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 The Kingdom of Laril

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Vir Honestus
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PostSubject: The Kingdom of Laril   Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:37 am

*11th era, year 53, Virarus, First day of Summer*


In the kingdom of Laril a bright sunrise is greeting the new day and in a forgotten city sleeps a young man who does not yet know what the day holds in store for him. Inside of a two story stone building of ancient craftsmanship the young man continues to sleep.

"Hylas."

"Hylas its time to get up."

The young man named Hylas rolls over in his cotton filled bed and briefly opens his eyes, after doing so he rolls back over and goes back to sleep.

"Hylas! I said wake up!"

The next thing Hylas knows it that he is being thrown out of his own bed. Immediately alert he lands on his feet and summons flames into his hands then turns and faces the one who disrupted his sleep.

Turning he saw his sister Tirawan standing at the ready, flames also in her hands.

"You know you can't beat me Tiri." said Hylas.

"I know but it never hurts to be cautious, especially with you. Your eyes always seem to shimmer early in the morning you know." said Tirawan.

"You say that every morning you know. Yes, I know they are different. It's not like I asked for them." said Hylas.

Hylas and Tirawan are not related by blood they were adopted by a mage from the hidden city and were given a building of their own to live in. Hylas is different from everyone in the hidden city for a few reasons. He has an incredibly strong magic within him, his eyes are a deep crimson and instead of circles he has slits instead that run vertically. These things at first made people wary of him but in time they all accepted him and eventually befriended and relied on him.

Hylas lowered his hands and extinguished his flames.

"You remember what day it is don't you?" asked Tirawan also extinguishing her flames.

"I can't recall." responded Hylas.

"You always are forgetful, its your rising day. You are turning eighteen today. Now get ready, everyone will be waiting at the chapel soon." said Tirawan as she left Hylas's room.

Hylas sighed as he made his bed, unknown to him it would be last the last time he did so in a very long time. Changing clothes from the day before he put on a simple cotton shirt and pants then slipped on his sandals. His black hair fell in strands around his head and his skin always held a light tan to it which gave his eyes a glowing appearance.

Walking down the stairs of the small building he joined Tirawan as she waited at the door for him.

"Lets get going then." she said.

Stepping into the morning sunlight Hylas enjoyed the site before him for a few moments. The hidden city as the rest of the kingdom had called it for the last several hundred years was home and to him it was named Lingate. The sun bathed the city in a warm amber glow and reflected off the many waterfalls and water channels that ran through the city itself. From the house he stayed in that was on a rise he could see the chapel where a few number of people were already beginning to gather.

Turning to walk down the stone pathway that led down the slope and into a paved stone street Hylas watched as the Mana crystals that lit the streets at night winked out one by one. For common people who have no control over Mana they can access it by the use of Mana crystals a mage however can draw upon it at any time from the earth beneath him. His teacher had taught him all he could in the time he lived with him and at the age of sixteen Hylas began experimenting and learning by himself which led to him and Tirawan being lent the house they now stayed at.

The walk to the chapel was uneventful and quiet in the early morning. Reaching the chapel doors Hylas was greeted by his old teacher.

"Ah, Master, good morning to you." said Hylas.

"Oh Hylas my boy how are your studies going, good I imagine?" responded his old teacher.

"Indeed they are, I'm getting close to a new use of the magics." he said.

"Oh how exciting now what exactly...oh never mind that we can talk about this later. Now come in everyone is waiting for you." said his old teacher.

Hylas sighed then proceeded into the chapel where the cities leader was standing in front of the long aisle way to the front of the chapel. The gathering of people inside amazed Hylas, all the pews were filled and everyone looked at him as he proceeded forward. Once he reached the steps before the leader he paused. The leader looked at him then addressed the gathering.

"Today marks Hylas's eighteenth birthday, and as such he is to be given a proper rising ceremony. Now Hylas stand beside me." said the leader.

Hylas walked up the small steps until he stood next to the leader.

"Hylas was found by Celad many years ago, he cared for the boy despite his strange appearance, he also taught him the ways of magic once he figured out he could control it. He also taught Hylas the art of swordplay as all young men in this city of Lingate are supposed to do. Now he is at the age of adulthood and therefore can no longer be considered a boy, but a man. I bestow upon you a blade of Lingate." said the leader as he drew a sword from his belt and handed it to Hylas.

Hylas looked at the blade and noticed the insignia of the city on the metal, it was a circle with a growing tree in it, he then put the sword tip down onto the marble floor beneath him, standing beside the leader he seemed at ease.

"Now that Hylas is of age we will celebrate in his name tonight. Now Hylas do you have anything you wish to say?" asked the leader.

Hylas gazed over the crowd and smiled.

"Thank you all, for all the times we have spent together." he said.

The crowd cheered and clapped for him as the leader then handed Hylas a sheath for his sword. Strapping it to his waist Hylas then sheathed the blade and began to walk down the aisle to exit the chapel. As he emerged back into the sunlight a small crowd had gathered outside of the chapel and cheered as he appeared before them. Hylas could not help but smile. He then proceeded to greet the gathering as he walked among them. Already preparations were being made in the city center where tents and makeshift bars would be set up.

As Hylas walked a voiced called out to him.

"Hylas. Wait."

Turning to the voice he noticed his old master and the city leader standing together.

"Master what do you need?" he asked.

"Hylas it pains me to say so, but a sign was received this morning from the Mana flow, the ancient oath is nearly upon us. Help from the hidden city will be sent when the kingdom is in dire straights. You are the help that the Mana flow revealed, and it is you alone that will go." said his old master.

"I am sorry Hylas, we would not make you go if we had a choice, our city made an oath and we cannot refuse it. We will send you now so that you may learn about the kingdom outside of our walls. People may fear you while others may wish to use you for their own gains. Just remember where you came from and always stay strong. One day we hope you will return to us." said the city leader.

"We will provide you with new clothes and food for your journey but you may only leave with the blade you received today and all the knowledge you now possess. Now come with us." said his old master.

Hylas was devastated by what he was hearing. No one left the city unless given strict permission and now he was being told to leave and not return until some oath that was made centuries ago was completed. He mindlessly obeyed the order and followed the pair to a small store house on the way into the main section of the city. Entering the store house he noticed is was full of grain barrels and hay. His old master began shifting the hay around until a small bundle appeared. Opening it he passed the clothing inside to Hylas. It contained a black top of fitted leather pieces, a pair of durable traveling pants that had a bronze buckle and chains on both sides, lastly was a pair of boots that had a metal pad and heel.

Hylas put the clothes on then reequipped his sword to his hip.

"Now you must take the road that leads out of the city and through the mountain. It is directly behind this storage house. It is hidden as well. Don't look back and keep walking forwards. It will lead you to the road that will take you to the closest city. I wish you luck on this Hylas. Return to us one day." said the leader.

"What about Tirawan and the others. What will you tell them?" asked Hylas.

"We will tell them the truth of the matter and no secrets will be kept from them. You hold great power Hylas that is why we are sending you and you alone." said his old master.

Hylas nodded and turned to leave. As he reached the door to the back of the storage house he turned to the two once more.

"Thank you."

He then opened the door and made his way to the hedges near the storage house. Pushing through them he found a small path that was nearly overgrown. Beginning to follow it through the trees he noticed that he was getting closer to the mountains that surrounded the city and that the path was beginning to cut through them. Hylas was worried about the others and also worried for what lay ahead of him. He only knew his own city yet studied the maps of the country thoroughly enough to memorize the routes, rivers and cities within the kingdom. He just did not know what exactly he was meant to do. Hylas looked forward and followed the path trying to clear his mind. He walk and walked until he was out of the mountains and emerged on a grassy hill, at the bottom of it was a paved stone road that led out of the kingdom or to the closest city. Turning inwards towards the kingdom capital Hylas began his journey with a single step.

_________________
Cursed be the ground for our sake. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for us. For out of the ground we were taken, for the dust we are... and to the dust we shall return


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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:56 pm

*11th era, year 53, Virarus, First day of Summer*


On Laril's western coast, the sun shone brightly over the city and the warm breeze meandered through all the alleys and buildings. From the main plaza, the sea view can be enjoyed and the great ships observed. Along a stonework side plaza, a separate raised garden provides a quiet, higher view. Sitting beneath a large oak tree is a young woman staring out onto the cerulean waters.

"Arica"

"Arica, can you hear me?"

The young woman named Arica refocused her eyes as recognized her name, but merely blinked.

"Arica, back here."

Arica brushed some dark bangs from her face then looked to her side. She saw a thin young woman with deep tanned skin,
bright blond hair pulled back into a ponytail, and hands on her hips.

In case you're curious:
 

"Oh. Kinara. I didn't notice you were there. How are you this pleasurable morning?" Arica said starting to stand.

"No kidding you didn't see me. Too busy being fancy in that noble white getup. Fine, but curious why you're still in Taraila. I thought you were gonna train at the capital; the blue bloods need all the nobles present for whatever it is," Kinara responded.

"Oh the meeting. Yea. That's an interesting case. Long story short, I've been doing preliminary training with my uncle before heading to the capital."

"And yer folks?"

"My mother simply said try to continue my intellectual exercises along side the extra physical training."

Arica stretched and straightened her beige and teal gown. Her circlet glinted slightly in the daylight. Kinara started pulling out something from her leather pouch. She handed the note to Arica. Arica gave her friend a look before read the note. After a moment of staring at the parchment, she returned the note.

"So I guess there will be a delivery for my father from Agady soon?" Arica questioned looking once more at the sea.

"Apparently, it's supposed to come down there from my dad's ship. Speaking of ships why were you watching them this morning?" Kinara said, picking a leaf from the tree and playing with it in her hand.

"I normally do some kind of meditation in the morning. Today I simply decided to come to the balcony. The view is worth it. I was lost in thought when you came up here." Arica responded with a smile.

"Well let's head back. The old people will be coming to the park soon," Kinara responded, dropping the leaf.

Kinara started walking off the grass back onto the light stone pavement.

"You're just impatient; you can't stand dealing with certain people because you don't understand how they think." Arica said with a smirk, following her.

"Impatient yes, but this is Taraila. There are way too many annoying people here." Kinara whined, walking towards the stairs that head back to the main plaza.

"Gotta love Taraila," Arica said smiling beside her friend.

"Second biggest city in the kingdom," Kinara said lovingly with her hands in the air.

"Smallest known bathrooms in existence," Arica responded sourly.

The girls burst out laughing as they continued down the stone stairs.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Sun May 04, 2014 11:14 am

*11th era, year 53, Virarus, First day of Summer*
"What am I going to do?" asked Hylas to himself as he walked slowly towards Belhall, the closest city to his own.

"I don't know where to go or what I'm meant to do, I understand that it was an ancient prophecy that our people swore to protect but why me? Why couldn't it be someone else or why did we swear to it in the first place?"

"Whats going to happen to Tirawan? Will she ask where I have gone?"

"What will they tell the citizens? Will they make some excuse or will they tell them the truth?"

"I don't know. I just don't know."

Hylas continued talking to himself more out of worry than necessity, he was so caught up in his own thoughts that he almost didn't realize someone was trying to get his attention. Glancing at the figure gesturing to him it turned out to be an old man.

"Excuse me young man, but I seem to be having some trouble getting my things back to my home, would you be so kind as to assist...me?" said the Man as Hylas approached him.

"I'd be happy to help you." responded Hylas as he noticed it was an elderly man.

The old man paused and Hylas took note of his attire. A pair of old worn farming pants with a dirty cotton shirt. This was a man of labor one of the man people needed to sustain a kingdom. True that if you have enough one loss would not be noticeable yet the old man helps in some way.

"Why...Why thank you..." said the old man.

"Is something wrong?" asked Hylas.

"No...not particularly. It's just...your eyes boy...you have the eyes of a demon." said the old man.

"Ah yes, I can assure you I am no demon. I've had these eyes ever since I was born. Now what did you need assistance with?" asked Hylas.

This made the old man come to his senses.

"I have a cart a bit of the way down the road. A wheel bolt has broken in half and I need to get the supplies on it back to my farm. By the way my name is Alor." said the old man.

"Well then Alor, lead the way." said Hylas.

Alor led Hylas down the road making small conversation but mostly keeping his thoughts to himself.

"How long would it take to reach the capital on foot?" asked Hylas.

"On foot...Hmm I'd wager it would take you three to four fortnights." said Alor.

"Thats a rather long time. What about on horseback?" asked Hylas.

"Ah now that would only take two at the longest." said Alor.

"You are not from around here are you, and I never received your name." said Alor.

"Apologies, my name is Hylas and you are correct I've never gone far from home." said Hylas.

"Well Hylas, where is home and that is an exquisite sword that you have." said Alor.

Hylas drew the blade and examined it them passed it to Alor so that he may do so as well. Alor paused mid step while examining the sword noticing the insignia pressed into the metal. Returning the blade he continued towards his cart in silence.

Reaching the cart Hylas took note of its contents. Several logs, bags of wheat and grains, a bale of hay all strapped down to it just in case something like the wheel falling off did occur.

"This is it." said Alor.

"I think I should be able to fix it. Do you have the bolt still?" asked Hylas.

Alor reached into one of his pockets and pulled out the bolt that was sheared in two.

Hylas took them into his own hands then put each piece in his fingers and pushed them together. He then began using some of his fire magic to heat the metal to near its melting point and pressed them together fusing it back as if it was new. He then used water magic to quench the metal and to cool it faster.

"There, that should do it." said Hylas.

Alor watched in amazement as Hylas took metal and reshaped it into a new bolt.

"You can use magic...this is intriguing." said Alor.

Hylas then went to the cart and lifted on its base as Alor again watched in amazement. One man should not be able to lift a cart that heavy by himself. Hylas then supported it on his shoulder while squatting down, he then positioned the wheel on the axle once more and replaced the bolt heating it so that it would not back out of its hole. He then moved out from under the cart and checked to make sure that the bolt would hold.

"All finished. Well I'll just be on my way then." said Hylas.

"Wait boy, might I ask you for another favor. I have to push this cart back to my farm. Would you be so kind as to help me push it there?" asked Alor.

"I don't see why not." said Hylas.

He then put his bag onto the cart and took up the handle in front of it.

"I hate to ask this of you." said Alor.

"Please its my pleasure to help, you can even ride in the cart if you would like. Its no trouble to me." said Hylas.

Alor took the opportunity to climb into the cart and rest.

"My knees aren't what they used to be." said Alor.

Hylas smirked at the thought.

"So why were you out this far from your farm?" asked Hylas.

"I was cutting some logs for the fire, my stores are getting low and I was on my way back from a friend of mines place, that's where I got the hay and grain. When my wheel fell off I was going back to ask him for help when you came along." said Alor.

"Fortune smiled upon you today it seems." said Hylas.

"Indeed it has." said Alor.

The rest of the short walk to Alors farm was in silence until Hylas stopped in front of Alors home.

Alor climbed off the cart and began walking towards his house.

"Come with me Hylas. I'd like to show you something." said Alor.

Hylas followed Alor into his home and as they moved Alor went into the cellar. Hylas followed tentatively. Once he was in the cellar he was shocked by what he saw.

Hanging on a sword rack on the wall was a blade identical to his own. A blade of Lingate was kept in perfect condition and it was obvious that Alor had taken painstaking care of it.

"I found this blade up near the mountains one day while foraging for herbs. I had it checked and it is said to belong to an ancient and forgotten city. One that no one can find or enter into unless the city itself allows it. Tell me Hylas, why is it that you have one of the exact same make?" asked Alor.

"The city you speak of is my home, it is called Lingate and I was sent from the city to fulfill an ancient prophecy." said Hylas.

