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Of Magic and Dungeons [IC/PG-16/Accepting]

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In every dream
Lies the possibility of a nightmare
Will your hope turn to despair
And lead you down a path you cannot return from
No fate is set in stone
Until the moment it becomes too late to change

Froura. A city that is always changing. While not as crowded as the early days of the appearance of The Dungeon a steady stream of outsiders came to the city every day. While the majority of them were merchants, or travelers drawn there by the intrigue of the dungeon and those who delve it, there were many still who came to attempt to conquer that place. Despite that none had come close to this day.

"It's rather sad, isn't it?"

"What is, my lord."

The mage looked out their window. Watching as people, travelers and otherwise, spilled through the streets. "They go about their lives without knowing anything. And they will end their lives much the same." A small, sardonic, smile. "Though perhaps it is us who know who are the truly sad ones. How goes the preparations?"

"No change. That is to say they go well."

"And the other families?"

"No sign of any interest from them."

A sigh. "As usual. It was the intention yet it still is disappointing."

"My lord?"

A dismissive wave followed. "Continue at the same pace. Let them flail about in the dark. Time is on our side. None of them will reach The Spark. Not before we finish. And then it will not matter."

They slumped back and tore their gaze from the window. "And then this sad scene will finally end."



Estellise Fereis

The young lady, mage of the Fereis family, woke in the early hours of the morning as usual. Though these past few days have been somewhat different than the norm.

She had met and joined up with a pair of rather surprising individuals. Up until now she had traveled into The Dungeon with members of the Fereis family. And even then usually not for long. Yet now she would be in the company of strangers. Commnofolk at that.

This was something her mother very clearly didn't approve of.

Which was, once again, the topic of discussion, if one could call it that, at the breakfast table. The long table seated several other Fereis family members. Though the head of the family was absent. A usual occurrence as the young man hardly ever took meals with the rest anymore.

The room itself was rather grand. Tapestries lined the walls and a great chandelier, candles lit with blue flame, hung above the table. Which itself was a massive thing. Dozens of seats lined either side. Though only several of them were filled at the moment. A contrast that, perhaps, spoke to the abundance of wealth even the smallest of the major families had.

Her mother's voice was kept low, attempting to avoid the attention of the others, but the sharp tone carried despite the volume. "I will say it again. I do not approve of you going off with some rabble. You must explore The Dungeon of course, it is the duty of ever member, but do so with the family. It may be slower than some of those foolhardy 'adventurers' but it is the way we have always done things. You won't have this option to be so carefree once you're the h-once you're older so I do not see why you would break from the tradition now."

There was a sour look on her face and the woman's eyes flicked over towards the chair at the end of the table. Which was where the family head would sit. When her gaze went back to her daughter she let out a sigh. "I wish you would avoid those others, Estellise, I truly do."



Christopher Ellwood

The Drooling Dragon. It was a rather uncouth name for an establishment. The sign that hung outside its door even more so. A fat dragon, sleeping on a pile of stones, with a waterfall of drool dripping down its face.

Despite the name, and the sign, the beds in the rooms that made up the upper two floors of the large building were rather comfortable. For most travelers that is.

Christopher woke up in the morning to the noise of people outside. Even from the third floor, which contained the rooms reserved for those planning to stay more than a few nights, he could hear the voices coming in from the small window above the bed.

The sunlight shining directly on his face didn't help matters.

Nor did the dry heaving he could hear from the neighboring room. Belonging to someone who most likely had spent too long in the tavern last night.

Once he made his way down to the ground floor he would find the tavern nearly empty. Only the most dedicated, or most downtrodden, of souls tended to come to the tavern this early. So it was mostly those who rented rooms. Eating the rather simple breakfast the bar owner provided them.

Most of those that were there that morning were sat up at the bar itself. The many tables were empty. The stools having not even been put down on them. In the corner the small stage was even more empty. The musicians that usually used it wouldn't come in for a few more hours.

There were several spots where, instead of the usual tables, there were areas set up for various games of chance, skill, and strength. Though those too, this early, were empty. Barring one table where two large men arm wrestled. Neither giving the other an inch despite the strain that was clear in both of their faces.

The bartender noticed as Christopher made his way down the steps and gave him a nod. The man was rather tall. Standing at six feet even. Though his fine, for a commoner, clothing covered his body well they still strained at places due to the muscles that hid underneath.

His name was Hector, Christopher had learned, and there were a wide variety of rumors about the man. The most prevalent and wild of them being that he had once been a mercenary and on one job had knocked out a dragon with a single punch.

"Mornin'." He called out. His voice low and unassuming yet strong. "Did you slept well, kid? I know Donald had a late night. Hope he didn't wake you." Hector nodded to a nearby empty barstool. "How about you sit down and I'll get you a bite to eat."




The Riverside Church, as its name implies, was a church located near a river. More specifically the river that ran across the city near its center and cuts the area in almost two sections.

It was a smaller church, able to hold only several dozen faithful, but Lana had been directed there because the priest who took care of it was known for helping out travelers down on their luck free of charge. As long as they were willing to do some minor work around the place in return.

The room she was given was small as well. Hardly more than a closet. But it had a bed, and a small, simple, table where a candle was set. As well as a rather large, circular, window that she could see one section of the river from.

There was a noise. Something creaking. It wasn't unusual for a building like this to have such noises but these seemed somewhat louder than normal. Which was odd as, until the priest comes in later in the day to set up, there shouldn't be anyone else there. The priest's home was nearby but not attached and there were no other guests.

Whether the noise prompted the girl to get up to investigate right away or not she would find the place empty.

Though a door leading to the graveyard out back was partially opened.

Before she could check, were she inclined, the main door opened and the priest walked in. He was a short man but still fit despite his age. His head was bald and the only hair he had left was a neat mustache, still mostly black but greying, and he wore heavy robes whenever he was at the church.

His grey eyes looked inquisitive as he saw Lana up and about. "Good morning, child, is something the matter?" He then noticed the door on the other end open and a smile crossed his face. "Ah, I see she has come earlier than normal. If you were worried about that no need to. It's my daughter, you see, she tends to visit this place. Though usually not at this time. You've been here a few days now but I suppose you never did meet her. If you'd like to say hello you're free to. Though, I could use some help setting up for the sermon later, if you don't mind."





And so we begin our adventure. I know it's not the most exciting start but I hope I set each of your scenes well enough. From here you can continue with what prompt I gave or set out into the city or what have you. I'm around to ask about...well, anything. I know there's not much info at the moment but if you need some examples of areas in the city you can ask.

Whenever you feel like meeting up with each other and perhaps even going into the dungeon you're free to as long as the others are fine with it. And even if you want to go on your own, or with some other mercenaries, if you really feel the need. Though that may be dangerous.

Also, as long as you don't go over your logical means, don't worry too much about specific amounts of money.


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The one recurring dream Christopher Ellwood had (though this is not to say he always had this dream, nor should it imply that he dreamed very often) was that his entire life ever since, oh, say, around his eighteenth birthday had just been some sort of elaborate fabrication. He was never sure how it would be done -- when he woke up, he always assumed some incomprehensibly complex illusion magic (not that he knew much of anything about magic) was involved -- only that he wanted to wake up will all consequences since then simply erased. Because that’s what this was, right? One giant consequence made up of so, so many smaller consequences. Every day that he spent outside of Ellwood manor, every morning the sun shone past that grotesque wyrm and through his window and right onto his face, that was yet another consequence to add to the whole.

But! He was awake now, and being awake, in Chris’ experience, was a good way to sober up from all that nostalgic wistfulness for the past. So too was the retching next door and the rabble outside chatting up a storm; neither were things he’d hear if he was truly waking up back home. And now that he was awake and sobered up, there was really only one thing left to do:

Actually get out of bed.

