The Sentinels: Sleeping Giants

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Lamadon
"Oh...so I've finally got your attention?" she replied with a chuckle to Drakes hissed command, gods it'd taken long enough any more forward and she'd have to strip off! Raising a eyebrow at the scene playing out before him, the mercenary cleared his throat in order attract the pairs attention before speaking "I am afraid you have the wrong man friend...but I can take you all to Skorj" he replied in an amiable voice; signalling that they should follow him.
Threading their way through the canvas city and the delights it offered their guide continued to speak in a friendly voice "I take you guys haven't been here long but here are the basic rules; stay away from the Lamadean guards, they hate us and would like nothing more than to kick our sorry asses back into the sea. Don't get caught committing a crime or Skorj will start cutting pieces off of you and no welching; you made that wager so you pay up or Skorj will make you pay in a different way, other than that welcome to our little corner of hell!" he said with a laugh as he side stepped a passed out mercenary who's boots had already gone missing "My name is Brown Ben by the way" he said pointing to the plain brown painted shield he carried "...captain of the Motherless Sons, second largest company on the island" he said with evident pride in his voice. The Motherless Sons were one of the better led outfits that had sprung up after the Sidhe war. They were also known for being well disciplined and loyal...or at least as loyal as a mercenary got, making them more like soldiers than brigands for hire.
It was during the course of the conversation that they would eventually arrive at a large tent outside of which stood a pair of armed guards who upon seeing Ben allowed them inside. The tent was obviously intended to be a command post with maps and ledgers littering the place and it was sat behind one the tables reading a report and with a scantily clad young girl sat in his knee that they got their first look at Skorj.
Hailing from the frozen north Skorj was a giant of a man with every piece of exposed flesh heavily scarred from his years of fighting. Although he was almost twice the age of those within his tent his piercing blue eyes were seemingly capable of staring straight into a mans soul and tear it to shreds and his head was shaved so closely to his scalp that he was practically bald "So what have you brought me today Ben?" the Mercenary commander said in a deep rumbling voice as he shoved the girl out of his lap so that he could greet the new arrivals. Standing up he towered over the rest of them and even unarmed and without armour he was an imposing sight "Fresh recruits Skorj, looking to sign on, Real recruits too by the looks of them"
"Good, we have far too much of that Star man crap already. I take it Ben has told you the rules? Follow the rules or I will kill you dead, now one at a time come to the table and make your mark, if you're a company then only your captain need sign" Skorj said plucking a piece of parchment from out of a pile along with a quill and some ink "...and if your lucky Stiorra will make her damned mind up before we all die of old age"

Selune
"Oh...ok, sure I guess" Selune said feeling a little confused as she was rebuffed again by Illrea with the boy hurriedly getting out of bed in order to get dressed before she had chance to say any more on the subject; his cheeks still glowing bright red as he did so. Getting out of bed she moved to take his hand in her own before speaking to him in a quiet voice that said that what she was about to say would stay between them “You don’t have to be shy around me Illrea, I’ve seen it all before though I really did enjoy…being… with you the last time…you’re the only person who hasn’t treated me like an object” she said, giving his hand a squeeze before going to collect her own clothing from where still sat in its neatly folded pile.

Breakfast consisted of some small grilled fish and a piece of flat bread, along with a cup of small beer for them to drink. The watery ale having been fermented just enough to make the water it was made from safe to drink without them being in any danger of getting drunk.
Once breakfast was finished the pair of them tracked down Elijah who although still pale and weak was at least sitting up as he talked with Ymira. Catching sight of them the Ascenti woman smiles and eagerly beckons them to join them “As you can see your friend is quite fine despite all of his moaning”
“I am not moaning I only wanted to know whether you used a spear to sew me up with” the initiate grumbled prompting Ymira to roll her eyes and mutter something about men that caused Selune to giggle “And so how are the lovebirds? I take it they slept well?” Ymira asked just as much to make Selune blush than out of interest; listening politely to the answer before getting up to leave “I probably ought to leave you three to talk, no doubt you have a lot to catch up on and I wouldn’t want to get in the way”
 

Apelatia

Well-Known Member
As Illrea went about putting his clothes on, he was stopped in his tracks by Selune, who had taken his hand. Still red-faced, the blue-haired man paused to listen as his lover told him quietly that not only was there no need to be shy around her - that she had enjoyed their time together in the cave, but that he was the only person to date that had not treated her as an object. "I'm sorry, Selune. It's just all...so new to me. You're going to have to teach me to overcome my worries." Illrea managed to reply in an equally quiet voice before the girl released her gentle hold on his hand. It wasn't that he didn't want to, Illrea thought to himself, but more that he felt scared of the new territory, and didn't want to explore it for fear of it causing damage to himself or Selune. He mused over these feelings as he ate the rather meagre breakfast that was on offer. Not that he was going to complain; he had eaten far worse during his time with the bandit group. His shyness having dissipated somewhat, Illrea enjoyed the silent companionship that he felt with Selune sitting beside him on the floor of the cave. It seemed that it was not necessary for them to be talking to one another for him to feel at ease with her. It did not take the pair long to finish breakfast, at which time they headed off to find Elijah.

