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  #76  
Unread 11th of June, 2004, 13:41
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Harsh words have a way of launching one's mind into motion. Shade's, as usual, do the trick quite well. He finds himself mentally retreating from her and stifles a wince at the mention of the sewers. Karkas had been a disaster and she had risked her neck, as she had in the past, to help save him. And what has he done for her? An awkward kiss in the middle of the night? Scorn for her supposed profession as an assassin? He's kept her safe through strength of arms to be true, but he's done little for her. So he finds it curious that the words and emotion sting so much.

"Yes, I...apologize, Shade" --he tips his head in a bow-- "please, let us use my room."

Extending one muscled arm, Cadrius opens the door and ushers the three others inside.

Gemoud is a spy, remember that.

"If you'll excuse us for but a moment, Lady Gemoud," he says, all smile and courtesy. His time as a squire had served him well in the ways of etiquette. However the look on the woman's face is unexpected. It lasts for but a second, but the fallen paladin notices a bit of trepidation on Gemoud's face as she watches Shade walk past.

Smiling once more, the fallen paladin steps into his room and closes the door. A jest springs to the normally dour man's mind, but he suspects Shade is not in an agreeable mood, although to be fair, she never is.

"That was certainly...pleasant."
  #77  
Unread 15th of June, 2004, 23:29
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There were unfriendly ears on them in these rooms. At least, that's what Nicos had said.

Damn all of these wizards!

"Why is she still with you?"

The question is directed at nobody in particular, in a neutral tone, but her steel grey eyes have an edge on them. Obviously, she's talking about Gemoud. Her face is somewhat flushed as she regards them, arms crossed, legs braced wide. Before they can answer she is talking again.

"Forget it. Have you seen Cadogan?"
  #78  
Unread 16th of June, 2004, 01:30
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How am I meant to get close to her, with sudden and conspicuous private gatherings?

"No, and no I won't forget it." Nicos says, sounding angrier then he had intended.

"I think I'm old enough to decide for myself who I associate myself with. If I choose to spend time with someone you wouldn't see if me, at least give me enough credit to know how to look after myself."

Taking a deep breath, and attempting to blow out the frustration that seemed to have sprung upon him unknowns, Nicos glares at the ceiling, absently noting the strange pattens depicted there.

"If you really are so concerned about my safety, just remember the old saying.Keep you friends close ...'"

And your adversaries closer.
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Unread 16th of June, 2004, 03:39
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Puzzled by the turn of the conversation, Blarth can only manage a simple, "Who?"
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Unread 16th of June, 2004, 09:40
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Ben decided he'd brooded long enough. That apple only went so far to sastifying a hungry stomach, and it would be rude if he, a guest, didn't show up for dinner. And besides, he wanted to be there when they announced...the news. He always wanted to be there, to share in the grief. He didn't think he could ever forget what he had done, and even if he could, he didn't want to. As much as he hated the memory, ultimately he knew he would never get rid of it...

Dammit! I did it again! snapping out of his reviere, he turned around and headed back towards the Refectory. I was daydreaming again! They're going to be the death of me, no doubt about it.

After going down several halls, and making several wrong turns, Ben finally got back on the right track. But as he turned the corner down the hallway just before the Refectory, he came to a stop.

Gemound.

She was looking at a door, and Ben recalled hearing a door close just before he turned the corner. But that didn't matter, becuase Gemound was here, in the Hallway, and not behind a door. Ben really didn't want to deal with her, not after he had just broken the news of her Aunt's death. Ben wasn't sure if she was totally unaffected by it, or if she was devestated and just very good at hiding it. In truth, he didn't want to know, he had his own problems to deal with.

Too late, she was turning around, he couldn't get away now. She looked behind her, saw Ben, and gave that same smile as before, the one that Ben felt revolted by. She was the same as when he had first seen her, quite pretty, but Ben knew that it was a farce, a wolf in sheep's clothing. But that didn't change the fact that she was very cute. And Ben felt a certain clenching in his gut whenever he saw her. Probably just scared out of his wits whenever she spoke to him.

