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 Post subject: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:00 pm 
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"ACHOO!"

Apparently, driving a carriage for 2 days in the middle of winter without a coat was bad for your health. Still, Kyrad had managed to work through the fatigue and sneezing and finished his project. The sword was now slung across his back, and he stood in the town square, appropriately dressed this time, waiting to hand it off to its new owner. He tapped his foot impatiently; a warm bowl of soup and a hot cup of coffee would be waiting for him at the inn.

"Is that the weapon?" Grace asked, approaching from the inn. She wore a fur lined cloak with the hood up. Her face was starting to get pink from the wind.

"Yes," Kyrad replied. Normally, he'd point out that since he never used a sword personally, and had been commissioned to forge one, there was little question as to the purpose of the one he now held. But he really didn't have the energy today.

"Well, just hand it over and I'll deliver it." If Grace noticed something was strange about getting a direct answer, she didn't let on.

"What? I thought we were meeting the buyer here."

"Ah, see," Grace lowered her gaze. "There was a change of plans. The client can't make it here, so I need to take it to him. It's a short trip, I should be back this afternoon."

Kyrad swore under his breath. "You know that's not how this works. I can't hand this off without knowing the user isn't going to get himself killed with it. Success stories build a reputation, and if our first sale is a colossal failure, word will spread. Besides, there are a few extra features..."

"Alright!" Grace interrupted. "I get it. So just come with me to make the delivery."

Kyrad swore again. Even if he didn't feel like crap, the prospect of spending the entire day with Grace was enough to give him pause. Before he could decide, however, a carriage pulled up to them. The horses fidgeted uncomfortably.

Kyrad quickly enchanted himself, using his red sigil. A warmth spread through his body, soothing his aches, but the act of casting was draining in his present state. Still, the enchantment served to suppress whatever it was that drove animals to hate him. The horses quickly calmed down, allowing him to board the carriage.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:48 pm 
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They had been travelling in silence for half an hour when Grace couldn't stand it anymore. Why does he have to be such a jerk all the time? I've only ever tried to help him. She turned to him, ready to begin a rant on how ungrateful he was, and about the respect she deserved, and froze, her mouth agape. Kyrad was asleep.

Kyrad hated sleep. Since he was a child, he'd always avoided it as long as he could. Most people in their town had thought he never slept, adding to the rumors that he was not human. But there he was, sleeping in the carriage. It was...weird.

For a few minutes, she just stared at him. The carriage jostled, and his head lopped from one side to the other. The sunlight pouring through the window caught a glimmer on his neck. Kyrad was always one to prefer form over function, but here he was, with a silver chain around his neck disappearing into his shirt. She reached over to pull it out, to see what was on the other end, but the carriage jostled again, and she only succeeded in slapping him across the face.

His eyes snapped open. He grabbed her arm, his hand radiating heat. For a second, they locked eyes; Kyrad's radiating anger, Grace's fear. After a moment, he let go. Her arm was red where he'd touched it. He didn't apologize.

"Did you need something?" Kyrad asked, as Grace cradled her arm. He could see magic flowing from her fingertips to heal the abrasion. She'd never mentioned that she was an acolyte, but Kyrad didn't show any signs of surprise.

"I was just curious about the chain around your neck," Grace said, not taking her eyes off her arm.

"And so you decided to hit me..."

"It was an accident." Grace snapped. She suddenly got a feeling of deja vu. "Forget it."

Kyrad turned his head back towards the window. They'd have probably sat in silence for the rest of the trip if Kyrad hadn't sneezed again.

"Are you..." Grace quickly rethought the obviousness of her question. She reached out her hand toward Kyrad.

He pushed it away. She reached again, more forceful this time. Her magic worked quickly, and before he could push her away again, his cold was gone.

"You're welcome," she said.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:53 am 
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It was hard to tell who was happier to exit the carriage. Grace had thought her gesture would buy her some good faith, but seemed to garner just the opposite. The atmosphere between them was growing increasingly toxic, so they were grateful for the cold fresh air.

Grace took the lead towards the inn. It was a small building, only 1 floor, and looked as if it had seen better days. "Just...just wait here." Grace said, entering the small building.

Kyrad took the opportunity to take in his surroundings. The town wasn't much to look at; it had probably once served as an alternative for those who had business in Veros but didn't want to stay there. The good news was, it probably didn't look much better back then.

