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 Post subject: Three Days Out
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:41 am 
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They were three days out from River's End, by Roland's guess, and he could not be any happier with the thought of finally getting home to some well earned rest. Before they had left the city of New Guasa, he had suffered a particularly irritating injury to his arm, and he had had limited mobility in the limb for the last two months because of it. It was more manageable now, thankfully, but any extreme of movement still sent a flash of pain that went from his shoulder to his fingers.

That was where the makeshift sling he wore came in. It had been an annoying thing to figure out at first, but he eventually got the hang of it and could now slip his arm in and out of it with ease. It was pretty damn effective too, he had to admit.

"So the guy reaches out and he--and I swear to you, this is true--he starts screaming and spitting, and he yells 'Fire! I call Fire and Flames, and you will burn' and sure a fuckin' enough, fire appears right there in his hand, burning right in his palm like the sun at high noon."

Roland was traveling with his friend, and fellow sort-of-professional-guard-for-hire, Henri Bernard. In an attempt to take his mind off of the dull, aching pain he felt in his arm, Roland was regaling the other man with an amusing story of what had happened in the last town they had visited, while Henri had been out doing whatever. The story had started out innocently enough, with Roland having been drinking heavily in one of the town’s taverns, but at some point, a small man at the bar had taken issue with the affectionate nickname Roland had given him around the seventh or eighth round of drinks. One thing lead to another, and then the man was suddenly calling fire and Roland was a great deal more sober than he had been a few seconds before.

“So the guy’s on fire, but he ain’t burning. I’m thinkin’ to myself, ‘oh wow, all this over bein' called Tiny?’ My body, though, is thinkin’ a whole ‘nother thought. I stand up and I grab a hold of the stool I had been using, and just then the guy lunges at me. I can feel the fire on my face, and I pick up the stool and slam the bitch right into him, hard. It breaks and catches on fire, and pieces are going everywhere, people are screaming and yelling. I was shocked, because the guy didn’t act any different than if I had hit him with a pillow. That was where things got a little funny, because that thing that happened in New Guasa? Well it happened again, and the guy’s fire just blinks on out and there’s no heat anymore. So I headbutted him right in the face, and you could hear his nose breaking over all the people gettin’ out of the buliding.”

Roland was quiet for a moment, and then he barked out a laugh, “Man! That was fun. I can’t believe that guy though, ‘I call Fire!’ Who even does that?”

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 Post subject: Re: Three Days Out
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:40 pm 
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The last 6 months had been wildly entertaining for two people that had never left their small town before, they were traveling and seeing the world, seeing the sights, experiencing what the grander towns and establishments had to offer, and getting payed to do it too! The trip hadn't been without it's downs however, since they had a knack for getting into trouble his best pal Roland had sustained a particularly painful injury to his arm, and Henri was starting to worry about his lighthouse. All in all, it was a well worth it trip, but in the end there was no place like home.

Henri traveled along his lifelong friend, Roland, your sort of standard rough and tumble tower of brawn with a heart of gold (and enough charisma to float a boat) and nodded his head, eagerly listening to his friend's story.

"Mhm, mhm." He didn't disbelieve what he was hearing at all, aside from being in dire need of a haircut and acquiring a few new skills, he still had a certain passion for the bizarre, but after all that had happened lately nothing seemed unlikely anymore. Some people would accuse him of being gullible but hey it could happen ! Also he grew about 5 or 6 inches, but his father's jacket was still a hundred sizes too big.

"Pffff! What!? AHA!" Henri did a sort of wheeze cackle at his friends impression of the melodramatic preachy wizard and shook a bit. Why wasn't he there to see it? That would have hilarious! It was too bad he was busy doing whatever, because he would have payed to see that. "Looks like he had a short fuse." There was a short pause after his terrible pun, and once he caught his breath he continued.

"I can't believe that actually-like, what? I CALL UPON THE FIRE AND THE FLAMES! You don't dramatically announce that shit that's the equivalent of you being like I AM A PUNCH MAGE AND I CALL UPON MY FIST FOR YOU SHALL BE PUNCHED. I also like how that's not the first time someone's magic didn't work near you. You don't think you could be immune to it or something do you?"


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 Post subject: Re: Three Days Out
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:29 pm 
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Henri's pun elicited only an exaggerated gagging gesture from Roland. That was terrible, and Roland genuinely hoped that Henri felt awful.

"Well, I dunno about me bein' immune," Roland said, seriously, his tone sober in spite of his lighthearted shenanigans before. "They just seem to mess up, is all. Maybe they ain't too good at their craft, or maybe I've just been really lucky until now."

He rolled his hurt shoulder a little and winced, but he set his jaw and pushed past the pain.

"I didn't even believe in this fruity magic stuff until last year and it isn't like your shtick goes to hell when I'm around, y eah? So who knows, and, look, it doesn't even- hey, we've got company."

