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Old August 3, 2011, 05:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
We're all mad here...
 
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[5th Prihod, stealth training] If I can't see you you can't see me! Right?! (Tatiana)

Mid-brightening, Middle of Ioannes, Summer, Era XVIII

It was a bright, warm day in Aslangrad on this mid-brightening in the middle of Ioannes. The streets were milling with people, most of them wearing the dull colors of the peasantry. The fifth prihod wasn't the best place to be walking around, even in the light time. For some people however, it was like being in the middle of a playground surrounded by kids when you're still an adult. That safe.

One such man was in the fifth prihod at this very moment. He was in the middle of one of the plaza like places that exist in the fifth prihod, although how you could call it a plaza considering how shabby and run down it was was anyone's guess. Admittedly it was a large open space in the shape of a square, surrounded by buildings, but it was incredibly shabby and dirty. Pigs were lounging about, getting between people's feet as they tried to walk by, or defecating in the middle of the square. People had to watch their steps around here, especially if they weren't wearing shoes which seemed to be all the fashion in this quarter, else they'd step right in the middle of a big, squashy, smelly mess.

The man who was safe, even if the most dangerous parts of the city of courage was none other than a member of the Hand of Aslan. One of the Checksteufel to be exact, or in other words, a mage hunter. These were the people who were trained in the art of hunting down, and either capturing, or killing mages. They were an elite branch, the higher ranks capable of amazing feats.

The one that was here at the moment though, didn't seem all that special at all. In fact, it would be pretty much impossible to pick him out of a crowd barring someone who was exceptional at such things. The man seemed to be completely nondescript in every sense of the word. He didn't seem to be too tall, or too short, too fat or too skinny, too dark or too light. He was completely unremarkable. He too wore the dull colors of peasants at the moment instead of his usual uniform, the off white robe with the red sash. This wasn't because he didn't want to be acknowledged for being in the Checksteufel, on the contrary he would rather that people knew, but the business that brought him here to this stinking place in Aslangrad meant that he had to be dressed in such clothing for now.

The man didn't seem to be doing all that much at the moment. He was standing still, leaning against the wall of one of the buildings on the outside of the square looking like he belonged here. At least, he looked like a poor, ragged person who's life was like all the feces that inhabited this stinking square. All he seemed to be doing at the moment though was scanning the crowd, looking for something. Or someone. Whatever he was looking for, he obviously hadn't seen it yet, but he seemed to know that whatever he was looking for would be here eventually.

In point of fact, the thing he was looking for was a young half elf girl named Tatiana who was trying to rise up the ranks in the Checksteufel. He knew that she would be here eventually as he had during the middle of the night left a note for her in the place where she slept, letting her know that she needed to be here at about the 16th candlemark of the day. As such, he was waiting for her at about precisely that time here in the plaza. As soon as he saw Tatiana, he would go up to her, quietly put a hand on her shoulder and whisper in her ear to follow him so he could talk to her in a better environment. He would however let her know who he was, and who he worked for before touching her, it did no good to scare people into attacking you in the middle of a crowd when you could avoid it.

OoCif you need me to change the timestamp, let me know. I chose an arbitrary one and made it general so hopefully you can fit it in
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Old August 5, 2011, 12:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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OOCTS is fine. Tatiana has pretty much all of summer free!

It wasn’t very often that the Mage Hunter got a chance to wander the streets of Aslangrad.

Despite the fact it was well known to be one of the worse areas within the city, the Half Elven woman often found herself wandering the streets of the 5th Prihod. She was not human, and she was female, both of these simple facts put her below the notice of most people. Of course this had its benefits, as it normally meant she was able to gather information fairly easily. Given that her hidden job was to locate and bring in mages for cleansing, this simple fact proved to be very useful in day to day life.

However the young woman was aware that she needed more skills. Knowing how to use a heavy crossbow simply wasn’t enough. She needed to be able to sneak around and get to places that she would normally be unable to. That was the reason she’d asked the higher ups in the Checksteufel for assistance in locating someone to teach her the finer arts of Stealth and Gadgeteering. This brightening was the first of those skills. She had been passed a note, a request to meet someone at a specific time and date within the streets of the 5th Prihod.

Unfortunately she had only ever been given uniforms to wear for clothing, and so the woman moved through the streets in her Checksteufel uniform with the Heavy Crossbow slung across her back. Her bolt case was tied to her waist, almost making her appear to be some kind of mercenary or guard. Thankfully it was at least the uniform of the church, which meant she would be unlikely to be harassed by the local population. That simple fact meant the woman was rather surprised when she felt the hand on her shoulder and the whispering in a slightly pointed ear.

