Interactive Story: White Night



  • [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

  • 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 ;)

    Yeah, I somewhat expected that even :D University can sometimes really take your free time. From my experience though, there are moments where you'll drown in free time as well, so I hope there will be a way to keep the stories active despite it. I for one am willing to wait no matter how long if it means more parts though, with this one and the new Invasion part, you definitely proved just why I love them so much, because those have been great parts!

    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 :)

    Ah, in that case I would actually like to change my vote to [Find Aegis]. Can't imagine that'll win now, with Notus leading quite notably and since it is as you said, both of these characters have only had a rather small role so far, I won't mind if the other option wins and we'll get more of Notus as a result. But it seems like Aegis is the guy Markus actually wants him to find, so I'll rather go and look for him than the shady warlock guy.

    Nitric posted: »

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

  • Yeah, I somewhat expected that even :D University can sometimes really take your free time. From my experience though, there are moments where you'll drown in free time as well, so I hope there will be a way to keep the stories active despite it. I for one am willing to wait no matter how long if it means more parts though, with this one and the new Invasion part, you definitely proved just why I love them so much, because those have been great parts!

    I definitely know what you mean, even if I've only had the experience of only one semester (nearly!), I found that the first three quarters I was swimming with my own time, and now I'm flat out. Maybe that says something about my poor study habits? Definitely a learning curve for the next semester I think, which will definitely play out better the reduction of neglect I've given to the forums. I love this story, both of my stories, and as you know I have ambitions for other stories in the future (which have died down a bit now, heavens forbid I got carried away with them). I think half of it for me is just needing to know that others can appreciate what I create as well, and the feedback from everyone who follows my story has always been uplifting for me.

    Ah, in that case I would actually like to change my vote to [Find Aegis]. Can't imagine that'll win now, with Notus leading quite notably and since it is as you said, both of these characters have only had a rather small role so far, I won't mind if the other option wins and we'll get more of Notus as a result. But it seems like Aegis is the guy Markus actually wants him to find, so I'll rather go and look for him than the shady warlock guy.

    Certainly, in Alexandros' perspective he'd much rather stick right away from Notus, but as you suspected this choice isn't a groundbreaking one (and Alexandros will find time for Aegis as well). The next part for Lex will aim to flesh out some more minor characters that were introduced in his first part, so getting to understand the mutual resentment between the warlock and hand of the king should be interesting if this choice prevails. If not, Aegis is another very interesting character too! :)

    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

  • Right, well I think all who are going to vote have voted, so I will bring this one to a close. Alexandros will choose to find Notus Raptis first. As I mentioned to Liquid, this choice isn't detrimental, it will just flesh out Notus' character more, as well as show the relationship between him and Alexandros, which should be interesting.

    Anyway, I have the next part ready, and it goes to the Amethyst Princess: Mulan. The last time we saw her, she had decided to allow her brother Remi to accompany their cousin back to the Five Forts to inspect what the matter was. Their cousin, Jingim, however was quite disappointed with this decision, having hoped that Mulan would come to see the issue for herself. Mulan later left the council dinner quite stressed and upset, and on her way to her chambers she was interrupted by a large merchant by the name of Raquest. He claimed he was the leader of a fund lending organisation known as the Howling Company, and was here on request by Mulan's adoptive brother: Kiaan Samar. You decided for Mulan to speak with Raquest now rather than later, and so she will!

    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

  • Mulan

    The Amethyst Princess placed a hand on her trusted commander’s shoulder, giving a nod to the plump merchant leader of the loan-giving company. “Very well,” Mulan sighed, beckoning for Raquest to enter her chambers. She heard a low grumble of disagreement from Commander Quon Zhai, to which she put his mind at ease with a soft pat on his shoulder.

    “Leave two men outside my door, and search the palace for any other intruders you may have let slip past our defences,” Mulan ordered harshly, eliciting a sneer from the commander before he quickly composed himself and gave her a nod, then giving the order to his garrison and taking his leave.

    Mulan frowned as she watched him rush off, she was not herself as of late, but even then she knew that her approach was justified. He had grown slack, allowing strangers to pass into the great halls of Tiqui untested. His attention had roamed elsewhere for the slightest moment, and as a result his emperor had fallen, and he felt the full guilt of his death, and the shame. The shame of swearing fealty to a woman, the shame of allowing himself to have been so foolish, the shame of who he was. An elite guard, whose life was only as good as the life of their emperor, and for Quon, his emperor was dead.

    The Amethyst Princess turned her attention to the remaining two elite guards, briefly giving them a nod before entering her chambers. She felt a strange sense of relief as she shut the doors behind her, feeling as if she had blocked out all of the horrors and responsibilities of the empire, and was in a bubble of her own. However she quickly remembered that wasn’t the case as she turned to meet Raquest, who stood poised awkwardly with his fat hands clasped together.

    “You say that you were in contact with Kiaan?” Mulan started, her courtesies and pleasantries apparently in disregard with her lack of rest. She took a seat at her desk and beckoned for Raquest to join her as he answered. “Yes, my Empress. We have been in communication spontaneously now since the fall of Asshai, and he requested that I come to the capital at my earliest convenience,” Raquest explained, taking a seat. Mulan furrowed her eyebrows.

    “I am no empress yet, and I assure you that we are in the process of containing the outbreak in Asshai,” Mulan corrected, to which Raquest nodded submissively. “Of course,” he acknowledged, a small, irritating smile spreading across his lips. “Yet there is no denying that your empire is in a weakened state, Emp… Princess,” he added, making Mulan scowl at him. “Those are quite the remarks coming from a man that nearly had his belly cut open a few moments ago,” Mulan warned, to which Raquest gulped awkwardly and nodded.

    “Please, my Princess, you must accept that I am not your enemy. I wish to see the Empire thrive, just as your people do, just as Kiaan does,” Raquest stated, but Mulan was sceptical. “We will get by,” Mulan assured him, to which Raquest nodded. “Undoubtedly, my Lady, I am sure. However do you want your people to starve and suffer just with ‘getting by’? Would you like to see neighbouring kingdoms and empires take advantage of your vulnerability as you slowly regain your power?” Raquest queried, causing Mulan to scoff.

    “Any kingdom that would dare march on the Great Dawn Empire would suffer great loss. Our soldiers are the most skilled in all of Eastern Essos,” Mulan boasted, but it was seemingly not enough to convince Raquest, who leaned forward with a solemn expression coating his pudgy face. “Skilled warriors account for nothing against masses of men and firepower, something which say the Kingdom of Hyrkoon, for example, has an abundance of,” Raquest stated, making Mulan raise an eyebrow.

    “Are you threatening me?” Mulan asked with a touch of amusement, her hand reaching under her desk for the dagger strapped against the drawer. Raquest reclined back in his chair, shaking his head calmly. “Of course not, if I wished to support Hyrkoon than I would not be disturbing you, or even be here for that matter. The Howling Company does not invest in a lost cause,” Raquest informed, leaving Mulan at a loss, but she maintained her false assortment on the situation.

    “The way you describe it, you look to fund an already dying empire,” Mulan challenged him, to which he smirked in response. “Dying, but not dead,” he added in confirmation. “There was a time when the Great Dawn Empire stretched from the Alithian Ranges to the dark edges of the Shadowlands. One circumstance after another, your empire has slowly lost their foothold, and now the surrounding provinces which to take advantage of that. With my funding, I assure you that I will make the Great Dawn Empire great again,” Raquest claimed confidently with a grin spreading across his lips, but Mulan still felt unconvinced.

    “And how do you plan on doing that?” Mulan inquired, and Raquest’s grin died down to a small smile, reaching into his vest pocket to reveal some worn papers. “What’s this?” Mulan questioned as Raquest placed the old torn papers on her desk. “They are the past, but the future,” he riddled, sliding them forward to her.

    Mulan unrolled them and inspected their contents, surprised of what she read. They were in an old YiTish dialect which had only been passed down through the Jidao bloodline, something she was certain not even Raquest could know. What he did know was what the diagrams depicted: the lost inventions of the ancients. Mulan lifted her gaze to Raquest, a mix of concern and interest consuming her.

    “Where did you find these?” she mumbled, to which Raquest smirked. “I acquired them from another client, yet how they got their hands on these transcripts I do not know. I do know they’re useless to anyone other than a Jidao, and with your permission, I would like to see them put in production,” Raquest requested, but Mulan felt unsure. “These were weapons of great destruction, there was a reason they were disassembled so many years ago,” Mulan mumbled, more to herself than to him. However, Raquest took this as a time to act.

    “They were weapons to maintain order, and assert power. On the battlefield, these machines will lay waste to anything before them, my Princess. You will be able to restore the Dawn Empire back to its former glory before your enemies have a chance to make a move on you,” Raquest explained, but Mulan shook her head, rolling the design prints up and returning them to the merchant. “The Great Dawn Empire has no wish to conquer their neighbours,” Mulan stated calmly, but with assertion.

    Raquest frowned, but pushed the papers back to Mulan, giving her a nod. “They belong to you, Princess. Regardless of whether you have these weapons or not, I still wish to see your empire rise, one way or another. Allow me to fund you, strengthen your depleted army and begin with the quarantine of the Shadowlands,” Raquest pleaded, to which Mulan raised an eyebrow. “Such greatness you have envisioned cannot come without a cost, what is it you want in return?” Mulan queried, to which Raquest sighed.

    “I wish to support you, my Princess. I believe I would be best suited to do that by sitting on your council as your treasurer,” Raquest proposed, making Mulan furrow her eyebrows. “You are aware Kiaan is my treasurer, replacing him with you would be seen as a betrayal by him,” Mulan tried to explain, but Raquest shook his head. “Kiaan is an intelligent boy, but he is just a boy. So far your empire’s economy as only continued to decline, and I promise you that I will turn that around if you name me as his successor. There is only so much I can do as a distant loan-giver, as you say,” Raquest stated, to which Mulan nodded.

    She admitted, this Raquest knew a lot of what he was speaking about, but could he be trusted? Better yet, could Kiaan be trusted? Raquest had planted thoughts into her head, and she wondered if her adopted brother could truly be to blame for their sinking economy. Perhaps a change in powers was needed, but with doing so there would be a cost. Empire or brother? Perhaps she needed more time.