There was little need for an enchantment anymore, and Kyrad let the crisp clean air flow slowly in and out of his now-clear sinuses. His strength had been gradually returning, and his senses with it. He could sense two auras besides Grace's in the building, one black and one white. A green aura was not far off, somewhere to the south. He also noticed a faint streak of silver, but it disappeared behind the inn before he could get a good look.

Before he could investigate, the door to the inn opened. The white aura, a man in half-plate, came walking straight for Kyrad.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:11 pm 
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"Are you feeling any better?" Grace knelt next to the bed. The young man laying in it smiled, or as close as he could manage. Indeed, he had more color in his cheeks than moments before, but that wasn't exactly due to him improving health.

"Much better." He winced slightly as he sat upright. "Takes more than this to keep me down."

"Alright, well I'm going to check your injuries." Grace began moving her hands across the man's torso, feeling where his broken ribs had been. His face was even more flushed than before. "It looks like your bones have healed nicely. But I still want you to take it easy until you've fully regained your strength."

"If you insist, doctor." He leaned back against his pillow. He'd been arguing all week that he was fine and needed to get out and about, but now he was more than happy to let himself be cared for. Grace used a bit of her magic to dull his senses and cause him to relax. He began to drift quietly into slumber.

----------

"You must be Kyrad." The warrior extended his hand in greeting. Kyrad shook it, taking the opportunity to size up the man. He wasn't tall, maybe 5'8" at most, brown hair and eyes. Kyrad already knew this man was a slayer, but he didn't fit the stereotype. More lithe than bulky, he looked more interested in avoiding a blow than absorbing it. Now Kyrad understood the unique nature of the weapon he'd built. "I'm Enzo."

Kyrad indicated the door Enzo had just come through. "Will Grace be joining us?"

Enzo turned to look back at the inn. "No, she'll be looking after Dan." After a moment, he explained, "My brother. He took a severe beating not too long ago. Grace has been helping with his recovery. That's how we met, actually."

"Also explains your need to boost your combat capabilities." Kyrad drew the sword from the sheath on his back. "So let me show you how this works."

----------

You're too late, Dan. The voice reverberated inside Dan's muddled thoughts.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:02 am 
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"Simple two-stage weapon. Stage one: sword. Light, durable, balanced." Kyrad took a few practice swings to demonstrate. "All the features of a normal one-handed sword, reinforced steel with a silver coating. You'll need to get that re-coated after some wear and tear." Kyrad tossed the sword to Enzo. "Give it a try."

==========

"What do you mean I'm too late? Too late for what?"

The healer. Dan could tell the voice was that of a young girl. Her jeering echoed through his mind. You're far too late. She cannot love you. She has already given it to another.

"How do you...? Who told...? I don't believe you!" Dan was starting to panic. He didn't know how this voice knew his secret. Could it be telling the truth?

Look outside and see for yourself. The voice grew quieter, as if it were growing more distant. She could never love someone as weak as you. Maybe if you were as strong as him...

==========

"Not bad," Kyrad said, taking back the weapon. Enzo frowned. He apparently didn't like his technique being criticized.

"Now, stage two: whip." Kyrad pulled the trigger on the hilt. The sword separated into evenly-spaced segments, held together by chains. "A little slower than a normal whip, but infinitely more dangerous. Each segment is as sharp as the sword was. Can be used to wrap a large enemy or," Kyrad slammed the whip into the ground, leaving a trench wherever the weapon hit. "take a more direct approach. Now you." Kyrad handed off the weapon again.

==========

Dan's eyes snapped open. He had hobbled halfway to the window when Grace came back with a blanket. "You need to be resting," she chided, crossing the room to support him. Dan stumbled forward, grabbing the window ledge and hoisting himself up. He looked outside and what little color he had drained from his face. "You..."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:50 am 
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THAT'S HIM! HE'S THE ONE!

Fredo heard the scream echo clearly through his mind. He recognized his brother's thoughts, but the voice was stronger than he expected, given Dan's condition. He nearly dropped the groceries out of surprise, but managed to steady himself. If this had been the first time one of his sibling's thoughts had invaded his mind, he might not have recovered so quickly. As it was, he was still surprised he jumped at all.

What are you... he began.

THE CRAFTSMAN! HE'S THE ONE WHO DID THIS!

"What craftsman?" Fredo mused aloud. His internal monologue no longer being entirely private, he'd taken to voicing his thoughts aloud. No one had yet objected. "Oh right, not talking to me, are you?" He shifted his parcels to get a better grip on them, and sprinted back to the inn.

