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Songs of Alvaris 
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Left to themselves, the party had the expanse of Imdalor at their feet to explore. Aside from the Plaza of the Sun, there were six other plazas in the city: the red plaza; the yellow plaza; the plaza of the moon; the blue plaza; the plaza of the heart & mind; and the star plaza. The Red Plaza served a similar function as the plaza of the Sun, being a space to sell various wares, but it was smaller and attracted more of the local crowd with fresh produce and tailors. The Yellow Plaza housed the University of Imdaloria, the most notable school of the arcane across the Alvarisian Empire. Thus, the Yellow Plaza mostly catered to students with pubs, study areas, and tome shops. The Plaza of the Moon held a mixed reputation within the city. A haven of soothsayers and mysterious artefacts, many believe it to be a den of con-artists, that is, until they needed their services themselves. The Blue Plaza was notable for its majestic fountains, and was typically where most of the city’s major festivals were held. The Plaza of the Heart & Mind was where the city’s library resided, a monolithic building keeping records of history, philosophy and research. The plaza itself attracted a number of bards who would frequent the area around the fountain. The Star Plaza was where the city’s Temple of Light was located. It was here that the religious turned to in times of worship, but where many clerics were trained as well.

*****


Taking their leave from the rest of the group, Amelia, Tobias and Mitra walked towards the inner wall where the palace lay. The gate was guarded by spellswords, who stood vigilantly as they watched the children pass before them. As they walked through the gate, they were quite surprised by the sheer denseness of the forest that was enclosed behind the walls. There was a single unobstructed path leading to the door of the palace; the trees fashioning a natural tunnel with their branches crossing overhead. Rumours stated that the palace was protected by a spellsinger who could weave the massive branches to obscure the path in times of trouble.

The group walked in silence as they approached the doors of the palace where two mage knights stood guard. Standing in front of the door, one of the mage knights blocked their path with their lance. On instinct, Mitra casually stepped in front of the royal siblings to put herself between the weapon and the royals.

“State your purposes for your presence at the Palace of Emeldia,” stated the woman in a commanding voice. Amelia faltered, so accustomed to going where she willed and being recognized as the imperial princess in Alvaris, she had not thought to consider how they would gain an audience with the king. She was unsure whether it would be an appropriate time to reveal her identity, for she still did not know whom they could trust. Mitra was about to speak, when Tobias stepped forward.

“I have an invitation from the Sage-King Edmund,” replied Tobias calmly while presenting a letter sealed with the royal crest of Emeldia. Taking the letter into her hand, the guard read its contents while scrutinizing the individuals before her.

“Very well, you may proceed,” she said, as the guards stepped out of their path. “I will summon Gilliam, who will take you to the throne room for your audience with his majesty” She pulled on a rope hanging beside the door and a few moments later a young man, only a bit younger than Tobias, opened the door and bowed before them cordially.

“Take these guests to see his majesty immediately. The king has personally sealed this letter to grant them audience when they arrived." A woman of duty, the guard would not deny the request, but her composure indicated that she was suspicious of the youths before her. The redhead looked almost Torbican and one could never be sure about a Qulmari. Still, she let them by as the youth ushered Amelia and Tobias into the palace. The inside of the palace was not unremarkable, but having grown up in the imperial palace, the siblings were not struck by its apparent opulence. What they did find notable however, was the strong sense of magical energy that permeated the atmosphere. It only seemed to grow stronger as they reached the doors to the throne room. The doors opened just as Gilliam raised his hand to knock on it, and a tall older woman in an elegant white gown looked down at them with a gentle smile.

“Thank you, Gilliam,” said the woman “You may take your leave” The boy bowed and scurried away, leaving the prince and the princess behind. Chuckling to herself, she waved Tobias, Amelia and Mitra into the room and closed the door behind her. The act was mildly disconcerting to Mitra, who scanned the room for an emergency exit, should their meeting prove unsuccessful. The woman seemed to glide as she walked down the violet carpeted train leading to a pair of elevated thrones. She walked up the steps to the throne and sat on the smaller of the two, picking up a golden circlet with a single violet jewel hanging from its front and placed it on her head of elegant bouncing silver locks. She smiled at the siblings, a genuine playful sparkle in her enchanting lilac eyes watching the children from her throne.