    [Accept Raquest’s terms] [Refuse Raquest’s terms] [Convene with your council]

  • [Convene with your council]
    She doesn't need to make such a consequential choice right now. Perhaps, she should get some advice from her council first, before making anything permanent.

    Nitric posted: »

    Mulan The Amethyst Princess placed a hand on her trusted commander’s shoulder, giving a nod to the plump merchant leader of the loan-givi

  • [Convene with your council]

    Nitric posted: »

    Mulan The Amethyst Princess placed a hand on her trusted commander’s shoulder, giving a nod to the plump merchant leader of the loan-givi

  • ** [Convene with your council]** Better let them help her deal with this issue, some could be offended she replaced her family member with an outsider.

    Nitric posted: »

    Mulan The Amethyst Princess placed a hand on her trusted commander’s shoulder, giving a nod to the plump merchant leader of the loan-givi

  • [Convene with your council]

    This seems to be the most sensible option so far. I'll go into detail below why I have mixed feelings about Kiaan, so while I don't really trust Raquest to the fullest, I am not certain if outright refusing him would be a good way to do things here, neither do I feel confident with straight out accepting his terms. But Mulan is an empress and the best of their kind do listen to their council. So I say she should talk to them first and get some additional opinions.

    You know, I just had an odd thought... we do know from the canon that the brother of the Amethyst Empress is going to become the evil Bloodstone Emperor, but never has it been said that he has been her brother by blood. So far, I thought Remi would be destined to be the future Bloodstone Emperor, but the more I think about the situation, given that we know little about either of the two yet, Kiaan is just as viable as an option. That is certainly going to make things a lot harder in the future, because I am pretty certain that the one of them who isn't going to become the Bloodstone Emperor is actually going to end up as a rather decent guy. Damn it, and I thought I had it figured out :D

    Nitric posted: »

    Mulan The Amethyst Princess placed a hand on her trusted commander’s shoulder, giving a nod to the plump merchant leader of the loan-givi

  • [Convene with your council]

    Nitric posted: »

    Mulan The Amethyst Princess placed a hand on her trusted commander’s shoulder, giving a nod to the plump merchant leader of the loan-givi

  • Alright, time to close the vote. Mulan will convene with her council! This is definitely the compromising option here, and one which her council will definitely appreciate, but Raquest may feel a little less warm to this. Given that Mulan did spare the time for him as this late hour of the night however, I'm sure he'll get over it :D

    Anyway, the next part is ready and it goes to our other Jidao PoV: Ria. The last time we saw the Wayward Princess she was disguised as the Pale Lotus, and found herself in a sticky position when confronted by Prince Jalhar Zhad and his guards. Ria agreed to hear Jalhar out, who revealed to her that his contractor, Lord Merid, would seek her out to inform her of the grand mission he had planned. Ria left the scene feeling vulnerable and concerned, and out of her paranoia she took an alternative route home, where she discovered a light still lit at this early hour of the morning. She climbed into her room where Old Mei, her partner in crime, awaited to scold her for returning home later than agreed, and warn her that her father was still awake and worried sick. Ria went down to speak with her father, convincing him she was drunk to hide the truth from him, and eventually Shen grew sentimental and levelled with her. In the end, he pleaded that Ria attend more functions with him and start taking her search for a husband more seriously. You guys agreed to this proposal, and this part picks up where the last left off.

    Nitric posted: »

    Mulan The Amethyst Princess placed a hand on her trusted commander’s shoulder, giving a nod to the plump merchant leader of the loan-givi

  • Ria

    A sad frown coated Ria’s tired face as she stared into the pleading eyes of her father, she truly did sympathise with him, and it pained her so to lie to him. Perhaps giving him this would mend his suffering, but she feared for how it would impact her other life, especially given her dire position with the mysterious Lost Merids. Now is the time that my focus should be entirely with the Pale Lotus, Ria argued with herself internally, but as she stared into her father’s eyes she felt confliction and guilt.

    She gave him a firm nod, arising from the couch and kneeling before him, taking his hand and clasping it between hers. “I will, father,” she promised, and in return he gave her a small gracious smile. “I knew you would,” he remarked, placing his free hand on top of hers before lifting her too her feet. Ria’s heart sunk to his response, and whether it was the lack of sleep or sheer moment, tears streamed down her eyes and she buried her head in her father’s shoulder as she fell into his embrace.

    They held each other for a short moment, but it was long enough for Ria to feel the comfort of the father she felt she had grown so distant from now. They had fallen out once, she did not want the Pale Lotus to be the reason they fell out again. After all, apart from Old Mei, Shen was the only true family that Ria had left. She could not push him away, nor could she continue to disappoint him, despite the costs it would have on her alternate persona.

    When the two broke away from each other, Shen brushed Ria’s hair behind her ears, then leaning in to kiss her on the forehead. “I think I’ll get some well-deserved rest now,” Shen decided, a small chuckled erupting from his chest which Ria reciprocated. “Me too, father,” she smiled, kissing his cheek and quickly hugging him again before leaving his side. She raced up the stairs with swift feet, her heart beating quickly with the warmth of love, but confliction as well. She would sink into her bed with a heavy heart, but one put to rest with the shut of her eyes.


    The sun was far into the centre of the sky by the time Ria had awoken, opening the shutters to her room to allow the morning’s breeze into her room. Or perhaps it was afternoon’s breeze. Regardless, she breathed it in and felt an inner peace as she stared out to the calm blue sky. Another blessed day to greet the dying capital, it was a cruel mockery that the gods played on the Empire, but for this moment Ria closed her mind off to the philosophy and politics and just admired the beauty of the day.

    It was short lived, as soon she heard the trotting horses on the stone pavements and bickering royals that walked nearby. Her eyes set upon her neighbours estates, where the bare-breasted Lady Shu hung laundry from her window, and Lord Keshero spoke with a courier outside his front gates. Ria sighed, resting her cheek her palm as she stared out to all of the mischief for a while, entranced by the quirks of the normal life, but also bored by it. While there was difference, there was monotony, and with structure there was simplicity. The perspective of the lesser districts gave her much to criticise in her own district, and a more passionate voice in the courts when discussing the economic crisis of Tiqui.

    It wasn’t long before the door to Ria’s room bashed open and a cranky Old Mei barged in, muttering something under her breath as she fidgeted with a needle and thread in her hands. “Morning Mei,” Ria remarked as she always had, to which she predicted the old woman’s response with accuracy: “Bah! Stupid girl, good afternoon to you!” she exclaimed with vexation, to which Ria could only presume was to her loss of sleep. “You sleep your life away,” she muttered, plopping herself onto Ria’s bed. Ria smirked, turning away from the window and addressing her wardrobe.

    “Is there any breakfast left?” Ria asked, feeling her stomach groan as she searched through her wardrobe for a reasonably elegant dress to don. Old Mei simply scoffed and rolled her eyes. “Go fish,” she spat, clanging her needles together as she knitted her woollen thread. Ria decided on a simple two-part dress, silver and navy blue in colour, with velvet thorned vines that coursed the silk. “Perhaps I will,” Ria remarked as she stripped out of her nightwear and put on her dress.

    “Where is everyone else?” Ria queried as she noted the unusual silence that haunted her home. Old Mei shrugged, focusing on her knitting. “Your father is at the courts, I presume Chi-Chi and Si Ma are at the markets,” Old Mei replied nonchalantly, to which Ria frowned. “I missed the courts then?” Ria sighed, searching for her sandals. Mei chuckled shortly and shook her head. “Maybe if you made it home by sunset you would be awake for the courts,” Old Mei scolded in remark, to which Ria simply rolled her eyes.

    “Don’t lecture me,” Ria hissed playfully as she slipped her feet into her sandals and tightened the straps. “Then learn! Silly girl,” Old Mei muttered, and like that, Ria left her to knit on her bed while she darted out of her room and down the stairs. She was down the hall and out the door before anyone could notice, not that there was anyone too notice, but as she had left most of the day to rest, Ria had become accustomed to a quickened schedule in what little time she had left. She flashed a smile to her father’s guards as she weaved passed them, but felt herself come to a sudden halt as she was caught by the wrist.

    She quickly spun around to meet the stern emerald eyes of Xharrar Dor, the commander of her father’s household guard. He was a middle-aged man, a few years younger than her father, but they had met on the battlefield as fellow soldiers, and been close friends ever since. Xharrar was a solemn man in both his appearance and behaviour, being bald and having a clean face. He stood tall and clad in his chainmail and copper armor, a halberd sheathed to his back.

    “Your father requested for me to pass on that he wants you home by sunset. He wishes for you to join him at the Luyen’s dinner function this evening,” Xharrar informed her, then releasing his grip on her forearm. Ria gave the captain a small smile before nodding. “Thank you, Captain,” she said gracefully, to which Xharrar nodded and sent her off. Led by her rumbling belly, Ria made haste for the food market.

    Unlike the nobles of her district, Ria knew how to eat well and for a good price. She knew fully well she had the coin to afford the well-presented dining meals, however she was averse to giving her coin to the already wealthy. Rather, she would always cross over to the Old Quarter district, significantly poorer than her own, but arguably more alive and warm with its people. It was at Old Quarter that Tiqui housed all their newcomers and traders, and thus the food markets held permanent residence, attracting cuisines from cultures all across Essos and beyond.

    The smell alone was a blessing from the gods as she approached the markets with an unsated hunger, and her eyes gleamed as they trailed over all the different foods that were displayed on each cook’s stalls. Asshai’i spiced apple and dragon fruit curries, Jogosi root biscuits, fat dumplings and spiralled goose noodles. Ria indulged herself to a feast, and fill the pockets of many poor merchants with her coin, something she had no regret for.

    When she grew full, she moved herself to Cross Markets, where all merchants were welcome to come and go with their merchandise. It made for interesting and new items to be browsed each day, and Ria often found herself roaming the Cross Markets when she needed to walk off her meals. However after today, she walked slower, feeling that perhaps she did not need that extra rice cake.

