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Role Play => Completed RPs => Topic started by: Tyler294 on Apr 17 2017, 11:25 AM

Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 17 2017, 11:25 AM
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/u4ep2gwgdnlwwkv/Shards.png?dl=1)
(http://rpgrating.com/ratings/113.png) (http://www.rpgrating.com)

Genre = Fantasy
Setting = Age of Retribution
RP Type = Action/Drama
How to join = By Request (must meet qualifications)
Participants: Dead Jim, Shawnex, Tyler294
Discussion Thread (http://forgerp.com/forums/index.php/topic,68.0.html)


~Index~

Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 17 2017, 11:35 AM
It was high noon in the dusty desert village when a man in light leather armor rode into town. A sword at his side, a cloth wrapped around his face, and a black steed underneath him, the man came up to to an old roadside tavern. After dismounting, he removed his head-wrap, revealing his dark, messy hair and young but weathered face.

After tethering the horse, he stepped into the tavern, immediately being greeted by the smell of smoke rolls and cheap liquor. As he approached the bar, he glanced from side to side, surveying all the patrons who happened to be inside at the moment.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 19 2017, 04:43 PM
Seated farther down the bar was a woman, who was draped in a long, dark, hooded cape which covered parts of her face. Bits of her long red-violet curly hair settled outside her hood, and her pail skin seemed to glow slightly in the dim light. She glanced towards him suspiciously, but her eyes didn't meet his.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 19 2017, 06:09 PM
The man pulled out a smokeroll and lit the end on a nearby lantern. As he took a couple puffs, he leaned back and so he was closer to the bartender.

"Any mercenaries in the clientele today?" the man asked.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 19 2017, 06:19 PM
The woman's eyes darted towards him again, but she remained silent.

The bartender, who was a middle-aged leprechaun, grunted as he placed a beer on the counter, "Always."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 19 2017, 06:28 PM
"I need to recruit a small team. Any recommendations?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 19 2017, 06:31 PM
"Quit while the quittin's good." he replied as he polished the surface next to him.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 19 2017, 06:33 PM
"Hmm..."

The man took the beer that was evidently brought for him even though he never asked, whilst deciding to approach the people in the tavern individually. He figured he might as well start with the cloaked woman in the corner.

"Looking for work, or just drowning away time?" he asked as he neared her.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 19 2017, 06:35 PM
"Depends on the work." she said quietly, still not lifting her head.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 19 2017, 06:38 PM
"Bounty hunting. I've been tracking a bandit for the past several months and he was last seen around these parts. Seems he's decided to stay in one place for longer than usual, which has given me the opportunity to catch him. Unfortunately, I need some extra hands before I confront him." the man explained, eyeing the woman closely, "Everyone will get an equal share of the bounty, of course."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 19 2017, 06:39 PM
"Sounds too easy." she replied without enthusiasm.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 19 2017, 06:41 PM
"If it were, I'd have handled it myself already. Besides, I have a few more jobs lined-up afterward for which this one can be considered a... try out."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 19 2017, 06:42 PM
She chuckled slightly at that, "So na´ve. I hope for your sake that you've done this before."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 19 2017, 06:44 PM
"Don't worry for my sake." the man retorted in a neutral tone, "Instead, concern yourself with whether or not you wish to join me. I'll be here, just let me know when you've made up your mind."

With that, the man turned to find the next person he could recruit.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 08:15 AM
At the corner of the bar was a Alizarian fellow sitting with his flute. He was a little overweight with a mustache and a small beard. In front of him was a vase-shaped basket, and while he was playing, a cobra slowly raised his head out of the basket and faced the man without attacking. Then the Alizarian saw the man who was walking towards him.

"You looking for someone?" he asked.   
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 08:19 AM
"Someone who can help me defeat a bandit and his men." the man in leather replied, before nodding at the snake, "Nice little trick there with the snake."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 08:31 AM
"Thank you." the Alizarian replied, "I learned this trick when I was in Umberum. I'm not from there though, but a foreigner who visits there must learn this trick if they want to so that they will not be attacked by the snake."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 08:37 AM
"I see. So, in your travels, did you ever learn to fight?" the man inquired.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 08:42 AM
"Ooh yes." he answered shaking his head, "It happened when I was in a town where there were lots of crime. I had to do something to stop this, so I trained myself to fight. It did work, but I had help."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 08:46 AM
"Good enough. If you are looking to help stop criminals again, and make some money in the process, you could join me." the man offered.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 08:56 AM
The cobra hissed at the man.
"Quiet you demon!" the Alizarian snapped at the cobra after hitting his head with his flute, "Then you are looking for someone. You plan to risk your life to stop some criminals when this is dangerous for one man and you came here to hire some recruits to help you stop them?!? Okay. I'm in."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 08:57 AM
"Excellent. Carry on with what you are doing now, but be ready to leave with me when I am done here." the first man grinned slightly.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 08:59 AM
"Very well then." he agreed and continued to play his flute to the cobra.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 09:12 AM
The man looked over the room again to see if there were any other people worth talking to. The first person he approached turned him down immediately, while the second didn't seem to understand what he was saying at all. He considered approaching a third, but by this point he had finished his beer, so he returned to bar first. As he took another drawl from his smokeroll, he glanced back toward the end of the bar where the cloaked woman was seated.

"Made a decision yet?" he asked.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 22 2017, 09:38 AM
The woman finally looked at him. "When do we start?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 09:40 AM
The man grinned; he now had what he needed. He proceeded to pluck the smokeroll from his mouth and smother it on the counter.

"Now."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 09:49 AM
Nightfall...

The trio only needed a couple of hours to reach their query, as the man-in-leather had already scouted the bandit camp earlier. During the time it took them to travel there, the trio's leader had identified himself as Tarek. The man from Alizaria was known as Wondu, while the mysterious woman was called Marlia. Now all three were observing the bandits from an olive tree grove near a desert oasis. The bandits had made camp in a clearing near the spring at the center of the oasis.

These bandits were led by another Alizarian man by the name of Alapo the Blue, whose desert garb was colored a distinctive shade of blue. Most of his men were also Alizarians, as facescarfs and turbans were their primary headgear. There were a total of a dozen of them in the camp...
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 22 2017, 09:51 AM
"I'm assuming you have a plan." Marliea whispered.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 09:51 AM
"How many do each of you think you can handle at once?" Tarek asked the two.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 22 2017, 09:52 AM
Marliea shrugged, "Depends on how many you want kept alive."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 09:53 AM
Tarek turned his attention to Wondu and awaited his answer.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 09:58 AM
"From the way that I see it," Wondu started, "It may not be easy since we may be outnumbered by them and their weapons."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 10:02 AM
"Perhaps, but we have the element of surprise and we can easily divide them. Wondu, you can remain here in the tree grove and play your flute. The noise will draw some of them into the trees to investigate, then Marlia and you can ambush them when they arrive. They'll likely send more to assist the first ones, further weakening their forces in the camp. Then I can sneak around that ridge with my horse and attack Alapo directly."

