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  1. #1
    Ride The Lightning

    EXP: 143,779, Level: 16
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    Level completed: 52%,
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    Storm Veritas's Avatar

    GP
    21,050

    Name
    Storm Veritas
    Age
    39
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone

    The Great Siege of Radasanth (FQ Main thread)

    (Intended for Philomel, Ioder/Hayate, and Shin; other entries welcome but a PM would be appreciated to discuss plans)

    The cold wind howled across the plains of Corone, the biting nip of dry air clearing the nostrils of the tired wizard. The cold stole all flavor from the air; stripping the sweet honey and sunflower fragrance and the foul stenches of a too-long camped group alike. Atop his mighty black horse Atilla, Storm Veritas sneered as he glared northwest towards Radasanth. The sun was dropping quickly on his left, and he squinted back at a large army behind him, as the now-bearded Seamus Brackett had approached.

    “Sir, food’s starting to get thin. You told me to let you know when we were under a month’s grain, and our salted meat is slim. Winter’s coming, and we can’t keep squatting. It’s time to make hay or give our men leave for the winter. ‘Shit or get off the pot’, I believe is your preferred axiom.”

    With a thick “p’tew” sound, Seamus produced a large, teardrop shaped projectile of tobacco and phlegm, firing a mouthful of chaw down to the rock below. The hardened general had lived through more than any of them, and would no doubt outlive them all just as easily. His experience earned him plenty of gravitas, and he was one of very few that would speak frankly to the dangerous magician. It produced a rare smirk from Storm Veritas, who had grown weary waiting for good news.

    “Any words from scouts, north or south?” Storm’s nostrils flared a touch, leery of the inevitable bad news that had become as regular as the cock’s crow to mark the morning.

    “It appears Radasanth is still secure, a bit of tumult there but no shortage of warriors. They’ve camped firmly since Gisela, and have gotten more rest and rations than ours.

    “On the southern front, there’s word of Vaan Osiris every other week. He’s alive, he’s gone, you know the drill… The man’s a fucking ghost.”

    Storm looked up to the navy blue sky above, darkness creeping slowly up from the east, its nightly promise to overtake the light. Perhaps the stars would offer some answers for him; the sun certainly hadn’t been so generous. The gravelly voice of his general continued.

    “I told you that Shinsou seemed off the cause. That same guy you took Whitevale with… that old fraud is dead.”

    Instinctively Veritas glowered, rearing Atilla and spinning about, his eyes flashing white with an electric fury. The air crackled with electric energy as if rich with heat lightning, the scent of ozone washing over them. This stirring caught the attention of the nearest battalion, where men quickly found themselves backing away from the volatile leader, wanting no part of the wrath that the electromancer could pass off. Even the steely eyed general stepped back a few steps, raising his hands in a defensive show of peace, as one may approach a cornered wolf or snarling cougar.

    “Gonna kill me, too? I’m old, my severance is cheap; if you want me out just have the balls to call for my note and I’ll step down.” Brackett wasn’t backing down, but rather embracing the blowfish strategy of meeting strength with strength.

    “Of course, if you’re going to keep me around, it’s to speak the truth, and I’d appreciate not being made some horrible example of.” Brackett’s jaw was squared and jutting, his hands by his sides in meaty fists. The slightly loosened skin was all that differentiated the sixty year old general from a champion soldier of half his age.

    Exhaling, Storm smiled, the white in his eyes clearing way for the human blue that lay beneath it. His demeanor also softened gently, flipping from incensed to political quickly, but no less smoothly than the crawling night that captured the skies above.

    “Don’t piss your pants, you old pussy.” A white, toothy smile flashed to Brackett. “You knew you were getting a rise out of me with that. I defend my friends – few they might be. “

    Eyeing the troops, Storm watched as soldiers feigned indifference to his conversation with Seamus. Yes, they definitely weren’t staring as one of the most powerful wizards in Althanas apparently nearly lost his mind and incinerated a respected general. There was a time when Storm was like them; vulnerable and weak. He almost envied their frailty, as so little was expected of them.

    “We’re all getting punchy, all this time in the fields. It’s been a long time since I’ve had cold glass of mead or a warm piece of tail. Words of the Osiris Legion reinforcing us, joining us, with Hayate, to attack Radasanth.”

    Soldiers, archers, cannoneers, militia, cavalry and giants alike had been sitting out the summer into fall since the end of their last battle. Gisela had been but a precursor to the destiny they were promised; to rip the city free of it’s dynastic rule and bring a freedom to rule as they saw fit.

    And with it, to the victor goes the spoils. Taking the centerpiece of Corone will come with a mountain of gold none upon Althanas has ever had. Even better, who would make a better, democratically elected leader than the wise warrior who led the revolution? I’ll be the answer to their goddamned prayers.

    Popping down from his horse, Storm worked on Seamus, speaking at length of his love and trust, embracing and reconditioning the old general to accept his volatility as a cost of doing business. Besides, the wizard reminded the veteran, you’re the other friend I go to bat for. Satisfied, the two sat upon the stones as they stared north and discussed tactical options over a pipe.

    As the night fell more full over the armies, the old mage noticed the red star – one he had seen the night before. He could swear the star had grown larger each of the last two nights. Noting the big, brilliant scarlet jewel, Storm asked the old warrior what to make of it.

    “Holy shit, boss. That’s no fucking star.”

  2. #2
    Administrator

    EXP: 105,288, Level: 14
    Level completed: 9%, EXP required for next Level: 13,712
    Level completed: 9%,
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    GP
    500

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Telgradian
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar

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    The sodden area that the Brotherhood’s other half had chosen for camp was tactically abysmal, but the pursuing Imperials had given Shinsou Vaan Osiris no choice.

