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« Reply #285 on: July 13, 2010, 08:26:56 PM »

By the time that Henry (not Sam), Jaggery and Calet returned to the mess hall, everyone had finished eating and cleared away. The general activity throughout the Department had begun to wind down, and slowly the acolytes and apprentices were making their way to the dormitories, or to the spa areas to bathe. The three men were quite exhausted after such a long trek through the halls and catacombs of the Department of Magic, and so they settled on finding their hammocks and sleeping as soon as possible. Henry and Jaggery guided Calet to where they had set up for the night, suggesting he might set his own hammock somewhere nearby.

Soon they reached the spot, identifiable as there's both because of their backpacks and quilts, and because Sam was lay, face down and snoring loudly in his own hammock.

"This is where we're setting up for the night." Henry said, turning to Calet with a small chuckle. "Given that we'll be traveling together in a day or so, it'll be good for us to get to know each other."

"Wait," Calet interjected with a confused look "we're to travel? Who decided on this? This is the first I've heard, I am quite sure."

Jaggery let out a sharp bark of a laugh while removing his shirt and struggling into his hammock. Henry looked quizzical. "Oh, I thought you knew... S'kendra told me that Raz had arranged it..."

"Raz? No offense, but why would Raz send me out to look after a rag-tag group of travelers?" Calet, who was already unhappy with how Raz handled the situation with Thomas earlier, was now coming to the conclusion that all this death and destruction had driven the creature mad. An Honour Guard should not be out trekking after a scruffy band of mediocre adventurers, what did that dumb cat have in his head now? Calet was about to turn and leave, when S'kendra returned with arms full of fresh linen.

"Oh, you're all back! Excellent. I brought you a hammock, Calet. You must be exhausted after all you've been through." She said, thrusting a bundle of fabric and rope into the arms of a bewildered Calet. "I also have blankets for everyone. I hear it can get quite cool and drafty down here. We'll all need plenty of rest, we've some big days ahead of us." She smiled brightly as she handed out the blankets. The prospect of getting underway did wonders for her temperament.

"No, wait right here. Why on earth am I following you people exactly?" He vaguely recognized the girl as being the one who helped heal the little red-haired child when he brought her in. Was he being sent to look after some royal apprentice who was going to request help from nearby settlements? This was not the type of party usually sent...

S'kendra turned towards him, looking a little perplexed. "Has Raz not told you? You're to keep an eye on me while we four conclude our expedition." She flashed a smile that was mostly teeth, while busying herself folding sheets for her hammock. "We are seeking Darien, the Wandering Wizard. No doubt you've heard of him. It is a quest of vital importance. But Raz will not allow me to leave this place unless escorted by you."

"But why? What are you to Raz, then?" Calet felt he was finally getting somewhere. He was not one to go against orders, but he needed to know that his time and energy would not go to better use elsewhere. "What makes you all important enough to need the protection of an Honour Guard?"

S'kendra smiled once again, jumping into her hammock in one smooth and fluid motion. "Well, I was under the impression that it was the duty of an Honour Guard, to protect the members of the Royal family. That is why Raz chose you to protect me. Our quest is dangerous, and you are said to be the best of your generation."

Calet looked incredulous. How could this strange girl be a member of the Royal family? She was lanky and tanned in complexion, her sharp features and wild hair made her look half feral, she behaved with none of the airs and graces of the Royal family. And yet, something about her made is seem almost possible. Her eyes glittered in a most unusual way. She laughed at the look of disbelief on Calets face, before she lay back on her hammock and curled up.

"If you do not believe me, then there will be time enough tomorrow to ask Raz. But for now we should all get some sleep. We have some big days ahead of us."


(Hope no one objects to my thread resurrection. nor to the manner in which it was revived. ^^ Thank goodness my exams are over. I need some writing practice anyway. I don't normally do such big posts.)
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« Reply #286 on: July 17, 2010, 07:19:57 AM »

( Woo, why the hell are you apologizing? This is exciting now that it's back up. "On with The Trees!" I say.)
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« Reply #287 on: July 17, 2010, 07:57:16 AM »

Calet was the last to fall asleep in the warm, candle-lit chamber. His mind was much too preoccupied to suddenly stop thinking, as Jaggery and Sam had. Of course, there was the shock that he was being assigned to escort a member of the royal family to who-knows-where, but there was also the shock of S'kendra being a member of the royal family in the first place. She seemed much more street-savvy than most peasants he knew, let alone one who sat in a throne and smoked foreign tobacco all day. She was certainly pretty enough to be related to the King and Queen; they both had her smooth skin, dark hair and bright eyes. Her skin was considerably darker, though, possibly a product of lots of time spent outside the home, if she had a home.