Tarek motioned at a nearby ridge in the direction of the desert on the opposite side of the camp from where they were currently hiding. There were enough gullies and hills in this area that the three had been able to easily hide their horses a short distance away.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 22 2017, 10:07 AM
"Just be sure to stay out of my way." Marliea warned Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 10:14 AM
Wondu looked at Marlia with an annoyed looked. Then he turned to Tarek.

"You be careful, Tarek." he said, "The leader of the thieves can be hard to defeat."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 10:17 AM
"Just keep his men busy and I will deal with him." Tarek replied, before slipping away to go recover his horse.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 22 2017, 10:25 AM
"Oh, they'll be busy." Marliea smiled smugly as she positioned herself behind a tree.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 10:32 AM
Wondu had gotten to his position, so the thieves wouldn't see him. He took his packet-basket, (a basket with straps that go behind a persons back) pulled out his flute, and began to play a song. As he was playing, the cobra raised his head again.

"Five more minutes, please." he yawned.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 10:32 AM
Meanwhile, in the bandit camp, a couple of the thieves heard the sound of a wind instrument coming from the tree grove nearby.

"What's that?" one asked, "Sounds like a flute..."

"That's just the wind." a second bandit dismissed him.

"No, I heard it too." a third chimed-in.

"Don't just sit there talking about it!" Alapo snapped angrily, "Go get the source and bring him to me!"

The three thieves jumped to their feet and quickly ran to the tree grove, drawing their scimitars as they did.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 22 2017, 10:43 AM
As they passed by her tree, Marliea crossed her arms and drew her two short swords (http://www.hanzoswords.com/assets/images/a46-bk264.jpg) in one motion. She lunged towards one of the bandits with one blade, while preparing the other blade for defense.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 10:43 AM
The rear-most thief let-out a shriek of pain as he was impaled in the back. The other two whirled around upon hearing their comrade cry-out.

"Curse you!" the lead bandit snarled as he swing horizontally at Marlia's neck.

In the process of turning to face Marlia, the two had turned their backs to Wondu...
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 10:52 AM
Wondu looked at the two thieves with their swords.

"Gentlemen." he announced to them, "May I present to you...the Cobra Attack!"

He played a tune which made the cobra turned his head to the thieves. He hissed at them violently and attacked one of the men while Wondu draws his sword and attacked the other.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 11:04 AM
The cobra successfully bit the man attacking Marlia in the shin, causing him to yelp as he swung wildly at the woman again.

The other thief managed to turn around and block Wondu's attack with his own blade.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 22 2017, 11:54 AM
Marliea avoided the bandit's attack and attempted to grab his attacking arm with her free arm (she had left her other sword in the first bandit). At the same time she lunged her second blade towards his chest. 
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 11:56 AM
With his sword out of position and arm being held, the thief could do nothing to prevent himself from being run-through. Even had he not, he would be dead from the Cobra's poison in short-order anyway.

***

The sound of swordplay and death screams in the woods had caught the attention of the rest of the camp.

"They're being attacked!" one of the bandit's exclaimed.

"Oh, really? You think?" Alapo sneered.

"Yeah! Don't you hear the fighting in there?" the bandit replied.

"..." Alapo glared at the bandit a moment in annoyance, "Get in there and help them you idiots!"

Most of the rest of the thieves quickly sprang to their feet and rushed into the grove. Two remained behind to guard their leader, meaning Marlia and Wondu would seen be facing six more enemies...

***

As this was happening Wondu was still battling the last of the original three thieves that entered the grove before.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 12:12 PM
He then kicked his shin and then punched his face with his fist.

"Didn't see that coming?" he toddled.

He then looked up and saw more bandits coming towards him and Marlia.

"Oh dear."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 22 2017, 12:13 PM
"Now the fun begins." Marliea grinned as she removed and cleaned her swords from the bodies.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 12:36 PM
The band of thieves soon came face-to-face with the two.

"Hey, there's only two if them!" one laughed.

"Dis will be easy!" another agreed.

"Git 'em!" the first roared.

One immediately charged Marlia, making a massive over the head swing with his larger-than-average scimitar. Two more went after Wondu, one trying to stab him with a long-knife, the other preparing to strike if Wondu dodged to the right.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 22 2017, 01:05 PM
As his sword started it's descent, Marliea grabbed his left arm and used it to fling herself onto his back. In a kneeling position on his shoulders, she lunged one sword into the back of his skull, and the other through the side of his neck. Still holding the swords, she angled them to the side, turning his falling dead body towards the tree thieves who were standing back. Once the body hit the ground she looked up at them, and slowly removed her swords.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 01:08 PM
The three men hesitated a moment and looked back and forth between each-other.

"GAAYYAAAHH!!!" one suddenly belted-out, before charging straight on, swinging at a forty-five degree angle.

The other two followed, one on the left flank, the other on the right flank, each trying to stab or slash at her sides.

***

Meanwhile, Tarek had made his way around the ridge, carefully keeping himself out of the sight of the bandits. Now, just beyond the crest of the hill, he pulled out a lone gauntlet from a pouch on his horse. The gauntlet was basically a metal arm bracer, woven into a leather glove with iron reinforcement in the fingers. Atop the metal bracer were five short, cylinder-shaped containers, all solidly mounted to the bracer but with a small locking system allowing the containers to be opened. There was a slight rattle of something solid within one of them.

After pulling it over his hand and strapping it in, he flexed his fingers a bit to make sure everything was set correctly. That done, he mounted his horse and drew forth his sword. He then began to slowly ride up to the top of the ridge...

Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 22 2017, 04:12 PM

As the frontal attacker reached Marliea their blades clashed and she forced his blade to the side, then kicked him in the face while flipping herself around vertically. She deflected the blade of the thief to the right while the thief to the left swung his blade for her side. She grabbed his arm and spun herself towards him in the direction of his swing. She threw him to the ground and stuck one of her swords in his arm, pinning him to the ground temporarily.


She deflected the blade of the other thief again, and then attacked him with hers, trying to bring herself as close to him as possible. The face-kicked thief then ran to her right side with another attack that she ducked while kicking him in the gut. As he fell to the ground she again struck the blade of the other thief, this time getting within arms length of him. She then grabbed his shirt and spun him around before stabbing him in the back.


As he fell the ground the face/gut-kicked thief was beginning to stand up. She dashed towards him, kicked the sword out of his hand before grabbing his neck and rapidly snapping it. The thief she had pinned down had gotten the sword out of his arm and was then holding it along with his sword. As he looked at her she charged at him, slid to the side of him while grabbing his legs, knocking him back to the ground. They both quickly stood up again, and he began to swing wildly at her, while she ducked every swipe. As he did this she rapidly spun and grabbed both of his wrists, and pinned him to a tree, with his hands crossed at his neck. She then yanked, his arms downward, slitting his throat with both blades.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 22 2017, 08:28 PM
Wondu dodged to the right and quickly slipped behind one of the thieves and kicked his butt so hard that it made him crashed into the other. He then immediately charged at them and kicked one of the thieves' weapon out of his hand. But the other rolled back and charged back to him. Wondu quickly defended himself and they continued fighting while the other got up and charged towards him as well. Meanwhile, the cobra finished the one thief after he rapped around his neck choked him. He then slithered back to his basket, but Wondu pushed one of the thieves and made him land on the cobra. The thief got back up again, but now that the cobra was ticked off because of that thief landing on him, he attacked him as well. 
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 22 2017, 09:28 PM
"They're dying in there!" one two remaining bandits blurted, hearing continuing clashes of weapons and dying screams of the thieves.