    Corone’s armies were resolved to stop him at any cost, and had finally clipped his heels on the way up from Scara Brae. It was a perfectly crafted ambush that had killed many of his men on the road north and the resulting retreat channeled them too far to the west to rendezvous with Storm Veritas. The Telgradian, fighting with everything he had, had ridden away with a hundred and ten Castigar vanguard but the hunters had become the hunted. The others had died. They had died for the cause which the survivors now carried on their sleeves and banners, through a churned Coronian countryside; a place still bearing the scars of their recent work. Mud thickened in the fields and even when the rain relented it only came in the form of a momentary pause. Before long, the droplets would hammer and pound until the terrain became frustratingly difficult to navigate. Hunger, too, threatened to decimate the vanguard. In the worst of the it, the survivors sheltered in foxholes.

    In a nightmare trek across the worst parts of Corone, he had twisted and turned to avoid his pursuers without joy.

    Now, ten miles west of Storm Veritas’s legion, a tired but resilient Shinsou crouched in the dirt. The man barely looked like a leader of the Brotherhood anymore, nor a revolutionary in waiting. He was swathed in a cloak made from common sacking. His face, boots and hands were wrapped in rags, stolen from a farm after a small skirmish with yet more of the endless stream of militiamen from Radasanth. He lay at the gully’s rim and stared into the valley through a long barrelled telescope.

    He stared at the enemy.

    Brown cloaks hid the pale green cloaks of the Imperial Dragoons. These bastards had followed him every inch of his bitter journey but, while he struggled in the highlands, they rode in the valleys where there were roads, food and shelter, all the while evading the attention of Storm Veritas’s counterparts. On some days the weather would stop the Coronians and Shinsou would dare to hope that he had lost them, but whenever the rain eased for a few hours, the dreaded shapes would always appear again. Now, lying in the shivering wind, the Telgradian could see the enemy horsemen unsaddling in a small village. They would have fires and food in there. Their horses would have shelter and hay. All the while, his own men starved and suffered at the hands of the weather and the lack of food, albeit silently.

    Arius, Shinsou’s trusted advisor and right hand man, paced to his friend and knelt his wiry frame down low, borrowing the lens. Driven precipitation blurred the view, but he could see the splash of the scarlet pelisse hanging from the Colonel’s right shoulder.

    “Why doesn’t he wear a cloak?” Arius grumbled.

    “He’s showing how tough he is,” Shinsou said curtly, “Fucking show off.”

    Arius shifted the glass to see yet more Dragoons coming to the village. Some of the Coronian company led limping horses, and all carried heavy duty sabres and flintlock rifles. “I thought we’d lost them.” he said sadly.

    “The only way we’ll lose them is when we bury the last one with our own hands.” Shinsou slid down from the skyline. He had a face hardened by sun and wind, but saved from coarseness by the dark eyes that could spark with humour and understanding. Now, watching his men shiver in the narrow gully, those eyes were rimmed with red. “How much food is left?”

    “Enough for two days, maybe.”

    “That should be enough, as long as we can get a rider to Storm and Hayate today,” Shinsou’s voice was scarcely audible above the wind’s noise as he thought about his friend, “We’ve already sent two and heard nothing back, so I hope they’ve had better luck.”

    Arius said nothing. A gust of wind snatched water from the air and whirled it into a glittering billow above their heads. The Coronians below, he thought bitterly, would be helping themselves to food, firewood and bedding in that town. Children would be pointing them to the hills. The men in the village would be interrogated to reveal whether or not they had seen a tattered band of men. They would truthfully deny any such sighting, but the man in the black coat and white boots knew the vanguard would still be in the area. What the men missed, the children playing in the street had seen with their own eyes.

    Arius closed his eyes. He had not known what it was to hate until this uprising had began, and now he didn’t know if he could ever root the hate out of his soul for these Imperials. The same people whose ancestors had carved through his people with their bloodied swords, who had destroyed the original dream of a united and peaceful Althanas under one unifying banner.

    “We’ll separate.” Shinsou said suddenly,"and you will wait here with the other men. When we’re gone, and when the Imperials are gone, you will cross as much ground as possible east to reach where Storm should be. You will not move until you are sure the valley is empty. That Colonel is clever, and he may have already guessed what I am thinking. So wait until you are certain. Do you understand?”

    The wily commander nodded. “I understand.”

    Shinsou, despite his agonizing tiredness and the hunger that leached into his stomach, found some enthusiasm to invest his words with hope.

    “Go to Storm, Arius, and tell him we’re okay. Tell him I’ll approach the west of Radasanth with whatever I have, establish a foothold and that I will find him there. Our numbers may have been hurt, but I am still here. There is still no greater security than that.”

    Arius nodded. There was an obvious question to ask, but he could not bring himself to speak. Shinsou understood anyway.

    "If the bastards get me, " he said bleakly, "then you will know. They will trumpet it across Corone. Throw me a decent funeral.”

    Arius shivered beneath his ragged cloaks. "If you go, you may find help from the Lily?"

    Shinsou sighed to show his opinion of the Guilded Lily.

    "They would help you?" Arius insisted.

    "They follow Philomel, and that ship has sailed. So, no, sadly. We will have to deal with them too, most likely.”

    With that, Shinsou eased himself to the crest once more and stared down at the village. The next morning, he and his men carried their weight to the west. Arius watched as the Imperial Dragoons saddled their horses and abandoned a village that had been plundered for resources and from which smoke funnelled into the sky from chimneys below. The Dragooons might not have known where Shinsou was, but the man in the black coat and white boots knew precisely where he was going.

    And, so, the company forced their horses to the west.

    Arius waited a full day; then, in a downpour of rain that turned the mud into slush, he went southeast. The hunters and the hunted were moving again, inching their intricate paths across a sodden land, and the hunted were seeking the miracle that might yet save their campaign.
    Last edited by Shinsou Vaan Osiris; 05-14-2019 at 03:55 AM.
    Old does not mean dead – New does not mean best – No hard feelings, I’m tired of being right about everything I’ve said – Yours does not mean mine – Kill does not mean die – We are not your kind

  3. #3
    Administrator

    EXP: 104,075, Level: 14
    Level completed: 1%, EXP required for next Level: 14,925
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    Philomel's Avatar

    GP
    17,840

    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    30 (+10)
    Race
    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
    Gender
    Female (+ Male)
    Location
    Corone

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    "This is madness," Sebastian murmured, his lips barely moving as he let his thoughts be known to her. "We have so little-"

    "We have all we have," his companion, the tall and elegant, violet haired, ram-horned beauty that was Philomel van der Aart replied, her well-toned arms lifting to cross over her chest. "We are all there is. So it has to be possible. There has to be a chance."