    Her eyes flickered over the merchandise of numerous stalls. Small wooden trinkets carved from the Mossovy woods, gemstones from the caves of N’Ghai, and sharpened hunting knives from the island of Leng. Ria stopped a moment to inspect the daggers, always having an interest in inspecting blades. They were of excellent craft as well, sharpened steel connected to whalebone hilts, along with a selection of bone carvings and leather hand-wraps.

    The merchant quickly arose to the scene to promote her goods when Ria was just about to leave, chasing after her with a leather satchel. “A new bag for you, madam? Both fashionable and practical, I assure you,” the young girl stated with a grin spread across her lips, but Ria found herself frozen briefly as she recognised the huntress. Meirong, she realised, the girl she had fought in the alleyway last night, and… Ria’s eyes flickered back to the stall, where to tall Lengii girl stood with a staff to support herself, yet her gaze was fixed on Ria with suspicious eyes.

    Ria turned her attention back to the patient Meirong, of whom appeared completely oblivious to Ria’s alternate identity. She politely shook her head, swallowing the lump in her throat and giving the huntress a small smile. “No, thank you, I’m just browsing,” Ria explained laconically, growing alert with her voice. She did not want to be recognised. Meirong flashed her a large smile, placing an arm around Ria’s shoulder and guiding her back to the stall.

    “Please, I’m sure I have something here that will peak your interests, my Lady,” Meirong assured her, placing the satchel back on the bench and searching frantically for something else to offer. Meanwhile, her partner: Jia Lai, glared at Ria with studious eyes, something which made her intensely uncomfortable. “How about this?” Meirong suggested, presenting a leather necklace with a python fang pendant. Ria smiled awkwardly, giving Meirong a rushed nod.

    “Excellent!” Meirong exclaimed joyfully, smiling warmly as she took a final glance at the pendant. “It will be four silver pieces,” Meirong charged, and Ria handed them over without argument, feeling uncomfortable with the Lengii’s gaze hard-fixed on her. Ria gave her a quick nod of appreciation before taking off, but was quickly stopped by the unfamiliar tone of the Lengii hunter. “Wait,” she ordered with a stern tone, stopping Ria in her tracks.

    She turned back to watch as the tall girl hobbled towards her, then extending her hand to pass Ria the necklace. “Forgetting something?” she muttered, to which she dropped it in Ria’s cupped hands. Ria gave her a short and unconvincing smile. “Thank you,” she mumbled, taking a few steps back before darting off and disappearing amongst the crowd.

    A frantic sweat coated Ria’s forehead as she exited the markets, taking a moment to regain her breath and make herself more presentable. As she wiped down her brow, she took a glance at the necklace, eying its exquisite features. She was impressed with just the amount of work that had gone into the carving of the snake fang, with delicate tribal linings that seemed to be native to the hunters of Leng. She tied it around her neck and felt the fang between her fingers before taking off again.

    The sun was beginning to descend in the west, and Ria’s thoughts trailed back to Xharrar Dor’s message. She wondered what this event was that her father was taking her to. The Luyen’s were a small but very powerful family, with a lot of influence over the courts and the royal family. Ria had constantly seen a few of the Luyen’s in the courts, but had never really been associated with them other than from a distance with the occasional mention.

    As her thoughts roamed, Ria autonomously took the regular route back to her district, paying little attention to those around her. She followed the main street to the main square of Old Quarter, where she took the path to the Royals District. The main square was always a place of attention, but at this hour it was particularly busier than usual, with Ria having to battle through the crowds in order to get anywhere. As she did, she felt a small hand grasp and tug at hers, and she quickly turned to meet the large eyes of the child pushing in front of her.

    Ria’s eyes widened as she recognised the girl, the small girl from who she had saved, and left with her injured mother to pursue the hunters that had assisted her. The girl tugged at her Ria’s hand, giggling before running away. Ria instinctively felt herself chasing after the girl, who ran down an alley and waited at the end. Ria forced herself to stop as she watched the girl beckon her to follow before disappearing around the corner. What did the girl want with her? Perhaps she was just playing, or maybe…

    A sudden realisation overwhelmed her as she stood idle in the busy street, staring ahead of her and thinking of Prince Zhad’s words. They will find you, he said, when referring to the Lost Merids. Was this what he had meant? Perhaps not, it was possible Ria was just overtired, but this did feel strange. She looked up to the sky again, noticing how dark it was starting to become. Her father would grow worried if she did not return to fulfil her promise to him, but she had left this child before, and a line between guilt and curiosity urged her to follow on.

    [Follow the girl] [Return home]

  • [Follow the girl] I want to find out if the girl is more than what she seems.

  • [Return home]
    Better not make her father angry again. She has a dinner to attend. Also, if they really are trying to lure her to Prince Zhad or somewhere. Won't they find out her secret identity? If she leaves they might think they suspect the wrong girl.

    Nitric posted: »

    Ria A sad frown coated Ria’s tired face as she stared into the pleading eyes of her father, she truly did sympathise with him, and it pai

  • Man, Old Mei is quickly turning into my favourite side character in the entire story. That woman is hilarious :D I also like her relationship with Ria though, even beyond the funny moments it offers.

    [Follow the girl]

    I am really not certain what to choose here and maybe I will even end up changing my vote later on. See, I am actually not opposed to returning home here. Ria probably dreads that dinner and I cannot blame her, but I find it kinda interesting (and her discomfort in such situations will never fail to amuse me :D) and would legitimately hate for her to miss out on it. Top of that, Tales brought up an excellent argument here, so excellent that I might indeed end up changing my vote. It's just that I think that in whatever is going on here, Ria needs information and if the girl is going to lead her to the Lost Merids, then this sounds like a puzzle piece to gain this information. So, I will pick this for now, but might end up changing my vote later on.

    Nitric posted: »

    Ria A sad frown coated Ria’s tired face as she stared into the pleading eyes of her father, she truly did sympathise with him, and it pai

  • [Return home]
    Yeah,Dont make your father angry

    Nitric posted: »

    Ria A sad frown coated Ria’s tired face as she stared into the pleading eyes of her father, she truly did sympathise with him, and it pai

  • Well, this vote is at a draw, which means there is only one way to solve this. @LiquidChicagoTed I call upon you to settle the decision for your character! Choose wisely ;)

    I'd also like to announce (like being a non-favourable word to use) that I'll be having to postpone writing now for a few weeks as I need to prioritise my upcoming exams. I'll maybe be able to put out one more part for the Invasion but that's it. Exams are through till the middle of June, so expect me to kick back up in about a month (I know that seems long, I am sorry). After that I'll have about a week or two to do some writing before I jump into an intensive winter school unit where I'll do a whole semester of Law in 6 days! Then I'll get that exam in the first week of second semester and then... Home free baby. Three units and a whole lot of time to write with that. So that's what's to look forward to, just a heads up =)

    Nitric posted: »

    Ria A sad frown coated Ria’s tired face as she stared into the pleading eyes of her father, she truly did sympathise with him, and it pai

  • Aaaah, I am the one to break the tie, you say? I... am not sure what to choose D: Kinda afraid that choosing the wrong option will turn out to be a tremendous mistake, so now I am quite nervous. Actually, I have put some thought into this today and yesterday and I needed that time to come to a decision. And my decision is, I would like to change my vote to [Return home], because I cannot deny that Tales' point is quite a good one. Those who wish to contact her can always do so later on, but this whole situation is a bit fishy, I'd say, so I hesitate to go through with my original choice. When it comes to Ria, I'd rather like to play it safe.

    Nitric posted: »

    Well, this vote is at a draw, which means there is only one way to solve this. @LiquidChicagoTed I call upon you to settle the decision for

  • Hey guys! So as I mentioned last time I was active, I had exams that would pull me away for a month or so, and well, that month is over. Fortunately that's given me some time to clear my head, and I've now turned my attention back to writing, albeit I admit it's a little difficult motivating myself to write anything after having had to write a lot academically over these past few weeks. I will try though! In fact, I've just managed to finish the next part, which I have been struggling with for the past few days, however I decided to cut it short with a choice I think is equally as rewarding as the initial idea. It's a Kali part, here's a recap.

    Having been introduced as an abused girl in a box, Kaliza Rakhan was anything other, in fact she is one of the two remaining members of the legendary House of Rakhan, an influential house that was all but annihilated in the Ghiscari Empire. Fleeing with her brother, Driznor, they found themselves on a ship bound for Yi Ti, where they would meet a potential ally. Later disembarking the vessel with her brother and Captain Kreqnir (the brother of Mulan's eunuch steward), Kali would walk the markets and find two very alluring stones that she would later come to buy. She would then be taken by Kreqnir to meet with two sellswords, Sarella Nym and Sonq, who would split paths. Sonq would escort Kreqnir and Driznor to meet their new ally: the King of Crime. Meanwhile, Sarella would go to retrieve Kreqnir's brother. Faced with a decision, you guys chose for Kali to go with Sarella in retrieving Raqhis mo Ahzi. This part picks up where it left off.

  • I'll also post on Nitric to remain some consistency (I didn't realise I wasn't on that account already xD)

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Hey guys! So as I mentioned last time I was active, I had exams that would pull me away for a month or so, and well, that month is over. For

  • Kaliza

    Kreqnir held a firm glance on Kali which made a shiver run down her spine, and under his influence, she submitted to his request with a nod. In return, she was rewarded with a grin as he turned his gaze back to Sarella Nym. “Brilliant, don’t waste time with chatter. The night harbours many with dark ambitions, and gods know there are few who have love for my castrated brother,” Kreqnir grumbled, placing his hand on Driznor’s shoulder as signal to leave.

    “A moment, please,” Driz requested, glancing at his sister, to which Kreqnir sighed and rolled his eyes. “Gods you two are an inseparable pair,” he muttered, nodding to the sellsword, Sonq, and taking their leave. Kali gazed into her brother’s concerned amber eyes, and immediately accepted his embrace as he flung his arms around her. “Keep your wits about you, I cannot lose you,” Driz stated sternly, but behind his put-on assertive tone she could hear his genuine worry, and she appeased him with a subtle nod.