This was the person she had been sent to meet, and now he wished for her to follow. The young half elven woman did just that, following this man that would hopefully be her tutor in the art of stealth. He’d provided the information, telling her who he was and who he worked for. That simple act had stopped the woman from trying to punch him, which was a good thing. Instead she simply remained quiet and did as requested, following the man until he was ready to talk more, away from prying ears and eyes.
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Old August 6, 2011, 08:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The man brought Tatiana around the corner and down a few streets to a spot he had picked out way before hand, a spot where people didn't seem to come all that often. He walked at a brisk pace, not looking back to see if Tatiana was keeping up, he was expecting her to keep up instead. He brought her to a dead end, a quiet place where the two could talk before they started the training. It was completely empty here, not even any houses. The buildings consisted of warehouses that were in disrepair, it seemed like not many people came down here unless they were doing disreputable things, or didn't want to be overheard.

It definitely was a creepy place, and if Tatiana didn't know that no one said thay were a Mage Hunter if they weren't, then she probably would have thought the man was lying to her to get her to come here. Then again, maybe she still would have lingering doubts as to this man's truthfulness, he did bring her to a sketchy ally.

"Alright, you know why you're here. Correct?" He put the question towards Tatiana in a tone that brooked no nonsense at all. It was one that had the air of authority; a tone that expected orders to be executed swiftly and efficiently. "What do you know about the art of stealth? Quickly, I want to know everything that you know about it." There was almost no pause between his question and his new one, it seemed that he didn't expect Tatiana to answer the first one.

He figured that she probably didn't know much, that was why she had come to learn after all. Hopefully she at least knows a little bit about what we'll be learning, and I won't have to teach her from the beginning the man thought to himself. It was always easier to teach someone who knows a little bit about the subject than one who has no knowledge at all, as long as what the person knew wasn't misinformation.
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Old August 7, 2011, 02:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Somehow the woman wasn’t surprised that the man hurried off, or that he expected her to keep up with him. Such was the lot of being female and non-Human in the city of Aslangrad. Not only that, if he was a higher ranking Checksteufel, which was very likely, then she would be expected to keep up with him on that basis alone. Thankfully Tatiana was good at moving quickly, though she made a note to get better at doing so through crowds of people. She needed to get better at blending with the general population, though hopefully the stealth training would assist with that.

Soon enough they were in what appeared to be a rather creepy place. Thankfully the woman was fairly sure that most people wouldn’t dream of pretending to be a Mage Hunter, mostly because it typically wasn’t considered to be a wise thing. Given that simple fact, it was pretty likely that the man was not lying about who he was or his reasons for bringing her here. She glanced around at the buildings, taking note of where they were and the condition of the buildings. This could be an ideal place to practice the art of Zarbezi in the future.

Then came the questions, barked like orders. Just like any good soldier, the woman replied quickly and concisely. “Stealth is the art of… not being seen or heard. All I know how to do is to try and stick to buildings and shadows. Our uniforms grant a certain measure of camouflage which aid in hiding. That’s as far as my experience and my knowledge go.” At least it proved that Tatiana did know something about stealth, or at least the very basics of it. She recognised that it was more than just staying out of sight; it was also ensuring a person could not be heard.

Now she just had to hope that was the answer her tutor was looking for.
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Old August 7, 2011, 09:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A ghost of a smile touched the tutors lips as Tatiana rattled off all she knew about the art of stealth. It might not have been there at all, maybe just a trick of the light. The information Tatiana spouted was something to go on at least, it was obvious she would need to be taught more, but everyone started somewhere. That didn't mean he was going to be easy on this half elven girl, but he did understand all the same.

"Well, at least you know that much" the tutor said gruffly, all traces of smiles gone from his face now. "You're correct in that our uniforms help us hide from people. They are very similar in colour as the buildings around us, as well as the snow when that falls. The similarity in colour lets us blend in to our surroundings, even in the day time." He reached out to point at the the cloth covering Tatiana to prove his point. "This is not the only way we can hide however, nor is slinking around in shadows although that helps in many situations."