“I hope you will forgive my wife,” spoke a voice suddenly, drawing their attention to the elderly man who sat in the larger of the two thrones. The man wore an elegant violet robe, with gold embroidery along the seams. He had a long white beard, and much of the hair on the top of his head was gone, but the rest was grown out long passed his shoulders. His fingers were adorned with a number of rings and on his head rested a simple golden circlet matching that of the woman beside him. He smiled at the youths, crows’ feet creasing the corners of his pale blue eyes. “She has a penchant for a flair of mystery in her doings” The woman – the queen – chuckled lightly at the statement. The king stood up from the throne and approached the imperial siblings to get a closer look, as Mitra stepped back respectfully - but also watchfully.

“My, how you have grown,” he said fondly “You were but a babe when I was named your godfather” said King Edmund to Tobias with a wistful look on his face. “My wife, Queen Leah, and I are most glad that you have arrived safely.”

“Yes,” spoke up Queen Leah, stepping down from her throne to stand beside her husband “I lost sight of you on your journey and worried you were lost to the darkness” Amelia eyed the woman questionably, not entirely sure what she meant by losing sight of them. Surely, they were not being followed all this time unawares. To Mitra, the phrase was still unusual, but not completely foreign. She had learned of scrying while journeying with the Empress. Still, it was quite an unnerving thought that they in particular had been followed despite their discretion - magical or otherwise.

“We warmly welcome you to the city of Imdalor, capital of the Kingdom of Emeldia. My only wish is that your arrival was under better circumstances, for word has reached us of your brother’s passing.”

“He did not pass away,” snapped Tobias “He was murdered!” Amelia shot a look at her brother for his outburst. They were here to make allies, not further isolate themselves when they were already in dire need of help. Mitra's gaze at Tobias was less hardened, for she sympathized with the boy, knowing that he was quite right. She held her tongue.

“I apologize, my prince,” spoke the king gently “You are right in that treachery plagues the empire. Your father was a dear friend of mine. Know that you – that the both of you – have my protection and my support. You are free to stay here for as long as you need.”

“I thank you for your hospitality, your grace,” replied Amelia sincerely. She looked away from Tobias as she continued “I will need you to look after my brother while I am away-”

“What!?” exclaimed Tobias incredulously. “Why are you leaving?!”

“Tobias don't be difficult,” snapped the princess angrily “You know I have to find the others. I have to make sure that Jonas, Chloe and Aiden are all safe. We must be reunited.”

“I agree” replied Tobias “But I can come with you-”

“You're the next emperor of Alvaris! You can’t just gallivant across the empire as you please!”

“If I am to be the emperor, I can do as I please!”

“Now you’re being ridiculous”

“Perhaps, we should discuss this on the morrow,” interrupted Queen Leah firmly “Let us have a feast and a good night’s sleep. Invite your travelling companions and we shall invite the rest of our family. Let us celebrate your safe arrival before discussing any departures”

Mitra exhaled, unaware that she had been holding her breath as Amelia and Toby fought. She understood Amelia's reasoning, but her execution was lacking. Toby may have been the spitting image of the Emperor, but if this fight were any indication, he definitely had inherited the Empress' fire. She was thankful for the Queen's interruption, for it would give them the needed time to discuss things further and hopefully Tobias would come to terms with Amelia's suggestion.

GM: Sorry for the extreme delay. This map. Just ugh. I still haven't finished all the errand-y stuff I needed to do for SoA, but you guys can keep going about the town. Let me know if you need information on things like the costs of stuff. I'll be out tonight but around for the rest of the long weekend and Monday's next post.

That being said, I have a project at work that will take me out of the country for a few days next week. I'm not yet sure if it will affect the May 29th post, but just letting you know.

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Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:06 am
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Ft. DJ Deci and The Eazter Bunny

“Y’ever take yer cocoon off?”

It was a question asked out of genuine curiosity, an idle spot of conversation to be had as Herlewin lead the way to the Red plaza.

It had taken the boy long enough to ask, that Jax thought for a moment he wouldn’t. But as youth often did his mind eventually wondered to the topic. “I do.” The knight offered in a level tone. “Sometimes when I’m not on duty.”

“Then ye’ll tell me tatcha ne’er ain’t, eh?” The archer instinctually went for a light elbow to the man’s ribs, chuckling at his own joke, but the laughter quickly faded as the boy’s funny bone caught a hardened metal edge and sent his arm tumbling into the realm of tingling numbness. “Shade ‘n darkness…” Herlewin muttered, shaking the limb out the rest of the short trip to the plaza. “Alrighty, provisions ‘n such ‘ll be ‘ere, if ye lot ‘re stockin’ up fer a journey.” The acrobat stepped out to the center of the square, singling out promising shops with his trained eyes as he walked. “What-all were ye lookin’ to acquire?”