He finally sank into a brief but potent slumber that left him alert and rested. He estimated that it was around four o'clock in the morning, judging by the faint light visible beyond the mountains outside the window. He jumped slightly, as he noticed that Henry was already sitting by the next window, looking at but not really seeing the sunrise. He looked troubled, eyebrows furrowed slightly in a frown. "Surely, you haven't been sitting there all night," Calet whispered, looking at the stool Henry was perched upon.

Henry did not look up, but instead said quietly, "When I first met Thanatos, he murdered an entire village with a wave of his hand." Calet had, quite honestly, nothing to say in response to this, and decided to remain silent. He was relieved when Henry continued. "He can use magic to do the most inhuman things conceivable. I don't know if I want that kind of power." He put his face in his hands. He moved his palms to the base of his neck, where he wove his fingers in his tousled hair. "I know what you're going to say. Thanatos is an evil person. He's a dark sorcerer. I know that, but aren't we all capable of evil? Haven't we all had the urge to do terrible things? With that kind of power, what would stop me from embracing those temptations?"

"Henry, you're such a fool sometimes." It was S'kendra. She had sat up in her bedroll. Her voice was sharp, but her face was soft with pity. "I haven't known you for very long. A month or two at most. Since then, we've both endured more than even the hardiest adventurer does in a lifetime." She stood up, grabbed a stool from among several in a corner and brought it up in front of Henry. "In every single situation, no matter how life-threatening or stressful, you've always done the right thing. Do you honestly think that you, of all the magicians here, would change your entire personality because of a little magical ability?" Henry said nothing, and didn't look at her.

Calet brought another stool up, and spoke. "I've known you for no more than a week, and I can already tell you're more honorable than three quarters of my men." Henry sat up a little straighter.

"Really?" He asked.

Calet pulled another stool from
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« Reply #288 on: July 22, 2010, 08:48:07 AM »

(Relym, you seem to have finished halfway through a sentence. XD)
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« Reply #289 on: July 22, 2010, 10:06:04 AM »

(...what? Not only was there another half to that sentence, but there was an entire paragraph following it. Argh.)
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« Reply #290 on: July 25, 2010, 03:27:20 AM »

(Note, this won't be the best of my abilities.)

Calet looked out the window, the sunrise poking through through the thinning smoke. He frowned, his mind full of troubles. He looked at the two sitting by each other, both of their eyes full of a determination he had not seen. Not even in training. "You spoke of a man, Henry." He started. Henry looked over at him, his face was decorated with concentration. "Thanatos, this man who destroyed a full village with the wave of his hand." He stood up, looking down at Henry. "In this world, everything needs a balance, for every dark corner there is a window, every death there is a birth. A man of such evil and power requires one to restore this balance. one of pure heart." He patted Henry on the back once. "I can tell from the look in your eye and the amount of trust your friends put into you, that you have such a heart."

Henry looked at Calet for a moment, then out the window. His eyes scanned the scenery, the charred buildings and remains of fires littered the once mighty city. "I can't be capable of this, you guys are right." He smiled, his mind grew with thoughts of hope. S'Kendra smiled, tilting her head so Henry could see her through the corner of his eye. "There ya go." A large smile lined her face. Calet looked at her, it was a smile of lost royalty. Royalty regained.

Calet sat back down, looking behind them to see if Sam and Jaggery had woken up. He then looked back, he rested his elbows on his knees, looking through the window. "This man, Thanatos. Will we meet him again in our travels?"

"More than likely." S'Kendra replied.

Calet nodded his head once and stood up, running his hand through his short hair. "Then I must prepare for a harsh journey." He turned towards the door. "If you'll need me, you can find me down the hall to the third left, I'll be preparing in the barracks."

Calet moved across the room, he reached out to the door handle and turned it, pausing to turned his head to look at the two again. Henry sat straight in his chair, S'Kendra laying a hand on his back; Calet smiled at this and opened the door, quietly closing it behind him.




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« Reply #291 on: December 07, 2010, 02:33:17 PM »

This was going so well, what's with the sudden stop?
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« Reply #292 on: July 03, 2011, 01:35:31 PM »

(Oh, hell. I totally forgot where we were. I'll do my best to pick it back up.)

The next few days were no less chaotic than those before it; packing, stocking, physical conditioning, and Raz's sinewy form waiting around every corner to reprimand the slackers made the day of departure seem like a relief more than anything. On the bright side, Henry and his companions were showered with the highest grade supplies and foodstuffs for the journey, and The Capital's magicians examined and enchanted the party's equipment.

While S'kendra and Sam dawdled in the dining hall, a small troupe of sorcerers approached them. "We were just about to leave, we assure you. No time was wasted, of course, that's not--" Sam was cut short by the oldest and least friendly looking of the group.