"The main thing about stealth you have to remember, is do things based upon the situation." He reached down to point at his ragged, peasant like clothes. The time for him to explain why he was wearing them had obviously finally come "These clothes that I'm wearing allowed me to stay hidden, and yet I was in plain sight of everyone. No one knew who I was, what I was, or what I was doing, as long as I acted like I belonged there. That is also another form of stealth that a lot of people don't give enough credit to. Yes, you'll learn how to sneak around, not being seen at all; You'll also be learning how to sneak around in the day time in front of everyone as well though."

"Since it's day time at the moment, we won't start off with slinking around shadows, we'll start off with learning to sneak and hide in the light. We'll keep your uniform on at first as we go around, that way you can learn to use it to hide your movements, especially around the city. We'll start up on the roofs of the buildings, it helps to be able to see from a higher vantage point where we want to go and what we want to do. Making a plan is a very important part in sneaking around, whether it is getting into a place to hide, or just to get in close enough to someone to overhear their conversations, or to get close enough to kill them, planning things out is essential to sneaking up on people"

With that he handed Tatiana some gloves to put on, slid some gloves on his own hands and started to climb up the walls. The fact that these walls were falling down meant that they had plenty of handholds and footholds, so it was an easy climb. The gloves were mainly meant to keep the hands safe from scrapes and splinter, although they did help with grip.

When he and Tatiana both finally got up to the top of the decrepit warehouses, he brought her back to the square where they first met. He put a hand on her shoulder to keep her down, and pulled her hood up over her head. "Remember, these robes will help conceal you from people down below as long as you wear them, you blend in perfectly with the city.

The tutor pulled Tatiana back from the edge of the building and started talking to her."Right now, I want you to try to walk as quietly as you can across this building. You'll need it for what we're going to do later. Watch me now and follow suit." The tutor then started walking across the floor with the grace of a cat. He was bent low to the floor, his knees bent, but not quite ninety degrees. As he walked, he kept his weight on his back foot, while extending his front foot forward. He set it down gently only staying on the balls of his feet, shifting his weight from his back foot to his front foot, all the while absorbing the movement with his knees and his ankles rather than his feet. He did this astonishingly fast, and yet didn't make a sound as he walked across the stone. "Walking like this will help quiet your feet wherever you walk, even if you need to in the snow. Of course, wearing soft leather boots will help your soften your steps even more. What you wear is always important in learning how to sneak."

"Now you try it?" He said to Tatiana in a tone that seemed to say she better get it right.
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Old August 9, 2011, 08:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Was that a smile that she saw on the man’s face? Maybe, but it could’ve just been a trick of the light too. Either way, the female mage hunter was not going to let the fact he seemed pleased go to her head, as that would just invite errors in her judgement and that would not be wise. It seemed that she had been correct in regards to the uniforms, so that was good at the very least, same with hiding in shadows and darkness. However it appeared that was not all stealth entailed, and that was exactly the reason she had felt it would be wise to find some training in the hidden art.

The clothes were pointed out and Tatiana found her gaze staring upon the rags. She listened to what the man said and nodded slightly as he explained and a slight smile came across her face. “Blending with the crowd… I believe I understand.” Those were the only words to come from the young woman, vocal confirmation that she had some kind of understanding regarding what the man was talking about. She made a mental note to look into buying a selection of clothes when she had the money, as clothes acceptable for the 5th prihod would not necessarily work in the 1st or 2nd prihods, so that would matter.

Learning how to sneak and hide in light would be quite a bit more difficult than sneaking around in darkness and shadows. That’s the part she wanted to learn the most right now, as that would be a lot more difficult and the theory should work in a variety of different situations. She nodded as the man explained they needed to get into position on the roofs and how planning was an important part of stealth. That was something else she already knew, but hadn’t considered it when asked about what she knew. Her Zattra was evidence of that.

The gloves were taken and slipped on. Tatiana waited for her instructor to start climbing first and then followed his path. She had very little to no experience in climbing and thus tried to take what appeared to be the easier path to reach the roof. Thankfully the wall wasn’t in the best of conditions, and that made the climb a hell of a lot easier. Once she was at the top of the warehouses, the woman simply followed until they were back at the square where the two had first met. She crouched down when the hand pushed on her shoulder, one knee on the roof, while the other leg was primed ready to sprint off if need be.

Having the hood pulled up surprised her a little, but she understood the need for it. Once she understood the need for keeping down the woman moved back from the edge of the building and listened to her mentor. She watched the man was he walked, low to the floor with his knees bent. Everything was carefully watched and monitored, trying to see how he moved so she could replicate the act. It looked surprisingly difficult for someone who’d never really tried to walk quietly, but at the same time, the instructor made it look effortless.

