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PostSubject: Re: NEW RP   Sat 1 Aug - 19:14

From his spot in the corner, Dunn had not moved an inch since settling himself there half an hour previously. His hood was drawn low over his face, and his hands were placed together as if in quiet contemplation. He was so still that he may have been asleep.

“I think you'll find,” LeCuyer said quietly, “that I will be asking the questions here. I don't know what your intention is, but know this: the girl is protected.”

He spoke his last four words slowly, deliberately, thoroughly, and looked Kalin Suitone directly in the eyes. His force was back. His personality no longer muted. He was large and he was imposing... and she was not backing down. Indeed, she seemed hardly aware that he, like a cobra spreading its hood, was issuing fair warning. She might have gone on sipping her ale had the chill not gone from it, leaving it flat and bitter.

For a moment, he considered pressing her with his questions again. But, he reflected, it was unlikely that this woman, rare in her aplomb under the stress of his gaze, would expand upon her reticent answer. She had cornered him, given him no choice in the matter.

And so LeCuyer rose up, offered her one fleeting, dismissive glance, and left the room. Up the stairs he trod, and his giant footfalls, though light, were heard throughout the inn. Up the ladder, which groaned under his weight, through the trap door, and over to the mattresses someone had so thoughtfully prepared for him.
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PostSubject: Re: NEW RP   Wed 12 Aug - 18:08

Jacques was trying to be intimidating and he was ultimately succeeding except for the fact that Kalin had nothing to fear over such a misplaced show of force. Whoever it was that he thought he had to protect the girl from, it certainly wasn’t her, but it wasn’t worth disputing at a dried up inn table in the middle of the night. She had to hand it to him, though: the man looked as indomitable as a mountain, and he surely knew it. What he didn’t know, however, was that his intentions were misplaced.

Finishing off the last her drink with a guzzle that soured her expression while the unforgiving after-taste faded,  Kalin stood, stretched, yawned, and set for the stairs, lazily waving once to the hooded man across the room whose silent eyes had been on them nearly the whole time. Yes, she had a room there too, and she made it as obvious as the fact that she was armed, adjusting her waist strap while she went that had been weighed down by the three daggers and a shorts word that it was supporting. It wasn’t a gesture of threat or force, but rather one that – or so she hoped – would suggest that she either had little to hide, or was very bad at doing so. Both were true.

Second floor and on the right was her modest one man room that had cost her less than her meal and drinks combined, not that she couldn’t afford more. The town didn’t have much to offer as it was, but she had to admit that she rather enjoyed the separation from her family and their faked importance in a high society that no longer took them seriously. At least here, as a random traveller, she could fit in if she tried. She wasn’t there to fit in, however, and like the sapphire pendant that she unwrapped from her wrist and set carefully on her night stand, her purpose was higher.

One knee down, crouched low with her eyes covered by the crook of her arm, Kalin quieted herself and her mind, more in control in the moment than she had been the entire day. If the years of her parents, siblings, and tutors’ discouragement in the practice had deterred her faith, it did not show. In fact, she was tempered and true; nearly a different person altogether by the time she spoke.

“Let light be life, and fear not the dim flame.
Let darkness be air, and with it fill my chest.  
Let will be power, and in sacrifice – ”

A burn, new but instinctive, bid her open her eyes while her chest stirred uncomfortably. Raw, wild magic was something she’d only experienced artificially, but there was no mistaking such a sensation. The girl, Sayatia, would not have a restful night, and neither would any of them. Fitting, she supposed, as she lifted the pendant back off of the table and swallowed her nerves down. This would be her first test as a guardian.

“In sacrifice,” She repeated, standing. “make me immortal.”

---------------------------

There was no getting used to the vivid nightmares that permeated what little rest Saya dared to get, nor was there understanding. Hardly dreams at all, she couldn’t stop herself from gripping whatever she could get her hands on until her knuckles were white, hoping for them either to mercifully subside or wake her – cold sweat or no. The worst was the sensation of wakefulness that she felt while running from a hulking beast of dark violet smoke that appeared at random in the monochrome world through which she ran while fog set in and the creature gained. Snarls, hot breath, and the cold burn when the predator grew near sent very real jolts through her while her unconscious self quivered in her sleep in the dark attic of the inn.