"Lingate...I knew I read about that in a book of mine somewhere. Does this prophecy have to do with when the city shrouded itself?" asked Alor.

"Yes...it does" said Hylas being wary of Alor as of now.

"Then allow me to assist you on your journey. I know that this prophecy is of great importance, I'll give you one of my horses with a saddle and plenty of feed." said Alor.

"Why help me though?" asked Hylas.

"I'm not really sure but my guts are telling me to help you so I shall. Oh and Hylas, out there in the other cities people may not be as accepting of your eyes as I was, they may run in fear or call you a demon or monster. You may want to hide them from sight if at all possible." said Alor.

"I never thought of that but I'll take it into consideration. I can't thank you enough for assisting me though." said Hylas.

"Please, I should thank you, after all you did repair and push my cart home with me along with it." said Alor.

"Come lets get you that saddle." finished Alor.

Hylas followed Alor out of the house and to a small stable with two horses in it.

"Now these are work horses so they are tough and have a great endurance just make sure you feed them each night and give them plenty of room to walk around when you tie its lead. Oh and do not forget to find a place that it can drink from. If you are to make it to the capital quicker it is imperative." said Alor.

"Why the capital though?" asked Hylas.

"Well if you are completing the prophecy then you need to speak to the king." said Alor.

"How is it that an old farmer knows about a prophecy that time has almost forgotten?"  asked Hylas.

Alor smiled at this question.

"We all have our secrets Hylas. Mine is that I used to be a part of the kings court and learned many secrets then retired to a life of farming close to the hidden city." said Alor.

Hylas smiled then nodded.

"Now you best be on your way. My home is always open to you, return any time." said Alor as Hylas climbed into the saddle.

Hylas nodded once more then gave the horse a small kick in the sides to get it to move forwards. As Hylas moved further and further from sight Alor remained where he was standing.

"The time of reckoning is nearly upon us, either we will prevail or be enslaved. You alone can decide the fate of us both, Hylas do not fail."

_________________
Cursed be the ground for our sake. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for us. For out of the ground we were taken, for the dust we are... and to the dust we shall return


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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Tue May 06, 2014 6:42 pm

*11th era, year 53, Virarus, First day of Summer*
Arica and Kinara needed to head back to the docks so Kinara could find her father. Instead of taking the direct route, they took the secondary streets through the markets. While mid-morning, most of the people up would still be the early risers with the rest of the city slowly trickling in.

The girls continue walking. Arica enjoys the sunshine as Kinara shares another story about the men she works with at the docks and last night's card night.

Arica's ears perk up. She looks past Kinara.

"Kinara, hold that thought, okay dear?" Arica said holding up her hand.

Kinara stops mid-sentence as Arica walks in front of her. Kinara watches, arms folded and a questioning look.

Arica walks up to the baker she spotted. He was midway through yelling at a child and getting red in the face.

"-have you know I will call the closest guard around and-"

Arica went straight up to the large man with a bright smile.

"Good morning Codulanth. Your goods smell excellent today. The ovens serve you well today?” Arica interrupts, still maintaining her cheery dismeanor.

The baker Codulanth starts telling off whoever decided to interrupt him teaching the kid a lesson. Then he notices which young lady it was who interrupted him. Quickly he recovers some composure.

“Ah yes, good morning Lady Arica. What can I get for you, fine Miss?” Codulanth says with a small bow and a quick glare to the child at the side.

“I would love to buy two loaves of bread and three sticky rolls,” Arica says. Then she adds “Oh and whatever Otrebor here wanted.  He simply ran off from me; must have been that grasshopper he saw. Fast buggers those are. We were at the park previously.”

“Ah. So this bra-brilliant young Tarailan is with you today? Hmmm I see,” he said, caught slightly off guard and accessing his situation. “Very well; let me get your order.”

Codulanth walked into the back.

“Otrebor, can you please follow me for a few moments after I pay for the bakery?” Arica asked kindly.

The boy named Otrebor who was previously standing frozen as a statue carefully nodded his head once. The man came back carrying a basket with the goods wrapped in a cloth. Arica handed him payment, using the noble’s currency instead of commoner’s money, and grabbed the basket.

“Thank you, and have a great day,” Arica said, placing her free hand on the boy’s shoulder.

She led the two back through the crowd to Kinara who was just staring at the scene.

“So you not only go shopping but also buy a kid. How swell,” Kinara responds with a raised eyebrow.

“Thank you Kinara for being patient with me. Now come on, I have one more place in market I need to visit,” Arica said walking with Otrebor down the street.

Kinara shrugs as she shakes her head. They go a short block down. Arica asks Kinara to watch the boy for a moment and runs off to a store. Kinara grunts but agrees. Otrebor simply stands still, saying nothing.

They stood there in silence until Arica came back with a small bag. She knelt in front of Otrebor.

“Dear, you take both the basket and this bag and head home. I’m sure your mother and sister must be worried.” Arica said.

The boy stared at her for a moment then his thoughts clicked.

“Th-thank you Lady Arica” he said grabbing the items.

“Good, now head straight home, and tell your mom I said hi,” Arica said patting his head with one last smile before sending him off.

He ran down another street with his items in tow. Kinara gave Arica her look again.

“Explain please,” Kinara asked while starting to walk again.

“That’s Otrebor,” Arica started. “He lives with his twin sister Oinotna and their mother. The lady is a laundry maid. I heard from other servants she hasn’t been coming into work due to being sick.”

“Okay, people always get sick, fact of life.” Kinara said placing her hands behind her neck.

“Turns out, his sister is sick too. They’re both pretty bad,” Arica said sadly. “From the way his eyes looked I could tell he’s been up all night with worry, trying to nurse them to health in any way he can. That’s probably why he rushed for some food.”

“So you decided to be nice and pay for some bread and rolls for the family. I got cha now.” Kinara said, slightly annoyed she did not realize what her friend was up to sooner.

After a few more paces, Kinara stopped and turned to her friend.

“Hang on; you didn’t just get one thing. You also bought the kid some medicine, didn’t’ you?”

Arica nodded, still walking slightly behind. Kinara looked at her for another moment. She then smirked and started walking beside her friend.

“You sneaky, clever, young lass,” Kinara mentioned.

“What do you mean by that?” Arica said genuinely curious.

“Just you; being able to calculate quickly, then to manipulate people and a turn a situation to your favored outcome, yet still maintaining your kind heart.”

“I’ll take that a compliment, I guess,” Arica said taking a deep breath.

“It’s a compliment,” Kinara said over her shoulder. “Something tells me you’ll get the opportunity to use your sharp mind and kind heart to secretly help many people.”

“I see,” Arica said. “We’ll just have to wait and see. Let’s hope you’re right.”

“Of course I’m right,” Kinara said. “Just like how I was right during card night. This is a story you have to hear.”

The pier slowly getting closer in sight, Arica simply smiled as her companion continued with her story.

_________________
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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Sat May 10, 2014 6:26 pm

*11th era, year 53, Virarus, First day of Summer*
Hylas moved down the stone pathway leading to Belhall at a leisurely pace. He did not want to tire out the horse that Alor had given to him just yet. Something strange was tugging at his mind  about Alor though.

"Why would an old man, from the capital retire to a life of farming on the outermost reaches of the kingdom?" thought Hylas.

Hylas had been traveling for a few hours and could already see Belhalls skyline on the horizon, the city had tall climbing spires of its central keep and was laid out in a circular formation. From his studies of the country most cities housed the wealthy near the center and the poor on the outside. Lingate had no such system as each man was equal in a different way, the vast hidden city relied on everyone working together to sustain themselves, so each person had a lavish home and plenty of time to rest when the work was done. Those who studied magic though were not required to work in the fields at the heart of the city, despite this Hylas put time and effort to help where he could when it was harvesting season.

Time marched on and by sunset Hylas had made his way to the gates of the city. Approaching the gate he noticed it was shut and that a smaller doorway was made so as to allow travelers in yet it to was closed. Reaching the gate Hylas knocked on the wood with three loud raps and almost immediately a slot opened and the door keeper peered out.

"What business have ye with the grand city of Belhall?" asked the man in a nasally voice.

"I seek shelter for the night and feed for my horse." Hylas responded.

The slot shut and a few seconds later the door opened allowing Hylas entry into the city.

Hylas passed and thanked the man, getting his bearing he guessed he was on the south side of the city. He guessed that there would be a stable and tavern close by if not a few blocks down. Climbing down from his horse he took it by the reins and led it through the streets. He passed a few people heading to their homes for the night each gave him surprised looks and some small gasps as they passed him.

"Already?" Thought Hylas.

As he moved down the street he noticed a sign hanging from a building.

"The hanging bell..." he said aloud to himself.

Checking that there was a stable with the tavern he paid the stable boy to take his horse and feed it as well as get it some water as he did the boy gave him a strange look but did as he was told when a gold coin was waved in front of his face. Hylas then proceeded to the doorway into the tavern, it was open wide allowing the noise of its patrons to roll out into the streets.

Hylas entered into the building with little attention drawn to him.

"Welcome, Welcome! Welcome to the Hanging Bell! What can I do for you young master?" asked a particularly jovial tavern keeper standing behind a counter.

Hylas walked over to him and waited for his reaction. The man had not looked directly at Hylas yet and continued his performance of welcoming.

"Five gold will get you a room for a night and seven gold will get you a meal as well, so what shall it be young...Master?" asked the man as he trailed off.

"Ill take the room and meal if its all the same to you." said Hylas as he moved to count out the gold coins.

"Hold there, Let me have a look at you first." said the man.

Hylas stared the man directly in the eyes for a moment as the man pondered him.

"Boy, my guts tell me to turn you away for fear of you scaring off my customers yet the look of your eyes tells me that you have a soft soul and mean no harm." said the keeper.

"You would be correct by that. I only seek shelter and food for the night." said Hylas.

"Then I'll accept your coin and get you a room, but is there nothing you can do about your eyes, most folk would assume you are a demon in disguise. By the way my name is Faltner, most call me Falt." said the man.

"I suppose I could cover my eyes with a cloth if things start to turn for the worse. Thank you all the same though Faltner." said Hylas.

"Right, well your room will be on the second floor, third door to the right. Our dinner tonight is roasted pork with soup and biscuits." said Faltner.

"That sounds excellent." said Hylas.

Hylas then moved amongst the patrons to a secluded table in the corner of the room and waited for the meal to be brought out to him by Faltner. As Faltner set down his food he mentioned to Hylas that a travelers cloak may come in handy for him if he intends to travel long distances. Hylas accepted the information and ate his meal. After eating he went directly to his room and sat on the bed that was laid out for him.

"How can I see if I have to cover my eyes. I wonder if that technique could be modified for that purpose." Thought Hylas.

The technique Hylas was thinking of is one where the user of mana can expand their own mana onto the ground or air around them to see even in the dark, colors are sacrificed but the image of three dimensions is retained and all features are still visible in the users minds eye. Hylas shut his eyes and began experimenting with the idea but after a few attempts weariness from the days travel overwhelmed him and he fell asleep swiftly.


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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Wed May 14, 2014 2:53 am

*11th era, year 53, Virarus, First Day of Summer*

Having said goodbye to Kinara at the docks, Arica wanders past the busy sailors and other workers. She could smell the sea salt floating on the strong breeze. A few of the more rowdy men whistled at her, the ones new to town and not used to seeing nobility down near the workplace. They were ignored. Most of the ones that knew her either nodded or said good day. They were met with a returning smile.

Arica continued walking towards her uncle's estate. She loved how her uncle chose to buy the property closer to the city's edge instead of near the center with all the other nobles. Arica found, when staying in the city, that it was easier to understand the other classes of people and how the place worked rather than being surrounded by only people of her class. Plus, it was rather bothersome learning only of upcoming galas and court meetings. Not that she didn't enjoy them from time to time. What other way is there to see the inefficiency of the King's court?

"Kinara's note said the package from Agady would be arriving soon," Arica said, thinking out loud. "It'll probably get to Taraila in a few days still."

Arica turned down a road traveling away from the water. Her uncle's estate, and home away from home, started appearing over the hill. It sat on a raised stretch of land, surrounded by elegant iron worked fences and a retaining wall.

"I was planning on waiting only another day before heading back to the capital," Arica said.

She turns to the paved ramp up towards the hill.

"Perhaps, I should just wait another day or two for the ship to come in."

Staying a bit longer would allow her to practice the new sequence in sword training. Arica's parents agreed it would be better for their daughter to learn swordplay, for the self defense and physical health. While she chose not to go the bulky muscular route, Arica quickly mastered the more finesse moves and counter strikes more adaptable through her smaller mass. Her body still succeeded in maintaining it's soft curves however, leaving the muscle lean and hidden.

She was thinking which of the guards would ask to duel her during practice today. Either a new one would step up, to prove his strength to such an unusual swords woman, or one of the veterans, to see how much she's been improving. Her teacher Euru has been guiding her for three years now, since her uncle suggested it due to the prior event.

The current technique should only take three days at most to master. The return trip to the capital could take place after a day of rest on the fourth. That would be plenty of enough time for the package to arrive in Taraila, Arica figured.

"I guess after training it's back to the mana books," Arica said, as she walked up to the guard standing by the main gate.

He let her inside and she continued following the path to the house. After a moment to stop and watch a bird flying by, Arica arrived at the door. She went inside.

Servants running errands welcomed Arica home with gleaming smiles, curtsies and bows, as she walked through the foyer up to the main stairs. While her uncle kept the light colored stone most nobles use for their houses, Arica appreciates how her uncle warmed up the estate by adding dark, rich wood detailing in the wood trim and furniture. Most of it came from the forest halfway across Laril.

Arica came down the main upstairs corridor to her bad chamber. She told her head nursemaid Meylina she would be changing before heading down to the training room. Meylina nodded and headed through the connecting doors to her own chambers as Arica started to grab her clothes from the closet.

Arica stopped then, feeling bothered by something. Ignoring the feeling, she reached for her boots to place them and her pants on her bed.

She looked over to her dresser. Her mana crystal pendant, a gift from her mother, on the dresser was lightly glowing with a pulse. Curious, Arica walked over from her bed to the pendent.

Picking it up, she felt the heat radiating through her fingers. While not usually needing a crystal to use mana, Arica knew the sensation from a crystal was more of an aura and flow than that of heat.

Arica's vision started to blur as her brown eyes turned to a vibrant violet. Her eyes then started to glow brightly and her surroundings began to morph.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As her vision returned, Arica blinked. She was standing on a grassy hill of an unknown region. The air was dense and reeked. Arica looked down, much to her own horror.

A battle. Hundreds of men were attacking each other. Some glowed with an aura, obviously using mana on the field. Most held simple melee weapons and swords. Arica could hear the weapons clanking together as soldiers waited for the next chance to make an inside strike. Just as many bodies were fallen, the grass muddy from the blood. The run off flowing steadily into the river not too far away. The battle cries were a cacophony too bitter. It was an an all out onslaught.

Arica's stomach wretched, but she could not move. She couldn't even look away as more bodies fell and still more came to clash in front of her.

The corner of her eye caught a flag flowing in the wind. Upon the flag, Arica could make out the royal insignia of Laril. From her spot on the hilltop, she couldn't make out the opponent's flag for it was blocked by a large oak tree.

Arica's stomach twisted again as she witnessed another few men bashed in, or sliced in half, or otherwise trampled into death. Her hands became clammy. She couldn't move. She could only watch in terror as more lives were thrown into the blood bath.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Arica's legs gave out. As her body collapsed to the floor of her bed chamber, she knocked over her hairbrush and a few jewelry boxes from the dresser. A voice came through the room as a few knocks could be heard on the door.

"Milady, is everything alright?!" the nursemaid asked, fretting.

