The Tiran Wars: Liberty, at all Costs

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua half-smiled to himself as he listened to Ral and his female friend go through motions they'd likely made for a long time. At times he regretted his lack of companionship...being who he was and what he had done meant a relationship would be built on half-truths and concealment...and who would want that? However, he pushed those thoughts aside and leaned forward, addressing the red-headed woman. "I don't know...looks like a bit too much armor to me." He grinned, then as he realized that it could be possible to misinterpret his statement the grin faded and he hastily added, "seeing as it's not absolutely necessary to have armor...myself being proof." Sighing, he leaned back and closed his eyes. Sometimes his mouth went a bit faster than his mind...this was one of those times. More to break the tension than anything, he pulled out a coin and turned to Ral. "Flip to see who gets the first kill?" He smiled, then added, "I never cheat to win by the way...that just takes the fun out of it." He flipped the coin, calling "call it!"


Ral had looked at Joshua with a skeptical look, when the swordsman had leaned past him and told Alexandria she'd over dressed for the occasion. Herself, Alexandria's face turned bright red and she made a sound halfway between an "Ohh" and an "Ahh". Then the swordsman realized he'd put opened his mouth only to place his boot into it and covered his previous statement, Ral could have laughed aloud, but he did not.

"Well, now that you bring it up." Alexandria said, pulling the dress from where she had sat it. Taking the dress by the hem, she unfolded it and showed all of the stains it had accumulated over the month long ride away from the Belfast lands "I would rather be shot dead than be seen in this mud covered horror." She continued to display the dress, to get her point across.

Joshua produced a coin and asked Ral to decide upon a side. Ral looked over to Alexandria, who had turned away and was now chatting with the shy mage that had been meditating in the wagon "I'll go with tails, swordsman. Luck be with me."

"Oh, you poor thing." Alexandria exclaimed "You are a mage, correct? Just stay close to me, I'll protect you, if it comes to that. Likely Lucas will place us at the back, so we won't be threatened." The bard gave the mage a hug, and then remarked "Your robes, they are quite lovely."


"Yes I am a Mage...well...more of an aprentice really..." she replied shyly, blushing slighty at the unexpected display of affection from the red headed woman but grateful for it all the same "...Though i do know one or two little tricks" she said producing a small ball of flame no bigger than an apple in the palm of her left hand only to quickly cover it with her right, wisps of blue smoke poured from between her fingers before she finally opened hers hands to release several tiny butterflies with delicate wings of fire, the small group of people couldn't help but watch as they danced about each other before finally disappearing up into the sky completely.
"I know its only a party trick but... I like it.....shows a less destructive side to the art" she continued quietly, shrugging her shoulders as if to say that it was only an oppinion and didn't really matter before contiuing on a completely different tact "I am glad you like it....though sadly its the only one i have" she said referring to the dress that had caught Alexadria's eye only moments before "...I only wish my hair was the same colour as yours its so lovely" the conversation could have lasted for quite some time though it was around this point that Sun Mei noticed the others had finished arming themselves had were beginning move out.
Gently pulling out the chopsticks, Sun Mei quickly shook out her hair allowing it to fall just below her shoulders, displaying the dark roots of her natural hair colour beneath the dye, it wouldn't stay made up once she began casting so she figured she'd save time and do it herself.
Placing the chopsticks within her small bag she then produced a folded paper fan which she tucked into the yellow sash about her slender waist, and once that was in place she was ready for battle.


A few moments passed, Lucas and Rael stood and spoke quickly about the best strategy. Panting with exertion, a scout had sprinted into the clearing a few moments earlier and spouted out the troop number and strength. It appeared a single expeditionary column was approaching the guerrilla camp, perhaps unknowingly, to attack them would bring attention to an entire columns disappearance, but not doing so would allow them to stumble right into the camp Lucas and Rael had been working on for so long.

At the end of the day, there simply wasn't any other option, Lucas and Rael ordered the horses be made ready for those that could ride, any who couldn't would bring up the rear and arrive after the first wave of attacks. Magi and archers would be at the very back of the group of horsemen and would stop and begin firing. The horsemen would maneuver around the side of the column of soldiers and charge into the side.

Lucas and Rael took the reigns to horses they were given and mounted, as the rest of the heroes mounted up as well. After everyone was mounted, they begin to trot their horses towards the coming battle, Lucas's great sword sitting upon his shoulder.