    “I’ll be back soon, I promise,” Kali claimed, but in truth she could not assure anything. They were in foreign lands, surrounded by equally equivocal folk of which they had only heard tales about as children. Driz pulled away from her, caressing her cheek before turning to follow after Kreqnir and Sonq. Kali watched him for a moment before resting her hands on her hip, where she suddenly remembered her treasured stones as she felt them tied to her belt.

    “Driz!” she called, chasing after him as she freed the small leather bag from her side. Driz turned around in time to realise the small bag hurling towards him, which he clumsily caught in his soft hands. “What’s this?” he inquired, but Kali only smirked. “Hold onto them for me until I get back,” she ordered mockingly, making Driz roll his eyes as he pocketed the bag and joined his escort. Kali held her smile as she watched Driz and the others disappear around the corner, and then it slowly faded as her gaze met with Sarella’s.

    “If you’re done lusting over your handsome lord…” Sarella teased, to which Kali rolled her eyes. “He’s my brother,” she explained, to which Sarella chuckled. “I jest, Ghiscari. Do not take me for a daft water witch like the rest of your people do,” she stated firmly, beginning her trail to the palace. Kali quickly followed after.

    “It seems like you two have been on the run for a while now,” Sarella observed as the two walked with haste down the empty street, “of all the fugitives we’ve received, few of them have had much love in their hearts left,” Sarella added, to which Kali scowled. “We are not fugitives, we were usurped,” Kali muttered, evoking a smirk from the Rhoynish girl. “Instead, they something nostalgic and dread their new lives. That’s the problem with you fugitives, you fail to embrace the new life. You fail to see all the opportunity and greatness that awaits you,” Sarella claimed, to which Kali rolled her eyes.

    “Perhaps you fail to see that we ‘fugitives’ have lost everything. There is nothing left of us. I have spent this last year keeping my brother and I alive, ‘living in the moment’ was not a luxury I had the time to even dream of,” Kali sneered, and in turn Sarella smirked. “Quite the paranoid one, aren’t you? Forget making you into a sellsword,” she quipped, leading Kali to an adjacent street an up an alley, but Kali had already grown tired with her words.

    “Are you all talk, mercenary?” she taunted, her hand reaching down for where her khopesh usually resided by her waste, but she was left with a cold realisation that all of her gear was stashed away in cargo still. Regardless, she glared down the Rhoynish sellsword, clenching her hands into fists. To Kali’s immediate disdain however, Sarella only grinned and let out a small giggle. “Darling, you have much to learn if you wish to excel here,” she simply stated, and without further chatter she unsheathed a small dagger and passed it to Kali.

    “What do you expect me to do with this?” Kali muttered, glaring at the miniature blade as she took it into her hands. Sarella smirked, glancing at the small dagger and then back at Kali. “Perhaps you’ll become a letter-opener for the King of Crime,” she quipped, brushing back Kali’s hair behind her ear playfully and setting off again. Kali glared down the back of the Rhoynar girl, muttering a curse under her breath as she reluctantly followed after her.


    The streets had fallen into the shadow of the night by the time the lights of the palace came into view. While Kali had been no stranger to wealth and commodities, she admittedly found herself awestruck by the magnificence of architecture, even if the night only allowed her to see so little. The YiTish culture was something else, but Kali felt no comfort in this foreign city, no more than she had felt in Qarth or among the villages of Lhazar.

    Sarella pulled the distracted Ghiscari into the shadows, a stern look on her hard eyes. “Stay close to me,” she ordered strictly, glancing around her alertly, “the Royal District has been on edge since the death of the emperor,” Sarella stated bluntly, turning towards the palace walls. Kali raised an eyebrow, following after her as they crept through the shadows. “The emperor is dead?” Kali queried in whisper, to which Sarella nodded, but her response was obscured by the darkness.

    “Be it old age or poisoned by his lineage, no one knows. The Amethyst Princess will have her ascension and in time…” Sarella halted, stopping Kali as two patrolmen roamed passed. “In time, we will ascend with her,” Sarella concluded, taking Kali by the arm and darting across the brightly lit pathway into the next alley. “What do you mean?” Kali interrogated, freeing herself from the sellsword’s grasp.

    “The Great Steward is not our only influence within the royal courts, the Syndicate holds a firm grasp over what is left of the Empire. Emperor or Empress, a title with no power. It’s the Syndicate who pulls the strings,” Sarella glorified, and before Kali could question her any further she felt the Rhoynar clamp her lips shut with her palm. “Hush now, we don’t want to scare away our guest,” she stated mockingly, removing her hand and glancing to a shady figure pacing by the castle walls.

    “Is that?” Kali began to ask, but a sour glare in her direction silenced her words. Sarella rose to her feet, peering around her before stepping into the light, where Kali reluctantly followed her example. The anxious hooded figure immediately ceased as he spotted Kali and Sarella on the approach, and the young Ghiscari nomad could feel the tension rising between them and the anonymous person before them.

    “My Lord,” Sarella greeted with a smirk on her lips, giving a clumsy bow before the agitated figure, who reluctantly unveiled himself before them. Kali wasn’t sure whether she felt relief or concern for the similarities the older man shared with her, but regardless she was forced to trust in Sarella’s wit. The man would have been in his late forties, albeit lean in posture and thin in build. His skin was amber like Kali’s, but a lighter tone, evident of his seclusion indoors. His black hair was wiry and short, and his beard grown and finely trimmed. However what was most noticeable of his gaunt features were his alert, rapid-scanning eyes, a chocolate brown in colour, and ambiguous in expression.

    “Kali, this is the wicked eunuch of the Great Dawn Empire, and most valued ally of the Syndicate: Raqhis mo Ahzi,” Sarella announced with a smirk, but the eunuch sent an irritated glare in her direction. “Do not humiliate me girl, the night is ally to many with curious ears, and I have no ambition to fall victim to the restless hounds that howl in the night. I would not have even agreed to meet if I had known so few of you would come,” Raqhis claimed, evoking a small chuckle from the Rhoynish girl. “As humorous as ever, you know Qiang has his reasons,” Sarella reminded him, to which Raqhis just rolled his dancing eyes.

    “Lead on, sellsword,” he muttered, then taking Kali by the hand and studying her eyes. “You are the daughter of Rakhan,” he realised, a small smile touching his lips. “I knew your father many years ago, it saddens me that his enemies led his house to chaos and ruin,” Raqhis mumbled with a troubled tone that appeared genuine, however Kali paid it no mind. “I swear to you, I will see to the House of Rakhan rising again,” Raqhis promised her, but Kali was ambivalent with the empty promises that lords had avowed to them, only to stab them in the back moments later.

    “I care not for vengeance, eunuch, only for the safety of my brother and I,” Kali bluntly stated, ushering him to follow after Sarella. “And that you will have, and anything else I can give,” he promised, but naturally she took his claims with a grain of salt. Before long they had disappeared from the patrolled streets and returned to the dark alleys that would shelter their return to the Syndicate mob-house, or so Sarella claimed at any rate. Kali remained on edge as she followed the quickening paced sellsword, with the royal eunuch at her heels.

    “I do look forward to seeing your brother again, Driznor, wasn’t it?” Raqhis claimed, to which Kali raised an eyebrow. “You know each other?” Kali queried, to which the eunuch just chuckle and shook his head. “A formal introduction was never made, but your father did hold his youngest son in the highest esteem,” Raqhis explained, to which Kali scowled, her expression concealed in the darkness.

    She was never envious of her brother, she had always loved him, and he had been similar in age to her in comparison to the rest of their siblings. However, the relationship they had with their father differed significantly between the two of them, and under all that love was some burning animosity towards her father, and through him her brother. He was his father’s son, and no matter how much she loved her brother, she could not help but see the vile reflection of their abusive patriarch resembling within him, and that sight worried her. Furthermore, this life their father had cursed them with burdened her, and while she only wished to live away from turmoil, Driz wished to pick up the reins that led their family to destruction in the first place.

    “I have aided many of our brethren from the Old Empire, be them of noble birth or families of the common soldier. I have welcomed all who have sought my help,” Raqhis stated, and beneath his warm gratitude she could smell the foulness of self-glorification – it reeked. “And where are these Ghiscari now? You are the first I have seen,” Kali claimed in a counterargument, to which Raqhis nodded. “Admittedly, the YiTish are not fond of outsiders, especially with the decline of the Great Dawn Empire, the acceptance of refugees has suffered over the years. However, many have taken sanctuary at the shadow city of Asshai, or given their lives to serve at the Five Forts,” Raqhis explained, to which Kali furrowed her eyebrows.

    “Why keep us here then?” Kali inquired, to which Raqhis answered simply. “The House of Rakhan was very influential in the Old Empire years ago, I would not squander your honour by keeping you concealed in a merchant’s town or swearing your words to a life of glorified servitude.” Before Raqhis could continue anymore, Sarella turned with an impatient look on her vigilant eyes. “Quiet!” she hissed, stopping Raqhis and Kali in the middle of a street between the two alleys. Raqhis’ eyes immediately widened. “What is it? What do you hear?” he mumbled, to which she instantly placed her hand over his mouth to shut him up, then turning her gaze to Kali.

    The Ghiscari fugitive knew immediately what she meant, and freed the small dagger from her belt, feeling the hairs on the back of her neck rise. “Is this all the Crime King can muster to defend this worthless whelp?” a foreign accent chimed, sounding native to the people of Tiqui, but slightly muffled, as if obscured by a mask. Kali noticed Sarella unsheathe her shortsword as she pulled Raqhis behind her. “Show yourself!” Sarella demanded, her eyes scouring her dark surroundings, while Raqhis’ gaze flickered all over. Kali was the first to notice the shift in movement towards them, a number of shadows closing in.

    “Hand over the steward, sellsword. Lord Merid has allowed your lives in return for the eunuch,” the woman claimed, her voice now echoing from the alley they had just come from, where Kali spotted more shadowed figures. Her grip around the small dagger tightened, and she immediately felt vulnerable with her insufficient weapon. “I said show yourself!” Sarella hissed, grasping the forearm of the eunuch as her eyes glared into the alleyway. A spark ignited a torch which unveiled two dark figures in an orange glow.