"I'm fine. I just tripped." Arica answered through the door.

Arica slowly stood back up. She looked at her reflection in the mirror. Her eyes still maintained a slight glow, then slowly faded. Her irises returned to their dormant brown hue.

"What madness did I just see?" she said to the mirror.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Sat May 17, 2014 9:07 pm

*11th era, year 53, Mierus, Second day of Summer*
As Hylas slept through the night he was plagued by nightmare. Fields of burnt grass and charred bodies, rivers of blood that flowed endlessly, the blast of magic all around him and he stood in the center of it all unable to move away.

"No!" shouted Hylas sitting up straight in his bed with a cold sweat covering his body.

Instinctively he pulled his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around his legs trying to comfort himself and forget the dream he had just witnessed. Shaking slightly Hylas tried to breath deeply. Once he had calmed himself down some he stood up from the bed and moved towards the small window that was in his room and lifted the curtain. The sun had yet to rise and it would still be early, despite this Hylas could smell food being made in the kitchens below.

Slipping on his boots and strapping his sword to his hip he picked up his bag and made his way to the taverns lobby. Descending down the stairs his steel heeled boots made a dull clicking sound.

Hylas emerged into to the common room to find it empty and devoid of life save for Faltner leaning against the counter of the bar.

"I could here you coming down those steps from a league away boy." said Faltner.

"My apologies Sir." responded Hylas.

"Ah think nothing of it, most of the customers still sleeping are to drunk to even hear you." said Faltner with a laugh.

"So where are you headed lad?" asked Faltner.

"I suppose I'm heading to the capital." said Hylas.

"You suppose?" asked Faltner with a raise of his eyebrows.

"It's a long story." responded Hylas.

"Ah I see, well you may want to either buy a traveling cloak or bind your eyes. Especially in the capital will people be wary of you eyes." said Faltner.

"Why is it then that you accepted them so easily" asked Hylas.

"Ah now that is a good question. I suppose because they have a soft look to them if one takes the time to actually gaze without fear. I have to deal with rowdy and dangerous patrons from time to time so I learned to not fear the look in a mans eyes." said Faltner.

"That is an impressive skill." said Hylas.

"Indeed, will you be going on your way this early in the morning?" asked Faltner.

"Aye, I have a long journey ahead of me and I intend to make it to the capital as swiftly as I can." said Hylas.

"Well then wait here and I'll go get you some food for your trip." said Faltner as he moved through the kitchen entryway.

Hylas did not have to wait long for Faltner to return with a small sack of cheeses and breads with some dried strips of meat.

"This one is on me. Now you best hurry and get on your way before the city awakens and you have to avert your eyes. Oh and this is for when you need to be obscure." said Faltner as he handed Hylas a strip of pitch black cloth only a few inches in width but long enough to be a blindfold.

"Thank you." said Hylas.

"No need lad, no be on your way and come back to the Hanging Bell anytime." said Faltner as Hylas turned to the door.

Hylas emerged into the frigid morning air and could see his breath as it hung in the air for a brief moment. The cold season would be upon them in a few short months and already the morning air was reflecting that simple truth. Hylas went to the stable and retrieved his horse from the stable boy then climbed into the saddle. From his memory of the kingdoms maps the west gate would lead him on a path to Viraven, a city that was further west and slightly north. From there he would take the north path to the capital.

Hylas led his horse through the meandering streets of the city observing buildings as he went. He then noticed that in the center of the city where the main keep was located, hung a large bell in a tall steeple. It would turn out to be the tallest building in Belhall.

"So that's where Faltner got the name for his inn. Clever." said Hylas to himself.

It took Hylas the better part of the morning to get to where he wanted to be. As the sun began to rise over the horizon he had made it to the west gate and approached the guards.

"Halt there. What business have you at this gate?" asked one of the guardsmen.

"I wish to leave the city." said Hylas.

"At this hour. Why?" asked the other guard.

"I must reach my destination with haste. Business you see." said Hylas.

The guards shrugged and opened the smaller gate to allow Hylas through. As Hylas passed through he smirked to himself even though it was business he was on it had nothing to do with monetary value.

For the next hour Hylas let his horse move forward at an easy pace as he approached the forest. Most of Laril was covered with thick forests and the kings of the past had commissioned the building of paved paths that would link the cities together. They cut directly through the forests yet many would find paths made by either animals or citizens that had made small villages in the woods or along the roads.

As Hylas neared the forest as sinking feeling formed in gut as if someone was watching him.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Mon May 26, 2014 2:45 am

*11th era, year 53, Virarus/Mierus, First and Second day of Summer*
For fear of drawing attention to herself, Arica did not take long in changing into her training gear. In fact, she did her best through her entire session to ignore the vision.

During training, Euru watched as always. The man has worked for Arica's family since before her birth. As such, he has taken to watching her grow up beside her parents, keeping an eye on her when traveling far away from her home in the capital. He kept a mentor's gaze as Arica repeated the drill again and again, correcting her when  her angle was off or she was putting to much weight into the swing.

Before long, time slipped past and Arica was finished. Her thoughts were right, another two days would be needed to master this technique, but she was making progress. Sore and requiring some rest, she made her way back to her quarters for a quick bath before dinner.

In the connected bathroom, Arica slipped into the claw-foot tub after the water was drawn. She tried alternating between relaxing and washing herself. Tried is the right word. Even in the steaming water, Arica shivered as her thoughts kept creeping back to her vision from midday.

Later on, Arica was able to avoid strange behavior through dinner. Her uncle had important guests visiting. Normally, Arica would try to learn about the guests if she could, see how they typically act and where they tend to side on issues. Tonight, Arica only needed to make an appearance for the opening of dinner. Her uncle dismissed her shortly afterwards.

That evening, Arica work on a painting of hers inspired by the Goddess of the Harvest. It is supposed to reflect her image of the deity and of nature in general. However, Arica never felt satisfied while mixing the paints. The colors, while never wrong or badly made, never seemed to be the correct choice. Her strokes also became more forced, conflicting with her more gentle lines from the other evening. After a while, she threw her rag at the nearby chair.

"It's like I'm trying to paint cicadas on a cool summer evening and it's coming out like a frigid winter blizzard," Arica said in frustration.

Sighing, Arica gathered her brushes and the rag and placed them back on the table with her palette. She washed the excess paint off the brushes in a small bucket of water and returned them to the table. She held her hands a few inches above the brushes and murmured a spell to dissolve the pigment from the bristles. Then she placed a moisture spell on the paint palette and her canvas to keep them wet and workable til the next time she decided to work.

Arica looks at the light from her room's hanging crystal then out the window to see the last glow of the sun below the horizon and the dark sky.

After not too long, she is changed and into her bed. She tosses thoughts around her head and her body under the covers, but Arica eventually escapes to the peace of slumber.



Most of the next morning was spent on court lessons. A vivid memory of the vision with a battle is a welcomed distraction from updates on the King's court in the capital. The afternoon was a return to training. Euru's guidance was prevalent as normal. Arica even sparred with a young guard for extra practice after she further worked on the one technique. However, she nearly loss the duel due to some poor move choices. Her vision from the previous day haunted her thoughts.

In the evening, Arica dined with her uncle and aunt along with Euru. One of the few nights with wealthy guests. Dinner was a full course feast featuring Eckrih chicken with rich elven spices. Her uncle was discussing his lunch with some other nobles. There seems to be some concerns about the shift in power within the King's court. The Averynah House no longer supplies the King his adviser. A few noblemen worry about an act of revenge but most of the houses expect a mild tantrum and life to move on.

"Uncle, the king would notify the public if the country were to go to war, yes?" Arica asks during a pause in the story.

Euru, raising an eyebrow, remained silent. The man across the table halfway choked on his current bite of meat.

"An odd question, even when coming from usually such a curious young lady," her uncle said recovering. Then hastily added, "Of course, he would. The king would want the support of his people."

"What brings about this question?" Arica's aunt asked.

"Uh, no reason really. I was just curious" Arica responded embarrassed.

Her aunt remained skeptical. Her husband broke in very quickly.

"Worry not my dear niece, we haven't had to worry about serious warfare since the formation of The Scar."

"Of course, Uncle. My apologies for interrupting," Arica said as she slightly bowed her head.

"Very well then. Now back to where I was talking about the Dukes of Tolorin and Southern Agady."

The conversation returned to the Dukes and Arica remained silent as much as she could for the remainder of the meal.
Afterwards, Arica slowly started her way towards her chambers. All throughout the corridor, she kept thinking about dinner.

"I should be more careful than that," Arica said quietly, scolding herself. "I don't need my uncle to start worrying about me."

"Lady Arica," a voice says from the edge of the hallway.

Hearing her name, Arica stops in her tracks and realizes her teacher standing nearby.

"Oh, yes Euru?" she asks.

"You have been more distance and mumbling to yourself recently," Euru said. "Your swordsmanship was lacking during practice the last two days and you were less skilled in conversing during dinner tonight. Something has invaded your mind, yes?"

"It is true," Arica responds meekly.

"I see."

Euru watches her for a moment. He takes a few steps down the hallway then turns back toward her.

"You know, my dear Arica," Euru said with an inquiring smile. "At times, one has to study the past in order to understand the future. It has been awhile since you studied your Mana tombs. Perhaps, the old magic will aid you."

Arica thought quietly for a moment. Then she looks up at her mentor with brightened eyes.

"Thank you, Euru. That is a magnificent idea," Arica said cheerfully.

Euru nods pleasantly and returns to walking on to his next act of business. Arica hurries down the hall and turns the corner. Entering the next wing, she dodges a maid and sprints up the stairs to the second floor. She passes the gallery and the northwestern solarium. She turns another corner and stops in front of a pair of elaborate wooden doors.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:42 am

*11th era, year 53, Mierus, Second day of Summer*
The forest that separated Belhall from Viraven loomed closer and closer as Hylas and his horse made their way to the capital. Hylas kept getting the feeling of being watched and it was coming from the forest in front of him.

"I should keep my guard up, and if I have to sleep in the forest tonight then I'd be wise to do so lightly." said Hylas aloud to his horse.

His horse snorted in response and kept along at a gentle walk.

As Hylas reached the edge of the forest and the first trees had passed him he began recalling the map of the kingdom. The path from Belhall to Viraven was a nearly straight one yet it had some twists and bends. Also the elevation began to drop in the forest, the further from the capital you went the higher you were.

As Hylas passed by the trees he looked up and gazed in wonder at their height.

"It must have taken many centuries to grow that tall." he murmured to himself.

Thinking it would be best to move a bit quicker Hylas gave his horse a light kick to get it to move a light trot.

"Easy does it boy, lets not get caught here for to long eh?" said Hylas.

The trees moved by one after another and Hylas continued to keep his guard up despite not being able to sense anything.

Why do I keep feeling like I'm being watched. If only I could see into the forest. Wait...Thats it!

Hylas then closed his eyes trusting his horse would lead him on the path without stopping. He then began focusing his mana and just like in the Hanging Bell he began an attempt at spreading his mana out over the forest in a sphere around him. It took a great deal of effort but after a few attempts Hylas opened his eyes in shock as he managed to get a few feet away from him in any direction. To him it also was strange. It was not the same as seeing with ones eyes, it was more of being able to tell the size shape and location of anything within the sphere all at once without actually seeing it. Unfortunately for Hylas what he could sense as of now was blurred and misshaped  

Calming himself from the shock of actually succeeding in his task Hylas began once more to spread out his mana. Using the feeling of what he did the time before he continued refining his mana until he could see what was around him clearly within a few feet. Once he had accomplished that he then tried spreading out his mana once more and as he moved further and further out he was able to start sensing the trees and some of their branches. He made sure that he could refine his mana enough before trying to extend it further. After a few hours passed of training himself Hylas opened his eyes to see that his horse had kept the same pace and was still on the paved path. Having confidence that his horse would continue to do so Hylas went back to training. At this point he was able to go out thirty feet in any direction and still sense everything clearly.

I wonder how far I can go with this? Does ones magic capabilities factor in, or is it just how much mana one can absorb and use? A normal person would be feeling faint right about now after such extended use of mana, yet I feel fine. Hmm I'll try extending it as far as I can until I feel dizzy. thought Hylas.

He then focused his mana once more and extended it, but to his surprise it kept going and going as he supplied the mana for it, he was able to sense over one hundred feet away yet after forty feet it blurred. To Hylas the clarity of it did not matter to him as of now, he just wanted to see how far he could go. He continued to push outwards further and further still. He marveled that he was able to sense everything around him even below him in the ground. Further he pressed until he was overlooking a vast portion of the forest.

If I was in a city right now I would have more sight than necessary to see if anyone was moving farther than ten streets away. I could use this to my advantage now. I also wonder if I can cut off what I see below me so that I have more mana for what is above ground. thought Hylas.

With that thought Hylas tried to focus his mana to just what was above ground. After a few attempts he was getting the hang of it. Hylas was always like that with magic. He could master spells in days that would take others years to learn and this training was no different to him. He was taking large steps with this new technique that he was sure he was the only one who could do it as of now. Once he was sure he could cut off the ground below him Hylas had managed to turn his complete sphere into just a half sphere and in doing so was able to expand his sensing even further.

This can be very useful, I'm sure kings, lords and ladies anywhere would pay a fortune for this kind of ability. But I'm not looking for money as of now, right now I believe I can actually play the part of a blind traveler with an acute sense of hearing or one that was gifted by the gods to sense things around him. I can finally make use of the blindfold that Faltner gave me and now people wont have to fear my eyes.

Hylas then pulled out the blindfold and tied it tightly around his head.

"Might as well get used to it while I can and see how long I can keep up this sensing. Hmm I think I'll call it Mana Sight." said Hylas with a smile.

Now that he was blindfolded he went back to training, expanding his sense and refining his mana. What shocked him the most was that he did not seem to be getting any more tired from mana use. It was almost as if he had an endless supply of it or that  his sensing took very little to use. Which of the two he was unsure of for now. Hylas sensed that his horse was still moving at a good pace and turned his attention to the feeling of still being watched. Expanding his sense far into the forest he finally saw what was giving him that feeling, and what he saw terrified him. He sensed a large man looking beast that stood eight feet tall and was moving swiftly through the forest to his right a long distance away yet its face always held one direction. It was starring directly at Hylas and its eyes never faltered. Hylas decided that it would be best to reduce his sensing to about one hundred feet so that if the beast came close he would be able to action swiftly enough. From there he allowed his horse to keep its pace while maintaining his guard. He was not sure if he would sleep this night.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:14 pm

*11th era, year 53, Mierus, Second day of Summer*

Upon opening the doors, one enters the chamber. The evening light glows from the floor to ceiling windows along the back wall half lighting the two story vaulted room. Shelves of books and scrolls line the walls, with mana crystal lighing dotting the walls. Beside the door, two staircases join above and connect to the catwalk balcony that encircles the room, creating the second floor. Both floors provide niches for secluded areas to read or study between shelves. Towards the back windows is the larger lounge area with plush armchairs and sofas, provided on both the grounded and upper floors. In the center, a circular set of shelves form the pillar holding up the end of the peninsula attaching to the balcony. Above the center is a large crystal chandelier hanging from the vaulted ceiling providing extra light when pumped with magic.

The library is an exceptional place, and one of Arica's favorites.

"Now, where to begin?" Arica asked out loud in the large chamber.

She walks past the first couple of shelves, scanning titles. She skipped past the entire novel and holiday record sections. Arica stops at the historical portion, grabs a few tomes and then grabs several from the mana section.

Arica relocates up the stairs to a good study spot near the large windows. She grabs a spare crystal to place in the light stand. She is expecting a long night. She starts with the large tome Origins of Laril. Slowly opening the delicate but hefty book Arica turns to the beginning.