How familiar that tavern hall had become! Christopher could imagine drawing it all up on the back of his hand; he could even mark out all the uneven tables and shaky chairs if he thought about it long enough. There weren’t too many buildings he could say the same thing about.

The people, too, were just as recognizable, and not just its ever-loyal owner and minder Hector. How many regulars was Chris on a by-name basis with? How many had he done a job for (of course, not all relationships were good relationships -- how many of those jobs had been botched?)? He could probably take a guess at the name of everyone currently present and he’d get more right than not.

Rather than do that, though, Chris figured he should start by addressing the person already speaking to him. Hector, gods bless him, was already behind the bar tending to customers, and was gesturing at Chris to sit down. “Did you sleep well, kid?” he said. “I know Donald had a late night. Hope he didn’t wake you. How about you sit down and I’ll grab you a bite to eat?”

“Please don’t call me kid,” Christopher said, starting from the top. “I know that’s not gonna get you to stop, but at the same time, that’s not gonna keep me from asking every time either. Anyway, I slept okay.”

He took a moment to move over to where Hector was pointing. “Donald didn’t wake me up, at least. I was out working pretty late myself, so when I got back, I just dropped like a rock.” He shrugged. “Work went well enough, though. Breakfast sounds like as good a celebration for that as any. What’s in the kitchen this morning?”

Edited by radio414

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Lana let out a sigh as she woke up. More specifically, this came from when she had looked out the window of her rather small room. The sky was still dark, though not so much that the stars were visible at present. Looking at the river, the girl simply saw buildings stretch on beyond it and so her view of beyond them was obstructed. But, were she to hazard a guess, she would assume that the sun was beginning to crest over the horizon. It was more than likely dawn, the first light of it no less. There was no fields or crops that needed her care at the moment. In fact, there hadn't been in the past few days. And more than that she was now living it big, having actually made it to the big city itself. So, naturally, she had no reason to be up at such an early hour. The girl frowned at the sight, figuring that once she had made it here things would start to turn around and she would be able to start her quest towards leaving behind her old responsibilities and habits. Sure, she hadn't actually done anything in the city yet, nor had she actually been here for that long. But it was the principle and atmosphere of the matter. 

Thankfully, there was something that her newfound independence did afford her. Getting underneath the covers of her room once again, the girl closed her eyes as she went back into resting position. She had no nagging parents who would ask her to get back out and work, nor did she share the room with anyone else. Of course, her blissful moment of realization was ruined by the sudden creaking she heard. The girl jolted back awake, curious as to what it was. Houses creaked all the time, or at least hers did. But this wasn't the random type of creaking she heard from her home every now and then. It sounded more weighty. Which probably meant the Priest was here to give her some early task. As he was letting her stay here for free, she couldn't really complain about him putting her to work, but she wish he had picked a later time to do so. As such, the girl got out of her bed and started walking out of her little cupboard of a room. 

As she peaked her head around, the girl looked to notice on thing strange. The building was empty. That was certainly strange in of itself, but now that she thought of it she realized that the priest probably had to get up even earlier than her if he was already here to give her work. So, who was in here? The girl began to tip toe around the building, though she was pretty sure the creaking was louder then ever as she walked across the wooden floors. Looking to the ground, giving it a shushing motion, the girl eventually looked to see that a door out to the back had been opened. As she started to peer through the back of the door, the girl suddenly leaped in place, startled by the sound of the main door opening. 

With the priest coming to greet her, Lana cleared her throat saying, "um, hello there - er, good morning. Mr. Priest." As the man mentioned his daughter, Lana had figured she hadn't met anyone else here yet, though was relieved that it wasn't some kind of dangerous stranger. Or a ghost or something. As the man mentioned helping set up for the sermon, the girl gave an earnest nod to the man saying, "of course! When you're ready to get set up just give the word! In the mean time I'll just uh," the girl curiously looked to the door, then back to the priest. Giving him a thumbs up, the girl then simply walked out into the back, curious about how this other person was. 

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Estellise had awoken bright and early as she was wont to do. With a trained ease she washed and readied herself for the day before joining her family in the dining hall. Breakfast was a meal she rarely missed, something her mother seemed ready to take advantage of. For the most part, the woman sat peacefully and ate with the grace expected of her. Her eyes wandered to the spot for the family head, her cousin, and sighed to herself whenever they landed there. How long had it been since the two had been messing around at the side of the table while getting yelled at by both their parents? It seemed so far off. And yet it was a necessary reminiscence. However tinted with pain and mourning now, the happy memories were necessary to get through the stifled air and somber mood of the manor these days. She could only ignore the elephant in the room for so long. As it happened, she didn't need to stop ignoring it herself, it was going to be aired regardless.

"I will say it again. I do not approve of you going off with some rabble. You must explore The Dungeon of course, it is the duty of ever member, but do so with the family. It may be slower than some of those foolhardy 'adventurers' but it is the way we have always done things. You won't have this option to be so carefree once you're the h-once you're older so I do not see why you would break from the tradition now." her mother began speaking to her before pausing and looking herself to the head's vacant position at the table. "I wish you would avoid those others, Estellise, I truly do." she concluded. Estellise had known this would be a problem from the moment she'd stumbled upon her new adventuring party. She understood her mother's position, it was hardly unique to the older woman either. Many members of the mage families would scoff at the idea of one of their children keeping company with strangers, let alone those who held little or no skill with magic. And while she had mentally prepared herself for this conversation, Estellise still struggled to remain collected with her mother's comments. Most especially when her deep ambitions had reared their ugly head mid-sentence.

"Mother, I have told you, they are not bad people. And it is not a permanent arrangement of affairs. I will still be going with the familiy I just-" Estellise began before she was cut off.

"It's hardly a matter of duration and much more a matter of it occurring at all. It is unsightly for a Fereis to be seen in the company of ignorant ruffians." her mother interjected. The girl's frustration mounted as her mother seemed intent on not understanding despite this being one of several conversations on the topic.

"Yes but as Father and I both discussed with you, it is difficult to gauge the efficacy of certain enchantments amidst nothing but conjurers." daughter returned to mother, invoking her father's input in a previous discussion. As it happened, Estellise's father was not here with the two women. He was often off on his own, researching no matter the hour of the day. "How am I to learn how to enchant a sword when none of us carry them?" she proposed.

"What need do you have to enchant a sword dear? I know you're quite capable of conjuring swords and other armaments made of light. Surely those are more effective than any crude metal blade could be. I know your research with your Father is exciting to you but please do not become unreasonable over it. You can perform tests here in the manor if you must. I see no need to rush into The Dungeon with sellswords and the like." her mother pontificated. Her distaste for non magical approaches to problems was ever abundantly clear. Estellise struggled to find what to say next. The tension in her body relaxed, admitting some of defeat. What was there to really say here? She had no reason that could convince her mother. It was something she had chosen for herself because it sounded more exciting. But there was no reason for a Fereis mage to do what she was doing. Convincing a very traditional Fereis mage that there was would never work.

"I... suppose you are right Mother. Forgive me, I was simply too excited about a recent breakthrough I suppose." she began, much more meek than she had started the conversation. "I am nothing if not obedient, I will not upset you further." she added before standing to excuse herself from breakfast. Her mother eyed her suspiciously, a history of disobedient streaks informing her skepticism. And yet she had no reason to directly challenge her daughter on the statement. She sighed and relaxed some herself.

