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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:48 am 
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That argument was completely ridiculous. Sadly, this showed the lack of intelligence in the rest of the group; the orc was even smarter than they were! Sure, he ran in blindly...but he really should have gone first to begin with. Khivi had taken less interest in the little dispute and began to laugh as he ran in. Lin noticed, but she was a little busy with speaking her mind to the brainless elf.

"I would totally trust the elf--whom we don't need for this trip--to be at our backs after she pulled a weapon on this entire group. Very smart." She said, rolling her eyes. This elf would not get the best of her. Only the people that actually mattered ever did. Even if one of those examples was in their group at the moment, the reason why he fell into that category was only because he stood in the way of her daughter's rescue.

"If it wasnt for your child present, I would have attacked outright and would have never thought to strike a deal, so hold your tongue woman, I do not need your sarcasm. I have enough from this sea dog to worry about. Stay with your child and out of this." Oh brother, she thought. If only she knew what my child could easily pull off. She may have been older than both Tiam and her combined, but they had the brains--imagine that, the hired brawn were the ones displaying common sense and logic in this crew--to account for more age than this catastrophe of an elf could ever account for. Age didn't mean a thing; one look at Khivi and her mad skills said that loud and clear. Even her six year old would know more about tactical formations than said idiot elf would.

"Let's see you walk the walk, elf." Lin smirked, turning to her daughter, "That, my love, is what people call a bluff. If you are going to do it, at least make it believable." Khivi stood at attention, absorbing every word her mother was telling her. Khivi would remember, especially with seeing breathing examples standing before her. She was a visual learner, after all. "How about you prove all that big-girl talk?" Lin asked, raising an expressive brow. "You have at least two people here that can easily gang up on you. Around here, you earn respect. Don't expect any from me until you prove your pathetic words to cover your bluff. These wilds are not yours, or anyone's for that matter. We don't need you to continue our quest--you are disposable. I may have a daughter, but she's tougher than you could ever be with your terrible bluffs and empty threats." She had a point, and she never was fantastic about beating around these bushes. If someone was being a complete idiot, she would step up and have the theoretical balls to say so. If one deserved praise, she was not afraid to give it.

Tiam found the perfect place to chime in, taking out one of his javelins as he spoke. "If you REALLY want to try and prove it, elf, you're more than welcome, but you won't be leaving this place alive." Lin gave a smile to match both Khivi's and Tiam's, all three knowing who would win this fight if it came to it.

From the look of what happened next, the bitchy elf was definitely willing to resort to "violence," and Lin still hadn't reached for her greatsword yet. If she was serious, she wouldn't have given them the warning she was displaying now. Her eyes were turning orange, and by that time Lin had both brows raised as she figured out that her suspicions were correct. She was, after all, a pathetic shape-shifter. "You want to dance, start the music. I was willing to do this peacefully but your stubborn streak almost outreaches a ram's when it comes to clashing horns with an opponent. You start this, I will end it. Simple as that." She snarled at Lin, more orange bleeding into her eyes until they almost completely engulfed. "You will stay out of this. I will not leave a child orphaned for your own stupidity, regardless of how strong you all think you are. Last chance to reconsider; you choose your own fate. I merely dish it out."

Lin only snorted in attempts to silence the laughter bubbling at the back of her throat once again. Lin could only manage to shake said laughter out of the way by shaking her head, and spoke with barely-noticed giggles lacing her words humorously. "Bring it on, hypocrite. Maybe you'll stay an animal when you're dead so we can all have dinner tonight." Mmmm. Dinner. Come to think of it, she was still hungry. "And again--you are outnumbered. With the way things are going--foolishly on your part, thanks to your stupidity--you have two people more than willing to kill you. And guess what? My daughter will not be in the least disturbed by it. She has seen blood from the first day she was born and has seen men die in front of her. You will not be the first she has seen die by my hand, either." At that point, she looked proudly upon her daughter, her chest swelling with the feeling of pride at what Khivi told her had happened at the brig during her stay. She was so proud that she was as couragous in the face of hardship--Khivi would be getting the biggest meal around as soon as they were done with this.

A gasp of feigned surprise came from Tiam before he continued to mock her. "You can turn your eyes orange? I...I'm terrified! Really, look at me shake... Phaw, I've seen more frightening displays from a six year old." Both daughter and mother smirked alike, knowing exactly what he was talking about before he turned to ask, "Your daughter is six, correct?" Lin nodded, still grinning as she clapped Khee on the shoulder. He faced Ellia. "You will stay out of this. Hey Lin, would you smash the fool elf if she moves?"

"Gladly."

"Well, lets do this."

"Really, sir, what have I done to deserve that sort of talk? I am not here to cause problems. I would not like to see any of us hurt. Imagine, if you will, that these ruins have not been locked to keep the insides safe, but rather to keep the outside safe from whatever might be in here. Regardless of who can kill who, a fight would benefit nothing but the winner's pride. I would rather not be slain because some children who are behaving worse than our actual child companion refuse look beyond the others' differences."

Ew, Lin thought. A scholar. How...bland. Oh, how she wanted to tell her just how badly HER six-year-old (whom everyone was trying to have a hand in "raising", which truly irked her, but she didn't show it) could act, but their wimpy and too-kind-hearted-for-his-own-good leader butted in.

"ENOUGH! We're not here to kill elves," Treehugger. "we're here to explore and learn." All that was coming out of his mouth was blah blah blah blah blaaaaaah and more pacifist nonsense, but she did manage to not zone out at the boring parts. "If you two are so adamant on last you can both be it. We will go in two groups."