"The land of Laril is stationed in the wide valley of two mountain ranges," Arica reads. "It is told the seven gods who govern this land provided the means for the seven original villages to combine into a single people with the mana that flows so fluidly within the valley."

Might as well start at the beginning Arica thought.

"Without the gods' guidance, the people of the land would have not learned how to adapt with the early forms of magica their bodies absorbed. The power was thought to cause insanity through the sheer power of it. The land was chaos. The gods guided the people into an organized chaos until one of their own could be brought into the world with better adaptability to the mana. This being became the first bearer and king."

Hours pass as Arica continues to absorb the words of her land. She switches back and forth between Laril's history and the physics of the world within its magic, depending on when her mind loses concentration. When she gets stiff she gets up to stretch but returns to the books shortly.

When the sun is long but set, and the estate has been quiet for several hours, Arica finds herself back in the history book. Only she is midway through Laril's time in existence.

...thus the Scar was created.

The Scar: a large irregular land form near the center of Laril. The few studies done show a deep gorge with rocky protrusions erecting from the cliff sides. It is a cavern of the fear and unknown that stretches for several miles across the land. The formation is a mystery as the knowledge is seemingly wiped away from mankind's memory and many records from that time period have either vanished or destroyed.

More data is needed on this subject.


"Isn't this what the common Larilan already knows? That and to stay away?" Arica questions.

Shaking her head, she flips more through her homeland's history. There is even a chapter on the old theater in the capital, now in ruins, as there was much friction between the people and the fourth King of Laril.

"Ugh! Nothing is useful!" Arica yells in defeat as she tosses the book back on the table.

The force makes the book and a few others slide off the other side of the table. Sighing, Arica gets up from her chair to clean up the mess. Upon bending over, she notices a tear along the top of the one history book's cover. Something was sticking out of the cover.

"Hmmm, what's this?" Arica mumbled.

Arica lowers her hand. She feels a slight tingling over the object, the kind that usually said mana was involved. Cautiously, she grabs the item, a folded up piece of parchment.

"My hand doesn't burn," Arica wonders softly. "So the magic doesn't reject me at least. Must be a spell to keep the parchment intact over the years."

Arica pulls a few loose strands of hair out of her face as she unfolds the paper. There are words with the old Larilan language spoken most commonly from before the time of the Scar when it was reconfigured. Arica studied it since the age of seven. Stepping back into the light of the crystal on the table, Arica read the parchment.

Clouds shroud the sky through the setting sun.
In the midnight hour filled with dread,
Two destinies separate through the end
Yet intertwined beyond merely one
Prevent plans of darkness to spread
Else the circle starts again


She pulled back from the paper, still staring at the words.

"So strange." Arica said in awe and confusion. "What in gods' embrace could this mean?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:26 pm

*11th era, year 53, Mierus/Nayrus, Second and Third day of Summer*

Hylas decided to stop for the night after a long mental debate, the debate ended when he dozed off on the back of his horse and awoke without recalling sleeping. The being he sensed withing the forest was no longer near him so he relaxed somewhat.

"Alright boy, easy does it." Hylas said to his horse as he led it off the path and into the trees themselves. Hylas searched around for a stream with his mana sensing and when finding one not to far he led his horse there on foot. Once at the stream he tied his horse to a stake in the ground with ample room to move around and reach the water, he then removed the saddlebags and set them next to a tree. Hylas then built a small fire and lit it with magic. Once it was burning a low warm flame he sat back against the saddlebags and used his once more in a large area to check for the creature. Not sensing it he relaxed even more as his body gave in to sleep.

"Must have...been my...imagination" said Hylas between yawns as he drifted into sleep.

Hylas slept deeply, so deeply in fact that he did not hear the footsteps of a large creature slowly moving towards him. His horse did not stir instead it simply stared at the creature and returned to gnawing on the grass around it.

Within Hylas' dream he envisioned a city far away with a girl in a study observing notes of Larils history, and just as suddenly his dream shifted to a field with the creature from the afternoon standing directly before him.

"Awake bearer." it commanded.

Immediately Hylas's eyes flew open beneath his cloth blindfold and he could sense the presence before him. Slowly Hylas lifted his hands to remove his blindfold. When he did he was amazed at the site before him. Even in the dark of the night the creature before him glowed with an otherworldly light. Standing on the hind legs of a deer rose a creature that was half deer half man. It had arms that were thin with fingers on the ends, its stomach was that of man but below was that of a deer. Its face was elongated yet held the eyes of pure blue with slits just like Hylas's eyes, from each side of its head struck out a large set of antlers each with multiple birds resting on them. Hylas simply stared in wonder at it.

"Do you know what you are?" the creature asked

Hylas was shocked it could speak.

"W-What?" he responded.

"Do you know what you are, what your purpose is?" it asked again.

"I don't understand." said Hylas.

"Then you truly do not know. You are the "Bearer"." the creature said.

"The what?" asked Hylas.

"Within you is a gift from the gods of old, instead of a heart you posses the gods crystal, have you ever wondered why you had such extensive magic that others could not use." said the creature.

"What are you?" asked Hylas moving his hand to his sword.

"There is no need to draw your steel, bearer, I am of no harm to you. In fact you could kill me if you so wished without the blade. My name is Cerun, I am an ancient god nearly as old as the Seven themselves." said Cerun looking to the skies.

"You are a god?" asked Hylas.

"Indeed, now you are the Bearer, your eyes alone are different for that very reason. The power of the gods is in the crystal that has replaced your heart, thus your eyes resemble a gods except for the red. All Bearers have had red eyes." said Cerun.

"Now why are you here?" asked Hylas.

"To warn you. Be wary on your journey, there are those who have been searching for the Bearer for quite some time to use them as a weapon. If you fall prey to them you may create a new 'Scar'." said Cerun.

"The scar was created by a Bearer?" asked Hylas.

"Indeed, the Bearer was corrupted and attempted to destroy the old capital with a single spell but was interrupted and the resulting backfire destroyed the area around him as well as himself. That is why the old capital city remains." said Cerun.

"And I;m to just believe you?" asked Hylas.

"I can show you." said Cerun.

Before Hylas knew what was happening Cerun had touched his forehead and moved Hylas into a deep sleep then left.

Hylas dreamed of a different time and place. A massive city sat alone in the middle of the country side and in the distance a single figure stood on a hill. Light swirled around the figure and began to change color from white to and angry red. Then suddenly another figure began running up the hill and thrust a sword through the mage directly in the heart. The lights stopped swirling then burst through the mage where the sword had emerged and exploded violently behind him. The force of the blast disintegrated everything behind the mage and all but eviscerated the mage himself and the brave figure who had struck him down. Thus leaving the scar.

Hylas awoke the next morning in a cold sweat. Not exactly remembering what happened last night but the dream was still vivid in his mind along with images of Cerun. Hylas saddled his horse and set off on the path once more, he tied his blindfold and began expanding his mana once more. He sensed a large figure watching him leave and realized that what happened last night was no dream and Hylas began to take Ceruns words with caution.

Setting on the path once more to Viraven Hylas decided to test his mana sensing. If what Cerun said was true then he should have an almost infinite mana supply. Letting his mana expand uncontrolled and swiftly Hylas began to sense much more than he thought possible. At the rate he was going he would be able to sense the entire world, but he minimized it to the surface and began sweeping across the continent until something drew his attention. He stopped the flow of mana and ensured his horse knew what direction to take before attempting to sense again. Once he was sure he expanded his mana directly to what caught his attention. In the blur of mana he noticed a faint fading light coming from the coast. Moving towards it it appeared to be a pendant imbued with mana. Hylas reached out with his mana and took hold of it. The next thing he knew he could hear and see what was int he room, also he could speak.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:50 pm

*11th era, year 53, Mierus/Nayrus, Second and Third day of Summer*

Still in the library, Arica sat in thought at her discovery. She holds the slip of paper in one hand and with the other instinctively grabs for her pendent. Alas, she grows discomfort at the new discovery she wasn't wearing the pendent.

"Oh that's right. I left it in my room," Arica said to herself. "Speaking of my room, I should have retired to it ages ago."

She glances around at the tombs she left on the table desk and the dropped books on the parquet floor.

"Yes, I should at least tidy up before leaving, this is a bit of a mess," Arica sighs.

Arica grabs the books off the floor and walks them across the large library to the proper shelves. She was right, she thought to herself, to only take half back at once for her sluggish coordination almost knocked over a croton plant on the way to the shelves. Making her way back to the table to grab the rest of the books, her mind kept wandering.

"Okay, once these are back on the shelf, it's to bed with me," Arica said outloud pushing the next book into place. "A lady need more sleep than what I'll be getting."

After a few more books, she grabs the light crystal and exits the wooden doors. She calmly makes her way towards her chambers, passing a guard on night duty by one corridor. He straightened up when he noticed her light.

"Lady Arica, you're still awake?" the guard asked.

"Yes, don't you worry. I'm going to my chambers to sleep right now," Arica responded.

"Of course, Milady. Sleep well." he nodded.

"Thank you. Hope you don't get too bored tonight," Arica said over her shoulder as the guard snuffled a small laugh.

Back in her bedroom finally, she made quick work of changing into her nightgown. Undoing her hair adornments at the vanity, she noticed her pendent on its stand glimmering in the moonlight.

"Yep, right where I left it," Arica said smiling. "Mother always had great taste in jewelry. Impressive but not useless luxury, just enough to gain respect of the other nobles. I find it pretty none the less."

She placed her pin beside the pendant and goes to reach for her necklace. However, she retracts her hand.

"On second thought, the last time I did that, I had that nasty vision." she says to herself. Then stubbornly adds "No blood, no gore, no battle, please. I rather just get some sleep."

Arica shakes her head with a deep yawn then slides under her blanket of the canopy bed. After a few short minutes, Arica was happily asleep.


Loud banging on her room's door awakes her. Arica blinks.

"Lady Arica, Lady Arica" came her maid's voice.

Arica flips over a small section of hair from her face and stretches.

"Yes Maylina?!" Arica yelled through her wall.

"Milady, you have tasks to do this morning. A package came in for you as well, and your uncle wants to see you before you head for training. It's time to get up," her maid responds.

"Alright, I'm moving" Arica said, stretching once more.

Arica gets up and as quickly as she can muster changes into a clean gown. She opens the curtains, the morning sun halfway blinding her. She heads for her door.

"Oh shoes, of course," Arica reminded herself.

Slipping on some ornate slippers, Arica stops, thinking she heard a noise. The room is unchanged however. She shakes her head with a deep yawn then turns back towards the door.

A shout stops her halfway.

"Hmm?" Arica looked over her shoulder, attention drawn towards the vanity.

Her pendent had a glow to it, partially dimmed by the early morning sunlight. She walks bending down slightly. Arica blinks heavily to refocus her sleepy eyes, doubting every image hitting her iris. The voice, a male's, was coming from her pendent.

"Please tell me that I am hallucinating," Arica says not particularly to her pendent.

Looking more closely, Arica sees a young man imaged through the crystal gem. His dark hair blended into the shadow of the background, but his eyes, a crimson red, stood out as a gentle fire in the cold.

"Hello? What is your name, Sir; and why are you in my necklace?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:05 pm

*11th era, year 53, Nayrus, Third day of summer*

As Hylas looked at the site before him his vision seemed as though it was cut on edges around him. He was not able to turn his vision only at what was in front of him and some of each side. Before him, as far as he could see, was a simple room with a large bed, a wardrobe and beneath him appeared to be a vanity. One thing struck him as odd despite being able to see a place he had never even set foot in was that he seemed to be floating above the vanity top a few inches.

"Well this is quite strange." he spoke aloud.

Not knowing how to sever the connection to his vision he became lost in his thoughts until a loud bang and voice carried through a door to his left.

"Lady Arica, Lady Arica"

Hylas had not noticed anyone in the room, but as he watched the covers of the bed shifted, had no one been there he never would have known with the covers pilled across the bed as they were. As he watched a form lifted from the bed, the unmistakable figure of a woman was all he could see from his place upon the vanity. Hylas continued to watch as she got out of her bed and then noticed she was in a simple nightgown that hung close to her body. Feeling his face flush he closed his eyes to the sight as he heard the rustling of clothes being changed. When the rustling stopped he opened his eyes to see the young woman with her back towards him. She wore a simple gown that flowed to the floor. She then began to move towards the door.

"Wait!" called out Hylas.

The girl looked around her room shocked by the sound the had come from within, after a quick glance she looked directly at Hylas.  Hylas was to shocked to say anything else as she appeared to pick him up and hold her close to her face.

"Hello? What is your name, Sir; and why are you in my necklace?"  

"Uh...Necklace?" asked Hylas.

"Yes, you are in my pendant. Though that did not answer my question." said the girl who Hylas presumed was Arica.

"Right, apologies. My name is Hylas, as to why I'm inside of your pendant I'm not really sure. Truth be told I'm not actually here. I'm on horseback riding through the forest on my way to Viraven from Belhall. Now what might your name be?" asked Hylas.

"My name is Arica Rihan, daughter of Akasho and Illuca Rihan. Do you have any idea how you ended up inside of my pendant and why are your eyes red...and slit like that of a cat?" asked Arica.

Hmm a noble born then. One of the great houses in the capital. thought Hylas to himself.

"I don't know how I'm able to see through your pendant and wait...you can see my eyes? Hmm strange that I'm wearing a blindfold right now to hide them." said Hylas.

"Lady Arica, don't keep your uncle waiting." came a voice through the door.

Arica rolled her eyes and undid the clasp on the pendant then secured it around her neck. Hylas' view shifted rapidly making him dizzy. Arica then held the pendant in front of her once again.

"Before I leave I have to ask, where are you headed?" she asked.

"To the capital." responded Hylas.

"Hmm, alright. Now I must be going and you should figure out how to get out of my pendant." said Arica.

She then dropped the pendant so that it was resting on the outside of her dress.

Hylas took that as his cue to leave even though he didn't know how.

How am I going to get out of this pendant? asked Hylas to himself in his mind.

As Arica moved out of the room his view followed as well.

I've got it, I'll just cut off my mana flow.

Hylas then stopped his flow of mana and rapidly and much to his shock his vision traveled across Laril towards his real body. Little did Hylas know that now that he had connected to the pendant once he was now bonded to it. As he would find out later.

Once he was fully back in his body he realized he couldn't see due to his own blindfold.

"Hehe, well she was rather cute." He said aloud chuckling to himself.

Lifting his blindfold Hylas made sure he was still on the correct path and realized that the sun had risen a bit of the way up the sky. His horse seemed content and knew the path to take since it had not veered off course. Hylas decided to leave his blindfold off and enjoy the morning sun.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:19 am

*11th era, year 53, Nayrus, Third day of summer*

Arica walking down the corridor felt her pendent cool down in temperature slightly. She yawns once more, fighting her sleepiness still.

"Hmph what kind of man is he? Getting into my necklace," Arica wonders to herself, more angered from rising already for the day. "I don't even care if he was more attractive than Konohro Averynah."

After making her way through the estate, she arrives at the dining room for breakfast. The table is set already for her. A man is eating his breakfast with his freshly groomed mustache.

"Why good morning Uncle Gado," Arica says with a quick curtsey.

"Greetings Arica. Nice to see you awake and alert," Gado answers with a wink.

Arica half hesitates before getting into her chair. It wouldn't be good for her uncle to know how late she was up. It was very unladylike. A servant brings her a filled plate.

"So, niece, it appears Bryhan, the Duke of Gahina, and Tyconak, the duke of Tolorin, are worried about a poor section of Agady that has been plagued by an unnatural disease."