The town square was in chaos when he arrived. Dan was struggling to stay standing, but was shouting encouragement while a young woman attempted to drag him inside. Taking center stage was Enzo and someone Fredo didn't recognize. Enzo's new weapon was as sharp and deadly as the look in his eyes, but his opponent seemed unimpressed. He stood his ground, no weapon in sight, but the craters throughout the area seemed to indicate he was not helpless. On closer inspection, the man had a cut along his shoulder. Enzo's armor was black in spots, and one of his eyebrows seemed to be missing.

The slayer raised his bladed whip to build momentum for another attack. The craftsman raised his hand, lighting already arcing across his fingertips.

"ENOUGH!" Fredo yelled, both out loud and in his mind. That's when the world around him blurred and went black?

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:56 am 
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Fredo opened his eyes and looked around. Slowly, the streams of memory began to appear around him. Wispy trails with vague figures floated around him, but he ignored them. This deep inside a foreign mind, a hostile mind, he needed to tread carefully. The first step was to wait until the streams settled before poking around. "Deep breaths," he told himself, remembering his training. "Count to ten."

He made it to four when he realized something was wrong. The trails kept appearing, faster and faster. By seven, they had stopped appearing, but there were easily three times the number of streams he'd ever dealt with. "Alright, lots of information available, doesn't change anything. Stay calm, stay focused, and go through one at a time." He took another deep breath. "Show me what happened when you arrived in town."

One of the streams began to glow. It twisted and expanded, surrounding Fredo as it grew. Suddenly, he was back in the town square. The man and woman he'd seen were exiting a carriage. The man waited while the woman went into the inn. Fredo marveled at the detail of the memory. The trees, the buildings, even the rocks on the ground were fully realized in the memory, rather than the blurred and fuzzy images he normally dealt with. The only detail he couldn't focus on was a silver streak that disappeared into the woods.

"What was that?" Fredo asked outloud.

"Unfortunately," a voice behind him said, "I didn't get a good look the first time."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:04 am 
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Fredo spun around, letting the memory fade back to a single stream. There stood the man who's mind he was invading, staring at the scene around them. He looked slightly amused.

Everything Fredo had learned told him this should be impossible. At best, someone might become aware of his probing; to manifest and interact with an invading mentalist was unheard of. "How are you...?" Fredo took a step back. The ground fractured under his foot.

"Deep breaths," the man said. He seemed interested in looking at everything but Fredo. "Remember your training."

Fredo concentrated on his breathing for a moment, only taking his eyes off this strange man to verify that the cracks beneath his feet had healed. "How are you doing this?"

The man turned as one of the streams began to glow. Just like the last one, it shifted and warped, surrounding the two of them. They were in a room, in the middle of which was a chair. In it sat a boy who bore a striking resemblance to the man who now accompanied Fredo; same white hair, same grey eyes, similar facial features, etc. As they watched, he kicked his feet back and forth, taking advantage of the clearance the chair provided from the floor. He smiled as he waited; the simple smile children have when there isn't anything to be upset about.

From behind them, they could hear footsteps. Again, Fredo was taken aback by the clarity of detail in these memories. A large, burly man, most likely a blacksmith, entered the room carrying an old book. He fumbled clumsily through the pages until he found the one he wanted. "Your mother was pregnant with you when she came into town. She was screaming in some language no one understood. I wrote some of it down," he flipped a few pages. "Em pleh. Esaelp. Kyrad em e vas." He looked up from the book. "That's where we got your name from: Kyrad. Preacher said she was possessed, and performed an exorcism. I reckon the strain of it all was what killed her, but not before she gave birth to you."

He paused. "Preacher said you were...affected by the possession. People were calling for him to drown you in the river, but I wouldn't let em. But I figure that's why you're so different. Why dogs and horses shy away from you. But I think that's why you're so smart, too. You learn and remember and notice things unlike anyone I ever known. Your mind is different than the rest of ours. But that don't make you evil. Plenty of men done unspeakable things without the help of devils or demons, and I've seen you turn away from boys in town who gave you more than a good reason to hurt them. So don't you pay any mind to the people who call you darkspawn..."