Tatiana’s form crouched down and she positioned her feet about shoulder-width apart. He had told her to give it a try and she remained crouched, rocking on the balls of her feet, getting used to the feel of shifting her weight between the two. That was important as she needed to be aware of where her weight was as she moved. Once the mage hunter was confident in that part, she then tried to move, front foot moving forward, weight to the ball of the foot once it was placed on the surface, pick up the back foot and bring it back in line, shift the weight once more.

Balance was a bit of an issue, so the woman held her arms out very slightly just to steady herself. No doubt that would be wrong, but she felt it would be needed until she got used to moving. Several steps were taken, the young half elf making sure her knees and ankles did all the moving, while her weight remained on the balls of her feet. After several steps, if she hadn’t been told to stop, Tatiana tucked her arms back in and continued walking very slowly around the roof. The tutor was skilled and could move quickly, she opted to be slow in order to learn and correct any potential mistakes. If all had gone well, that part should be successful, though no doubt she’d have some corrections to do.
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Old August 15, 2011, 07:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The instructor looked over what Tatiana was doing, taking note of everything she was doing right, as well as everything she was doing wrong. "Stop!" he barked suddenly after Tatiana had walked around for a little while. "Try to keep as much of your weight on the balls of your feet as possible, it provides a cushioning for your foot, and will make less noise that way. Also, I know you're doing it for balance, but try to keep your arms inside; having them spread out like that makes you bigger, and more easy to spot when you're trying to hide. Try again, this time without having your arms spread out, try to get the balance right."

Once Tatiana had finished testing out walking quietly without having her arms spread out, the tutor would carry on. Now to see how much you can do, what I want you to do is this. We are going to try to sneak into the building over there and get to the top floor of it without being caught."[/B] He pointed to a tall three story building directly opposite of them, with guards posted outside.

It seemed to be a hideout for one of the criminal gangs that tended to be in the slummier parts of town. "In there, we will find the leader of one of the more prominent gangs, we are going to go in there with out getting caught, and kill him. Remember, no fights. We want to do this without them. Some things to remember; first, plan how you're going to get in the building. Secondly, be patient. It's better to wait for hours if it means you don't get caught, then if you rush blindly into a place because you want to hurry. Thirdly, remember your other senses. Your eyes are important, but your hearing is just as, if not more important. It will alert you to dangers you can't see yet."

At this, he waited to see if Tatiana would reply, or do anything for that matter. After she replied, or a few seconds if she didn't, he would keep on talking for a bit. "Now, this is your training, I want you to make the plans on how we'll get in there, and all the way up to the top. If anything is blatantly bad, I'll let you know, but otherwise we're going to do things your way. Also, since we don't want to get in fights, you might need this" He reached into his brown tunic and pulled out a dagger for Tatiana. He glanced quickly at the crossbow before speaking again "If we absolutely have to deal with anyone, we want it to be quiet. I know you have a crossbow, but this is for just in case, we might have to come up behind someone quickly. Crossbows can sometimes make too much noise, especially when you're enclosed, and echoes happen frequently. I'll give you more instruction on how to keep quiet and out of sight as we go along, but the best teacher is generally action."
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Old August 16, 2011, 12:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well she at least knew that her first attempt would not be perfect by any stretch of the imagination. The simple fact that her instructor had to get her to stop and give some pointers on what she was doing wrong was not a surprise at all, and was in fact very welcome. The mage hunter listened and nodded as he told her to keep her weight on the balls of her feet as much as possible. The comment about the arms confused her a little though, since she did tuck them in and move around a little without using them for stability.

After the pointers, it was time for Tatiana to try wandering around once more. She had an idea for the walking that would incorporate what she had been told, and thus decided to try it. Each step was started by placing the ball and heel of the foot down, then lowering the remainder of the foot. The weight stayed in the back of the foot and shifted towards the middle as the other foot was brought forward and placed down in exactly the same manner. Basically, it was a heel-to-toe step that kept the weight more towards the back and middle of the foot rather than near her toes. That would keep her quiet and aid in balance.

Once it seemed she had the hang of moving around, the tutor explained that part of her training would be to infiltrate the three story building that was opposite them. She turned and looked towards it, noticing the two guards that were standing outside of the building. Getting inside and dealing with the man without being caught would prove to be interesting, especially if he were on the top floor. “Won’t be easy with guards at the door… and an unknown amount inside.” Those were the only words to come from the woman.