"Thank you child. We'll speak again when next your father is available. Do be safe today." came a mother's farewell as Estellise began walking away. Not but a moment after her daughter began leaving did she rise herself and track down a servant to discuss something. The move was so obvious on both parties' parts. Daughter knew mother was sending someone to spy on her to see if she would disobey, and mother knew daughter was intent on disobeying regardless of what had been said in the conversation. It put a smile on Estellise's face. Another game they played and another lecture in her future. And yet she welcomed it over her parents hounding her to get married as she'd heard many a woman in town share a tale about. The woman returned to her room to retrieve her signature enchanted cape and gathered her things before departing the Fereis manner. The sun greeted her as the doors were opened for her.

"Let us see what The Dungeon has got in store for us today." she said with a smile as she confidently stepped out into the town.

Edited by Doggo

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Christopher Ellwood

“Donald didn’t wake me up, at least. I was out working pretty late myself, so when I got back, I just dropped like a rock.” He shrugged. “Work went well enough, though. Breakfast sounds like as good a celebration for that as any. What’s in the kitchen this morning?”

"Good to hear that, kid." Hector said with a small, cheeky, smile. "Well, like last week we still got a bunch of eggs. Really wish I hadn't messed up that order but hey, more eggs for everyone isn't bad. Though we did get some fresh apples that the cook wants to make into some pies. Won't be ready this morning though." He chuckled to himself after a moment. "Nice girl who brought them over. She's probably still in the market. About your age too." He didn't say much beyond that but the implication was clear.

Some time would pass before Chris would get the food promised but, once he did, it was delivered in a heaping pile of scrambled eggs, with some toasted bread on top, and placed before him still steaming.

Before digging into it the door to the tavern was suddenly kicked open.

A young man, likely only a few years older than Chris, strode into the tavern with a large grin and an even larger sense of confidence.

He placed his hands on his hips and looked around. "Well, well, glad to see this place didn't get shut down while I was gone." He made his way towards the bar, tipping the hat on his head to a few of the patrons that were eyeing him with sour looks.

He made it to the bar, right next to where Chris was, and leaned against it. "Hey there Hector, how's business? Get any new waitresses?"

"If I did I already would've warned them about you, Leo." Hector said. His tone was neutral but his arms, crossed tightly across his chest, and his tight jaw showed that this wasn't a visitor he had wanted. "I thought you were in jail."

"Oh that, nah, just a little mix up. Few days and they let me go. You know how it is." He reached over towards Chris's plate and grabbed a piece of egg before putting it into his mouth. "It'd be a shame to all the women in town if I was locked up for good." He didn't even seem to acknowledge Chris's presence, despite his brazen attitude.


"Go ahead, miss, I'll only be a few moments. I'm sure you'd rather be out there then in this cramped place with this old coot anyway."

The Riverside Graveyard wasn't directly on the river. It stretched off to the side, ending on a cliff, which itself overlooked the river. Lana would have been there once or twice had she the mind to but even a quick stroll would reveal all there was to see. The graves were, for the most part, neatly placed. Though there were areas that made it clear that, as more were added, they struggled to keep it uniform. Some graves were off on their own, closer or farther together than the rest, and some even were facing different directions.

The cliff itself had no graves but instead a large tree sat on it. Leaning somewhat outwards, towards the river, with most of the leaves that fell landing into the river itself.

A girl, tall and thin, so skinny that she was almost twig-like, wearing a short but still modest dress, was slowly making her way through the graveyard.

She weaved around the graves, trailing a hand absently on each as she passed. Her hair, a pinkish color, was tied in two places and each of them swayed gently with the breeze as she walked. She seemed to be talking softly as she moved. "Yeah, suppose so. Really? No, I don't think that's true."

She paused then and let out a soft "Oh."

The girl turned around then and looked at Lana. Though her eyes had a faraway look in them. "Hello. Are you visiting someone?" She asked.

Estellise Fereis

The young lady of the Fereis family was greeted by a bright and warm sun. Winter had only ended a short couple months ago but there was no sign of it in the warm breeze that blew by. While she had a destination in mind, where she was to meet the others she was to journey with, there was no rush to getting there and she seemed content to take her time moving through the city.

While the Fereis family wasn't as well liked as some of the other families most people liked them well enough. And Estellise was liked more than most at that. She'd be greeted with smiles and polite waves from those she passed. Though not many advanced and directly spoke with her unless bade to. Highlighting the gap there still was between important families and the common folk.

Her roundabout route took her to one of the marketplaces. There were several throughout the city, areas patrolled by knights and sectioned off for the sale of various merchandise, and the one she found herself passing through was of the types which was largely open area. Most of the goods here seemed to have been brought in from the farms outside of the city. Those selling were the farmers themselves, or at least relatives of them, and there was a general din of noise. Various sellers calling out over each other to try and convince people that their produce was the best and that they had to have it.

As she went through she would find herself particularly targeted by their sales pitches. As if they could smell the money on her as she walked.

In the midst of this all, she would notice one person in particular who was struggling to be heard over the rest. She was only noticeable because she kept jumping up as though it would carry her voice over the rest. A young girl with a rather small, unimpressive form, and blonde hair cut almost ear-length.

She seemed to be having some trouble getting people over and, when she noticed Estelle looking her way, gave a bright smile and called out "Do you want some apples?" Behind her was several large baskets full of bright red apples. And in her hands was a couple of smaller bags of the fruit.


Doggo, for the picture, ignore the little wings things, they're not there, just forgot to edit em out. Also to everyone I hope this was enough to go off. It's up to y'all if you want to make shorter responses since I'll probably post more than once a week and won't wait for everyone if not needed or if you want to get lines or information to do more with singular posts.


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Christopher knew exactly what Hector was doing. He was trying to play matchmaker with him. A fine game to play -- it wasn’t like Chris didn’t appreciate the attention -- but he still couldn’t help but roll his eyes. Any girl Hector was able to find in this city probably wasn’t going to be worth the trouble when -- not if, but when -- he came home. And if she did have a surname, Hector would have mentioned it. Or he would have heard of her already.

Still, thinking about all that allowed him to pass the time as his breakfast was prepared. Chris wondered if that was why Hector did it -- getting his customers to think about anything other than how long their meal was taking. He dismissed the idea, mostly because, well, that didn’t seem like Hector’s style, but he didn’t put it away entirely. There was that primal part of him that did indeed want to see what this girl was all about.

The eggs had been prepared just the way Christopher liked them, which was just as well given that he wasn’t sure Hector would have listened if, say, he’d asked for them Benedict or some other fancy method he could recall from his youth. He pondered asking anyway at some point. Not today, though, and especially not with the eggs and toast already in front of him.

A voice from the door called out, “Well well, glad to see this place didn’t get shut down while I was gone.”

It was not a voice Chris recognized, though Hector seemed to. By the look on his face, too, it wasn’t a very welcome recognition. “Leo,” Hector said his name was, though when Chris glanced over his shoulder to take a look, he didn’t see much in the way of resemblance to his feline namesake. He looked more like a shrew (though “Migale” was probably a worse name. And who knew exactly what animal their kid looked like until they grew up anyway?).

“I thought you were in jail,” Hector said. The last word there pricked Chris’ ears a little, alerting him to exactly how close his guess at Leo’s appearance had been. It also got him looking over his shoulder again. He hadn’t been to jail just yet, although a couple of his escapades had been a little too close for comfort. Needless to say, he was pretty happy keeping it that way. It was almost enough to just ignore the bar’s newest customer entirely.


When Leo breached his little cylinder of ignorance, crossing it with fingers and then his whole hand picking apart his breakfast -- his breakfast -- that was where he drew the line. He didn’t stand up just yet, but he did make an open comment. “I assume you’re going to pay for those eggs?” he said. “I dunno, you can pay Hector or you can pay me, but I’d like some reassurance that you’re at least down something in exchange for your meal.”