    "Look," the man with the toussled hair, and fair eyes looked down at the people before them. The room of nine other individuals in the glorious round room, some of them perched on the edges of the ten thrones that made a circle in the middle of it. Pillars ringed them, like a crown in itself, a memory of the empire that once had been. Now, instead there was the Corone Assembly, ten nembers of which met here once a week to discuss the concerns of the nation and their city. The same ten that were in that room just then, Philomel the only one that did not belong.

    And they also met in emergencies. And the incoming of a threatening army was most definitely an emergency.

    Sebastian, a long term standing member of the Assembly, and well respected gentleman of Radasanth, gestured to the bickering and stern shakings of the heads. "Look," he repeated, "they can hardly agree amongst themselves what time of day it is, let alone how to organise a safe defence of the city. We are doomed, Philomel, utterly hopeless. Yes we have the Imperial forces, but they are being led by the General and he-"

    "Is out of the city, braving the country, yes," she nodded in agreement. "His plan was to meet them head on. But my sources tell us they they are still headed here."

    "And their numbers, from that of either division, from the ship that managed to survive the sacking of Tylermerande, are too great! Clearly they are coming now for Radasanth, if General Ivan's reports are anything to go by. His dragoons you know have slaughtered what they can of one of the two battilons yet still-"

    "They keep coming," she sighed, and she adjusted her stance. Beneath her her two large hooves, that supported her goat legs and thus her humanoid torso, dressed in full battle gear, adjusted. Raising a hand she ran long slightly-tanned fingers through the tails of her own plait.

    "Look, that is why I am here. I came from Underwood after my meeting with that traitor pig, van-fucking-Osiris." Her slate grey eyes moved and fixed on the Counsellor. "He is gone from us. There is no hope, he will not back down. The threat is serious but-" Sebastian began to open a mouth to reply, and she laid the same hand on his chest; a subtle remark of the relationship that had truly brought them together. "But, Sebastian. Your city is my city. You have the entirety of the Gilded Lily and what warriors I can summon here at the guard. We will be well."

    He looked at her with a single brow raised. Charmingly, she smiled that beguiling smile she had. "Every single whore in Radasanth is in some way connected to the Gilded Lily, and by my rules they have spent the last five years all in combat training." She paused. "Yes, to protect themselves, but that training they will now call upon to defend their home. Their city ..." She rolled back her shoulders. "My city. Our city."

    "But Philomel ..." Sebastian began to say.

    A fabulous grin spread across the gorgeous queen of whores' face. Hand coming down to rest on the hilt of one of her two swords, mighty things that had slain heroes as well as villains. She pushed out her chest, the drakescale breastplate that covered just her massive breasts, and the shimmering mythril chainmail beneath it. Raising her chin she twisted fully away from Sebastian and began to head straight from where they hid, in the eaves and shadows of the Assembly Hall, confidence bubbling within her.

    "Gentlemen!" she suddenly pronounced in a loud, clear voice as she stepped into the light. Into the presence of the men, who were all but shouting at each other due to the army waiting for them at the walls of their city.

    "Philomel!" Sebastian hissed.

    But it was too late. She began to stride. Right into the heart of the issue.

    - * -

    An hour later she was upon the outer walls. Along them, bathed in the mellow light of the summer dusk, were stationed what troops could be mustered. The City Guard, the private armies of the club owners, the Imperial troops, even some Rangers of Underwood who had been residing in the city. Amongst them were members of the Gilded Lily itself, each a woman of no plain beauty, with power in each stride and a weapon in hand.

    All now under the command of the Lady of the Gilded Lily, the Matriarch, the High-Priestess of Drys, the great Philomel van der Aart.

    She was where she belonged. Archers and other ranged fighters stood on the walls. Ballista and other large mechanical devices were in place in strategic places on the towers. The inner walls were similarly armed, with the thousand and more warriors prepared to fight to the death. And in the city itself, along the harbour, in the citadel, at the gaurdhouses, were further melee-specialists. Each warrior had been placed where Philomel and the Majors had theorised where they would be best. One such Major, an elf called Kerr Barren, stood with her, a cloak flapping in the wind. Also waiting.

    Waiting.

    For the army to come. For the assault to begin. For them to commit to defend their beloved city - with their lives.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  4. #4
    War Criminal

    EXP: 9,090, Level: 4
    Level completed: 2%, EXP required for next Level: 4,910
    Level completed: 2%,
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    Hayate_Amatsukami's Avatar

    GP
    897

    Name
    Hayate Amatsukami
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar
    “As unary as ever it seems…”

    The years hadn’t been well to the wizard of Radasanth and now it seemed like they were trying to kill him. Ioder never wanted to see the day someone could dare to threaten the capital but it seems the bastards of Whitevale, the Brotherhood, sought to make this land their own. Their reasoning didn’t matter, and still doesn’t, for the moment the news of Tylermande met Ioder’s ears he immediately committed to the cause.

    The wind hissed and whistled though the cobblestone as the soldiers and ladies of Radasanth stood resolute against insurmountable odds. Though armed tooth and nail Ioder saw fear in their eyes and in truth he was terrified this would be the day his luck ran out. In light of it all there was a silver lining to it all, either they would be live and win or lose and not have to live with what comes next.

    “But it looks like you’re finally where you were always meant to be.” Ioder said as he walked next to Philomel standing opposite of Kerr. He his last meeting with Philomel was a brawl in the Citadel many years ago but even back then he saw a fire in her. The same fire now that fueled her passion and dedication to Radasanth. He hadn’t been present in the politics of the country for some time but in times like these and with an enemy that threatens the entirety of Corone he assumed that any bad blood between he and the faun general would be water under the bridge. “If you’ll have me I’d be honored to fight under your command My Lady, there’s a thing or two I’ve put in place to aid in the city’s defense. You know our enemy well, so you know better than anyone else he isn’t here to lose.”