"Chief, we need to get you out of here!" the other said.

Alapo didn't need to be told twice, as he was already rushing toward where the gang's horses were tethered. His two guards were not far behind, and soon enough all three were mounted. As they turned to face the ridge leading toward the desert and away from the oasis, they saw a lone man on a horse silhouetted against the moonlight.

"Who is he?" one of the bandits asked nervously.

"He's one man!" Alapo snapped, "Kill him!"

The two thieves drew their weapons and exchanged brief glances at one-another, before riding toward the man on the ridge to attack him. Tarek, being that man on the ridge, began to ride down toward them in response, his own sword already in-hand.

When the two were barely twenty yards from one-another, Tarek raised his hand with gauntlet on it and pointed toward bandit on his left. Electricity began to crackle as lighting pulsed through Tarek's gauntlet and the arm inside. Neither bandit had any chance to hesitate before a bolt of lighting shot forth from Tarek's hand and struck the man he was pointing at, violently throwing him from his horse.

Both horses panicked and bucked into the air, resulting in the second thief also being thrown from his saddle. The horses then galloped away in haste, leaving that bandit fumbling on the ground to find his weapon. No sooner had the thief recovered his sword, stood up, and turned to face Tarek, than his skull was split in two by a vicious downward slash from Tarek's own blade.

With the two bandits dead or dying, Tarek continued straight toward Alapo, who had remained in-place to observe what would happen between them. But with that confrontation over, it was now the bandit chieftain's turn to fight...
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 30 2017, 08:15 AM
Marliea removed her other sword from the back of one of thieves, before strolling over to Wondu.

"Do you need help?" She asked as she leaned against a tree.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 30 2017, 08:30 AM
"Funny you would offer to help someone in battle, especially since you're a woman." Wondu stated while fighting one of the thieves.

He pushed him out of the way and looked at the rest of the thieves that were lying down. It was all done by Marlia.

"Goodness Gracious!" he exclaimed.

The cobra was still fighting the other thief by biting him and wrapping around his neck.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 30 2017, 08:43 AM
As Tarek was nearing Alapo, the bandit leader suddenly raised both his arms and out from his palms shot a blast of water that struck the charging bounty hunter in the chest and knocked him off his horse. Deciding to try and finish this attacker off rather than run, Alapo charged with his horse, intent on finishing Tarek the same way Tarek had finished the bandit a moment before. Rather than stand-up, however; Tarek rolled aside as the horse came upon him, while sweeping out with his sword.

The sword strike cut the poor horse's two front legs out from under it, causing the animal to lurch forward and collapse to the ground in a heap. Alapo struggled a moment to free himself from the saddle, which gave Tarek enough time to get back to his feet himself. The bandit leader eventually freed himself of his wounded steed, then drew out his scimitar and faced the now advancing Tarek. The two locked eyes as they raised their blades in preparation for their duel. It was during this time that both noticed the tree grove had gone silent...

But they soon had no time to worry about that as their swords clashed for the first time. Tarek launched a series of skilled attacks, but Alapo showed he was a competent swordsman himself and deflected or blocked every blow. The offensive changed twice, but neither man was gaining any advantage on the other as they battled their way around the camp.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 30 2017, 11:51 AM
As Wondu pushed the thief away that he was fighting, Marliea casually ran one of her blades through his back.

"Why don't we go check on the boss." She said as she threw the corpse to the ground.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 30 2017, 12:07 PM
Wondu looked puzzled after he saw Marlia finished the thief he was fighting.

"Uh...okay." he responded before covering his mouth with his hand.

The cobra finished the other thief, just as he did to his first.

"One of these days-s-s." he muttered, "It's one of these days-s-s that I have to fight because of that tune."

He slithered back to his basket and put the lid on with his tail.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 30 2017, 12:09 PM
Marliea motioned for him to follow her as they headed towards the camp.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 30 2017, 12:24 PM
Tarek now had the advantage and was working Alapo back toward the center of the oasis. The bounty hunter managed to land a couple shallow cuts on the unarmored bandit chief, further tilting the scales in his favor. In desperation, Alapo kicked at Tarek's chest, causing him to stumble back a bit. The separation was all the desert marauder needed as he raised his arms again and fired a steady stream of water at Tarek again.

But this time, Tarek was ready. As the water shot toward him, he extended his left hand and charged it with lighting. The water struck his hand first, contacting the electric energy and making the water an immediate conduit. Alapo barely had time to curse at his mistake before the electric wave traveled through the water stream right back into his own body.

"GAGAAHHUHUHUHUH!" he cried as he fell to the ground, convulsing in shock.

Tarek exhaled deeply, before twirling his sword around a few times as he approached Alapo. But the bandit leader was a tougher man than the one Tarek had fried earlier, and he was able to recover and tried to reach for his sword. Tried.

"Aah!" Alapo gasped, as Tarek's boot stomped down on his arm, causing a sickening crunch.

Tarek then kicked the bandit leader in the face and turned him over on his back, before poking his throat with the point of his sword. Around Alapo's neck was a string necklace, around which hung a circular pendant that looked like it could store something inside. Tarek's blade soon was used to lift the object away from Alapo's throat.

"How is it a wasteland rat like came by something like this?" Tarek wondered aloud.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 30 2017, 12:39 PM
Marliea and Wondu approached as Tarek stood over Alapo; they hadn't seen any of the previous fight.

"Looks like you've been having fun." She said as she sheathed her swords.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 30 2017, 12:44 PM
"It is done, in any case." Tarek shrugged at Marlia.

He then cut the string on Alapo's pendant, then picked up the item and put it in one of his pouches.

"So, you going to kill me now?" Alapo spat.

"Of course not; you're going to the Corbaine family. They'll kill you later." Tarek replied.

"What? NO!" Alapo tried to stand up, only for Tarek to smash him in the jaw with his gauntlet and send him back to the dirt unconscious.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 30 2017, 12:53 PM
Marliea crossed her arms and looked around, "I still think this was too easy."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 30 2017, 12:56 PM
"The easier the battle is, the less chance of any of us getting killed." Wondu said.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 30 2017, 01:01 PM
"Glad you approve." Tarek replied to them both dryly.

He jogged over to recover his dark-color horse, then returned to where Alapo was lying on the ground. Pulling a rope off of the saddle, he proceeded to tie up the prisoner.

"The Corbaine's have an agent in the village of Azuz, about a day's journey east of here." Tarek explained to the two, "They will pay us the bounty there and will be on our way. If you two are interested in greater challenges and fortunes from there, you can continue on with me."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 30 2017, 01:04 PM
"I thought this was going to be a challenge." Marliea grumbled under her breath as she followed Tarek.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 30 2017, 01:57 PM
"I made no guarantees." Tarek answered as he picked up Alapo and hoisted him over one of the bandit horses that was mulling around nearby, "We are done here, unless you wish to loot the corpses."