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With the priest giving her the okay, Lana made her way outside the door with curiosity abound only to be stopped almost immediately. Right. It was a graveyard. Though Lana had to admit that the scenery of a graveyard near a hill and a river was breath taking in its own way, it was still a graveyard. No matter where it was, Lana figured that all graveyards would creep her out - just something about seeing all the gravestones around that made her simply tread more carefully where she was. All the same, the girl noticed the person she presumed to be the priest's daughter trailing around. 

Looking at the girl, Lana walked over but soon realized that she seemed to be talking to someone and was likely in the middle of something. So, while she was thinking of simply saying hello to the girl, she awkwardly stared from the side until she was sure the girl was done with whatever it was she was doing. As the young girl had suddenly taken note of Lana being there, the white haired girl couldn't help but feel  more awkward, clearing her throat before giving a short wave to the red haired girl. "Oh, no, nothing like - well, no one I know would be buried here anyway. I just heard there was someone here and was curious so uh, yeah. Right, hi. Name's Lana. I just kind of help around here." At this point, the girl looked around as if looking for something - or rather someone else in this case - but upon not finding anything figured she was just imagining things. "So uh, were you in the middle of something?"

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Christopher Ellwood

“I assume you’re going to pay for those eggs?” he said. “I dunno, you can pay Hector or you can pay me, but I’d like some reassurance that you’re at least down something in exchange for your meal.”

"Hm?" Leo said, turning to face Chris for the first time since coming in. "Oh those? I figured such a scrawny kid like you couldn't possibly need all of that for a meal. So I just thought I'd make sure it didn't go to waste. Nothing wrong with that is there?" He leaned one elbow against the counter and flashed Chris a smile. "Come on now I've only been eating gruel past few days don't you think you could spare a few bites of egg, your majesty?"

Hector looked on with a frown but, glancing at Chris, decided to see what the boy would do first. Keeping an eye on the two he moved over to get a drink for another patron.


"So uh, were you in the middle of something?"

As Lana talked she could see the girl's eyes glazing over. As though she was already checked out of the conversation. There was a brief lull, a silence, after Lana finished her question. But with a gentle sigh the girl nodded and muttered "Okay." She straightened up a bit and looked in Lana's direction. Though she didn't seem to really be taking much notice of her presence still. "I was just talking. There isn't really anything to do here. Except be buried. But I can talk here without anyone bothering me...usually." She paused. "I'm Anna. Are you an adventurer?" She seemed to perk up slightly at her own words. "Do you have any stories?"


While it wasn't as early as he woke on days he had a job. It wasn't quite as late as the days he spent the past night drinking. He had a potential job after all. A small group of adventurers, some travelers, at least one member of another family, had been looking for people to accompany them into the Dungeon. With the goal to complete it fully. Not just establish footholds. Not just examine the lower floors. But complete the whole thing. Of course many have tried this, many still do, but something must have stuck out as interesting about this group.

Either way the sun was up already when Sergei woke up in his small, unfit for a member of the Allagi family surely, hovel near the docks.

As usual the day was busy and even from his home he could hear the noises from the docks. Making his way over he could see the knights milling about. Several were near the end of one dock where a small, but impressive looking, ship was coming in. It was especially unusual treatment to see because not only were there some of the knights paying specific attention to it but there was one very important woman watching on.

Theresa, captain of the Knights.

With blazing red hair and standing taller than many females the northerner woman was a familiar sight to many in the city. And one that usually brought a sense of safety to those following the laws. And a sense of dread for those not.

At the moment she seemed to be simply watching as the ship came in. With pursed lips and a keen gaze.

Whether or not Sergei decided to investigate he'd be waylaid. By an elderly, hunched over, woman, holding a large fish in her hands and waving it about. "Heeey sonny, you want some fish? Fresh fish! Cheap fish! You look like you come from money. Care to spend a little for a poor soul like me? It's good fish, promise!" She smiled a toothless smile and held the fish up towards Sergei's face. Despite her claims the fish seemed to have been at least a day or two old by now.

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Lana awkwardly stood there as the girl she was talking to as there was a clear moment of silence after she spoke. The white haired girl looked at the girl, and looked around her to see if there was something else that was taking up her attention at the time. However, as there was nothing of note happening around them, she just blinked a few times and waited. Lana wasn't sure of what to make of the girl - Anna as it were- though couldn't help but be creeped out by her comment on what to do here. She also couldn't help but feel like the girl was already bored and maybe annoyed with talking to Lana already, which showed on the latter's face in the confusion she was displaying. 

With Anna perking up at the last part, Lana looked away and said, "well, sort of. I just got here so I haven't really done anything yet. But I do have a few - " friends was definitely not the right word for them yet. "Other people, that I'm going to adventure with. See, we're going to go into the dungeon and beat it, and then get super rich! Or, well, I am at least." While she had hyped herself up a bit, she could only imagine that Anna wasn't actually interested and so cleared her throat before asking, "so uh, do you like adventuring or something?" 

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Sergei indulged a deep stretch as he woke. He rolled his shoulders a few times and was pleasantly surprised to find that the dull ache that had been bothering him the last few days had abated for the time being. It had almost assuredly been the fault of his mattress, if one had the audacity to call it that. He briefly longed for the comfortable beds at his family's tavern, the warm fireplace, and jubilant chatter. He quickly brushed away the memory. What he had now wasn't much, but it was his own. That was something. 

He blinked away the sleep that still tugged at the corner of his eyes and set about getting ready. He tugged on his leathers, struggling a little with a few of the clasps, and ran a hand through his hair a couple of times. He inspected his appearance a moment in a small mirror that hung on the wall that was perpetually dirty no matter how much Sergei cleaned it. Apparently satisfied, he stepped out into the clamor of the day.

The docks were one of his favorite places in the city. The hustle of the fishermen, the flap of the ships' sails in the ocean breeze, and the endless lapping of the waves against the coast were soothing to him. He took a moment to let his eyes wander across the impossible vastness of the ocean. He always found it humbling. Which was something important for people, particularly mages, to be reminded of, he thought.

It didn't take long for his eyes to pick out the small collection of the city's protectors at the docks. While not necessarily an oddity, the presence of the Knights was definitely noteworthy. However, the fact that the captain was there to hail a ship was interesting. Sergei had a bit of a complicated relationship with the Knights. He was a mercenary after all, and not all mercenaries were the best of folk. He'd always kept his business above board, however, so for the most part he hadn't clashed with them much. And Theresa had always had his respect. Though he didn't figure that was uncommon. She had a presence that commanded it. 

Sergei had hardly taken a half dozen steps towards the collection of Knights before the old woman had approached him.

"Heeey sonny, you want some fish? Fresh fish! Cheap fish! You look like you come from money. Care to spend a little for a poor soul like me? It's good fish, promise!" 

Sergei paused. He looked back at his small, one-room shack that he called home. Back to the woman. He wondered what made her think he came from money. She wasn't exactly wrong, if one considered being a cousin to the great and powerful Allagi family as 'coming from money'.

"Not a poor soul, surely," he said, "but a warm heart." He smiled at the woman. He rummaged in the coin purse at his hip, pulling out a few copper pieces. "Will this do?" He asked, holding out the coin. He looked back over his shoulder to make sure that the captain hadn't left yet. 

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"so uh, do you like adventuring or something?"

Anna's expression had changed several times while Lana spoke. When she had said yes, or rather sort of, Anna's eyes lit up. Though her eyes immediately dulled when Lana said that she hadn't actually adventured. But by the end Anna's expression had shifted into a more thoughtful one.

"I suppose I do." She said. Her eyes drifted away from Lana. Staring into the sky instead. "It's so wonderful isn't it." Anna said in a faraway voice. "Riding off to battle the forces of evil. Slaying monsters. Saving princesses and gaining treasures." While what she spoke of was exciting her tone was oddly flat throughout it. Even as Lana watched she could see the girl drifting away from the conversation mentally more and more.