"Em? Why are you telling me this, Uncle?" Arica asks.

"You've always liked politics haven't you? And taking care of the people?" Gado responds with a raised eyebrow.

His niece blushes as the man chuckles.

"Bryhan worries it comes from the port system," Gado explains. "Tyconak thinks its from neighboring countries. They both plan on bringing it up with the King at the Meeting of the Houses."

"Have we learned what the meeting will be about this time?" Arica asked, mildly excited.

"Not yet. The king is keeping extra quiet about the topic this time. Even your father hasn't heard," Gado answers with a distant look. Then he turns his gaze back at his niece. "However, I've received news that there's been trouble on the road connecting the capital to Viraven. I'd like to travel through the area sooner than expected to avoid future issues that may arise; so we'll be leaving late this afternoon. Can you make sure to be ready by then?"

"Alright, Uncle, I will," Arica nods, anticipating the journey.

"Good. Then I'll let you enjoy your meal. I am needed by the servants." the man said rising.

"Farewell Uncle Gado." Arica says before sticking another forkful of food into her mouth.

Viraven? If that young man with the red cat eyes was on horseback in a forest, he must be in the area south of Viraven. Maybe I'll get to see him. Arica thought as she finished eating her breakfast.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:22 pm

*11th era, year 53, Nayrus, Third day of summer*

With the sun shinning on his face Hylas made his way steadily on the path towards Viraven. Eventually he would come to a fork in the road that would lead either to Taralia or the capital, yet that was still a while away for him.

"I always knew traveling could be boring but never anything like this." said Hylas aloud to himself and his horse which snorted in response.

"Well you just keep on the path while I occupy myself."

As of now Hylas was without his blindfold, he wanted to enjoy the forest in its pure brilliance. Thinking of what he could do to pass the time he decided upon casting spells within his hands to sharpen his skills.

Murmuring the words of the spells he caused a small ball of fire to appear in his right and left hand. The two spheres of fire were perfectly round and appeared to defy gravity, they shifted and bounced in the air suspended by mana. A simple training exercise that any mana user could attempt to sharpen their skills was to have the spheres spin in the air as fast as they could. Hylas from a young age was able to master this technique easily yet he always was trying something new. If a mana user summoned flames into both hands then tried to press the spheres together the spheres would either disappear as the spell became more powerful when combined or it would backfire and cause the spheres to explode.

Despite being naturally gifted with mana Hylas always took caution, he slowly turned his palms inwards as the flames licked towards each other. His horses ears flicked back in slight worry at what was happening behind it but continued on. It had already developed a trust in Hylas.

Hylas slowly allowed the spheres to touch each others edges and even he could feel the amount of mana it was drawing, Hylas began to sweat a bit as always happened when he attempted this training exercise. Even though he had been told he had a near infinite amount of mana to call on the strain of pushing such a large amount through the body could be taxing. Remembering that basic note of mana use made him wonder how little mana it took to use his sensing ability, he had covered massive areas without so much as a drop of sweat forming, yet this exercise was already causing him to do so. Pushing aside the thought Hylas focused on the sphere of flames that was before him. Now that they were combined the next step was to have the flames within spin as fast as possible.

Hylas began manipulating the mana suspending the spheres to cause them to spin. Once he had them going rather fast he held them at that speed and began his endurance training. Having a continuous amount of mana flow through the body caused great strain yet also allowed the user to use it for longer each time. Hylas held the sphere at speed for over twenty minutes as his horse pressed on before he had to let the spell fail. The sphere disappeared with a fizzle. Hylas was breathing heavily.

He allowed himself a rest as the rhythm of his horses steps relaxed him.

"Next up is water, then earth, air. The four basic elements that control other magics except for the manipulation of gravity." said Hylas.

He then proceeded to do the same exercise for the remaining three elements until he was exhausted. As he looked into the sky it was already past late afternoon and as he checked his map he realized just how far from the crossings he was. It would take him much longer than he anticipated. Hylas gave a heavy sigh and decided to put his blindfold on once more and use his mana sensing.

I wonder where that Arica girl is? I suppose that if I meet her in person it would be Lady Arica.

Hylas then began expanding his sens in the direction that he could feel the pulsing coming from. This time he did not try to reach out to the pendant, instead he let his sight stay above the source. It seemed that Arica was on the road and traveling. She was sitting in a carriage that bounced along the road. The carriage was surrounded by guards and banner men proudly supporting the flag of the Rihan family.

I wonder where she is heading to.  

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:35 pm

*11th era, year 53, Nayrus, Third day of summer*


A section of puffy cotton ball clouds blow into an under cast of wisps as the Rihan carriage has the last bag placed inside. Arica comes over on her steed, a beige horse with an eccentric saddle. Arica repositions her split skirt, a husky brown with a tan accent line along the bottom with matching bodice. Her riding gloves create a secure grip on the reins.

"May the goddess Nayeka grant us speed and god Dafnes grant us protection on our journey," Arica says looking down the road.

Her uncle walks up to her horse, unamused.

"Arica, I want you in the carriage," Gado says.

Arica half stumbles on her seat, quite shocked.

"But Uncle, I was hoping for the sunshine and fresh air during some of the trip," Arica replied.

Gado shakes his head sternly.

"What if I rode side saddle?"

"You and I both know how uncomfortable that is," Gado says with a raised eyebrow.

"Alright, I'll get in the carriage," Arica sighs. "But I want my horse being lead with us."

"That can be done" her uncle says with a nod.

The girl grabs a few things from her saddle pocket, then gives her steed to the one guardsman before stepping inside the carriage.


After a few hours of travel, Arica puts down her needlework. She was pleased she bought something for the carriage ride to work on, but it still didn't help her mind from wandering quite a bit. Dinner on the road had provided a bit of a distraction, but now she rested back on the carriage seat, staring out the window.

So much as happened recently Arica thought.

She remembered when her pendent glowed with a flash of a vision, then waking up on her floor. The blood and screams. The acids building in her stomach from the site of a gave battlefront. She felt like hurling slightly, but an unexpected bump in the road distracted her enough the feeling passed.

Her mind then flowed to her morning routine with the soldiers, when she's supposed to practice her self defense. The warm up, the stretches, then the opening set. The endurance boosting set. The slash, the parry, the stab and draw. Her last sparring match. The obvious openings she gave her opponent.

Her mind drifted to the strange young man she saw in her pendent. Such crimson colored cat eyes. stern but gentle. Almost protective. The memory made her blush slightly but she should her head and let her mind wander the library once more.

What might have been more important in those books that I overlooked? She questioned herself.

She twirled her pendent for a few minutes, mind just blank, unlike the still slightly bright sky. A small wave of fatigue really.

Actually it's kind of weird to have all these experiences all in the same period of time as well. Arica thought frowning. What could it mean?

She picks up her sewing and returns her thoughts to the many books she tossed over the previous night. Each piece of history, her mind reviews, answers still ungiven.

"Perhaps I should look into one of those mana books I brought with me," she says to herself.

She grabs one of her bag and flips it open, anticipating when the stop for the night will be.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:45 pm

*11th era, year 53, Nayrus, Third day/night of summer*

As Hylas continued his journey along the road to Viraven he began to wonder why he had not seen any other travelers. Also he wondered when the fork would show up he felt like he had been traveling for hours. As he led his horse along the road he began to hear what sounded like music drawing closer and closer. Quickly putting on his blindfold Hylas began to use his mana sensing to see what lay ahead.

To his surprise it was a band of dwarves, the short residence of Laril. One never could tell just what they had on their minds except that gold was never far.

Hylas intended to simply pass by as a blind traveler as the band got closer and closer.

"Oh look here lads, looks like we got a traveler." said one dwarf.

"Appears to be blind as well." said another.

"You know what they say, the blind are a strange folk." said a third.

Hylas gave a slight grin at the comments.

"At least he isn't deaf." said a fourth.

From his sensing Hylas counted nine dwarfs.

"Excuse me, but you are all dwarfs correct?" asked Hylas.

"Aye lad, that we are. How could you tell?" asked the fifth.

"It's because he isn't blind you idiots." said a sixth.

"Come closer lad, we wont bite." said the sixth once more.

Hylas obeyed now curious about the band of dwarves.

"Now take off your blindfold." the dwarf said once more.

Hylas hesitated in raising his hand.

"Don't worry. I already know what you are." said the dwarf.

Hylas then reached up to his face and removed his blindfold allowing his red eyes to be seen by all the dwarves.

"By my beard. I knew it." said the sixth.

Now that Hylas could see clearly with his own eyes he took note that all the dwarves had long beards, some braided and some not. They all were dressed in simple traveling clothes yet each had either a short sword or hammer strapped to their waist. They also had with them a cart full of supplies.

"You are the bearer. Are you not?" asked the dwarf who asked Hylas to remove his blindfold.

"I am, although I just recently learned what I was." said Hylas scratching his head.

"The king has been looking for the next bearer ever since the last one died." said the dwarf.

"Eighteen years now was it?" asked a dwarf.

"Aye it has been. Where have you been these past two decades?" asked the dwarf.

"I prefer not to say." said Hylas.

"Fair enough. Lads, introduce yourselves." said the dwarf.

"Darny."

"Fen."

"Talft."

"Bondil."

"Trondil. We're brothers."

"Scree."

"Dilbur."

"Kint."

"And I am Balten, leader of this motley crew. At your service."

"My name is Hylas. I am at yours." he responded.

"Say lad, have you ever experienced a dwarven party?" asked Balten.

Hylas shook his head in response.

"Well you know what that means boys. We are having a party tonight!" shouted Balten.

All the dwarves cheered in agreement and Hylas became slightly nervous. He knew he should refuse and be on his way but something about the dwarves drew him in.

"Lad hows about you come with us another mile or so back down the road here. We are on our way to our home of Halfendred." said Balten.

"I suppose I can go." said Hylas.

The dwarves cheered in excitement and began going down the road Hylas had come from. A short while later they stopped.

"Well here we are." said Balten.

Hylas looked around in suspicion.

"There's nothing here." he said.

"Only one without the eyes of a dwarf would think that." said Balten.

"Look at those trees there." said Talft.

Hylas looked in the direction he pointed and at first saw nothing but trees then on a closer look the trees formed a shape out of the branches pointing downwards into a small cave.

"Bondil, Trondil, take the cart around to the other entrance we will go in from here. And don't be late this is going to be a fun party." said Balten.

Hylas tied his horse outside the cave as the dwarves began to descend.

Once inside the cave it was surprisingly wide and open. The dwarves had begun to go down a large staircase.

"Why is it that none of the dwarven cities are on the map except one?" asked Hylas.

"Ah that is because our cities are deep beneath the earth. No need for a city to be shown if it cant be seen now is there. " said Scree.

Hylas shrugged as the dwarves continued on. From deep in the ground Hylas could hear voices as well as music drifting up towards them as well as the smell of freshly cooked meat. As the sounds and smells crept closer and closer still Hylas knew that this would be a long night.

As soon as they reached the bottom of the stairs the dwarves swiftly moved throughout the crowd as the party began. Hylas was swept along the waves of dwarves that were dancing and singing. A mug of ale was thrust into his hands and he began to happily drink as the dwarves cheered him on. So far below the ground Hylas took note of how large the city really was. It appeared to be as large as Lingate from what he could see although he knew it descended much deeper than that. The buildings scrapped along the top of the deep cavern. Homes and taverns were built here and there while some were clustered together so that one could go from party to party with little difficulty.

Hylas was thrust from party to party as food and drink was passed out swiftly. Moving into one building he noticed Balten wrestling with another dwarf as the pair laughed and yelled at each other.

"Ah Hylas lend me a hand will you." said Balten as he smacked Hylas' hand.

The dwarf that Balten had been previously wrestling shifted his focus to Hylas.

"Wait...Wait a moment, oh by the gods." said Hylas as he braced himself to take a hit from the dwarf.

"Lock arms with him!" shouted Balten.

Hylas's instincts kicked in and he locked arms with the dwarf as he had to bend down to meet him. The two began to push back and forth to move the other out of the ring. The crowds cheered and booed as the pair shifted back and forth. Hylas was sweating as he heaved against the drawf. Luckily the dwarf lost his footing and slip allowing Hylas to push him out of the ring and win the match. The crowd cheered and poured drinks as some patted Hylas on the back.

"Not bad for a human." said many.

"Not bad at all lad." said Balten.

"This is a party?" asked Hylas shouting over the noise.

"Are you not having fun? It looks like you are to me." responded Balten.

"Oh no the party has just begun." said Hylas as he handed Balten a drink.

"Aye! That it has!" cheered Balten.

For the rest of the night Hylas wrestled, sang and danced with the citizens of Halfendred. The time of the night swept past as drink clouded his mind and eventually Hylas passed out next to Balten on an inns floor after a long drinking game.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:23 pm

*11th era, year 53, Nayrus, Third day/night of summer*

While the sky was dark except for the luminescence of the moonlight, there were still others on the road. Most of the passerby were traders and merchants, making sure to give a little extra room for the carriage.

A few places, travelers set up camp for the night, their possessions set aside in piles with a minor keepsake spell barrier over them. Uncle Gado usually allows setting up camp for the night, but the nobleman decided on maintaining a good travel pace.

A slight overcast lay on the night sky. The Rihan carriage continued its course down the road, guards and all. One of those things Arica always wondered about: how did the guards do their duty at all hours of the clock, even when traveling, and still get some sleep?

Though right now the young noble lady wasn't wondering. Right now, she was asleep in her luxury seat. Her library expedition made her slumber deep, but every hour or so, she would rustle in her travel pillow.

The dear girl never had to wake however; for this slumber would keep her mind entranced until day break.


*11th era, year 53, Galarus, Fourth day of summer*

The next morning, Arica awoke just before they entered the forest. The road swivels into the grove, connected with the roads to Viraven and Belhall.

Her teacher Euru used to explain why the roads connected in the forest, but Arica usually didn't believe it was the location of a hidden entrance to a dwarf city. There's only three cities commonly spoken of and two of them were situated well above ground halfway. The one north of the capital and one way east near the country's borders.

After taking a break from her sewing, Arica stretched and stood over the window. Opening up the pane, she leaned forward into the midday light letting the breeze envelop her. Seemed to wake her up some more feeling the wind and smelling the mana infused forest air. She stood like that for a moment, watching the fellow travelers along the road, some on horseback others with smaller carriages. Daytime brought out a lot more of them. She called up to the driver, whose navigator turned around to smile back widely.

"Arica are you done yet?" Gado questioned. "It is not proper for a young lady such as yourself to stand about as a child."

Arica took one last long look before returning back inside the carriage, dodging a lower tree branch before coming back in.

"Uncle you know the fresh air is good for you," Arica laughed. "It is a lovely day, if we were done traveling, I would go horseback riding this afternoon."

"We should reach The Anam Rock sometime this afternoon since we traveled through the night."

Anam Rock is the name of a landmark in the forest, a large boulder spelled with an otherworldly glisten, and the chosen marker for the crossroads. While not the mother tree of the forest, a child sprouted from the mother's roots grows over the boulder. It provides a form of a pavilion for travelers who may choose to rest in the area.

"Oh the turning point, right. So when might we be expected to arrive in Viraven?" Arica asked.

Her uncle thought for a moment before speaking.

"Either late Daferus or early Bearus," was his reply.

"Then we expect to be traveling through tonight too as well?"

Gado nods.

"I see. I am surprised we are making such good time with all this traffic recently," Arica said.

"Indeed. I hope all these travelers means good fortune from Nayeka."

"Oh Uncle. We'll be fine. The goddess commonly blesses us with good fortune."

"I hope you are right Niece."