    They were clad in wrapped gowns, YiTish from appearance with native topknots and armed with quarterstaffs. Another light ignited beside them, causing Kali to immediately spin to meet three more identical figures. Similarly, another three were revealed before Sarella, leaving only the alley ahead clear, until…

    Kali heard the brute before the saw him, a man larger than any she had ever seen, dwarfing his fellow soldiers and easily blocking the alley ahead of them. A selection of burns coated his face and right side of his bare muscular torso, his broad shoulders hidden by his long black hair. Beside him, a figure clad in black robes from head to toe. She differed from the others not only by her attire, but by the smooth of her head sharpened to a point, as if her skull had been shaped like a teardrop. Atop her head, a conical straw hat, painted black. Behind Kali she could hear Raqhis gasp.

    “A Lost Merid,” he mumbled in awe, but that spectrum lay heavily in fear rather than excitement. Kali gulped in anticipation, and Sarella remained oddly silent. “I will not ask again, give him to us or feel the wrath of my Lord,” the hooded lady warned, to which Sarella let out an awkward and fear-induced chuckle. “You’ll have to take him from my cold hands, Jogosi,” she spat, twirling her blade in her hands. The Lost Merid’s expression remained concealed under her black silk mask, but Kali could feel her smirk approving of the challenge.

    “So be it,” she settled with a gleeful tone, unsheathing her katana and circling their trio, the robed YiTish minions closing in around them. “Galor, take the eunuch,” she ordered, signalling the giant forward, grasping his two-handed axe as he looked at Kali with malice. She turned back to Sarella, who pushed passed Raqhis and pushed Kali into him. “I hope you’re as good as Kreqnir claims,” she muttered, passing her sword to Kali as she freed her spear from her shoulder.

    Kali felt the weight of the iron sword in her hand, the blade severely outbalanced with the dagger she held in her opposing hand. Kali turned to meet the hard-pinned gaze of the Lost Merid, who entered a defensive stance and beckoned for Kali to approach. Taking a final glance at the eunuch, she spotted Sarella engaging with the giant, who had swung his axe into the dirt, something which Sarella had easily dodged.

    Kali turned merely in time to discover the Lost Merid had turned to the offensive, and just managed to block her attack and parry the second strike. She was fast, much faster than any opponent Kali had ever faced, and intensely skilled with her weapon. Kali blocked and dodged as many strikes as she could, but the Rhoynar blade was a weapon she was unfamiliar with, and her opponent would quickly utilise that to her advantage.

    Turning on the offensive, Kali lunged her sword towards the Lost Merid’s gut, which was easily parried, and in turn Kali’s momentum threw her to the ground. “Get up,” the woman ordered, slashing the dirt with the tip of her blade. “I won’t let the filth steal my kill,” she hissed, entering her attack stance. Kali scowled at her, realising that this was all a sport to the masked woman.

    Kali stood herself up and slashed her blade horizontally at the Merid’s waist, which the woman merely dodged, responding with an overhead strike which Kali managed to parry and slash the girl’s wrist in the process. She hissed in momentary pain before backhanding Kali back into the dirt, a trickle of blood running down her nose that seeped passed her lips. Kali turned just in time to block the next attack, only to be kicked to the ground and easily disarmed.

    “You picked the wrong fight, bitch,” the Lost Merid spat, kicking Kali’s weapon to the feet of the surrounding guards who watched their fight. “I hope it was worth it,” she muttered, placing the cool blade on Kali’s cheek before lifting it up for a final blow. Kali reached for the dagger at her belt, freeing it and thrusting it into the woman’s shin, evoking a shriek of pain as she stumbled back. Kali reached to grab Sarella’s sword by the guardsmen’s feet, but immediately felt the force of their quarterstaffs at her cheek.

    She was flung back, and quickly arose to meet the next wave of the Lost Merid’s attack, but to her surprise her previous strike had brought the woman to the ground. Kali crawled atop of her, throwing her fist into the masked girl’s face numerous times over before ripping the katana from her hands. In a final muster of strength, the injured assassin kicked Kali off of her, freeing the dagger from her leg and preparing to defend herself. Kali had the upper hand.

    She felt the weight of the YiTish weapon in her hands before approaching the woman, but in the corner of her eye she noticed the fight behind her. Kali glanced to see Sarella on the raw end of the duel, her spear broken and her life under the mercy of the giant’s hands crushing down her throat. Meanwhile, the idle guardsmen pulled ceased Raqhis and began to pull him away, to which Kali then turned back to the Lost Merid.

    [Finish off the assassin] [Help Sarella and Raqhis]

  • [Help Sarella and Raqhis] a risky move but if they want to beat this giant they probably need their help.

  • [Help Sarella and Raqhis]

    Edinosaur23 posted: »

    [Help Sarella and Raqhis] a risky move but if they want to beat this giant they probably need their help.

  • [Help Sarella and Raqhis]
    What Edinosaur said,Defeat the Giant first

    Nitric posted: »

    Kaliza Kreqnir held a firm glance on Kali which made a shiver run down her spine, and under his influence, she submitted to his request w

  • [Finish of the assassin]

    Nitric posted: »

    Kaliza Kreqnir held a firm glance on Kali which made a shiver run down her spine, and under his influence, she submitted to his request w

  • Aye, these Merid people, I recognize them! I was never quite certain what they are planning with Ria, but this is making things only more complicated. I don't know if they actually mean as well as they claimed to in Ria's earlier part, but Kali seems to be on a good way of making an enemy out of them. That is, of course, not a good thing for her, so I hope she can mostly stay out of the Merid's focus. If this part proved anything, it's that they have the resources to even attempt to abduct someone such as Raqhis and that means, they are a potential threat, not only for Kali, but also for others, such as Ria, if they ever get in their way.

    [Help Sarella and Raqhis]

    There are several reasons speaking in favour of this option and the most important is that I consider this to actualy be the better option for Kali as well. See, I don't think the woman she was just about to kill is much of a threat. She had a dagger in her leg, means she is quite injured and the best chance she has is to flee. I doubt she will pose much of a threat if Kali turns her back on her. Meanwhile, if she finishes her off, there is likely not going to be much of a chance for Sarella and Raqhis and just take a moment to consider the consequences. Kali would be alone, her ally Sarella dead and Raqhis being abducted. What sort of a signal would this failure send to the King of Crime? I really doubt she'd be safe in such a case. So, saving Sarella and Raqhis is more than just saving two potential allies, it is saving herself from the Crime King's wrath.

    Nitric posted: »

    Kaliza Kreqnir held a firm glance on Kali which made a shiver run down her spine, and under his influence, she submitted to his request w

  • Hello! It's been a little while, but as promised, I have returned around the time I said I would, and I hold true to my word. Firstly, allow me to close this vote! Kali will choose to help Sarella and Raqhis. While this is certainly a wise option, the Lost Merids have proved themselves quite a formidable and dangerous foe, and striking down one could be equally as rewarding for Kali as the prevailing choice, if she survived the encounter however. We shall see where this choice leads in Kali's next part.

    For now, I have the newest part ready, which I admit I had written a month ago and ready to post, but decided to scrap it as I was unhappy with it. Now it's rewritten and arguably I'm a little more satisfied with it :) It's an Elda part, and hopefully an interesting one. Here's a recap:

    The notorious Andal sellsword and commander of the Stormcrows had chosen to serve as a diplomat for Erin Erenford in the upcoming negotiations with their mysterious contractor. Accompanied with an entourage consisting of: Nkos the Tower, Vorro "Eagle's Eye" and Jaeron Galiar, the five set off with two of their contractor's guides: Lyudmila and Raqzi Lavaar. On arriving at an old abandoned warehouse, Erin and Elda entered alone, where their contractor would reveal herself to be the Grey Lady, a character introduced in Eldric's first part. She revealed that she wished for them to go south to Ulthos to find a cure for her greyscale, to which she believed it belonged to a native tribe known as the Rockru, who used greyscale to keep their soldiers and slaves in submission. Coming to an agreement, Erin closed the discussion, but the Grey Lady still wished to speak with Elda before they left. You guys chose for Elda to speak with the Grey Lady, and this part resumes where it ceased last.

    Nitric posted: »

    Kaliza Kreqnir held a firm glance on Kali which made a shiver run down her spine, and under his influence, she submitted to his request w

  • Elda

    Letting out a sigh, Elda gave the Mad Heron a timid glance before nodding to the Grey Lady’s request, evoking a small victorious smile from the mischievous woman. Meanwhile a deep bitter groan resided from Erin’s throat, releasing the grasp he had around Elda’s forearm and muttering something under his breath. “We leave by dusk, with or without you,” he reminded her, and then took his leave.

    The hairs at the back of Elda’s neck arose as she shuddered with the thought of remaining in this haunted abandoned city alone. Asshai itself was a mass of brilliant architecture and degrading slum communities shrouded by the darkness, and its inhabitants were either hidden or non-existent. With the outbreak of the Grey Plague in this dark city, it made the cursed place even more dreading than ever before, and now Elda was forced to face the threat of an infected on her own.

    She swallowed the lump in her throat as she regained her composure, turning her attention to the Grey Lady who stood patiently behind her desk, her hands now rummaging through a drawer. Reluctantly, Elda approached her contractor’s desk, but like her superior she avoided taking a seat, her alertness peaked. Her eyes scanned around the dark warehouse, but her vision was veiled by the looming shadows. It was impossible to know what lurked beyond.

    “How did you come under the command of the Mad Heron, Elda?” the Grey Lady queried out of curiosity, her rummaging hands ceasing as they secured around a small box which was freed and placed on the desk between them. Elda’s eyes fell upon the box, and admittedly she struggled to find the words in response to her benefactor’s question. “I…” she mumbled, glaring at the foreign engravings that coated the dark wooden strongbox. “I joined the Stormcrows shortly after returning to Andalos, I’ve been with them ever since,” Elda answered laconically, to which the Grey Lady nodded.

    “You were with the Old Thieves before then, yes?” Elda pondered, unlocking the clasps to the small container, to which Elda raised an eyebrow. A small smile touched the Grey Lady’s lips. “Forgive me, I have taken an interest in all of Erenford’s lackeys, but I’m afraid that’s the extent I know of you,” the Grey Lady explained, to which Elda scowled at her. I’m not his lackey, she wanted to state in reprimands, but bluntly brushed off the conversation instead. “Did you keep me here to bore me with your questions?” Elda hissed impatiently, to which the Grey Lady shook her head.