"Oh Ben! It seems we just keep bumping into each other today." Ben didn't feel as happy about it as she seemed to be. Then again, she was also a master of disguise, so that really wasn't saying much.

"Yeah, it seems that way. So, why were you just standing here?" He said, tipping his hat at her like Lisa had taught him, even if he didn't want to. She looked a little uncomfortable, but Ben wasn't sure if it was becuase of the hat or the question. She answered his question anyways, "Well, I'm kinda being the host to some other guests we have."

THIS is news. "Really? You mean besides me?" He grinned at the last part. She returned the smile but replied, "Yes, they are friends to one of the members who was injured. He had a...certain item that we needed, so we went out and got him. They're just here to check up on him."

Interesting. They have other visitors besides me. Then Ben caught up with himself. Why should I care? So they have some other visitors? Why should it concern me so? "Oh. I hope he gets better soon." "Thank you." "So you're playing hostess to these people?" "Mm-hmm."

I need to get out of here! She's too damned nice! I can't stand it! "Umm, well I have to get to dinner. Can you tell me how to get there?" "Yes actually, go into the refectory and when the second bell rings, you can get your food. Then sit at the table with a regular looking chair." She smiles maliciously at the next part. "Those are the guest chairs, you probably won't be looked very kindly upon if you sit in on of the other chairs."

This woman scares me. And that was a threat if I ever heard one. "Um, thanks. I'll see you at dinner." Great, just what I didn't want to happen...he tipped his hat to her again as he turned to leave. He saw her nod and heard her say as he walked down the hall, "It'll be good catching up with you. I'd love to hear what you've been doing these past few years."

Yeah. I bet you would.

Last edited by red_dr4g0n94; 2nd of July, 2004 at 15:21.
  #81  
Unread 16th of June, 2004, 09:41
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"I have not seen Cadogan, no."

He turns to the half-orc and briefly describes the blind wizard and his mysterious disappearance from the tavern in Karkas. The fact that Cadrius unintentionally ended up killing three men is left out of the story. His hands are drenched in blood, but there are some deaths he'd rather not remember.

"Do we even have proof that he is here?"
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Unread 16th of June, 2004, 22:34
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"Oh..." Blarth replies, "you mean the man that was floated out of the inn. Well, assuming the men who took him weren't lying then I would assume this is the right place. I can't imagine anyone else living in a place like this."

His stomach growling again, Blarth asks, "Can we go to dinner now? That snack earlier only took the edge off."
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Unread 16th of June, 2004, 22:51
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"Dinner? Is that what you are concerned about?"

Her steely eyes find Nicos.

"Or is it the women who are at dinner? Rut and gut, that's all that matters isn't it. Go, if you want. I'm done with this."

To hell with all of them.

She storms out of the room in a swirl of red and gold brocade, slamming the door behind her. Two short steps and she is across the hall and through the door to her room, wrenching the door shut after her. Immediately she begins ripping open the closets and drawers, looking for her old equipment. Anything to put on other than this damned dress!
  #84  
Unread 16th of June, 2004, 22:54
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Confused, yet again, by the sudden turn the conversation has taken, Blarth stares at the closed door through which Shade had disappeared and asks, "What's got into her?"
  #85  
Unread 17th of June, 2004, 20:06
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"If you should solve that riddle, Blarth, do be sure to tell the rest of the world. I am certain it would like to know why she is angry at it."

Shade is usually characterized by her sharp tongue and quick temper, but the explosion seems off, even for her. Could something have happened since they had last seen her? Besides the costume change...and what a change it was with slits and--

Keep your mind on task. Keep your mind on task. Discipline, Diligence, Duty.

He repeats his family's credo, the alliteration helping to free his mind of the memory of Shade.

"Right, well, let us give her a few moments to calm herself before going to dinner. Perhaps we shall discuss things further there."

Or even see Cadogan.
  #86  
Unread 21st of June, 2004, 21:58
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"At least we know it's her," Nicos replies, looking at the door that Shade had just stormed out of. "When I first saw her in the dress, the thought occurred that she had been replaced by a look alike."