Ral Belfast took the reigns to a chestnut colored mare he was given. Horses were a large part of life in the south so everyone that lived there had rudimentary knowledge of the great beasts of burden. This one showed it's age, it's back was permanently bowed under the weight of a saddle that had been cinched down for far too long. Ral's horse looked to be upon it's last leg, but it would do for one last attack, at least that's what Ral told himself.

The horse that was presented to Alexandria was much better than it's counter part. Alexandria, in her leggings, was able to step into the stirrup easily. She'd rode astride all the way from the south, she could ride a little more. She looked down at Sun Mei and smiled, her eyes squinting slightly in good humor "Your robes are fine indeed, but your bare legs will be exposed while you ride, do you wish to ride with me, save some dignity, Mei?"


Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua grinned as the coin flipped, then caught it and did the age-old tradition of flipping it onto the back of the other hand. "Tails it is...luck is on your side then. I guess first kill goes to you then." Joshua grinned, not looking disheartened at all. When the order to saddle up was given, Joshua laughed, turning to Ral as he mounted an ancient beast. "I'd forgotten how much you wetlanders rely on horses. The hooves don't do well in the desert, so part of our warriors' training is to learn to run fast for long distances without tiring. I honestly have never been on a horse before...wouldn't know the first thing about it." He pulled out Audhulma again while he spoke and flipped it idly. On first glance it seemed that the ancient blade was a normal sword, only curved slightly. On closer inspection it became clear that the blade was much thinner than most swords. There was little slashing with the Swordmaster technique...instead, expertly stabbing the little chinks in armor was the focus of the style. Thus the thin, yet sturdy blade.

Joshua had been puzzling over Ral since he first saw him. He knew he had seen him before, but couldn't work out where. He trawled through his memories until he finally found the one he was looking for...Ral Belfast...son and heir of Lord Belfast...that's who he was. He had seen him at a distance a long time ago...some dinner or another. They had never come into contact, of course, but at least he knew who he was now. If anyone would recognize me, it'd be him...and he hasn't shown the slightest bit of remembrance... Joshua thought.


Mei returned the smile given by Alexandria, in truth she had been quite nervous of trying to ride one of the massive beasts that had been brought to the assembled warriors, unlike the south the east had little in the way of horsemen the land too mountainous to warrant ridng anything larger than a pony and even they were viewed as an unecessary luxury "Thank you in truth i am not much of a rider" she said holding out her right hand towards Alexadria whilst using her left to hold her skirts in place, the large group of idle men only getting the briefest of glimpses of her shapely legs as she was hoisted onto the horses back to sit side saddle behind Alexandria, her arms wrapped about the other womans waist.
She waited quietly as the others mounted up, only the grey clad swordsman remained on foot throwing his slim blade into the air only to then expertly catch it before hitting the ground. She quietly wondered what had brought him so far from his home, perhaps later she would ask him she thought to herself as the horse beneath her began to move off into the forest jarring her thoughts back to what lay ahead of her.
Tightening her grip as the horse's pace increased Mei could feel her stomach knotting with anxiety and had her hands been gripping one another about Alexandria's waist she was certain that they would be trembling also. Closing her eys Sun Mei tried to relax her mind, running through spells she would need in her mind "How long until we reach them?" she called over Alxandria's shoulder though whether not she heard Mei's soft voice over the pounding of hooves and rattling of weapons and armour wasn't clear to her as they drew ever nearer to the oncoming confrontation.


Thorin walked alongside the mounted warriors, gripping his axe tightly.
the people of the north did not bother using horses, as many died in the coldness, and those that survived were merely used to carry supplies, as the use of horses in battle was viewed as something that only cowards would undertake. as true warriors only ever fought on foot, hand-to-hand, equal to their opponents.
Thorin hefted his axe up onto his shoulder, looking at the swordsman in front of him that was examining the thin blade that he carried.
the swordsman had tried to talk to Thorin in the wagon, but he hadn't been able to hear the man over the ceaseless noise.
Thorin quickened his pace to catch up with the man.
"You tried to talk to me on the wagon, yes? you must want to now who i am." Thorin inquired in his low growl of a voice.
the swordsman nodded.
"I am Thorin Forkbeard, son of Sven Forkbeard. i hail from the lands of the north, and wish to return there someday to seek vengeance against the orcs that pushed my people southwards." he offered his hand. "Now, who might you be?"