He brought the horse with Alapo on it back over to his own horse, then mounted, while still holding the reigns of the other horse in order to lead it with him.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 09 2017, 01:30 PM
Wondu had gone through all the dead, collecting their money bags and putting them in his handbag.

"May your souls rest in peace." he whispered quietly to the bandits, though he was not a priest, he just said it on his own.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 11 2017, 06:48 AM
Marliea just shook her head while polishing her blades.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 11 2017, 11:37 AM
Once that was done, the group departed from the now empty camp and made for the town of Azuz. They had to rest and sleep at some point during the night, but eventually they arrived at the town by noon of the the next day.

Now in the town, Tarek brought them all to what appeared to be a large gambling establishment. Leaving Wondu and Marlia to guard the now conscious Alapo outside, Tarek entered the casino and made his way toward the bar. All forms of scum and villainy surrounded him as he weaved through crowds of drinkers and around tables of gamblers. Though the place was lively and loud, he was able to tune it all out as he reached the bar without incident.

"What'll ya have?" the bartender asked in a forced friendly tone.

"I need to talk to the manager." Tarek replied, while at the same time tossing a metal token over to the barkeep.

The response was a glance at the token, then a nod, before the man disappeared into the back. After a few moments, the bartender returned and resumed his normal spot, while a much larger man in more elaborate clothes emerged behind him. The new arrival had a woman on his left arm and a smoke stick in his right hand, while at his side hung a gold-trimmed sword and sheath.

"What'ye be needin'?" the apparent manager asked in a thick Eastport accent.

"I have a bounty outside." Tarek hiked a finger over his shoulder, "And I aim to collect."

"Oy..." the manager sighed, "Well, let's be havin' a look at 'em."

The manager summoned a couple of his bouncers to join them, then the whole group went outside. Once they reached were Marlia, Wondu and the captive Alapo were waiting, the manager stepped up and stared at Alapo intently.

"Aye, that be him." he finally nodded.

At Tarek's request, the reward was divided into three equal bags of coins, then given to him. The bouncers led the now terrified bandit leader away, while the manager bid Tarek a good day and returned to the casino. With all the other people now gone, Tarek tossed a bag at each of his hired hands.

"This job is done. If you're still interested, the next not far away, relatively speaking."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 11 2017, 12:23 PM
"Another bounty?" Marliea asked while examining the town.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 11 2017, 12:23 PM
"No." Tarek answered, "I managed to acquire a map to a tomb in the Cadmium badlands. There's an artifact we need to acquire there, but the tomb is no doubt filled with other valuables as well."

He cast a glance to either side of himself as he spoke, in case anyone was listening in.

"The tombs out there in the mountains tend to have a lot of traps or wild beasts in them, depending on their age and structural integrity. Not to mention occasional tomb raiders. One way or another, we'll likely run into some form of... challenge."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 11 2017, 12:26 PM
"That's not a great guarantee," Marliea said as she looked at him suspiciously, "but intriguing enough."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 11 2017, 12:33 PM
"Actually Marlia," interrupted Wondu, "It does sound interesting to me. What kind of artifact will you be looking for, Tarek?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 11 2017, 12:34 PM
"It's a fragment of a larger artifact, really. You needn't worry too much about it." Tarek replied dismissively, "You two will primarily be along to watch for traps or kill anyone or anything that tries to interfere with us."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 12 2017, 03:00 PM
"If it's important to you, then I suppose I shall join in for that too." said Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 12 2017, 03:14 PM
"Good." Tarek replied with a nod, "We'll return to Stabul and get provisions there, away from the..."

He threw a contempt-full glance back at the casino and the people mulling around outside it.

"...prying eyes of less desirable folk."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 12 2017, 03:21 PM
"Fine with me."  Marliea said as she mounted her horse.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 12 2017, 06:32 PM
And they were off. It took another day's journey to return to Stabul, where they had first met a couple days prior. The roadhouse in which they met happened to have rooms for rent, so Tarek suggested they stay there for the night.

At dawn they set out again, passing a small troop of Cerulean soldiers along the way. Tarek noticeably kept his face hidden under his wrappings until the foreigners were well out of sight.

"Damn crusaders." he muttered softly.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 13 2017, 06:55 PM
Marliea bowed her head slightly as they passed the soldiers, though her efforts were not as obvious as Tarek's. She noticed his actions, but did not comment.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 14 2017, 08:26 PM
And Wondu had his head facing behind Tarek and Marlia and said nothing.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 15 2017, 06:44 AM
The group met few other travelers on the road as they headed toward the more Cadmium badlands, a stretch of desert that where crumbling multicolored cliffs mixed with occasional rock spires and rocky hills. Various types of desert shrubs and small trees grew here, as water was a little less scarce than it was dunes. The tomb spoken of by Tarek was supposedly burrowed out of a hillside, near a formation of rock spires that was said to resemble the head of a trident.

The trip, and subsequent search in the badlands, took a few days, though luckily they had brought enough water and food to hold themselves during this time. They passed several other tombs of varying ages and types, from ancient stepped pyramids built from stone blocks to pits dug nearly straight down into the ground. The badlands were indeed an ancient burial ground of an older civilization long-since gone, but still saw use among some of the modern desert sheiks and even the Sultanate of Corsai.

Eventually they spotted the trident spires in the distance and began to draw toward them. The day was calm, clear, and hot. On the way toward the tomb, they passed a number of desert reptiles, particularly snakes, which were out sunning themselves. Tarek occasionally cast a glance over his shoulder to see if they were being followed, but otherwise kept his attention focused forward.

At long last, they reached the entrance to the tomb. It was hewn from a cliff face and lined with stone blocks with relief carvings on them. This particular tomb seemed a bit newer than some they had passed, though it certainly wasn't recent by any stretch.

"This is it." Tarek pointed-out uselessly as he dismounted and found a place to tether his horse.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 16 2017, 02:55 PM
Marliea rolled her eyes when he said that. She also dismounted, but immediately began to study the carvings on the stones.

"Any history would be helpful." She said as she remained focused on the images.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 16 2017, 03:26 PM
"This tomb is final resting place of the last Veridian Emperor." Tarek stated, "When the empire was toppled two hundred years ago, the last followers of the old order buried him here to protect the remains from being desecrated by rebels or Cerulean crusaders."

He scoffed slightly.

"Ironic. To hide his body from foreigners, they hid him among foreigners."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2017, 08:48 AM
Marliea frowned, drew one of her swords and pointed it at Tarek.