Illrea's face visibly brightened when he caught sight of his friend sat up in bed. Though still pale and looking like he had been through some form of hellish experience, Elijah was clearly on the mend. As both he and Selune moved to sit down, Illrea laughed softly at Ymira's teasing of the young initiate. The young man felt his face heat up again soon enough though as Ymira asked how they had slept, referring to them as the lovebirds. "We...slept well, thank you, Ymira." As the other girl made to leave, Illrea spoke again to her, this time more sure of himself, "Thank you for everything you have done for him, Ymira. We're all indebted to you for your kindness and willingness to help, especially when you had no obligation to do so at all. Thank you." Illrea smiled at the girl, before listening to anything else she had to say. Once Ymira had departed, Illrea moved to grip Elijah's shoulder gently with his hand. "I can't tell you how glad I am to see you still here with us, Elijah. I don't think I would have coped well with losing you." The young man smiled at Elijah, before continuing. "How do you feel? Aches? Pains? Spears?" This last comment was left more for jest than anything else, though Illrea did seem genuinely interested in how the initiate felt.
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
Ben relaxed his grip on his sword as the mercenary responded in a friendly attitude, offering to take them to Skorj. As they walked through the camp, the other man, who turned out to also be named Ben, explained the rules. As he welcomed them to their corner of hell, Ben broke his usual silence to chuckle grimly. That, however, was the only real noise he made and as they entered the tent cum command post he raised his eyebrows at the size of the man that stood in front of them. He looks like he could snap most people in half with his bare hands… Not bad to have as a commander then. As Skorj made his threat against them, Ben nodded, knowing that such punishment would undoubtedly be metered out. As he produced the parchment along with a quill and ink, Ben glanced around the room. He got the feeling that they’d be signing individually but he was happy to follow the rest of the group. Staying true to recent form, he remained silent and let Mark and the others make the decision, happy to follow whatever the group ruled.
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Apparently the man they'd found wasn't Skorj, but a man named Brown Ben, who turned out to be the leader of a fairly well known mercenary group. Fortunately, the alchemist being up front about their purpose there seemed to have done the trick, as they were taken to see the head of the outfit on the island. He was older, but there was no mistaking the power that lay there. Crossing him would almost certainly be fatal. In all truth, that was actually encouraging for Drake...a man like that would inspire obedience beyond most, meaning their odds of being attacked from someone in the group were low. Excellent...some actual safety for a moment then. Obviously it wouldn't last, but it was nice to know that at least within this camp discipline would be taken seriously. They were asked to sign a document, which he did after a quick scan that they weren't signing something intended to entrap people who weren't literate. Once that was done, he'd listen to whatever else needed to be said. Beyond that, he had no real plans.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Skorj's Tent
Reading through the document Drake would be able to easily discern that by making their mark they were signing up to join a mercenary outfit known as the Black Dogs and as such would be under the command of Skorj himself. They would get food and a basic wage whilst not on campaign and a cut of any loot that was taken after a battle with their share going to their widow should they die.
It was as he was reading that Ames would join him to read the parchment himself before shaking his head "No, this will not do for me, I was told that I would be working for Stiorra directly I'm no mere foot soldier to die in a shield wall" he stated to the northman, bringing himself up to his full height before calmly making his request "...I request a meeting with Stiorra so that I may offer my services to her"
"Ha! Fat chance of..."
"And what makes you think that Stiorra is going to hire you when she has the entire Lamadon army to guard her?" Skorj spoke, cutting off Brown Ben's dismissal; the mercenary commander raising a single pale eyebrow at the young upstart in front of him and under normal circumstances it would perhaps have been best to simply back down. However Ames had been hired to perform a specific job and he was going to do it "allow me to introduce myself, my name is Ames Shieldsman...here is my seal to prove it" he sat offering Skorj a short bow before holding out a signet ring for him to examine with the giant northman carefully inspecting the ring "well, well and I heard that you were all dead" Skorj muttered as he eyed the ring clearly satisfied that it was the genuine article before handing it back “Perhaps you could be of some use to us…” Skorj quietly mused before turning his attention to the rest of the group “what of the rest of you? Any more secret identities you wish to reveal? Or will you be signing up like everyone else?”

The Cave
“There is no debt to pay, I trained to be a healer, it is what I do…I am just glad that I was able to help” Ymira said with a smile before leaving the trio alone to talk amongst themselves. She would be able to see Elijah later when she came to check up on him but for now there were other things to deal with.

As the dark haired Ascenti girl left, Elijah offered Illrea a weak smile in response to his jest “like someone’s ran me through with a sword” he grumbled before continuing in a softer voice “I’ll mend, or at least that’s what Ymira keeps telling me and she does seem to know what she’s talking about…I just wish I knew where her brother was so that I could repay her but the only person who knew where he was is dead” he hadn’t stuck around to witness the act but the last time that Elijah had seen Galen he was surrounded by dead men; bleeding from a thousand wounds as he scream madly at them. If nothing else he went down fighting.
Raising an eyebrow at Illrea in a way that said it was his turn to make the jests Elijah spoke to his friend in a friendly if weak voice “so Lovebirds…how long has that been going on? Also you couldn’t fill me in on what else happened after that idiotic jump into the sea” he said turning a withering look upon Selune that caused her to blush with embarrassment as she set about examining her hem in great detail. It hadn’t been the brightest of moves she’d ever made though in her defence there had been a giant demonic skeleton approaching them.
With a quick furtive look to see if there was anyone nearby Elijah then dropped his voice even lower forcing the other two to lean in so as to hear him “also…do you still have the sword? I mean…it wasn’t all for nothing right?”
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
(OOC: Tattoo cleared with Braet)