Arica laughed slightly at her uncle's needless worry. Once they reach Anam Rock they would turn north, and would reach Viraven in just over another days worth of travel.

It'll be late afternoon before the carriage reaches the Anam Rock, but Arica spent the time in high hopes.

*******************************************************************

Once the carriage bumped over a few more holes in the uneven pavement, the Rihan carriage arrived at Anam Rock. Its sedimentary lines of wisdom wrapping around the stone. Each band said to represent a different time of passing in Laril, makes sense as the bands seem to change with each handful of moons. Above the massive stone, the child tree of the forest stretched tall and wide as if perched on top of the rock; on top but slightly to the side, leaving a spot for sunshine on an open meadow.

The carriage took a short break at Anam Rock. The main reasons for leg stretching and bladder releasing. Wizards of eras past were ready for when the kingdom grew and needed the road. There is a public restroom manifested from magic manipulated vines and tree bark, not exactly what one would expect but it got the job done and then some. They even included sanitary floating bubbles for hand washing.

While the others were still stretching, Arica approached the rock and Child's Tree. The air felt so fresh, so full of oxygen. She closed her eyes to take a few deep breaths. The gentle wind glides over her cheeks and sides of her dress.

"I think an offering would be good," Arica says to herself, staring at the leaves.

She closes her eyes again and takes deep slow breaths. Holding her hands directly in front of her stomach, Arica lowers them until they are just below her belly button. Using her mana, she grabs a small piece of her energy, a fragment of her aura. She drags her hands with the fragment in the air in front of her up to her chest and sternum before pulling away the thin golden amber wisp of soft light. She flips its once to gather the loose tail then extends her hands. Once in contact with the rock, the aura whisp soaks in. Arica bows in respect before hurrying back to the carriage.

********************************************************************

The carriage went back on the road. After another hour the twilight set in, making the shadows more extreme and the yellows and greens of the plant life stand out in the sky that was morphing into a soft violet. Arica yawned to herself, thinking whether to sew again or stare out into the leaves. A few branches here and there rusted softly.

The carriage came to an abrupt stop, shaking the passengers inside.

"Cerena's Love!" Uncle Gado exclaimed.

Arica, who had hit her head on the carriage ceiling, wanted to say a worse phrase in response but bit her tongue as her uncle yelled out the window to the nearest guard.

"I require a full explanation."

"It seems, my Lord, that a large tree trunk has fallen in the road. There is barely room for one horse wide. Should we find an alternate path for the carriage, Sir?" answered the closest guard.

"I see." Gado says thoughtfully. He notices Arica looking outside the window. "Arica, stay seated so I can think without worry of my niece dropping from the carriage."

Arica turned her head then sat back down in her seat. She kept looking out the window however.

"See if the tree can be moved," Gado said to the guard again. "If it will not budge with man nor horse power, we will decide on an alternate route."

"Yes Sir."

Arica sighed, gaze wandering.

Suddenly there was a distinct thud from the other side of the carriage.

"Raging Dafnes! Bolero was just shot in the neck!" A guard nearby yelled.

"What?! Stay alert everyone. Someone investigate," the head guardsman ordered.

A guard went from the front to the rear of the carriage, in the process receiving an arrow into his waist and arm.

"We're being ambushed!" the head guardsman yelled. "Quickly, Rutho and Javarn take-"

"I would not bother giving any orders Captain." said a confident voice walking out of the woods. "We know how to be more than persuasive enough."

The guards tightened their circle around the carriage, as appearing from behind the foilage a full sized faction of bandits. Most were average size but two were large and one seemed to be but a child. They wore clothes that were ragged if sufficient and of various fittings. The voice cane from a young man with built shoulders and a scar along his jaw that seemed to accentuate the rest of his dark features.

Who are these people? Arica thought trying to remain calm inside.

The leader spoke again.

"You will follow our orders or make a strong aquaintance with severe pain."

"Why would we suspect a batch of trained soldiers couldn't hold themselves against the likes of you?" asked the more rash guard as the one standing next to him refrained from rolling her eyes.

"Oh, there's a smart one in this bunch." said a bandit to the side.

A swipt came through the air. The hot headed guard found an arrow in his leg. A few bodies started appearing with bows still raised from some of the nearby branches.

There probably are some others behind other leaves, Arica reconciled.

"As you can see, we still have a few archers hidden for when you think you have a chance." the leader said. "So as I was saying, you will follow our orders."

"All of  you need to drop your weapons." said a blond bandit with a red scarf. "And we have one who knows how to nullify your magic so don't go bringing out any mana crystals."

The smaller rogue shuffled his feet with a shy smirk. His face changed again as he regained his focus at the task at hand.

A loud thud came from above as the carriage shook. The figure stomped on the roof.

"The blue blood and girlie should come out too." said a deep husky voice above.

There is a rogue on the roof. Stay outside! Arica thought biting her lip.

"Sir Rihan will stay in the carriage, you can negotiate with us." the head guardsman declared.

The leader nodded to the rogue on the carriage's top, who stabbed the driver from above, creating a gruesome moan, and tossed the body aside before it even stopped functioning.

Arica stifled a gasp. She clutched her necklace; adrenaline flooding her veins.

"Ye don't want to lose another companion there now do ye?" came from a bandit to the side.

The head guardsman looked inside the carriage. Gado nodded, and the guard turned back to the bandits.

"Alright, Sir Rihan will step outside the carriage," said the guardsman.

Gado gives a quick stare at Arica, she is meant to remain inside. He exits, closing the door firmly behind him.

"There's a girlie still inside, Boss." said a bandit to the side with an angle to see into the window. He then looked at his comrad next to him with a sneer. "We should make her come out too. Never know how she could be of use."

"No need Habun, we simply require Sir Rihan." the leader said. "We can decide on what to do with the little lady after we make conversation with the nobleman. He has need to hear our words."

The bandit lowered his stance in defeat, clearly disappointed.

"And what words might those be exactly?" Gado said calmly with a stern look in his eyes, redirecting the conversation.

"We want to make you suffer for ruining our chances in Agady." said the leader with eyes filled with that of fierce determination.

Arica stayed pushed far into the back of her seat, absentmindedly messing with her pendant.

What are we going to do? What can we do?!

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:13 pm

*11th era, year 53, Galarus, Fourth day of summer*

Hylas awoke with a strong headache and the stink of ale. Many dwarven bodies lay around him snoring away their drinks from last night, he found Balten near him and made his way quietly next to him. Hylas attempted to wake the heavy sleeping dwarf to no success.

Hylas decided to leave him a quick note, finding paper and an ink well he set to writing his note.

Balten, I must be leaving now, you were still alseep.
I'll be heading to the capital now. If you are ever in the area find me and we can talk once more.

Hylas


Satisfied with his letter he stuffed it into the dwarfs inner pocket of his jacket.

Hylas then began making his way up and out of the underground city. As he neared the exit to the cave the fresh air began to alleviate his headache. As he stepped into the light of the morning sun he shielded his eyes.

His horse snickered in greeting, Hylas rubbed the creatures snout and the horse snorted at his smell.

"I guess I should clean up a little bit first now shouldn't I" he said aloud.

Hylas led his horse to a small river that he had sensed earlier the day before. After removing his clothes he jumped into the river and came up splashing.

"By the gods that's cold." he said.

Hylas began washing himself with the cold river water ridding himself of filth from the road as well as the sweat from last nights events.

Once he was satisfied with himself he climbed out of the river and used some fire magic to dry himself off. He then quickly cleaned his clothes and dried them as well. Pulling his clothes back on he buckled his sword to his side then climbed into his horses saddle.

"I suppose I should name you. Shouldn't I?" asked Hylas to his steed.

The horse flicked his ears in response.

"Hmm how about Chestnut for your hairs color?" asked Hylas.

The horse snorted in response.

"Alright how about Gallant?" asked Hylas.

The horse made no protest.

"Gallant it is." said Hylas as he directed Gallant back onto the trail they had left the day before.

Hylas then pulled out his blindfold and tied it around his head.

"Time to train some more." he said as he summoned spherical balls of fire into his palms and fused them together then began maintaining the spell.

A few hours passed and Hylas appeared to make good time as he checked on Gallant from time to time. It was now the afternoon and a bad feeling began to pass over Hylas as he began nearing the Anam rock. It would be his marker to head north towards Viraven.

As he traveled he made sure to extinguish his magic and act like a blind traveler as he leaned against his horses neck if anyone passed by. It seemed that more and more were passing him as he drew closer to the rock.

Reaching the rock he used his sensing ability to look at its structure. A massive tree was growing on top of it and he could feel the mana flowing through it, he also felt something familiar yet he couldn't put his finger on what it was. Ignoring the feeling he directed his horse north instead of stopping for a break. He wanted to make up for some of the time he had lost.

He traveled down the path moving at a steady pace surprised that Gallant had not protested at the continued journey. Hylas used his sensing to keep an eye on things around him. Noticing nothing was amiss he let himself drift into a light sleep on the back of Gallants neck.

Time passed and it was getting closer to the evening. Hylas awoke from his slumber and checked his surroundings, he was the only one on the road in the immediate area and the feeling of something being amiss had returned to him.

"Why do I feel...wrong?" he asked aloud.

As the words left his mouth his head began to pound and his sensing was dragged at a blinding speed in front of him to a carriage that had been stopped by a group of bandits, archers were aimed at the guards around it and one guard already lay dead. His sensing went inside of the carriage into a familiar pendant that was worn by Arica. Hylas forced his sensing back to his body and immediately spurred Gallant into a gallop in the direction of the carriage. Luckily it would not be far from his current location.

Just a few minutes later he arrived at the seen from behind the group of bandits. The driver of the carriage was now dead and a bandit stood atop of it with his sword drawn. A noble by the looks of his clothing was standing outside of the carriage. He looked nervous and pale. Who wouldn't be with a sword drawn in front of him with archers hidden from sight?

Hylas already knew the location of the other bandits and they had not yet noticed him.

"...and I think we will be taking your girlie with us. Don't worry though we will show her a good time." said a bandit Hylas assumed to be the leader.

"Bring her out of the carriage." said the leader to one of his men.

The man began stepping towards the carriage door.

"Thats close enough right there!" shouted Hylas.

All eyes were directed right to Hylas.

"Eh? Now who might this be?" asked the bandit leader.

"Looks like a blind idiot." said one of the members.

"Kill him, looks like he has a decent sword on him." said the leader.

The twang of a bowstring could be heard as an arrow flew directly towards Hylas. He did not move however and instead flicked his finger as a stone flew up and knocked the arrow away.

"How did he do that?" asked one of the bandits.

"Forget it. Get the girl and bring Sir Rihan with us back to the woods." said the leader.

The same man moved towards the carriage once more. Not even a moment later the man lay on the ground howling in pain as flames erupted around him.

As the other bandits were about to move rings of small flames appeared around them. Hylas was now off his horse moving towards them with his hands raised in their direction.

"I said not another step closer." he yelled to the bandits.

The leader of the bandits flicked his fingers twice to signal all his archers to let loose.

Before they could release their arrows gouts of flames ended their lives instantly. The group looked back to the trees to see several circular holes in the foliage where the flames had appeared from.

"He has the power of the mages. No one move!" shouted the leader.

Hylas now stood beside the noble who the bandit leader had called Rihan.

"Lord Rihan I presume?" asked Hylas.

"Indeed I am, who are you?" asked Lord Rihan.

"Thats not important. Is Arica alright?" asked Hylas.

A voice came from within the carriage.

"I'm alright. But answer my uncles question. Who are you and how do you know my name?" asked Arica.

"You don't remember me? Oh well this will be explained later." said Hylas.

"Now Lord Rihan what shall we do with these bandits?" continued Hylas.

"They are no doubt criminals and would be hung for their crimes." said Lord Rihan as he stared at Hylas' blindfold.

"I can end this for them quickly if you like." said Hylas.

Hylas had never killed someone before today. He had ended the archers lives with little thought to the act. It somewhat frightened him that he could kill so easily without remorse. Perhaps he really was a demon meant to be a weapon.

Lord Rihan nodded his head at Hylas. "Do it."

"Wait boy, think about this. Help us and we can make you rich." said the bandit leader.

"Don't look Arica." said Hylas as he focused his mana into flames and ignited the ground within the circles of flame he had created around the bandits. A few short screams were heard before silence took over the road. Hylas could not be sure if Arica had turned away but if she had witnessed the act he had just preformed then he could nothing about it.

"Its better this way. If we had taken them captive it would take to many men to contain them and take them to the guards within a city." said Lord Rihan.

"Now boy, tell me who you are." said Lord Rihan.

"Uncle you know its rude to ask someone of something after they had just saved your life. Allow him to travel with us as thanks." said Arica.

"I suppose you are right. We can talk in the carriage once we are back on the road." said Lord Rihan.

Hylas then led Gallant to the guards who made sure he would travel with the rest of the horses as they went along the road.

Hylas then stepped to the carriage and was going to open the door when it was opened from the inside. Hylas looked up to see Aricas face smiling at him in different shades of grey.

She offered her hand to Hylas and he accepted it gently. Lifting himself into the carriage he sat on one of the cushioned seats and looked at the two through his sensing ability.

"Now that we are comfortable. Who might you be and how is it that you know my niece?" asked Lord Rihan.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:15 pm

*11th era, year 53, Galarus, Fourth night of summer*


The mana inferno that had engulfed the bandits simmered down. The last few left over streaks of flame diminished. Arica watched the events from the corner of her eyes, to block out the worse. The leftover stench from the carcasses fiercely reminded her of the vision from a few days prior, the one of the battle. However sick to her stomach she felt, the newly found state of safety kept her stomach intact along with her composure.

Outside of the carriage, she heard her uncle antagonizing their rescuer again, distracting her from her thoughts.

"Uncle!" Arica yelled outside the window. "Uncle, you know its rude to ask someone of something after they had just saved your life. Allow him to travel with us as thanks."

"I suppose you are right. We can talk in the carriage once we are back on the road." said Lord Rihan.

"It looks like the guards are having trouble with that tree still. The large one blocking the road. Shouldn't we do something?" Arica asked from the carriage.

"Ah yes. You are right again my niece." Lord Rihan said. With a low defeated sigh, he turned to Hylas. "Young traveler, if you'd be so kind to grant us your strength for just another moment."

The young man nodded in understanding. He then turned towards the fallen trunk. He took his mana again and converted it into that of flames. He then burnt the tree trunk solid, keeping the flames away from the rest of the forest. The trunk turned into the largest piece of charcoal in Laril. After Hylas finished his fire, the guards knocked charcoal with enough force for it to break. After a few moments, the largest pieces were out of the way and they could continue on their journey.

Arica opened the carriage door to greet Hylas with a smile and extended hand. Hylas seated himself on one of the cushioned seats as the carriage slowly started down the road and made its way over the charred rubble. Now back in the Rihan carriage, Lord Gado Rihan felt more in control from these dramatic events and sweet Arica could actually take a look at their rescuer. Traveling clothes, those of a man of labor, and a blindfold, with a familiarity that she couldn't quite place yet. With the situation under control, Hylas switched back to his more humble self. Arica could feel his magical energy fading back to normal levels. After picking up speed only did Lord Rihan bring up conversation.

"Now that we are comfortable, and finally on our way. Who might you be, boy, and how is it that you know my niece?" asked Lord Rihan as he readjusted his coat.

"My name is Hylas," the young traveler reponded.

Hylas? Arica thought. Strange. Have I not heard that name before? She shifted her view outside to try to recall, her thoughts not progressing.

"I was on my way to Viraven when I witnessed the events, Hylas continued. "I had to stop and help as I best could."

Didn't I just meet someone also traveling to Viraven?