"If this in any way involves desecrating the body of a deceased, I want no part of this endeavor." Her voice was firm, though she wasn't actually threatening Tarek.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 17 2017, 08:53 AM
"Of course not." Tarek replied calmly, "I'm Veridian and have the utmost reverence for the heritage of my country. But there is an item that would have been possessed by the last Emperor and almost certainly buried with him. That is what we have come for."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 17 2017, 09:23 AM
"I've seen things a lot worse." Wondu said and began to worry, "But, nothing about this place. Although, would this place still be alive with the remaining warriors that still serve the emperor? If they're not dead."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 17 2017, 09:29 AM
"No." Tarek shook his head immediately, "But they likely left traps and safeguards just in case tomb-robbers attempted to sack the place. If we're lucky, a few will have already tried and failed, leaving bodies to mark the locations of any traps."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2017, 12:18 PM
"Otherwise we're going in blind..." Marliea mumbled as she looked for the opening into the tomb, if it wasn't already apparent.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 17 2017, 12:19 PM
"Well, then you get the challenge you want so badly." Tarek remarked as he lit a couple torches to use when inside the tomb, "You both ready then?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2017, 12:26 PM
"Always." She stated as she grabbed one of the torches, though there was a hint of hesitance in her voice.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 17 2017, 02:10 PM
"Lead the way, Lad." added Wondu after he got off his horse, "Just as long as we don't get ourselves killed."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 17 2017, 02:35 PM
Tarek nodded, then proceeded down the steps into the tomb. After a moment he switched his torch to his left hand and drew out his sword, partially for defense, partially to use to probe for traps. However, the tomb initially seemed pretty devoid of anything dangerous.

At least until they reached an area where there appeared to be a door-frame built from stone blocks jutting out of the wall. It somewhat obscured whatever lie directly beyond it, particularly whatever was behind the frame itself.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 21 2017, 12:15 PM
"Something's not right." Marliea whispered as she stopped. She drew one of her blades as she glanced around the opening.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 21 2017, 05:44 PM
Tarek waved his sword through the opening, but nothing happened. He contemplated starting forward, but noticed the floor ahead of him was cobblestone. Furthermore, the first stone on the floor looked just a tad suspicious.

He slowly lowered the tip of his sword to the stone and pressed it down. For a moment, the stone seemed solid, but after he applied a little more pressure, it began to give-way and slide downward, revealing itself to be a pressure plate. A moment later, six spears, three on either side, shot into view and stabbed the air where a person would have been standing had they casually walked through the door.

"Hm..." Tarek mused, releasing the pressure with his sword, resulting in the spears retracting from view again.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 24 2017, 12:11 PM
Marliea, not caring to sit and ponder the situation, lightly pushed Tarek away and tried pressing the next stone with her own sword. Finding that it was safe, she began to cautiously walk across the stones, testing each before she made another step. The stones were not big enough for her whole foot to fit on them, so she tip-toed, though she didn't seem to have any trouble with that.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 25 2017, 05:34 AM
After seeing Marlia successfully navigate over the trap, Tarek followed, using the same method, albeit less gracefully. He then stopped and waited for Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jun 03 2017, 09:11 AM
Wondu Carefully walked across the stones using their methods as well. But it wasn't easy for him since accidently step one of the stones which then began to slide downward. Then the spears shot into the air again and were heading towards him.

"YIKES!" he screamed with his eyes wide open and began to run.

Luckily, Wondu quickly ran out of the way across the stone floor stepping each stone as the spears shot through the air behind him until he made it to the other side.

"Kids, don't do this at home."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 03 2017, 09:17 AM
"Are you done?" Tarek deadpanned at Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jun 03 2017, 09:24 AM
"Eh, yes." Wondu replied while getting up, "We may now continue with our journey."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 03 2017, 12:21 PM
Tarek shook his head slightly, before taking the lead once again. The walls were now made of stone blocks, rather than being the rough, hewed-out walls from before. They came across another spear trap, but it jammed in its active position, make it easy to avoid. In time, they came across what appeared to be a dead end, in the form of a stone slab filling in the apparent entryway to the next section of the tomb.

"There is probably a mechanism to open it." Tarek suggested, "Look around."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 03 2017, 05:49 PM
Marliea lightly placed her left hand against the wall to feel it's temperature and sturdiness. She closed her eyes and breathed in as she reached out.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 03 2017, 05:55 PM
It seemed fairly thick and sturdy, though not quite as cool to the touch as the rest of the walls would be.

Tarek began shining his light around, searching for a leaver, pressure plate or such.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 03 2017, 06:07 PM
Marliea, keeping her eyes closed, began to glide her hand across the wall the were facing, onto one of the side walls.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jun 03 2017, 06:39 PM
Wondu was also looking something to open the wall, after he pulled out his little lantern and light it up.

"This doesn't make sense." he said to the other, "Why would we end up in a dead end when this temple gave us a one way entrance?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 03 2017, 06:42 PM
"As I said, there should be a mechanism." Tarek repeated.

The walls Marliea was feeling, unlike the slab, was covered in blocks that varied in size and feel. Some actually felt rather loose.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jun 03 2017, 06:47 PM
"Well yeah, but I don't see any in this crazy place." he complained and leaned against the wall. 
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 03 2017, 06:50 PM
Just then, the wall creaked.

Then it collapsed behind him, sending Wondu and a bunch of rumble falling backward into another room adjacent to the hallway.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 03 2017, 06:53 PM
Marliea jerked slightly, turned around and faced Wondu.

"Whatever works." She shrugged as she peeked into the room.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jun 03 2017, 06:55 PM
"Tarek! Forget what I said! But I found a secret passageway!" Wondu yelled.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 03 2017, 06:58 PM
"Yes... Excellent work, Wondu." Tarek remarked, before stepping through into the so-called secret passageway.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 03 2017, 07:06 PM
Marliea followed, shaking her head as she went.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 03 2017, 07:12 PM
This new passageway was smaller and had a more greyish tint to the walls. There was a faint, unpleasant smell permeating through the air, and a layer of mist clung to the dirt floor.

Tarek took the lead again as they went the direction they figured would lead around the sealed door. As they proceeded, they heard the sound of skittering movement in the tunnels up ahead.

"Be ready." Tarek warned in a hoarse tone.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 03 2017, 07:32 PM
Marliea drew her sword on her right hip with her left hand, while keeping her torch in her right.

"A mechanical trap?" she whispered.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 03 2017, 09:34 PM
Tarek paused a moment to listen in a little more. The sounds were not in any sort of pattern and seemed to grow slightly louder or quieter, indicating intermittent movement toward or away from them.

"No, an animal more likely." Tarek deduced.

He began cautiously advancing again, though whatever was up ahead seemed to move further away as the three drew-in closer. Eventually though, they did briefly catch a glimpse of a furry rodent, about the size of a rat, in the tunnel ahead of them. It quickly ran off again as they continued their advance.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jun 06 2017, 11:36 AM
"No human or animal would survive in this dark temple with closed passageways." Wondu said, "Would they?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 06 2017, 12:21 PM
"Likely there is another entrance." Tarek stated, before suddenly stopping and putting a hand up for the others to stop.

In the darkness ahead, they could hear the patter of slightly heavier (than the rodents at least) footsteps approaching them.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 14 2017, 06:05 PM
Marliea shoved her torch into Wondu's hand while drawing her other sword with her right hand. She glared ahead with little expression, though in reality her heart was pounding and she was trying to prevent herself from shaking; something wasn't right.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 20 2017, 08:42 AM
After a few moments, the scraggly-looking figure of a man hobbled into the light. He was shielding his eyes from the light of the torch as he did.