    Elsewhere in the capital among a large crowd of refugee citizens a cloaked figure stood leaning against a supporting column, watching as those around him huddled down for the impending chaos Hayate knew that it would be a long day. He hadn’t ever been familiar with the inner workings of Radasanth as his trips here were mainly kept quick and typically he stayed to the citadel. But he figured this would be the most strategic place to do his part, as both a general of the Brotherhood and a defended of the innocent without betraying his oaths or himself. Making friends with a high ranking Radasanth soldier or two had its perks after all.

    They were in the Steel Hall, an auxiliary chamber within the main keep reinforced to withstand the greatest of assaults. By his accounts this wouldn’t be far from the place the cowardly Assembly should likely be riding out Storm’s attack. Since the sack of Tylermande Hayate had been operating in secret, gathering intelligence and befriending the enemy, all with the intention of striking when the iron is hot and securing the city without ever revealing himself. He had just hoped for more time because the minuet the Brotherhood appeared he was herded alongside the other citizens deep within the walls of the city.

    Thanks for everything Ioder, but this is as far as my favor goes. If the Brotherhood makes it this far I will not stand against them, I'm no fool. It would be a death sentance. And if they make it this far you’ve been dead for a while anyway. Hayate thought to himself as he looked up towards the second level of the Steel Hall, an off-limits area he presumed would be one of the scattered safe houses the big wigs would use.

    He smirked, knowing that the wizard wouldn’t have put him here by chance, there had to be a purpose. He wondered just how long it will take now for Shinsou and Storm march up through these halls, how long would this last, and how much longer it would take for Van Osiris to make good on his promise to him. He left his post making his way to the front of the great hall. There were a number of other sell swords not formally part of any army but willing to help standing about. While they all feared for what was outside the walls, their worst enemy was standing right behind them.

    "What the hell is that!?!" One of the nameless swords cried out pointing to the shy above! Hayate rushed through the entrance and out into the street before he could see it. A massive object flying through the sky. The ground turned black as a mighty shadow grew over the capital. If not one thing its another.
    Last edited by Hayate_Amatsukami; 05-15-2019 at 12:04 PM.
    "Just shut up for once! What the hell do you know about it?! It's not like you ever had a family in the first place! You were on your own right from the beginning, what makes you think you know anything about it?! Huh?! I'm suffering now because I had those ties, how on earth could you possibly understand, what it feels like to lose all that!" -Sasuke Uchiha

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    EXP: 11,761, Level: 4
    Level completed: 56%, EXP required for next Level: 2,239
    Level completed: 56%,
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    Paladin_Lorenor's Avatar

    GP
    1,091

    Name
    ~Lorenor~
    Age
    Not Known.
    Race
    Undead
    Gender
    Male.
    Location
    Corone

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    (Let's do this boys. I have perms to be in this thread from Storm and company lets ROLL!!! I'm joining in as a neutral party attempting to save civi's, etc my bad folks posted with wrong account but I fixed the mistake hahah. Sorry about that.)

    I remember another war...another time. Long ago. Or was it yesterday? I can't remember any more. How many lives has it been? I should be dead, by all rights I should be dead. But yet I live still..will always live. For that is my fucking curse. The black blood courses through my shell no matter how hard I try to live a redeemed life...no matter what happens I am cursed. Thaynes forgive me.

    Lotenor opened his eyes.

    "It's begun." A simple fellow before him said. They were scared, they were all scared. Lorenor was strangely calm.

    "Who is present?" He asked in his thick, Radasanthian accent.

    "Forward scouts have spotted forces from the Lilly, forces from Shinsou Van Osiris and Storm Veritas. Rumors have it the Akashiman, Hayate is also present." The fellow said.

    Fear.

    Lorenor could smell it. They were a small group of lowly survivors. Trapped in the city, walled off. Far as Lorenor could tell Storm and Shinsou meant business this time. [b]"They are not here to mess around they mean to tear Radasanth away from a perceived enemy."[/b Lorenor said, he'd seen this before a long time ago had he not? During the Demon War? Lorenor shook his head. He partially wanted to laugh.

    He did laugh.

    "My lord?" The lad asked of Lorenor. "This is not the time to..."

    "What do you think we can do? Huh?!" Lorenor smacked the fellow hard, on the right side of his face. "Far as I can tell we have a couple of options here. In order to get you guys out of here we have to move quickly." Lorenor said, no he commanded. In a group of panicked and lowly adventurers, he was the only one keeping a cool head.

    "Abandon her!? You're saying we leave Radasanth?" The fellow who'd been hit asked, shocked.

    "Don't try to guilt trip me, boy." Lorenor hissed. "I have been here before. Exactly here. The last time ended in my current state. So now I say again, time is running out. What do you want to do? Stay and fight a lost cause, or get the fuck out of town." Lorenor was losing his patience.

    The fellow looked at Lorenor and sighed. "The fight's already started. What do you THINK we have to do? The choice has already been made for us." The fellow said.

    In the chamber that Lorenor found himself in, there was a group of scared but rag-tag survivors. They were ready to give their lives to defend their home. Lorenor sighed. I am not the leader they need... Lorenor blinked at that point and got his wits together.

    "Listen to me, all of you." Lorenor explained. "A group of warriors are about to come crashing down on Radasanth and will destroy any who get in their way. People will get hurt...a lot of people." Lorenor said calmly.

    "What about you...? Will you lead us?" Someone asked of Lorenor.

    "I'm no leader. I'm just an old man. But I have a plan...I am going to get you all out with my last breath if I have to." Lorenor knew what was about to happen, he'd been there before. At the end of all things. Lorenor was ready to die once more for what he believed in...

    'We choose you old man." A woman said calmly and the rest stood up and walked towards Lorenor.

    Lorenor blinked in surprise. He looked at the gathered. "None of you know me..."

    But the die had already been cast. Things were already in motion beyond any of their control. "We need to join up with the lilly's forces and secure an escape route." One of them said, agreeing with the crazy old Paladin's plans.