(OOC: btw guys, as you know i cannot be on the web all that often, so feel free to control my character (to a limited extent) to help the story carry on.)


Alexandria called back "Hold on tightly, Mei, else you shall fall off." as she pressed against the horse's sides with her knees. Her eyes searched longingly for Ral in the frenzied movement of horse and man. It took her a moment to find him, he slowly trotted his mount, a few rows behind the front horses in the group, the first two columns of horse always fell, so Ral stayed back, hoping to keep his mount and thus an advantage over the battlefield. She looked at him for a long while, before her eyes wandered to the side and, to her surprise, she watched as the swordsman stared intensely at Ral, she noticed the look of recognition in his eyes and her heart sank to the toes of her fashionable riding boots. She feared that the safe home they had found was not as safe as she had at first hoped.

The bard spurred her horse through the throng of people, to Ral's side where she reached a hand over and lightly brushed his cheek with her fingertips. Ral, focused upon his saddle horn was startled for a moment, before leaning into the contact, when he neared her, leaning over upon his saddle, she whispered "Swordsman." to him, before casting a meaningful glance backwards at Joshua. She immediately slowed her mount and turned away from the swordsman's stare.

Ral relished the small contact with Alexandria, it fortified him for the battle to come. He looked back towards Joshua, who had already looked away by the time Ral noticed his stare. Ral became worried, just as Alexandria was, was this man in his father's coin purse? Was he here to bring Ral back? At the moment, the swordsman seemed friendly, but Ral knew of the treachery of men like his father.

There was a battle to fight, a battle to win, and Ral decided that he had best not let his mind rest on distrusting his companions, else all of the camaraderie would be gone and their unit would die. As Alexandria slowed her mount, Ral quickened his, so he would be in the third row of horse, the first to the battle.

The cavalry unit began to quicken their pace, out in front Lucas urged his mount into a ground eating lope.

They arrived in a short amount of time, about five minutes. Lucas and Rael, both sitting their saddles in front of the others, pointed their swords at the column of advancing soldiers. They were heavily armed and armored, long pikes were sat upon their shoulders and long swords were sheathed at their hips. Upon their right arms were braced great metal kite shields, which were used to knock charging foot soldiers to the ground.

The Tiran soldiers noticed the horsemen and immediately formed up, locking their shields together, then pointing their great pikes towards the guerrillas. Lucas and Rael gave the order, and the cavalry charged.


As the guerillas charged, Thorin charged also, emitting a bloodcry and hurling himself towards the Tiran soldiers.
more than once Thorin was almost knocked over by the charge of the over-eager mounted guerillas.
the front row of cavalry made contact with the enemy, and fierce battle ensued, when Thorin reached the front, he threw himself at the wall of Tiran soldiers, who were trying to keep the cavalry back with their pikes.
he whirled his axe around, trying to break through the wall of the kite-shields.
soon the axe found an opening, and the unlucky soldier screamed as the axe lodged itself in the man's throat.
Thorin pulled the axe out of the man as crumpled to the ground, blood spurting from his neck.
consumed with bloodlust Thorin moved through the opening and hacked at the surrounding soldiers, who were too tightly packed in their shieldwall to draw their swords.

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua noticed that Ral's lady friend had noticed his scrutiny and turned away. He was spared the task of finding something to look at by the reappearance of the man with the axe he had tried to hold a conversation with before, who introduced himself as Thorin. Joshua shook his hand warmly, saying "Joshua, Swordmaster of Jehanna at your service." He wanted to add more, but the order to attack was given and the moment was lost.

For a scouting party, the Tiran soldiers seemed well armed. However, a fight had to be won, so Joshua launched himself at the nearest warrior. The man lunged with his pike, and without missing a beat Joshua took a half step to the left to avoid it. He jumped and landed on the man's now diagonal shield. He jumped again and landed behind the warrior. A quick stab to the back of the neck in the space between the helmet and chestplate, and the man was dead. Audhulma cut through the flesh and bone like a hot knife through butter. Pulling the blade back out of the man, Joshua caught glimpse of a second pike descending on him. He used his momentum to throw himself sideways, legs twisting so he landed to face the new threat. The man lunged again, prompting Joshua to lean back just enough to have the lance miss him, then he launched himself forward and stabbed him through his unprotected gut. All traces of levity gone, Joshua turned to face his next opponent.