Lana felt something. A soft breeze near her face. She had the sudden feeling that someone was standing there, watching her, examining her, but if she were to turn to look she would find nobody there. Only her and Anna were there in that graveyard. And the latter was questionable if they were actually there or not.




The woman hesitated as Sergei presented the coin. As through she hadn't actually expected him to offer anything. She stared for a moment before snatching the coin and mumbling something. Before he could go any farther though she stopped him again. "Did you want the fish? It's good fish." Though he would notice that even she seemed to be interested in the ship that had finished coming into port.

The knights all lined up to one side of the pier with Theresa at the end, ready to welcome those coming off of it. Which, as it turned out, was only three people.

The first was a young lady. Dark skin and chin-length white hair, usually indicators of barbaric decent, but with a rather regal looking sword at her side.

The next seemed somewhat older. She had no armor, nor weapons, but her smile was bright and she looked side to side rapidly. Taking everything in as she followed behind the more calm younger lady.

The last was male, still young, dressed in rather rich looking clothing. Though he didn't seem to be the typical rich boy as he had a bow across his back and seemed perfectly at ease with it.

While Sergei didn't know any of them the last was vaguely familiar to him. Likely a child in an important family that he may have encountered once upon a time.

The three walked together up to Theresa and the woman seemed to greet them. Surprisingly the second girl that had come off seemed to be doing most of the talking. The first girl seemed more demure and stood off to the side.

While the young man was staring past Theresa. Looking at Sergei. Gazing at him intently as though trying to read him from the distance. As he did Sergei might notice the old woman slipping away from him.

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Sergei hardly heard the woman as the three inhabitants of the ship disembarked. He briefly mumbled that she could keep the fish before turning his full attention to the group. In particular, Sergei was struck by the man. Where had he seen him before? His heart jumped when the man's attention shifted to him. Amongst all the cacophony and chaos at the docks, he had spotted Sergei amongst the crowd. "Who are you?" Sergei muttered to himself.

Noticing that the old woman had left, Sergei continued onto the docks. He tried not to be too conscious of the bowman's intent gaze, trying to appear as just another bystander in the crowd. However, each time Sergei glanced back at the group, he met the man's eyes.

Sergei approached the group. It was only at that moment that he realized he wasn't sure what he was going to say. He had no business with the knights or the captain, least of all with this curious group of strangers. Still, he was more-or-less committed now. 

"Excuse me. Sorry," Sergei said, "I don't mean to interrupt." He did. "Is there a problem?" Sergei tried to keep his eyes focused on the captain and the woman she had been speaking to, but he kept glancing back at the man's piercing eyes. "Something maybe I could help with?" 

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Estellise's walk about town had been even more pleasant than she'd been hoping for. The chill of winter had subsided and brought a comforting warmth in its place. Now was a good time for any and all to be out and about and the Fereis woman appreciated seeing more people on the streets this time of year. She had many an acquaintance from her wanderings about town. Many of these would smile and wave at her without approaching of speaking really. It was understandable. These were commoners. To speak to a Fereis as an equal would be presumptuous. Not that Estellise entirely agreed with this mindset but she did at least the freedom to move it provided her. While taking a rather indirect route to the tavern the adventurers had agreed upon as a meeting place the young lady soon found herself in the thick of the marketplace. A pleasant surprise to be sure as it would prove helpful to make a last minute run for supplies now rather than on the way to the dungeon.

"Fine silk for a fine woman!" one salesman called to her.

"Sophisticated wine, fit for a noble!" another cried after him.

"Jewels fit for a queen!" came another shout amidst the chaos.

Here at least, Estellise's position as a Fereis got her more direct attention than usual. It was obvious looking at her compared to the average citizen that she was well off and any businessman would love one of the major families to shop with them. And though she appreciated the offers, the woman couldn't help but politely decline the many offers slung her way. It was largely an issue of quality. Buying unnecessary things wasn't so bad but they needed to feel like a proper extravagance. Estellise had seen finer silks, richer wines and rarer gems than the ones on display rather regularly. Of course, the other family's collections probably trumped anything the small Fereis could boast. Still, she couldn't help but smile at the energy of the situation. But soon a small cry from a cute young girl caught her attention. Piles of apples stood behind her as she jumped up to call out to would-be shoppers. The girl seemed to be struggling to get attention in the mix of boisterous salesmen. Estelle already knew she wouldn't be able to help herself.

"Are not we quite the saleswoman." she said softly as she approached and stooped down a bit to talk with the girl on eye level. "These do seem a fine crop. I shall gladly take a bag off your hands for me and my new friends." she said as she reached for her things and produced coin enough for double the price of the single bag she had asked for. "I will have to come back later for one of the baskets. They are begging to be made into apple pie, no?" Estelle offered with a small laugh.

Edited by Doggo

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“Your majesty,” Leo said. Chris liked the sound of that. It did mean playing dumb to Leo’s sarcasm, though, and he wasn’t sure he was going to be able to pull that off without cracking a smile -- something he wasn’t sure he wanted to do at the moment. The slight was still there, after all, and try as Leo might, Christopher Ellwood wasn’t about to let such things be forgotten.

Hector, meanwhile, had moved on. A fair enough action, all things considered, though Chris did note his occasional side-eye like he didn’t trust either Leo or Chris to handle this skirmish like adults (The audacity! He could understand Leo, but himself? Loyal patron Christopher Ellwood?). Still, appealing to him to come back didn’t seem like the right move here. Not with his constantly-dented-yet-still-intact pride on the line.

Chris put both hands on the bar and pushed, sliding himself right off of his stool before turning to face his agitator. “Alright, listen,” he said. “I’m not really the type to let this slide? But also I don’t want to ruin the bar this early in the morning, does that make sense? We’re probably not leaving here without a fight, I’m just saying we should probably go outside first.” He looked back at Hector and said, “Hey, I’ll be right back. One of us, at least, knows to pay for their food.”

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"Is there a problem? Something maybe I could help with?" 

Theresa glanced over at Sergei and turned in his direction. She held a hand out. "Hold there. We don't want anyone getting too close until everything is settled."

The young man stepped forward and gently place a hand on her forearm. She seemed somewhat surprised by the bold action but one look at his calm face seemed to ease her concerns somewhat. "It is fine. I am not concerned." He looked over at Sergei again. "Sergei Allagi." He commented, without any hesitation.

Before anyone could say anything more the green-haired girl ducked between both Theresa and the young man. She popped up in front of Sergei and looked up at him with eyes shimmering. "Allagi, he said Allagi right?" She pulled out a notepad from seemingly nowhere and started writing down in it. "Is it true that the head of your family attacked the tester that came to determine her ranking? And that she dances with wolves in the pale moonlight to gain her power?"

The man coughed and interrupted her questioning. "Julian, please." He said simply.

She pouted but nodded. "Fine, fine." And took a few steps back.

"Captain, take my companions to your headquarters, you can continue there. I give them permission to speak on my behalf." The young man said.

Julian clapped her hands together and started heading out. "The HQ, that's over thisaway, right? Come on let's get this going I want to explore the city more." She waved to Sergei before leaving, "I'll find you another time count on it!"

The young man nodded towards the dark skinned girl. "Cleo, keep an eye on her." He said.

She gave a small smile. "I will. Thank you for your faith in me I won't let you down, sir." She bowed her head and then followed Julian alongside Theresa.

Now it was just Sergei and the young man who somehow knew his name. "Apologies. You must be confused. We've never met, personally, but when I was a child I came here with my parents and met your own. You share many traits with them. My name is Edgar Velos."