Helle chuckled softly when Herlewin’s attempt at a friendly elbow only led to a clanging sound and the archer recoiling. He was really just a child. She glanced around the square once they arrived, not even sure where to start with everything on display. “As I mentioned, I’d like to pick up some healing supplies. Apart from that…” Uncertain, she trailed off, and looked at Jax.

“The basics.” The wall of metal thought out loud. “Food, water, a couple of tonics, and for safety’s sake I’d like to pick up a single…”

---

“...Vuln’rary, it was? Think that’s all from yer list tak’n care of, then.” Herlewin clapped some imaginary dust from his hands, satisfied with the day’s work. He’d even picked up some items of his own, splurging on a bundle of enchanted arrows with the funds their shopping expedition had earned him. Their crystalline shimmer seemed marginally useful as a tool for his more… pyrotechnical style of entertainment, but their ability to freeze on contact brought him a modicum of peace of mind: Should he ever find himself in another emergency, he’d have a plan this time.

Speaking of plans, nightfall was a ways out, and Amelia hadn’t given his new friends any instructions for the time until then as far as the archer knew, so they had some time to kill.
“Oy, we still got a coupl’ ‘ours ‘till yer Princess comes a’callin’ for ye, an’ the best nook in town’s only two blocks down. Watcha say we hit the tavern? First round’s on me.”

It was more running around than the knight would have done on his own, for sure, but it was relieving to actually have Herlewin leading him around. The boy didn’t need to haggle much, but when he did it was considerable, he likely didn’t realise how much a few imperials here and there would be for a incognito band of warriors and royals with no way to make any more cash easily. It was an odd contrast when compared to the boy’s own spending habits. The 50 imperials that earned Jax a look of shock before practically fell out of the boy’s hands as he found some fancy looking arrows.

In the end they never made it to a smith, the warriors both finding their gear in relatively good care and personal whetstones still like new. Jax did take Herlewin up on his offer to go to the tavern though. Alcohol dulled his senses but in the end he needed the drink. His nerves were about fried from seeing real combat again after all these years. He imagined the boy probably enjoyed seeing one of his drinking tricks since he was a performer himself. It might not have been impressive done by most people but pouring his shot from arm's length straight above him and not spilling a drop was another feat entirely when you also have to make it through a great helm.

Though Helle might have questioned Herlewin’s combat skills, the ease with which he interacted with all the merchants and argued their prices down proved he knew his way around a marketplace. Helle felt much more secure once the party had some tonics and a vulnerary in hand. She and Jax judged their equipment in working condition, so there was no need yet to spend their imperials on a smith.

A tavern, though, Helle didn’t mind spending a few of Herlewin’s imperials on. The last time she’d been in a tavern, she’d won herself a pouch of imperials, but she’d also been forced into an unwanted social interaction. With Jax and Herlewin accompanying her, she figured it was less likely for some stranger to come up to her demanding she participate in an arm-wrestling match, and she could use a good drink. Jax could too, judging by the drinking trick he pulled. Impressed, Helle raised an eyebrow, but drinking tricks weren’t her style. She was content to chug her drink in one go then slam it on the counter, like a normal person.

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Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:14 am
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There was a pungent smell in the air as herbs of various origins dried from the rafters. Master Carmichael, respected apothecary of Imdalor, shuffled his feet across the stone floor as he mixed salves and other liquids together to create new potions. Some of these he would sell, while others remained for his own personal curiosity and experimentation. He turned to look at his student fondly, diligently working away at the desk he had provided her. Even though others were made uneasy by the mask that she wore, Master Carmichael saw so much potential in the young woman.

He raised his head as he heard the creaking of the front door, adjusting his spectacles on the bridge of his nose as his eyes adjusted to the light. There in the doorway stood princess Sophie, her hair unkempt and her clothes disheveled, a broad grin across her face as she burst into the small shop.

“Good day, your highness,” said the apothecary with a cheeky smile.

“Carmichael!” exclaimed Sophie exasperated, “Yeh ken ah ain’t no highness” She turned to Dinah with a pleading expression “Tell ‘em, Dinah!”

Dinah briefly looked up from her studies “Ya….” She trailed off for a minute “If you were royalty the empire would be in more turmoil than it already is.” Her tone was dull with a hint of annoyed yet muffled by her mask. She returned to her studies. Despite her outward appearance and interactions, she was intrigued why Sophie had disturbed her peaceful lab.