Thorin whirled his axe around, taking out a second Tiran soldier. he heard a battlecry from behind him, he turned around just in time to see a Tiran soldier attacking him. teh man had managed to draw his sword and was thrusting it towards him.
Thorin rammed the man head on, who promptly cried out in pain when Thorin's metal helmet came into contact with the soldier's face.
taking the upper hand, Thorin proceeded by bringing his axe up into the man's groin.
the blow had predictable results.
the Tiran soldier fell to the ground, screaming and writhing.
Thorin raised his axe above his head, and brought it down onto the Tiran soldier's head. the screaming ceased abruptly


A look of concern passed over Mei's face as she noticed the looks Ral and Alexadria were giving the swordsman "You don't trust him do you?" she said, leaing in close so as to be heard over the din of battle up ahead. She listened quietly to Alexandria's answer before nodding her head in understanding, they would have to deal with the situation, but not now, now was not the time for accusatiosn and finger pointing.
gripping tightly onto the other womans waist more from fear of falling from the horse than of what she saw ahead Mei leaned in close once again "Thank you for teh ride but this is where i get off...i'll see you after the battle" waiting for the horse to slow, Mei gracefully slid from off of the horse's back to land on a patch of ground far enough from the fighting so as not to be hit by any flying missile's but close enough to witness the carnage as the the two sides battered each other into bloody submission.
Taking several deep cleansing breaths, Mei began to slowly move her arms in what appeared to be very slow martial arts moves, the paper fan that she had tucked into her sash was now out out and fully unfolded. a quiet litany of quietly spoken words passed through her lips in a foriegn tongue as the fan began to weave faster and faster through the air. It was as she had begun to speak that several of the soldiers noticed that the gentle breeze that had been blowing through the tree's for most of that morning was beginning to get somewhat stronger.
The words got louder and the motions quicker as the fan started whipping the leaves off of the ground and into the air, a group of Tiran soldiers broke away from the main body of men in the hope of hitting the guerilla's in the flank, their sergeant leading them on with his sword held high spotted the red clad magi just as she brought the fan down in a single chopping motion, a blast of wind smashed into the armoured men throwing many into the ground only to be then whipped into the air as the magi fed the growing hurricane, her eyes were ablze and her voice, normally soft and quiet now had a metallic quality to it as the power within her grew.
She watched as her spell threw the men into the air like ragdolls thrown by a petulant child, she hadn't summoned the wind, the wind was already there all she had done was manipulate it to do her bidding,
Tucking the fan back into her sash she watched indifferently as a handfull of the original men she had been tormenting picked themselves off of the ground. holding out her left hand the ball of flame appeared like it had done back in the camp, only agina to be quickly covered by her right. Mei was beginning to feel giddy and light headed, drunk from the power she was experiencing, she knew she should try and focus, calm down like her master had instructed her but she couldn't help it.
With the ball of flame still covered by her small hands she watched impassivley as a pair of soldiers charge at her with murder in their eyes, she waited until they only a few feet away before opening her hands only this time it wasn't butterlies that flew from out of her hands.


The hooves of a hundred horses and the roar of their riders was deafening. Men waved their weapons ahead of them, while spurring their mounts, desperate to be at the front of the line. There was little or no organization in this charge, it seemed as though Lucas and Rael were just there for the purposes of morale, the small group of Tiran soldiers couldn't hope to stand up against the might of the charge, but as it turned out, they weren't meant to.

Ral kept his horse in the center of the cavalry unit, instead of wasting energy by shoving his family's sword out in front of him, he simply unsheathed it and rested the blade upon his right shoulder. The pounding of unshod hooves and the war cries drifted away, the world becoming dead silent for the single heartbeat, before the front row of horses clashed headlong into the column of soldiers. Bellowing in pain, those men dumb, or proud enough to have rushed to the front of the line were unhorsed and their bodies were broken against the ground and spears of the soldiers. Then the second wave hit and they rode right through the now weakened Tiran shield wall. Axes, swords and maces cut down, cleaving armor and plate alike. Tiran soldiers fell to the ground, along with the first wave of horsemen.

