Old February 14, 2016, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dagger [Midlands] Refugees in the Refuge (OPEN)

Spring in the Twenty Third Era during the Rise of Nightmares

"Run for your lives!"

The phrase was starting to become as common in the Refugee of Medonia as its provincial anthem. Peace, after all, was a rarity among the mismatched entities trying to find some semblance of order following the end of the Xetan Wars. A nice, normal day was just about as common as Medonia's official beast.

A handful of farmers and travelers along the highway scattered like ants as riders approached them. There was a time when riders signaled prosperity and safety along these roads. But those times were long gone, replaced instead by constant banditry and mayhem. The lawless were growing bolder with each passing brightening. And let's just say that a lot of brightenings had passed since the war ended.

The cries of panicked citizens filled the bright springtime air, a symphony of suffering all too commonplace in the former Enamorian province.
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Old February 14, 2016, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Alexandros is standing with a stupid look on her face, wondering what she is supposed to do.
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Old February 14, 2016, 03:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A free moment of time, a small vacation was never bad. Not that it felt like a vacation to Aerys, as the half elf had realized halfway his ride through the province that he was still wearing his squire uniform rather than his usual day to day clothes.

"Ugh...if something goes wrong now, I'd be forced to help rather than pass by," The half elf sighed, as it was important to keep the name of the House he served in high respect and not tarnish it with ignorant actions. Yet when the usual cry of help coming from the usual meek and weak sound through the air, the young man really wished he hadn't worn that uniform. "Haven't I done enough lately?"

Alas, just like his godfather said: the work may be over, but the duty is never over.

With those words in mind, the half elf made his way to the origin of the screams, no longer keeping in mind that he was still in his working uniform. After all, if he did a good job here, it may aid in House Leonardes' reputation and that after all was the entire point of being a squire.
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Old February 14, 2016, 04:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Barthelme was there. Wherever "there" was.

Actually, he was pretty clearly lost. Apparently he had taken a very wrong turn when trying to get back to Port Alyxandrya after fighting pirates in Maeve. Certainly he had no good reason to be in Medonia of all places. And as luck would have it he had ended up right in this very place at this very moment.

What was going on now? Barthelme didn't know. So, he just sprinted out of the riders' immediate path. Was there any cover? Even a tree? If so, Barthelme would get behind it. Then glance back to see what exactly was happening. Was this an actual raid by bandits or slavers? Or just peasants panicking over a random band of harmless bearers of prosperity and safety?

Sure, either of the former was probably more likely than the latter. But one never knew.

So, yes, he would look before he just leaped on in there with Mysticism flying.
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Old February 14, 2016, 04:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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“Run for your lives!” Well that never boded well, now did it? The owner of the voice that called out the warning was unknown but the direction in which it came from, followed by other sounds that associated with what had caused the cry of alarm in the first place, was easy enough to decipher.

Jade hadn’t long arrived in the Refuge of Medonia, seeing fit to travel to see what she had missed out on in the time that she had been hidden away. Her memories of the drug-fuelled capture were hazy at best and thinking back to her time spent in the darkness only brought on a desire to forget all the more. Travelling, giving into the wanderlust that had haunted her for most of her life did well to take away from the torture her body had suffered through as well as gave her something to focus on. She would make her way back to Demios at some point, not to reclaim any political power as she doubted that was even possible but rather to reclaim some semblance of herself. Emrys and her former home perhaps…

The white-haired half-elf leant against the quarterstaff that she carried with her at all times and arched a brow as she considered what she was going to do. She could easily divest herself of the situation and leave, ignore the threat that the bandits presented to these poor terrorized people and make out like it wasn’t her problem because honestly, it wasn’t her problem. She had played hero before but those had been times of war when the Xet had attacked, what a time that had been.

These were no Xet but rather a bunch of cowards that preyed upon the poor and defenceless. It was pathetic and had Emrys been there with Jade like he should be, she would have made quick work of them and made an example as well. As it was, it was just her. No Emrys or Nymira to aid her.