    Lorenor cried at that point. He was not sure what he felt, but he felt a strange sort of purpose had been thrust upon his troubled form. "Gather your arms we will hold our ground from whatever forces come. Send some scouts to meet with the Lilly's...Philomel's forces. We'll make our stand together." Lorenor said carefully. if he was to die that day...he would die fighting. He wiped the tears from his eyes and became deadly serious it was nearly a time for battle once more.

  6. #6
    Ride The Lightning

    EXP: 143,779, Level: 16
    Level completed: 52%, EXP required for next Level: 8,221
    Level completed: 52%,
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    Storm Veritas's Avatar

    GP
    21,050

    Name
    Storm Veritas
    Age
    39
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    It was deep nightfall before any answers began to trickle into the general, who sat up at a desk formed of slate and deadfall timber that his faithful troops had fashioned him. They generally traveled light – tucking furniture in their traveling gear meant one less cannon, or a few months of food for a fast-wavering soldier. Storm’s age reminded him of the hardship of sitting long on an uneven seat, as a howl from his lower back made its way between his ears. Undeterred, he continued to squint and scratch at the paper with his pen, doing his best to write by the dim light of a few fat, slowly melting candles.



    To the Foul Tyrants of Radasanth,

    Congratulations on your lengthy and profitable careers. I tip my hat to the opportunists, and presume that your collective corruption is more likely due to the preservation of self-interest than the perversion of the public good. A simple part of me can understand and share some of that natural instinct, as we all seek our own best ends.

    Today, you have an opportunity to continue this voyage. I invite the entire Parliament (all forty-four of you, of course) to march south from the gates of Radasanth. My envoys will meet you, and escort you directly to Tylermande, where you will be given your choice of relocating to the country of your choice, Corone notwithstanding. Your direct families can even travel with you, a one way, fully subsidized ticket to a new and peaceful life.

    As I’m sure you understand, Corone and Radasanth deserve better than what system exists today. A ruling class of the wealthy, who write rules for the wealthy, and exclude the masses from participating in legislation and their own pursuits of happiness. You may have even convinced yourselves of your own basic decency.

    The Brotherhood of the Castigars have come to wrest power from you. The people of Radasanth will once again have a say in their own affairs and the propagation of prosperity. Our troops lie just outside your gates, and are fed, rested, ready, and plentiful. Your scouts can confirm what your eyes hope are deceit; soldiers, archers, cavalry, cannoneers, siege weapons and giants. Horror has arrived at your door; do not presume your foil-armed tribesmen will keep you safe.

    For the sake of your people, evacuate peacefully. Save yourselves, and save people unnecessary conflict. As co-executor of the Brotherhood of the Castigars, I am pleased to offer your Parliament 72 hours to complete this evacuation. Anything short of full compliance is an act of war, and will be treated as such.

    I sincerely hope to usher you painlessly to a lovely life on Ettermire, Raiera, or the lovely island coast of your choosing. Your other choice will prove significantly more distasteful.

    Storm Veritas



    He finished signing without an edit, the scouring sounds of sharp folds followed by a satisfying-if-masochistic burn of his fingers as he pressed his thumb into the candlewax and made his personal, forensic mark on the paper in a thick oval. The faint odor of tobacco was reignited when he had finished wrapping the paper in waxcloth for safe delivery.

    “M’Lord!?” A hand floated aimlessly through the aperture at the front of the tent. The messenger had clearly been informed of Storm’s proclivity to find himself in any combination of distressed states.

    “Come in, come in.” The aging wizard slowly stood, feeling his vertebrae pop in place as he stretched and turned to the door. As always, a hint of suspicion, as any messenger held the possible dual role of assassin. He smiled regardless, his head disguised in a wreath of pipe smoke.

    The near-boy that popped through was no assassin. It was Leaf, a faithful little runner and excellent spy. Thin and waifish, the lad was no more than fifteen, and looked as wide at the waist as a grown man was at the thigh. His head was covered in wildly tousled and vibrant black hair, a color Storm missed deeply and would never again enjoy.

    “Two words, m’Lord.” The boy stared at his feet for answers and patiently awaited the nodding approval of the lethal general. Flattered by the fear, Veritas gestured for the lad to sit on the felled maple trunk that made his seat.

    “Catch your breath my boy, and have at. You drink?” Almost instinctively, the wizard had found his way to a bottle of whiskey, feeling the burn run down his throat. It was more fiery and potent than the honey-meads he preferred, but it held a potent punch and packed tightly. He lifted the bottle in the general direction of the messenger after finishing his own pull from the glass.

    “Th… thank you m’Lord.” The boy looked scared to drink or refuse, which was of course a difficult position to land. He opted to drink, taking an amateurish sip where he tried and failed to hide his disdain for the venomous bite of whiskey. Nodding and feigning a smile, he summarily returned the bottle to a laughing Storm Veritas.

    “Two words, m’Lord. One, the wagon towards the front gate is packed and ready. General Brackett packed it just as you instructed, as he told me to tell you.” A confused look governed Leaf’s face.

    ”He told me to tell you!? Trip over that one, my little philosopher?

    “Second, our men intercepted what we thought was a spy last evening. He claims he is from Shinsou Von Osiris’ camp, and we have verified his information. He has traveled with them since before Tylermande, it appears. Shinsou is located some ten miles west, but can march for siege within the day.”

    Leaf was scared, and Storm saw this. The battle hardened wizard was no mentor; Storm’s talents were too immense to presume the same sort of mortality a frail boy would suffer. If not the mentor, he could serve as protector.

    “One last run, my boy. Give my note to the head guardsman at Radasanth’s gate. Go unarmed, and let General Brackett know to prep the welcome wagon to arrive in the morning. You don’t need word back here; they won’t be afforded to answer before giving the note to council, and you wouldn’t be allowed there. Run from Radasanth to Shin’s camp; bring his man if you need. Tell my friend Shinsou that we assault in two days.”

    ~~~~~~

    Moments later, the boy was off, moving in the dead of night towards Radasanth, which lingered only a mile or before them. Storm ambled down to the white-stubbled Seamus Brackett, who was up, sitting outside his tent and looking up at the red star, now larger than before.