Ral steered his old nag through the confusion, as arrows began to rain down upon them, a few horsemen went down under them and it was apparent that this was no expeditionary unit. This was a trap. Archers lifted themselves up or appeared in the tops of trees, not friendly archers either. Ral's old nag was hit in the chest by an arrow and the poor beast went down, throwing Ral to the ground as well. Luckily, Ral had slowed his mount to a trot as he had entered the fray, so the wind was merely knocked from his lungs as he fell head over heels to the ground.

With a sword in one hand and a shield in the other, one of the shining Tiran soldiers came running towards him. Ral, still without breath, fumbled around for his sword, which had been knocked from his grasp when he fell. His hand finally came to rest upon the pommel and he brought it around in a sweeping arc, his lungs burning with the strain. The sword bounced harmlessly off his enemy's shield, doing no more damage than causing the edge of the shield to knock into his attacker's helmet.

If Ral had not expended as much energy as he had, then the force of his blow connecting with the soldier's shield wouldn't have been enough to move Ral's head far enough to the side to avoid a blow that would have split his head open. As it was, the blow simply took a small piece of his ear and a great deal of hair. Ral was able to stave off more attacks by putting a foot to the soldier's shield and pushing him back, causing him to lose his balance and sit down hard.

Alexandria, Mei having already dismounted and began to work her magic, fell from the saddle beside her and took the bow from her shoulders. She took an arrow from the quiver upon her back and notched it, drawing back until her arms could go no further. She centered the arrowhead over the chest of one of the archers who stood in the trees, firing down upon the guerrillas. The arrow flew true and connected, the archer falling from the tree, as if felled by a bolt of lightning.

Smiling to herself, the bard pulled another arrow from her quiver, but before she had a chance to find a target, the air around the skirmish began to shimmer, like the desert on a very hot day. It obscured the frantic battle going on below Alexandria and Mei, they could no longer see anything, save for the twist and turn of vaguely human shapes. Suddenly, deep down in the pit of her stomach, she felt an ice come over her and she turned from the battle. All Alexandria knew was that something terrible was about to happen, and so she did the only thing she could; she tackled the mage to the ground, told her to cover her ears with her hands and open her mouth, then rolled into the fetal position herself, before all hell broke loose.

Meanwhile, Ral swung his sword around again in the opposite direction, forcing his opponent to block with his sword this time, which he wasn't nearly as good at. The force of the blades meeting sent both blades to ringing, but the soldier, with only one hand upon his weapon dropped his weapon to the ground as if it had suddenly become white hot.

Ral used this to his advantage and pulled the long pick from his belt, he struck low, taking the back of the soldier's boot in the hook at one end Ral pulled backwards with all of his might throwing the soldier to the ground. The passion of battle still hot in his mind, Ral struck down with his blade Justice and stabbed it straight down, through the heavy armor, chainmail and undershirt and directly into the man's chest. Red welled up from the greivous wound in his armor and stained the gleaming blade of Ral's ancestors. Suddenly, Ral wondered what his ancestors were thinking at this very moment, the blade they forged centuries earlier, to protect Tiran, had just been used, for the first time, to spill Tiran blood. "Forgive me, ancestors, but this is what I must do." Ral said softly, his voice lost in the clamor and noise, before he savagely tore the blade free of his now dead opponent.


Lucas and Rael were in high spirits, there was no magic upon the battlefield, so they did not bother to bring their talents up, deciding to save the exertion for the battle. That single mistake would cost them dearly.

As the guerrillas clashed witht he Tiran soldiers it became clear that whatever they had stumbled upon, it was not an expeditionary unit. Their weapons were heavy, like that of frontline warriors and they moved with well oiled precision and their pikes killed many warriors. Then archers appeared in the trees and popped out from behind bushes, using crossbows and longbows, they felled many of the cavalry, as the horsemen rode by.

Lucas noted with a smile, one that was disguised by his great beard, that many of the recruits he had chosen were performing better than he had expected. A few of them had fallen, but the vast majority still stood, or in some cases, laid.

Lucas's great sword came down in wide arcs, it broke shields to pieces and any sword that tried to block an attack were shattered into a thousand irreperable pieces. It seemed to the guerrillas that this battle was almost won, when the magi appeared.

