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  #51  
Unread 12th of April, 2004, 11:59
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"Why," Says the bard with a growing smile. "We do nothing. We pretend that they have ensnared us, and that we remain ignorant of the fact. Then we find out why they set the trap and what they want."

Looking around, and seeing that no on seems to be paying much attention to the group huddled together and speaking in low tones, and that they aren't alone in that endeavour, Nicos returns his attention to his companions.

"There is a good chance that they are listening in on us in our quarters, so we'll have to maintain the charade at most times. More public and random places such as this should be fine."
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  #52  
Unread 14th of April, 2004, 03:37
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Ben watched as the one-armed wizard took his two companions to a table in a more isolated part of the Library, apparently to show them something about a book he pulled out. Ben couldn't make out what he was saying, but he didn’t have Aaron's talent for reading lips either...

Just then Ben's stomach grumbled. Realizing that he hadn't eaten in a while, and not feeling like eating any more trail rations if he could help it, he decided to check out what kind of food this place had. Getting up, he grabbed his shield and slung it over his back.

He picked up his blade, which had been forged for Rocky as a gift from somewhere, though Ben had never gotten around to asking. The blade was exquisitely made, seeming to hum with lethal power whenever it was picked up. Too, it had various figures of famous heroes of legends etched into its sides. Ben was awe struck with the blade, for it seemed more like a work of art than a mundane weapon, and at the same time, he despised it for it could only kill and bring death. Sheathing the blade in the loop on his belt, the sword hung at his side completely bare, held only by the strong leather loop that held it to Ben's waist.

Walking out of the library, Ben tried to remember the directions that one wizard had told him to get to the Refectory. Thinking he remembered correctly, he turned down a hall and started walking, left hand resting on the hilt of his blade so as to control the swinging of it to not harm anyone or anything.

Turning down another hall, he nearly was run over by another figure. He sidestepped it only barely, realizing it was a smaller woman of some sort. He didn't get a look at her face but he saw a good portion of her cloak as she didn't even slow down for him. Blinking a bit in confusion, Ben shrugged and headed for the door at the end of the hall.

Opening the door, he saw another woman there, with coppery-blonde hair and blue eyes like his, except more striking and with a bit of hardness tinged around them. She looked up at him with a bit of confusion on her face, apparently wondering who he was. Ben didn't recognize her, though she seemed faintly familiar. There was a moment of ackward silence as the two looked at each other, broken when Ben's stomach let out a ferocious growl. Smiling, she reached over and took an apple from the table. "Hungry?" she asked with a smile.

"Uh...yeah actually. Thank you," taking the apple from her, Ben bit into it, but found himself unable to tear his eyes from the woman in front of him. Something about her was nagging at his mind, tugging at his memories. He KNEW this woman, but where, and when, and why?

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  #53  
Unread 28th of April, 2004, 00:19
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Shade could feel the other's eyes on her back as she strode from the refectory, but she kept her eyes straight ahead, blatantly ignoring Gemoud's fury, almost defying her to try something. Then she is through the doors and alone in the hall, adrenalaine still running through her veins like wildfire. This place was a nest of adders, and the cold blooded creatures were stirring restlessly. The less time they spent here the better.

After a short time, she begins to notice her surroundings: hallways dressed in stone that opened unexpectedly into atriums, junction boxes of sorts for the various passages. The place was huge, and it occurs to her that she has no idea where the library is, though she is fairly certain she can make it back to her own chamber. After a time of random, ineffective searching her frustration starts to build. Finally deciding she needs directions, she takes a seat on the stone ledge of a fountain, positioned in the center of what looks to be a major intersection. There is nobody else apparent, though there are various noises - the slam of a door, the distant sound of chanting, the clang of a bell.

Staring at her reflection in the water, she wonders if Cadogan is free or a prisoner in this place, and if they can do anything about it in any case. A Citadel full of haughty wizards was bad enough, but with they way things were going it could get outright hostile. Nicos had said they weren't all bad - after all, Cadogan was a worthy companion. Lost in thought, she closes her eyes and listens to the sound of cascading water, some absent thought tugging at the corners of her mind then dissipating as quickly as a ripple on a pond.

"Can I help you?"

Her eyes open with a start at the voice. The woman is standing almost at her shoulder; close enough that Shade silently berates herself for inattentiveness. She is perhaps the same height as Shade, with straight gold-blond hair and light brown eyes, dressed in a loose silk gown of deep red and accented with gold ornaments. The unassuming woman puts the normally defensive Shade at ease; something about her manner reminds the rogue of Cadogan.