Just like colonel Dasari had taught him, Roland inclined his head towards a group of three men who were still a couple hundred yards off. He hoped that Henri would catch the significance of not pointing at the men or stopping, but his friend wasn't always the brightest, or especially quick on the uptake, for that matter, and that was despite their shared experiences over the past year. Behaving like anything short of a professional could be a dangerous mistake out here.

As they continued walking and the distance from the men began to grow uncomfortably shorter, Roland could make out extra details, like how they were dressed in browns and greens, and how two of the men, who were flanking a smaller figure on either side, carried bows, both knocked but not drawn; and that was worrisome, because that spoke experience. These men knew what they were doing to have not already drawn.

"Bandits, you think?"

There was a town near here, Roland knew. That was, after all, where they had been planning to stop in for the night, before making the rest of the way to River’s End. Bandits and highwaymen were unlikely; this close to a settlement? Whatever passed for the law around here would not have stood for it. These roads were too important to let banditry overtake them.

The gold he got paid for the New Guasa job suddenly felt really heavy, but the sword at his side, a gift from Dasari, was at least comforting. Too bad his bum arm complicated things.

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 Post subject: Re: Three Days Out
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:20 pm 
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"Hmmm..."

Henri thought hard and considered what Roland had said. It would make more sense that it be a wild coincidence that magic users just all happen to be bumbling idiots around Roland, but that just seemed so logical and boring to him that it just seemed unlikely. He wasn't so sure if he believed in luck or karma but logical boring things just didn't happen to them, in a way the abnormal had become normalized, and the normal was unusual.

Really that was a poor explanation for why he thought Roland was immune to magic, he did mention that his own magic worked just fine around his friend. Aurelius seemed irritated whenever he referred to it as magic, but he didn't know what else to call it and anything Henri couldn't quite understand was usually dismissed as magic anyway.

Roland was right, but he'd still cling to his theory about him being impervious to magic regardless.

"Yyyeeaaaah I guess you're right." He said halfheartedly before Roland pointed out the approaching crew of armed men. Henri made all the observations his friend did, their clothes, their weapons, how they carried themselves like seasoned professionals, and more importantly the smaller figure in the middle.

"Looks like they're escorting someone.' Henri spoke in a hushed tone and continued walking at his usual pace. "We had a job like that once, maybe they're not so bad?" He might think they were bandits if they were all armed, but the small unarmed person in the middle made him wonder. Either way he didn't want to start shit with someone unless it was absolutely necessary. He'd be holding his breath until they found out, and kept walking.


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 Post subject: Re: Three Days Out
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:51 pm 
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Mmm, Roland hummed thoughtfully. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Just some fellow road-weary traveling bodyguards, escorting their client and whatnot, but Roland had his doubts. Only two types of people made it a habit to dress in woodland clothes: Hunters and bandits.

Roland turned his head to one side, and then to the other; it cracked audibly and satisfyingly both times. He smiled and spread his arm closest to Henri out, so that it crossed over just in front of his friend’s chest, and he stopped, blocking his friend from going further as well. Two arrows then neatly thunked into the ground, just in front of where they would have been standing had they taken another step. Ahead of them, both men had already knocked another arrow, though, like before, they had yet to draw back.

“Two hundred and forty-ish yards?” Roland asked, to no one in particular. “Not bad,” he complimented. “Quality bows, but dad makes better.”

Roland’s sword was tethered to his side, but he didn’t reach over to draw it just yet. He would have liked to have placed his hand there, just in case, but with his good arm being opposite the sheath, well, it would have looked downright silly.

The middle man said something to his friends and held up a gesture that Roland took roughly as ‘wait here, and shoot them if they try anything’. The smaller man started to approach them with an obvious limp, but he was still coming towards them confidently. With good reason, Roland thought. The fact that the men weren’t approaching was another telling sign: They knew their advantage was their range. At least, that’s what they thought. Roland knew better, and so did Henri.

“Play it cool,” he said. “Maybe they just want to know if we’re the bandits.”

He laughed and he was surprised at how little nervousness he was feeling. Sure, things could go bad, but, then again, Roland felt confident in what he and Henri could accomplish together too.

The man approached slowly, somewhat out of necessity and, Roland thought, also probably out of effect. Trying to worry them, he guessed. Throw them off balance and get them to over thinking things--and maybe it was working, because now he thought like he was over thinking things.

Before long, he was close enough that Roland and Henri could get an idea of what they were dealing with: He was a thin man, but he had the beginnings of a paunch at his gut all the same; he was unbearably ugly, too; and he had a nose that looked like it had been broken too many times, to the point that, Roland caught himself thinking, that the man might be distantly related to the wizard fellow from the last town.

He almost laughed out loud at the thought.

The man stopped in front of them, out of reach of both arm and sword draw, and he shifted uncomfortably to keep the weight off his lame leg.