"I give you a full most thank you for aiding myself, my niece and my guardsmen. You certainty performed well."

Performed with a well amount of strong magic.

"Thank you Sir."

The carriage's enchanted overhead crystal started glowing, it being long since dark. It still being another half day of travel til arrival at Viraven.

"Now Son, how do you know my niece?"

Hylas was unsure how this man might respond to him using magic to enter his niece's pendant, and these questions were a bit tiresome. A safer answer might be better, at least until he knew Arica remembered herself.

"The Rihan crest on the carriage." Hylas said thinking quickly. "I remembered the name of a nobleman's daughter being 'Arica Rihan' when the bandits mentioned a girl inside."

"Quite odd for one to see his surroundings with a blindfold over his eyes. You obviously are using some kind of mana spell to perceive without your eyes. Why might you hide them?"

At this, Hylas hesitated a bit more than just to collect his thoughts. Arica who was leaning toward the window saved him.

"Uncle please. Must you question the young mage with such an insensitive question?" Arica responded angrily.

Her frustration continued in her head, memories of the evening trickling back into her mind.

First, you decide to flat out have those men killed, before you even let the one explain themselves, and now you antagonize the young man who saved our lives. Arica thought angrily. Uncle, what are you doing?! Where is my relative who fights for the underdogs of the kingdom?

Hylas raised his hand in protest and she calmed down.

"It's fine Lady Arica. I cover my eyes for public courtesy. I wish to avoid harmlessly scaring fellow travelers for I was born with unnatural eyes."

"I see. Very interesting lad," Lord Rihan said intriguingly.

Strange eyes? Arica thought. No, red eyes...slit like that of a cat...

Finally the thoughts connected. This was the young traveler she communicated with magically only the prior morning. That moment felt like weeks ago. Arica unconsciously reached for her pendant. Hylas sensed this, pleased.

Ah so she remembers me finally, Hylas thought to himself with an inner laugh. Took her enough time.

"My apologies Hylas," Arica said, looking down at her hand on her necklace. "The recent events of danger have distracted me. I have been forgetful."

"It is alright, Lady Arica," Hylas said comfortingly. "I am sure anyone would be disorientated from the situation you just endured."

Hylas was pleased her skin had flushed out back to their regular colors finally. She was relaxing finally. Hylas redirected his attention back to Gado.

"Lord Rihan, I am grateful for allowing me to travel with you. I wish to know of your direction so I may know when we must part ways."

"Ah. I remember you saying you were heading towards Viraven. We are passing through Viraven to make our way towards the capital." Gado stated.

"So it seems our destinations are the same," Hylas said. When he saw the bemused looks on the noblemen, he added "I have business in the capital as well."

"How wonderful, we can enjoy your company for a bit longer," Arica said in higher spirits.

"So it seems," Hylas said.

"It will certainly be a more interesting trip," Gado said.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:06 pm

*11th era, year 53, Galarus, Fourth night of summer/ Dafnerus Fifth day of Summer*

After a lengthy discussion with Lord Rihan and Lady Arica the three decided to attempt at sleeping in the gently oscillating carriage. Hylas ran his hand over the padded seats and remembered that he had used worse for a bed at time. The simple reminder brought out one of his older memories from his childhood in Lingate.

In the past a younger Hylas lived in fear of the people he called neighbors, many would scowl at him as he passed them by or would curse his name. The worst they would attempt was throwing stones at him, he was under the protection of a master mage and the city leader after all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Hylas! Hylas where are you?" called the girl he called his sister Tirawan.

As of this moment Hylas was hiding inside of a bush since some other children had chased him throwing stones all the while. As he hid he shook one of the branches signaling her to his location.

"Hylas would you come out of there. Master said to not fear others and instead do what you can to change their opinion of you." said Tirawan.

"But why is that so hard to do?" asked Hylas shakily.

"Because they don't understand how gentle you can be. Master said many people fear the unknown." said Tirawan.

Hylas slowly slid out of the bush as he looked around warily. It only took a few moments before the children who had chased him off returned looking to torment him more.

"There he is!" they shouted and Hylas darted away from Tirawan as quickly as he could.

He ran until he made it deep into the forest that was within the mountain range the city lay hidden in. Hylas had not realized how far he had went and noticed that it was getting darker. His Master had told him stories of monsters and demons that lurked within the forest and Hylas grew frantically nervous. Calling on his most prominent magic skill he summoned a small flame into the palm of his hand as it cast a soft glow to the trees around him.

He then attempted to find his way back but was hopelessly lost, so he climbed a tree and sat in a large branch that dug into his legs as the trunk poked his back. As he slowly drifted to sleep as did the flame he had called into his palm. When the flame extinguished with a puff Hylas was sound asleep to the music of the forest night.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Within Lord Rihans carriage Hylas had drifted to sleep lost in memory of his dream.

Arica on the other hand found it difficult to sleep as the carriage bumped and jarred along the road. Used to a large bed sleeping upright in a rickety carriage was not what she looked forward to. Her Uncle had grown used to it after years of traveling back and forth to the capital and was asleep with his head resting on the padded wall of the carriage.

Aricas thoughts eventually led her back to her recent dreams. Most contained images of a blood soaked battlefield. The memory caused her emotions to rise. She couldn't help but feel the image would become a reality and she wanted to do what she could to stop it. As she thought of ways to prevent the horrible scene that was within her head she too drifted to a fitful sleep.

Her dreams effected more than just herself. Being so close to Hylas who had a connection with her necklace meant he would feel her dreams as she did. The brief images of bloodshed and death quickly roused Hylas from his slumber and 'looked' about the carriage. Lord Rihan was asleep as was Arica, so Hylas did not really understand what had awoken him. He opened a small curtain to his right and looked to the sky. The sun had several hours yet to rise but they continued to move at a steady pace.

Now fully awake Hylas doubted he would sleep more this night so instead he carefully and silently opened the door of the carriage and stood on the small steps outside it. He then hopped down onto the ground and began walking at pace with it.

The guards of Lord Rihan had already learned his name and since he was a guest of a noble they treated him as such.

"Master Hylas, what are you doing up at this hour?" asked one of the guards.

"I couldn't sleep. Where is my horse at?" asked Hylas.

"It's being led with another of our spare horses at the rear of the guard." said the guard.

Hylas nodded and began walking in the opposite direction of the carriage towards his horse. As he neared Gallant the horses ears flicked up and he snorted at Hylas' approach.

"How are you doing Gallant? Have some company I see." asked Hylas to his horse.

Gallant just flipped his mane in response.

"How do you feel about an early morning ride?" asked Hylas.

The horse let out a small whinny.

"Alright lets go then." said Hylas as he climbed into the saddle and undid the knot that secure his horse to the supply cart.

Hylas gently led Gallant into a gallop as he passed Lord Rihans carriage. He hopped the noise had not awoken them. The area where they were at now was a large plain with no trees for miles and instead it was full of grass as far as the eye could see. Gallant let out a small yip at the sight not seeing the plains for quite some time.

Hylas removed his blindfold and let Gallant run free as he began to use more of his magic. Before he had left Lingate he was experimenting with a new for of fire magic. It took the energy of fire and converted it into light that Hylas could manipulate into any image he wanted creating a mirage.

Looking up into the night sky before him Hylas imagined what a star might look like in a miniature size and in person. He gathered his mana and clapped his hands together. When he did a bright glow could be seen coming from the gap between his hands. He finally released his hands in a large sweeping motion releasing the magic into the air in his image. All over the endless plains were thousands of small orbs of light floating in random spaces. They let off a faint glow and illuminated Hylas as he and Gallant charged through the plains. Gallant seemed to not tire and ran on and on of his own accord while Hylas marveled at how simply his new spell had worked. He was so caught up in his thoughts he did not hear the sound of hooves approaching him until the sounds owner called to him.

"Hylas what are you doing and what is all this?"

Hylas turned and found Arica looking into the air at the stars he had created. It is a new spell i had been working on to create an image within my mind and project it into the surrounding air. Hylas could not help but noticed how her eyes were alight with wonder at the image before her. She then looked at Hylas from her own horse and gasped.

Realizing he had not put his blindfold back on he knew she was looking at his eyes which appeared to glow an eerie red in the night.

"Sorry." he said fumbling in a pouch for the piece of cloth.

"No. Don't be. I was just amazed to see such a pretty color in your eyes. The image from my necklace did not do them justice." said Arica.

Hylas smiled and let go of the cloth.

"What else can you do with mana?" asked Arica.

"The basic spell of the four elements. This one and some advanced spells. I need more training in the art though, some of the spells can be unpredictable." said Hylas.

"Can you manipulate this one?" she asked.

Hylas chuckled to himself and began shifting the mana he had expelled.

His thoughts drifted back into his childhood once more to the view of the hidden city of Lingate from his houses window near the edge of the city itself.

Hylas clapped his hands together as the light between them grew to a near blinding level and he released it in another great sweep of his hands. The image changed suddenly and brilliantly. From where they sat on their horses saddles a sprawling ancient city now lay before them. The sun of the image was just rising above the cities buildings and reflected off a lake that was fed by a many great waterfalls. The image shook even Hylas himself seeing it again as if he was there.

Aricas jaw dropped in shock at the sight before her. Finding her wits she looked at Hylas.

"Where is this place?" she asked.

Hylas did not look away from the image. "This is my home of Lingate." he said.

Soon after Hylas released the spell and the normal light of the world returned. The sun was just beginning to rise and they could see that the carriage had moved ahead of them a good distance down the road. They both led their horses at full gallop back to the company as Lord Rihan stood on the carriage steps looking at them.

"What were those lights that filled the plains in the night he asked. I saw a glow from behind us and suddenly they were everywhere. Then another flash and we could all see an ancient looking city far behind us." said Lord Rihan.

Hylas had already put his blindfold back on.

"My apologies Lord Rihan, I couldn't sleep last night and I was experimenting with some magic." said Hylas.

"And it seems Arica could not sleep as well." said Lord Rihan.

"I saw the flash and went to investigate it. I knew it was Hylas when I saw he wasn't in the carriage." said Arica.

"Hmm I see, well I'm just glad you are alright." said Lord Rihan.

"How long until we reach Viraven?" asked Hylas.

"Not more than a few hours my boy it we shall be there soon." said Lord Rihan.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:27 am

*11th era, year 53, Dafnerus Fifth day of Summer* (Remind me to announce the calendar system sometime)

As dawn was setting in, the Rihan carriage bounced it's way north over the road. A particularly rough bump jolted dear Arica awake, not that her slumber was very peaceful. Her thoughts annoyingly kept returning to images of bloodshed and hatred. Upon awakening, she rubs her arm, feeling quite cold. Still waking up, her eyes loosely focus on the carriage’s interior.

"Hylas?" Arica said outloud quietly.

Arica doesn’t get an answer for the young traveler was not seated near her. Her uncle gives off a sleepy grunt though. With a sigh she glances out the window. To her surprise, where there should be morning rays on the horizon was darkness with small glowing orbs. After a moment, patterns in the orbs clicked within her mind.

"Hmm?" Arica said, head slightly tilted in confusion. "Is that the Tree of Galadina? And Bearan's Wine Glass?"

After another moment, she recognized a few more constellations from the night sky from the image. Though from the angle of the carriage, most constellations she could see were actually from the winter sky, not to been seen for another several moons.

“That must be Hylas out there. Does the guy ever just relax like a normal person?” Arica said with a quiet giggle.

Very carefully, the young noble woman exits the moving carriage. Hopping down from the step, she heads to where her steed is. With a nod from one of the guards, Arica hops on top her horse and trots over to Hylas in the center of the plain. At first he didn’t see her coming. With a panic he tried redressing his blindfold, but Arica dismissed the action to speak more about his spells.

“Can you manipulate this one?”

Hylas, with a smile, clapped his hands together as the light between them grew to a near blinding level and he released it in another great sweep of his hands. The image changed suddenly and brilliantly. From where they sat on their horses saddles a sprawling ancient city now lay before them. The sun of the image was just rising above the cities buildings and reflected off a lake that was fed by a many great waterfalls. The image shook even Hylas himself seeing it again as if he was there.

Aricas jaw dropped in shock at the sight before her. Finding her wits she looked at Hylas.

"Where is this place?" she asked.

Hylas did not look away from the image. "This is my home of Lingate." he said.

Soon after Hylas released the spell and the normal light of the world returned.

I've never experienced this. How much mana can one person expend? Arica thought. Though, that was a most beautiful image. Lingate? Never heard of it. I’ve been to most cities in the kingdom at least once. I would hope to visit that place one day. New people to meet...

Hylas interrupted her thoughts by pointing out how far away the carriage was from them.

“We should catch up,” said Hylas.

“Agreed,” Arica said with a nod.

She whipped her reigns and sped her horse to a full gallop, Hylas and Gallant to her right, as they shortened their distance to the noble carriage.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*11th era, year 53, Dafnerus Fifth day of Summer: Sun midrising*

After a few more hours on the road, the carriage rolls into the walls surrounding the grand city of Viraven. The two youth rode on horseback just following the carriage, with the final set of guards behind them.

After entering through the gates, the buildings rose tall of large stone. The tallest were given the illusion of even more height due to the prominence of arches. Each one was expertly carved with patterns and images at selective locations, even the more run down or simpler ones. The wide streets of pavement were
The Rihans party entered into the southern plaza where even more people went about their day and a large marble fountain stood in the center. There were a few people who took notice of the noble carriage, but it seemed that since so many residents were already on the higher end of status, they more or less went unnoticed.

“What a breath taking city,” Hylas said, more outloud to himself.

Arica giggled slightly. Hylas turned his head in surprise.

“What?”

“Nothing,” Arica said, looking forward and composed, hiding a smile. “I was just thinking it was a shame you require your blindfold.”

“And why do you say that?” Hylas asked genuinely curious.

“Can you see color with that sensing you do?” asked Arica.

“Why no. I cannot,” Hylas responded bemused.

“Then it is quite a shame, for you miss out on much of this city’s beauty,” Arica said briefly saddened. “This city, as I’m sure you can tell, has impressive architecture everywhere with all the structures with carvings. In fact, there are some exquisite aqueducts just on a street over one or two you can see that stretch far into the city inner works. But only with color can you see the Gods’ touch in the artwork. The city stonework was built with the help of the dwarves using a divine stone of a rich brown. During construction it’s said they treated the stone with a secret technique inducing a yellow cast to it. Even if muted, the stonework always seems to shine. The yellow cast makes the lighting in the city even more beautiful while the sun sets in the hour of twilight.”

“Hmm, I see.” Hylas responded as he slowed Gallant to match the carriage in front then to a stop. “Any other intriguing bits about the city?”

“Well, I’ve read about most of them, and seen probably a third of the city over my life, maybe a little more.” Arica said. “The temples, the fountains, the market, a larger population diversity than most cities in Laril, just as successful academies. The most outstanding difference here would perhaps be the chroma-tiled renderings of the Gods scattered throughout the place. Last time I was here they were planning on restoring the Divine Twins, Vi and Rava, in the centralized Great Plaza.”

The guards shift as Arica’s uncle steps out of the carriage.

“Perhaps it would be worth to explore the city.” Hylas wondered.

“The horses need to rest, you have some time to explore on foot, young Hylas.” Lord Rihan said. “Arica and I are needed at a fellow nobleman’s house before we continue to the capital. We will stay until perhaps into the afternoon if you intend to continue your traveling with us.”

“Understood, Lord Rihan.” said Hylas with a nod. “I thank you once again for your hospitality up to this point.”

“No need young one,” Lord Rihan said dismissing him with a raised hand. “Just stay out of mischief while we are busy at our appointment.”

“Yes Sir.”