"I was looking for the library, but this place is bigger then I thought."

"Yes, the layout can be quite confusing if you are new here, though it gets easier with time."

She smiles brightly at Shade and then extends a hand.

"I'm Ysene. I can show you there if you'd like; today is my free day, and I have some research I could do."

"You can call me Shade, and that would be a great help."

Ysene frowns thoughtfully for a moment, then continues.

"Although, now that I think on it, they will be closing the library for senior study at the start of the hour. Those who have mastered more difficult magics enjoy a less crowded atmosphere for their research. You seem to have recently come from a journey - perhaps you would like something to eat while we wait?"

"I just came from the refectory, thanks. Why don't you show me where it is, and I can go there later."

"If you'd like. Still, you look tired. My own chambers are close by and the library will not be closed for long. You can wait there and I can tell you about the Citadel."

Shade considers the suggestion. It made sense; she'd been wandering around for quite some time. It would take time to get back to her room and then she'd need to leave again. Besides, any information she could get from Ysene would likely help them.

"That sounds like a good idea."

Rising, Shade starts off after the apprentice sorceress, feeling optimistic about their situation for the first time in a week.
  #54  
Unread 28th of April, 2004, 03:44
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Completely confused by the talk of spies and subterfuge, Blarth seems about to ask a question when an elderly wizard walks past the end of the row and does a double take on the group.

"What are you doing here? Didn't you hear the chime? The library is closed to visitors now. Out, out, out, out!"

Pointing to the door, its obvious that the mage will broker no argument, so Blarth, after one last glance at Nicos and Cadrius, dutifully heads towards the library exit.

When the group is about 100ft away from the wizard, he calls out after them, "And make sure that half-orc of yours takes a bath before dinner! He stinks like a pig!"

With a 'bang', Blarth has turned and covered the distance between the group and the wizard, grabbing him by the throat, Blarth lifts the frail man off the gound and pushes his back up against one of the bookshelves.

"Did I ask for your opinion?" Blarth demands.
  #55  
Unread 28th of April, 2004, 05:47
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Hearing the taunt and turning to gauge Blarth's reaction, Nicos is surprised to find him already grappling the old man.

Hell in cone, that boy moves fast.

Throwing an alarmed look Cadrius' way, the bard warily approaches the enraged half-orc, relived to see the few patrons still about show no desire to intervene on their collages behalf.

"Woah, easy there Blarth," Nicos says as he nears his companion. "Some of those scrolls could actually be worth something, and nothing is more annoying then trying to get blood out of a thousand year manuscript."

Reaching out and pulling down a scroll, and idling smoothing it, thew bard continues.

"Lack or manners or not, you have to admit he does have a point my friend. You look and smell like you could do with a good long soak in a bath, and a clean set of clothing."

Sniffing himself, Nicos grins then adds.

"Come to think of it, you're not the only one in the need of a bath."

"Let me guess, he said something to insult him," a voice cuts through the tension before anyone can react to Nicos' banter. "Now why doesn't that surprise me," Gemoud continues as she strides across to the confrontation still taking place. "Tefikicalop, you're a fool, did I ever tell you that?"

Taking this opportunity, the offending wizard - Tefikicalop presumably - begins to plead.

"Yes, I'm sorry, I'm a fool, I didn't mean it like that, please don't hurt me."
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  #56  
Unread 29th of April, 2004, 02:19
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Cadrius curses under his breath at Blarth's hot-temper. Although he recognizes a little of himself in the enraged half-orc. It appears preserving one's honor isn't limited to humans. He might not like the action, but Cadrius gives Blarth a moment or two of satisfaction before laying his hand on the half-orc's tensed shoulder.

Speaking quietly, he says, "That is quite enough, Blarth. I am certain he meant no harm" --his eyes shift to the man grasping at Blarth's wrist-- "right?"

"Yes! No...hurk...offense."

Cadrius' eyes shift across the library and sees a dozen pairs looking back at him. Any hope of keeping this quiet was gone the moment Blarth stormed across the library. Chances are this event will only add weight to their opposition's case. He almost chuckles at the thought. He and his companions have a way of taking a tenative situation and making it a thousand times worse.

"Blarth, please put the man down before he suffocates. I doubt any of us has the fortitude for another incident like Karkas."
  #57  
Unread 29th of April, 2004, 02:49
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Pushing the wizard up higher against the bookshelf, it looks for a moment like Blarth is going to continue the confrontation despite his friends requests for calm. Instead, however, he suddenly lets go of the wizard, allowing him to fall to the floor. Looking first at Nicos and then at Cadrius, Blarth turns and heads back towards his room.