Sophie stuck out her tongue. Unbothered by the rebuke and taking pride that she was not considered one of those fancy nobles that she spent most of her time around. It was the main reason she tried to spend as much time outside of the castle as she could.

“Please do tell us why you have arrived, Sophie my dear,” spoke up Carmichael.

“Well,me grandma was actin’ might strange - even stranger than that old git normally do.” Carmichael had to force himself not to burst out laughing as the girl spoke of the elegant Queen of Emeldia in such a nonchalant manner. “We was in the mi’l’ of schoolin’ an’ she cut me class short! Somefin about business. Anywho, ah was wonderin’ if Dinah might entertain a jaunt out of this dusty ol’ shop in the city?” She turned to her old friend with a twinkle in her eyes.

Dinah set down her writing utensil with a sigh. “I can think of like…” She paused counting in her head “6 other things I have to do.”

Carmichael chuckled, quite proud that his student was willing to stick to her duties, though recognizing that perhaps he had been working her too hard as of late. “Come now, my child” said Carmichael with a slight mocking tone “Who are we to deny the requests of our dear princess?” He said with a wink. “I will let you go this once”

“Well… I do need to pick up some more aloe for the lab…I guess I can join you” Dinah stood brushing herself off as she began to gather her things into her small bag.

Sophie was unsure whether she should grin or frown at being called a princess. Typical Carmichael, getting her what she wanted, while stinging her at the same time. She decided to grin as she opened the door and the two girls walked back into the brilliant sunshine. The shop, located in the Plaza of the Moon, meant that they were immediately greeted by the sight of familiar stalls where fortune tellers lay in wait of the foolish. These they bypassed as they walked to the Blue Plaza where they could relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Sophie knew exactly what she was doing when she led the hapless – or so she thought – Dinah into the pub. She revelled in the excitement that came with drunken roughhousing, and in an odd way, the people who usually frequented the pub reminded her of her home in the country. As she scanned the crowd, her eyes fell upon an interesting group, an Alvarisian Imperial Knight, a Torbican woman and a boy – quite an odd assortment of characters in her opinion. Dragging Dinah to seats beside them she ordered a round of drinks for the table by spinning her hand above the group after getting the barkeep’s attention.

“By the light, a real live Imperial Knight!” gushed Sophie excitedly “Ah heard yuh haf to kill yuh dog to pass trainin’! An’ a Torbican lass, no doubt!” she said giddily while turning in Helle’s direction “Ah heard yuh can crush a man skull, in yuh ‘ands!” Everything she stated was merely rumours from what she had heard from the countryside, but it was no matter to the girl, for she was quite starstruck. To her Emeldia was filled with mostly boring folk with their heads stuck in books learning something about magic. Granted, she too was learning and quite gifted in the art of magic, but this was something new, something exciting. She nudged Dinah in the side excitedly as the drinks came to the table and was set before the group.

*****

The argument on hold, Amelia, Tobias and Mitra were given a tour of the palace by Gilliam. The youth shared with them the rooms where they would be staying for the duration of the visit, and a number of other locations of interest. The tour concluded; Gilliam left the trio in the palace gardens to give them a moment of privacy. It was quite apparent that there was a tenseness in the air; one that could not be written off as ambient magical energy.

“I don’t understand why you’re being like this, Toby,” began Amelia. “You left the palace to come here in the first place”

“That was before I knew everything that was happening!” snapped Tobias as he crossed his arms. He was tired of being pushed around by his sister. Ever since they had reunited at the village, she had doted upon him and fussed about him. It was too much!

“And so, what?” she asked “You’re going to give up magic? You came here to learn the art, no?”

“I can do that anytime! This is more important!” They both groaned and glared at each other.

“Why are you being so stubborn?!” they both unintentionally yelled simultaneously. There was silence as their voices echoed in the garden. For a moment the tenseness seemed to heighten, and then their expressions softened as they broke down in laughter.


GM: Just a reminder that I will be out of the country on Thursday, though I may be able to tag along to some posts for responses – a la the pub with Sophie.

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Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:00 pm
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“...for 'twas a moste onerus an’ wearrilysomm task lain ‘afore the intrepidious Lewis, aptly describable only as…” Herlewin swept his goblet menacingly across the table, narrowing his gaze as he looked each listener in the eye, paving the way for the dramatic revelation that punctuated the mid-point of his tale, The Legend of Lewis. It was one of his favorites, and though a relatively new acquisition to his repertoire, he’d spun it a hundred times since.

“THE MOST DANGEROUS AND TIRING THING A HUMAN COULD EVER WITHSTAND.”