This was their chance. Ben had been moving forward to sign the contract when Ames had broken his silence. He’d presented a signet ring and it seemed that the mercenary that Matheld had sent with them had more to him than he had quite obviously revealed. That said, their deal with Matheld had been to guard Stiorra. Still, he couldn’t just introduce Mark as a Sentinel, they’d want to know which one so… “I’m Ben Andrews.” He was speaking before he’d realised it. “Former Sentinel.” The mercenary pulled down the right hand collar of his armour, exposing the area between his right should and his pectoral muscles. The tattoo bore the insignia of the Sentinels and had been inked painstaking into every recruit when the order had existed, as a reminder of what they stood for. “And Drake is a new Sentinel, inducted after the fall of Talmah Bui. We would also like to be present at the meeting with Stiorra. As a matter of fact, I insist on it.” It had been a while since he spoke multiple sentences and his voice was gruffer than he remembered. There was an edge to it as well. He stared ahead, matching Skorj’s gaze. Who knows? Maybe the Sentinels didn’t mean anything anymore but they meant something to Ben and he was damned well going to use it if he could. Either way, their contract was to guard Matheld and this seemed to be their chance. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, wasn’t that the phrase?
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Ames went on to show he was more important than some random mercenary, which was fine. The man was welcome to do what he wished, it didn't have any bearing on Drake. Skorj then asked if anyone else had any hidden identities. Chuckling a little, the alchemist replied, "I think that abo-." He was cut off by Ben announcing he was a Sentinel. Oh...oh God. He then proceeded to make it worse by announcing Mark as a Sentinel added to the ranks after the fall...taking aside the fact that was one of his alibis from before he'd admitted the truth, what the actual hell was that idiot thinking? They were outside the jurisdiction of the Sentinels...no, former jurisdiction...and even if Skorj respected their status, displaying such a public front would only draw the Sidhe to them, which would be counterproductive to the job that Matheld had hired them for. Granted, it would help his own ends, but he'd been hoping to get the assassin's support...getting the organization she was the second in command of on his side for his own goals would be nice. But now...

Mark found himself glancing over at Lilith, wondering how she was taking this. Maybe...maybe if she was ok with him hiding his status, she'd be...no, he still couldn't fully believe that. Still, she needed, no, deserved to know what he looked like under the glamour. She wouldn't give up on chasing him unless she knew...though if for some reason she was ok with it...no, he couldn't go down that line...false hope would just turn against him in the end. "Damn it, Ben...one of these days your inability to keep your mouth shut is going to get you killed. I thought you agreed to follow my lead on this?" Denying it at this pint would only get both him and the idiot in trouble, so Drake figured he might as well not stand in the mercenary's way. He'd dug both of their graves...now they just had to lie in them.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Skorj's Tent
"You're Sentinels?...the same Sentinel's that put an entire village to the torch because they were forced to give the Sidhe food? The same Sentinel's that butchered an entire mercenary company just because they happened to be in the area, the same Sentinels that..."
"Ok Ben that's enough!" Skorj spoke cutting off the other man mid tirade; his eyes burning with obvious hatred towards the order that Ben had announced them to be apart of. Skorj meanwhile seemed completely nonplussed about it, taking it as if Ben had simply named yet another mercenary outfit rather than what Ben considered to be little more than a group of armed brigands "we don't judge men on their past, only how they fight and we have a job that's ideally suited for men with such obvious skill as theirs" Skorj spoke in a neutral voice, though the twinkle in his eye was less than encouraging over the nature of the job they would be receiving "…Ames, go with Brown Ben he will see about arranging a meeting with our beloved Stiorra, as for the rest of you, go and find yourselves somewhere to sleep and get some rest...we have a job for you tomorrow morning"

With Ames stopping behind the rest of the company was dismissed as soon as they had signed their names to the contract with no further mention of Sentinel's being made by anyone.
Once outside they would be led to an area of the field where a trio of empty tents were sat waiting in front of a long dead fire with the mercenary that had led them here making it abundantly clear that the original owners of the tents wouldn't be coming back "Arcturus, see if you can get the fire going whilst I see to our supplies situation" Guido spoke; tossing his pack into one of the empty tents before heading out into the main campsite in search of food, leaving the pair of them in the company of Lilith and Arcturus who was busily working on the fire "you can share my tent if you like Drake" a sultry voice whispered into the alchemist's ear as Lilith gently caressed his arm with her fingertips. She’d been relatively well behaved during the walk here but now they were here it would appear that she was up to her old tricks again.
With there being only three tents on offer it was obvious that four of them would be sharing no matter what, the question was with whom they would be sharing with.
With her offer made Lilith would make her way over to one of the tents and disappear inside though not before giving Drake a single lingering look.
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
The meeting turned extra sour as one of the men became angry at Drake and Ben for being Sentinels, misattributing them as the extremist group calling themselves members of their order. It seemed like they were going to be thrown out for this alone, but Skorj proved to be more reasonable, telling them he didn't care about their past, so long as they had turned from it. Rationality in this age was suprising, and the alchemist found himself respecting the mercenary leader for his tact. With that, he informed them they were going to be shipped out the next morning on a mission and sent packing.

Drake had been about to storm over to Ben, murder in his head, when Lilith stopped him, saying he could share her tent if he wanted by whispering in his ear, a gentle brush on his arm feeling like it lasted long after she'd disappeared into the tent she'd decided was hers. The alchemist's gaze bored into the fabric the mercenary woman had vanished behind for a moment, his expression conflicted. It was only with effort that he tore himself from his usual circular chain of thoughts where Lilith was concerned, approaching Ben again. "You absolute idiot, what the hell was that back there?! We operated in secrecy back when we were in power...every kid heard stories of the Sentinels, but no one really believed they were true unless we got involved with them! And you sure as hell knew that there was that other group calling themselves Sentinels going around, everyone does! So of course they'd assume you meant the one people know exist over the fairy tale! You are the most impulsive, reckless person I've ever had the misfortune of working with, and if it weren't for the fact you're a Sentinel I'd do whatever I had to to make sure you stopped screwing over everything you get involved with! So please, for the love of God in heaven, please think about your actions for once in your life before you go charging in, full steam ahead!" Drake would listen to anything the idiot had to say in complete silence before heading off towards Lilith's tent, hesitating before opening the flap. He'd handled one problem, it was time to let the mercenary woman decide which path another, growing concern would take...he was tired of dealing in falsehoods and half-truths.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Lilith
Ducking into the tent, Drake would find Lilith busily sorting through her pack as she set about making up her bedding, with the alchemist catching a glimpse of a bright red dress lurking in amongst her things as she did so "I was starting to think you didn't like me" she said with a smile as she finally noticed that he'd entered the tent; her hand casually closing her pack as she did so; concealing the dress from view "...I don't normally get to share a tent with someone else...at least, not for more than one night anyway" she continued. However despite the sultry chuckle that hinted at how she and her previous room mates had spent their time together, There was a hint of something else lurking just beneath the surface; a hint of...could it actually be loneliness?