    “I think she’s coming for us, General. The grand judge to weigh our deeds.” Seamus spit to the starlit grass at his side, a lipful of tobacco producing the thick brown juice.

    The electromancer squatted beside his old friend, listening to the cheer-chirp of crickets break an otherwise quiet night. “Well, if the gods are coming for us, then I’m glad we’ve got a show for them. Besides, I’m pretty sure your old ass is hallucinating, because that star doesn’t look bigger than it did at dusk.” There was discomfort as Storm shuffled his feet, neither veteran entirely convinced of his optimistic view.

    “Leaf told me the welcome wagon is ready?”

    Seamus rolled his eyes out of sight of the magician. These were ugly deeds. He glared over at the large coach, a massive wagon drawn by six oxen, loaded shoulder to shoulder. The empty carriage shined in the starlight as a freshly waxed woodpane adorned the entire interior. Flowers of every sort were stuffed in the windowboxes around the coach. Only the most keenly trained nose would discern the scent of black powder jammed a full hand deep through the entire false floor and second ceiling of the wagon.
    Last edited by Storm Veritas; 05-15-2019 at 10:38 PM.

  7. #7
    Administrator

    EXP: 104,075, Level: 14
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    Level completed: 1%,
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    Philomel's Avatar

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    17,840

    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    30 (+10)
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    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
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    Female (+ Male)
    Location
    Corone

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    ((gone for seige weapons. Hayate, I thought you might like to do the 'welcome wagon'))

    The first barrage came with the cries of a thousand innocents.

    All that she had done in her life seemed to have led up to this moment. Radasanth, after all, was her home. It housed the ashes of the Crouching Tiger, that she herself had burnt to the ground and claimed her independence from her mother's overbearing pimp. It was where she had begun to establish the first brothel that she controlled, which had grown its influence over others slowly, becoming over time the feminist society that was now called the Gilded Lily and stood as a true testament to her reputation. She had been born here. She had fought battles here. She had been raped here. She had saved lives here. She had survived, and thrived here. It was her home, she had a life and was proud of the way that people held themselves. Corone - it was not a diseased place. It had grown out of an empire, gone beyond its old ways and established an Assembly here. Yes those men and women were particularly useless at times, but they still held the morals of a good heart and a good home. In any country one could blackmail themselves into power, Corone was not alone. Radasanth stood at the heart at all that, and was, for Philomel, the source of all her friends and family.

    She was the city itself. Her people ran through the streets like blood through veins. They had power, they had influence, they did what good they could. Shinsou - damn him. He was so wrong. So very wrong. All the poverty he claimed was running through Radasanth's streets, all the corruption ... It was not worse than any other city. In fact, it faired better. Why - because it had her.

    Anyone attacking it was attacking her.

    "HOLD YOUR LINES," she screamed as the distant thunks of great huge crossbows thunked. "HOLD!"

    She looked over to the beautiful being that was Ioder, honestly surprised to see that old rival of hers here, on her side. He was a blessing, and he was a comfort. A reminder of what had been when she had been more innocent.

    She yelled out louder, and her command was picked up by the underling commanders on the wall. People raised torches, braziers were lit to signal to the inner walls that the attack was now here. The threat had been coming for the whole day and it was approaching evening. Now the people of Radasanth, and their fair defenders, had to face the onslaught.

    Shouts rose of agreement to hold. There was a distant ping and a small but deadly boulder darted high into the air, a broken edge of an ancient building. It savagely flew in an arc towards the city, whistling on wings of disturbed air current. Many, many eyes watched as it slammed into the outer wall of the city with a heavy thump. Brick flew, people shouted, arrows were loosened. A great cry began.

    "Radasanth!" People screamed. "RADASANTH!"

    In solidarity Philomel raised their blade with them. Radasanth indeed.

    More rocks began to fly. She curled her lip, her resolve still standing. Angrily she called out for them to still hold the wall, the line, and the guardians obeyed. They held. She had a good line of command, good allies like Ioder helping her. They would stand, and they would fight. They would not bend ...

    Damn that Storm, with his ridiculous demand. A letter had apparently been taken to the Assembly. One calling them cruel names and asking for their surrender, of all the councillors and members. Saying that they could leave in peace if they wanted, alongside their families, to go live elsewhere.

    What a coward's letter. A coward's request. Once Philomel had heard of the letter she had sent word to Sebastian that she would fight to the last breath, and he had agreed. Her calming words, her firm resolve ... It had had an effect on him.

    He had spoken. In a method learnt from her, he had managed to persuade the Assembly that surrender was a sign of weakness. One councillor had apparently run, just one. But the rest were now in the halls, firmly barricaded, and protected by some fine warriors.

    "We will not surrender," Philomel said to Ioder. "We cannot. We have to protect the innocent. Those they have come to destroy. Because that is all that this war brings. Death," she looked directly at him. "They are the villains, my friend. Not us."

    "We are the heroes."
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  8. #8
    Administrator

    EXP: 105,288, Level: 14
    Level completed: 9%, EXP required for next Level: 13,712
    Level completed: 9%,
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

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    500

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
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    Telgradian
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    Male
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    Salvar

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    One day before the siege
    Shinsou found himself not journeying west, as he had planned to, but instead south. A message to his friend Veritas had finally got through, and the response was clear and concise.

    We assault in two days.

    Trudging over slick moorland that had been further churned by the recent rain, the Brotherhood’s remaining forces marched with the tempo of a troupe keeping their eyes in the backs of their heads. They had originally chosen the hard earth to the west to lose the dragoons that had chased them halfway up the country, but now they were headed south. Although it was reassuring to know they would soon be uniting their strength with Storm’s own legion, they had to first get there, and the route ahead was despairingly exposed to the advantage of those Coronian riders. Each second in an open field felt like a jolt of electricity in each man’s soul, and with every new open piece of land the rhythm and pace of the march quickened nervously.

