sent the boy a warning glare in turn.

    “Just leave me be, Damien,” Nithral grunted, pushing the kid back. Damien shot the Valyrian a sullen scowl before storming off, making Nithral roll his eyes. There was a reason he referred to Damien as a boy, despite being in his late twenties, he acted like a child. He had never been disciplined. He never had the right father, Nithral thought grimly as his images of his own father came to his mind, something he quickly forced from his mind.

    He passed the tents of the Jogosi warriors and walked to the edge of the camp, spotting two saddled zorses patiently waiting by the water’s edge of the Blue Sea. Vesemir squatted by them, shirtless and washing his armpits. The Andal had always been compared as the more handsome of the duo in crime, with his slim muscular build and tanned skin complexion. His wavy black hair was wet had just reaching his shoulders, and his thick black beard was dripping as he cupped some water over his head.

    Like a sixth sense, his pale blue eyes turned to meet Nithral’s as the Valyrian approached, and already he could tell that something was wrong. Nithral frowned as the brother-like figure stood from the water, shaking the droplets from his hands. “Hey Ves,” Nithral mumbled, immediately embracing the Andal before he could ask what the problem was. He didn’t need to. “You can’t do this,” Vesemir silently pleaded, his arms securing tightly around him. “You can’t leave me alone after all we’ve been through,” he muttered, his wet hair was cold against Nithral’s cheek.

    “I have to do this, I gave him my word,” Nithral stated quietly, patting Vesemir’s back. “You don’t have to leave,” he added softly, causing an immediate stand off from Vesemir’s part. “I don’t have to leave?” he remarked with an almost mocking tone. “Have you forgotten that I fucked the jhat’s daughter? Have you forgotten that half these native fucks disdain me? This isn’t my fight, Nith, I’d rather support the Alithian’s than these fuckers,” Vesemir grumbled, making Nithral frown.

    “I’ll talk with Ugnak, all will be forgiven, I promise you,” Nithral tried to assure him, but Vesemir only shook his head. “I don’t want forgiveness, Nithral, I want out of these fucking plains. We have our own job to do, and getting caught up in a pointless war is not it.” Nithral tried to place a hand on Vesemir’s shoulder, but the Andal only shrugged it off. “I gave the jhat my word,” Nithral tried to explain, but Vesemir only rolled his eyes.

    “And what about me, huh? All these years together and you’re bailing on me because of some word you gave to a fucking savage that respects you? Don’t think for a moment that he truly gives a shit about you like I do,” he spat, but now Nithral shook his head. “I don’t give a shit about his respect, Vesemir. We rode through the Kingdom of Hyrkoon, we saw how divided they were. The Jogos Nhai have the power to overthrow them, and that gives us a chance to start over with provided lands and wealth. We’ve been living like slaves when we should be living like kings!” Nithral argued, but Vesemir only scoffed and shook his head.

    “You know, for the son of a sheepherder, I thought you would have had more empathy than me. We decided from the beginning that we would do this the right way, that we would earn our living by helping others, not slaughtering them,” Vesemir remarked, but Nithral sneered at this. “We decided this when we still had the bags of gold that your father left for us when we were exiled. Remind me, who lost all that gold to some thieving whore in our first day at Gornath?” Nithral spat, eliciting an ireful glare from the Andal.

    “Do not tempt me, Shepherd,” he warned, but Nithral only rolled his eyes. “We have been scraping the bottom of the barrel for too long, and for all we have done, what have we got to show for it? We were exiled for what we thought was right, we have received nothing for doing what we see as right, and now that I propose a new way you immediately shun it! At least my way has a future,” Nithral seethed, to which Vesemir only shook his head, grabbing his shirt and throwing it on the back of his zorse. “A future for you.”

    He mounted the beast and took hold of the reins, lowering his gaze to the ground before lifting it to Nithral’s. “Everything I did, I did for us. I always watched your back, and you can’t fucking deny it. See how long you last without me by your side now,” he muttered, jabbing his boot into the ribs of his steed and spurring it forward. Nithral felt his eyes welling up, but his temporary anger refused to allow him to shed a tear.

