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The Darkness Behind The Stars: The Lurker in Midnight; Arc Thread: Part 1
Topic Started: Jul 14 2017, 12:05 AM (309 Views)
Grond
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Hammer of a Thousand Chickens

OOC: For the sake of time relativity, these events occur after the Akane Beach Resort merriments.



Castle Reinhardt. There was something about the name that sent shivers down Beryl's spine. Normally, there was nothing that should have been frightening about the name, after all, it was merely the nomenclature of a geographical location. And yet, Beryl could not hear the name without an increasing sense of doom coming over her. For it was on the way to this castle that she performed the act which she had always dreaded: taking a human life. No, it was worse, she had killed people, and at the time, she had done it without any compunction.

Now everything about the event haunted her. She still remembered the most notable of the lives she'd taken; of course, she had no idea who the fellow was, or anything about his private life. She could only recall in gravely clear detail how he had died and anytime she remembered that fateful evening when she, alongside a group of travelers had made the dismal trek to Reinhardt, she remembered the fatal shudder when her weapon gave him his mortal wound, she remembered the feel of warm lifeblood on her hand, she remembered when he clasped her hand, she remembered he had mentioned a word like a woman's name, she remembered the man's eyes as the life left them.

She remembered, and it broke her.

The nightmares which Beryl had from time to time had become more frequent. Nay, they had become an 'every night' occurrence. Sleep offered her no rest, as she was tortured in the dream world by some nameless horror, every time she closed her eyes to rest. Of course, all these things had taken their toll on her. Nothing offered her respite. The distractions she'd tried to fill her waking hours with did nothing to help. Naturally, Beryl was a woman of few friends, but now she grew worse. Snappy, reclusive and sour, she actively began to shy away from human company, while she tried her hand at various ineffective remedies.

And all these vain searches had finally led her to the bottle. While Beryl would have preferred to attempt intoxication in the confines of very private space, her desperation had driven her to seek instant deliverance from her misery. That meant that anywhere she laid her hands on strong liquor, she would down the stuff and pray that the alcohol would probably lend her a few hours of undisturbed sleep.

It was for this reason that a surly Beryl had walked into a bar with relatively close proximity to the grounds of the Nine Lives guild and asked for the strongest drink available. The result was that Beryl now had in her possession some particularly expensive bottle of rum called the Midian Deathshot, and she had gotten drunk as soon as she had taken the first mouthful, which had gone down like Greek fire. And still, the bottle gave her no somnolent oblivion; on the contrary, her mood had considerably darkened, and despair seemed to have worsened.

Now, three swigs later, Beryl was seated on the floor in a corner of the bar, huddled and gripping the rum bottle tightly, staring at no defined point in space. Most likely the barman was waiting for her to pass out, due to the fact that she had altered the ambient mood of the bar, when some fellow, noting the flush on her cheeks, had decided to try his luck for some quick 'fun'. It had ended with him trying to be touchy, just before Beryl had smashed his nose with her forehead. Now the bar patrons sat talking with hushed whispers, while the barkeep watched her like a vulture waiting for an unfortunate to die.

'Death' was long in coming.
Edited by Grond, Jul 14 2017, 12:07 AM.
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Hadou
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WhAaAaAaAaAaAtTtT?!!!

The Dandelion Sector was one of the really active places in Fiore, according to the white haired young woman. She knew the implication of this kind of city, due to the kind of work description she had. This was a place where someone who wanted to hide from the law could easily succeed. It was obviously a dangerous place, and definitely not for the straight and upright, in general opinion. But general opinion was always shortsighted and weak; she knew that much. A city such as Dandelion had its advantages, and one of the most obvious ones was that with the right abilities, this was an information center that could be exploited. As long as one lived long enough.

Having traveled around Fiore a while, so as to get the feel of things and decide on a perfect spot to settle down, Caelie had eventually chosen Dandelion. A risky choice, yes, but once she was able to get in with the right people, the city would be a lot less dangerous. She had heard of the guild that operated from this place, and while most people saw them as dangerous riffraff, she saw something else that held a lot more than just a little promise for her. All she had to do was to find them in the shadows where they hid themselves, and prove herself somehow.

It was expected; she had been ganged up on, no sooner was she in the city. Her assailants, however, quickly learned that they would need more than just three idiots and cudgels to take her out. She may not have been the strongest on the block, but she was faster than even the averagely well trained, and knew how to fight hard when push came to shove. She didn't give them the chance to slink back to wherever they came from, but made sure to knock them out cold with brutal efficiency, and leave them in a heap. She was passing across a message, because she knew there were some watching. Those who were strong enough to give her a run for her money would not likely be in the street mugging business. The rest ought to leave her alone.