"Wh-who goes thar?" he asked in a high-pitched, scratchy voice.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 28 2017, 06:46 AM
Marliea lowered her swords and sighed. She turned to Tarek, completely ignoring the scraggly man, "If this is what we're looking for, I'll kill you right now."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 28 2017, 07:10 AM
"Does this man look like an artifact to you?" Tarek inquired sarcastically, then briefly glanced back at the man, "On second thought, do not answer that question."

"H-have you come to take the treasure?" the man whimpered.

Tarek turned back and stared intently at him.

"Where is it?"

"W-who's asking? Hmm? Who d-dares ask to disturb the t-treasure? Treasure does not like to be disturbed!" the man croaked insanely.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jun 30 2017, 05:36 PM
"I never imagine someone living in this temple." Wondu declared rubbing his chin, "Who are you?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 30 2017, 06:53 PM
"M-my name is Andrei. I protect the treasure." the man responded, his eyes widening as he said the last sentence.

"We don't care. Where is it?" Tarek pressed.

"Safe."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 02 2017, 10:48 AM
"I have no problem desecrating the body of the living." Marliea suggested to Tarek in a neutral tone.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 02 2017, 10:50 AM
"Be my guest." Tarek gestured at the man.

"You'll not have the treasure!" the man screamed, before turning around and running back into the dark.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 02 2017, 12:40 PM
"Okay then." Marliea stated as she retrieved her torch from Wondu, and began to tread into the darkness.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 02 2017, 05:18 PM
Tarek went along as well, but they quickly seemed to lose track of the crazy hermit in the darkness. As they went along, they came across several side tunnels shooting off from the main one.

"You won't get the treasure. Treasure is mine to guard, MINE!" Andrei's voice echoed through the darkness.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jul 06 2017, 02:38 PM
"Which way did he go?" Wondu asked looking at tunnels.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 11 2017, 07:14 AM
"He could have gone anywhere. I suggest we stay with the main tunnel for now." Tarek replied, "If we get close to the antechamber, I suspect our friend out there will show himself on his own accord."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 15 2017, 07:22 AM
Marliea said nothing at first. She seemed to be listening for something as she felt the sides of the tunnel. After a few moments she looked at Tarek and replied, "He knows these paths; drawing us in would put him at a great advantage, and likely ensure our deaths. We need to lure him out."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 15 2017, 08:01 AM
"Do you have any ideas as to how?" Tarek wondered.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 15 2017, 08:31 AM
"Perhaps a new treasure?" Marliea said slyly as she removed a necklace that had been hidden under her tunic. It appeared to be elongated blue stone enclosed by a metal claw embellishment, which connected it to a chain around her neck. The stone seemed to glow faintly in the tunnel, and once she exposed it, it appeared to hum as well.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 15 2017, 08:38 AM
"Shiny. It might work." Tarek agreed.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 15 2017, 09:00 AM
Marliea scoffed at him and gently removed the stone and set it on the floor of the cave. She backed away, and as she did so the faint hum grew slightly louder, till it could be heard echoing throughout the tunnels. She backed into one of the tunnels, making her only a few feet away from the stone, but still out of site. She then threw her torch farther into the cave so the light wouldn't give away her location.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 15 2017, 09:13 AM
Tarek ushered Wondu backward down the main tunnel a ways.

"Take the torch around the corner and try to shield it with your body." he instructed, while remaining where he was.

Presuming Wondu did as instructed, it would hopefully leave that tunnel in darkness as well.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 15 2017, 06:57 PM
The humming was then at a moderate volume, and did not increase anymore. It was a calm, alluring sound  with warm tones. Marliea drew both her swords, and prepared to kill anything that approached it...
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 15 2017, 08:42 PM
There was silence and stillness for a significant amount of time, before the soft footsteps of the strange man began to sound from the caves... but from which direction wasn't certain.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jul 17 2017, 09:20 AM
"Shh! I hear footsteps." whispered Wondu with his hand holding the handle of his sword, "Prepare yourselves."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 17 2017, 09:25 AM
Wondu's whisper echoed faintly through the cave, causing Tarek to wince slightly. The footsteps abruptly stopped.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 17 2017, 09:33 AM
Marliea braced her back against one of the walls and turned toward the wall opposite her. She bowed her head and closed her eyes.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 17 2017, 10:45 AM
After a long period of silence, a loud sneeze suddenly sounded through the tunnels. And as Marliea would be able to easily detect, it was in the same tunnel she was in, only a few short yards away.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 17 2017, 11:11 AM
Marliea smiled slightly; she held her breath and waited for her victim...
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 17 2017, 11:16 AM
There was silence for a split second longer, before Andrei lunged at Marliea and tried to impale her with a rusty knife. He had only been able to see where she was from her silhouette being outlined by the faint glow of the stone on the opposite side of her. Once she moved, he lost sight, and was relying only on where he'd seen her move to.

//4//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 17 2017, 11:20 AM
She spun and avoided the knife, now being in the dark part of the tunnel. She attempted to knock the knife out of his hand and corner him with her swords; she intended to keep him alive.

//7 on the defense, 7 on the attack//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 17 2017, 11:23 AM
There was the sound of an object hitting the floor as the knife fell out of the madman's hand. But, as there was no corner to corner him in, he immediately took off running toward the light of the stone on the floor.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 17 2017, 11:42 AM
She chased after him and jumped with the hopes of grabbing his back and getting her swords around his neck.

//10//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 17 2017, 11:45 AM
The attempt was successful in knocking him to the floor, and after a struggle, she was able to get a blade in front of his throat.

Tarek had just arrived at the scene at that moment, but sheathed his sword upon seeing it under control.

"Good work." he nodded at Marliea, then began to crouch in front of Andrei.

//6//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 17 2017, 11:50 AM

Marliea motioned to Wondu, assuming he could see her.


"Get over here and guard this...thing."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jul 19 2017, 02:50 PM
Wondu arrived after Marliea called him.

"I'm here!" he patented, "Now what's this...thing you want me to guard? Oh...I see you've caught that man"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 20 2017, 01:48 PM
"Hold him down." Tarek ordered Wondu.

He then looked back at Andrei, grabbed him by the hair, then forcefully lifted his head up so that they made eye contact.

"The treasure, where is it?" Tarek demanded.

"No! I protect the treasure! Treasure is safe! I'll never tel-- uphm!!"

Tarek slammed Andrei's face into the dirt and ground it around for several seconds, before lifting it back up. The crazy man spat out some dirt and tried to grab Tarek's arm with his own frail ones, but Tarek just shoved his face into the dirt again despite the effort.

"Arms on the ground!"

Andrei released Tarek and put his hands on the ground on either side of himself. At this point Tarek raised the man's head again.

"The treasure, is it still in the antechamber?" he snapped.

"N-no-- I mean yes! Yes is still by the grave! Please don't hurt me!" Andrei begged.

As this interrogation was going on, the mist that clung to the ground began to intensify ever-so-slightly.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 02 2017, 04:29 PM
After Wondu arrived Marliea quickly retrieved her stone, put it around her neck, and hid it under her cloak. She didn't seem to care about the interrogation, but as the mist increased she became intrigued. She knelt on the ground, leaned forward, and touched the ground; she closed her eyes, and appeared to be listening for something.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 11 2017, 04:33 PM
There seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary, outside of maybe very distant drips of water or scurrying of rats. Not that she could hear those over the noise Tarek and Andrei were making.