Rubbing his neck with his only hand, Nicos looks to the others. "I think I'm might be getting paranoid in my old age. Food sounds good, I'll go speak to Gemoud and make sure she's eating somewhere that Shade isn't."
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  #87  
Unread 21st of June, 2004, 22:12
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Look alike???

Pusing the thought aside, Blarth focuses on the suggestion that they head for dinner, and eagerly perks up at the thought.

"Surely Shade doesn't need an escort to the refectory," he comments, "Maybe, we should just go on ahead and let her come in her own time, when she's cooled off a bit... er... da... something..."
  #88  
Unread 23rd of June, 2004, 01:33
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"You're right," Nicos says, moving towards the door. "Besides, if we're late for food, I doubt that they will wait for us."

Opening the door, the bard sees no sign of Shade, but the red haired devil is waiting right where they had left here.

"You guys go ahead," Nicos says behind him. "I want to speak to Gemoud for a moment."
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  #89  
Unread 23rd of June, 2004, 01:44
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"Okay," Blarth replies, and makes for the refectory at a barely contained walk.
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Unread 23rd of June, 2004, 23:39
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"Woe to the mummer or doppleganger that attempts to mimic Shade. I fear they would not be long for this world," he says, musing to himself.

Looking to Blarth and Nicos, Cadrius shrugs and steps into the hall. Blarth hastens down the hall, clearly interested in nothing but eating. Meanwhile Nicos looks somewhat uncomfortable as he moves to speak with Gemoud. Not wishing to disturb their privacy, Cadrius follows the half-orc. He could use a good meal, provided it wasn't magical, or poisoned, or both.
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Unread 24th of June, 2004, 03:04
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Watching Cadrius and Blarth make their way towards the food, Nicos waits until they are gone, then turns back to Gemoud only to find her examining him.

"Why the long face? she asks. "If I didn't know better I would say that you've got something serious to say."

"Stranger things have happened," Nicos responds, thinking of a way to approach the subject without offended the woman.

Inclining her towards a door to her left, Gemoud raises an eyebrow in question. "Shade?"

Rubbing his eyes, and nodding before looking at her again, Nicos replies. "Aye. I know that this is rather rude, and that I have no right to ask it of you, but is it necessary to eat at the same refectory as us?"

Looking at the door again, it is a moment before the sorceress speaks. "She did seem rather angry when she came out, though from what I have seen of her that isn't exactly far from the norm." Looking back. "I usually dine at an eatery closer to my sleeping quarters, and if you think that you and your companions can survive the rest of the night without my guidance, I will retire there. I don't practically want to force a confrontation with her."

"Thank you," the bard says, sounding relieved. "I wouldn't want anything to happen in the fit of the moment that I would come to regret."

"Why Nicos," Gemoud quickly replies, smiling for the first time in the exchange. "I didn't know you were so concerned about my wellbeing."

"You're well being?" He says in mock surprise. "It's not you that I'm worrying about getting hurt."

Laughing quietly, Gemoud reaches out and grasp Nicos' hand in her own. "I'll retire to my meal then, and see you later." Dragging a nail across the back of his hand as she lets go, the woman walks away, leaving the bard watching her retreating back.

There is something about her, you have to admit that.

Lingering until she disappears around a corner, Nicos turns and makes his way towards to awaiting food.

"I suddenly find myself hungry," he says to the echo of his footsteps.
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Unread 28th of June, 2004, 06:44
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Cadrius finds dinner to be surprisingly elaborate. Each of the long tables is well stocked, carrying butter-drenched quail, carrot and potato stew, loaves of bread, and even some steamed asparagus. He almost wants to ask how they managed to find any sort of vegetable out here, but figures he doesn't need to hear that it was magically culvivated by a genie trapped within an enclosed garden patch for a thousand years. Flagons of ale and goblets of hot, spiced wine dispensed by transluscent servants who resemble humans only in the most basic of shapes.