They had always been there, it seemed, just invisible, watching and waiting for the right time to pull their trick. They simply appeared one moment, power swirled around their hands in ever widening bands that intertwined, before shooting out. The magic touched both Lucas and Rael before they had a chance to use their talents, there was a boom so tremendous that it shook the battlefield itself. Many of the fighters fell to the ground, ears bleeding from the defeaning cuncussion. A single guerrilla archer let fly with an arrow, as the noise overtook him, he was unaware that his arrow found one of the magi and that mage fell to earth and stayed there. As well as a sound louder than any thunder there was a tremendous wind that swept over the entire battlefield, it pushed over man and beast alike, crushing the remaining horsemen upon their steeds.

Then, all was silent. Both Tiran and guerrilla looked around, all too tired and bloodied to lift their blades anymore. Lucas and Rael had simply vanished, along with all of the magi who had laid the ambush.

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua had been fighting the armored units when the archers appeared. Cursing, he stopped playing so hard on the offensive and switched to a mainly defensive strategy...archers were a great fear of the Swordmaster...they wore no armor, so a clever archer could easily fell an unaware Swordmaster. They were trained to avoid arrows, of course, but since they were all around, Joshua had to keep himself out of danger constantly. He had just dodged one such arrow when the sonic explosion happened, not only knocking him off his feet but literally throwing him several meters. The wind followed, sending Joshua's hat flying off his head, forcing him to catch it at the last second. He was dazed...nothing like that had ever happened before. However, he forced himself to jump to his feet, wincing as several bruises announced their presence. He turned, ready to continue the fight, only to notice that no one else was fighting on either side.

Relaxing and sheathing Audhulma, Joshua noticed Ral not too far from him, still on the ground. He walked over and extended a hand to help him up. "You ok there?" he asked, concerned. "What the heck WAS that?" His speech was more heavily accented, betraying his worry, his lilting tones made even more so by the odd inflections of his words.


Ral, being off balanced when the winds had occurred, was blown off his feet and landed very close to where his steed had been killed. He gripped his weapons with the fervor of a religious man clutching his holy symbol in the face of a demon, which, as they later discovered, wasn't far from the truth. Finally, Ral had the strength to sheath his family's blade and try to stand, he failed.

Laying against the corpse of his mount, Ral tried to conserve his strength, deepening his breathing and trying t think clearly. Finally, he was in control again, about to try to stand again, when the swordsman Joshua appeared. Looking up, Ral mistook the man sheathing his sword as a threatening gesture "So, my father did send you, didn't he? All I ask is that you let Alexandria free, don't make her go back to that monster, I'll go back with you instead." Ral said aloud, before realizing that an open hand was being proffered, instead of a clenched one. Ral took the hand, using his pick and Joshua's grip to pull himself to his feet. He sighed, realizing that he had just let all of his cards show.

"You ok there? What the heck WAS that?" The swordsman said, his words drifting through the haze of Ral's mind.

"I don't know. Where's Lucas?" Ral asked, surveying the battlefield. Ral remembered that Lucas, and Rael, had been riding around the outskirts of the battle, using their blades to corral the enemy soldiers, make them easier to attack. Lucas and Rael both rode magnificent warhorses whose coats shimmered in the light, the beasts lay crumpled, their bodies speared multiple times and then thrown to the ground, as if a child had gotten bored of them. Lucas and Rael were both gone.

"I can't explain it, Joshua. Perhaps they-" Ral's eyes fell upon a truly shocking sight, a human skull, no flesh, hair or eyes was laying upon the ground, still in it's Tiran armor. Ral used his pick as a cane and hobbled to it, before kneeling down. "I am no mage, swordsman, but this looks like blood magic."

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Joshua looked at Ral, concerned. "I beg your pardon? Your father...ahh..." he nodded. "So you ARE Ral Belfast then...I thought I recognized you." His normally jovial expression turned serious, almost dark. "I don't begrudge you for running away...I heard some rumors, and if even half of them are true..." he stopped for a moment, his eyes going distant. He continued almost to himself, murmuring quietly. "Heck...even if they weren't...I can't say anything..." he lapsed into his own language, a lilting language to match his accent.

Realizing that Ral had turned to the Tiran warrior next to him, he came back to the present and took a look. A skeleton was all that was in the armor. "No mandaral...litle mundly..." he had gone back to his own language, then snapped back. "I'm not a magician either...but I'm SURE I was fighting real if animating skeletons so completely they even look alive and can bleed is called blood magic, then I believe it was." He looked over at the horses Lucas and Rael had been riding, then scanned the area. "I don't see their corpses...which means they have been taken, not killed. Kist." he swore. "That is worse, in a way." He looked around at the heavy losses the guerillas had taken. "Misfortune upon misfortune it seems. Will my luck ever turn around again?" He absentmindedly fiddled with his hat, correcting its lopsided stature (he had merely jammed it back on after catching it), again lost in thought.