    Nithral mounted his own zorse and watched as his Andal brother rode off into the east, his hair streaming behind him and his gaze fixed ahead of him. Nithral clenched the reins with a ferocity that left his palms red from his nails digging into his skin. He gritted his teeth and turned his gaze back to the camp, reminding himself he had made the right decision. This is the way forward, he tried to assure himself, but he only felt guilt and anger. With a heavy heart, he led his steed back to the camp. He didn’t look back.

    No decision.

  • Yay! Finally, some new parts!
    [Find Notus Raptis]
    I think Alexandro's should do this first.

    Nitric posted: »

    Crokus The cell door swung open with a creak, and Crokus grimaced as he turned his glance back to his fellow commanders of the company; a

  • Aaaaah, welcome back =) I am glad you found the time despite university being understandably packed with assignments and the like. I certainly missed your presence in the forums, so I am extremely happy that there is a new part. Really hoping for a new Invasion part as well when you have the time, but given that my love for the story remains unchanged, I am ready to wait no matter how long it'll take.

    And this was quite the part as well. Crokus' PoV is probably my favourite out of the three and given that I really like Alexandros, while Nithral is quickly growing on me (and I am actually really interested where his road will eventually take him), this means quite something. All three parts have been sweet, though I feel like Crokus' has been the highlight. This Gourd seems like a super interesting character, I like the prophecy he made and the foreshadowing it includes. While not much can be speculated about it yet, I suppose the wolf from the west mentioned there is clearly Dickon. Everything beyond that remains to be seen, but I'll keep an eye out.

    [Find Notus Raptis]

    I actually have to admit here, I might need a bit of a recap, who are Aegis and Notus Raptis again? Consider this choice only a placeholder, as I am not entirely certain about them anymore considering it has been a bit of time since Alexandros' latest part, so help me out here and I should be able to give a more detailed reasoning :)

    Nitric posted: »

    Crokus The cell door swung open with a creak, and Crokus grimaced as he turned his glance back to his fellow commanders of the company; a

  • The prophecy certainly brings a dangerous possibility. And I can't wait to see the giants of Jhogwin and what differentiates them from their westerosi counterparts, who are still aplenty on the other side of the world. If they're really twice the size of Westerosi ones, then I would love to read an interaction between them and humans
    [Find Notus Raptis]

    Nitric posted: »

    Crokus The cell door swung open with a creak, and Crokus grimaced as he turned his glance back to his fellow commanders of the company; a

  • Aaaaah, welcome back =) I am glad you found the time despite university being understandably packed with assignments and the like. I certainly missed your presence in the forums, so I am extremely happy that there is a new part. Really hoping for a new Invasion part as well when you have the time, but given that my love for the story remains unchanged, I am ready to wait no matter how long it'll take.

    It has been a while, and juggling university with these projects clearly didn't work out too well from the looks of things :# I hope to change that though with these next upcoming weeks. The Invasion will score a new part hopefully by tonight, as I have it all planned out, it's just a matter of writing it now. It naturally goes to Kira, so I'm sure you'll enjoy it ;)

    I actually have to admit here, I might need a bit of a recap, who are Aegis and Notus Raptis again? Consider this choice only a placeholder, as I am not entirely certain about them anymore considering it has been a bit of time since Alexandros' latest part, so help me out here and I should be able to give a more detailed reasoning :)

    Haha, that's understandable, especially since I introduced the whole council rather briefly and then we haven't really seen them for a while with my absence. Notus Raptis is the warlock of Hyrkoon's counci, a shady man which Alexandros neither trusts nor likes, an outlook which he and Markus do not share. Aegis Nothos on the other hand is the bastard son of Hyrkoon and the general of his army. Nothos I've taken to being the general bastard name of the Alithian's (the folk of the Ice and Bone Mountains). Hope that clears things up :)

    Aaaaah, welcome back I am glad you found the time despite university being understandably packed with assignments and the like. I certainly

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