As the scene faded, the man looked at Fredo directly for the first time, the shadow of a smirk still on his face. "You created a connection between our minds, but it turned into more of a melding than a reading. You can call on my memories simply by asking a question, and I can access yours just as easily." He smiled at the look of surprise on Fredo's face. "That's how I knew about your training. I poked around a bit after you connected us. Don't worry, just general information. Mostly your abilities and a few choice decisions. Enough to let me decide if I should guide you through my mind...or access every memory I've ever had simultaneously and shatter your consciousness." He smiled for a moment, "You passed, by the way."

Fredo looked around again with a new appreciation for the world he was invading. He could sense that Kyrad spoke the truth. He gazed at the streams surrounding them, trying not to imagine them all unraveling at once. Looking straight above them, he noticed something else. His brother stood there, frozen mid-attack, ready to bring his new whip down upon Kyrad. No, not entirely frozen, he was moving, albeit at an unbelievably slow pace.

"We have time," Kyrad followed Fredo's gaze to the scene above them. "But all the same, you should choose your next question carefully."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:34 am 
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"Alright," Fredo was slowly adjusting to the situation. He had dozens of questions, but he needed to prioritize. He also needed to tread carefully; he wasn't used to an audience at his readings. He recalled what his brother had said, about this being "him."

"What were you doing 3 weeks ago?" Fredo asked.

The scene opened up before them. They were inside an old mansion. Two women stood before them. One was holding the other by the hair, clearly enjoying the torment she was causing. What struck Fredo as strange was the red tinge and blurriness that leaked into the edges of their vision. Fredo watched as the two women summoned blades to strike at each other, only to have Kyrad end the fight at the first strike. The deliberateness of his movements, the power, ferocity, and certainty behind them, even when he grabbed a flaming sword with his bare hand, were terrifying to Fredo. He'd focused on his magic because he was no good in a physical conflict; his brothers had primitive magic but preferred to fight with either brute strength or speed. Kyrad's more balanced approach seemed like it would be rather ineffective, but it was hard to argue with the results.

With their opponent seemingly neutralized, the details of the scene began to clear up. The crisp quality of the memory matched that of the earlier ones, and something to the side caught Fredo's attention. "Hold on," he said. He was slightly surprised when the memory froze. Looking out the window, he stared at the stars.

"This isn't anywhere near London." He stated.

"You seem confused.," Kyrad replied. "What happened in London 3 weeks ago?"

This was more familiar. Fredo recognized the scene as one he had extracted from his brother's mind. He'd shown up beaten and bloody, delirious from fever and unable to explain what had happened. He was in London, tracking a rogue magic-user who'd garnered the ire of the local populous. Unfortunately, Dan had been caught by surprise, so the details leading up to his awakening in the near-empty warehouse were fuzzy at best. What came next, however, was quite clear.

"Awake, are we?" It was Kyrad's turn to falter. A man walked into view, sneering at his captive. His hair was black, his eyes a deep sea green, but aside from that he was the spitting image of Kyrad. "What a thoughtful going-away present! Breaking you will be the perfect way for me to remember this lair. I only hope I get such a housewarming at my new home in Romania." Kyrad stood agape as his voice spoke words he'd never uttered.

Dan spit on his captor. "You won't get away with this. Even if you kill me, my brother will hunt you down."

The not-Kyrad closed his eyes and smiled. After a moment, he reached out his hand, now crackling with electricity, and placed it over his Dan's face. Over the screaming, just before the scene went black, they heard the man say, "And he shall face the same fate..."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:56 am 
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Fredo watched as the scene faded, but the sight that met his eyes had changed. The streams were speeding up, twisting and contorting around each other. Little screens popped up where they intersected, projecting bits and pieces of memory. As the chaos unfolded around him, Kyrad stood his ground. His eyes flicked back and forth as his past flew by. Fredo tried to follow them; he caught glimpses of various priests, barking dogs, a young girl in front of a mansion...

All at once, the action ceased. Kyrad bowed his head and placed his hand over his eyes. "That wasn't me," he said.

Fredo could tell this was the truth. With their minds melded like this, they could both sense any deception from the other. Kyrad truely wasn't aware of the attack on Dan, nor that there was someone running around with his face. But the revelation seemed to have been a crucial piece of a puzzle Kyrad didn't even know he was trying to put together. "My brothers will be harder to convince. I doubt they'll even take my word for it." Fredo fully expected Kyrad to ask why, and he knew what that would mean: a trip through his own past, reliving every disappointing moment he'd had growing up. Dan and Enzo had always had more in common with each other than Fredo, but moreover they had been old enough to remember their parents. Fredo's earliest memory, his own memory, was of their funeral. And the trail of memories would eventually lead them there.