"This is your sword?" The robed elder held out Sam's blade.

"Yes, that's it. Are you done looking at it?"

"Not even close." Sam's outstretched hand fell. "We received word that you claimed to have killed a dragon."

"And it's true! The heart turned to ash, but--"

"We believe you. When you slay a beast of such magical power, the tool used is endowed with unusual and unpredictable enchantments. We can't seem to touch it." The wizard moved the blade beneath the nearby lamp, examining every curve. "We don't have the means to study it ourselves. We would be honored if you returned someday to tell us the behavior of this weapon."

"Behavior?" S'kendra asked, watching the reflections on the metal as though it might begin moving on its own.

The old sorcerer laughed. "We have a few texts that describe these sorts of weapons throughout history, and they typically form a bond with the one who slayed the dragon. When the wielder grows stronger, so does the blade, and vice versa. Nobody's been killed in their sleep, as far as we know," he added, and S'kendra stopped glaring at the sword, smiling a bit sheepishly.

"Whoah," Sam said, accepting the blade from the wizard. "How will I know if it's... you know, all dragon-y?"

"When you, or someone you love is in mortal danger, that's when you'll find out."

"Oh. So hopefully never." Sam answered, sheathing the blade carefully.

"But realistically, ten minutes after we leave the city." S'kendra chuckled. "I think the others will be interested to know this." The wizards and the adventurers exchanged bows, and returned to their respective work.
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« Reply #293 on: July 06, 2011, 11:17:11 PM »

(Hurra! It's back. Cheesy)


"When do you suppose we shall leave?" S'kendra mused out loud, sauntering down the hallway beside Sam at a leisurely pace. "We were due to depart yesterday, but with all the chaos Raz does not feel we're properly equipped yet." She sighed lightly as she glanced out of the window, scuffing her heals on the marble floor. The city still lay in ruins, but teams of laborers and magicians had already begun to clean the streets of debris.

"Oh, I'm sure we'll be gone before you know it. We'll be back out there fighting monstrosities and horrors from beyond the Veil before you can say 'death-wish'!" he replied, chuckling slightly. He patted the pommel of his sword, wondering at the new powers it might contain. S'kendra glanced at the blade again as they reached the end of the corridor and took a turning into the vast, chewed up garden in the middle of the palace.
"I only hope we're able to reach Darien without one of us dieing this time. We can't always spring back up again. I'm sure it's some sort of affront to nature." S'kendra shrugged as the two of them crossed the grass towards Henry, who was practicing a powerful lighting spell under Raz's constant scrutiny.

"Focus, you lout! You let your concentration slip for a second, and you could tear down a wall! Aim for the flag-pole atop that far tower and don't lose focus for a second!" The tigers voice carried from one side of the court to the other as he growled his commands, letting Sam and S'kendra know that it was best to stay quiet until Henry was done. Sweat beaded on his forehead and ran down the back of his neck as he grimaced, putting all of his energy and attention into controlling the long tendrils of electricity emitting from his palms. The lighting darted out, far above the damaged walls of the palace itself, towards the battlements and the guard tower beside the gate. Atop the tower hung a single red flag, bearing the Royal insignia.

The electricity met it's mark, a point only just visible to those gathered in the garden, and sparks filled the air around the flag pole, dancing from the silken flag and making the air around it shimmer and glitter. Anyone standing nearby would have heard a sharp popping sound, as the glass bauble at the top of the pole shattered from the sudden burst of energy.

"Excellent! Now, retract the energy! It is not enough to simply throw power out into the world, you must be able to retrieve and absorb it as well. Call the energy back to you!" Raz barked as the two were joined by Sam and S'kendra, who watched in awe as Henry began to pull the lighting back towards him. It began to gather around his hands, swirling in the air and setting every hair in the group on end, before collecting into a ball and dissolving back into his palms. The air cleared once again, and he turned to his astonished friends with a sheepish smile.

"I think I'm getting pretty good at this magic stuff." he laughed, trying to smooth his hair and getting a slight static shock as a result.
"I should bloody well say so!" Sam slapped him heartily on the back, glancing at the distant flag pole with a low whistle. "That's quite the distance you covered."
"You're doing better than me." S'kendra smiled, patting him on the shoulder. "I can make fire balls now, but they always come out green. But I'm alright with water spells."

Raz stood, turning from the group and slinking back towards the palace. "The more time you spend congratulating yourselves, the less time you spend working."


(Not my best writing, it's tricky getting back into the roll of things. But lets see if we can get this going again! :3)
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« Reply #294 on: July 07, 2011, 08:07:28 AM »

(I imagine we're all a little rusty. I'm just glad it's not completely dead yet.)