    It probably wasn’t helping the progress of the march that Shinsou wasn’t paying attention to where he was going, more than once losing his footing. Instead, his attention was fixated firmly upon the skies above, and upon the flicker of crimson that danced there amongst the black of background cloud.

    The hell? Don’t remember seeing that before…

    Admittedly, he had been somewhat neglecting his Althanian astronomy recently, but even so Shinsou couldn’t ever recall seeing a red star hanging so curtly in the sky. Of course he been so involved in the events surrounding Tylmerande and the siege that he hadn’t time for keeping a steady eye in the skies above. Glancing to his left to spy one of his captains, Shinsou could tell that the nameless man felt the same as he too peered up the heavens with the same puzzled expression. As if sensing the thoughts from above, the captain pointed and turned to his superior.

    “Sir, what’s that? It doesn’t look like a star.”

    “Not sure. Could be a planet, or just an anomaly. Let’s just focus on the path, we’re nearly there and we can’t afford any distractions.” Although gingerly put, the statement had served only to pique the entourage’s curiosity, who now chatted amongst themselves. He, too. realised the question echoed in the back of his mind.

    Soonafter, The Telgradian turned his attention back to the matter at hand. It was so easy to fall into the trap of believing that he was the only one to labour under adversity, and he wondered how Storm and Hayate had both fared in their respective roles. Despite their collective power, Shinsou was sure he wasn’t alone in that respect. The Coronians were far more ruthless in the defence of their nation than he had given them credit for, and everything since Tylmerande had seemed a bit of a gamble. But wasn’t that the whole point of this? To venture out and challenge the unknown? To take gambles, to face danger… to run the risk, every now and again, for a better world?

    It will always be worth it, Shinsou told himself. As the final field fell away into a slight dip, the Brotherhood could be heard sighing their collective relief. The Veritas camp was close by now; he could make out the sentries posted out on first picket on the western perimeter. Their tell tale green cloaks made them look like bandits or common citizenry to those outside of the know, and the white of the canvas tents beyond were well enough hidden to not give the camp away to anyone this far out. That was the hallmark of solid, organised security.

    On approach, when challenged, Shinsou gave the man a signed affidavit to signify his friendly status and lack of hostile intent. It took a moment to get any sign of acknowledgement from the statue-like silhouette.

    “Executor Osiris,” the man said coarsely, eventually snapping to attention, “We are honoured by your presence. Executor Veritas has asked you to his position as soon as you are able. Our men will attend to the horses and your men can join the general population to find food and beds.”

    He better have something good to drink, he said in his mind.

    “I’ll head there now.”

    The joyful chatter from his men behind was almost lost to his ears as Shinsou concentrated on pounding the ground beneath his feet. The flickering lights of the corridor of tents and campfires bobbed and weaved as he rapidly closed the distance towards himself and Storm’s part of the encampment. It was an extremely odd feeling for the Telgradian; he was a de-facto revolutionary attending the camp of an intended siege of the country’s capital city, and so there was urgency in his professional capacity, and yet he felt warmth in the knowledge he would finally be in his friend’s presence again. As he approached the tent that had clearly been earmarked for his electromancer counterpart’s official use, Shinsou slowed, dusted himself off and peeled back the corner of the tent.

    Sure enough, behind a desk that looked like it had been thrown together in a hurry, that finery clad man stood and perused a number of documents. As usual he was over-presented, as if attending some sort of well to-do bachelor party instead of leading an attack on a major population centre.

    As Shinsou walked over, he spent a moment looking Storm up and down, before warmly smiling and offering his hand.

    “Fucking hell, are you going to a ball or toppling a government?” was the only thing Shinsou could think to ask.

    ******

    A few hours later, a re-united Brotherhood stood firm outside of the city gates in darkness. Smoothly dismounting their great black mounts, Shinsou and Storm strolled together to within a kilometre of the town gate.

    Ever thinking behind his stoic visage, Shinsou began formulating a plan if shit went south, which it almost always did. Given the plethora of risks they faced from those he knew were defending the city, including Philomel Van der Aart, the Telgradian knew that one of those plans might have to be the one he least wanted to attempt. Shinsou could count on one hand the amount of times he had ever had to push himself to fight an opponent, but he knew that the monstrous goat form of an already enraged faun would be more than a handful and would require much more than his standard issue barrage of dark lances to put down if it came to it.

    Turning back to Storm, the Telgradian brushed the loose bangs of hair from his face and looked ahead, towards the gates of the city of Radasanth.

    "I like this plan. It’s very…you" Shinsou observed to Storm as they observed the wagon being prepared for rollout. "I think we'll have ten, maybe fifteen minutes of confusion before the message gets up the chain of command. We need to make sure we don’t rest on our laurels. Get in there, make as much of a foothold as we can, and then push to the assembly."
    Last edited by Shinsou Vaan Osiris; 05-23-2019 at 06:23 AM.
    Old does not mean dead – New does not mean best – No hard feelings, I’m tired of being right about everything I’ve said – Yours does not mean mine – Kill does not mean die – We are not your kind

  9. #9
    War Criminal

    EXP: 9,090, Level: 4
    Level completed: 2%, EXP required for next Level: 4,910
    Level completed: 2%,
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    Hayate_Amatsukami's Avatar

    GP
    897

    Name
    Hayate Amatsukami
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar
    Indistinct screams echoed through the streets as the city faced the first of many quaking attacks. Dust fell from the ceilings of the Steel Hall as Hayate and the others felt the beginning of the end, he wondered just how long it would take for either side to make headway. The shinobi watched as mothers cradled their babes trying to protect them as best they could, despite knowing they themselves could do nothing if the event would arise. Hayate was in pain, but nothing like he had felt before, he was hurting knowing he played a part in this war and was responsible for what was coming. Was everything really worth it? Would he be able to live with himself if anything would happen to these people? There had to be a better way?

    He waited patiently, trying his best to imagine what his superiors would do in the event they were successful. He wondered how they would deal with the women and children who supported the assembly, he wondered if their men would even know the difference in the heat of battle. These questions and more raced through his mind as he struggled to come to terms with what was happening. As the world he crafted for himself turned sour in his mouth and he became what he originally sought out to destroy. Grinding his teeth was all he could do as every passing second brought him closer to a breakdown.