But Kyrad didn't ask. "This has been an enlightening experience. I am in your debt. If you need anything of me in the future, do not hesitate to ask. For the moment, however, I believe we have more pressing matters." He indicated the scene above them, with Enzo's attack having moved significantly closer. "Would you mind if we ended our little meeting?"

Fredo closed his eyes. "Enough."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:32 am 
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CRASH!

The chain whip slammed into the ground where Kyrad had been a moment before. The magical energy Kyrad had gathered prior to Fredo's intervention had dissipated. The warlock took a small leap backwards, removing himself from the whip's range. He raised the hands, facing his palms towards his attacker in a display of non-aggression. "Hold on. This is all just a misunderstanding..."

"KILL HIM!" Dan roared as Grace still held him back. Enzo seemed in agreement, yanking the weapon out of the dirt and advancing to make another strike. Kyrad sidstepped the attack, his upper body remaining unchanged from his submissive posture. He made to move to attack, but he wasn't about to allow himself to be struck, either.

"Listen!" Fredo yelled, running towards the scene. "He isn't who you think he is!" He placed himself between the two and raised his arms.

Enzo hesitated. "Get out of the way."

"Just listen to me," Fredo pleaded. "I can explain..."

"IDIOT! GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY YOU USELESS..." Dan lost his footing and fell against Grace. Unable to hold his entire weight, they both fell to the ground.

"I told you to move!" Enzo raised his weapon and swung.

Fredo's eyes grew wide. He saw his brother adjust his grip, turning the weapon to its side. The impact would likely break his arm, which was slightly better than tearing through it, but it didn't lessen the pain of betrayal. He braced himself for the blow.

CLANG.

The blade extending from Kyrad's bracer caught the attack. He managed to aim the edge to catch the chain between the blades, entangling the whip. In a battle of brute strength, Enzo would likely have won, but Kyrad grabbed the weapon with his hand and released a blast of pure electricity. The magical attack ran up the length of the weapon, multiplying in power as it raced towards its target. Enzo, despite his white alignment, was shaken by the strike, falling to his knees before releasing the hilt.

Kyrad tossed the weapon to the side. In burst of flame, he teleported, reappearing directly in front of the now-prone Enzo. Before the slayer could react, Kyrad slammed his knee into the man's face. As he lay on the ground cradling the broken remains of his nose, Kyrad spoke, "we were interrupted before I could explain this to you, but the whip amplifies white magic. That attack would barely have slowed you down, but after travelling the full length of the weapon it was able to overcome your resistance."

Retracting the blade, Kyrad turned to Grace. Dan had passed out again, and she was struggling to shit his limp body off of her own. "When you're finished over there, you have a second patient."

"Jub finib ip, debon," Enzo mumbled through the blood.

"I tried to tell you, I'm not the demon you encountered, and I have no interest in killing you. I can't speak for your brother, however," he added as Fredo made his way over. Even after seeing Kyrad's memories, he was still impressed with how easily he dispatched his brother.

"I'm more disappointed than angry," Fredo said as he looked down at his brother. It occurred to him how little sympathy he was feeling. "Not that I'm not angry."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:11 am 
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When Dan awoke, he was back in his bed. He groggily looked around the room, first noticing Grace as she tended to Enzo's wounds. The slayer wore a sour scorn that did little to distract from his crooked nose. Slowly shaking off his grogginess, he began to remember the events that led to him passing out.

He sat bolt upright in bed. Or at least, he tried. He made it about halfway before Fredo's hand met his chest and forced him back down. "Lay down," he said. Normally Dan could have forced his way past his younger brother, but in his current state he was no match. The helplessness made him even angrier.

He tried to sit up again. "Lay down!" This time the voice was in his head as well. Dan looked at his brother's face and found him scowling. Fredo had always taken a submissive role in their relationship, seeking the approval of his older brothers. He'd kept up his attempts despite the dismissive way they had both treated him. For a moment, Dan's anger gave way to confusion.

"Where...where's the demon?" Dan asked.

"Fredo says he wasn't the demon, just someone who looks like him." Enzo spat out. Apparently they'd had a lengthy conversation while he was out. Enzo didn't seem happy with the result.

"Bullshit." Dan replied. "His magic was exactly the same. I could smell it on him."

"With your magic-hunter abilities?" Grace asked quietly.