It was a peculiar phenomenon to witness, as the archer’s accent briefly shifted away from its typical rustic enunciation and metamorphosed into a booming Received Pronunciation, clear, practiced and ominous as that of any nobleman. The technique had been passed on to Herlewin from his mentor; important plot points of stories (the only ones that weren’t changed with every telling, really) were drilled daily, repeated again and again on the road to various cities until the words became as crystalline as the arrows the boy had bought earlier that day. His rehearsed bit having passed, however, the words promptly returned to their regular tone.

“Now, my fine fellows, ye may ask yerself how th’ brave-heart’d Lewis carrie’d a whole house on naught but the brawnish vigor ‘o his heroic shoulders, and to that I’ll answer ye…”

Herlewin chugged what remained of his drink, then slammed it down to accentuate the theatrical pause.

“Tomorrow! In the Sun’s own Plaza, from mid-day on.” He finished with a wry smile, coincidentally reaching the temporary end of his yarn just as a couple of ladies entered the tavern and waded up to their table. Rather, one masked lady and a boisterous girl around his age who’d waltzed in and… ordered them all a round? The entertainer didn’t quite know what to make of the pair, but if they were buying, he was willing to sit back and listen to them harass his clients for a bit.

Listen, and watch the new arrivals very closely. Herlewin was on Jax’s payroll until sundown, after all: If this was the setup for an exercise in pocket weight alleviation, the archer would be ready to up the jig.

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Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:50 am
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Jax only had a few shots of his favorite drink before switching to water to keep his head, however his companion made him question that choice. Jax had never been a fan of The Legend of Lewis. Anyone that thought carrying a house was the most dangerous and tiring thing a human could withstand had never trained to be a guardian knight. Still it's not like it was harming him none so he sat and listened until the end, paying more attention to how the shadows crawled around outside to keep track of time, the best he could.

That's when the two young ladies entered the scene, the boisterous one may have well been a female version of the lad he sat next to now. He wasn't sure what to make of the masked one, but he understood the reasons for wearing one, but quickly concluded it wasn't to rob the place.

"Sorry to disappoint you." The knight replied with a part of a shrug. "Killing a dog, yours or otherwise, would have quickly found us kicked to the streets during training. It is our duty to protect. To end a life is a sad outcome for all involved."

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Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:53 pm
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The party split, and their ambulant gardening project made as though to accompany the trio of courtiers to the palace. Doubtless the princess would be loath to keep his company – that was half the reason he was going – but she had yet to state as much. Thankfully, the sight of twin spellswords guarding the first gate saved her the trouble. The cleric’s memory was jogged suddenly regarding a particularly interesting item he had glanced as the troupe first made their way through the Plaza of the Sun, and before his presence could have posed the slightest issue, the tree man had already vanished.

---

“...well yes, I suppose that were one to light it in a dark forest, the flame of this staff might resemble the ‘kind of haunting light that lures unwary travellers to their,’ erm... ‘untimely and gruesome demise,’ as you put it… sir.”

“Excellent,” came the voice from the… creature that had requested a look at the item.

“On second thought, sir,” began the clerk, “this item isn’t for sa-”

But it was too late. Where moments prior had lain a finely-crafted Torch Staff now rested 400 imperials, strewn haphazardly about the counter. The airy ting-a-ling of the silver entry chime ceded to a dread-filled silence, leaving the shopkeep with the awful feeling that this was a sale for which he would have to pay penance.

---

“Mished opportunity, metal man!” came a slurred, creaky voice from thetavern entrance. “Mutsh are delicious.”

Like a swaying willow, the intoxicated excuse for a cleric lilted towards the party, slamming the tankard which he carried on the table with such force that its remaining contents sprayed across those unfortunate enough to be within a few feet.

“I mushta gone through fifty taverns to find you bunsha’ ingrates,” he continued, moving to drape himself on the guardian knight. “Tryin’ ta get out o’ – hic – buyin’ me a drink, eh?”

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Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:49 am
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Dinah allowed Sophie to drag her from place to place till the unlikely duo unfortunately ended at a local tavern. Dinah fluffed out her coat and dusted it off a bit before sitting in a chair near Sophie, who proceeded to order for a group of strangers.

"Ah, yes, I can't think of a better way to spend the taxpayers money than to buy alcohol for a group of complete strangers." Dinah sighed.

Dinah couldn't help but roll her eyes at the knight's remarks “Great job… Who are you protecting again?”

Almost on cue a drunken gentleman entered the bar rambunctiously. She paused for a moment counting the number of taverns in the city.