Caelestis pushed her way into a bar, her face much darker than the state of her heart. Truth was, she was pleased that she had not run into any serious issues up till this point, but people who smiled more tended to be taken as pleasant people, and she didn't want to paint that image of herself, yet. She almost immediately noticed that the bar seemed a little hush-hush, compared with other drinking house experiences she had witnessed in the past. With a mental shrug, she made her way to the bar. The less boisterous they were, the less likely unnecessary trouble would brew up.

"Water, please," she said to the waiter.

His eyes shifted from a position behind her to the girl's face, a look of incredulity crossing his face. "You serious?"

"Maybe not, sirrah, but that hardly matters. I'm paying for it, so my level of seriousness isn't that much of your concern. Do you have water?" Her tone was more pleasant than irritated.

Muttering something incomprehensible, he went to fetch her desired drink, casting one final glance over her shoulder before going. An eyebrow raised at his back, she watched him select a large mug that would normally be used to bear some sort of lager, and she wondered. What had he been looking at, which was behind her? It most likely posed her no threat, but it was a source of discomfort to him. So, she turned and looked in the general direction he had been glaring at.

She suddenly noticed someone seated in a corner, a woman, clutching a flask of alcohol like it was her life. Drunk, no doubt. Well, it was really none of her business, besides, in a place such as Dandelion, it was impossible not to see a drunk in a bar. However, there was something familiar about the drunk woman, which caused Caelie to walk towards her slowly. As she stopped before her, it became clear that she had met with this woman before, not so long ago. Caelie's eyes widened with surprise, while her eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

"Beryl?"
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Lightning
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Steel your mind. Run on instinct.
The festivities of Akane resort may have come to an end, but that didn't mean the memories of it had left the mind. Artesia could still feel the sun kissed glow the venture to the beaches there had given her, and the salty aroma of the ocean had once again recharged her very soul. To put it simply; the red head was in an even better mood than normal, not that it was doing the men she gambled against any good.



It was in a corner of the bar that a table far more lively than the rest sat, but it was not a liveliness born of joy - for you see...

"No fuckin' way! You've gotta be cheating."

The men there were losing to the red haired woman amongst them .... time and time again. A woman who showed no signs of intimidation in the face of the scoundrels and brigands that she waged against, a woman who with her striking teal eyes and confident smirk shot down any thought of retaliation against her.

"Seems cash isn't the only thing you're running a little low on Mikael." Her hands scooped the winnings of the round across the table towards herself without a single question as to her actions. "Perhaps we should play again when you've got a little more patience." She paused as her fingers played with a particularly expensive looking watch, a watch that she had just not come into possession of. " And things to wager."

As it was, every last man that both sat and stood at the table was running low on both.

"See you next time boys." Artesia smiled, her body leaning back into her chair comfortably - the watch and other valuables she had won tucked safely away in the pocket dimension of the leather pouch strapped to her thigh.

One by one the men skulked away, their figurative tails between their legs leaving Artesia to her now quiet table. Lengths of her hair fell away from her face as she leaned her body forwards to reach for the bottle of liquor that remained upon it. She murmured as she watched her reflection in the polished glass being distorted by the liquid moving about inside. "By far the best win tonight." It had been a fine year that the liquor itself had been created, and it had been by skilled hands to boot. There was no doubt in the Sinian's mind that it held more monetary value than anything else she had hauled in during her games that evening - and then there was the fact she would enjoy it the most as well.

Deliberate and aimed movement in the bar caught the eye of the seasoned adventurer in the minutes to come, a familiar face leading her to that of another. Beryl remained in her corner of the bar, bottle in hand and an almost literal dark cloud hanging overhead. The woman hadn't come back from the battle at the fortress of Reinhardt, or at least she hadn't come back in her entirety. A part of the Nine Lives member had been lost there, or at least so deeply covered in the bloodshed of it all that she had become obscured.

Artesia would watch, just as she and the others in Nine Lives had watched over their fellow member for some time now. Whoever it was that approached her, perhaps they would be of benefit for the suffering mage... or at least that was the silent prayer made as the Sinian rose her glass to her lips. It wasn't her usual choice of liquor, and yet the ice cold beer was better than she had expected.
Edited by Lightning, Jul 17 2017, 05:32 AM.
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Grond
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Hammer of a Thousand Chickens

If there was any advantage alcohol had, as far as Beryl was concerned, it was that the delectable poison had its way of reducing the edge of whatever cow turd life forced you into. The major problem was that the pain would always return, usually more vicious than ever, when it did. Even though she was drunk, Beryl was aware of this fact, and it only served to depress her more. Her eyes made contact with those of the barkeep, and he turned away.