Dan lost the little color he had managed to regain. They'd been keeping the fact that Dan was a judasari a secret, and not just because a magical healer would be unlikely to help a mage-hunter. Dan wanted to explain, to lie, to say anything; instead he nodded silently and tried to swallow his guilt.

"Hold still," Grace said to Enzo, grabbing his nose between the knuckles of her middle and forefinger. She gave an unsympathetic wrench to put it back in position, causing Enzo's to draw back, his eyes watering. She then cupped his nose in her hand and let her magic wash over the wound.

"Was that entirely necessary?" Enzo asked, more than a little bitter.

"Was it entirely necessary to attack your brother?" She spat back. Enzo didn't reply.

When Grace pulled her hand away from Enzo's face, his nose was good as new. He still looked bitter. As she turned to collect the bandages on the floor, his eyes quickly darted to the door. "Go ahead," she said, not looking up from her work. "But if you think I'm healing you again, you're mistaken. And if you think he'll let you off with just a broken nose again, you're a fool." Enzo seethed, but he made no move to get up and leave.

Fredo vacated his seat as Grace moved across the room. She placed the bandages on the bed and looked to Dan. He couldn't meet her gaze. After a moment, she sighed and spoke, "Well, raise your arms already."

"Wha...why?" The shock of the statement briefly broke Dan's silence.

"So she can change your bandages." Fredo snapped impatiently. He was pacing now, occasionally looking out the window.

Dan's look of confusion only increased. "You're the one who wants to hurt me, remember?" Grace whispered. "Not the other way around."

"I would never hurt you," Dan muttered before he could stop himself. Enzo gave a snort of derision from the corner, and Fredo continued his pacing. Grace's expression was neutral; she just unraveled his blood-soaked bandages to replace with fresh ones. "Uh, so where is the...I mean, your friend?" There was no animosity in his voice this time.

"Hunting," Fredo said. He stopped his pacing. The question hadn't been directed at him, but for the first time it occurred to him that, at the very least, he was closer to Kyrad than with either of his brothers. Pushing the thought aside, he continued, "looking for whatever it was that was speaking to you in your sleep."

Dan remained silent. Apparently Fredo had been very busy while he was out.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:58 am 
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Kyrad walked slowly through the woods. Occasionally he would pause, taking a moment to scan his surroundings. Stopping at a particularly unremarkable group of trees, he bent down and grabbed a rock. Straightening, he examined the stone, as if it held some secret.

All at once, he turned to his right and threw the rock at a low-hanging branch. A streak of silver shot from the branch, landing on the ground behind Kyrad. It made it two bound before an equally fast streak of white slammed into it. The two tumbled together for a moment while Kyrad waited patiently. Slowly, the chaos came to a halt, and it was possible to discern the figures.

The white streak was a fox. Frost appeared where its paws touched the ground, and where its teeth clamped onto its helpless prey. The silver streak, now pinned to the ground, was a trembling, luminescent rabbit.

"Good work, Cloud." Kyrad said to the fox. Cloud, having his mouth full, didn't reply. His grip was firm, but he hadn't yet sunk in.

"You're an El'Arihril, correct?" Kyrad asked the rabbit, his tone deadly serious.

The rabbit just stared and shivered. Kyrad narrowed his gaze, and Cloud growled softly. Finally, it answered, "Ye...yes."

"And you were speaking to the bandaged man back there?" Kyrad asked.

"I didn't me...mean..." it stammered. Kyrad's eyes lacked any sympathy. Cloud tightened his grip slightly, showing his displeasure with the answer. "Yes," it replied.

"And you tried to get him to kill me?"

"N..no!" The spirit let out a yelp as Cloud gripped even tighter. "No, it was just a fr...friendly trick. I...I just wanted to make him j...jealous. Get him to m...make a fool of himself." A tear formed in its large, glowing eye. "P...Please, I didn't know y...you did that to him."

"What do you think, Cloud?" Kyrad asked. The fox released its grip on the rabbit's throat. His front paw still pinned his prey in place.

"Seems truthful enough." Cloud replied. "El'Arihril are known to be mischievous, not malicious." Kyrad tipped his head to the side and Cloud moved to the side, freeing the rabbit. Even though it was free, it cowered in place, sobbing.

"You're not gonna run?" Kyrad asked, raising his eyebrow.

"I s...saw you fight. I know I c...can't get away." The spirit's voice was full of despair.

Kyrad knelt down. "Look," he whispered gently. "I fought because they attacked me, and they attacked me because they thought I was the person who attacked them. We jumped you because we thought you might be working for the person who did attack them."