A dilapidated lean-to in the dense forest of her mind provided her with momentary shelter while she listened closely to the heavy footfalls of her hunter echoing imminently in the vacuum of her dream. It would hear her if she moved, and stumble upon her if she didn’t, yet no other option came to her in the dark, and by the time the familiar glow fell upon the floor of her shelter, it was too late to act. Uncontrollable fear and the panic that it bore was not the answer; this she knew logically, but as it had before, the heat of the moment pulled her into the corner where the thud of ancient wood behind her back was sure to become her dirge.

Would she wake the others? It was a strange thought to have in a forest of black white with a creature forcing its way into the room, and no matter how desperately she grasped she could not fathom just whom it had been directed at, but the corner into which she pushed herself felt just as real as the rumbling breaths of the beast as it entered the room and spotted her. She might have screamed if not for a muffled voice banging on the wall, half begging, half ordering her to wake.  

Wake? From what? Merciless dark eyes pinned her down, ready to pounce. She would not win, but her pounding heart bid her to fight, somehow giving her the strength to rise to her feet. The beast stood at twice her meagre height, and her knees threatened to give out beneath her, but she balled her fists up at her side, certain without reason that she could fight back if prompted. The voice would not stop, however, weakening her resolve and muting whatever bolstering threats she might have formed to a meek and quivering ‘help’. There was no one else in the room to listen, however, save for those in the attic whom she could not see. Those who, had they woken, would see her cowering in the corner on unstable feet with her hands balled in whatever strength she could muster. Pitiful, perhaps, were it not for the plague like blotches on her arm throbbing with sinister intent. The phantoms were invisible, but her potentially dangerous intent was not.

---------------------------

“Let me in!” Kalin banged on the door to the attic like the building was on fire, growling as loudly as she could without waking the entire building. The numbing burn in her body was surreal and new, but it was clear what it meant. From the old tomes she’d scoured over and over to the real-life accounts that had found permanent residence in her memory, there was no mistaking the signs, but none of it had prepared her. It was out of necessity that she stayed as calm as she did, but the sprint up the stairs had been instinctive despite the late hour.


“Jacques, let me in. I can help.” She didn’t bother introducing herself again, for Sayatia’s ‘protector’ would know her voice if he was worth the title. There was no time to waste, and no matter how good any of them were with magic or sword, it was doubtful that they knew what they were dealing with.

“Help,” A small voice gargled, and a wave of dizziness washed of Kalin urging her to slam her shoulder into the door in an effort to budge it.

“Don’t touch her –“ She yelped in response. It wasn’t a threat, but somewhere between a plea and a warning. “Sayatia, wake up!”

One touch, that’s all it would take, and one of them was going across the room. Even Kalin herself – born for the duty – wasn’t certain that she would make the difference if things got out of control again; it wasn’t something any of them wanted to see.

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PostSubject: Re: NEW RP   Fri 14 Aug - 19:38

Sayatia's sleep was fitful. She tossed and turned on her mattress, but the long day of traveling had rendered even her watchful companions stupefied and delayed in response. Einigar, the first to sleep, was the first to wake, and he did so as Sayatia uttered her first, dream-filled groan. He sat up quietly and watched for a count of five. Sayatia groaned again, and he saw her leg twitch, as if she willed it to run. Einigar rose and walked noiselessly across to LeCuyer's double mattress. He lay a hand on the giant's shoulder, and the slight pressure woke the man from his light sleep. Einigar motioned to Sayatia, and Jaques too sat up.

“The salts,” he whispered.

Einigar dipped his head and walked in a swift, silent crouch over to their saddlebags. From deep within he drew a pouch of pungent smelling salts and then hastened back to the double pallet. The giant took the salts, crossed the attic to Sayatia's mattress, and knelt beside her.

“Sayatia,” he said gently. “Sayatia, return to us.” He opened the bag of smelling salts and held them under her nose for a moment, then resealed the bag and repeated her name. Waiting for the girl to revive, Einigar woke Portho and LeCre.