They were right, after all. In a citadel full of wizards, some of whom didn't even want them there, it would do no good to aggravate their hosts. Still, something about the way that wizard had said 'half-orc' still riled Blarth. It had sounded, to Blarth's ears at least, as if the man considered the term itself to be an insult. As for the comment about needing a bath, well that was the result of life on the road. Indeed, his clothes still had blood stains from his battle with those strange cave dwellers, and while Blarth himself didn't mind them so much, having long since worked out the stiffness from the stains, he knew that most humans did.

Getting back to his room, Blarth is suprised to find a clean set of clothing and a hot bath already waiting for him. Obviously there was more than one person in this citadel that thought he needed a bath, but hot water? Obviously these wizards were made of the same weak stock as most humans, but did they really think that he was made of the same?

Opening his door, Blarth sticks his head back into the corridor. Whoever had filled the tub must still be somewhere near by.

"Who's the weakling that filled my tub with hot water?" he demands loudly. When no one appears he calls out again, "Come on! Show yourself! Do you think me weak like you that I need to bathe in hot water?"

After a few minutes of waiting, it seems obvious that whoever filled the tub has either left, or isn't going to come out until Blarth is gone. Slamming the door behind him, Blarth heads back into his room. To his suprise, the water in the tub is no longer hot. Perplexed as to how it could have cooled off so fast, Blarth checks the windows and fireplace for drafts, but can find none.

"Hmm... It must not have been as hot as I thought," he concludes before stripping and proceding to wash himself.
  #58  
Unread 1st of May, 2004, 03:33
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It is a huge painting, vibrant and skillfully rendered. At the far end, far enough away that she needs to turn her head to see it, is a mythic clearing where a Satyr plays his pipes to an audience of dreamy eyed sylvan females. Closer still is a vast stretch of impenetrable forest, peopled with all manner of beasts - lion, tiger, serpent along with a bevy of a tribal folk who's physical perfection is rivaled only by the scantiness of their attire. The jungle gives way to beach, with the section directly above her an undersea paradise with tritons, mermaids, nixie and others that she could not name engaged in ways that only buoyancy will allow.

Shade's head is resting on the edge of the tub as she stares up at the painted ceiling, wisps of steam curling around her face, quite certain that the bath had been located intentionally in this precise spot. Shortly after they arrived, Ysene had said she had an engagement she must attend and suggested Shade refresh herself. It seemed a wise idea, particularly when the sorceress explained the value of appearances within the Citadel. Warriors, vagabonds, and travellers were ill favored here; most of the elders would not bother with such folk. After helping Shade select something suitable from her own wardrobe and showing her the bath, Ysene had left with a promise to be back shortly and to have Shade's old clothes cleaned and mended.

That had been some time ago, and she was starting to wonder what had happened to the sorceress. Drying herself with thick towels conveniently located nearby and then wrapping one around herself, she inspects the items in the dressing chamber adjacent to the bath. She gingerly picks up the brocaded gown and inspects it anew, suddenly doubtful.

In this place a display of arms has the opposite effect - it makes you appear weak.

They were Ysene's words, but they help quiet her doubts. Besides, she didn't have anything else to wear. Without another thought on the matter, she proceeds to dress.
  #59  
Unread 1st of May, 2004, 07:34
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The uncomfortable silence continued in the Refectory. Ben, silently munching on the apple handed to him by the redhead and staring at her, the red-head standing there with her arms crossed and staring right back at him. Ben wasn't an expert on women, not by a long shot, but his instincts were usually pretty good with people in general. Right now, they were screaming at him not to make any sudden movements, like a prey silently watching his hunter.

So the awkward silence continued for several moments. Finally the woman simply walked out of the Refectory, back the way Ben had come, without even saying a word. Ben didn't make any motion to follow her, not wanting to possibly trigger whatever it was that had mad him feel uneasy. Finishing what was left of the apple, he tossed it into a container that he could only assume was a trash can, and made his way back to the library.

He stopped just outside the entrance. That woman was standing in the entrance, apparently reacting to the scene inside. Ben could see the half-orc from earlier holding a robed, elderly man up above the ground, his hand around the man's neck, and apparently the one-armed wizard and his warrior companion both trying to convince the half-orc to release the poor man. Before Ben can act any further, the half-orc releases the man, and quickly storms out of the library, Ben letting him pass without any trouble.
  #60  
Unread 6th of May, 2004, 04:13
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"Right, well, let us retire to our quarters then," Cadrius says, disliking the way the wizards and apprentices are looking at both he and Nicos. Actually, he couldn't care less how they feel about the one-armed bard, but the man travels with them and thus reflects on the party as a whole.