Momentarily abandoning her pack Lilith crept towards him with a hungry look in her eyes as she spoke in a husky whisper "So tell me Drake...what does the big, bad Sentinel want to do with poor, little ol' me?"
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Lilith had started making her bed by the time Drake had entered her tent, which wasn't much of a surprise...what was unusual was a red dress in her pack, something he wouldn't have expected her to own at all, much less be carrying around with her. She'd seemed like a strict professional type with the exception of her dalliances, so this spark of sentimental behavior was noteworthy. He wanted to bring it up, but she closed her pack in an almost too casual manner, telling him there wasn't much chance of him doing that in a successful manner...not when he had other difficult topics to discuss. "No, I like you...certainly trust you enough to share a tent, if you're sure you're ok with that..." How to approach this...how should he tell her he was making himself look a lot nicer than he was, that his true appearance was something out of a nightmare now? She was making it all too obvious her mind was on different topics, and it was so tempting to just be silent and let her do what she wanted, but...that wasn't right. That wasn't going to help either of them long term. That meant pushing through this.

"Lilith...I have a bit of a confession to make...I like you, yes...I find you attractive, and it's been doing things to my head that if I'm being honest didn't think I'd ever feel again. And that's...that's a bit of a problem. Prior to my life as an alchemist, I was a priest...was adopted into the Sentinels...the old ones, not the holier-than-thou, monsters nowadays, and journeyed with them. Made a couple of bad enemies...one of them caught me a while ago, and he...broke me in more ways than one. I...I may look like I did five years ago right now, but...it's an illusion. A powerful one, yes, but...an illusion nonetheless...I'm...a complete mess underneath the glamor. And I'm telling you this because if I don't I'm going to give in to my baser desires without having given you a chance to see me for what I really am...and that wouldn't be fair to you. So...here..." Drake unwound the glamor he'd wrapped around himself, reverting to his scarred, half-healed state, one eye vanishing completely, the other going milky white, his mouth sagging inwards a little around the missing teeth, skin tone graying. His voice continued to come from his mouth, but without any movement. "This...this is what I really look like...I...I didn't show you this earlier because...you're the first person in a long while to have treated me like a person, and I didn't want to lose that. I'm, uh...still functional...probably because my captor was male, but...I'm sorry for deceiving you, even if only for a little while." His voice turned bitter, sightless eye moving down and to the side, looking at the ground away from Lilith. "I...I'll understand if you don't want me in here anymore...I know I look terrible. No healer I talked to would even start helping me. Just...please tell me what you're thinking..." He'd said his piece, he was holding back nothing anymore from the mercenary woman. From here, she would decide if they were even friends anymore, let alone if there was any chance for something more. Not that he expected that part to work out.
 

Apelatia

Well-Known Member
Illrea smiled in return as Ymira took her leave. The girl was being modest, but he had already resolved that he would make it up to her for how she had helped Elijah as soon as he could. Given their current situation though, Illrea was not entirely sure how exactly he might be able to go about paying the debt. He would need to put more thought to the matter later on... Putting the matter to rest for the moment, he returned his attention to Elijah and Selune, the latter of whom was still blushing from Ymira's earlier comment. In fact, Illrea himself was quite embarrassed that their courtship seemed to be such a public thing. He had never expected, nor aspired to be in the limelight, and now that was the case he felt no better about it, especially given that it was quite an awkward situation for both him and Selune. Elijah, on the other hand, appeared to be on the mend, with the initiate even giving a rare smile in response to his jab. Elijah, it seemed, shared similar sentiments to him where repaying Ymira for her kindness was concerned. The initiate went on to say that perhaps helping her find her brother would go a way towards the repayment. With Galen dead, however, that was not going to be an easy task. "I'm not sure Galen was even capable of leading her anywhere to be honest... The man was utterly mad." Illrea said forlornly in a voice just loud enough for the other two to hear.

Elijah then decided it was time to turn the tables on Illrea, as he proceeded to use the embarrassing term that Ymira had coined, before asking how long they had been together for. His friend then proceeded to ask what had occurred since Selune's decision to jump from the cliff into the sea, a decision that Elijah clearly was not pleased with her for. If it had been any other situation, perhaps Selune's act would have been considered to be brave and daring, but in the dire situation they had found themselves in, it had been more of a panic move. Granted, the three of them were still alive, and that was what mattered... "We've been...errr...courting for a few days now..." Illrea ended awkwardly, with a quick glance at Selune to see how she was reacting. "Sorry if we made you feel uncomfortable at all back on the beach." Not entirely sure what else he could say on that particular subject without his face blossoming like a tulip, Illrea quickly snatched at the next topic on the menu. "Not a lot happened really... Well, I say that..." Illrea paused, remembering his passionate night with Selune, their quest to blackmail Kaella into coming to rescue Elijah on account of the Dawnstar, the ensuing fight with the Kavori, the effects that the Dawnstar had forced on him during the battle, his last ditch attempt to save Kaella from death's throes and lastly their retreat to the Sentinels' cave. In reality, an awful lot had taken place. Collecting his thoughts, Illrea began to speak again, "Feel free to chip in, Selune, if I miss anything." He paused, then continued, "We jumped into the sea, and made it to shore somehow. I'm not entirely sure how you made it, but you were closer to being washed up on the beach than reaching it of your own volition, Elijah. After that, together we got you to a cave, I cauterised your wound as best I could, then we tried to dry our clothes and get some rest and warmth, among other things..." Illrea grimaced - that particular part still wasn't his favourite topic to be discussing. "At some point, you woke up and we discussed that in order to get back, we'd need Kaella's help, so we left you and the Dawnstar in the cave, and went to get her. We had decided that if we took the Dawnstar with us, she might not be willing to risk her men to rescue just you, so we took the risk and it paid off. Though..." Here Illrea faltered slightly. "We lost a lot of lives in the process... The Kavori came to meet us on the beach, and I had to fight with the other Sentinels to hold them back... We almost lost Kaella, but we managed to get her out, along with you and a number of the force, and now we're back where we started, in the Sentinels' cave." His story told, Illrea relaxed his shoulders somewhat, allowing a knot of tension that had developed over the course of his speech to wane.