"Wh...why would you think that?"

Kyrad didn't answer right away. It was an amazing coincidence that these people came into contact with...whatever that was. Beyond that, with Fredo gone and Dan injured, it was entirely possible they could have had their meeting without Kyrad being recognized. It was only though the El'Arihril's meddling that the situation escalated. Perhaps it was just that: coincidence. If the spirit was an accomplice, it did appear it was an unwitting one.

"It's...complicated." Kyrad finally replied. "All you need to know is we aren't going to harm you." Cloud looked up at Kyrad and nodded, disappearing in a puff of mist. As he turned to go, he added. "Oh, and you're friendly trick got a lot of people hurt. Maybe consider that the next time." With that, he headed back to town.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:39 pm 
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"Wait!"

Kyrad slowed his pace slightly, allowing the spirit to catch up. The rabbit trotted alongside, still keeping a few feet of distance between them.

"You're a warlock, aren't you?" it asked.

"Yes," Kyrad nodded.

"And you don't want my power?" It paused and gave him a sideways glace. "Do you already have a Vienta?"

"Can you imagine a way I could have asked for your power without it seeming like a threat?" Kyrad asked. The spirit didn't answer. "I prefer making bargains and alliances; I'm not in the business of subjugating others to increase my own strength."

"So you would forgo getting stronger if it would make you look ba..Oof!" The El'Arihril tripped over an outstretched root, landing flat on its face. When it pushed itself upright, it looked like it might begin crying again.

Kyrad stopped and knelt again. "I don't really care how other people see me. It's a matter of personal pride that I earn the power I have. Besides," he added slyly, "you've seen me fight. I get by just fine."

"S...so if I offered...?" the spirit asked.

"Asking to team up with someone who was threatening to kill you less than five minutes ago?" Kyrad mused. "I'd wonder if you were being hunted or just very lonely."

"N...no one is hunting me," the rabbit replied, tears beginning to form again.

Kyrad sighed. "Do you have a name?"

"S...Silvia." The El'Arihril stammered.

"Alright, Silvia. I'll let you join me under one condition." Kyrad stood up. "You have to apologize for your little prank."

Silvia looked up and met his gaze. She took a few deep breaths and swallowed so she wouldn't stutter. "I'm sorry for the trouble I caused you."

Kyrad put his hand to his brow and shook his head. "Of course you didn't. You didn't know I'd even get involved. I'm not the one you need to apologize to."

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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 Post subject: Re: ORP: Special Delivery
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:04 am 
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Back at the inn, Fredo was still pacing. He'd formed a route from the reception counter to the front door, turning swiftly on his heel whenever he reached one. He was just about to turn his back to the door when there were two soft knocks. All eyes were on Fredo as he closed the two remaining steps and opened it.

A few feet from the threshold stood Kyrad. "Do you have a moment?" he asked.

"Uh, sure." Fredo replied. He stepped outside and made to close the door.

"El'Arihril, Tier, Morpho." Kyrad whispered, and a streak of silver shot through the door just as it shut.

"What was that?" Fredo asked as he followed Kyrad into the square.

"An El'Arihril," Kyrad replied. "A moon spirit. The one we saw earlier in my memory."

"Oh, alright." Fredo replied. He didn't really know what to do with that information, so he let it go. "Um, what did you want to talk about?"

"Your future," Kyrad said, as casually as one would talk about the weather. "Any thoughts?"

"Ugh," To say he was caught off guard would be an understatement. "Well, develop my abilities, help my brothers. Nothing particularly special."

"That so?" Kyrad's tone was level. Fredo couldn't tell if it was disapproval or indifference. "Well then, there are two things I think you should know."

He paused, staring out at the horizon. "There's a war coming." There was certainty in his voice, as if he could already see the enemy approaching. "A literal hell on earth. There's a guild in Veros, preparing. We go out daily on quests to slow the advance. Some people die; some go insane; still others lose the will to go on. All of the members I've personally worked with are gone, for one reason or another."

"No offense, but if this is a recruitment attempt, you're doing a terrible job." Fredo kept his tone light, but inside he was scared. Scared of what was coming, scared of what Kyrad was preparing to ask him.