She could have jumped for JOY at that very moment. He said some other jibberish about getting through everything peacefully--good luck with that--and finished his oh-so-"empowering" speech. Finally.

Watching the elf was hillarious to her. She was acting just like a pouting child, and even her kid was above that. Lin began to laugh as she called them fools before giving Khee the "sign", which led them to performing their much-practiced "kiss my ass" expression as she passed by. Lin added a wink into the mix (Khivi wasn't allowed for a few more years to do that to enemies, but it was funny when she practiced) and Tiam made their parting even sweeter when he almost swatted her ass with his javelin. Classic. If I had my sword out, I would have done the same.

"I look forward to our dance - it's what I do best, after all." He turned to James, "Have fun, James - you are no longer my responsibility. If you die, just know that it's on your head." Yeeeeup. Good luck with only an orc and a very untrustworthy companion to accompany you... "I'll be waiting." Lin couldn't help another smile that escaped her again when he blew her a kiss and that last comment. Great execution.

"I'll be fine, but also keep in mind you've all yet to be paid." Oh, she would be paid. One way or another, she would be getting that money from him; even if that means taking their share in treasure or relics. Tiam, being who he was, would be doing the same. She knew he would be out as soon as he had as much treasure as he could carry. To be honest, she would resort to said plan if needed as well.

So they finally disappeared. Lin was kneeling again to check on her daughter, who was hoping that she would see her mother in action again, when Tiam scoffed and started to speak. "Phaw, they really think that I'm doing this because I'm getting paid? What an ignorant bunch they are - this really must be their first time out to sea." Lin smirked, thinking she couldn't have said it better herself. It was the first time since their encounter not even a week ago that she had really examined the man standing before her. He was rugged; just as pirates were, really, and it was a relief that he didn't completely reek as she had expected. He probably bathed in some stream. "Oh well, all-the-better for us, huh?"

"Damn straight. Pity we couldn't show that elf who really would have won." She said, ruffling Khivi's hair, earning an amusing attempt of Khivi trying to jump up to Lin's height to ruffle her own hair. Lin was standing up now; this was quite a feat for her little one, but Lin let her ruffle her hair anyway. It wasn't like she couldn't put it back into a pony-tail in .2 seconds. Tiam was taking out a torch and other things needed to light it as he spoke.

"I'm glad you made it off the ship before it exploded. No hard feelings for beating me - the sword isn't really my thing. The spear is where I do my best work."

"I believe you." Lin said, smirking. "And I did have the advantage of the 'mother bear' ferocity. That helps." She remarked. Hey, no hard feelings? That was good. That just meant she wouldn't have to convince him to be on her team by other means.

"How is she, anyway? The brig isn't a nice place, and certainly isn't any place for a child, even one so tough as she." He asked, looking at Khivi. Lin, too, looked down at her, but Khee was shrugging.

"I wasn't scared." Khee said, and she meant it, too. It wasn't just because her mother was there; Khivi was truly a strong girl. "I knew mommy would come for me." Hope. That was what Khivi displayed that was very pure, and she hoped that she would always have that. It would be better to die with hope than to die regretting. Khivi knew that, even at her young age. It was a grim concept for her at first, when she thought that her mother wouldn't make it in time when the slavers were always threatening her whenever she rebelled; but she always thought of what her mommy would say about hope, and that was when it clicked for her. Khivi reached up and grabbed her mom's hand, which Lin accepted gratefully. How long would it be when she would be out of the whole, "holding-hands-with-mommy" thing? She didn't want to know; she wanted her daughter to find it acceptable, not embarrassing.

"She was very brave." Lin finally said. "We're going to have a big meal as soon as we're done here. She deserves it." She said. "What about you? What are you going to do when you get away from this freak-fest?" Her sword was out now as they prepared to descend, and Khee was climbing onto her back in their usual piggy-back-Khee-around-the-ruins position. This way, her daughter would be out of the way of most harmful things and still be able to keep a sharp eye on things from where she was situated. From the look of things, she would be descending first in their trio, which was fine by her. That was what she did in the groups she had been in before Khee came along; front and center, taking more damage than most could handle and dishing it right back out.

Did she trust a pirate at her back? Damn straight she did! More than that idiot elf, anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:49 am 
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There were a lot of things that were going on. Everyone was talking to one another and getting angry. They were using a lot of words and things that were just...stupid. As far as he could tell, if the crazy forest elf wanted to kill them, he was okay with that. As the famous orcish saying went, “If someone tries to kill ya, you just kill 'em right back!”

The silly humans and elves standing out in the clearing were just getting to be a bore. They were talking about killing and stuff and not doing anything like that. He had seen it all before – the longer people talked like this without any beer or anything else to make the exciting stuff happen, the less likely that anything was actually going to get smashed. They would talk about the small girl and the way in which they were better than each other. Eventually they would go through the door and do something that was worth talking about. Something glorious! But right now, it was just booring.

So, he decided to go off and look for glory himself. The smart people called it being “pro -”, well, “pro-something”. He didn't care...

As he left, the forest elf continued to talk about herself like she was going to kill them all again, but the orc rolled his eyes as she left. Most of the time those pointy-eared pansies were all talk. They'd never fight unless there was some sort of advantage. They would have nine guys hiding around the tavern or something like that. (Now, that was a fight!) Then there was that crazy plant-smelling cat-man that had a knife that he popped out of his chest. He had no idea what happened there, either...it was a pretty nice knife, though.