    “Sir,” a voice from outside broke his concentration. Hayate peered from around the corner he was leaning on to see a handful of Radasanthian soldiers carrying a parcel making their way past the guards posted to protect the counsel men just beyond. By the looks on their faces, he presumed that whatever they were transporting came from either Shinsou himself or Storm. And by the sounds of fighting outside it wasn’t relevant news anymore, yet still, Hayate was curious and needed to know for himself. “Don’t allow anyone beyond this point. I don’t care who they are, consider anyone attempting to proceed to be committing an act of treason. Deal with them as you see fit, but leave nothing to chance. We are aware of a certain individual who may already be in the city; if Amatsukami Hayate is seen you have orders to kill on site.”

    Hayate was taken back, how had he been identified? And even more startling was now win or lose he would be forever known to the Radasanthian Government to be a collaborator with The Brotherhood. It didn’t matter what happened anymore, his only chance of making it out of the capital alive was if Shinsou and the others came for him. He panicked for a moment, tucking himself back against the stone he waited; certain he would be found out and captured. Or worse, that he would not be able to stop himself like last time.

    Again the city shook as the walls were bombarded by flying debris. The Steel Hall quivered slightly but held strong against the assault offering some small degree of comfort to those within. With what seemed like the end of the world pressing down upon him Hayate took one final deep breath. As the hot air left his mouth it dawned on him. The shinobi had always known what destiny held for him, just never the steps it would take to get there. This, like the slaughter of his kinsmen, was merely one more walk forward.

    Have you come to your decision? Yamato asked, sensing a new determination filling his partner’s spirit.

    “I’m going to end it, the entire thing. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong anymore. All that matters is by the end of it I get what I want. ” Hayate’s eyes grew dark as he made up his mind. It didn’t matter who he had to step on, or who he hurt in the process. It didn’t matter what Ioder though he was capable of, or what would come his way after the fact by the result of his actions. Hayate only cared about one thing in this world, and if Radasanth stood in his way then it would fall.

    “We’re going to pay the Assembly a little visit.”
    Last edited by Hayate_Amatsukami; 05-21-2019 at 09:21 PM.
    "Just shut up for once! What the hell do you know about it?! It's not like you ever had a family in the first place! You were on your own right from the beginning, what makes you think you know anything about it?! Huh?! I'm suffering now because I had those ties, how on earth could you possibly understand, what it feels like to lose all that!" -Sasuke Uchiha

  10. #10
    Senior Member

    EXP: 11,761, Level: 4
    Level completed: 56%, EXP required for next Level: 2,239
    Level completed: 56%,
    EXP required for next Level: 2,239


    Paladin_Lorenor's Avatar

    GP
    1,091

    Name
    ~Lorenor~
    Age
    Not Known.
    Race
    Undead
    Gender
    Male.
    Location
    Corone

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    Time passed...

    One of the Radasanth scouts noticed an odd horse-like contraption slowly making it's way towards the wall.

    "What is that...!?" The scout yelled at his companions.

    The troops were already preparing to defend their city to their last breath...

    ***

    He prepared to speak to his companions, the people of Radasanth. They were commoners by his side none barely trained to fight a single battle. Lorenor just wanted to get them all out to safety if he could, every last one of them. But when the siege started it was too late for that. The first of the orbs that the siege cannons launched were already upon them.

    Screams. Lorenor heard screams of the dead and dying at that point. The building he was just in was crumbled and on fire, Lorenor gathered his weapon. His mighty prevaldia great sword. He looked at his reflection on the blade for a moment. He was scared. There were bodies all around him, burning, charred cooked. Lorenor had survived because the light deemed him worthy of a vessel. No other reason. Explosions were happening all over Radasanth. Lorenor looked up and noticed a red streak across the sky. His face was covered with hot ash from the explosion of the building he was just in.

    This is not a war this is a slaughter...Thaynes help us... In the area he was just in there had been no survivors. Lorenor sighed as he prepared himself to go meet up with Philomel's forces. That seemed like the only adequate option. He remembered what the brave scout had said, Storm Veritas and Shinsou were laying siege to Radasanth. Others were present too. Lorenor had to steady himself as he sheathed his weapon. He heard a cry nearby.

    "My lord...I need help." Came the familiar voice.

    Lorenor knelt down to hurt the woman. His own understanding of The Light and it's mysteries were still growing. He held her hand. "Why is this happening my Lord?" She asked.

    "Try not to talk, let me heal you." Lorenor said calmly.

    His body began to glow with the effects of the brilliant light. He was going to attempt to do everything in his power to save the woman.

    "It does not hurt no more." She said. And closed her eyes as she died.

    Lorenor cried for the girl and for the people of Radasanth. But as he knelt there, he heard movement nearby.

    It was just a rat escaping it's doom.

    Lorenor sighed. What do I do..? This is not my war. Lorenor thought in confusion. His head hurt and he had a million thoughts cascading through his mind. He felt confused as what to do. The Lily's forces were his best shot at that point for any sort of salvaging of the situation at hand. From what he'd learned from the forward scouts, a group of warriors was marching on two sides of Radasanth proper. "This is going to be a fucking mess."

    Lorenor gathered his gear and prepared to go ahead and meet up with the Lily's forces. He would provide whatever assistance he could to them, it's what Sei would have done. It was only appropriate that one last Ixian Knight would help in the defense of Radasanth proper. Lorenor was hot as he moved, the crumbled building was crushed by some siege canons that initially struck the city. Lorenor had been lucky, the light saved him once more.

    What...do I do...? Lorenor thought to himself. He was a bit away from the Lily's forces but he would provide as much help as he could to whoever he could to stop the madness. Again, Lorenor noticed the red star streaking across the sky. His eyes narrowed at that point. That can't be good... He thought to himself as he made his way to the Lily's and ultimately...Philomel's position.
    Last edited by Paladin_Lorenor; 05-23-2019 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Edited by request of Storm and others.

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