“Come Niece, we mustn’t keep the Marthanocs waiting.”

“Of course Uncle,” Arica said. “Hylas, we’ll meet back up with you here alongside the stables.”

Arica, with a quick wave fitting to her noble blood, walked on with her uncle and guards, leaving Hylas alone with plans for a trip to the closer plaza and market sections.


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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:22 pm

*11th era, year 53, Dafnerus Fifth day of Summer*

After being dismissed by Lord Rihan, Hylas set to wandering the city streets using his mana sight to navigate, he did however notice peoples heads turning to watch a blind man walk with no trouble at all as if he was sure of where he was going. Hylas had to chuckle to himself at the curiosity of others.

As he made his way through the streets he expanded his sight to look at the city as a whole. As his sight expanded and enlarged to cover even the tallest building he as left with an impressive rendering of Viraven. But to his surprise a small circle of his vision was gone, to him it seemed as though it were clouded. Intrigued Hylas began to make his way towards it taking note that it was in what seemed to be the center of a small plaza in the noble district.

As Hylas walked he checked his surroundings making sure he wasn't being followed. he took the alleyways and backstreets just to be sure and to avoid the cacophonous traffic that was the main ways. Moving ever closer towards the clouded area was giving him a small sense of dread but he shrugged it off as being surprised to find an area his mana sight could not see. Moving further into the noble district the traffic of people dwindled down to a few passerby's who all gave him a look of confusion but kept walking anyways. Hylas moved along the main street that led directly to his clouded vision, once he was in front of it his mana sight appeared to swirl around the area. To anyone else it would look like open air with nothing amiss and a homeless man reaching blindly in front of himself.

Hylas stretched out his arm to test the clouded area and as his hand made contact his vision rippled and flowed around the sphere that clouded his sight. Nothing strange seemed to happen to him so Hylas stepped through the clouded area to be greeted with dread, within the sphere he really was blind, everything was white and he couldn't extend his vision out past it. He was trapped unless he took off his blindfold. Left with no other choice Hylas slowly removed his blindfold to reveal his eyes to the world.

Once his eyes adjusted to the light he was met by a very curious sight. Before him was a statue cast out of bronze that was enchanted to never tarnish, surrounding the statue were ten lamps each with a dull blue flame. The lamps were absorbing mana from the area and would explain the blind spot which caused Hylas to be unable to see, even as he stood near them he could feel his mana being drained slightly from his body. Moving up to the statue he took note of its features, a man who appeared rather tall, long hair tied into a ponytail and eyes that were slit like a cats, much the same as Hylas. On the mans chest was an emblem of an eight sided crystal above his heart. Beneath the statue was a plaque with an inscription on it.

"Here stands a monument to the bearer, he worked to save our lives but in the end was turned against us and became a monster. We make this monument to remember the man he was and not the demon he had become." Hylas read aloud.

"And so here stands the next bearer. Come to destroy us boy?" said a voice behind Hylas.

I forgot to keep using my mana vision!  

Hylas turned to face the voice only to be greeted by an elderly man in flowing robes, a neatly trimmed beard aged white and hair that fell down the sides of his face and his back.

"Ah so you are the bearer incarnate. Why have you come here?" asked the man.

"Who are you?" asked Hylas.

"That depends on your answer." said the man.

"My name is Hylas, I did not come here to destroy anything." Hylas responded.

The man gazed into Hylas' eye as he responded and nodded in satisfaction.

"Not yet anyways. Come with me boy before someone else sees you." said the man as he turned towards one of the large buildings that surrounded the small plaza.

The man unlocked the door and went inside motioning for Hylas to follow. Hylas cautiously stepped into the building.

"Come boy I wish to show you something." said the man as he moved swiftly for his age down the hallway and into a room on the right.

Hylas followed the old man and was amazed to find himself in a room painted pitch black with no windows. All that was within was a pedestal with a small orb on it.

"You still haven't told me your name yet." said Hylas.

"I am but a scholar wishing to prevent the repetition of history. My name is Hans." said the man.

Hans then touched the orb and the room was filled with a vision of the past.

A great city lay in the distance as a lone figure walked up the side of a hill. The figure had his head aimed at the ground in what appeared to be grief. It then snapped back to wards the city as the figure raised his hands above his head. Mana began gathering in its purest form in his palms, two perfect spheres. He then brought the spheres to his chest as the mana continued to flow through his body. when the two orbs were close enough they formed a third suspended between them by their power. The mana then began to change color from white, to red, to black when the center orb enlarged in size and the figure rose his arms once more. Aiming the orb towards the city he intended to destroy it with one attack, an attack so powerful it could wipe a city off the earth. As he readied his stance he thrust his arms but the orb never left, Instead an arrow had appeared in the mans chest piercing his heart. Light poured from the arrow shaft as pure mana left the man. As the man died his spell was destroyed and set off catastrophically. It went off backwards and destroyed the land behind him for miles creating jagged ravines and tears in the earth.

The vision faded and the rooms normal coloring returned.

"What was that?" asked Hylas.

"That, was the very first bearer, savior of the people turned mad and attempting to destroy the capital. Tell me boy do you know where that place is?" asked Hans.

"It must be what we call the scar, wait you're telling me a single spell caused that destruction?" asked Hylas.

"Indeed it did and it could happen again if you become a demon." said Hans.

"I do not wish for that to happen. I'm supposed to go to the capital and seek council with the king." said Hylas.

"Then I advise you to be very cautious of who you listen to when in the capital." said Hans.

"Also I want you to keep this meeting a secret, should the guard find out you would be in a world of trouble." said Hans.

"Thank you, but why are you helping me?" asked Hylas.

"Because my ancestors were tasked to do so and failed, I do not wish to follow in their footsteps. Now you must go and remember to be very careful." said Hans.

Hylas nodded and turned to leave the room, once was out of the building he stood and stared at the statue once more before tying his blindfold back on and going to meet with Arica and her uncle at the stables near their appointment.    

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PostSubject: Re: The Kingdom of Laril   Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:53 am

11th era, year 53, Dafnerus Fifth day of Summer: Midday


After dropping off the horses at the stables, the Rihans continue down the city's main road. They turn upon the next main district, their friends lived fairly close enough to the stables even a noble who does not get out much could make the journey. The streets were busying with artisans, merchants, workers and other persons of interest.

They arrived at the Marthanocs. The mansion was of a different design. The land plot was indeed quite large in comparison to others' in Viraven, but the Marthanocs designed it with a branching out height that somehow still felt compact to match the city's architecture which overall had a vertical feel to it. It took inspiration from all of the city's long standing landmarks, from the different temples to the main fountain.

Upon entering the large home, they were greeted by the butler and escorted to the inward parlor. They were joined by Lord and Lady Marthanocs and their daughter Embriel. Arica and Embriel smiled at each other while the adults got up for a hearty handshake. Lord Marthanoc dropped his ivory and moss tail coats over the chair while Lady Marthanoc's lavender and ivory adorned dress draped nicely over her legs. Embriel wore her hair half down today, nicer for the breezy weather.

Lord Marthanoc motions the butler to grab some drinks and motions for the two to join on a chair. "A good chance to see old friends."

"Such is cumbersome to acquire but it is nice seeing everyone's healthy faces." Lord Rihan remarked.

"Yes. We are expecting to see many more faces upon the council meeting in the capital."

"So we've heard word that more are able to attend?"

Arica listens even though her thoughts half wander to when they do finally get back to the capital.

Lord Marthanoc shifts his leg position then answers. "Quite. I appears at least two more houses will be joining. Surprising as there is the old tradition of always keeping some noble blood in each town no matter the circumstances."

"Hmm I see. Anything else?" Lord Rihan asked.

"A bit. As you knew, the meeting was to be at the castle. Because of the increased count however, we are forced to move into the Hiruda conference room in the lower wing. It will accommodate some foreign guests as well."

"That wing is by the closest entrance to the Dwarf underground caverns in the capital." Lord Rihan reflected. "Plus its design is more appealing for the elves that usually make these meetings. I approve of these choices."

"The notice on the update came in the delivery system yesterday afternoon." Lady Marthanoc added. "Also, I'd like to bring to your attention, just after the meeting, being held three days later, will be a surprise birthday party for our third cousin's niece and nephew."

"Oh yes. The Divadan twins. They are the Second Gods' Age it seems finally."

"Yes. They expect a party with close relatives since it's Third God's age that's the big one. However the parents have planned out a bigger celebration." Lady Marthanoc said.

"I see. Will certainly make note of it."

The butler returns with a tray of beverages in clear glasses. Each noblemen grabs one in turn. A delectable drink fancy enough to show off but nothing too extravagant for approaching lunch. Lord Marthanoc directs his attention at Arica.

"So Miss Arica, how have you been doing?"

Arica, self aware again, made sure to speak clearly. "Quite well my lord. I've been continuing my studies of mana."

"Such a talented young woman." Lady Marthanoc remarks.

"Thank you."

Lord Marthanoc thinks silently for a moment. "Girls, would you like to leave us in private for a bit?"

"Of course father." Embriel says with a small bow.

"Thank you, we must plan a few things before we head back out. It will not be too long of a wait." Gado reassured.

"We can send Borum to fetch them when we are done." Lady Marthanoc said motioning to the butler.

The two girls head into the solarium for privacy. The golden accented room with an assortment of green plants proved for an exceptional design. The sun shone through the wall encrusted windows, and the view of the city was also most breathtaking. Arica loved visiting and seeing the solarium. Watching the people on the streets reminds her of her favorite parkway veranda back in Taraila by the sea. Plus, they were high enough to over see major city landmarks but still feel embraced by the tall buildings. In one direction was the central fountain. The Viraven version of the stable tradition of Larilan city landmarks: customized yet similar fountains, each designed to honor one of the gods and in the other direction, the old statue of a forgotten hero.

The girls sit down on the one sofa in the center. Arica fiddles with the nearby plant, messing with its leaves while Embriel stretches back and glides her fingers through her dirty blond hair.

"Finally, we can get away from the adults."

"Away with the formalities and overly politeness."

"Without our parents, or your uncle currently in your case, telling us how to act. Plus, none of the real brutes in more than half of the households. The Averynahs, the Tobiks, the De Saneths, even the Boraes and Gradoniers."

"Don't forget the Divadans and Yelpihs. I dislike the culture of the courts, impressions of superiority and lack of sincerity, but it is what it is."

"There is still good woven into the system though, you just have to know how to pick it out.

"Of course," Arica said. " But there are days I wonder how life would work similar to the strange traveler my uncle and I picked up in the forest. A form of purpose and opportunities to decide multiple manners. At the same time though, not everyone is born with certain privileges, and one day I hope to make even the smallest difference using my blessings of the gods."

"I understand. I know what it's like as well, grateful for the freedom you have, but unsure how to exist without a greater selection." Embriel replied. Then she did a quick double take. "A strange traveler you say? Whomever do you mean?

Arica looked confused then realized her mistake in not catching her friend up.

"This young man, not much older than us really," Arica explained. "He helped us on the way here, then joined us in traveling as he's also going to the capital, the strange boy."

"What makes him strange?" Embriel asked.

"He has an intense skill with magic, but a strangely kind heart."

"Intriguing. What can he do?"

"He uses mana to see around him instead of his eyes. He saved my uncle and me from a bandit attack by setting the men ablaze. He's practiced with illusion spells."

The blond nobleness grew her eyes wider. "You said he stopped those bandits by immersing them in flame?"

"Yes, it was unpleasant to witness; the screams, the smell, the charring of the bodies." For a moment Arica felt sick again at the thought but changed it to let the feeling pass. "Yet, he kept such control over the flames, not once did they start spreading into the forest. Even when he burned the large fallen tree blocking the road, not once did the flames burn other than what was needed to accomplish the task at hand."

"A sight of awe really."

"Yes truly. More amazing than any sorcerer I've seen before."

Embriel looked at Arica for a moment, studying her, before speaking again.

"And you would not happen to be smitten by him would you?"

"Hmm? Why would I be?" Arica asked confused.

"You seem to be very trusting and quite comfortable around one you barely know."

"Oh. Okay I see what you mean. And I do see how that is peculiar  ... No I don't believe that to be the case." Arica said thoughtfully. "Why should it matter?"

"We are of marrying age and I'm sure our families will really start to send possible suitors our way, let alone those that appear anyway within normal court tasks. It should be crossing your mind. Plus this traveler, even if a commoner the magical talent would more than make up for it. You for certain are not planning to pursue him, even in secret?"

"No. Not really."

Embriel blinks then relaxes her face. "A shame. If he truly is a kind heart with that kind of talent, he would be an impressive catch."

Arica showed a mock anger. "Embriel, you're starting to sound like Kinara. Stop it."

Embriel laughs. "Perhaps you are right."

* * * * * * * * ~ * * * * * * * * ~ * * * * * * * * ~ * * * * * * * * ~ * * * * * * * * ~ * * * * * * * * ~ * * * * * * * * ~ * * * * * * * *

Dafnerus Fifth day of Summer: Midday

Viraven's gilded brown city streets were getting much more crowded at high noon than the morning. Hylas took extra care back-tracking his route through the city back to the stables the Rihans stopped at.

Along the way, Hylas let his thoughts wander back to the great canyon know as The Scar. A large gorge of irregular shape. Its memory of creation long lost to old eras. Yet a select few elderly seem to remember the last bearer created the forsaken land mark with a single spell ... as a side effect to the man turning into some kind of monster.

I'm not a monster though. Hylas thought. I'm on my way to the king. He sent for assistance. Whatever that task is.

Actually that was a good point. There is no information on what the king actually wants, just payment to some ancient debt. He could very well be bringing someone to him to kill some nobleman, or find a way to become a monster like his predecessor.

Before letting his thoughts get into too dark a place, Hylas stumbled straight into something. He was momentarily confused; his mana sense showed nothing but empty space immediately before him. The people going about their lives, the buildings, the central fountain, and the empty spot directly in front, were all quite clear. Then he felt a hand upon his shoulder.

"Oh sorry there, good sir. Didn't see ya there." came a man's voice.

A person? Hylas hadn't see him.

"Wha? Oh no. It's just fine. No harm done." Hylas said politely in response.

"Good. We wouldn't want that." The man said, patting Hylas's upper arm twice with a smile the bearer could not see.

"Good day." Hylas side stepped where he assumed the man was and continued walking.

He felt his hair loosen and the sun's bright light blinded his eyes. Hylas winced.

His blindfold was removed.

It took only a few seconds for his eyes to readjust to the daylight. Hylas looked around. It wasn't on the ground near him. The blindfold also was too heavy to be blown away in this light breeze. Wait. That guy just now! He must have taken it. Hylas scanned the crowd determined to spot the man. However, having never seen the man in the first place, he would never be able to identify him.

"Oh that man!" someone yelled.

Hylas refocused on his surroundings. His stomach tightened as he swallowed.

"Look! His eyes!" a nearby artisan yelled.

A lady screamed. A few others did as well once they spotted his red slit eyes. A small child was grabbing a woman's skirt.

"Mama! That man has scary eyes!"

Hylas was unsure how to cease the panic surfacing.

"Please, I mean no harm. Really." Hylas tried consoling.

A cacophony erupted and Hylas heard more noise. Shouts could be heard. One cut through the crowd's noise like a sword through the air.

"Stop right there!"

The shout came from the other direction. The crowd was splitting to allow the batch of guards onto the street. Once a bit closer, they looked straight at Hylas.

"You stop! You're under arrest!"

"But guards, I have done nothing wrong." Hylas pleaded.

They came closer as more city folk cowered away.

"You're the one who murdered the priest on Havenmill street!"

Hylas's eyes grew wide. "Oh Kiln of Dafnes."


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