Walking briskly but not too quickly, the fallen paladin and the bard make a dignified, if hasty, exit. He doesn't speak until they're close to their own chambers. Spies be damned, Blarth just made their situation a whole lot worse.

"He needs to reign in that temper of his," Cadrius says, passing through the chamber that lies between their rooms and the refectory, "or it will get us killed in here."

He draws in a long, slow breath before exhaling. Cadrius knows what it's like to be blinded by fury. Perhaps he should speak to Blarth, make certain the half-orc is all right. He hadn't paid attention to whatever words had been exchanged prior to confrontation. Chances are, there was a good reason for the explosive reaction. Hell, Cadrius has probably killed over less.

Stopping at his door, he nods to the bard.

"Come get me should they decide to lynch us."
  #61  
Unread 6th of May, 2004, 22:27
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"It'll be the first thing on my 'to-do' list," Nicos replies as Cadrius closes his door.

Looking at the glyph hovering on the wood, Nicos muses outload. "I wonder what happened to Shade."
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  #62  
Unread 6th of May, 2004, 22:58
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She turns left, then right, observing the flow of the gown as she does so. It is a delicious red fabric, patterned with flowing golden branches and leaves. The sleeves are narrow up high arms and flair wide near her wrists; their full length hides the gaunt muscularity of her arms. The bodice clings to her torso, tied at the neck and leaving her entire back bare. The heavy skirt is slit high on each side, alternately displaying her smoothly muscled legs as she walks.

Oddly enough she is inordinately pleased by her attractive reflection. Normally she would have disdained these trappings, but she finds herself enjoying the change. A small frown appears as she notes the white line of the scar that runs across her face, and suddenly she isn't interested in mirrors anymore. Returning to the main room, she sits to wait for Ysene. After a few minutes of waiting for the other to return her patience begins to wane; she gets up and heads for the door. It won't budge.

Warning bells go off in her mind and she pulls harder, but to no avail. The door is definitely locked, though she can see no mechanism whatsoever. Fuming, she stalks around the chamber looking for something to use as a prybar.

She freezes when she hears footsteps in the hall. They are approaching; she siezes a heavy candleholder from the table and with her customary stealth and drive she slides next to the door. When it opens, she'll be hidden behind it. Ysene enters and Shade grabs the door before it closes, brandishing her makeshift club.

"Don't move."

Ysene freezes, though her blond head turns until her eyes meet Shade's. She holds her hands up to show they are empty.

"You really are jumpy. What's wrong?"

"What's wrong? You lock me up and disappear and you want to know what's wrong. Give me a good reason I shouldn't knock you senseless."

"I locked the door for your own good - to keep you from getting out and to keep them from getting in. Gemoud's people would be only too happy if they found you wandering the halls unattended."

"You know about Gemoud?"

"News in the Citadel travels quickly. It wasn't merely luck that I stumbled upon you. Cadogan sent me. It seems that some of his activities have interested a number of people around here - some who would help him, and others who would thwart him."

"And you are a friend of Cadogan's?"

"I most certainly am. Now, if you don't feel like bashing my head in, perhaps you'd like to have a seat while you hear what I have to say."

Shade stares into the blue pools of Ysene's eyes and all doubt about her intention slips away. The door slides from her fingertips, and she follow the other woman inside.
  #63  
Unread 14th of May, 2004, 00:02
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Looking around and seeing no answer making itself known, Nicos ambles over to the refractory. A quick glance around shows no sign of Shade, so the bard making his way back to his room speaking to himself softly.

"Well if she isn't there she's either in her room, or lost trying to find the library. Ofcourse I have to consider whether I'm willing to risk intruding into the mystery lady's sanctum. Maybe I should find Gemoud and ask her if she knows what happened to Shade."

Pausing before Shade's door, Nicos casts a look up and down the hall as a sudden realisation hits him.

"Speaking of the red haired beauty, I wonder what happened to Gemoud. She doesn't have the excuse of getting lost on the way to the Library. Also amazing, I'm speaking to myself again, must try to stop that."

Rasing his hand, Nicos brings it down on the door to Shade's room in 2 sharp knocks.
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Unread 15th of May, 2004, 03:43
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Refreshed by his cold scrub down, Blarth opens his window and chucks the dirty bath water out the window. As he closes the window an angry scream floats up from somewhere below.

Damn fool wizards should know better than to stand under a window.

After replacing the tub, Blarth turns back to the bed to find a new set of clothing laid out for him and his old ones missing.