"Let him up." Tarek told Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Aug 12 2017, 12:15 PM
Wondu got himself up and helped Andrei get up too.

"I'm terribly sorry about that Andrei. He's a little antsy looking for stuff." he apologized.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 12 2017, 12:28 PM
"I'm not sorry." Marliea said indifferently as she stood up.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 12 2017, 03:45 PM
"The antechamber." Tarek demanded, drawing his sword and pointing at Andrei's throat, "Lead us to it or you will be one who is sorry."

Andrei squirmed a bit, but nodded nervously as he stepped in front of Tarek to lead he group down the main tunnel. Tarek remained close behind him, sword in hand and hovering just behind the man's back.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 13 2017, 07:42 AM
Marliea sighed and followed.

"This isn't a good plan; I don't trust him." She directed at Andrei, loud enough for any of them to hear. She then looked at Tarek, "I don't trust you either."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 13 2017, 10:03 AM
"I appreciate the confidence." Tarek replied dryly, "You have a better plan?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 13 2017, 06:59 PM
She motioned towards Wondu and replied in an irritated voice,"Let us in on what we're looking for; and maybe, I don't know, why there's a crazy guy living with it?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 13 2017, 07:32 PM
"The item we are here for is just a small chunk of metal to the naked eye. It's full nature is something to be revealed at a later time and in a different place. As for this man..."

Tarek tapped Andrei on the shoulder with his sword.

"I don't know. You can ask him if you'd like, or you can choose not to. I did not expect him or anyone else to be here when we set out on this quest."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 14 2017, 08:18 AM
Marliea, not completely satisfied with the reply, rolled her eyes and followed along reluctantly.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Aug 14 2017, 01:01 PM
"Well in any case whatsoever," Wondu spoke out to both Tarek and Marliea, "We have to trust him for now and lead the way if we can get to the item you're looking for."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 14 2017, 01:31 PM
Tarek nodded slightly, pleased that at least Wondu supported his decision. With that, they headed on down the tunnels once again. The main tunnel eventually dramatically shrunk into a much smaller crawl-space, but that space didn't appear to go too far before it raised up into a large room on the other side. Andrei stopped in front of the crawl-space entrance and pointed down.

"Through there. It is where I found the treasure." he explained while fidgeting with his fingers.

"Wondu, have your snake slip inside first to make sure there are no traps." Tarek said.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Aug 14 2017, 02:09 PM
Wondu agreed. He put his basket to the ground and began to play a tune to the cobra. The cobra slowly raised his head out of the basket. He then played a tune to make the cobra go into the tunnel.

The cobra slithered into the tunnel for quite a ways then stopped for a bit to make sure nothing happens. He proceeded again carefully.

"That snake can sense things very well." Wondu boosted proudly, "I think." 
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 16 2017, 02:42 PM
"Lovely." Marliea sighed as she leaned against one of the walls.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 16 2017, 05:00 PM
The snake found a larger chamber on the other side, this one back to being of stone blocks for walls rather than dirt. There did not appear to be any traps though.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Aug 22 2017, 06:58 PM
The cobra kept sensing in the entire camber incase if there were any traps to pop up. In a few minutes, he slithered to the tunnel end of the camber and made two long hisses to let them know it's safe to proceed.

"I got his message." Wondu told the others, "He's telling us that it is safe to go through this first tunnel. Believe me, I trained him to sense traps in caves and chambers in temples before."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 22 2017, 07:15 PM
"Good. Send the prisoner through after me." Tarek instructed, then got down to the ground and began crawling through the space.

Soon enough he was on the other side. He avoided accidentally stepping on the snake as he stood up, then he called back through the tunnel.

"Send him now."

Andrei glanced nervously at Wondu, then got down to crawl through the hole.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 22 2017, 07:57 PM
"You don't mind if I take the rear?" Marliea asked Wondu, though it sounded more like a command.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Aug 22 2017, 08:00 PM
"Fine with me." agreed Wondu as he crawled into the tunnel.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 23 2017, 05:42 AM
Once Wondu was through, Tarek left Andrei in his charge and began looking around to room for the item he had come for. The walls were stone blocks once again, as was the floor. To one wall was a doorway that led into a dark hallway, probably connecting to the dead end they'd encountered earlier. On the opposite wall was the sarcophagus, with a stone mantle built into the wall that connected to it. Above the head of the coffin itself was a semi-circular hole carved into one of the stone blocks, with ornate carvings surrounding it. It looked like something belonged within, but the hole was empty.

After confirming this was true by adjusting his torch to make sure he hadn't lost anything in the shadows, Tarek turned to face Andrei and drew out his sword.

"The relic, where is it?" he snarled.

"Hidden... safe..." Andrei responded hoarsely.

A mist like what had been present in the dirt tunnels was now covering the floor of the antechamber, thought not as heavily. It had not been there when the group had first emerged in the burial room.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 03 2017, 04:14 PM
Marliea emerged from the tunnel at that point, and looked around the room.

"All the comforts of home." She deadpanned.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 03 2017, 04:32 PM
"The relic." Tarek repeated, now forcing Andrei into a corner.

The mist was growing more and more intense now, enough that Tarek noticed it. He also knew it hadn't been there before.

"You have it."

"The treasure is mine! You can't have it!" Andrei shrieked, now sliding down the wall to the floor as the mist was rising higher around him.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 03 2017, 04:39 PM
"What the devil is going on?" question Wondu looking all over the room where the mist was rising.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 03 2017, 04:51 PM
"No you don't!" She snapped as she grabbed Andrei's collar and lifted him out of the mist, till his feet were dangling above the floor. She waited a moment, then turned her head toward Tarek, "Search him, if you don't mind."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 03 2017, 05:02 PM
Tarek stepped in closer and quickly checked a few of the pouches and pockets on Andrei. The first couple yielded nothing, but as he reached his hand into the third, Andrei struggled and tried to grab at Tarek's hand to stop it. But he was too weak to do anything, and Tarek easily forced his way into the pocket and withdrew an object from within.

He took a moment to check it in the light to ensure it was what he was looking for, revealing it to Marliea and Wondu as a short, gold cylinder, shaped to fit perfectly in the stone hole above the sarcophagus. One of the sides had a glass window, revealing a small piece of metal within. Satisfied, Tarek put it in his own pocket and turned back to Marliea.

"We have no further use for this man. Feel free to kill him."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 03 2017, 05:13 PM
"I rather disagree." nodded Wondu before walking to the tunnel that they just came out, "We should just find our way back out of this temple and that is what I'm about to do. It goes the same thing to you two."

The cobra followed Wondu but stopped because he sensed something.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 03 2017, 05:17 PM
Marliea, ignoring everyone, looked intently at Andrei. "Why did you stay here?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 03 2017, 07:29 PM
"The treasure choose me to protect it!" Andrei wailed.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 21 2017, 11:30 AM
"It chose you to protect it? From what?" Wondu asked.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 21 2017, 01:09 PM
"From anyone that would come to take the treasure away!" Andrei replied.