He walked down the short path leading away from the statues and found the door to the ruins, it was slightly open – and he changed that from “slightly” to “largely” with a couple seconds of good pulling. There were rocks and bits of rubble that were left over from the entrance, but he was in!

After a very short, narrow hallway made out of stone, there was a spiral staircase leading directly down into the ground. Not being afraid of a set of stairs (maybe even just a teeny bit disappointed), the orc continued on unabashed down into the depths. It continued to spiral steeply downwards in a counter-clockwise direction and after about two minutes of determined walking, he realized that he was stuck in the dark.

That wasn't a problem though, he knew he was on stairs and he knew that there were walls on either side of him, so he extended his arms for balance and kept on his way. He wasn't about to let this foil him either. He continued his glorious trek into the great unknown until that last step...

It was the one that got him.

He didn't see it coming at all! It seemed as if the stairs had been rebelling against him at every turn, but there was nothing that they could do to stop his relentless advance! Then, almost unanimously, the stairs put together their collective effort towards the end of the staircase and as a whole, managed to take him down. Now, mere mortals may have said that they tripped – but the orc knew that there was more to it than that. He let out a small yelp and fell on his face at the bottom of the stairway. He landed on the stone floor and kicked up a decent amount of dust that set him coughing deeply for a few seconds. When he stood up and brushed himself off, he knew that there was more exploring to do.

Although that's hard to do in pitch darkness...

He would wait until he found some light or light found him. Then he would act like he knew what he was doing – after all, that's what heroes do...


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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:16 pm 
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It was easier to shake off the infuriating sea dog and the insufferable woman, and even the child who seemed to egg her mother on was getting on her nerves... The only reason she had withheld her hand from striking was for the child, but if the woman had so much confidence in the little one, as well as her own skill and the sea dog... well so be it. She wouldnt hesitate next time, not with the snarls of angry animals writhing within her, wishing to do nothing more than to tear them apart and be done with it.

Walking up to the mouth of the door, a quick scan around made her frown. Where was the orc? A thud echoing from up the darkened tunnel told her where the lumbering creature went-- apparently for a fall. Her eyes going back to the yellow of their natural colour, she let James lead, a ball of light in his hand, which she quickly realized was magic, and her friend moving to take up the next position, her following in the back as she had wished before. Mind you, it would have been better if the other two weren't directly behind her, but she would be listening for their next move, just in case they decided to show their mettle against her within the confines of the darkened stairwell.

Jame's orb glowed brightly enough to see the steps, the dimmer light at her position still enough for her Sylvan eyes to pick out her foot holds, a hand trailing along the ancient wall, periodically wiping spiderwebs from her fingers. The orc had at least cleared most of them away from the passage in his attempt to be first. How the great beast could have fallen on his face was of mild concern, though she could attribute it to his race first off; though even then, it took more than a missed step to fell a giant like an orc. Possible traps maybe? She would have to keep an eye out for such things as they descended. The last thing she needed was to fall into a pit of spikes or other such traps the Shadow Folk had laid in their caves in her home realm, which had not been fun in the least when you could barely see as it was.

With James as the leader, hopefully his cautious nature would be better put to use within these confines, though his magic use was of a mild concern for her-- what kind of mage was he? The ball of light was too bright for her to make out its base attributes, though a shiver went up her spine at the thought of him as a fire mage. Fire was an enemy to all those of the wood, and even the animals within her cringed in acceptance of a more powerful force of nature. Good thing he appeared to be on her side at the moment, though how long that lasted, she didnt know. Nor would she like to find out just how powerful he truly was if it came to blows. She had had enough of fire when the hot metal was branded into her sin, the marking itself burning for weeks regardless of the salves and cooling dips she took. Not an experience she would like to redo. Now with a new careful caution for the mage, she continued down the steps, the orcs prone body slowly coming into view as they rounded the smooth corners of the stairwell. She would need to talk to Ellia at their earliest convenience, not just of how to deal with the two miscreants behind them (she was still uncomfortable with them in that position), but as well as what to do if the mage in charge of them turned on them all....

She was beginning to feel more and more on edge about being in these ruins with a group of questionable skirmishers, and only her dead friend to help her; even with her new transformations and skills, she was still feeling the crunch against her. Nonetheless, she would show all those that opposed her what true power was, and more so than that, what it was like to be hunted by the hunter. Still her ears tracked the other three's steps as they began their descent, careful to listen for any possible movements of offensive nature towards her, or any others [Listen].

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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Which was better to have at your back?

A strange elf, barely clothed, elf with an anger problem, or a greedy cut-throat with an even worse temper were both poor choices to be sure. One was unpredictable, the other you could trust to stab your back if there was even a thought of a coin falling out. In the end though there was only one type of person he truly trusted; one he could manipulate, and right now the woman seemed more obedient than the other. That is why he chose the woman, and why he was able to walk down the stairs with no fear.

Walking down the spiral staircase in silence, they eventually came to the bottom where the orc waited. In an attempt to further manipulate his team, James offered this bit of gratitude to the orc. “Wonderful job, your bravery has made the passage safe for us all. You have my thanks.”

As the group walked further, past the orc, the room became illuminated by the paradise rose. It was a long rectangular room built of pure stone; a very strong kind that was not native to the lake. In the four corners of the room were square pools of water, wide enough for a grown man to lie down in and even drown in. A few small vases lay scattered around the edge of the room, sitting there motionless and brittle; most were broken and all had at least a crack or two. Upon the two longer walls on the side, there were carvings on the wall; nice and neat, all bordered perfectly straight in a filmstrip fashion. Even the finest dwarven crafters would have trouble replicating this room.