He shakes his head and decides for once that it's better to simply accept the bizarre events that he seems invariably drawn to. The food is hot and the ale is cold, and for now, it's enough. Dropping his worries of traitors and spies for a while, Cadrius enjoys the meal as best as he can. Tomorrow he may be back to dried fruit and cheese.

So when a spirit, illusion, nymph, or whatever kind of creature the wizards have in their employ exchanges his empty flagon for a full one, he simply smiles his thanks and fetches another bowl of stew.

Last edited by Cadrius; 28th of June, 2004 at 06:51.
  #93  
Unread 30th of June, 2004, 03:45
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The strange servants draw Blarth's curious stare when he first walks into the refectory, but the prospect of a hearty dinner soon shoves everything else out of his mind. Finding a place to sit down, Blarth quickly dives into a plate piled high with quail.

"You know," the wizard on Blarth's left remarks, "that was supposed to be the serving dish."

Staring blankly in reply, Blarth shrugs his shoulders and resumes eating. There was barely enough food on the plate for a hearty first helping, let alone serve other people.

Two or three quails later (or was it four), Blarth moves on to some of the other dishes, slowing down enough to take stock of the wizards around him.
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Unread 30th of June, 2004, 12:25
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Ben walked into the refectory and saw it had become a different place in the several minutes since he had left. Spirits and elementals, illusions and conjured ghosts, and many other supernatural creatures were bustling about preparing food, plates, and generally acting as servants should.

Ben had never met that many supernatural creatures that didn't want to kill him or take his belongings or just be generally friendly towards him. Even in his time with the mercenary company, spirits and ghosts had always seemed to harbor some sort of dislike for him. So Ben was not entirely comfortable with all of these things around him. But they continued to bustle about not even sparing him a glance. Ben walked over to one of the un-adorned seats and took of his hat, placing it on the back of the chair.

Sitting down, Ben wonders if these other guests will be arriving soon. He wondered about why they might be here, or if prisoners were a more accurate term for them. But then why would the wizards let them eat with them? Though the servants could probably act as defenders, Ben didn't think wizards and sorcerers were the type to take risks like that. Then again, Ben didn't think practicing with your mind was actually all that better than practicing with your body, so he probably wasn't the best person to ask why the people here did things.

Though Ben felt hungry, he didn't eat much. He could barely identify most of the food in front of him, but he had never been much of a cook so had never brushed up on his culinary skills. He was mostly content with his trail rations while on the road and the food from the inn while in a town. Besides, Ben didn't particularly care what his food was at the moment.

Ben was remembering why he'd come here now, and why he'd stayed for dinner. He picked at his food for the most part, knowing that this was the last moment of the life he'd been leading for nearly 8 years now. Oh sure, he'd done things on his own every now and then, but it had always been to inform this family or that spouse or the next of kin in the next town. He'd always been traveling with a destination in mind and now he was at the end. This was the last place, the place he had been avoiding for 8 long years. After he finished here, he would be done and no longer be obliged to do anything for his now dead friends.

The prospect of freedom wasn't as appealing as some people made it sound.

Sitting there, his sword at the side of his chair and his wide-brimmed hat still hanging on the back of the chair, Ben doesn't even hear the bell ring for dinner to start, or the flood of wizards that occupy the table, or even the half-orc that sits across from him and the warrior from earlier that sits beside him. Ben was lost in the memories of his past and in the realities of his future.

Last edited by red_dr4g0n94; 2nd of July, 2004 at 15:30.
  #95  
Unread 5th of July, 2004, 01:50
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In taking in the wizards around him, Blarth doesn't see Cadogan among them, but then again, he only saw the blind wizard once and can be sure that he knows what he looks like.

On the other hand, the other guest right across from Blarth is kind of hard to miss. He seemed absorbed in thought, and possibly a little down on his luck. The sword leaning against his chair indicated that he was a warrior of some fashion, though why he might be here, at a citadel of wizards was beyong Blarth.

Shrugging his shoulders, Blarth goes back to eating for a while, but his curiosity eventually gets the better of him and he asks, "So what brings you here?"
  #96  
Unread 6th of July, 2004, 11:37
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Ben ignores the general din of the conversations happening around him. He wasn't a part of any of them, and he wasn't particularly eager to join any of them. But then one voice cut through the background noise.