Tatiana turned and listened as the instructor explained that she was required to make plans on how to get into the building, along with how to get to the top of it. She blinked a little and took the Dagger when it was handed to her. Apparently the man figured it would be better than using the crossbow, and he was probably right since her aim still wasn’t perfect at longer distances. “Hmmmm…” The half elf crept along the roof slowly, keeping down to minimize her chances of being seen by the guards.

Basically she was trying to see if there was any way to check the sides of the building they would be infiltrating. Entrances and exits needed to be considered, and the woman was also looking for windows so she could try to make a rough estimate of how many guards were inside the building. “Do you have any more information? Number of guards? Is there any time during the brightenings they seem to have a change in the guard presence?” The instructor had expected her to find out information about the building and make a plan of attack.

Since he seemed to know what was going on within the building, she felt it reasonable to pump him for information.
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Old August 18, 2011, 08:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There were plenty of places that Tatiana and the instructor could potentially enter from; Tatiana would notice this as she took her cursory look around the building across the street. Besides the door where the two guards were, there were multiple windows on each side of the door on the first level. On the left side of the building, Tatiana would be able to see more windows that she might be able to enter from. They were low enough to where there would be no climbing involved, just getting into the window. All of the windows on the first floor however, were boarded up. It would be impossible to see through them, or get through them unless the boards were taken off.

When Tatiana looked on the right side of the building however, she noticed that it was connected to the neighboring building, and that the windows directly next to the roof of the neighbors building were that of the second story for the place they needed to infiltrate. Not only that, but they weren't boarded up, and as far as Tatiana could see, no one was in that room, although it wasn't a perfect angle to see in. The only problem with that tack was that Tatiana would have to get up to the roof without anyone seeing her. The instructor would be able to do it, but would Tatiana?

The last thing she could try, was the third floor. The were a lot less windows here, but the windows to this floor were not boarded up either. The problem was, the only way to get to them was to climb, and the climb looked fairly difficult indeed. There were a lot less hand holds and foot holds that Tatiana could see compared to the building she just climbed. It would be a very hard way to get into the building, but if she managed it, and managed it without being caught, there would be a lot less people to run into.

Once again, the ghost of a smile seemed to cross the instructors lips as Tatiana asked her question. The fact that Tatiana had asked him for information appeared to have pleased him, although most people wouldn't have been able to see the flash of amusement on his face; unless they were trained to do so. Most students wouldn't have bothered to ask, and instead would have went off and thought up a plan without help, usually meaning that it was not nearly as good as it could be. The fact that this girl asked for help showed that she would readily use resources available for her, and was more intelligent than most of the students he had to work with.

"Yes, in fact I do have more information on those regards." He paused to think for a bit before going on. "There are three other guards on the first floor, they have no set place they guard so they could be anywhere; there are always three of them though. The second floor usually has no guards, but there are people in it that work there. Mostly a few people doing contracts, some people making counterfeit money, things like that. On the top floor though, there are four guards there. Two of the guards are guarding the door where the leader is, and one guarding each of the rooms that lead up to it. There are three rooms on the top floor, not counting the entrance room where we will be alone. Only the next three rooms on this floor will have guards, the fourth will have the leader. There will be people coming in and out of the room where the leader is, they are of no moment and not our concern, but if they get in our way, we must take them down."

The instructor looked at the at the building before answering Tatiana's second question. "The guards, both inside and out, go through periods of rotation where they switch guards. There is a window of about 15 minutes where the guard will be lessened while the switch takes place. They switch every three candlemarks, and the next one will be in 45 minutes, so you will have plenty of time to make your plans if you choose to do it then."
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Old August 19, 2011, 03:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The survey of the building had yielded a few interesting facts. Going in from the first floor was likely unwise as the two assassin’s would then have to climb up two flights to reach their target. This would dramatically increase their chances of being detected. However, the neighbouring building would allow them access to the second level of the building. That meant they’d only have to get up one flight of stairs, thus making the operation somewhat easier. Of course the problem with that was the fact that Tatiana would likely get spotted, unlike her instructor.

However, she could lessen that by waiting for the environment become more favourable.

Listening to the information the instructor gave her, the mage hunter nodded and looked towards the sky. She wanted to judge how long it would be until sunset, or more specifically, until the sun dipped enough that the area they were in and the building adjoining the one they needed to get into would be in shadow. The environment changing in such a manner would be absolutely perfect for the student of stealth, as she’d have more shadow to hide in and the dusky grey colour of her robes would aid in blending.