    “Rather on the contrary, I’ve kept you here to answer your questions,” the Grey Lady stated, causing Elda to furrow her eyebrows in confusion. “My questions?” she echoed, to which the Grey Lady nodded. “Has the Mad Heron told you the true reason why he has brought you to the edge of the world?” the Grey Lady queried, but in a tone that seemed controlling and anticipating that Elda had not been informed. She proved her wrong. “He wishes to find the one who murdered his lover,” Elda stated plainly, to which the Grey Lady briefly raised her eyebrows in surprise.

    “You astonish me, Elda. I was mistaken to think you a mindless obedient commander, but also an ignorant stupid girl too,” the Grey Lady mocked, triggering the Andal sellsword, whose hand gravitated towards the hilt of her blade. “I will not be goaded by the likes of you,” Elda warned her, to which the Grey Lady smirked. “Of course not, but I can see past all that blind anger, Elda. I know you’re curious, about your master, about me, about what is in this box,” the Grey Lady teased, to which Elda admitted she was curious, but did not reveal that with her stern glaring composure.

    “Erin seeks to find those who are responsible for the death of Princess Tariqa, the daughter of the False Emperor,” the Grey Lady stated, to which Elda maintained her glare on the infected woman. “Proceed,” Elda muttered, causing the Grey Lady to grin, flashing her hideous yellow teeth. “The False Emperor was an old rival of the recently deceased Opal Emperor, and worked from the shadows of Asshai to undermine the Great Dawn Empire. Tariqa hated her father, and after his fall she escaped the Shadowlands and became the centrepiece of a love feud between Erin Erenford and Dalton Dunn,”

    “Tariqa had remained from Dunn’s side from the beginning, but eventually chose your leader, to which she remained with him until her death – a death which has echoed unrest over the Great Dawn Empire,” the Grey Lady stated, to which Elda raised an eyebrow. “What is so unsettling about her death?” Elda queried, to which the Grey Lady smirked. “It is no secret the Great Dawn Empire is dying, and the people look hopelessly for a saviour to rescue them from their inevitable fate. For a long time, the people believed the False Emperor was the answer to their hopes, and after his demise, they turned their prayers to Tariqa. With word spread of her death, riots have begun to breakout in the major cities, and rebellions are forming against the Empire,” the Grey Lady retold, to which Elda shook her head with some confusion.

    “Why are you telling me all this?” Elda asked, to which the Grey Lady sighed. “Erenford is narrow-minded, and his interests to support me only go to further his own gain. He will die, and I fear that the reputation that proceeds your company will leave my agenda in ruin,” the Grey Lady explained, to which Elda raised an eyebrow. “What are you saying?” Elda muttered, grasping the hilt of her blade cautiously, to which the Grey Lady frowned, glaring at the greyscale at the palm of her hand.

    “When you are condemned to an inevitable end, you become paranoid of the lapse of time. One moment the whole world is in your reach, and the next…” the Grey Lady claimed, and naturally she extended her arm, placing her hand atop Elda’s tense hand that clutched onto the hilt of her blade. “It is ripped away from you,” the Grey Lady stated, and the moment that Elda snapped out of her trance was the moment she realised exactly what she meant.

    Snatching her hand away from the Grey Lady’s, she knew it was already too late. The woman had already killed her, and there was not a single thing she could do about it now. “You…” Elda mumbled, staring at her hand in a split of disbelief and fear, emotions which escalated to rage and terror. “You bitch! You’ll fucking die you whore!” Elda threatened, grasping the hilt of her sword and beginning to unsheathe the blade from its scabbard. The Grey Lady frowned, nodding to someone behind her, and before Elda could react, she felt the blunt end of a cudgel strike at the back of her head, dropping her to her knees.

    Darkness flooded her vision as she found herself struggling to breathe, staring at the floor as the room spun around her. The shadows danced and the dim lights drowned in their revel. With what strength Elda had left, she lifted her gaze to the looming grey mistress, her sister in death. Obfuscated by the pooling of tears, Elda could only see her single figure looming over her, the shadows celebrating behind her.

    “So I suppose I am saying, of what is left of my decaying heart, I am sorry,” the Grey Lady pleaded, but anything else she might have said was lost as all sound was drowned by the whistling in Elda’s ears. Her strength waivered, and her shaking arms collapsed beneath her, shrouding her body in a veil of darkness as she hit the ground and fell through into an endless pit of black.


    Her awakening was harsh and greeted with a headache so severe that each beat made her wince with pain. Yet she was still alive, for now. Elda’s eyes widened and stared to the wooden ceiling, one she recognised to be the deck of the Stormcrow’s vessel. At least I was not left behind, Elda thought with a touch of relief, but as far as the meeting had transpired she was left in array from much after Erin’s departure.

    Reluctant, Elda sat herself up, immediately feeling her head weakened and spinning with the sudden surge of movement. She braced onto the edges of her bed as she waited for her senses to balance and for the hull to cease spinning. Once it had, she gleaned her surroundings, finding all the bunks empty, and the sounds of the sea lapping against the vessel as the soft motion of the ship rocked from side to side.

    Elda lifted her hand to her head, feeling the bandage wrapped around her head. As her hand gently crawled to the injury, she grimaced immediately at the touch, dropping her hand at the instant. What the hell happened to me? Elda thought with concern, wondering if the rest of the crew were alright. Yet she acknowledged there was little she could do in her state of condition, she knew she couldn’t sit around any longer.

    Flicking her legs off the edge of her bunk, she rested her hands on her thighs as she glared down at the floorboards, but something caught her attention as she gazed aimlessly. A small grey spot had formed on the back of her right hand, hardly visible to the naked eye, especially to Elda’s complexion, but yet still noticeable to her. She lifted her hand for further inspection, and then the she spotted the engraved box in the corner of her vision.

    The memory of all that had transpired earlier hit Elda all in a sudden wave, and she was left gasping as a result. She dropped down from her bunk, collecting her composure before approaching the small container that was fixed to the bedside desk. Elda gulped as she flicked up the iron clasps and lifted the lid, suspense rising as she slowly peered inside.

    The contents of the strongbox consisted of three items: a note, a pair of gloves, and a pale opaque stone that glimmered in the corner. Hesitantly, Elda first grabbed the note, breaking the seal and inspecting the contents. It read:

    “Dearest Elda,

    I regretfully write to you after how my hand was forced to have you leave my premises without your conscience. I hope you can consider our talk as an incentive if you find your strength in this mission wavering. Remember, time is of the essence, and life is cruel to the unfortunate.

    I leave you with a gift for now, a small stone referred to as the ‘Light of Sura,’ something which I have found quite useful in forcing some of my more rabid allies into submission. Perhaps you will find it of use with your ventures.

    The Grey Lady."

    A shiver ran down Elda’s spine as she placed down the note and reached into the box for the two remaining contents. Staring at the plain black leather gloves, she frowned as she slipped them onto each hand, then picking up the small opaque stone. The Light of Sura was a small gem, fitting easily into the palm of Elda’s hand, and radiated a plain white light which danced within the milky stone. Unsure how this mystical gem could be of use to her, she slipped it into her pocket and shut the box.

    Pulling herself upright, she decided it was time to inspect the situation above. She used the bunks for support as she took one step after another until she finally reached the stairs, peering up to where she saw numerous Stormcrows attending their duties on deck. Nothing has changed, Elda thought with some relief, climbing up the steps to join them.

    Her eyes squinted as the light intensity struck at her eyes. It was a blessing to see the natural sky again, and feel the beams of sunlight touch her skin. Overall it was a sanction to be free of the shadow city, but Elda quickly reminded herself just how dire her situation was, and immediately felt her time was being wasted standing doing nothing.

    Before she could find herself a duty to perform, familiar faces approached her with mixed expressions. Elda recognised these two to be Vorro and Nkos: the Dothraki and the Brindled Man. Without an exchange of words, the Tower lifted Elda up with a big grin and embraced her tightly, pressing a little too hard against her ribcage. “Hello Nkos,” she muttered with a loss for breath, to which the Brindled Man grunted warmly in response as he released her. Elda also gave Vorro a nod, to which the Dothraki reciprocated the gesture, then averting his gaze to the bandage around her head.

    “How you feel?” he queried in his broken common tongue, to which Elda answered falsely. “Better,” she lied, knowing full well her situation was dire, and her head wound was the least of her concerns. Vorro nodded again, this time with a small smile touching his lips. “Good,” he added, seemingly to take some responsibility for her improved wellbeing, to which she assumed he had been the one tending to her while she was unconscious. Thinking of…

    “How long have I been out for?” Elda mumbled awkwardly, presuming as much as a night had passed given the time of day. Vorro looked awkwardly at Nkos before answering. “Today is fifth day,” he stated, to which Elda’s eyes widened with shock. “Five days?” she remarked, to which Vorro nodded. “Tower guard you from green man and Mad Heron day and night, only called now to work ship,” Vorro explained, nodding in the direction of the sails. Elda turned her gaze to Nkos, giving him a thankful nod, to which he smiled in return.

    Elda furrowed her eyebrows, trying to put together the pieces from now to when she was knocked out. “How did I get back here?” she asked, to which Vorro answered plainly. “Grey Lady soldiers bring you out, Mad Heron get mad, we carry you back.” Elda nodded, frowning with the little information that the two could provide. It quickly dawned on her that Jaeron had also been with them, and certainly knew how to speak the Common Tongue better than anyone else aboard. Perhaps I should seek him out, Elda thought, but quickly remembered the troubles the two of them were sharing. Regardless, she needed information. If anyone else knew about her infection, it could prove hazardous for her position with the Stormcrows.

    “Elda,” a bitter voice barked, one which Elda immediately recognised to belong to the Mad Heron. She gulped, turning to meet the hard gaze of Erin Erenford. “I see you finally had the audacity to awake,” he stated coldly, turning his gaze to Vorro and Nkos, the latter who glared at the Mad Heron with a threatening expression in regard to his tone. Erin followed his words with a growl, grasping Elda by the forearm. “We will speak in my quarters,” he muttered, and Elda’s glance to the Tower was enough to intercede him from taking action.