It would be a fight so why not? She needed to take out some frustration on something that wasn’t herself for once so rather than just leave, Jade found herself heading in the direction of the bandits. She had her staff in hand, shurikens around her waist in a sling as well as spellcrafted daggers of her own design. Last but not least, she had a sword at her back with unknown magical properties. She was hardly the sort that would fall by the wayside.
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Old February 14, 2016, 05:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Alexandros looked more shocked than stupid. (Continued)

Aerys reluctantly rode toward the source of screams in full House Leonardes’ regalia. (Continued)

Barthelme managed to sprint out of the way. Behind a tree, even! (Continued)

A Wanderer leaned against her staff, watching. Playing heroine was not exactly her style. She was armed to the teeth though, even if the beautiful white-haired woman may not seem like the type who killed people for a living. (Continued)

EVERYONE:

Bandits.

It was always bandits.

Barthelme saw them first. They nearly trampled over some starstruck woman until a farmer managed to push her out of the way. The Mystic counted five. They hollered and heckled the peasants and farmers traveling together as they made their first pass. Armed with swords and armored with leather armor, they easily outmatched any of the commoners traveling east on the road that brightening.

From her position further down the road, Jade saw the five riders cut through the scattering mob of peasants. She knew that they would stop and turn to make a second pass, or perhaps separate themselves to run down their own target(s). There were plenty of women and children traveling together. The men among them wisely chose to avoid standing their ground against charging cavalry. She spotted few who were armed with little more than a dagger or short sword.

“Rider!”

Aerys knew that he was spotted. Wearing the gold and crimson colors of House Leonardes didn’t exactly make him stealthy. He was the highest priority target on the field now. He saw the five bandits heading toward him, swords drawn at the ready!
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Old February 14, 2016, 06:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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"Only five bandits?" Usira demanded. "Then why's everyone so-- oh, right. Peasants! Man they suck."

"Though lacking skill as warriors, Usira, you must consider that... in all fairness... peasants are rarely called upon to act in that capacity."


Well, the peasants were scattering, as peasants did. And now the bandits were riding in unison against some red-and-gold wearing guy. Probably he could handle it himself. Barthelme supposed he might as well do something, though, just in case he couldn't. So the Mystic would go ahead and Bind one of the forelegs of the horse of the lead bandit.

It was just an Initiate-level Bind spell. Nothing much. But on a horse that was already charging, having one hoof abruptly seize up and become incapable of non-slow-motion would probably be... you know... really bad. Maybe bad enough that horse and rider would go tumbling, and get run into by the four other riders right behind them.

Cue massive bandit pile-up. Problem over! End of thread adventure.

Or, you know, not. But Barthelme sure wasn't breaking out the heavy-duty Mysticism for just five lousy bandits.

"Say, maybe one of them is a mage or a Spellbreaker?"


Why would a mage or a Spellbreaker be robbing travelers for pocket change?


"Why are you mugging bandits for lousy peasant-applause?"


Hmm, yes... I suppose that's... fair enough.
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Old February 14, 2016, 06:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Alexandros' expression changes from stupidity to fury. She watched enough of her friends, enemies and innocents get slaugtered in her own country while she was ordered to do nothing or powerless to do anything. With the wild abandon of someone who has taken complete leave of her senses and has no clue what she is doing, she rushes at the bandits hoping to conk one of them with her mallet. Maybe they will die laughing? One can always hope....
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Old February 14, 2016, 06:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"Oh for the love of...of all fething brightenings in my life," Aerys sighed and cursed his own memorable luck at the same time. It was obvious what was going on, with bandits pestering and harassing a multitude of farmers and their company. In a certain sense it was pitiful and made his life almost repetitive. So far he had freed slaves, fought off prisoners, some weird bunch of trees and tiny imps, even stopped a thievery from a large amount of horses. In the end it was all the same though...he just go caught into all of them by a twisted sense of humorous chance. "Ah well, let's just take care of this."