"By Gruumsh! I wish they would ask before doing things around here!"

Angrily grabbing the new clothes, Blarth puts them on and is supprised to find that they fit quite well. Whoever it was that had picked them out certianly had an eye for body types and sizes. They were overly ornate, but they'd probably fit in here better than his regular clothes, and as long as he didn't have to wear them out of this place, Blarth supposed that he could tolerate them here within the Citadel.

As he finishes dressing, a bell rings from somewhere in the Citadel. Wondering what it signifies, Blarth opens his door and looks out into the hallway...

Last edited by Black Plauge; 21st of May, 2004 at 03:58.
  #65  
Unread 18th of May, 2004, 23:17
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Shade sits back in her chair, digesting Ysene's words. It seemed unlikely, but then again, wizards were an odd bunch. From what the sorceress had said, Cadogan was in possession of a dangerous arcane item - a stone cube. Shade remembered the item; they had retrieved it from the gnoll stronghold and Cadogan had been rather anxious to get it back, though he claimed it was merely a children's toy. She hadn't believed him - Cadogan wasn't the best liar - but it hadn't seemed very important to learn the truth.

Ysene had asked her a good deal about it, but that was pretty much all she knew about the thing. Cadogan had never mentioned it since, and Shade hadn't seen it since the mage had taken it back.

"You say this cube is dangerous. How so?"

"It is a key to unlock the prison of a powerful demon."

"Why would Cadogan have such a thing in his possession?"

"He discovered it and sent word back here. We can't very well have such items floating around for anyone to come across, so it was imperative that he return it here where it can be properly disposed of."

"You'll destroy it?"

"It isn't that simple. There are wards on the cube, and it is strong beyond what it's physical appearance would imply. Plus, we need the catalyst."

"What catalyst?"

"A special runestone that will fit into the carvings on one face of the cube. It will permit us to perform the ritual of destruction."

"I am glad he made it back here then, and that the situation is in hand."

At that Ysene frowns and shakes her head slightly. She leans forward, resting her arms on the table and steepling her fingers.

"Perhaps, but only barely. This Citadel is home to a great number of wizards. Some do not see the danger in this thing; others see the danger but believe they can master it. Not everyone here wants to see this item destroyed. Those of us that do are being watched carefully. Should I or my compatriots depart to retrive the runestone it would be noted. We need someone else to bring it back to us."

Shade folds her arms and shifts slightly, unused to the feel of her new clothing. It is obvious where this is headed, and she doesn't like it.

"Well, you seem to be a resourceful lot. Good luck."

"Your group seems quite capable."

"We have other engagements that want attending."

"Plus, it will not be suspicious if you depart soon."

"If Cadogan wanted our help he would have asked."

"He didn't know the full extent of the danger."

"It's not up to me. And even if it was, I'd tell you no."

"As you say. But promise me you'll discuss it with the others."

Ysene was convincing. Deep down, Shade could feel the doubt gnawing at her adamant refusal. What would Cadogan want them to do?

"Alright, I'll talk to them. But I think you are going to need to find someone else."

"We'll have to wait and see."

Smiling, Ysene stands and Shade follows suit.

"I need to be going. Perhaps you'd like to return to your room? It is easy enough to find from here."

She gives Shade some brief direction and before she knows it, Shade is on her way back to her room, the long skirt swishing with each step.
  #66  
Unread 21st of May, 2004, 02:59
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Staring at the stained wood of the door to Shade’s chamber, Nicos stands unnoticed, as his knocks go unheeded. Conceding Shade’s likely absence, the bard turns and finds himself beholding a pair of brilliant blue eyes.

“Damn it Gemoud,” Nicos exclaims as he steps back startled. “Didn’t anyone every teach you not to sneak up on good-looking, talented, yet modest one-armed-Bards?”

Half grinning at having startled him, Gemoud replies. “My teachers must have missed that portion of my education, I shall give them a stern talking to next time I see them.”

“Well I’ll forgive you this once,” Nicos says back with mock gruffness. “But only because I was on my way to look for you.”

“Oh?” Gemoud replies in mock shock. “To what do I owe the pleasure of having such an august persons searching for my humble self?”

“Shade”

At the name of the woman, the smile that had been dancing around Gemoud’s face drops from sight.

“She isn’t in her quarters, and the last I saw her was when she called you back to speak to you when we left for the library. Do you know where she is?”

Frowning, Gemoud shakes her head. “No, I last saw her was when she left the refectory – alone. I thought she was going after you lot, but if she has been gone for this long she might be lost. It’s easy to loose your way in some of the areas if you’re not familiar with them. I - ah.” She hesitates. “Shade warned me, in a threatening manner, to stay away from you. Tell me, is she unstable at all?”