With his piece said, Illrea was surprised when Elijah dropped his voice to a volume low enough that the two of them had to lean in to properly hear what the initiate was saying. He asked whether they were still in possession of the Dawnstar, to which Illrea responded with an affirmative in an equally quiet voice. Twisting slightly, he brought the sword out from his sword belt and placed it the centre of the three of them, eyeing it warily as he did so. "There's a lot that's happened because of this sword, Elijah. If I'm honest, and please don't say a word about this, I'm terrified of it." The young warrior shivered as he spoke, his fear of the ancient sword evident both in the way he talked and his body language. A note of pleading crept into his voice then, "I swear on my life that I'm not lying about anything that's happened to me because of it." Still talking frantically, he continued, "He talked to me in my head - Arryan. The sword is...scary! It's like I have some sort of...destiny attached to me now. I get visions, every time I make a choice I feel something changing inside me to fit with the decision I've taken...and all the time, there's this voice in the back of my head enticing me..." The last sentence came out as more of a rasp as Illrea tried to calm himself down, his breathing having increased in frequency. It was all a little too much to deal with...
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
To be honest, Ben should have expected it to end up this way. The revelation that they were Sentinels was taken in the wrong direction, with Ben Brown and Skorj both assuming that they were part of this new, brutal order. It seemed to work anyway thought, as Skorj proved that the name did still mean something by saying he had a mission for them. Ben’s back flared up again and he muttered a few words, quieting it for now. As they limped outside, Ben didn’t have to wait long before Mark was at his throat. He waited until the other Sentinel had finished his outburst before shrugging. “Well it worked, didn’t it? And how, pray tell, were you planning on getting admission to Isolla without explaining who we are? I know that our Sentinels don’t really mean anything anymore, as much as I’d like them to, but that other Sentinels has a presence, and that’s a presence that can get us somewhere. I’d prefer to be out of our friend’s debt sooner rather than later, wouldn’t you?” He turned around and made his way into the camp as Drake turned towards Lillith’s tent. “Oh, and don’t get too cosy with the red head, it won’t help if we have to explain that part about you as well now.” His parting jibe delivered, perhaps unnecessarily, he made his way to the tent furthest from Drake and Lilliths’ and lay down on one of the bunks, swiping the rune that would silence him. To the passing observer, he would simply look like he was sleeping, maybe twitching a little from the dreams. The lack of breath would be a giveaway but he figured it wouldn’t get that far. As the pain continued to sear through his body, he entered the void state that he occasionally did during an attack, where the outside world ceased to exist and he simply was. Alone with his thoughts, he began to ruminate on the day’s events. Three other issues squirmed into his mind, the first of which was how he was going to survive the coming weeks. This moved on to their debt to Matheld and the next step in being free of it. Finally, he finished with the biggest, and most important, question of all. How was he going to fulfil that damned prophecy, heal his back and save the world, like a Sentinel should?
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Lilith

As Drake's true visage unfolded before her, Lilith's hands flew to her mouth as a look of pure horror appeared on her face "oh you poor boy what have they done to you?" the girl squeaked in a shocked voice as tears rolled down her face with the pretty red head putting her arms about him so that his head rested against her chest; her hand gently stroking his hair as she muttered in an anguished whisper "its not you, It can't be you, you don't deserve it you don't" with her not even seeming to realise that she was doing so.
This moment of seemingly uncharacteristic tenderness would last for several minutes in which time Lilith slowly regained her composure.
Carefully shifting her position she would gently take Drakes head in her hands so that she could silently study his face; her eyes wandering across the scars that adorned it as if trying to find some hidden message within them. After a few moments of this a mischievous smile would slowly appear on her face with the scar at the corner of her mouth lending its usual leering quality to the gesture "You know… under all that scar tissue you're actually kind of cute...and I thought I was a mess" she finished with a chuckle; releasing her hold his face to start digging through her pack.

After finding what she was looking for she'd turn her attention back to the scarred alchemist; holding out a strip of white cloth for him to take, and looking extremely embarrassed as she did so "do you mind? The eye socket is a little off putting even for me" she quietly confessed, hoping that he wouldn't be offended by her request. Scars and missing teeth she could deal with, after all she had some of those herself, but that gaping red hole was a little much for her to handle...and besides she'd make it worth his while if he did “…once you’ve put that on you can take everything else off and we’ll have ourselves a little fun…I’ll be gentle with you…I promise”

The Cave

As Ilrea recounted his tale of the previous days events, Elijah nodded his head as he recalled certain portions for himself such as their decision to blackmail Kaella into retrieving him, along with some of the events that had taken place on the beach prior to that though it was clear that there were still some sizeable gaps in his memory.
When Illrea came to the part about his and Selune’s alone time the girl in question would throw him an alarmed look as she silently pleaded for him not to talk about it. It was one thing everyone knowing that they were a couple it was another thing entirely to discuss their sex life in public. The Sidhe had done that, discuss her like a piece of meat even whilst she was in the same room as them with the comments they made making her feel dirty and used. Thankfully however it would appear that Illrea was of the same mind as he glossed over that particular part of the tale with Elijah seemingly having forgotten having caught them lying together in a state of undress.