“Jacques, let me in! I can help!” The muffled cry struggled through the floorboards under Einigar's feet, but LeCuyer didn't turn his head as he continued to minister to the girl, gently trying to wake her from the dream of fury she suffered.

“Sayatia,” he repeated, his voice calm, gentle. “Sayatia, return. Wake.”

LeCre dipped a cloth in the wash basin and carefully applied the cool water to her forehead, coaxing her back to wakefulness, gently, gently...the transition smooth, gradual...healthful.
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PostSubject: Re: NEW RP   Sat 15 Aug - 12:05

As if through a wall, Sayatia swore that she could hear her name, but there was no locating a source from where she remained pinned in the corner, unable to move past the beast that stood now just a few feet away. An unnerving sensation had settled into her chest beside the fear, born of the inexplicable feeling that the careful, coaxing voice had not come from outside the lean-to or deeper into the forest, but from a less tangible ‘beyond’. It wasn’t until a smell so sharp that she nearly stumbled back hit her nostrils that she questioned this, however, and for a brief moment the beast was no more threatening than a shadow. Nevertheless it would not retreat, and just when she dared attempt to move around it, a jagged paw rose up to meet her.

“You idiots, listen to me!” Clearer than the other voice, it belonged to a woman whose calls were of desperation, frustration, and eagerness. It was strange how the emotions rang through louder than the words themselves which were little more that pockets of sound filled with intent that needed no translation, but with no time to reflect while the creature continued to encroach, it would go unheeded.

Stumbling back until she could force herself into the corner no more there was no means of escape from the claw that came toward her face, but rather than swiping viciously at her while she cowered, it merely pawed at her like a toy, brushing her cheek. It burned like ice, searing her and causing her to pull back, a shot of adrenaline running through her in response. She needed to fight back and run, for vicious or no the attack was not something she could endure for long as it came at her face again and again, forcing yelps of pain from her with each attempt.

Between the voices, the beast, and the fear, it was with a sudden and unexpected burst of strength that she lunged out, pushing out from the corner and driving her shoulder with surprising force into the belly of her attacker sending them both stumbling across the room and muffled sounds of struggle from near and far through the world. Where her shoulder had made contact burned numbly and she was wincing when she found her feet again, but the sudden appearance of opportunity kept her moving until, frantically scanning the room, she realized that she was trapped; the door through which she had entered had vanished.

Glancing around in panic, she weighed what little options she had while the creature snarled and spat its way to its feet. If there was no door, then she would just have to make one using whatever strength she could muster.

(Note: The 'beast' that she lunged at would have been whoever is closest to her, and it would have been a hell of a hit)

--------

“Hey!” Ignored but hardly silenced, Kalin fought desperately against the door at the sound of a scuffle, knowing full well that they had not heeded her warnings. There was little she could do from outside the room to validate her expertise on the situation, but without help the fools – and Sayatia – had a good chance of finding them dead if things escalated any further. She knew nothing of the others and hardly cared if they were going to put the girl in danger with their stubbornness, but what good was a guardian if her charge died before they’d even met?

“I said don’t touch her!” Whatever was going on in the small room was escalating fast, and they were either going to end up spurning wrath that she doubted they were prepared for, or finding themselves the unwilling recipients of a new, lethal condition.

“Let. Me. IN.” She boomed, sure that other patrons were going to hear them now. Good thing, too, because they were going to have to leave in a hurry if things got any worse.



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PostSubject: Re: NEW RP   Wed 19 Aug - 12:31

CRAA-ACK!

Sayatia lunged forward with a swiftness and ferocity so unexpected that Jacques and LeCre, who had been leaning over her, had only a split-second to react. LeCre wasted that moment by turning in surprise at the flicker of motion seen out of the corner of his eye. Jacques used it to push LeCre back, out of the way of the incoming strike, and in doing so, moved himself closer. At high speed they collided, Sayatia connecting with the underside of Jacques' chin.

With a ground-hammering thunk, he fell back against the floorboards and did not move. For one horrible moment, everyone froze, and nothing could be heard except for Kalin's furious striking at the door. “Let. Me. In!”