“Here.” James spoke to the Sylvan while handing her the glowing vile. “Would you kindly stay right behind me and hold the light, I’d like to get a closer look at these markings.”

She could easy run her kris through his kidney or lungs as she loomed over James; still he was without fear. He was not the one she wanted to fight, wanted to kill, and starting said fight by killing him seemed, senseless. She wouldn’t stab him, even after hearing what he was about to say, of this he was confident. As the two started to inspect the wall he turned to her, their faces parted by only a few inches, and spoke to her in a whisper that would find her ears only.

“I hope you don’t hate me for this, but, I did not surrender without reason. I did it to take you away from your element and eliminate the chance that you might of had others waiting in the forest; of course that was before Taim’s outbreaks. Now, that being said I have no intention of harming you or this temple, and after their behavior I don’t much care for the fates of Lin and Taim, I’m sure you can guess who I mean without already knowing their names. Please though, bare their burden to our group as long as you’re able, and if you feel the need to kill them and manage this, please replace them as my body guard, for this journey at least.”

Footsteps grew louder as the others entered the new chamber.

“A nod is all I require to trust you.”

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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:13 am 
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Beyond the clapping of various footwear and the notably softer sound of bare feet behind, the trip down the spiral stairs was silent. It felt that everyone still on the stairs was thinking on the chat that had just transpired. She was expecting, near looking forward to, coming into the building and hearing excited whispers between her companions as the tension built while they cautiously worked their way down to find there was only enough danger to make things interesting. Starting the journey with a sour note seemed to foreshadow that little was going to play out perfectly.

Still, Ellia took comfort in the silence, able to hear the distinct sound of her sandals pressing against the stone. It reminded her of better times, where she could walk into interesting places by herself, free from any threat or worry. She was often made fun of for not wearing something more protective for her feet, as most of the injuries that came from exploring with her peers, or even by herself, were on feet. But she continued to wear the sandals, telling the others she wanted the clapping to invoke a sense of nostalgia someday.

Upon reaching the end of the flight her attention snapped back into the present. There were things she needed to mention, and memories of old could be thought fondly of later. She took a quick peek back up the stairs to try and see any change of lighting, thinking a clever thing to do would be to barricade the only known exit and starve the group out if they were intent on doing things alone. Unfortunately the stairs' prevented her from checking without going most of the way back, so she just accepted that they would not have been able to do so if they arrive. James was talking to Nuncia quietly when she turned back, so he let him finish before addressing him.

"After I openly hugged our 'enemy' and talked to her like the friend she is, I would have assumed our 'protectors' would have ceased goading her. Yet, by at least Tiam's action, it seems he would prefer to fight and cause problems, regardless of circumstance. I wonder how it is we have come to have hired a man such as him. What is he? A deserter, a mercenary of ill repute? You must know by now, James, that if there is anything shiny in these ruins he will not need you to pay him to turn a profit. I can only assume you have something a bit more powerful than a magic torch should he choose to fight and take instead of obeying. But if you did, we wouldn't need guards, would we?"

She approached him quickly, hardly letting the obvious anger a chance to echo off the walls. She pulled herself in quite closely too, likely closer than someone would be comfortable with after hearing the emotion that wrapped around the last statement. She grabbed at his shoulder, but even with her nails pressing in, the lack of strength her race was known for made the action would have presented the intended message but not really hurt. The whisper that came after was white and fierce, not the quiet that one would normally think of a whisper. It was meant to be heard just by him, but it came off loud enough that one would only need to chose to eavesdrop to hear.

"Do not think you have me fooled. A scholar would not hire his group on the apparent first-come first-serve basis you did. Did you even bother to interview him beforehand? Any of them? I, for one, am not comfortable having them as my safety net, and I imagine neither are you. Something that we should be, alone in an old place like this. As it is, the mystery of the unknown is overpowered by the apparent threat of our own group. A mage, playing dress-up, hmph. But of course, why else would you hire me? I listed no combat abilities when I got the job. My suggestion would be to start playing your roll a bit better. I'll get out alive, but can you honestly say the same?"

She backed up and brushed down her robe, allowing a look of serenity to consume her face and posture once again, returning to a volume more suited for comfortable conversation.

"Still, I will not do what I am afraid he will. My crossbow and mind are yours less you show yourself a traitor. I am... interested... in your 'scholarly' ability of problem solving. If you somehow get us all to hold hands and dance before this is all done I will seek you out when I have something to reward you with for astonishing me. And here, take this small book I brought. Its a fine read if you get some time.

She nodded towards the Orc who's name had either not been given or forgotten.

"What motivated you to charge in blind?"

The tone was that of genuine curiosity and sounded nothing like a rhetorical insult. Indeed, the complete switch from anger to calm to questioning all within the small time frame could have been seen as erratic, the change in tone as well in displayed emotion appearing to come to a hard stop before moving on to the next. Though it could have been seen as odd, all of the expressed feelings were real, not too likely to come off as an act at all.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:35 pm 
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The lot of them were all fools. For some reason, that bothered Tiam more than it should have, especially after he had dismissed James and the skinny elf. Perhaps he had spent too much time around those with sense to realize that there were too many sheltered, foolish people in this world. They were like children, too quick to trust and too easily swayed. He had been hired to protect their childish hides, and then they try to whip him with scorn when he does. There was an incongruity there, to be sure.