"I'm not...I can't ask you to join. It's a battle that needs to be fought, and if anyone else asked, I'd tell them that victory wasn't just possible, but the most probable outcome. But I won't lie to you. There's every reason to believe we'll be wiped out without so much as a whimper." Kyrad put his hand on Fredo's shoulder. "I not telling you this to scare you, I'm doing this to help you. Sit on this information, accept the reality of it. Once you move past fear, you can make an informed decision. If you want to fight, I won't stop you. If you take your family and run as far as you can, I won't think any less of you. But this land will become a warzone, and remaining here unaligned is not an option."

=========================================================================================================================

"Ahem."

Enzo and Grace looked around, trying to located the source of the sound. Dan was dozing, and didn't immediately register anything unusual.

"AHEM!" This time, Dan opened his eyes. Looking around, he saw Grace staring at the chair next to his bed. Following her gaze, he finally noticed the silver rabbit perched a foot from his face. Sitting upright, he stared at his new visitor.

"Um," Silvia wasn't sure where to begin. "I'm a...sorry for the things I said while you were sleeping." She rubbed her front paws together nervously, waiting for a reaction.

"Wha...what?" Dan shook off his delirium. Now awake, he recognized the voice from earlier. "You...I heard you in my head."

Silvia turned her head to the side, confused. "Yes," she repeated. "And I'm sorry for the things I said."

Dan turned to look at Enzo. He looked just as confused as Dan felt. Desperately, he turned to Grace. She raised her eyebrows at him and nodded towards the rabbit, expectantly. Dan looked back to the rabbit, opened his mouth, then looked back at Grace again, even more confused than before. Grace rolled her eyes and mouthed a single word: forgive.

"Oh..." Dan said. "Um, I forgive you?"

"Alright then," Silvia replied, cheering up almost immediately. "Take care." With that, she jumped from the chair and bounded towards the door. She bounced back and forth slightly, looking up at Grace. "Could you let me out, please?"

Before Grace could move, Dan called out. "Wait. Those things you said, were they true?"

Silvia turned back, her bouncing slowing slightly. "I don't know. I don't think so. Maybe?" She wrinkled her nose like she was thinking very hard.

"Oh, okay." Dan lay back on his bed, not sure how to feel. "Take care," he echoed the rabbit's words.

Grace faced Silvia, who was looking up expectantly again. She opened the door and watched the rabbit bound towards the town square. Turning back, she grabbed her supply bag. "Well, I guess I'll be going, too. I'll see you again in a few days?"

Enzo answered before Dan could think of a response. "We would greatly appreciate if you did."

Grace smiled and turned towards the door.

"Thank you," Dan called out. "for everything."

As the door closed, Enzo let out a chuckle. "Just couldn't resist, could you?"

=========================================================================================================================

Fredo and Kyrad were quiet for a while, both staring at the horizon. Finally, Fredo spoke again. "You said there were two things you wanted to tell me. What's the second?" he asked, afraid of the answer.

"I make my decisions by weighting the outcomes. I work off of information, try to minimize assumptions, and take responsibility for my actions. Regret is a certainty, and my way of life weighs hard on the conscience, but I've seen what happens when you allow yourself to be a puppet of someone else's morality. People follow codes because it's easy; some book tells you how to live your life and if things go wrong, it's for a greater purpose. A fanatic is a dangerous enemy; they can't be reasoned with and won't ever stop. But they make tough allies, too. They'll slaughter a magic user trying to heal them. They'll cut down a brother who stands in their way."

Behind them, Fredo heard the door to the inn close. A rabbit bounded towards them, with Grace not far behind.

"They'll drown a young boy in a river because he was touched by a demon." Kyrad finished.

In a moment, Fredo managed to look from Grace to Kyrad and back again five times. "Her?" he asked.

Kyrad's gaze was still on the horizon. "All I'm saying is, be careful who you trust."

"Ready to go?" Grace asked as she arrived.

"Hold on." Fredo said. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a bag. It jingled as he handed it over. "80 gold, for the sword." Kyrad placed it inside his jacket. "Aren't you going to count it?" Fredo asked.

"I trust you." Kyrad replied, a hint of a smile creeping across his face.

Fredo stood in the square for a while after the two left, thinking over the events of the day. He was honored by the compliment, happy he'd made a friend, but he kept returning to the two things Kyrad had told him, and couldn't decide which of them scared him more.

End of Quest.

_________________
Name: Kyrad Darkspawn
Status: Attacking Castle Dracula (yeah, I know, right?)

Name: Grace Meredith
Status: Defending Veros

Naem: Enzo Greyson
Status: Inside Castle Dracula


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