“You must be really drunk the city currently only house 27 taverns. Not to mention you've cleary had to much to drink… I recommend some caffeine and a cold shower.”

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Sun May 05, 2019 9:38 am
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“Heh, sh’easy to get to 50 when yer sheein’ - hic - double!” spat Barrett, mouth wide to catch what drops remained to fall from his overturned in his tankard.

“And ish only ever too mush iffen ye can’t stomach it!”, he added with a belch.

The cleric leaned over the table, squinting at his interlocutor. Here was another character with something to hide, judging by her apparel. Curious. He would inquire. Loudly.

“Why ye wearin’ the mashk, mishy? Ye fancy yershelf a runaway prinsheshe too?”

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Sun May 05, 2019 9:33 pm
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Helle was far from drunk, but simply being in the atmosphere in the tavern did much to help her relax--as much as Helle ever really 'relaxed,' anyway. She watched with s**** as Herlewin told his tale, though in truth only half of her focus was on the story. The other half of her focus was dedicated to weighing the costs and benefits of actually getting drunk.

That train of thought was interrupted, though, by two young women barging into the tavern. Well, the younger of the two barged in, while her masked companion followed behind her, along for the ride. Of course, the new arrivals immediately made their way over to Helle and her companions. So much for avoiding unwanted social interaction.

At least the girl bought them all a round before launching into excited questioning of Jax and Helle. Where had she gotten the ridiculous idea that killing a dog was a necessary part of Imperial Knight training? Helle found herself too bemused by the concept to be irritated. The fact that she'd already had a drink was also making her slightly more tolerant of the girl's antics. "I've never tried to crush a man's skull in my hands. Cutting a man's head off is a lot faster." She smirked. "But I probably could, if I tried."

Jax similarly refuted the strange dog rumor, only for an unfortunately familiar voice to pipe up with a smart comment. Helle could only watch in despair as Barrett stumbled over to their table and draped himself on Jax. She'd wondered where the cleric had wandered off to. Judging from his slurred words, it wasn't impossible that he'd actually gone through most of the taverns in the city before stumbling across them.

When Barrett splashed Helle and the others seated at the table, Helle crossed her arms and glared. When he implied that they should buy him a drink, she grit her teeth. When he mentioned a "runaway princess," that was the final straw. Helle already didn't like the cleric, but that was a security risk, and the safety of the princess was paramount.

Helle stood, stomped over to Barrett, and grabbed him by the arm. "You've had much more than enough to drink," she hissed, pulling the lump of a man upright and away from the table. "I think you should leave." She tugged Barrett towards the door of the tavern, inwardly regretting that she wouldn't be able to benefit from the round the young woman had bought for them.

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Oh shpirits of the light and dawn!
Dish beaut’ous mound of musc n’ brawn
Has shet ‘er ocean eyesh on I
With intent to forsh goodbyes
Deshpite what shecretsh I’ve revealed
I pray ‘er advanshes be repealed!

If the light was with him, and it usually was, the Prayer that had so often gotten Barrett out of trouble would do so again. Not that he minded being manhandled by the Torbican knight, but he wasn’t about to miss out on drink paid with another’s coin.

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not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9


Mon May 06, 2019 1:37 pm
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Barrett wasn't never a pleasing person to be around, but Jax found himself at a net bemused that Helle actually seemed serious about protecting the royal children. She nearly jumped from her seat to drag the drunkard from the table, the same action Jax would to do, just faster than he could. It was probably for the best though, after all they were supposed to meat back-up with the rest of the party soon, and Jax felt like arriving early.

"Sorry ladies," the knight said with as much of a bow as he could give. "That... thing is with us and likewise we have a few others we're supposed to meet with soon. Enjoy your night."

Jax turned to the boy. "And thank you Harlewin." He left the air dead, unable to say what the thanks was for. "And take care of yourself."

s**** quickly phased back into displeasure as Jax caught the tell end of Helle and Barrett's exchange. The man really had no morals, using a blessing of the light to entrance the Torbician. It turned out Jax would have to grab the man's other arm and insist him out anyways. Besides its not like it wasn't uncommon for city guardsmen to excuse a drunkard from a bar. Before he met Mitra and the princess this was just literally his job.

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My eyes just start a-rollin'


Fri May 17, 2019 10:59 pm
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“Name’s Herlewin, an’ I got paid fer the ‘ole day friend.” the boy’s voice followed closely behind the knight, makeshift potatosack backpack being quickly scooped up as the archer hopped over the table and joined the procession. “I’ll follow ye lot from a ways off ‘n keep an eye fer trouble, though I wager it’s been found already.” he finished, nodding towards the drunken cleric.