With yet another sigh, the half elf drew his short sword, courtesy of the Leonardes armory, with his left hand, keeping Niaris' reigns in a tight grip with his right and trying to send her galloping towards the first assaulting bandit's right flank, with theaim not to cut him or his horse, but the straps that kept his saddle upright. After all, if a fight could be ended without bloodshed, it was still a better victory than a bloodstained one.
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Old February 14, 2016, 07:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Jade followed the sound of chaos that came with the bandits' arrival, women and children were kept to the side in an attempt to protect themselves while the men....well no, they didn't really do much in the situation either. Farmers didn't normally have much in the way of combat experience which was a shame, if they took some form of combat learning, they could handle these sort of situations better.

Still, Jade didn't really have time to judge those that didn't choose to go down a more violent path like she had. Instead, she focused on the matter at hand, taking stock on how many there were and what sort of weaponry they had. As far as Jade could tell, they were common bandits with rudimentary weapons and armor. Nothing that she hadn't dealt with before though only five? Were there more on the way?

Normally bandits travelled in larger groups than five unless they only just created their little band of debauchery... Hard to say but did it matter for now?

Jade wasn't the only one to step forward it seemed though she had made no real move to stop the bandits thus she seemed to go unnoticed. Instead the bandits focused on one person and seemed to racing towards him. A brow perked as Jade watched a woman race after the men on horses, intent on attacking them perhaps? Dangerous given how high up they were and she likely didn't have the best angle. Still, she had guts.

Moving forward swiftly, Jade pulled one of her daggers from her side and angled herself as best as she could. The dagger had been spellcrafted so that it would 'seek' out a target in a way that it would help her aim and the force behind her throw as well. Aiming at moving targets was difficult but she would throw two of her daggers at the riders.
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Old February 14, 2016, 07:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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As she rushed at the bandits, Alexandros threw her mallet into their midst. She hoped it would strike someone who deserved it.
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Old February 14, 2016, 08:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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While the voices in Barthelme’s head argued about the use of helping peasants, the Mystic managed to toss a minor Bind spell in the direction of one of the horses. Due to the haste in which he prepared the spell and the distance needed for the spell to travel, he actually used two initiate spells’ worth of Vis. (Continued)

Alexandros, now full of fury, got back on her feet and attempted to chase after the riders with her mallet! (Continued)

Aerys drew his fine steel and darted to the enemy riders’ left side, keeping them on his left side all the while. His intention? Aim for the saddle strap of the closest rider! (Continued)

Jade drew one of her reified daggers. She focused on one of the riders, took a step back, and hurled the blade in that direction! (Continued)

EVERYONE:

Aerys met the five riders head on. Which was a really ballsy move even for heroic standards. Five swords versus one? Five dudes versus one half-elf? So it was really 5.0 against 0.5 if you wanted to get technical and used ‘humans’ as a unit. This might not have ended well for the Squire at all. Did the Baron of Trysvale martyr and honor squires who were killed in combat while on vacation? It was hard to say.

Then one of the horses looked like it tripped over its own leg. Comical, really, if it had been unintentional. Barthelme knew better. The damn animal wasn’t sentient by any standard but it understood pain and numbness. Losing feeling on its right front leg caused it to get all crisscrossed. It lurched forward, face planting on the dirt as it tripped over its own damn self courtesy of Mysticism 101. Unfortunately, the other riders didn’t all crash into the heap of horse and human like Barthelme wished. But what a way to end thread adventure, indeed!

So Aerys was now four on one. The Bandits didn’t look like they were fazed by their fallen comrade at all. Maybe that rider had a particularly clumsy horse prone to tripping? Either way, they charged!

A knife came out from nowhere and its trajectory appeared to curve unnaturally. The rider in the center of the formation looked super surprised to find a dagger in neck before toppling off his mount, bleeding profusely and likely dead.

Three on one, then?!

Aerys swerved in time to juke the Rider closest to him. The man was right-handed and he scowled after seeing that Aerys was on the opposite of his dominant arm, reducing his reach. Then the half-elf slashed in the direction of the saddle straps but instead cut open the horse’s flank. Not a bad compromise. The horse neighed in agony as he tumbled as the creature went down!

Unfortunately for Alexandros she was unable to chase down the Riders on foot. But she was witness the strangers come to the travelers’ aid! One, two riders went down in quick succession -- the first via a terrible horse accident. This bandit looked like he was hurt but not quite dead. She smashed her mallet into his skull and heard a dull crunch as the man suffered a serious head injury, blood splattering her clothes, arm, and mallet.
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Old February 14, 2016, 09:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Wait...what was he doing?