Edging away from the Dawnstar’s blade as it was placed between the three of them, Selune listened as her man spoke of the blade and the destiny it seemed to carry. A destiny that understandably scared him to death; not that she needed him to tell her that as it had been rather obvious that that was the case last night.
Putting her arms about him, she presses her tiny body against his; hoping to bring him some measure of comfort with her presence; Hoping that he would understand that she would never abandon him to his fate.

“I’m not surprised really…from what I’ve read that sword has been wielded by some of the greatest heroes and villains the world has ever seen…the sword having some kind of power behind it is kind of to be expected” Elijah absently spoke; quietly omitting the fact that many of the Dawnstar’s previous wielders had died bloody deaths at a young age; often at the hands of the swords next owner “Well seen as the order isn’t liable to accept me back any time soon I suppose I could always chronicle the exploits of the next hero to wield the Dawnstar…you’ll let me know when he shows up right?” The initiate said with a chuckle to show that he was only teasing his friend and meant nothing by it “…either way, keep the sword safe, we don’t want it falling into the wrong hands…and now if you will excuse me, I should get some rest before Ymira carries out her threat and boxes my ears” he said; rolling his eyes in a manner that said he more than suspected that the Ascenti woman’s threat was not an idle one.

With Elijah settling down for a rest the pair of them, at Selune’s urging would go in search of Marie where upon Selune would rather timidly ask if she could have a bow so that Illrea could teach her to shoot. The woman was clearly surprised by the request with her shooting Illrea a questioning look “sure…I can find you a bow, wait here” she replied before disappearing into the caves only to reappear a few moments later with a bow and some arrows “I wouldn’t mention this to Kaella If I was you, she seems to have it in for you at the moment for some reason” Marie said with a sigh that more than signalled that she felt that her partners reasons for doing so were beyond her “…Why don’t the pair of you go and practice down on the beach where it’s a little more private?” she then suggested with a smile before leaning in to whisper into Illrea’s ear “…and don’t you dare tell her that’s a child’s bow" Just because they both knew that Selune was incapable of drawing a war bow, didn’t mean they had to tell her that.
 
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Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Out of all the reactions Drake had been expecting from Lilith, tears and consolation hadn't been on his radar. She...accepted him. Didn't view him as some kind of monster like everyone else had seemed to when he let them see what was behind his armor or his glamor. And as he found himself being held as the mercenary woman cried over his fate, he found himself tearing up too in his blind eye. He couldn't believe that she was this kind...that behind her tough exterior was someone who had grown to care about him enough over the short few weeks they'd known each other to care this much about him. The thought was...cathartic as nothing else had been since he'd escaped Oberon's clutches, and as she held him and stroked his hair, for the first time he truly felt human again.

After a time, Lilith shifted them so she was holding Drake's head in her hands, looking him over more thoroughly. Through his vision spell, he was able to watch her reactions, noting how she didn't seem repulsed, more interested. After a moment she smiled her usual smile, saying that she actually thought he was cute under the scarring. The alchemist's eyes widened at this, and he tried and failed to think of a response to that long enough that she moved on, grabbing a strip of white cloth and asking him to tie it around his eyes, that his missing eye was a bit much even for her. He nodded and put it on without any complaint, explaining as he went, "I can still see and talk and everything due to the magic that my captor gave me as a token reward for doing something I shouldn't have for him prior to knowing who he was...and I'll have the glamor or my armor up in public, but...I didn't want to lie to you when your intentions towards me were...what they were." He had been about to add that he understood that they weren't going that way anymore when she confirmed exactly the opposite, freezing him. "Wait...you still...even...I..." He wasn't sure how to react to this...this was...better than perfect, if he was being honest. And being honest is what had got him here, a fact that wasn't lost on him. Which, even as he was working his shirt off in compliance with her gentle command, revealing further scars and bodily harm, he admitted, "I...haven't done this before...ever...the whole priest thing messed that up for a while, and though I thought for a brief time back about five years ago there might be something with someone...it didn't work out...so please...let me know if I'm doing something wrong, or..." He trailed off, finishing what he'd started before looking to Lilith for guidance, still not convinced she had meant what she'd said just moments before.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
Lilith's Tent
"Well...yeah...that's kind of the whole reason I invited you in here" Lilith replied in a tone of voice that said she felt his shocked question had been rather stupid. The red head undoing the buttons to her waistcoat then tossing the garment into a corner of the tent before then moving onto her knee length boots and leggings. The smooth, tanned skin she revealed dotted with a variety of scars and puncture wounds that she'd received during the course of her career as a hired sword, though nowhere near as many as Drake had.

Upon hearing Drakes revelation that this was his first time, Lilith would pause for a few moments before shrugging her bare shoulders in an absent manner "that's ok I'm sure you'll pick it up quickly" she said with a sly smile as she slid her leggings off and threw them into the same corner as her boots and waistcoat. Completely naked save for the tiny bells in her hair she would then help Drake with the rest of his clothes before climbing into his lap and pressing herself against him "bless me father for I have sinned" she giggled naughtily as her hands began to roam across his body; gently running a finger across his ragged lips with the idea of him being a priest making what she was about to do all the more desirable "...and I'm going to make sure that this is a night you never forget"


A Forlorn Hope
The boat creaked and heaved beneath their feet as it slowly sailed across a steely grey sea made dark by the gathering clouds overhead. Before them lay a rock of an island topped by a squat stone fortress that was their final destination.

Owned by a renegade Lamadon Lord it had been decided that before Stiorra could make the crossing back to her homeland, they must first remove the lord and more importantly his ships from the fortress and its rocky harbour. However even though it was a Lamadon Lord holding the fortress and ultimately a Lamadon problem it was strangely Stiorra's men doing the bulk of the fighting with them forming the first wave with Drake and Ben finding themselves within this forlorn hope with Skorj’s final words to them echoing within their minds.