“Lovely meetin’ ya loons!” Herlewin called back towards the women at the table as he strolled out behind Jax. “Come’n see my show tomorrer!”

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Fri May 17, 2019 11:26 pm
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The answers to her farfetched questions were not quite as exciting as she had hoped – That was the last time she trusted any gossip from the scullery maids of the palace. Still, they were a good group and she was pleased that they had at least entertained her presence.

The mood of the group soured with the arrival of a particularly pungent man. She assumed by his robes that he was some sort of religious man, but their relative state of disarray really made her question whether the character in question had just stolen them from the dead body of someone else. Her hazel eyes quickly flashed sidelong to glance at Dinah, taking mental note that this strange troupe had ignored Dinah’s question. This piqued her curiosity; who indeed were they protecting?

Sophie waved at the group as they exited the tavern, taking a few casual sips from her drink. Once she was sure the group had left, she licked her finger and swiped it along the rim of her cup of ale. The ale in the cup was still as it rested on the table, though it now seemed taut as if a film had been stretched over its surface. Taking the same finger that she had licked, Sophie touched the centre of her drink causing perfect ripples to emanate from its centre. Leaning over the cup, she whispered one word:

“Herlewin”

An image began to form in the liquid, showing the two girls as they peered into its contents the boy that had just met. It was quite clear that he was with the rest of the group, though they were not particularly clear elements – and it did not help that the ale was quite cloudy. Taking cues from the surrounding that could be seen in the image, it appeared that they had returned to the Plaza of the Sun.

“Yuh ken we cannae jus’ let ‘em go all mysterious-like in our city” declared Sophie while standing up from the table, the image disappearing as her concentration was broken. “We need tae follow them!” She said with conviction to her friend. Sophie was not quite sure of the intentions of the group, but the unscrupulous “priest” and the eclectic collection of the rest of the group was much too suspicious for her liking. Leaving her imperials on the table to tip the barmaids, Sophie and Dinah left the tavern in pursuit of the group.

GM: Not an official post. Just getting myself back into the mood while also making a post for Sophie. The proper post will be coming in on Monday as usual.

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Sat May 18, 2019 6:26 pm
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Dinah was about to answer why she wore the mask before Torbican woman intervened. The scene that followed filled Dinah with some disappointment of how anyone can become a priest now days. Then Herlewin began to leave in a rambunctious manner.
"Ya, I have no idea who you are or what your show is about." Dinah spoke as Herlewin made his way out.
It was then that Sophie quickly began to cast magic.
"Wow you like this boy more than I thought." She peered into the mug."Wow they really covered some distance to make it all the way to the Plaza of the-" She was cut off as she began to be pulled along, letting out an audible sigh as she was dragged out of the tavern without the privilege of finishing her drink.
"Great now we're resorting to stalking.... It's a shame you're not a princess that can command the town guard to do this or anything."

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Sun May 19, 2019 12:28 pm
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The sky was painted a brilliant shade of red as the sun set behind the city walls. The first stars had begun to twinkle above them by the time Jax, Helle, Herlewin and Barrett returned to the Plaza of the Sun. Incandescent orbs spontaneously came into existence along all the major roads and lined the perimeter of the plaza, as if a swarm of fireflies had been instructed to guide the paths in the city. To the city dwellers, this was a common occurrence at nightfall in Imdalor, but to visitors, it was an enchanting sight.

Standing alone in the plaza, Amelia stared vacantly into the rapidly darkening sky. It was clear that the young woman was lost in her thoughts. She had made up with her brother, albeit temporarily, as her mind had not changed – she had no intentions of bringing him with her on the next phase of her journey. Her thoughts were interrupted as she noted the arrival of her compatriots; she was mildly surprised that the young archer had stayed with the group throughout the day.

Sir Jax informed her of the day’s happenings, and in particular, the role that Herlewin played in their acquisition of supplies. In turn, the princess shared a condensed version of her meeting with the Sage-King, omitting the argument she had with her brother, and focusing on her success in assuring his support. She concluded by informing the group that they had been invited to stay in the palace and to join them for a feast. Amelia made sure to extend the offer to the archer, pleased that he had helped Jax and the rest of the group; it was the least she could do.

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Once in the palace, the group was introduced to Gilliam, who lead them to their private guest apartments. Baths and appropriate clothing were offered to the travellers with varying degrees of success. After a period of leisure, the guests were invited to the dining hall where the sage-king invited his guests.