Climbing up to the third floor most certainly wasn’t an option, simply because the woman wasn’t that good at climbing, not yet anyways. At least actually asking the instructor for information seemed to go well. The guards were due to change within the next 45 minutes, and then it would be three candlemarks after that for the next change. Depending on the position of the sun, it might be darker then, meaning it would be an opportune time for the pair of them to strike. The half elven woman had a plan, one that she intended to put forward.

After all, the instructor had said if it seemed particularly bad, then he would correct it.

“Right, my idea is this.” Tatiana crept along the roof and gestured to the building next to their targets, the one that would allow access to the second floor if they hanaged to get to the roof. “Getting onto that roof is easy. You can do it undetected with no problems, but it will be more difficult for me.” Her green eyed gaze turned to the instructor at this point, watching his body and face for any hints on what he thought as she continued to share the plan. “Going in through the bottom floor increases our chance of detection, even with a lessened guard presence. The second floor will decrease this chance, and the third will decrease it even more, but I don’t think I can make the climb.”

A deep breath taken as more details were outlined, the mage hunter still watching the instructor for any hint as to what he might be thinking. “As such, I suggest we wait until the next guard change, not the imminent one. By that point, there should be less light, meaning ascending to the roof undetected will be easier. Then we can enter the building through a second story window to gain access to the third floor. Not only will this put diminished light on our side, but it will also give us a lot of time to observe the building and people moving within it.”

She’d actually done some thinking, considering the possible best plan of attack, and actually wanting to wait so light would be on their side and they could gather more information. Now the question remained on if the instructor would agree or not.
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Old August 23, 2011, 07:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It was a good plan, or at the least it wasn't a particularly bad plan. It was worse than some the instructor had seen, but definitely better than most. It had it's ups and downs, not the least of which what would happen if the light hadn't gone down by then, or even if it did, what would happen if the leader left before the guard change was supposed to happen? All of these thoughts and more flashed through the insructor's mind, but he didn't give voice to any of them. This was her plan, and as it wasn't a particularly bad one, nor would it get him killed, he decided he would allow it to go forward and see what happens. He was trying to see what she could do after all, and this was part of it. If all he did was hold her hand, she wouldn't learn anything.

"Alright, we'll do it your way. Until then, I want you to practice your foot work. Keep practicing, walk around this roof until I say stop. We have plenty of time until the we're going to break in, so we might as well do something constructive. While you're practicing, you can also try to think of other ways to make your idea better, although if none are forthcoming we'll just do it the way you stated."

He then watched carefully as Tatiana started practicing her walk again; attempting to get it as perfect as possible. For perfection was the goal for training Mage Hunters, perfection was the ultimate finish. All the while during her practice, the instructor would do a few things; he would both explain to her what she was doing wrong, and explain to her more on how to sneak. Things such as "Remember, people rarely look up or down, so those are good things to remember." Or, "Use light and darkness to your advantage. When it's sunny out, people will seldom look up because it's too bright. Or "Standing just outside the area of a lightsource, like fire, makes it a lot harder to spot you due to the contrast of light and dark."

They continued in this fashion, the teacher teaching his knowledge while the student obediently kept her mouth shut for a while, until the teacher had exhausted the subject. They then watched the building and listened to see what was happening down there, watching until the next changing of the guards was about to happen fifteen minutes until then to be precise. There wasn't all that much movement, there were shadows that moved in the second floor window sometimes, probably just by the workers. The third floor window didn't seem to show any signs of movement except twice. Both times when the guards changed, once when the current guards had left their post, and one other time a few minutes later when the new guards came to relieve them. They didn't seem to be all that disciplined, leaving their post before someone came to officially relieve them.

By the time it was about time to go, the sun had started started to go down. It wasn't dark to be sure, but there long casts to the shadows that stretched, and made their person seem a lot longer than they really were. It was now time; what they would do next rested up on Tatiana. Would she decided to wait, or would she decide to go forward now; she had a few minutes to think, but not all TOO much. The instructor looked at her, assessed her mood, then asked her in a stern but quiet voice. "Well, it's about time now, what do you want to do?"
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Old August 25, 2011, 05:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Considering the man didn’t seem to have any major criticism regarding her plan, the woman was slightly confident that it’d be acceptable. Of course, the leader actually leaving the building was a concern, but then that was exactly why she’d mentioned keeping an eye on the place. “Keep an eye on the place when you can. We need to make sure he doesn’t sneak out.” With the comment uttered, the woman went back to practicing her actual sneaking and moving around. After all they did have several candlemarks to kill, so doing something productive was most certainly a good idea in her mind.