Lin was the only one with sense, and that was why he was going to stick with her. He clasped the torch between his knees and struck it alight, handing one of the half-dozen remaining to Lin's daughter who was now sitting on her mother's shoulders. "To answer your question, I plan on wenching the night away, and then getting new tips for my weapons. There were no metal spear-heads available after the shipwreck, so I had to make do. They'll kill as well as any other, but I'll feel better once I have steel to throw around again."

He spoke as he lit Khivi's torch with his own, and then reached into his belt pouch and pressed one of the blocks into her other hand. "I have an important job for you: you're going to make sure that we don't get lost down there. It's pretty easy, so you'll still be able to look around. Whenever we come to an intersection or to a big room, draw a little arrow facing the way we came with the charcoal. That way we can find our way out should we get lost. Be generous, I have a lot of them." Tiam trusted his sense of direction fairly well, but he wanted to make sure - anybody could get lost without the sun and stars as a guide.

"After you," Tiam gestured with his torch toward the entrance. Lin looked rather determined to go first, so he wasn't about to stop her. Rear guard wasn't such a bad position - particularly when the rear you were guarding was so nice.

The descent was boring, though the stairs made the steps of the advance group audible enough. They weren't far ahead, and by the time they almost reached the bottom there were hushed whispers that were on the edge of hearing. Tiam could have amplified them if he wanted, but he knew what he would be hearing wasn't worth the effort.

He couldn't help but wonder why the makers of this place would build such a ridiculous staircase. It seemed to be remarkably inefficient, and building underground near a lake was never a good idea. There must have been another entrance. If this was the only one then Tiam would have loved to meet the builders, if only to call them fools.

A voice cut the whispers as they reached the bottom of the stairs"What motivated you to charge in blind?" So the skinny elf wasn't dead yet. That was a surprise - Tiam had pegged her as the first to go.

The orc before him was obviously the target of the elf's comment, though Tiam took the initiative and brushed away the words like a cobweb. "Phaw, don't worry about her - she clearly doesn't understand the concept of honour and glory. Stick with me, friend, and there will be plenty of both." Let them think of that what they would.

The chamber before them was quite breathtaking, but Tiam could only think of one thing - it was too clean. If the ruins had been locked up as long as James said, then there would have been cobwebs galore. But there wasn't a spiderweb anywhere, not even in the shadowiest corner, untouched by torchlight. There didn't even appear to be a speck of dust, and, despite the debris, the place had a feeling of just having been cleaned.

"First arrow," Tiam said to Khivi with a smile, "this is where the adventure begins." He lowered his voice so only those around him would hear "This place is too clean - I don't think we're alone. Be ready for anything." After that, he moved to opposite side of the room as the other group and pretended to examine the carvings. Already he was weighing his options, but the carvings on the wall looked far too fine to pass up. Oh yes, there will be treasure.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:20 pm 
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Lin could only smirk at what Tiam planned to do; stereotypes didn't fail this one, not one bit. Not that it was a bad thing. To be honest, she was glad with the fact that she wasn't the only one with common sense in this group of amazingly boring people who couldn't take a joke. Maturity was overrated! Life was meant to be fun and games; taking it too seriously could result in actually settling down! That, to Miss Kahlin, was the worst fate that could ever befall a mercenary. Khivi agreed with this whole heartedly: when they were in the same place for even a mere week, little Khee would get restless, becoming indecisive in what she wanted to do. In all honesty, she could not sit still. Khee would ask her mother when they were moving on, saying she was bored and quite ready to be on the road again. At that point, Lin would bid Khee to hide until she got the rest of the money for supplies.

If there was anything in the world that she prided herself on, it was hiding. Wherever her mother got the money, she didn't really care; as long as it guaranteed them to keep moving and seeing new things, she was happy. It would only be when Khivi asked the specifics that Lin would tell her where the money came from. It was quite simple, really. Since Lin didn't really believe in stealing from townspeople, she would either look for people who needed a bodyguard, or something more personal. It really wasn't that degrading. It took a lot to get the better of Lin.

"You obviously know your way with a knife." She said, impressed by his workmanship as she looked at his weapons. "It would have been so satisfying if Tarzan were the test subject." She said, smiling as he gave Khivi some charcoal and a torch.

"I have an important job for you: you're going to make sure that we don't get lost down there. It's pretty easy, so you'll still be able to look around. Whenever we come to an intersection or to a big room, draw a little arrow facing the way we came with the charcoal. That way we can find our way out should we get lost. Be generous, I have a lot of them."

Khivi was delighted. He not only gave her a lit torch, but something to DRAW with! "Thank youuuu!" She said, beaming a smile at Tiam. She would be very, very careful with the torch and treat the charcoal like a treasure; it had been quite a while since she'd had something to draw with. Almost a whole month! It was hard to not kick her dangling legs in excitement, but a quick tap on her ankle from her mother contained her.

For now. Heehee!

"Down we go, Khee!" Lin whispered. Khivi put on her best "game face", determined to be the best torch-holding arrow drawer in the world.

When they got in there, Lin could really care less about what they were saying. Her ear was burning; but she could care less about their butt-hurt conversation concerning them. The "scholarly" elf was asking the orc what he charged in blindly for, and Lin couldn't help but smirk. Why was it that the "scholar" was asking such an idiotic question? Did she really have such high expectations for orcs? It was a smart move when Tiam invited the orc along; it would be great to have an orc with them.