“Jacques,” LeCre cried, abandoning his wet towel and going to the still form of the giant, who lay sprawled across the trapdoor. The pounding beneath continued, and farther below LeCre could hear movement in the rest of the inn. His mind reeling, he motioned frantically for Einigar to help him shift Jacques' body from the trap door. Einigar hesitated for a moment, but then a new voice issued from below. “Let us in, she can help.” It was Dunn.

LeCre took hold of the giant under one armpit, and Einigar under the other, and both heaved until his body slid free of the trap door. With a bang the trapdoor flew open, and in came Dunn followed by the stranger.
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PostSubject: Re: NEW RP   Wed 19 Aug - 19:13

The thud from above was enough to rock Kalin back on her feet, silent for a moment while she weighed whether or not to step back from the hatch. Someone was down, of that she could be sure, but how or why the mystery that had her on edge. Her only concern now was whether or not Sayatia was on the offensive, and whether it was worth one last slam on the door at the risk of becoming the next body to hit the floor. She knew the moment the dilemma had been posed what her answer would be, but that didn’t stop her stomach from knotting in the face of a danger that was very real; a danger that she had studied well, but never faced in reality.

Clearing her throat to continue her pleas, Kalin would have toppled backwards were she not so rigid when the man from downstairs appeared suddenly beside her, speaking calmly and clearly through the hatch to whomever was in the room beyond. She gave him a piercing look doused strongly enough with confusion so as not to come across as aggressive, but it quickly transferred to determination when the creaky wooden door lifted and granted her access to the dusty quarters above.

Lit only by the ethereal glow of the cracks between the charcoal black plates of skin that covered Sayatia’s arm nearly to the shoulder, the scene was an eerie one into which Kalin stepped carefully, recalling her training as best she could with each beat of her heart. Her eyes, when they dared to stray from the girl, caught a glimpse of Jacques on the floor – evidently he was the one who had been hit, the stubborn fool – and the others, though strangely calm, looking increasingly out of their element with each passing moment.

“It’s okay,” She assured herself just as much as the rest of them. “I’m a Suitone – a guardian.”

Neither her name nor her title stood much chance of meaning anything, but if Jacques knew half as much as he seemed to about the girl, perhaps it would ease them. Seeing to the well-being and ‘ideal’ passage of the ill-fated Yuanfen had been the purpose of the four guardian houses – among which were the Suintones – since ancient times, though the past few hundred years had seen their purpose buried and forgotten to irrelevance and lethargy. It would not die with her, however, or so Kalin vowed. At least, it had been easy to do so tucked away in her parents’ studies or training with the Maesters, but now, face to face with the reality, it was night impossible to steel herself. Still, feet flat on the ground, she swallowed hard and prepared herself.

“You,” Pulling her left glove off, Kalin tossed it to LeCre. “Grab her with this if things get out of control – on the arm, if possible – but DO NOT touch her with your bare skin.” It was simple garment of some sort of cheap leather with pads of what appeared to be iron on the palm and fingers, but was indeed worth more than a horse. There was no time to explain the benefits of Lynmetal whether required or not, however, and with Sayatia daring to take a step forward with a balled fist, they would simply have to trust her.

“Calm, Sayatia. Breathe.” Yes, that needed to come first. Deep breaths while Kalin struggled with what little magic she could muster, closing her eyes for as many seconds as she dared while she searched for the phantoms which the girl’s darting eyes seemed to be searching for; There were none. For the time being, anyway.

“You can’t see me, but name is Kalin Suitone. I know all about your condition. I can help.”

It was difficult to tell if her words were reaching the girl the way she swayed in place, tilting her head as if listening to something in the distance. She wasn’t advancing, though, so Kalin slowly cleared the gap, explaining herself to an uneasy Sayatia.

“Those are my footsteps. You’re in the attic of the inn in a small desert town, accompanied by…” Kalin swallowed, choosing her wording carefully. “… a group of protectors.”