The grass smoldered about the two charred corpse's, the fire had been hot and their deaths quick but there were many more soldiers and Mei could feel the raw untempered power surging through her veins, the very air seemd to shimmer before her.
Weaving her arms once mores she made ready to cast again only to bowled over from behind, a gout of bright blue flame shooting out from hands into the air. Mei struggled in a mad panic to free herslef from her attackers grip only to realise that it was the red head, Alexandria holding her down, a look of confusion crossed her face as she tried to form the questions swirling in her mind when the shockwave hit, forcing the air from out of her lungs and her ears to pop as the huge wave of pressure hit them, had she still been standing the blow would have sent her flying.
It was all over within a few seconds, a fleeting glimpse was all she had of the Magi that had attacked them, Where had they come from?....Had they been here all along?
Rising slowly to her feet she looked apologetically at Alexandria, realising how close she had come to attacking her "I...I am so sorry... I didn't hurt you did I?" she spoke quietly her voice now returned to its normal pitch, if a little hoarse as she help Alexandria to her feet.
A short distance away she spotted Ral and the swordsman talking, their previous mistrust of each other obviously forgotten as they stood staring at something on the ground in front of them. As she began to walk over to them the feeling that something was seriously wrong came to her, but what she couldn't tell and then she saw it.
Fear gripped the young mage like an icy fist as she stared down at the bones, her eyes opening wide as she began to fully comprehend what she was seeing "No,No, No....not that anything but that" she cried her body beginning to tremble before she finally turned to run.


Thorin climbed back onto his feet, around him lay the corpses of the Tiran soldiers, but they were not rotting, bleeding, fresh corpses, but mere skeletons in armour.
"what foul magic is this?" he said aloud gruffly.
Thorin looked around and saw Joshua talking to another guerilla. he walked over to them.
"what happened?" Thorin asked, never in his life had he come across such powerful magic.


Ral put away his pick and stared at the companions, before shaking his head in sorrow. "So that's why no one knows about this uprising, the guerrillas been fighting the same soldiers for five years." he said, running a hand through his hair, which had gotten bloodied and was beginning to stick together as the crimson dried. "I knew that the Magi's deeds were awful, but I never thought they'd stoop to this level."

It had been a tiring day for Ral and Alexandria, they'd been on the run from Lord Belfast's assassins for months. Every inch of his body ached, from the soles on his feet to the roots od his hair, Ral was running out of energy. Ral wanted nothing more than to go back to camp and crawl into their bedroll, but he was not naive enough to think the day would end like that.

Shaking off his fatigue, Ral was about to turn and begin the walk back to camp, when a muffled cry caught his attention. His ears ed up and he looked from side to side, until he heard the sound one more time, from a clump of brush on the side of the trail. Ral noticed a twitching foot jutting out. He drew his family's blade and slowly approached, keeping his sword pointed directly at the sound.

He pushed the underbrush and debris aside and was shocked when he found one of the magi, the one who'd been hit, by chance, when the archer let fly his final arrow. This was a younger mage, probably around thirty years of age, but the use of dark magic had altered his appearance, so his cheeks appeared gaunt and his eyes deadpan. He looked at Ral with a hatred that burned from sight alone, as he began to mouth the words to a spell. Before he could think, Ral stepped forward and smashed the hilt of his sword into the magicians forehead. His eyes rolled back and his head fell back to the dirt, where he lay unconscious.

"Joshua, Norseman. Help me with lug this one back to camp, we can hand him over to the powers that be." Ral said, sheathing his blade "We may have hope yet."


"My name is Thorin." Thorin replied to the guerilla who had ordered him to drag something back to camp.
Thorin walked over to where the man was standing, below him was the unconcious body of a magi.
"why can't we just kill him?" he asked. the guerilla gave no reply.
Thorin shook his head, grabbed hold of the magi's arms and began to drag the unconcious form back to camp.
he really didn't see why they shouldn't just kill the magi, Thorin had heard that these magi had mental connections, and surely if they took the magi back, he would reveal the camp's location to other magi?