Obviously there were problems in how she was sneaking around, which really wasn’t that surprising given this was her first ever lesson in the art of stealth. However Tatiana listened and corrected herself according to the instructions given to her by the strange man. There was a lot to take in and do to perfect the art of sneaking and stealth, but she figured it would be more than worth it. Being able to sneak around would aid in hunting down those mages that caused problems for the city. There were quite a few skills that she wanted to pick up in order to make her a more effective hunter, but she knew they would all take time.

That was fine in her opinion, since she had all the time in the world to learn and define her skills. Being a Half Elf at least meant she had the advantage of longevity when compared to the Humans of the city. Soon enough it was time for the guard change, and time for them to make their move. The shadows would help the woman to hide, thus tipping the battlefield in their favour somewhat. “We go… well… I go. I want you to stay here while I get onto the roof… keep an eye on the entrance to see if our target is trying to escape. When I get onto the roof, I will find a good spot to keep an eye on the entrance and then signal you to come along.”

And thus was the finishing touches to the plan. One of them would always be watching the entrance to ensure the target did not escape, assuming he hadn’t already. Once they were both on the roof, they could sneak into the second floor and try to locate the man. If the instructor seemed happy with this arrangement, then Tatiana would make a move towards the building with the roof that would allow her to get to the second floor. As she had been taught, the woman would keep herself low to avoid detection and try to stick to the shadows.

First she needed to climb down to the ground. Once she’d managed to do that, Tatiana took a few seconds to take stock of her situation and surroundings. Then she’d creep towards the building with the low roof, sticking to the shadows, walking heel-to-toe in order to minimize the amount of sound she was making and keeping her form low where possible to lessen the chance of being detected. Thankfully her dark coloured robes would assist in this part. If that went well, she’d try to find a piece of wall that was fairly easy to climb, but also offered shadow so she could continue to blend her clothes with darkness and the dusky colour of the stone the buildings were made from.

After that, it was just a matter of getting onto the roof slowly and carefully, then trying to find a vantage point to observe the front door… and finally signalling the instructor.
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Old September 3, 2011, 01:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Utilizing resources is always a good thing, especially in a well laid out plan. That was what the instructor was currently, a resource that Tatiana could use, so he accepted the role that the half elf gave to him. "Ok, we'll do it that way. Remember though, make the signal obvious; if I don't know that you give it then I can't come. On the other side, if I think you made it, but you didn't, then the plan might be ruined. So think carefully what the signal is, and when you're going to give it."

Luckily, it was towards the end of the day, which means less people were about. This was good for our half elven heroine, as it meant that there were a lot less people to see her cross the grounds, thus she wouldn't be spotted as easily. Also, the fact that they were about to be relieved, the guards were quite lax about their duties. What did it matter that they weren't paying so much attention anymore, they were about to be relieved and they could go home. Maybe see their loved ones if they had them, or just go to a bar, whatever they wanted to do. Either way, it meant that Tatiana was having a much easier time sneaking towards her destination to the wall on the opposite side of the plaza.

Eventually, after carefully utilizing all she was taught, and walking in such a way she using her cloak to blend into her surrounding walls, Tatiana made it to the other side with barely being noticed. At least, it seemed she wasn't noticed, not by the guards at any rate, which were the most important at this moment.

The instructor watched all of this, including his target the entrance, as well as the surroundings all together. Being able to do such a thing was a talent that would come with practice, something Tatiana would be able to do eventually. Nothing out of the ordinary changed though, no one seemed to have noticed Tatiana, except a few bystanders who knew not to talk. And yet he still waited patiently, keeping his watch and waiting for Tatiana to give him the signal.

Once our prospective sneak managed to make it to the opposite side, more or less without being seen, she had the hard task of finding a place to climb up so she could get to the next floor. It took a bit of searching for a place that she could climb and had enough shadows to hid her, taking even longer because of the need for stealth; eventually, this being the fifth prihod, there was a building that was falling down enough to offer large hand and foot holds for Tatiana to climb with relative ease. Taking her time as she wasn't the best climber, plus she wanted to stay hidden in the shadows, Tatiana scaled the building like a clumsy, white spider. She did have trouble doing this though, causing some rubble to fall down the building; enough to sometimes cause the guards alarm. Like most people however, the guards seldom looked up, so they didn't catch the white assassin looming over them, nor did they notice the fresh rubble as they weren't particularly bright, nor creative.