The name would trigger a vague memory in Sergei. The Velos family had a rather large area of land. Something to do with raising horses. Though something happened to the family recently that caused some issues. Though Sergei couldn't entirely remember what. Whatever the case this young man didn't seem ashamed in the slightest by his surname.

"I did not mean to call you out like that. I was simply surprised seeing someone of a major family here so soon."


I know I didn't give a lot of direct things to respond to but hope it's good, if you need any more info about the family if you think Sergei might know more or want to back and forth lines lemme know.


"I'll have to come back later for one of the baskets. They're begging to be made into apple pie don't you think?"

The girl nodded firmly. "Yes, that's a great idea! My sister brought the Drooling Dragon some for just that reason earlier! She should be on her way back now...But if you want to go there later and try some I'm sure you'll be back for more. Tell Hector Emma said hi." She paused. "I'm Emma." She added with a light laugh.

Once the transaction was done the girl seemed somewhat hesitant but then piped up. "Your clothes looks really nice. Where did you get it? U-um, not that I think I could buy something so fancy I just...was...a little curious."

After the response Emma turned back towards the rest of her supplies and froze. Sometime during their conversation, without either of them noticing, the apples had all seemed to vanish. "Oh no! How'd that happen? Do you think someone ate em all?" Emma seemed to be panicked, and unable to see the strangeness of that suggestion, merely looking from side to side as if she would see someone swelled up from stuffing that many apples, along with baskets, into their belly.


Note, it'd be easiest if we talk about what Estellise wants to do about this if she tries to figure out what happened. I can straight up explain if you don't want the hassle of figuring it out, it's not a puzzle or anything like that, I can do that too.


I’m not really the type to let this slide? But also I don’t want to ruin the bar this early in the morning, does that make sense? We’re probably not leaving here without a fight, I’m just saying we should probably go outside first.”

"Oh? Listen I'm a lover, not a fighter, so unless you're planning on taking me outside for something else...I'm not really all that interested." Leo said. Though, from Chris's actions, he seemed to think the boy was intent on dealing with this one way or another. "Well, I certainly don't want to be ambushed when I eventually decide to leave this lovely establishment." He said and got up as well.

As Chris left into the street he could faintly hear Hector saying, "Don't do anything too crazy, alright?" Though Chris couldn't be sure if he was talking to himself or Leo.

Outside the tavern, as it was getting later in the day, people were milling about. Though this area was more bustling later in the day so it didn't seem to be as many as it could be. Still people did occasionally stop to look at the two young men, Leo waving at any female that looked his way, who were standing in the street.

"One thing, before we do this nonsense. If you really want to have a go at me just know." He pulled his jacket aside, revealing a small device. A rare, though steadily increasing in commonality, weapon called a pistol. "I don't intend to fight fair."

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"A pleasure to meet you Emma. I am Estellise Fereis. But Estelle will do nicely if that is easier to remember." the Fereis woman replied to the introduction of her shop keep. "I will be sure to visit this Hector fellow and send your greetings." she assured the girl as they finished their transaction. Something about the name of the establishment was familiar anyway so it seemed like no trouble to go there. She may well have seen this Hector in passing but properly meeting him might prove exciting. Now with a bag of fruit in hand, Estellise was ready to be on her way through the marketplace. But this plan was interrupted by a somewhat sheepish Emma, who inquired about the rather luxurious looking raiment Estellise wore. She flourished the cape a bit to let the girl see the whole of the outfit before giving a reply.

"I wish I could tell you." Estellise started with a laugh of her own. "Mother insists no common tailor could do me justice. No doubt she has the servants purchase the materials somewhere in town before sending them to be weaved together with magic. With the right mage you could change anything: the texture, fiber count, even the color and design. As yet I lack the knowledge to perform the feat myself but I hope to be able to someday. I could make you your very own dress too." she beamed back. Emma seemed very excited at the idea and from this single meeting Estellise knew there would have to be more like it in the future. Now once again, the woman looked to leave. Emma too turned her attention back to her storefront.

And yet when the two looked up they saw that Emma's supply of apples had all but vanished. But that simply was not possible. No one could have absconded with so much product so quickly, and right under their noses at that. This was clearly Emma's livelihood so Estellise understood the panic in the girl's voice when she questioned if someone had eaten them all.

"I highly doubt that. In fact..." Estelle drifted off in thought as she looked at the space the apples had once occupied. She walked forward, only for her foot to catch hold of the air. Something was definitely under her foot, round and hard. And yet nothing had been there when she'd taken the step. Before she knew what was happening Estellise had landed abruptly on her backside. A sound of giggling came along with it. Looking forward there was now a crushed apple visible where she had stepped.

"So that is how it is." the mage muttered as she stood with a smile to assure Emma everything was going to be fine. This time she pointed her index finger at the girl's store. A ball of light formed around Estellise's fingertip which shone brightly in the direction of the baskets. Sure enough, a shadow in the shape of Emma's stock was cast behind the empty space. Estelle felt her other hand out and grasped the baskets, and began tapping all around the air until Emma's baskets were all restored to sight.

"Thank you for returning the apples!" Emma said, clearly relieved to have them back.

"They were always there. I hate to say it, but someone was playing a trick on you with magic and had turned them invisible. Let us meet later Emma. I must see to it this does not continue." Estellise said for her departing words. With a wave from the young shop keep she turned her attention to a hooded figure, some several merchant stalls down. The giggling at her fall had definitely come this person. Clearly they had been pleased with their handiwork. But this use of magic, to distress a poor young woman for sport, this was something Estellise did not intend to permit.

"You there!" she called out as she began a brisk walk toward the figure. "Are you proud of yourself?" Estelle once again called into the crowded public space. This individual needed to be taught a lesson.

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The first thing Christopher noticed when he followed Leo outside was how bright everything seemed to be, like, the contrast between the dimmer Drooling Dragon bar and the outside world was more than he expected. The second thing was how weird that was, you know, because of how that same sunlight had been what had woken him up in the first place.

The third thing was Leo, who really wasn’t taking things as seriously as Chris had hoped. What was with this waving stuff? What was with not paying attention to the one person who was most likely to do him harm if he wasn’t careful? Even when he was talking to Chris, he kept doing it with that devil-may-care attitude that was one of the reasons Chris had brought them both outside in the first place.

“I don’t intend to fight fair,” Leo said.

Chris stared at Leo’s weapon like he didn’t understand how it functioned, which was a good look, he figured, because he really didn’t. Like, it had a hole at the end, so maybe something came out of it and that was probably bad, but the thing paled in size to a shortsword or even some daggers. And it was still at Leo’s hip. That was just bad practice for someone who said they didn’t fight clean, because neither did Christopher, and he wasn’t about to start now.

Leo had shown a weapon, and even if Chris didn't understand it, it meant he had to act fast.

His perception of time slowed as he started his rush forward. One second, maybe two, and he’d closed the distance between them. Three, four, and before Leo had even fully drawn his weapon, Chris had landed a punch right to his stomach. And when Leo doubled over (five, six) Chris met his chest with a knee.

Leo grunted as the attacks made contact. He seemed shocked that Christopher had charged in. Despite his threat before he didn’t draw his weapon. Instead, he hooked an arm under Chris’s knee and pulled back, attempting to throw the younger man off balance. “Scrappy one aren’t you?” Leo muttered with a small grin.

“Yeah,” Chris grunted. His first impulse was to resist Leo’s tug, and he tried to pull the other way, but if Leo wanted to go on the ground, who was Chris going to disagree? He hopped on his one leg, shifted his weight, and down he went. All he had to do now was make sure Leo came with him.

It was easier said than done, of course. He’d accepted the fall, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t off-balance because of it. Leo -- who’d been more prepared, of course -- seized the opportunity and twisted around, throwing Chris onto his back. The move very nearly knocked the wind out of him, but he wasn’t out of it just yet. Leo still had a hold of one of his legs, but with his other one he sent a kick aimed straight at Leo’s groin.