Grinning at the question of Shade’s sanity, shakes his head as he makes his way to Cadrius’ door, knocking. “She has a few issues is all, I wouldn’t take it to heart. She probably won’t kill you for talking to me despite her warning”

Leaning on the wall and giving the bard an appraising look as they wait for an answer, Gemoud coyly states, “You know, when I first saw you I would have sworn that I had seen you somewhere before.”

“Oh,” Nicos replies absently. “I thought you claimed that you weren’t one of my adoring fans?”

Giving something that is half smile/half smirk, Gemoud shoots back. “No, I’m not a fan of your music, this is something else. Something that every time I thought I had a grip on it, it slipped away. There is more to you then meets the eye Nicos Ysieson.”

Feeling an involuntary tick build at the back of his neck, Nicos turns towards her and takes a step forward. “Well I am a man of mystery. They say that the dark types always get the girl.”

“Oh is that so?” Gemoud responds, matching the man’s move. “While you were at the library I did a little research, and put some thought into the matter.”

“Did you manage to reach any conclusions?” Nicos asks, taking another step forward and bringing Gemoud and himself mere inches apart. “Should I start preparing for you to pull the cloak from me, baring all my secrets?”

Reaching out and tracing a finger down the Nicos’ shoulder, the red head mage gives a sly smile. “Oh you might want to consider the possibility. I have a few theories, but they need time to develop before they come into play. I should warn you though, I can’t resist a secret.”

Leaning towards Gemoud so that there eyes are a mere fraction of an inch, Nicos gives a knowing smile of his own and half whispers. “Secrets are compelling, and we all have our secrets Gemoud.”

Pressing her hand against the bard’s chest, Gemoud breaths softly, “We both want something, you show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.” Moving so her lips barely touch Nicos’. “What is your secret?”

Holding still and breathing in Gemoud’s scent, mingled with her warm breath against his, it is a long moment before Nicos responds.

“I don’t think Cadrius is going to answer.”

Pulling back from the alluring woman, Nicos turns his back on her and knocks on Blarth’s door, struggling to regain his breath and composure.

Behind him, Gemoud bites her lip and represses a shudder and she looks at the back of the man called Nicos.
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Last edited by itches; 21st of May, 2004 at 04:15.
  #67  
Unread 21st of May, 2004, 04:04
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...only to find Nicos about to knock on it.

"Did you hear that bell?" Blarth asks the startled bard, "Any idea what it might mean?"

Noticing the strange look on Nicos' face, Blarth begins to formulate a question, but then notices Geomund behind him. Mindful of what Nicos said earlier, even if he didn't quite understand it, Blarth bites his tounge and forces himself to stick to the more harmless topic of the bell.

"The bell, what was it for?" Blarth asks again, this time addressing Geomund.

Still flustered by her encounter with Nicos, it takes a moment for Geomund to gather her senses and realize just what Blarth is talking about.

"It signals the end of the afternoon work period," she replies when she regains control of herself. "People need a chance to stop what they are doing and clean up before heading to dinner. The first bell gives them that chance, while the second, which will ring in a few minutes, will let them know that dinner is served."
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Unread 22nd of May, 2004, 09:21
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Cadrius kneels on the floor his feet tucked beneath him. The slate floor is hardly kind on his legs, but he would rather not become too comfortable on the feather bed. Perhaps there's a glamour set to force him to remain asleep until the wizards desire otherwise. He would rather not have that.

And so he sits on the floor, armor arrayed around him. Each piece is well forged; gorget, vambraces, greaves, breastplate, they were all truly well-done, but then again, they hadn't really been tested yet. They could use some polishing. Yet he must tend his weapons first.

He holds the long, bastard sword in his left hand and a whetstone in his right. Metal slides against stone with a rough whisk-whisk sound. He pulls the blade, sharpening one side and then the other. He prides himself on keeping his sword at the ready. Although in a place of such arcane power he wonders what good steel will do him.

A knock at his door interrupts his caretaking and Cadrius pushes himself to his feet, grateful for the reprieve from the floor. He's expecting Shade, indeed, it has been a while since he last saw her. Perhaps she found her way to the library too late.

Or perhaps a sorcerer has her under a spell, his mind taunts. No, not Shade. She's too clever by half to fall for any simple enchantment.

Cadrius opens the door and blinks. A greeting that had been half-formed, dies. Gemoud stands, looking away from the fallen paladin, and bears a rather displeased expression. However, it passes from her face quickly and she smiles coyly. In the background he can hear Blarth and Nicos speaking.