He couldn't stop anymore, with Niaris being poised and ready for the confrontation, the half elf had to watch when suddenly the bandits' ranks began to be thinned out in a rather comical fashion, as before Aerys even reached his target, at least two had gone down before he had finally managed to take care of his own target, not as he had wanted, but still good enough for his taste.

Speaking about taste, it was quite a distasteful way in Aerys' opinion to take down someone from afar with a stealthy move without considering alternative options...even though his own method backfired as well and that thrown dagger actually was quite a fine throw after all. With at least two of those bandits remaining, the squire turned Niaris a bit, with his and his horse's left flank turned towards them, while he pointed at the with his blade.

If they would continue their run, they'd probably have only two or three choices: crash, get stabbed or evade. "come on guys...just run along will yah."
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Old February 14, 2016, 09:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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"Hey, Barthelme! Mallet-girl over there just stole your kill."

Usira did love to stir the pot. In this case though her psionic breath was wasted as far as the Mystic was concerned. What did it matter? It was just some random bandit. Barthelme didn't care. He was only bothering to help in the first place because (like so many others) he was a Glorious Superhero.

Two bandits down. Three bandits left, one of whom was now horseless. And there was that Jade woman over there, along with some other half-elf. Two half elves vs. three bandits? Factor in two and a half horses (counting the wounded one as half a horse) on the one side and the girl with the mallet on the other, and...

"Hnh. Tiresome."

Oh, well, in for a sword in for a crown. Barthelme drew his fancy daggerBane of the Awoken and began heading over to where the red and black half-elf was fighting the bandits. Granted, he was on foot, and not especially close. And probably by the time he even got over there Jade would have killed everyone already. But hey, it was the thought that counted. Right?

Anyway, if he managed to get within melee distance, or if one of the bandits started charging him on horseback (for some reason) Barthelme would go ahead and Bind his horse's leg, too. Then stab the guy while he was down. But if the fight was over before he even got over there, Barthelme would scan the horizon for more bandits, and then wander back and see if any of the peasants needed some of his Grafter-brand first aide.
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Old February 14, 2016, 09:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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oocBetter late than never?

A mid brightening nap. There was nothing better. The weather in Medonia was perfect, especially in the spring. Warm with a cooler breeze, the ideal napping weather. She had been drifting to sleep from atop a blossoming tree, taking residence on one of it’s outstretched branches. She hugged the bark, breathing in the woodsy smell, the light fragrance of the petals. The air tousled her hair, and a distant shriek from a horse echoed in her ears.

Wait, what?

She had been laying on her belly, cheek against the arm of the tree. And then she heard it again. A wailing neigh. Now on her feet, the Pixie would step off the branch, dropping a few inches before a flutter of her wings finally flighted her. She zipped through the thick shrubbery, keeping a determined yet unrushed paced. In her 200 eras, this was not the first she’d heard calls of an animal’s distress, though the sounds of distress were something she’d gotten more than her fair share of in the last couple eras. Wasn’t the war over already?

As she finally made her way to the clearing, her expression turned sour. She’d hover from the safety of above, hidden within the leaves of a nearby oak. They were fighting. Why were they fighting? It was a shame what Medonia had become since the war, as bandits and outlaws had ravaged the countryside. So quick to fight, to spill blood. A tiny gasp escaped her as a human woman struck another with a mallet.

Having just walked, or, flew into the chaos, she couldn’t be certain who started it, but she knew it wasn’t welcome in her forest. ”Nwyn, nwyn, nwyn!” A tiny voice, clearly not big enough to be heard at this distance, but flustered nonetheless. She’d propel herself forward in order to get within range, and begin weaving a spell. Knotting and tying the ends of the spell with precision, and sending it toward one of the riders on horseback. She waved off the spell with a flourish of her hand, not necessary of course, but it added a little flair, did it not? If successful, the rider on horseback would grow drowsy and fall asleep, leaving the Midlands a little more peaceful, and most importantly, a little quieter.
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