“For a man who spent an entire night in Lilith’s company you seem rather intact” Guido commented with a knowing grin to Drake as he adjusted the straps and buckles of his armour “…and don’t try and deny it, I know from experience that our sweet Lilith is an enthusiastic lover who doesn’t care if the rest of the camp hears her” he said in a tone of voice that said he wasn’t the only one that knew what they’d been up to and more than explained the evil looks Lilith had been receiving from Arcturus all morning.

Truth be told other than a near insatiable appetite that had kept him awake till the early hours of the morning there had been none of the violence he’d expected, with any roughness being directed solely at her and by her request. Meaning that other than being completely worn out, Drake was no worse off than he’d been before “Well I hope you enjoyed yourselves because this could very well see us all dead”

The stone scraped along the blade of the north man’s heavy axe as he glared at the lithe red headed girl sat a short distance away “your friend shouldn’t be encouraging her” Arcturus growled to Ben “…she is an adulterous harlot whose blasphemous ways will anger the gods and doom us all unless she is stopped!” his grumblings had been following this course for several hours now and were showing no signs of slowing with his dislike of Lilith being self evident for all to see though Ben had been the main recipient of his black mood.

A cry was raised cutting off whatever those gathered within the boats had been doing as the keels grounded themselves within the soft sand. Leaping over the sides and into the shallow water the sergeants wasted little time in organising a battle line and a team of men to carry the large boar headed ram they’d brought with them before then ascending the narrow causeway that lead to the gates “SHIELDS!” the cry coming a mere fraction of a second before the first volley of stones and javelins descended upon them. The bulk of the force consisted of the poorly trained and equipped Star men; arrow fodder as one mercenary had cynically stated with a small core of mercenaries being expected to do the majority of the fighting with the Star men taking the brunt of enemy’s missiles as they ascended the steep slope.


The heavens opened and soon the causeway was slick with rain and the blood of the fallen, with the press of armoured bodies and raised shield’s making it difficult to see where you were going let alone keep your footing as you trampled over the dead and dying.

Reaching the top of the causeway they would be greeted by a large iron studded gate surrounded by leering demonic faces carved into the stonework of the gate arch. The battle line parting as the heroic teams of men carrying the ram and ladders quickly moved to assault the gate and allow the mercenaries behind to begin the day’s killing.

The sound was only just audible above the shouts and cries of those around them but the pair of former Sentinel’s would just about hear the heavy clanking sound of metal on metal as steel tipped spears appeared within the mouth of one of the gargoyles over the gate giving them mere seconds to react before they were launched.
 

Apelatia

Well-Known Member
As soon as he had placed the sword in front of her, Selune had visibly reacted to it. The girl was understandably nervous in the presence of the Dawnstar. In fact, he would have been surprised if anyone managed to maintain their composure with such a dangerous and formidable weapon laid out in front of them. That said, the clarity of her response was unusual to say the least. Illrea allowed his gaze to linger on her face, a brief smile appearing on his tired face in response to her comforting gesture. After a moment, he returned his attention to Elijah, who was speaking about the Dawnstar's history, and followed that up by commenting that his order was unlikely to accept him back into their ranks after what had taken place over the last few days. The initiate then made a joke which Illrea smiled sad at, acknowledging the inevitability of his role in it. "I'll be sure to let you know when he turns up..." the blue-haired warrior managed to word, though it was clear from the tone he used that his heart was most definitely not in it. Elijah then advised him to ensure the sword's safekeeping, to which Illrea nodded, adding, "Sleep peacefully, Elijah. I'm glad to see you're doing okay." when the initiate decided to head back to sleep.

From Elijah's place of rest, Illrea followed Selune to find Marie, where the young girl asked for a bow. The woman seemed a little surprised by Selune's request, but was happy to oblige. After some time spent searching, Marie returned with a miniature bow, at least...it was miniature by most people's standards. The woman made a comment about keeping the bow a secret from Kaella, saying that their leader seemed to have something against Selune, before leaning in to whisper to Illrea that he should keep the fact that Selune's bow was in fact a child's bow a secret. Illrea responded by simply giving Marie a knowing look, and once he had thanked her for her assistance, meandered slowly towards the beach with his girlfriend. Once the two of them had made it a short way down the sand, Illrea stopped and turned to Selune. Before he could begin to teach her, he would need to find out what she already knew. So, with that in mind, Illrea spoke up. "I'm excited to be able to teach you to use the bow, but before I can do that I want to find out what you already know about using one, and more importantly, what you can do first without any instruction from me..." It was a risky strategy for a potential first timer, but what kind of life would they live without any danger? Striding about 30 metres down the beach, Illrea turned a medium-sized chunk of washed up flotsam onto its end so that it stood up, before returning to Selune. Gesturing to one of Selune's arrows, he hesitated, then carried on. "Let's get started then!"
 

Lord Regal

The West Team
Sheriff
Drake couldn't help but laugh as Lilith quoted an all too well-known line to him, his hesitation put aside for a moment as she climbed into his lap, his mind going a little fuzzy. In a somewhat breathless voice he replied, "Thou shalt not commit Adultery. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." He laughed, shaking his head and wrapping his arms around her. "I always thought that was a ridiculous clause..." With that, the thinking was done, and he surrendered himself to the mercenary woman's attentions.