They came to a room that looked...clean. Abnormally so. Tiam's whisper confirmed it for them; at his instruction, Khee drew an arrow. Lin smiled, knowing Khivi was resisting the urge to draw other things on the walls.

"Draw a flower!" Lin whispered up to Khivi. She happily obliged.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 12:15 am 
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After what seemed like an eternity, the orc finally heard people coming down the staircase. He was annoyed that they took so long to descend. But they brought light! With their light, he would be able to bring his club to bear more effectively and combat the things that lurked in the darkness here. And maybe walk away with some heroically-good shiny objects! While the humie with glass on his face and the forest pointy-ear were relatively useless, the woman with the child and the one with the pointy stick (which he was jealous of) were probably important people to keep around. Without them, he would have no light and no protection. Well, he didn't really need protection, but every good hero can use a couple of sidekicks, no matter how mundane their tasks were.

Then the pointy ear that had clothes (he wasn't sure what to think of her) asked him a question: "What motivated you to charge in blind?"

Before he could answer, the humie with the stick said "Phaw, don't worry about her - she clearly doesn't understand the concept of honour and glory. Stick with me, friend, and there will be plenty of both."

This man was obviously smart! He looked over at him, smiled with an orcish grin and gave a hearty grunt of acknowledgment.

He had to answer her question; it was fairly asked. The orc walked up to her, a bit confused and answered, saying, "I'm not blind! I have eyes!" To prove it, he poked himself in the left eye with his finger. The eye watered up a bit, but otherwise he was rather unscathed. "You have eyes too!", poking the eye of the elf that questioned him. Being pleased with his answer and proof, he turned to look at the room that now had light in it.

The room was big and had stone walls with all sorts of markings in it. Nothing was really unusual about the room except for everything that was on the walls. He wasn't sure if what was in here would be good for taking. He would have to depend on the man with the glass face for that...

While he waited to see where they were going next, he noticed the small girl with a piece of black rock in her hand making squiggles on the wall. Maybe he would make squiggles too! He just had to find a rock...he restrained himself for now, but kept a lookout for a black rock on the ground.


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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 3:42 pm 
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The stairs leveled off into a large open space, her feet beginning to be chilled by the slight damp of the floor, as well as the cool emanating from it. Changing her step from full footed to more just on her toes, she followed the lead, looking around her. At James request, she went over to see the drawings on the wall, curious as they were, yet her weapon was at the ready either way. What happened instead almost made her grin if it wasn't for his invasion of her 'personal space'.

“I hope you don’t hate me for this, but, I did not surrender without reason. I did it to take you away from your element and eliminate the chance that you might of had others waiting in the forest; of course that was before Taim’s outbreaks. Now, that being said I have no intention of harming you or this temple, and after their behavior I don’t much care for the fates of Lin and Taim, I’m sure you can guess who I mean without already knowing their names. Please though, bare their burden to our group as long as you’re able, and if you feel the need to kill them and manage this, please replace them as my body guard, for this journey at least. A nod is all I require to trust you.”

It was simple enough; if the sea-dog and wench get too far ahead of themselves, she could dispose of them. She gave a nod as she looked away to the wall and ran a hand over the drawings. Quite impressive to say the least. She didn't like the manipulative ways of the leader, especially considering he thought her the easiest to manipulate, and considering her predictable ways, it would be safe to assume the other two didn't think highly of her either. Common sense was just that-- common. She had more than a surplus of that sense as well as a few extra ones, like good ears for instance.

She heard the echoes of soft speech from the stairwell, and though the words were more than just scrambled in the echoes of the area, their sense was lost as well... Just then Ellia chose to confront the lead, James she called him, about his choices in comrads, as well as the idea that she herself had already come to terms with, and that was that he would be more than adept at possibly fighting for himself if the time came. though with his manipulative streak, he could probably talk his way out of an angry lion's den. Though as much as she was interested in what her friend had to say on the matter, and what the man had as a reply, she felt a slight aggravation for the disruption; as the group moved down the stairs, their words had begun to get clearer, though still very garbled, but with the speaking overlaying it, she lost the words...

That was until the three came around the bend and stepped into the area. From the corner of her eye as she continued to look at the drawings, she could see that the little one was up on her mothers shoulders, torch and a burnt hunk of wood in her hand, slight confusion of the burnt bit until a whisper was passed between them, and she drew a simple arrow on the wall. So they aren't as stupid as I thought. Though i do admit it is a good idea. Now all that has to happen is the walls move and the arrows are as useless as they are... she thought a little unkindly as she turned her back on them, lifting her feet in a low march on the chilly floor, the damp not pleasant on her bare feet to say the least.

As an afterthought she went over to pass Ellia as if on her way to look at another drawing and leaned in to her ear to whisper quickly "The floor's cold and damp. My damned toes are freezing...."

She turned back to see the orc coming up to Ellia, and his rather amusing reply to her question was to poke her in the eye... She hid her smirk by turning her back. No worries about the orc killing us in our sleep-- he'd be more likely to do it while we were awake. And by accident if it came down to it she thought, chuckling in her head. The idea of the orc poking eyes was just hysterical to her, especially considering he only picked up on the 'blind' part of Ellia's question.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:33 pm 
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His examination of the stone carvings was cut quite short, much shorter than was acceptable. Only a few seconds had passed before the sweet silence was broken by Ellia; complaining about Taim. It was perfectly reasonable, Taim was an ass and spreading it on thicker that the sea spread it smell upon him. He was well aware that the man was a pirate, no simple fisherman carried six spears and such a build. There was one thing Ellia did not notice though, gold was only half his desire. The sea dog craved adventure, and that was worth James's weight in gold. Sure the pirate could wait for a good artifact and head off on his way, but that would require looking for a buyer, one who knew what it was worth and who to sell it to in turn, thus becoming the middle man who would make over twice the coin as the pirate risking his life. It was bad business, and that was what James placed his trust in.