"Good evening? Is it evening? I cannot tell in this tower. Good day, or night, depending on which it is, Lady Gemoud. Is there something I can help you three with? I heard the knock at the door. My apologies for not answering it immediately. I was attending my arms and armor."

He smiles politely, but his mind sharply reminds him that this woman is a spy and not to be trusted, no matter how charming her damnable smile might be.
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Unread 27th of May, 2004, 22:05
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Still off balance from the exchange with Gemoud, Nicos uses the few moments as the lady in question and Blarth exchange comments, to regain his equilibrium. Opening his mouth to speak, the bard quickly shuts it again as he hears Cadrius' baritone behind him.

Looking behind him, and seeing Cadrius speaking to Gemoud, but too far away to hear the words, Nicos raises his voice just enough to be heard over the distance.

"Cadrius, I thought you weren't going to answer your door. As I was about to tell Blarth, Shade seems to have disappeared. There is a chance that she got lost or," dropping a slight emphasis on his voice. "Something."

Looking from Man to Half-Orc.

"I was about to ask you two if you wanted to come with, as we took a look to see if she can be found. However, as the evening meal is here, perhaps someone should stay to see if turns up on her own."

Looking from Half-Orc to Man.

"What do you two think?"
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Unread 29th of May, 2004, 04:26
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Shade slows her pace as she turns the corner and sees the group congregating outside of their rooms. It wasn't Blarth, Nicos, or Cadrius that made her feet drag. It was the fact that copper-haired Gemoud was with them. Anger returns and she reaches unconsciously for the hilt of a sword that isn't there, suddenly missing her veil. She unclenches her fist and steps forward, catching the last part of the bard's words.

"You needn't look for me, I'm right here."
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Unread 29th of May, 2004, 04:51
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Blarth opens his mouth to reply to Nicos, when a familiar voice interjects, removing the need to respond. When he turns to look at Shade, however, Blarth is more than suprised to see her dressed in a dress easily equal to the one Geomund wears.

Suddenly concious that he's been staring for several seconds and that his mouth is still open, Blarth hastily shuts it and looks towards the refectory.

"How long did you say until the bell announcing dinner?" Blarth asks Geomund.

Also caught off guard by Shade's unusual appearence, Geomund is nevertheless faster at recovering than Blarth. By the time Blarth has formulated his question, her usual expression of confidence (mixed with tinge of haugtiness) is firmly back in place and she wastes no time in replying.

"Just a few minutes. Merely enough time for everyone to put away what they are doing and wash up. We could go into the refectory now if you want though."
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Unread 31st of May, 2004, 13:47
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Ben watched as the one-armed wizard and his warrior friend follow the Half-orc's example and make a clean escape. His attention isn't on them however; it is on the woman in the library entrance, the one from the Refectory. He almost had the memory she was from, the one that made her face something resembling familiar. She looked at the wizard that had been nearly throttled by the half-orc, and in that moment, he saw her face as he recognized it, saw her as he had once seen her.

*****************

"Ben, I want you to be a good boy and meet someone special to me." Ben, only 7 then, looked up at Lisa, the woman who had so recently adopted him, until then a small street urchin, into her life. He felt differently towards this woman, felt an attachment he had never felt to anything or anybody.

Just like so many times since it had happened, Ben wondered if this was what love was supposed to feel like. Lisa was the woman he loved he was sure. I'll ask her to marry me when I'm older...

"Ben? Are you listening to me?" Blinking out of his thoughts, Ben realized that he'd spaced out and quickly nodded. "Uh-huh, sorry Lisa. I was only thinking, that's all." She looked at him with a face of concern, sending another wash of warmth through him, then she smiled at him and said, "Well, I want you to meet someone very special to me." She looked up at the entrance of the massive tower she had brought him too. Two people were walking out of it, both women, one obviously younger than the other.

Lisa gestured at the younger of the two and said, "Ben. I want you to meet my niece, Gemound. Gemound, this is Ben, he's traveling with my mercenary company at the moment. You remember, he was in the letter I sent to you." Gemound was a lot taller than Ben; he had to bend his neck almost to his back to see her face. She was a red-head, like Lisa, but something about the smile she gave him seemed false, her eyes seemed to glint with a hatred Ben had become all too familiar with.

That said, Ben was still familiar with what a niece was, even if he hadn't actually been raised in a family, so he knew this woman was related to Lisa. While he took an immediate dislike for her, he knew that he should be nice to her, if only for Lisa's sake. He gave a half-hearted wave and mumbled a small "hello", but he mostly hid behind Lisa, not wanting to bear the full brunt of Gemound's eyes.