The next day found the alchemist back in his full set of purplish armor, preparing to launch into a battle for Stiorra's sake. Not exactly what he'd been hoping for, but...if this would get them closer to fulfilling their debt to Matheld, he would do it. Besides...if there were more nights like the last one in store...he was tired and sore, true, but the memories of what had caused him to get that way were settled within him, making him feel like a real person again for the first time in a long while. Even Guido's pointed remarks that everyone knew exactly what they'd gotten up to and for how long were insignificant compared to that fact. "We may die today, yes...but you know...I've survived on days I've felt far less confident in doing just that...something tells me we'll pull through...consider it a leftover from my priest days." He shrugged, returning to carving the length of wood he'd requested upon waking that morning. It wouldn't be functioning at full capacity, but he would be able to channel through it and that was what mattered. The call to arms came up, and Drake rose, his eyes gleaming with the will to fight, the glamor replicating what he would have looked like if he'd have still had said eyes. The heavy rain that started took out any option for fire, since he hadn't had the time nor tools to make his alchemical fire, the only substance that would burn properly in this. Lightning would be dangerous to both friend and foe as it would seek to travel through the falling droplets. That meant he'd be relying on his middling axe skills to see him through...and perhaps, if he was pushed enough...he felt closer to God today than he had in years, maybe he could trust his Holy magic again...

The battle was going about as well as could be expected, with the Star Men proving the mercenaries' opinion of them. Still, everyone that Drake deemed important seemed to be alive and well to this point, and they'd reached the gates, which had some freakish gargoyles around them. It was as the ram team was moving into position to start bashing it down that a sound was heard, sounding like the gargoyles had clicked...this was...this was bad, the alchemist could see...there wasn't time, he needed to stop them now...which meant relying on his Holy magic, he knew what to do...slamming his staff into the ground, he drew on the faith he had that he and the others with him would make it through the day, faith that he believed was the first connection to his God he'd had in a long, long time...a glowing sphere spread from him, a shield that would pass through anything living and stop anything that meant anything inside it harm. It was weak, he could see that...his faith wasn't strong enough, tarnished by the years without it...but perhaps it would be enough...he had to believe it was, as ironic as that was...
 

Zemelci

Well-Known Member
He had fitted for most of the night. It wasn’t the best way to get rest, but Ben had figured out that he could, in essence, pay forward some of the seizure. It wasn’t the best system and it hurt like hell (and it meant he had a slightly tenuous grasp on reality on this wet cold and wild morning) but it might give him a slight advantage in the coming fight. And, from quickly after they disembarked, Ben realised that that advantage may well be needed. He and Drake were at the flank and they stood shoulder to shoulder, advancing slowly up the valley. The ground was slick with mud and a couple of times Ben nearly slipped and lost his footing, cursing under his breath. They made it to the wall and the ram team moved forwards to batter down the gate. Of course, it wasn’t that simple in reality. The gargoyles were, in fact, slits for spear hurlers and as the first spears thudded down, Drake sent his Holy Magic spreading through the meagre assault force, sustaining them with a holy barrier. “Cover me for a second.” Ben grunted the words to the magi and waited just long enough for the command to register before he lowered his shield and slammed both of his hands into the rock wall to the side of them. He felt the magic spread through his body and he focused on his talents. Pulling back from the wall, a chunk of rock came with him, leaving a smooth gap in the wall. Raising it towards the gargoyles, he held it steady for a moment, taking aim with the projectile. Suddenly the rock had vanished as it slammed out of his hands and flew up into the air, sailing through the sky, headed straight towards the gargoyle. Ben raised his shield in a defensive position and took a moment to catch the breath he’d been subconsciously holding. Hopefully that had enough force to damage the gargoyle or, at the very least, expose it to the group such that the spear throwers could start getting a taste of their own medicine. Beyond that, his own abilities were limited and if he wanted to save any magic for later in the fight, he certainly couldn’t repeat the trick. Now he just had to hold his position and pray that the ram did its work.
 

braetwalda

Well-Known Member
The Fortress
With an almighty crack both Drake and Ben would be greeted by the sight of several steel tipped bolts being launched from the balistae lurking within the gargoyle's mouth. Such was the force at which these bolts were launched that they shattered shields to mangle flesh and mail alike, not that Drake would notice the screams of pain as those around him were killed and maimed, as he would be more intent on the bolt heading straight for him. His armour didn't stand a hope in hell at stopping the bolt, and not only would it kill him but it would also kill Lilith who was currently sheltering behind him as well as crippling both Ben and Guido; assuming of course that they didn't die as a result of their injuries. Time seemed to slow as the brutally sharp tip of the spear like bolt hurtled towards him only to warp and shatter as it struck his shield, showering those around him with splinters of wood.

The gargoyle's head would vanish in a shower of stone fragments as Ben's hurled boulder made contact; exposing the ballistae behind to the skirmishers lurking within their ranks, with the hapless crewmen quickly being struck down by a hail of arrows.

It was as this was taking place that the ram would reach the gates and start hammering away at the sturdy timbers, whilst others attempted to scale the walls using the handful of ladders they'd brought with them, though it quickly became clear that the walls were too heavily defended for such a tactic to succeed.
The gate would finally give out with a splintering crash, with the press of Star men and mercenaries forcing their way into the narrow gatehouse to be greeted by the waiting soldiers. The mercenaries were inside and now the butchers work would begin.

The Beach
With her newly acquired bow in one hand and her boyfriend's hand in the other, Selune followed Illrea down the narrow, sandy track that led down to the beach that only yesterday the victorious Sentinel's had landed their boats upon and celebrated their narrow brush with death. Today the beach was deserted save for a single sentry watching out to sea, whom they were soon quickly out of sight of as they headed further down the sand.
Upon finding a secluded spot on the beach, Selune would curiously watch as Illrea paced a short distance away before setting a piece of driftwood on its end to form a makeshift target. It was at this point that she was asked to demonstrate how much she already knew, the answer to which was very little. After all farm girls didn't get taught to shoot; that was a pastime for young boys, and a slave would be beaten to within an inch of their life if they even dreamed of touching a weapon. But Illrea had asked her to try and so she would after a bit of fumbling shed managed to nock an arrow and draw back the string before releasing a shot that would land wide and woefully short of the target. It would appear that Illrea had a lot of work to do if he was to ever make an archer out of Selune.
 
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