    Elda submissively followed the Mad Heron down the steps and around into his quarters, to which he shut and locked the door behind them. He forced Elda down into a seat before he turned his back on her, and for the remainder of time, silence prevailed. The suspending moment lasted for what felt like hours until Elda boldly chose to break the silence. “Erin, I-” she began, but was immediately silenced with a hard disciplining backhand to the cheek.

    It held enough power to knock her off the stool she was sat on, leaving a burning throb to accompany the already aching head injury she had. “How fucking dare you undermine my authority, staying and speaking with that bitch?” Erin growled, lurching his boot into her gut, leaving her winded and gasping for air. “When I tell you leave, you’ll leave. When I tell you to kill, you’ll kill. When I tell you to stop breathing, you’ll fucking stop breathing, or regret disobeying me. Understand?” he seethed, to which Elda quickly nodded, still at a loss of breath to speak.

    “Get up,” he muttered, walking behind his desk and pulling a bottle of whiskey from the cabinet. Carelessly he popped it open and drank it directly from the bottle, taking a seat as Elda finally found her feet. “Now, what did the slut say to you?” Erin questioned, to which Elda barely had the voice to answer. “She…” Elda mumbled, to which Erin smirked and shook his head. “Speak up,” he warned, impatiently tapping his fingers on the desk.

    “She said…” Elda began, but suddenly found herself at a loss of words, not from her beating, but from the truth. Everything the Grey Lady had said and done was deliberately committed without Erin’s knowledge. Anything Elda could say about Tariqa could risk angering him further, and the new dilemma with the greyscale… The Grey Lady had played a masterful stroke against her, but again, if she lied to him the consequences could be equally as dire. She had already been warned once.

    [Tell him the truth] [Tell him a lie]

  • Quoting Varys "It's been a long time, my old friend."
    [Tell him a lie] I doubt he would like being reminded of how his mission will influence the empire as a whole.
    I'm still a bit confused, are Dunn and Erenford ancestors of Houses Dunn and Erenford from Westeros?, because it would be curious if they existed thousands of years before their names were even known in Westeros.

  • Quoting Varys "It's been a long time, my old friend."


    I'm still a bit confused, are Dunn and Erenford ancestors of Houses Dunn and Erenford from Westeros?, because it would be curious if they existed thousands of years before their names were even known in Westeros.

    They are indeed the ancestors, in fact most likely direct descendants of the founders of Houses Dunn and Erenford by two or three generations. Given the whole period of the Age of Heroes and the times before then and after are a bit patchy, ranging anywhere from a few hundred to multiple thousand years, the canon is very loose and playable with. While the submissions of Erenford and Dunn aren't mine, there's no canon history of when the houses were founded (as far to my knowledge), so thus that is the non-canon history of their houses in White Night :)

    Edinosaur23 posted: »

    Quoting Varys "It's been a long time, my old friend." [Tell him a lie] I doubt he would like being reminded of how his mission will influen

  • [Tell him a lie]

    Nitric posted: »

    Elda Letting out a sigh, Elda gave the Mad Heron a timid glance before nodding to the Grey Lady’s request, evoking a small victorious smi

  • [Tell him a lie]

    Nitric posted: »

    Elda Letting out a sigh, Elda gave the Mad Heron a timid glance before nodding to the Grey Lady’s request, evoking a small victorious smi

  • [Tell him a lie]

    This isn't good. She has probably infected the whole crew by now. They might assume they got the greyscale from being in Asshai, and they don't necessarily know that she has it. It's probably best she keeps the fact the grey lady gave her greyscale a secret. Either way, the grey lady has forced their hands. Now they have the incentive to find a cure, for at least themselves. Elda should probably just use the cure on herself and the crew. After what the grey lady pulled, Elda shouldn't have to give her the cure. They could just ask that tribe with the cure how they make it, after gaining their trust, and just use it on themselves.

    Nitric posted: »

    Elda Letting out a sigh, Elda gave the Mad Heron a timid glance before nodding to the Grey Lady’s request, evoking a small victorious smi

  • [Tell him a lie], because that guy honestly deserves being lied to.

    Ahem, I would like to take the moment to ever so humbly proclaim that yes, I indeed called it. Staying with the Grey Lady really only could have served one purpose, the one she previously even informed her of. Elda should have seen it coming and I did, in fact, see it coming. Doesn't make it any less horrifying. Tales is right, by now there is a high chance she infected her crew. If not already, if she wants to keep her own secret she eventually has to infect them by acting as if nothing is wrong. Erin at least is infected already by backhanding her, albeit he had it coming in that case. And she can only hope that by the time anyone finds out, she can convince them that the cure is the only way. Still, even if cured, this will more than likely mean the end of her career, because whom would follow her after this? All she can hope for is that she'll find the cure, use it on herself and then kill the Grey Lady for this. For added irony points, she can kill her right after curing her, or she can just deny her the cure entirely. Really, as much as I must admit that it made sense from the standpoint of the Grey Lady, ensuring Elda's dedication to the mission, she made a capital mistake here. The ones she took inspiration from, they infected their workers to ensure loyalty, but they always had the cure at hand to make certain the workers have a reason to stay loyal. As it is, Elda has reason to find the cure, as the Grey Lady desires, but she has absolutely no reason to give it to her, even less than before. It is something she hasn't quite thought through, I suppose, but being so close to death or worse, she is probably not in the position to think every move through before acting.

    Nitric posted: »

    Elda Letting out a sigh, Elda gave the Mad Heron a timid glance before nodding to the Grey Lady’s request, evoking a small victorious smi

  • So the voting is closed! Elda will tell him a lie. In the current circumstance, this would certainly be the safer option in Elda's perspective, if she can get away with it, however you guys have also brought up some very good points in the comments too. At any rate, we'll see the next instalment of Elda's story soon! For now, a new part is ready, and it goes to the blacksmith of Asshai: Eldric.

    The last time we saw Eldric, he had been approached by the Grey Lady, who required him to forge a special dagger made from dragon steel (a different kind of metal to the Valyrian steel we know. It could be more closer related to dragon glass). It was decided that Eldric would first secure the ruby for the pommel of the blade, to which he travelled down to the markets at sunset to secure the gem from a merchant that was in debt to him: Darmond Dardowl. This deal resulted in Eldric receiving all of Dardowl's gems, as the merchant made a break for it as the night crept along, and the threat of the Grey Plague loomed over them. Feeling threatened by the night, Eldric took the gems (vowing to return them in the morrow) and headed to the last lit lantern on the street. It was here that he was ambushed by three greyscale victims, of which Eldric was forced to defend himself, until saved by a red priestess, who scorched the creatures alive. Claiming to take Eldric back to quarantine, the blacksmith was unsure about this idea, and saw a potential exit to run home, but it would have been with probable danger as there was more greyscaled folk between them and his home. You guys chose for Eldric to stay with the red priestess: Daenera Naer, and so this part resumes where the last concluded.

    Nitric posted: »

    Elda Letting out a sigh, Elda gave the Mad Heron a timid glance before nodding to the Grey Lady’s request, evoking a small victorious smi

  • Eldric

    Biting his lip, he took a step forward in the Red Priestess’ direction and quickly chased after her, shuddering at the screeching calls of the infected that began the echo around them. The night is dark, and full of terrors, a voice repeated in his mind, but the source of the voice he could not pick, nor identify. Yet it was in itself oddly familiar, as if to comfort him in this grim setting he found himself in.

    The transient priestess roamed down many dark alleys and aisles, guided only by the fire that jumped from her spread finger tips, being consumed only by the very walls of the shadow city. Eldric felt a sense of claustrophobia as it felt as if the smooth black oily walls would lose their solidity and cave in their path, drowning them in a pool of darkness where they may never be found. Yet that somehow seemed like a better fate to him than the turned creatures of the night.

    Arriving in an empty open street, the priestess came to a halt, as if to gather her surroundings, while Eldric almost collided into her with his complete loss of navigation. He was entirely at her mercy, and the mercy of the Grey Plague, something he had been able to avoid reasonably well until now. All around them the shrilling sounds of the infected creatures could be heard, dancing in the night, feeding on their prey. Eldric’s eyes darted around the pitch black, blinded until the occasional flash of light sparked in the distance. The Gift of our Lord, the familiar voice reminded him, making Eldric shake his head with confusion.

    “We need to move!” he ushered impatiently, but the priestess remained idle. As Eldric began to repeat his words, she turned her dreaded eyes on him, something which caused chills to run down his spine. “Quiet!” she hissed, her gaze scanning around them. “They’ve found us,” she warned, and the flames dancing around her hand suddenly ignited up her forearms. Eldric gulped as he freed his hammer from his belt, his glance flickering around where the light barely shined before it was consumed by the blackness of the city.

    The first creature to come into sight was entirely coated in greyscale, shirtless and only clothed with a loincloth. It bashed at its chest, screaming into the night before charging towards them, only to be met with a scorched end. Before long it the fires drowned, and more of the plagued runners came into view, tripping over each other as they each lunged for their prey.

    Eldric dodged the first leaper, who flew ride over his head and into the path of Daenera’s flames, howling in agony as it shrivelled up in the flames. The second to run at Eldric came into contact with the blacksmith’s boot, knocking the creature back while he attended to the third, whacking it in the skull with the back of his hammer. Eldric turned to meet the staggering opponent, but was left awestruck as he spotted the masses of infected rushing down the street. We’re doomed, Eldric thought hopelessly, grasping his hammer tightly to prepare himself for the end.

    “Get down!” Daenera screamed in order, to which Eldric barely managed to avoid the flames before they hurled over his head, sweeping around them like a firestorm from the greater east. The shrieks of the infected cursed Eldric’s ears, and those out of range came to a complete halt to avoid being burnt. Eldric covered his eyes as he turned to Daenera, who was immersed in flames and hovering a few feet above him, engaged in a whirlwind of rotations as she lit up the night.