He didn't think he would ever forget this Gemound, she was pretty scary.

*****************

Ben wondered at his next action. He should really just leave her alone, as he didn't want to have anything to do with her. But she was Lisa's niece, and deserved to know her fate, and Ben didn't think he could trust these wizards to deliver it.

His manners overrode his good judgment, and he went up behind her, tapped her shoulder and asked, "Gemound?" She turned at looked at who had tapped her, and again Ben felt that jolt go through his spine at seeing her blue eyes, so much like his own. She smiled, but he could tell she didn't recognize him. "You work pretty fast, if you've gotten my name already."

Ben was more than a little nervous, but decided to press on. "Um, actually I uh...I remember you from a few years ago. I was with Lisa, and she introduced us, it was about 15 years ago? Do you remember me...?" She got that look all people get when they dredge through their memories, then a face of recollection appeared.

"It's...Ben isn't it?" Ben nodded and she smiled. "Well, you've certainly grown, you weren't up to my thigh when I last saw you. How is Lisa, is she here?" She looks around as if expecting Lisa to turn a corner or something.

Ben's face fell as he speaks the words that he has spoken so many times these past years. "Lisa is," he lost his voice and trailed off, but found the courage to go on, "Lisa's dead, Gemound. She died a little over 8 years ago, along with the rest of the company. I'm all that's left." He lowered his eyes to the ground as he spoke, unwilling to see the look of disbelief he had seen on so many others' faces.

He wasn't entirely disappointed when she simply said, "Oh, I'm sorry," and placed a hand on his shoulder. It took all his willpower to not pull away from the touch. It was like being stroked by a poisonous snake, he simply wanted to get away, but he simply stood there, head hanging, silent.

After a bit he felt her take her hand away, and saw her feet walk farther down the hall. Looking up with a tear in his eye, Ben heard a bell ring, and saw most of the Library occupants start to clear out. He remembered the one wizard say that the bell would signify that Dinner was about to begin.

Ben simply stood there, left to his thoughts, as wizards and sorcerers and apprentices passed him by. Left to his thoughts, and his memories.
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Last edited by red_dr4g0n94; 31st of May, 2004 at 13:49.
  #73  
Unread 3rd of June, 2004, 03:26
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Turning at the sound of Shade's voice, and taking in her dress, Nicos promptly suffers from a coughing fit. So caught up in it is he, that he doesn't notice Gemoud's look, nor the words spoken.
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Last edited by Gralhruk; 4th of June, 2004 at 05:55.
  #74  
Unread 3rd of June, 2004, 13:02
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Footfalls echo in the stone corridor and he hears Shade's voice, but the person standing before him only faintly resembles the woman he's spent the last several months with. She's always been the same Shade: bitter, cynical, hot tempered, sharp tongued, and always, always garbed as a person who spends her time in the wilderness. She certainly never dressed like, well, a woman. He would have bet his family's lands that Shade wouldn't even wear so much as a simple gown unless under duress. So seeing her now, in a backless gown with a skirt with high slits on both sides is cause for complete and total shock.

The fallen paladin stands there, on the verge of gaping, while his mind futilely attempts to grasp the situation.
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Unread 8th of June, 2004, 04:44
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Shade's cheeks color as the others stare at her like she's just grown a new head. Back at Ysene's, dressing the part had seemed like such a grand idea and she had been quite pleased with her reflection in the woman's many mirrors. Now, however, she was feeling more than a little self-conscious and no longer at all glamorous. Had they been alone, she might well have fled for the company of shadows to nurse her insecurities. Gemoud's presence changed that; she'd be damned before she'd show weakness in front of that one. And so, instead of the tenderness one might have expected in light of her new raiment, what they get is the same old Shade.

"What are you gawking at?" she snaps at Blarth. His mouth closes with an audible click and he suddenly finds something else to look at. She smacks Nicos between the shoulder blades with enough force to rattle his teeth, "Swallow a fly?" she asks. Finally, inevitably, she rounds on Cadrius. She isn't sure which part of his gaze hurts more: the disbelief, the shock, or the fact that he doesn't seem to find her attractive. "Forgotten me already? I'll bet it would jog your memory if I dragged you through a sewer."

Gemoud's smug look only fuels her anger. When the red haired magician suggests the refectory she meets her gaze. She is tempted to threaten her once again, but with the others looking on and with her suddenly feeling of exposure, she just isn't up to the task.

"We'll need a few minutes."
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