Good. She was sure she would have probably smashed the bottle on the man's head if he continued to stare. It seemed that the ability to mind one's business, especially in this bar, was rare. And speaking of minding businesses...

The sound of her name made the Seveni girl's head shoot up quickly. Her mind was relatively scattered thanks to the effect of the Midian Deathshot, and it took a few moments for Beryl's eyes to focus on the woman standing before her. While the white-haired lady was quite familiar, Beryl had to mentally cast about for a name, which was actually difficult to do. Fortunately, she remembered the name of this person, whom she had met at the Beach Resort.

"Caelie...."

Her voice was subdued, but it was obvious that she cared little for how her acquaintance saw her. While she was not displeased to see a familiar face, Beryl wasn't sure of whether she wanted company or not. Yet alcohol had its way of reducing one's reservations, and so Beryl said, her voice somewhat slurred, "It's actually disappointing, alcohol, I mean. And here was I, hoping it could help me forget... even if just for a little while.... I want to die, Caelie, but I'm not sure it's a good idea. Yet maybe a bullet in my brain will spill all the nightmares out. Where do nightmares come from, Caelie?"

Meanwhile, the eyes of a number of the patrons of the bar got fixed in almost hostile stares at the door. For just coming in were four fellows, to male and two female. They were dressed in armor, like knights, although the armor design and their insignia made it obvious that they weren't Knights of Fiore. Immediately, they split up, meeting people and apparently asking questions, though their voices were too low for much to be deciphered. Beryl paid them no heed. One of the males, a brown-haired fellow with an undercut hairstyle, walked up and seated himself across from Artesia, a fetching smile on his face.

"Well hello, hotness," he said, evidently impressed by the redhead's features, "if it ain't much of a hassle, I'm looking for a fellow named Travertine. Know the fellow, or heard the name?" And being a fellow guild mate of Beryl, Artesia would know that the mentioned name was Beryl's surname....
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Hadou
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WhAaAaAaAaAaAtTtT?!!!

The last time she had seen Beryl, the blonde had been full of life and obviously was the kind of person who knew how to enjoy life. Caelie had thought of her as the optimistic sort, who could cheer others up with her disarming personality. So, it was a little wonder to Caelie, seeing Beryl like that. She couldn't understand what had happened to her that could break her up like this. Her eyes slowly moved from Beryl's face to the bottle or alcohol cradled in her arms, and she sighed.

"Oh dear, Beryl; stop speaking of death. It won't do either of us any good. Come on, let's get you up on your feet first. You've got a reputation to defend, yes? People look up to your guild in these parts. No, no, no, I'm not taking any complaints. Take a seat, and let's talk about these nightmares."

It was very likely that Beryl might object to being helped, but Caelie wouldn't take no for an answer. She would help Beryl to her feet, unless the woman violently rebuffed her*. On helping her up, she directed her to the bar, using her foot to draw up a stool that Beryl could sit on. The barkeep, who would obviously protest, instantly got a withering, reproving glare from Caelie, and even though she looked small and unassuming, something in her fierce gaze made the barkeep think better of saying anything out.

Once she was sure that Beryl was seated properly, she turned to the bar tender. "Water, please," she repeated her initial request. This time, he complied without question. While he got the cool water ready, Caelie focused on Beryl. "Well, we both know that your..." she paused and took a look at the label on the bottle, ... 'Midian Deathshot' has very little else to offer you in the way of respite.
If I know anything about nightmares, they come from Nas'Korath. It's like a demon world or something...


She looked up at the barkeep as he silently passed along two large mugs filled with cold water. With a word of thanks, she paid him above what was necessary, mostly just so that he would keep out of their business. To Beryl, she said:

"Take some water, and tell me about your nightmares. I've read a little about the world of nightmares, and I've had lots myself. I might be able to help."

As she waited for Beryl to talk to her, she became aware of the strange knights that had come into the bar, and were asking questions. Perhaps it was from experience, or just a gut feeling, but this looked like a recipe for some sort of trouble. While she listened to Beryl, she swiveled in her chair, so that her back was to the bar table, and she was leaning against it. There. She could listen to her inebriated friend, and watch what was going on in the room at the same time.