Then things went personal, as Ellia turned her outrage at Taim over to his court. Demanding him to play his role better. He had single highhandedly stayed Taim's spear from piercing the heart of her friend the elf; was that not enough for her? No this woman needed pulled off her pedestal and down into the muck with the rest of the humans.

Before his easily tempered fury expelled, she seemed to apologize to some degree and offer him a book, the very same he had been looking through in the Order Library. His anger had dropped but not enough to keep him silent.

“I would not be so quick to verbalize your assumptions.” He bit back the words high elf. “What part of my role as leader do you think I am failing at? When met with a lone attacker I prepared for an ambush. When you showed a friendship with this attacker, I stopped our guard from piercing her heart. When your friend, no offense intended,” He said to the sylvan before turning back to Ellia. “Neared the point of blind rage, I stepped in an offered an alternative that allowed us to move forward. So dear; unless you have any suggestions pertaining to this temple, I would keep them to yourself.”

[Group 2 Enters from the stairwell, hearing well the rant James has just said.]

“Now would you please give me the time to do my job? Thank you.”


He felt much better having said that, releasing the tension out of his body when normally it would fester inside him until the darker side would claw its way out. But now he had an outlet and a distraction as he focused back on the wall as the others went on their ways of turning other against each other.

That was until the elf he had entrusted the rose to left carelessly. Leaving the wall in shadow, James leaned forward and gently hit his head against the wall. It was then he noticed that the walls were damp. Bringing two fingers to his forehead he wiped a drop of water off of it just in time to hear Nuncia utter that her feet were cold from a moist floor. It was too much for simple moisture that one would find in a cave; it was like somebody was scrubbing the walls every hour.

It was odd, very odd.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:06 am 
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She couldn't help but smile at James' response; she had actually expected him not to react at all, instead simply moving on to the ruins and their mystery. The smile itself was one that showed her feelings easily, the exchange falling into the realms of self humour now that an answer was given. She waited patiently while he finished, but was quick to speak up after, ignoring his attempt to look at the wall a second time.

"Oh how cute; you misunderstood me. I meant your roll as a scholar, dear James... but my, that sure did touch a nerve, didn't it? Is your past plaguing your mind? A botched expedition that you need to make up for? As you said, I don't have much a reason to poke fun at your actions so far, so why care about my opinion at all? We aren't here to be friends, my opinion on your person should mean little or less. And if, for some reason, you -do- care about my thoughts of you, I suggest not speaking down at me. It certainly won't make me like you."

The small, useless glasses that were meant to uphold some scholarly image were discarded then, her recognizing that she had spoke her mind a bit too much to maintain the silent book reader image, only there to offer knowledge. She hated seeing them in her peripherals, and the gold rims made her feel old or snobbish. They didn't suit her, and now that her hair was down, imagery was partially lost anyway.

The Orc's answer sounded like gibberish at first, and Ellia had to rethink it a few times to realize it was actually an answer to the question she asked. While she thought about his response for the short moment it took to make sense of the statement, she watched as the man poked himself in the eye. A demonstration apparently. When he reached in to poke her eye, Ellia just froze. She had no idea what was going on, and very quickly found a finger on her eye. She managed to close it out of reflex, just only just. She recoiled from the slightly painful poke that felt more like a soft jab, blinking frequently.

"Keep your fingers to yourself, I already know I have eyes, thanks. And, charging in blind is an expression... because... when its so dark you can't see, its the same as being blind...right? And you ran right in. That's the charging part."

It pained her to explain something so simple, but the confusing answer and linked eye poke had left her somewhat off balance. Her tone reverted to something soft and innocent, mimicking something that one could have heard forty-some years ago, where a much younger and even more-so naive Ellia would explain things to elves younger than her, though she did so in a sort of haze. It was a welcome tug back to reality when Nuncia mentioned the cool temperature of their environment.

"I'm surprised only your toes are bothered. The moisture in the air is cool too. If you want to borrow my sandals sometime, make sure you say something, okay? After what I put up with before I got here, cold feet doesn't seem like such a terrible thing, so I don't mind so much. I suspect, as we venture farther in, you may need my robe again too. I bet this place won't be getting warmer any time soon."

Ellia walked toward one of the pools in the corner before sitting down in front of it, cautiously sticking her hand into the cool waters. Once wet, she pulled her hand back and smelled it, almost confused to find out it was salt water.

"Unless this room has remained at a near static temperature this entire time, the salts crystallizing and reverting should have caused a bunch of damage to these perfect walls. Even if the creators found a way to protect the pores, the foundation cracks from gravity should have been more than enough to start erosion. And it's salt water too."

She stood up, turning to anyone who might look like they had an answer to cure her slight confusion.

"Unless the moisture is coming from elsewhere and is salt free. Sounds like a bit much, either protecting this room from outside temperature change, or having some sort of moisture barrier to keep their own pools from damaging their art, just for some carvings. And to go through that effort and end up leaving anyway, its a bit odd."

She turned to James. This would be a wonderful time for him to look like a scholar, and if he had some sort of insight, Ellia would benefit. She had a terrible habit of linking 'fishy' to 'dangerous'.