“Go on,” he said in thickly accented common, and then he repeated it in accented Mercoran for good measure. “Throw down the sword, boy, and drop whatever valuables you got on ya, too. Shirts and boots off, as well. Hmm,” the man considered Henri for a moment, "what're those pants made out of, son? Might fit me. Yeah--," he said after a moment of deliberation--"might as well do away with 'em as well."

The man smiled a smile of broken teeth and black gums.

"Then you can tell me where yer heading."

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 Post subject: Re: Three Days Out
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Woodland clothes or not Henri always liked to give people the benefit of the doubt, which meant he was also disappointed by people on a regular basis. Today would be no different. Roland would be able to feel Henri's heart crashing in his chest. Situations like these were usually dealt with a cold steely attitude but as that was almost always pretend Henri's surprise was visible, since he didn't have tome to put his game face on.

"Ah Geezes!"

These guys weren't just bandits, they were assholes too! Usually those were synonymous but it was taking a bit for the fact that if he was just a stride ahead he'd have an arrow burried in his chest to sink in, that was too close, and he didn't take kindly to it either.

The man signaled to the other's to stay behind, and with good reason, unless you were going to just grab the arrow and lodge it into somebody, they weren't really much use up close, and the confidently striding man wanted to keep tabs on them for some reason.

"Mhm." Henri nodded and swallowed hard. If the man was trying to worry them it was working, he walked like he meant business. Roland was a good fighter, even with an injured arm he knew most people didnt get up from a hit from Roland right away, but the arrows changed things, but well...they wouldn't get a chance to use them. Why do people insist on making him do this?

Okay, now he was wearing his game face. "My pants oooh.." He offered the man a sexy pout and spoke in a sappy pitying tone "Usually that'd cost ya but..." He looked the man hungrily up and down and bit his lip. "For you? It's free." He brought his hands down to his pants and slowly started unfastening them. " In mei anima, iaceo lacuna."

Before they could rake in their spoils their limbs would feel heavy, as if gravity was suddenly becoming stronger and was pulling them all down, specifically in their hands and knees.


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 Post subject: Re: Three Days Out
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:54 pm 
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A tension filled the air so thick that it was nearly a physical force. A great, looming presence seemed to blink awake and stretch out from Henri, and everyone present could feel it, could sense and know to fear it. The bandit closest to Henri took a cautious step back and, unconsciously, even Roland had taken a small step away from Henri.

The familiar warmth of Aurelius’ container would seep into Henri’s hand, and the small, fractured crystal emerged from his flesh.

“I, I ... “

The bandit's tongue and mind fumbled as he sunk to his knees and looked up at Henri, bewildered and slack-jawed. He looked around for help, but couldn’t quite careen his head back far enough to see that his friends were in a similar predicament. Pain and fire erupted in their legs as the ground felt like it was trying to swallow them. The three men were kneeling with masks of confusion plastered to their face, and their eyes were on Henri; and they were wondering just what they had gotten themselves into.

A laugh like an avalanche, all falling rock and broken earth, filled Henri’s mind.

You are learning, Aurelius observed, amused.

Aurelius’ yellow eye appeared in space, in the spot it usually occupied in Henri’s extended field of vision; it was replaced briefly by the God’s great maw opening in a needless yawn.

“That takes care of that,” Roland said. He had walked over to the bandit that had approached them and nudged one of the guy’s legs with the toe of his boot; the man yelped and let out a holler like he had just been stabbed.

“Oi,” Roland called out, “I think you’re hurtin’ ‘em.”

That was one of the problems with using Aurelius, as Henri had no doubt learned the hard way over the last year. It took an incredible amount of concentration, finesse, and knowledge to do anything with the God beast, Aurelius; if Henri got too careless, he could accidentally break whatever it was he was manipulating. This often times had very messy results.

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 Post subject: Re: Three Days Out
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:12 am 
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It didn't show because how hard he was concentrating but when the trio of bandits fell to their hands and knees Henri was super thrilled. After agreeing to take off his pants in a bit of a tease he could only imagine how awkward the situation would have been if he had to follow through. Now what to do with them?

Henri stood above them, looming, leering at them with the kind of focus (required to operate his magic) that suggested he was deeply interested in the kneeling figures beneath him, in a horrible gruesome kind of way. He gave his usual casual glance to the side and nod at Aurelius to politely acknowledge his presence (which the bandits also were unaware of) which could easily pass as a silent command to his co worker. As if this was all routine, he knew what the look meant.


“Oi,” Roland called out, “I think you’re hurtin’ ‘em.”

He wasn't like that though. He wanted to stop them for awhile and give them a speech about how wrong they were, or maybe confiscate their weapons to make sure they didn't hurt somebody else, but he couldn't do all that and bend reality at the same time, and Roland was right, he was hurting them. He released his hold on them and commanded them to get up.

"Get up..."

He wasn't worried about getting attacked. After what happened they would have to have some pretty big balls to try anything, and as far as Henri was concerned most bandits were cowards anyway, they probably only attacked because they thought they were weak. The idea made him chuckle to himself a little bit. They were dead wrong about his awesome they were.


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