* Pardon to Grond for the mild bunnying (who I'm sure doesn't mind); just to allow things flow smoothly
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Lightning
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Steel your mind. Run on instinct.

OOC: My apology for the wait, I didn't know it was my post again. Also, sorry for the lack of interaction at the moment IC - all in due time.



From the very moment she had seen the figures in the entrance of the bar.... Artesia had known that she would be the 'lucky' recipient of a visit. She had felt their eyes wash over her, and one had lingered. He was a young man, average in stature and well groomed - he was a man who exuded that kind of confidence that made approaching women a breeze. Artesia supposed he wasn't unattractive, but she definitely didn't think much of him either. Although who could blame her? She was used to the company of a far more attractive individual.

The atmosphere at Artesia's table was one of a chilled disinterest as the stranger took a seat, and an unoffered one at that. His words made it obvious that he'd little information other than a name to go on, after all, he'd said 'fellow', and that wasn't usually the term one would use for a woman. He would be getting more either, not from her.

Instead of rising to greet his own, the Sinian's gaze wandered to the plate of funnel cake slightly off to her side. "If I said I hadn't?" The food was still warm as she lackadaisically broke a piece off with her fingertips.

"Then I'd say you'd be lying." Maybe the man fancied himself a detective of sorts, or maybe he just felt he'd done a particularly good job of reading the obvious. Either way, his face shone with an unearned sense of satisfaction. Then again.... maybe that was just the smug bastards usual face, who was she to tell?

The funnel cake came to a pause before her lips as Artesia finally met the man's gaze. "Hm?" She smiled with mischief and a hint of venomous amusement. "You make it sound like I'd care." The fried dough disappeared between her lips with a satisfied motion of her jaw as she savoured the taste. There was always a guy like him in the midst of any group that sought information... but why did she always seem to attract them?

It was important for Artesia not to glance in Beryl's direction at the bar, but her ears and peripheral vision were paying the location particular attention. If there were any signs of trouble then the red head wouldn't hesitate to intervene, heck... she would probably be the first to do so. I mean, how long had it been since she had gotten into one of her signature bar fights?

Too long.
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Grond
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Hammer of a Thousand Chickens

Beryl obediently let the white-haired young woman help her up from her huddled position on the floor, and followed her to the bar silently, where the hostile glares from the bartender so went over her head. She placed the bottle of alcohol in her hand on the bar, which was quickly grabbed by the barkeep, who was still trying to look as menacing as he could, while trying all the while to avoid Caelie's line of sight, having been intimidated by her glare.

Beryl smiled a slight, apologetic smile, and said, "many apologies, barkeep, but that drink tastes like boiling shit...." Of course, the man appreciated the comment little, but Beryl didn't care. With her mind hazed by alcohol, there were few things she cared about at present.

Caelie mentioned Nas'Korath as the source of nightmares. Beryl was almost certain she had read a thing or two about the place, but her brain was not cooperating, thanks to the alcohol in her system. "So, if nightmares come from this Nas'Ko-what-do-they-call-it, is there something or someone that creates the nightmares? Or how the heck does the whole nightmare thing run? In any case, I'm quite sure my nightmares may not be bearing Nas'Komodo postage stamps."

The Seveni girl took in a deep breath and sighed. "Okay, my nightmares... where do I start? I'm in a dark place, pitch black, exactly, and then there's something in the darkness; I can't see it, but I can perceive it clearly, like there's some unknown sense of mine suddenly awakened...." As she spoke, one of the female knights who had just come in, walked up to the two young women. She looked a little bit older than they, though her brown eyes still had a rather innocent aspect to them, and her notably purple hair was cut in a simple bob. She seemed to hesitate a moment, then said, "pardon my intrusion, but we're looking for a man, a fellow named Travertine. May you by chance know of whom we speak?"

At the sound of the name, Beryl tensed. Were she more sober, she would have easily controlled herself and shown no response. In any case, if the lady knight noticed, she made no sign of this, as she said, "once again, I apologize for any inconvenience. Enjoy your evening." As she left, she exchanged whispered words with the other female knight, a taller woman with black hair and a fierce countenance. The woman seemed to get angry, as she turned to look for her other companions. On seeing the brown-haired knight at Artesia's table, she lip curled into a disgusted sneer, as she turned to seek the other male knight.

He was seated at a lone table, apparently uninterested in asking questions like the younger ones, for he was well advanced in years. Looking somewhere close to seventy, his thinning grey hair fell to his shoulders, and his eyes had a tired look that revealed they'd probably seen too much about life, and had grown weary of it. The black haired female knight gave the old one a questioning gaze, which he replied with an impassive stare. With a sigh, she turned away and approached the two mages at the bar.