Now only a few paces away, Sayatia’s fear and panic weighed heavy on Kalin’s chest while she struggled to connect to the girl, for what little magic she had was unfocused in her unskilled hands. To relent was to be at the mercy of the girl’s self-control, however, and judging by Jacques’ current condition, that was not an outcome worth pursuing. So, taking care to walk lightly she advanced until the point where Sayatia lurched back, wildly searching for what she could only assume was an escape. Likely uninformed and unacquainted with the nature of the world in which her mind was trapped, Kalin was quickly losing confidence that her mediocre magical advantage was going to win the battle against such deep-seated fear, and so with a careful hand she motioned LeCre forward to her side, hoping he would know what to do when the time came. Gloved hand at the ready, Kalin steadied herself as she spoke, hoping that her gimmick would pay off. If not, they were all in trouble.

“I’m going to grab your arm, but don’t be afraid. It’s only to wake you up.” Sayatia shifted nervously but did not step back. Good, she could at least understand her words, if nothing else. “Okay, three, two – “

In an attempt to fight or flee, Kalin found herself pushed back by the girl’s sudden advance, barely managing to grab hold of her shirt and slow her just enough to take her wrist and pull her back to which she responded with a yelp. Even still, her struggling petered and ceased quickly until she found the wall and sunk down against it, eyes pulled tightly shut.

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PostSubject: Re: NEW RP   Wed 9 Sep - 11:08

LeCre took the glove thrust at him without question. He knew the Lynmetal well, for LeCuyer had a pair of similar gloves wrapped in linen in his saddlebags. As gentle with his friends as he was fierce with his enemies, however, LeCuyer had not liked to take them out until the last moment. Much as they all looked up to LeCuyer, they knew his judgment was not always sound—not when he may inadvertently hurt a friend.

“Yes, yes,” LeCre said through gritted teeth. “I know.”

On the count of three, LeCre was ready. With gloved hand he reached out and caught Sayatia by the arm, helping Kalin to drive the girl gently back until she rested against the wall. She would now be struggling to wake, to pull her mind from the place it was now trapped. The transition was one that LeCre could not readily imagine, for he had not even the tenuous hold or understanding of magic that Kalin appeared to.

As Sayatia struggled against the vision now clouding her vision, there was a quiet stirring behind them, then a groan and a voice muffled as though half smothered. “Why th' hell didn' you tell ush you're guard'an?”

Jaques sat up slowly, rolled to the side, and spat a copious amount of blood from his mouth. “I think... I think... I'm missing a tooth.”
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PostSubject: Re: NEW RP   Thu 15 Oct - 23:06

“Because in my experience “Hello, I’m a guardian” only gets you one of two places: laughed at or robbed – and that’s on the rare chance that you find someone who knows what that means.”

Yes, lesson one of her journey had come quick and mercilessly, reminiscent of the time she had jumped into the autumn chilled lake as a child, unable to stern-facedly brave the initial shock no matter how prepared she thought she’d been. Back home the title was no beacon of respect, sure, but there were few people in the court who had never heard of it. If nothing else, it was a means of justifying her (often unwilling) presence at their balls and gatherings as proof of some noble lineage just important enough to not be negated by their modern irrelevance. Beyond the privileged circle, however, the guardians had been all but forgotten; missing or extinct since the birth of the generation before.

Letting out a controlled breath to clear some of the residual fog in her head, Kalin eyed the girl for a moment to be sure that she would not be fighting them any further for the time being before turning back to the man with the blood dribbling down his chin. Having warned him in advance, it was difficult for her to empathize, and even more so if they knew more about the girl than she’d given them credit for. Young and seemingly innocent as she was, the power channeled through Sayatia was not to be underestimated. Life, limb, and in Jacques’ case – teeth, were the best things they could hope to lose if they intended to keep playing with fire, but something told her that there was more to the gang than reckless confidence.  They knew full well what they’d gotten involved with; this was just their first time seeing it live.

Just like her.

Were their hearts still beating frantically too?

Taking a second to think on it, Kalin considered tossing him something to stem the blood but distracted herself instead by taking in everything she could about the room and its inhabitants. “…Besides, I still don’t know you from a bandit.” She added, hoping to learn as much about them as she could before Sayatia woke up. As far as she was concerned, she was a full-fledged guardian now, and she would see her charged protected at any cost. Deciding whether or not they were a threat was simply easier without a third, even less informed party to deal with.

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