Once Tatiana reached the top of the building, she would be drenched in sweat. Climbing the building wouldn't have been all that easy for someone with her skill in climbing, but she did make it; and remembering what her instructor said about such things, kept out the line of sight of the window just in case anyone decided to look out. Yes, her clothes would camouflage, but no need to take any unnecessary risks.

The next part was easy enough, stay out of sight of the window while finding a vantage point where she could see the door. This one was easy, and even for her skill she managed to do so while keeping hidden completely, and efficiently. Once she found her vantage point, and was safely hidden, Tatiana gave the instructor a signal to come over. Luckily, there still was plenty of time for the guard change, as it just started when Tatiana finally managed to get her vantage point, giving them about 15 minutes time from then to find the man before security would tighten. Also luckily, Tatiana's instructor was a master at stealth and climbing, so it took him almost no time at all to make it across the plaza and up the wall to be right beside Tatiana, hiding, waiting for the next stroke in her plan.
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Old September 7, 2011, 02:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Getting across the yard and scaling the building went better than she had expected, which was good. The climb had not been easy, but then the half elven woman was not exactly skilled in such things, so she simply did the best that she could given the situation. The reduced amount of light had certainly helped. As for the signal, the woman used the fading light to attempt to cast a crude replica of the sigil used by “The Hand” on a wall that the occupants wouldn’t see, but the instructor would. It was obvious enough that he’d know it was his time to join her.

After that, she carefully and slowly slinked across the roof to keep an eye on the front door. She needed to do that while waiting for the man to join her on the roof. As for the sweat, it was a mild annoyance that she would simply have to deal with for the moment, though there was a mental note to take training in climbing. Maybe it’d help improve her level of fitness and her muscles along with giving her the skill she actually needed in order to scale buildings. Such a skill would no doubt prove to be useful and vital given the missions she had to undertake.

Soon enough the instructor joined her on the roof. She motioned for him to take one side of the window that they would be going through, and she would stand on the other. The woman tried to use her clothes, shadows and the colours of the masonry to blend in as best as she possible could. After that, Tatiana very carefully peeked into the window. She wanted to see if any people or guards were around, and how easy it would be to actually open the thing. They couldn’t get in if it were shut, and she wanted to try and open it with a minimum of noise, otherwise their cover would be blown and the target would be aware of their approach.

That just wouldn’t do. The task was therefore two-fold, work out how to open the window and work out if it was safe to do so.
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Old September 22, 2011, 04:15 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Trouble has an unexpected way of cropping up from time to time, especially when you least want it. There was a rule for that, or a law some might say; it was something about if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. As such, it was about now that things started to go downhill for Tatiana's plan, at least sort of.

Tatiana was hidden out of sight. At least, as out of sight as she could considering the fact she had only just started learning how to do it earlier that day. At any rate, no one could see her at the moment besides the instructor, although the fact that no one was actively searching for them might have had something to do with it. Even so, Tatiana was hidden as well as could be expected for now; the instructor was of course hidden much better as he had a much longer time to practice this art than she did. The way he kept to the shadows that were next to places a lot brighter, the contrast between the two making it harder to spot him. Hopefully Tatiana was taking note of this as she inspected the window; it would teach her a thing or two about using contrasts of light to ones advantage.

As Tatiana checked both inside the room beyond, as well as the way the window was put together, she would see a few things that might set her back. The first thing that Tatiana would notice was the person in the room beyond. Luckily, his back was towards them, so he had no idea the two mage hunters were there, not 20 feet from him. It would be easy to get to him, as long as they could get the window open without him noticing. Maybe it might be easier to wait, but would that cause the window of time to close? Tatiana had better think quickly. After all, not only was there a window of time, but as the instructor said before, this was the floor where many of the deals took place. There was bound to be more than just one person here.

There was one other problem; the window. The window wasn't open, nor was it unlocked. The two would either have to find a new way in, or somehow get through the window. The latch at least did seem to be a basic one, oddly enough it had a key hole on both sides to open it (It was probably also used as an escape route if needed), the big problem was, the two didn't have a key to unlock it; how would they get into the building?

Now it was the instructors turn to stare, not in the building but at Tatiana. What would she do now that things have started to go awry? Would she change her plans, or keep the same ones? He waited in silence to see what she would say; he really wasn't one for talking unless absolutely necessary. Especially when he was on a job.
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