The hall was decorated elaborately, violet banners hung from the ceiling as orbs of light floated about them like stars in the sky. Beautiful tapestries covered the stone walls depicting images of the ancient rulers of Emeldia. A large table that was arranged into a “T” was heavily laden with platters of food and jugs of wine. At the head table was the Sage-King Edmund and the Queen Leah, while to his left sat his eldest son Prince Caleb and his Princess Etheldred, while to his right sat Tobias and Amelia as his guests of honour. The second table was much longer, where sitting in the crux of both tables was Mitra – so as to be close to the imperial prince and princess. The Sage-King’s other sons Prince Lucius and Prince Warwick, as well as their families and the children of Price Caleb sat at the upper-end of the table closer to the king and queen. At the tail-end of the table, Jax, Helle, Herlewin and Barrett were seated. Servants moved between the guests ensuring that their needs were met, and that their cups were filled, as musicians played a rousing tune that reverberated in the hall pleasantly.

To note, Jax, Helle, Herlewin and Barrett were quite shocked to see the girl with the mask from the tavern sitting at the table with them as well. Upon closer examination, it became apparent that the girl that was sitting next her was the same girl they had met earlier in the day, who had bought them all a round of drinks. It was no wonder that she was unrecognizable for she was dressed quite formally and wore a plain silver circlet on her head. To those who were more aware of royal conventions, it was clear that she was a princess. A fact that seemed quite contradictory to the image of the girl with the thick country accent.

The Sage-King rose from his chair with his hand raised to silence the musicians as all eyes fell on the monarch. He smiled over the group before him, fine lines creasing the corner of his eyes as he waited for silence.

“My loyal subjects” he said warmly “It brings me great pleasure to house their imperial highnesses, Imperial Prince Tobias Magnus the Second and Imperial Princess Amelia Gunhilda Vigdis of Alvaris.” He paused for a moment as the guests clapped politely. The King’s smile fell and took on a more solemn expression as he continued. “As I am sure you have all heard by now, the Imperial Crown Prince Matthias was murdered; I do not know by whom nor for what reason. What I do know is that there is a perceived treachery in the imperial court and that each of the children of our late emperor are in danger.” King Edmund turned his attention to the end of the table where Jax, Helle, Herlewin and Barrett sat. “We have these heroes before us to thank for the preservation of the imperial highnesses in our presence. For without them, we surely would not be celebrating today.” Once again, the group applauded for a few minutes, some of the nobles eyeing the group warily. “Let it be known that I, Edmund Geraint of Imdalor, Grand Master of the University of Imdaloria, Sage Supreme and King of Emeldia stand loyal with the new Imperial Crown Prince Tobias Magnus the Second of Alvaris.”

“Here, here!” exclaimed Prince Caleb as he stood up from his chair with a goblet raised. The rest of the nobles stood up with their goblets raised as well in agreement as they cheered.

*****


The feast over, the group returned to their apartments for the night. It had been a long day. Amelia sat at the desk in her apartment writing a letter to her sister in Relia. Knowing her sister, she was probably beside herself with worry having not heard from anyone since the death of Mathias and their subsequent disappearance. Attaching the letter to the Emeldian messenger owl that perched by the window, she gave it a command: “Princess Olivia of Relia”, and it flapped its wings and flew off into the night.

Summoning Mitra, Sir Jax and Helle into her room, she returned to the pile of maps before her for a few moments before their arrival.

“I fear, I do not know where to even begin,” said the princess while turning to the group. “All I was told was that the little ones were safe, but how am I to find them so that we can be safe together?”

*****


Sophie (and a reluctant Dinah) crept through the halls of the palace as they snuck about the guest apartments. To say she was shocked, was quite the understatement. She did not expect to see the rabblerousing group from the tavern at the royal feast, nor did she expect them to be the company of the imperial highnesses. Sophie particularly did not seem convinced by the rather salacious character of the drunkard priest. Surely it was some sort of scam. She’d never seen any of these “imperial highnesses” before.

“Ok, Dinah” she whispered “Ah think ah can smell the priest. Ahll we ‘ave tae do is follow ‘im and figure out what’s rrrreally goin’ oan aroun’ hea’.”

GM: Sorry boring narrative post….Next week things heat up. I have another work trip so the update might be up later than usual.
Herlewin can interact with Toby if he wants to (Or even Gilliam)
Barrett can get into shenanigans but Dinah and Sophie are watching you like a hawk D:<

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Mon May 20, 2019 7:40 pm
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