    Soon the fires began to dwindle, and Eldric noticed her strength waivered as her powers drained, leaving her to fall into his arms as she became deprived. He gulped as he witnessed the weakened witch depleted in his grasp, barely conscious, just to keep them alive for another moment. Eldric looked around them to observe a mass of burning corpses, along with the survivors which momentarily held their distance, waiting for the flames to extinguish. He turned his gaze back to the priestess, shaking her frantically.

    “You need to get up, we have to go,” Eldric urged her, but the woman felt lifeless in his arms, staring upward into the nothingness. Feeling the heat of the fires dwindle, and the lights dim as each corpse was quenched one by one, the blacksmith took hold of his hammer, ready to do his part, even if it was for nothing. He gently placed the priestess down, arising to turn to his foes. “Come on!” he taunted, partly in mix of anxiety and adrenaline, circling around Daenera’s body.

    The first brave victim leaped over the flames, screeching at the burns that it tried to douse as it landed at the blacksmith’s feet. Eldric put the creature out of its misery with one swift strike from his hammer, then preparing himself for the next wave. There came three, with more behind them, and now he knew. A thundering primal roar erupting from his chest, he lifted his hammer to strike the first, but instead was knocked back with the sheer force of the sudden explosion in the street.

    Landing by Daenera’s side, Eldric saw only a party of green flames dance in front of him. He began to crawl to the priestess, but a flaming green sword quickly interceded itself between him and the witch. Eldric lifted his gaze upon a red priest, accompanied by a trio of others in similar red hooded garments, and a dozen or more warriors in orange robes with ornate armor clad over the top of their garments.

    “Back!” the priest grunted, kneeling down to check Daenera’s pulse. Seemingly almost disappointed from the result, he glared with ire at Eldric as he tightened his grip on his flaming sword, but before he could act, Daenera grasped the hooded priest down to her level and muttered something in his ear. Whatever it was, it left wiped the look of malice of his face, and replaced it with something stern.

    “We return to the temple!” he stated in command, helping Daenera onto her feet. “Seize him,” the priest then ordered, to which Eldric quickly found himself disarmed by the orange soldiers, then to quickly be escorted with the priests away from the scene.


    The Temple of R’hllor was a scarring sight, regardless of it being undoubtedly the safest place of shelter from the Grey Plague epidemic. It stood tall like any other cathedral, monstrous in diameter, stretching over leagues which could make for the size of a small town or village, yet Eldric knew that any of those two would be a much more welcomed sight than this. The temple, like all else of Asshai, was built from the inky dark stone that was ever so plentiful in the Shadowlands.

    However the temple had a haunting presence to it which other buildings of Asshai lacked, with pits of green fire, spiked turrets with misconstrued shapes and features, and the most daunting of all… Corpses. If the flames of the fire priests did not deter the plague, the crucified burnt bodies of the infected would. It certainly did well enough for Eldric, who felt his heart begin to beat rapidly as he was escorted through the giant grey doors, shaped from the ghost grass that covered the Shadowlands.

    Immediately on entrance the blacksmith felt a choking to the atmosphere, like he had overstocked the coals in the forge and erupted a plume of smoke. The very halls were clouded with smoke, making it near impossible to see where torches did not shine. The interior of the temple was just as grim as the exterior, with a gloomy setting that fought an eternal battle with the well-stocked hearths and mounted wall torches.

    Eldric’s eyes widened with sheer awe at the sight of the main entrance, the halls stretching on for miles, standing a hundred feet high with numerous balconies that housed ancient scriptures of lore and tales in their dusty bookshelves. However what was most astonishing was the blooming population. Even at this hour of the night, hundreds of acolytes and servants attended to their duties, flowing like water around a boulder as the orange warriors guided Eldric and the barely conscious Daenera into a guarded auditorium.

    It became blatantly clear with the change of atmosphere that this room housed the uncertain, with thousands of people crammed tightly next to each other, all being closely examined by the studious priests who were accompanied by their personal guards. Eldric’s group escort moved into an adjacent room, considerably smaller than the last, and consisting of a dozen or more folk in chains, all in line to be examined by a priest.

    This was where Eldric was placed, with shackles tightened around his wrists, of which were chained to a steel rod on the ceiling, forcing his arms to be raised and clear for all to see. “Here you will remain, until my fellows either deem you for quarantine or release,” the male priest claimed with a rough tone, to which Eldric nodded at Daenera. “And what about her?” Eldric queried, somewhat outraged of this divide in treatment. The priest glared at him, sending Daenera off. “She’s none of your concern,” he snarled, looking now to the satchel around Eldric’s shoulder.

    “A considerable donation to the Temple of Light, for saving your life,” the priest stated, unsheathing a dagger and cutting the leather strap, the tension of the gem-filled satchel falling free from Eldric’s shoulder was a welcomed relief, but the remark was on the contrary. “You thieving bastard,” Eldric muttered, to which the priest gripped Eldric’s jaw in warning, his hand gloved in black leather.

    “Might your tongue, blacksmith. It will not save you,” the priest reprimanded, but just as Eldric was turning over the temptation to spit in his face, another intervened. “That’ll be enough for one day, Arethen,” a stern voice stated, causing the priest to turn in fright as he witnessed the old man before him. “High Priest,” the man mumbled awkwardly, releasing Eldric and bowing before him, to which his companions followed in suit.

    “The night has been long and full of terrors, my child. Go and rest, the Lord of Light is pleased,” the High Priest stated, kissing the man’s forehead before sending him off, leaving just the guards, the old man, and Eldric in the room, excluding the lifeless examinees also chained to the roof. The High Priest took a step forward, revealing his face in the torch light.

    He held an intimidating complexion, with his oval shaped face coming to a sharp point at his chin, and an eyepatch over where his right eye would be. His left eye, a pure sphere of darkness, gave away that he was an ancient Asshai’i, in addition with his pale white skin tone. His head was entirely bald, and his face cleanly shaven, leaving him completely hairless and plain to the eye. He wore a loose crimson robe, which draped over his tall thin body, to which he looked down to Eldric.

    “So, our child has finally returned to see the Light,” the old man stated laconically, to which Eldric furrowed his brow. He had never been to the Temple of R’hllor, nor ever had any ambition to commune with the fire fanatical soothsayers. “I can see the darkness has shrouded you,” the man claimed, a frown falling on his brow as he clasped his hands. “I am Saetrus, the first servant of R’hllor, but many just refer to me as the High Priest,” he explained, a small sympathetic smile touching his lips.

    “And you are Eldric,” he continued, ordering his guards to release Eldric from his chains. “You were once a child of the Lord of Light,” Saetrus stated, removing the heavy smithing apron from Eldric’s neck and casting it aside. “I would remember,” Eldric claimed with a touch of confidence as he shook his head. “I was born and raised on Ulos, brought to Asshai as an apprentice,” Eldric stated as he recalled his past, how he had come to learn his profession, but Saetrus only smiled and sighed.

    “The misguidances of the Shadow. You child, were born in Asshai,” the High Priest claimed, to which Eldric immediately laughed and shook his head. “There are no children in Asshai old man, you cannot fool me,” the blacksmith claimed, to which Saetrus nodded in agreement. “There are no children, not since the coming of the Shadow, and not until the darkness has been purged from this city,” Saetrus stated, again causing Eldric to furrow his eyebrows in confusion.

    “However you are a mysterious case, Eldric, and prophecy tells that you will repel the Shadow from these lands. There is fire in your blood, the gifts from your mother, and there is forgotten knowledge in your mind, hidden away in the scrolls once belonging to your father,” Saetrus riddled, to which Eldric shook his head. “My parents were farmers…” Eldric remarked, perplexed, to which Saetrus raised an eyebrow in challenge.

    “Farmers? On the barren dead lands of Ulos?” he queried, to which Eldric found himself at a loss for thought. No matter how much he tried, he could not picture the lands that he had once lived on, the parents that had raised him. “By all means, child, dive back into the darkness and let it veil your mind. The prophecy will hold true, my Lord has shown me, and he will show you,” Saetrus claimed, to which Eldric ran his hands through his hair in frustration.

    “What prophecy? What are you talking about? Why can’t I… remember?” Eldric mumbled, feeling his memories flash before his eyes before fading into darkness. What was happening to him? The High Priest frowned, placing his bony white hand on Eldric’s shoulder. “Words cannot explain the future that the Red God has planned for you, but with time, I can teach you how to see,” Saetrus assured him, but something within Eldric screamed within to protest, something dark and haunting. Stay with us, and I will teach you how to guard yourself from the darkness that clouds your mind, Eldric heard suddenly, the same voice that he had heard earlier, the voice that matched the High Priest.

    Eldric’s eyes widened as Saetrus’ glance was hard pinned on him, and the realisation came that the priest was speaking to his mind. The sudden fear of the warlock’s power began to overwhelm the blacksmith. He could be lying, Eldric thought to himself, and the darkness of Saetrus’ eye was unreadable, but the expression seemed to hint to some form of honesty. Regardless, if the High Priest could truly speak to Eldric’s mind, could he hear his thoughts? What else could he do? It was a question the blacksmith wondered if he truly wanted answered, but one thing was clear, if Saetrus spoke the truth then some sort of prophecy would fall upon him. Remaining here could show me that, Eldric thought with a lack of confidence, and he quickly thought of his pending contract with the Grey Lady, and the Grey Plague in general. It could also shield me from the disease.

    [Remain in the Temple] [Leave the Temple]

  • [Remain in the Temple]

    He needs to stay there for now anyways. At least until morning, when the greyscale zombies are not as active as they are at night. Maybe, he can learn more about this prophecy while he is here.

    Nitric posted: »

    Eldric Biting his lip, he took a step forward in the Red Priestess’ direction and quickly chased after her, shuddering at the screeching

  • [Remain in the Temple]

    Nitric posted: »

    Eldric Biting his lip, he took a step forward in the Red Priestess’ direction and quickly chased after her, shuddering at the screeching

  • [Remain in the temple]

    Nitric posted: »

    Eldric Biting his lip, he took a step forward in the Red Priestess’ direction and quickly chased after her, shuddering at the screeching

  • [Leave the Temple]

    Nitric posted: »

    Eldric Biting his lip, he took a step forward in the Red Priestess’ direction and quickly chased after her, shuddering at the screeching

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