"So what brings you here?"

Ben looked up with a face that suggested Ben wasn't fully aware of his surroundings, as if he had just woken up. After several seconds of looking, Ben saw the voice had come from the orc - correction Half-orc - sitting across from him. He looked vaguely familiar but Ben couldn't place where he had seen him.

Ben wasn't sure why the Half-orc had taken a sudden interest to Ben, but it probably had something to do with his obvious state as a warrior, definitely making him stand out from the present wizards. But why him? Certainly this guy had someone else he could talk to? Was he some sort of information gatherer?

No, the wizards already knew why he was here. Why would they send someone out to figure out something they already knew?

Realizing he had been staring dumbly at the Half-orc for several seconds. He shook his head as if to shake out the demons in his head that always made him daydream and looked at the Half-orc with a gaze suggesting curiosity instead of anger at the Half-orc's question.

"Me? Why am I here?" Ben repeated the question as if he had just been asked a question from a schoolteacher and didn't know the answer. He finally responded after pondering the question for several seconds, "Well, I would sort of like to know that myself sometimes friend. If you happen across the answer friend, give me the answer would you?" He gave a small smile then continued, "What about yourself? Why is one such as yourself here?"

Last edited by red_dr4g0n94; 7th of July, 2004 at 04:34.
  #97  
Unread 7th of July, 2004, 04:26
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Arriving with the feast having already started, Nicos quietly slips into a vacant seat, situated well away from anyone he knows. Looking over the selection of food-stuff's in front of him, the bard eyes a tender looking roasted lamb, still on the bone. Sighing inwardly starts to reach out for the stew. Being one armed makes it near impossible to cut food, which leaves the dinning options severely limited.

Halting mid-reach, the bard watched in surprise as the enchanted cutlery carves off several slices of the meat, and layers his plate with it. Smiling, the one armed man attracts the food with a relish.

Sitting back once his meal is finished, Nicos let's out a satisfied sigh. It isn't often that the bard manages to have a meal like that, without giving up a significant amount of dignity by having someone aid him. Without really thinking about it, the bard slips into the habits of his profession, and begins to sing. The song is a simple one, often sung during the harvest. The song tells of a farmer returning from a hard day's work, and proclaiming the simple pleasures of life.
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Unread 7th of July, 2004, 04:41
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"I'm here mostly because some friends of mine came looking for a friend of theirs," Blarth replies.

"Plus the food's good," he adds, grinning at his wit.
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Unread 7th of July, 2004, 10:22
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Ben smiled at the Half-orcs remark. It wasn't really all that funny to Ben, but he wasn't prone to frowning all day. Still, his curiosity was aroused. Ben wondered if these were the guests Gemound had been talking about.

"Friends? Are there others with you?" Speaking of Gemound, where is she? Ben looked around, both for this orc's friends and Gemound.
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Unread 8th of July, 2004, 02:18
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To her dismay, the room contained little in the way of clothing. Or at least, little in the way of the clothing she was looking for. Oddly enough, this place seemed to have suddenly forgotten the type of raiment she desired. Of gowns, dresses, and silken finery there was plenty. Of her sturdy travelling gear - or even a serviceable pair of breeches - there were none. She pulls a deep blue garment from one of the closets and holds it up by it's heavy wooden hanger, fuming. It was silk, but thin rather than rugged and scandalously cut; she is more certain than ever that the wizards of this place are mocking her.

Her eyes restlessly scan the room until they spot a woman staring at her, face flushed, eyes like silver fire. It takes a moment to recognize herself and her eyes soften for a second before the anger returns, fiercer than before, and she hurls the gown at it. The hanger strikes the mirror and it explodes in a shower of razor edged crystals.

The anger disintegrates as quickly as it had appeared and she finds two decanters on a tray by the door. The first held water, the second wine. She chooses the latter and then seats herself on the bed and takes a drink. A heavy red, with strong oaks. She closes her eyes, thinking.
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