"You will have to excuse me," the woman said, placing a hand on Beryl's shoulder, "but I have some questions to ask you." Beryl shrugged her hand off angrily and growled, "buzz off!" But that was where things went downhill fast. Because since Beryl wasn't on a mission, she was dressed in a short dress and a wide scarf which covered her shoulders. When she shrugged, the scarf moved, revealing the odd blue tattoos on her left shoulder blade. When the woman saw it, her eyes narrowed with vitriol, and her hand flew to the hilt of the sword sheathed and hanging at her hip, drawing the weapon and placing it near Beryl's neck.

Apparently, the other knights saw the tattoo, for the purple-haired one muttered something as her eyes widened, while the old knight leaned forward as though trying to get a better look without having to rise, as he fingered his mustache and beard in contemplation. The younger male had the most dramatic response, for he swore loudly as he rose, his hand also flying to the sword at his side.

"While I was beginning to love the direction in which our delectable banter was likely to head, something of urgency has come up," he said to the fiery-haired woman, still trying to impress her with his smug smile. "Oh, and apologies for the swearing. Be a good girl and don't leave just yet." And with that he approached his black-haired companion, his hand still on his weapon.

Beryl was coldly calm, even as the patrons of the bar, and its tender as well, made themselves scarce. Her grip tightened on the handle of her water mug, as the woman said, "you will come with us, whether you please or not."

"I'm quite comfortable here, thank you very much. But I think it is you who should be leaving...."
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Hadou
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WhAaAaAaAaAaAtTtT?!!!

Caelie laughed lightly at the comical way Beryl murdered the name of the world of nightmares. "Nas'Korath," she repeated. "It shares boundaries with the more benign world of dreams, but through negative emotion or external influence, or even some other factor, can bleed into the world of dreams and be experienced by sleepers."

Listening to Beryl recount her nightmare, Caelie involuntarily turned to stare at her. Darkness? Something with her in the darkness? It sounded so much like her own nightmare, Caelie would have never believed Beryl, had she told her before this time. Could it mean that the source of their problems were related? She needed to know more about this dream. Perhaps in helping Beryl find a solution, she might find one for herself too.

And that was when she espied one of the knights coming up to them. Talk about bad timing. Fortunately, the young woman was looking for a man bearing a name Caelie had never heard of. They were both women at the bar, so surely neither of them was being referred to. However, Caelie noticed Beryl's reaction to the name, and instantly deduced that she had some history with the bearer of the name. It would be utter stupidity, though, to say anything to Beryl about it while the knights were around. She could raise it later on, when there were no pesky ears to listen.

Just as Caelie hoped that the knights would leave without incident, the other woman walked up, and just looking at her face made Caelie uncomfortable. In her opinion, such people were the types who easily added sparks to a keg of gunpowder. Matters made worse, Beryl was still under the influence of the Midian Deathshot, and as such was likely to be less restrained in behavior. Already, her mind was in analysis mode, sizing up the knights, their positions and distances from each other, and the gear they had equipped.

As she expected, Beryl was openly hostile, but that was not the surprising thing. The four knights seemed instantly taken aback by the tattoo on Beryl's exposed shoulder. Caelie didn't know much about the blonde, but she knew that these knights were not on their side... Oh lookie! As if to reinforce that point, the fierce looking woman drew a sword and held it to Beryl's throat.

Caelie quickly took stock of the situation. The good news was, they wanted Beryl alive, otherwise, they would have hacked her down. Thus, the blade at her throat was a little more than just bluff. Bad news was, Caelie was sure the knights would have no qualms injuring Beryl badly, and might not care cutting Caelie down. And they had swords. She was unarmed, though thankfully, a bar often had its plethora of unconventional weapons.

Caelie slowly stood to her feet, her hand gripping the leg of her high stool in a gesture perceived to be fright. Her gentle features usually made people think that she was incapable of any serious combat abilities, which she hoped would be the same case here. Her holding of the stool would likely be perceived more as a gesture of panic or fear, rather than an offensive reaction. She said nothing, just watching the scene unfold with wide eyes. If she spoke, it might give her a sense of courage. Now, she wanted to look as mousy as possible. Inwardly, she was like a coiled spring, watching for the initiation of combat.