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Lana looked at the girl, still unsure if she was actually listening to most of what she said. However as Anna seemed to ramble what was amazing about adventuring, albeit to the sky, Lana did indeed think that some of those things sounded cool, but were neither what she was going for nor did she think that what they were going to accomplish. After all, she didn't really know how "evil" the monsters in the dungeon were, or the dungeon itself, and she didn't really think there were any princesses in there that needed saving. Though, if there were, that would probably help her in her financial stability, as well as the treasure that they would likely find as well. Unless they were an evil princess. Then she supposed Anna would be right on at least one account? 

Lana was confusing herself and thus was simply mulling in her own thoughts, which seemed to be perfectly fine as Anna seemed to constantly be in hers. As the girl looked back to Anna, to resume the conversation about adventuring, she paused as she wasn't quite sure if she would be interrupting Anna in doing whatever it was she was doing. Or thinking about. And so she awkwardly stood there, just looking at the girl. Again. She then felt some kind of breeze brush against her face, accompanied with a deeply unsettling feeling. Startled by this, the girl looked around the graveyard but saw that there was no one else around. Aside from Anna of course. But the feeling of someone else being there was still there, and she was certain there was a pair of eyes trained on her, having the creeped out feeling of being carefully watched. And she knew it couldn't be Anna because the girl was clearly not looking at her. 

Seeming to be clearly spooked by this feeling, Lana turned around a few more times, checking to make sure if she was just imagining things or not. Though there was no one she could see, it wasn't as if the feeling disappeared, so nervously Lana looked over to the red haired girl. "Hey uh, Anna. There wouldn't happen to uh, be anyone else here right?"

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"Sergei Allagi."

Sergei practically flinched at the use of his last name. He had done a pretty decent job of losing the reputation that his surname came with. His voice caught in his throat, unsure of how to address the situation now. He stammered a bit but was quickly cut off by the green-haired girl's questions.

"Allagi, he said Allagi right? Is it true that the head of your family attacked the tester that came to determine her ranking? And that she dances with wolves in the pale moonlight to gain her power?"

ProbablySergei thought, answering both of her questions. He didn't say anything, however. He didn't need the backlash that spreading rumors might entail. He enjoyed not being under the scrutiny of the main family. Brighid, in particular, scared him. Fortunately, Sergei was saved from having to answer by the young man. He let out a small sigh of relief, watching the captain lead Julian and Cleo into the city.

"Apologies. You must be confused. We've never met, personally, but when I was a child I came here with my parents and met your own. You share many traits with them.

Don't let them hear you say that, Sergei thought. 

"My name is Edgar Velos."

"Velos," Sergei repeated, extending his hand in greeting, "Horse breeders, right?" Edgar nodded in confirmation. Sergei recalled hearing something of the Velos family recently; he couldn't remember what it was though. He refrained from asking, thinking that it wasn't polite to interrogate the man upon his arrival.

"Where are you sailing from? Long journey?" 

"Home." Edgar responded bluntly.

Sergei slowly nodded. "Right, so who were those women?"


"I see. Well, if you want to sit down and get a bite to eat after your travel I know a great pl—"

"I need to be getting back to the group." Edgar cut him off. Sergei moved to the side to let Edgar pass.

"What business do you have in the city?" Sergei asked, hoping that maybe he could at least get a little conversation out of the guy.

"The Spark, of course."

"Of course," Sergei repeated, watching him go. He frowned slightly at the interaction. Something didn't sit quite right with him.

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"Are you proud of yourself?"

"Yup!" A feminine voice called out, followed by another giggle, as the figure started to weave through the crowd and seemed to be trying to make their escape. Esellise continued to pursue the escaping illusionist despite their attempts to escape.

And, eventually, she managed to catch up with them. The figure seemed surprised that the girl had continued following and, glancing back, stumbled and fell to their knees on the outskirts of the market area.

Their face now revealed Estellise could see they were a young lady.

With long, silvery, hair and the very obvious inhuman feature of a single horn jutting from atop her head indicating she wasn't of human decent. She cast a sweet smile at Estellise and shrugged her shoulders. "Oh no, I've been caught." She said, her voice high and cheerful. This close Estellise could tell the girl was incredibly small, certainly not taller than 5 feet, with a thin body. "I suppose you won't just let me go, would you, after all I didn't hurt anyone right?" She thought about it more then, "Well except your behind perhaps, oops."


People were now watching. Less than would be expected, and many seemed to only cast them a brief glance before on their way. But several had stuck around. Particularly a few ladies who watched with concern as the two young men wrestled and fought.

Leo had an easy grin on his face as they clashed. Though his brow furrowed as Chris aimed a kick at his groin. He let go of the young man and kept his distance, moving away from him and throwing his hands up. "Whoa now, didn't you hear me? I'm a lover not a fighter and I can't exactly afford to have the goods damaged if you know what I mean."

He watched the boy warily and took a few steps back. "Alright fine, fine, if you're so intent, here, for the 'meal'." there was a hint of sarcasm at the last word as Leo took out a gold coin and flipped it through the air towards Chris.

"Give my regards to Hector why don't you, and next time we meet let me know what his face looks like when you give that to him."

With that said Leo turned and jumped onto a passing wagon.

He waved cheerfully at Chris, and then took a half bow, still holding onto the wagon with one hand, towards the girls watching. "I'll be back ladies, don't you worry!"


"Hey uh, Anna. There wouldn't happen to uh, be anyone else here right?"

Lana thought she heard something as she asked her question. A chuckle somewhere nearby. Though again nothing was around as far as she could tell.

Anna tilted her head a bit at the question and gazed at Lana with disconcertingly dull eyes. She glanced over to the side for a moment, as if waiting for some sort of response, and then looked back at Lana.

"Well, yes, of course there is." Anna said. "We were talking when you came. Surely you heard. They live here. You're basically in their home you know."

Then there was another laugh, next to Lana, and if she would turn she could see, briefly, a figure there. Though she blinked and the figure was gone. And there was no more noise.

From inside the church Lana heard the priest call out. "I don't want to interrupt but as soon as you can, some help would be appreciated."

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Lana was sure talking to Anna was to be nothing more than a repeated exercise in confusion. The girl titled her head with such an emotion present as she seemed to insist that there was someone else not just here, but someone who lived here. Lana didn't really know what to make of the girl's question, but she was pretty sure that she heard laughter come from before it. Laughter that was definitely not her own, too close to be from elsewhere and she wasn't quite sure if Anna was actually able to emote to the point of laughter. Looking at her more closely though, Lana started to wonder why it was that Anna seemed to be looking at her with increasingly dull eyes? Dull? No, probably not the best word to describe it. The girl gulped nervously as she had concluded that "dead" would probably be a better descriptor. 

Hearing the laughter again, from very close by, Lana froze in place for a moment. Though it was morning and daylight was spreading throughout the whole of the city, Lana couldn't help but feel a similar emotion to walking on top of creaky wooden floor boards in the pitch dark of night. Feeling both panic and, naturally, curiosity from her situation Lana slowly turned to face behind her, seeing a blurry figure start to enter her view. Startled by the sudden sight of another person, Lana reflexively blinked and then was only left dumbfounded by the sight that was there. Or rather, that wasn't. There didn't seem to be anyone at all near her, and she could no longer hear any laughter. 