"How's that compass working? Does the needle stand still, or is it spinning?"

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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 5:08 pm 
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Tiam noted the argument going between the fool elf and their 'leader'. It was funny to see how hurt James could get over a single comment about his leadership, and how quickly he could but put on the defensive. This was probably his first attempt at being a leader, meaning that James had spent so much time buried in books that he had not had time to develop any practical skills.

Not like Braytz and Stormeye. Those two were both powerful leaders, and were incredibly successful because of it. Where they could settle any dispute James would let the first dispute to arise tear their group apart. Tiam could see it already in this group. It was subdivided into two groups now: those that were with him, and those that were with James. And then, even within James' own camp there was dissent. This group would not last long at the rate things were going.

Tiam felt that might be of benefit to himself - being set up as the new leader might do some good for the floundering group - and so set out to sabotage James' rule by sewing more dissent amongst his followers. James was muttering to himself while Elia talked about their roles, and so Tiam used his gift to amplify a choice phrase coming from James' mouth to something more audible: "I was doing just that before you tried to turn me against my body guards." The words were a bit louder than James' normal spoken voice, but that could not be helped. Tiam's ability was more like a hammer than a chisel or a fine needle, he could only knock things in one direction or the other.

Elia turned from James for the moment and addressed Khivi about the compass, and Khee responded to the skinny elf in a wonderfully childish fashion. After taking out the compass she exclaimed "It's working, and it's pointing that way!" and pointed in the direction with her finger. She was pointing at the wall that was at their left upon entering, the one that Tiam was 'examining' now. So barring the walls moving there would be no issue. However, what James said about something 'cleaning' the walls and floors made him wonder if the markings would work. If not then they would have an issue finding their way back. Just to be sure Tiam used his eating knife to scratch an arrow into the stone floor, an indicator that would be difficult to wash away.

Tiam only then realized that the foolish elf had said something about the water being salty. That didn't make sense. The lake was fresh water, Tiam knew that for certain. However, this room did smell distinctly like salt water. Could it be seawater? That wouldn't make much sense. Perhaps it was brine then, or maybe just some brackish water... either way, they wouldn't have much to drink if their water supplies ran down.

If that didn't make him uneasy enough, he was also feeling uneasy about the idea of 'someone' being in there with them. He didn't care what had been said before, Tiam still had a job to do, and he would do it as diligently as ever since his hide was also on the line. The far end of the room was shrouded in shadows so, with torch in hand, Tiam went toward it. The shadows dissolved and revealed a passage that was exactly opposite to the entryway. Drawing a javelin and gripping it tightly he thrust the torch into the hallway and peered down it. There was nothing, it was a straight shot down the hall and into the shadows. There were too many shadows here.

Tiam went back to Lin and their orcish friend with a grim look on his face, "I do not like this place. There are too many shadows, and this place is too old. Strange things live in old places..." He wasn't one given to superstition, but that was an adage that Braytz had lived by. One stayed away from old places if they valued their hides. The first bit of treasure that would be worth more than a few coppers would send Tiam running for the exit, he decided. The pirate was not a coward, but he certainly didn't want to die either. Sometimes self preservation had to win over valour and bravery.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mystone Ruins: The Opening
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:14 am 
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In all her years of treasure-hunting and giant-killing, Lin had never been amongst a team as broken as this. Despite the fact that she had been raised in a village of barbarians, none of them were nearly as uptight as certain folk sharing the same space with them right now. In her years of raiding experience, if anyone disagreed with their leader or what the set plan had been, they were tossed out without their share of the loot. And boy, that was more than enough to teach the disagreeable ones a lesson!

However, in this group, their so-called "leader" had no real leadership skills! Sure, he was the one with the jingling pockets, but that could easily change. A leader had to be strong to lead a group; not just mentally. He had to prove that he wasn't someone to mess with, and this puny man wasn't cutting it. Lin doubted he could cut anything, to be honest. Unless he had some demon in him that was not choosing to show itself...

It was hard to follow such a man. Lin had to remind herself time and time again that these weren't her glory days and that this was just a job that could possibly include treasure. So far, it wasn't looking too promising with the observations made by those in their party and herself. It was too clean, and if there was treasure...someone was protecting it. That was what she was hoping for. To be honest, with the idiots surrounding her, she had that itch in her innermost, bloodthirsty warrior-self.

Kahlin wanted to kill. Tiam didn't hide the fact that he felt that way, too...for which she was grateful. If there hadn't been someone on her level of thinking in this party, she would have blown it earlier with that pesky elf.

The elf asked about the compass, to which Khivi excitedly pointed the direction the compass' needle was pointing. Lin couldn't help but raise an eyebrow as she watched Khivi's shadow pointing the way they had just come from, but dropped the thought as Khivi's feet excitedly began to kick from her seat on her shoulders. Lin didn't wince as those kicks landed on her breasts; it was often that her daughter did this when she wasn't holding onto her legs all the time to keep her steady.

Khivi, luckily, knew how to balance. Lucky her. I'm sorry, boobs. Khivi didn't mean it. It was then that Tiam distracted her, which she was grateful for.

"I do not like this place. There are too many shadows, and this place is too old. Strange things live in old places..." All Lin could do was smirk. That barbaric part of her, that very core of her that loved danger and adventure, was showing itself once again as she replied.

"With every treasure hunt, there is risk." She said, still smirking. "I think I'm starting to warm up to this place."

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