Oh yes, there was something else she liked: the knights weren't wearing helmets.
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Lightning
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Steel your mind. Run on instinct.
The closer that the strangers got to where Beryl and her companion were seated, the more obvious it became that Artesia was going to have to intervene. She had seen her fellow guild member head-butt someone earlier for merely pissing her off, and there was no doubt in the red heads mind that she would be violent again. Slowly, silently, and invisibly, her magic began to spread outwards from her position. Shadowy, black, tendril like shapes were forming beneath the feet of the four as they spoke; Artesia simply had to decide when they do more than wait..... which as 'luck' had it, would prove to be sooner rather than later.

It wasn't until the man she had been conversing with decided to join his allies that Artesia sighed a long and disappointed exhalation. A reaction that was so unexpected by the man she had conversed with that it promptly brought his eyes back to her. He didn't speak a word however, not before he noticed the way with which she glanced at him. Her teal gaze was striking to be sure, the eyeliner and luscious lashes framing them to be even more so. But it was not the beauty of the eyes that held his own that struck him still. No, it was the intimadatory way they expressed her frustration. Frozen, his hand on his weapon and several metres from the table, the man's mind began to understand.

She was pissed.

They came from the ground; black, tendril like masses of shadowy magic which burst upwards to ensnare the limbs of the four 'knights' who had begun to cause trouble. Patrons began to scream as the scene unfolded, and most threw their chairs back as they made their race towards the exits. The bar tender however, well he took cover behind his bar with his head between his trembling knees. Why did they have to do it now? Why when he had just fallen behind in his insurance payments?! The world was cruel, and doubly so to him... or at least that was what he muttered to himself as he rocked back and forth and fought against the tears welling in his eyes.

Artesia sat un-phased in her chair as the strangers struggled, her legs crossed daintily as she picked at the fried dough on her plate before the air-conditioner she was seated under chilled it through. The magic had not destroyed anything, not even the floor through which it had traveled. Knocked over a few chairs? Yes. But so far there was no damage done to anything or anybody. How long her method of subjugation would remain effective however would remain to be seen.

Technique Used

Edited by Lightning, Jul 22 2017, 06:21 AM.
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Grond
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Hammer of a Thousand Chickens

When Caelie rose from her seat, the harsh-looking woman instantly switched her gaze from Beryl to the standing girl, although her sword never left its position aimed at Beryl's throat. Most likely, the woman surmised that Caelie was more of a threat, being sober, than Beryl was, with her faculties muddled by alcohol. Whether Caelie was scared of her or not was of no import to her; if the white-haired girl indeed was scared, fear still often ended up being a good motivator for the initiation of fights.

"Um, Nadine," the purple-haired knight said uneasily, looking at her black-haired companion with concern, "aren't we being a bit hasty with all the drawing of weapons and such?" The woman identified as Nadine did not bother to shift her focus, eyes on Caelie and blade on Beryl. "She has the cursed mark. She is definitely an enemy, cavorting with foul demons--"

The black tendrils sprouting from the floor took everyone by surprise, except, of course, the caster, who remained calmly seated, although her eyes could hint that she was quite pissed off. As the bar patrons made good their escape, Beryl shifted so that her neck was some safe distance from the blade with which she had been threatened with. If the tendrils had not bound herself or Caelie, whoever was responsible for them was a friend.

It didn't take long to find the caster of the magic. She looked familiar to Beryl, but the Midian Deathshot was still clouding the Seveni girl's senses. The knights, for their part, all seemed initially displeased by the most recent turn of events. But while the black-haired one was scowling silently and the purple-haired was fretting, the young man who had approached Artesia flashed her a toothy grin. "You've got some spirit, lass," he said, as he began to strain against his bonds.

For a moment, it seemed nothing would happen, but suddenly, with a snapping sound, the black bindings were ripped, the sheer force of the knight muscling through them enough to slap the table before him into the air, the furniture hurtling towards Artesia. While most attention would be drawn to the muscle-bound fellow as he broke free, it would suddenly be discovered that the tendrils binding the purple-haired girl were currently binding a stone pillar.

She currently stood between Beryl and Caelie, two short swords in close proximity to their throats. "Please, both of you," she said, still looking vexed, "I beg you, do not move...." Meanwhile, a number of flaming runes suddenly came to life on Nadine's sword, and the tendrils binding her evaporated into nothing. With a fluid motion she instantly darted towards where Artesia sat, hoping to attack her while the redhead was probably responding to the table flying at her face.

And if anyone had noticed, the old knight remained seated with an impassive, slightly disappointed look on his face, unmoved from his original position, but no tendrils bound him now.
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