Looking around the graveyard once more, it was only herself and Anna that were still here. Mostly herself. Lana now questioning exactly what had happened this entire conversation and still on nerves jumped a bit in place as the priest called from the door behind her though at the same time felt immense relief for having an out. Looking at Anna, not really concealing her nerves any bit, the girl simply said, "ah well. Would you look at that. Duty calls and all. Was nice meeting you, uh, Anna. Hope we can...talk again or, yeah. Bye." With a hasty goodbye, Lana made her way out of the graveyard and back inside. Looking at the priest, Lana simply said, "right, sorry to keep you waiting. Your daughter was certainly...a girl." Nailed it. "But uh yeah, here to help now and all." 

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Chris managed to catch the coin -- an act he thought was impressive given that he was still lying on the ground -- and watched Leo wander off into the crowd. All in all, he wasn’t quite sure what to make of the man other than they probably shared a mutual dislike for each other. What was his deal, anyway? Hector certainly hadn’t mentioned any Leos before. Not that Chris could blame him, of course -- why would he? As brash and full of himself as Leo had been, it wasn’t like he had been so out there that he’d been part of any sort of gossip.

But! He was still lying on the ground, and the peculiar sight of someone just lying in the middle of the road was starting to attract more attention than even the fight had. Chris pulled himself up to a sitting position and rubbed his back. He wondered how quickly it was going to bruise. Maybe it already had.

“Don’t do anything too crazy,” Hector had said. Maybe he should have listened? Whatever the case, he’d won (as far as he could tell) and that was enough for him. He stood up, dusted his pants off, and went back inside the Drooling Dragon.

His eggs had gone cold in the meantime, and Chris found that bothersome, but not bothersome enough to ask for more. They were hard-earned eggs, after all. He’d fought for them, and shovel and the ability to happily into his mouth. Even the pain in his back diminished with every scoop.

When Hector walked over, Chris put the gold coin on the bar and slid it across to him. “Leo said to give it to you,” he said. “Sorry about all that, by the way -- he just pissed me off, I guess.” He paused to swallow his food, then frowned. “How much- he’s not, like, a family member or anything, is he? Like, I didn’t just anger someone with a surname without getting paid, right? What do you know about him?”

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"ah well. Would you look at that. Duty calls and all. Was nice meeting you, uh, Anna. Hope we can...talk again or, yeah. Bye."

"Okay. Bye then." Anna said. As Lana left the other girl stated "What a strange girl, isn't she?"

"right, sorry to keep you waiting. Your daughter was certainly...a girl."

Father Greg chuckled, and gave a slight smile. "Yes, I understand completely." He said. Then he set about giving Lana her tasks. Which mostly was moving the donation chest and bringing out the candle holders to place around the room. Though while they worked Greg noticed that one of the pews was crooked and he asked her for help adjusting it. As they got to work he cleared his throat to get her attention.

"Lana, I was thinking. You're new here, you don't know many people right? Well...You've seen that my daughter is, ah, unusual. She doesn't really have any friends of her own." He gave an embarrassed smile. "I suppose I was just wondering if perhaps you could be a friend to her. At least while you're here."


Hector took the coin and examined it. With a grunt he shook his head.

“How much- he’s not, like, a family member or anything, is he? Like, I didn’t just anger someone with a surname without getting paid, right? What do you know about him?”

"Leo? Not a chance. He's a...scallywag, you could say. I'm not even sure his first name is real let along having a last. The only people you'd have to worry about pissing off dealing with him are women." He nodded in a friendly manner at a girl that was passing by. Who gave Chris a suspicious look before moving on.

"He says he used to be a pirate, never saw any ship so I can't say, but now all he does is hang around taverns. Makes money from gambling over the table and who knows what under it. He's mostly harmless but he doesn't really have a sense of following rules." Hector shook his head. "Unfortunately for me this tavern is one of the best so he's here often."

Hector held up the gold coin. "Might as well keep this yourself, by the way, it's fake."

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Estellise had found her culprit alright as the hooded figure called out in affirmation to her rhetorical question. The person had taken off running and so simply walking intently would no longer suffice for the lady of the Fereis. Estelle gave chase through the crowded market. She was fast enough to keep the girl in view and seemed to be slowly gaining. But while talented in magic, Estelle was certainly not the most athletic. This wasn't a sustainable solution and she wouldn't be able to catch the girl in a single sprint. She needed to be smart about this. She was a mage after all. Magical solutions were far more elegant and suitable to one of her position or so her mother would often tell her. A glimmer of light began forming in her palms as she ran which she tossed out into the air ahead of her which traveled ahead of the fleeing girl. The conjured light would begin to sparkle like small gems falling from heaven before fading upon contacting something. Yet they gathered attention which was more than enough. The crowds ahead of her shifted in awe of the sight as various people attempted to grab the specks of light to ascertain their nature. But the true purpose of the display was to shift the people into less convenient positions for the escapee. Enough direction changes and even Estelle could eventually catch up.

This Estellise did, eliciting some shock in the girl she'd been chasing as she took to the ground on the outskirts of the marketplace. The mage's breath was heavy yet she still had quite the lecture ready to give this young girl. One she could barely start a syllable of before the hood fell from off the figure's head, revealing a horn protruding from the left side of her head. Estelle reeled back somewhat in shock as the girl spoke. While it was true she hadn't hurt anyone, that seemed like the furthest thing from the Fereis woman's mind. She had before her a non-human capable of magic, however weak. It took time for her to even realize how small the girl was. She couldn't have been very old.

"Y-you..." the mage started, unable to form her thoughts into words right away. Estelle knew what her family, her mother especially, would likely do in a similar situation. They'd no doubt restrain the girl with magic before either having her imprisoned or be put to hard labor for the family. This she had been taught her whole life, that such creatures were below even common humans. And as humans were below mages so these non-humans were no better than animals to a mage. But face to face with this girl, it was a difficult idea to agree with. She moved and acted and spoke just like any other human. No, it was not her place to judge this girl's worth, only to instruct her on how best to behave she decided. Her resolve and confidence came back which her posture indicated as she put a foot forward to make up for her initial reaction.

"You can not just use magic however you want!" Estellise declared. "You say you did not hurt anyone, but you made Emma think her livelihood had vanished on her. How was she going to eat with her business shut down so early into the day? What would she tell her family? And all that just for your own entertainment? Surely you can not honestly enjoy the misfortune of others." came her initial appeal. This would judge the character of the girl. Surely she would simply admit to some misfortune in her own life that led her to act out in ways like this. Something tangible, something Estellise could help her with. But were it truly the girl's nature to simply cause mischief for the sake of it, stricter action would be necessary. Of the many traditions handed to her, she hoped that at least this stance on those of non-human descent would prove false.

Edited by Doggo

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As Lana went about to aid the priest, moving and setting up the candle holders around. The girl eventually walked over to the pew as the priest asked her to, moving to the opposite side of him and taking in a deep breath as she began to start lifting it. As the man then spoke up, the girl tensed up a bit at his request. Anna was not exactly Lana's first choice in friends she would make as the girl was a bit...scary. But thinking more on it, Lana didn't really know what the kind of person she would be friends with was. Most of Lana's life had been spent either at home or then going into town and taking on odd jobs there. As a result, she was definitely more friendly with the adults in her town then she was other girls her age. Not to mention the only people she hung out with now were more work associates then friends. And they were certainly not girls her age. 

It also wasn't like Anna was a mean person or anything - probably - and they would be talking to each other more - well, it was likely that Lana would have to be the one doing the talking -  in the future anyway. So, after some deliberation, Lana said, "sure. Yeah. She already likes to seem adventurers so we'll be great friends." Probably. Thinking more on it, not only did Lana not really know how she was going to hang out with others in general but she had a feeling this would only be further worsened with Anna. But, that was a problem for future Lana. 

Once that and all of her other tasks were over and done with, Lana put on her gear before looking back to the priest. With a wave she said, "well, I'm heading out now. See you two later." With that, Lana made her way out of the church and towards the Drooling Dragon tavern. 

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