"Oh, come on, you grouch," S'kendra called after the cat. "Surely we must be close to departure." She tried not to seem impatient, but her sentiments leaked into her speech.

"Not anywhere near, if you're as dense as the boy. That's right, you're next, princess." He added harshly at S'kendra's look of surprise. "Hopefully I can drill in a few good healing spells at least. God knows you can't cast to save your life."

"She can," Henry said, disproportionately angry. "And she has. Multiple times. Who knows how few of our party would have arrived had she not been a quick thinker and a powerful caster. You're not training a toddler, Raz. You're reviving a veteran skill." Raz seemed about to burst with retaliation, but quickly deflated.

"Either way, we've got work to do. Remember the meditation exercises, boy." The tiger disappeared back into the castle. The others looked at Henry, surprised at his outburst, but he had also vanished through the door on the opposite side of the garden.

"Shame. I really wanted to tell him about my sword." Sam said, disappointed.

"I think spending so much time doing such difficult work is making those two tense," S'kendra theorized. "I bet both will calm down when they're separated again."

"Not Raz," Sam chuckled. "There's not enough sedative in the world to calm those nerves."

"Oh, I don't think he's all that bad," S'kendra replied somewhat defensively. "He has good intentions." She added sheepishly as Sam raised eyebrows.

"Yeah. Alright. Let's find Jaggery, he'll get himself into trouble without supervision." The pair returned to the castle. They began and ended their search at the bar, where their friend was surrounded by a rather large crowd of people.

"Oh, he's not getting in a fight, is he?" S'kendra moaned.

"No, no. It sounds like... like he's telling them stories."

(God, this is such fluff. Someone save me.)
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« Reply #295 on: July 11, 2011, 06:58:38 AM »

"You would nay believe it lest you see it, lads! A dragon, sixty feet tall and spitting flame! And Sam m'lad, he stared the beast down with his cold, steely eyes. You'd never seen the like! As me an' Henry worked the flanks, he lept at the beast head-on and drove his blade into the iron-tough hide! Over and over as the beast thrashed around with it's scythe-like claws. Suddenly the sword pierced the creatures heart, and it fell to the floor dead!"

 Jaggery had always had a fondness for his own voice, and a gift for embellishment that rivaled any royal bard or poet. And he flailed his arms around wildly, pounding on the table to punctuate his points, causing all the mugs to rattle. Sam laughed as he caught the last part of this epic farce; S'kendra however, who had been mortally impaired at the time, glanced at Sam with a quizzically raised eyebrow.

"Is that so? Well, I think Sam the mighty Dragon Slayer deserves a pint! Which of you kind gentlemen will assist?" The men around the table glanced at the two friends as they sat beside Jaggery, then one man shrugged and indicated to the barman to refresh everyones drinks. The other men sat in awe, gazing at Sam, who nodded and looked a touch uncomfortable at the attention.

"Ah, it wasn't too difficult... You just have to know where to stab I guess." He grinned awkwardly as the men around the table burst into laughter. Jaggery slapped him on the arm and S'kendra smiled and ruffled his hair.

"I wish I'd been able to see your mighty victory! But I promise I shall be around for the next one, my friend."
"Say," Jaggery interjected "where'd your lad Henry go?"
"Good question..." a slight frown tugged at the corners of S'kendra's mouth. "Perhaps I should go check on him, bring him here to relax a little."
"Make sure Raz isn't torturing him again!" Sam laughed, swigging his pint. "Those two get each other so wound up, it's amazing they don't both snap! Oh hey, Jaggery, check out my sword!-"

The table erupted in jeers at the mention of Raz, before everyone set about chatting and swapping stories again. S'kendra slipped from the table and out of the bar, heading down the corridor towards the dorms and bedrooms.


(Sorry it's a bit short. We'll get back into the swing in no time, I'm sure!)
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« Reply #296 on: July 24, 2011, 02:07:39 PM »

(I'm not gonna lie, our momentum is awful now. I really have no motivation whatsoever to continue. The more I think about it, the more it seems better just to start with a new story. I have to agonize over each paragraph at this point, and our characters don't really have character anymore. What do you say? Fresh start?)
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« Reply #297 on: August 14, 2011, 10:18:55 AM »

(It's such a shame, but I know what you mean. After so many big gaps and wavering plot lines and new characters being introduced so far into the story it's just become impossible to keep going to any quality. Maybe one day one of us will sweep through it and clean it up, and finally add an ending. But I think you're right. Time to bid farewell to this adventure.)
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« Reply #298 on: August 14, 2011, 11:26:38 AM »

OFFICIAL END TO THE THREAD


Due to MASSIVE drop in popularity and a general consensus, this story has been ended prematurely. They all died. The end.

Another story may be started if enough people commit to it.
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