"The man is clearly just a common thief gone mad for isolation and disease. End his misery so we can be on our way." Tarek growled, growing impatient.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Nov 05 2017, 02:30 PM
Marlia dropped Andrei and walked towards the exit of the room.

"Not worth my time," she replied coolly as she passed Tarek.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Nov 06 2017, 02:29 PM
Seeing that Marliea had no desire to complete the task, and since the madman was good as dead being left in here anyway, Tarek elected to leave him and follow the other two as they made their exit.

"You can't leave! The treasure cannot be taken away by unworthy hands!" Andrei wailed.

"Good thing it's in worthy hands." Tarek shrugged, before crawling under the space leading back to the tunnels they had come from.

Even once the three were back in those damp tunnels, they could hear Andrei wailing insane ramblings behind them, though gradually the underworld labyrinth fell into silence once again.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 04 2018, 03:11 PM
"When do we get paid?" Marliea asked, though it was purely out of boredom.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 04 2018, 04:44 PM
"Once we have returned to town, I will pay you for your services. Then we move on to the next task, if you are not so disinterested by the lack of..." Tarek began to respond as they emerged from the tunnel.

To find a dozen armed men on horses, just waiting for them.

"Aye, ye got it, didn't ye Tarek?" the leader, a scruffy fair-skinned man with missing teeth, "The Commodore figured ye'd pull it off. Now ye just hand over that there piece, and we can all be on our way."

"...or you could entertain yourself with this trash, to tide you over." Tarek concluded.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 11 2018, 02:16 PM
Marliea looked at the men, then at Tarek, then back at the men.

"No, I'm good," she replied as she crossed her arms.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jan 17 2018, 03:31 PM
Wondu looked at the men as well in deep shock.

"Where in the blazes did you all come from?" he asked.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 17 2018, 03:52 PM
"We jus' dropped outta the sky, we did." one of the men laughed at Wondu.

"Well, ye gonna hand it over there, Tarek?" the lead man asked, "Or do I 'ave to take it from ye?"

Tarek sighed, drawing out his sword and staring down the men. Marliea's unwillingness to assist left him doubting her long-term usefulness, though he expected that Wondu would fight if needed.

"Hanigan, I'd suggest returning to the Commodore, tell him we didn't find anything." Tarek stated in response to the gangster.

"Ha ha ha! Ye always were a funny one, that ye were." the man, evidently named Hanigan, laughed, "Right then boys, I guess we gotta be takin' it fr-- GAH!"

Tarek unleashed a blast of water into the lead man, much as Alapo The Blue had done when he possessed the Shard Tarek had taken from him. Hanigan's horse backpedaled, bumping into the two men on either of his flanks behind him. The water also doused those two as well, despite most of it being focused on the central man. This water attack was quickly followed-up by a bolt of lightning, which went through all three men thanks to the physical contact between their horses, and the water acting as a conductive boost for the electric shock.

As those three men and their horses fell to the ground, Tarek quickly turned his attention to his left flank, as Wondu stood to his right. One of the horseman charged immediately, so Tarek side-stepped and slashed at the man's leg, severing it and causing him to lose balance on his saddle. The horse continued on past, taking the wounded man out of Tarek's range for the moment. The next two men exchanged glances, then decided to flank from either side, slowly urging their horses in opposite directions.

Meanwhile, a couple men charged toward Wondu, swords raised to cut him down.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jan 18 2018, 12:10 PM
Wondu immediately picked some rocks and threw them at the men before he dodged out of the way. Then he pulled out his flute and a tune to the cobra. Then the cobra attacked one of the men and made him fell off his horse. Then Wondu draws out his sword and defended himself from the other man before fighting him.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 18 2018, 12:23 PM
The man being attacked by the cobra was quickly poisoned by the snake's bite, and while not dead yet, he would be soon. The man attacking Wondu was still on his horse, and this was attacking from a position of greater height. However, it also made his sword-fighting a little awkward, because he was unable to move around as quickly, since he had to rely on the horse to move.

But while that man had Wondu distracted, a third one began to approach him from behind.

Meanwhile, the two men attempting to flank Tarek were joined by another of them comrades, resulting in him being surrounded from three directions. In response, Tarek fingered the encased piece of metal that had been taken from the tomb. As he did, a thick mist began to form in the air around him, causing the horsemen to hesitate as their view of Tarek was obscured.

The last two men in the group of gangsters were checking their electrocuted boss to see if he was alive, though one of them kept glancing toward Marliea to make sure she wasn't about to attack.

At the same time, there came a noise from behind the mysterious woman, as Andrei stumbled out of the cave and into the light. He hissed in displeasure at the brightness of the desert, which hurt his eyes that were used to the darkness of the tomb. In his hand was clutched a sharp piece of rock, which he probably intended to use as a weapon.

"The treasure must be returned." he said, whilst blindly stumbling further from the cave entrance.

Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jan 18 2018, 07:00 PM
Marliea reached into her cape.

"You should have stayed in the cave," she lamented as she spun around and threw a dagger into his chest. She looked back towards the last two men, and thought for a moment.

"Oh why not," she sighed as she walked towards the men and drew her swords. The man who had been keeping an eye on her stood up, motioned to his partner, and they began to charge at her dramatically. She stopped and rolled her eyes, "Really?"

The first swung left and engaged her left blade as the other tried to lunged his blade toward her chest. She deflected the sword into the ground with an downward swing with the right as she pushed the first attacker to the her left. While the first stumbled backward slightly she looked right and sliced the other's neck with her left sword. As he fell the other gangster regained his footing and charged at Marliea again. She turned around and met the gangster's blade with her two crossed. They were locked for a moment, before Marliea stepped to the left, twisted her right sword, and lodged it into his neck.

"Now what..." She grumbled as she re-sheathed her swords.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jan 18 2018, 08:24 PM
As the third man approached closer to Wondu and the one man he was fighting, Wondu quickly dodged out of the way and made the men crash into each other.

"Think you can do better than that?" he toddled to them.

The cobra finished the other man after biting him with his fangs. Wondu played the same tune again to make the cobra attack the other two men. He slithered towards them, but another rider was charging towards Wondu which made the him turn around and hissed at them which made the horse all wild up.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 19 2018, 05:21 AM
The rider was thrown from his mount, then the horse sprinted off into the desert and away from the snake. The rider fumbled on the ground for a moment, but managed to draw his sword and point it at the cobra to keep it from getting any closer to him.

The other man, since all the other gangsters were attacking Tarek at the moment, thus making this the only other man capable of fighting Wondu, dismounted his horse and stepped away from it.

"Alright, it's just you an' me, lad. Let's see what ye can do in a fair fight." he taunted, before swinging at Wondu's head with his sword.

//11//

***

The cloud of mist had grown increasingly large around Tarek, enough that it three horsemen had to back away so it wouldn't overtake them.

"What is it!?" one of them shouted to his comrades, who he couldn't see anymore thanks to mist blocking his view.

"It's just fog! He be tryin' to hide!" another replied, "Go in thar' and get 'em!"

The first gangster hesitated a moment, then rushed into the mist with his sword raised to strike. But when his horse emerged on the opposite side of the fog, next to where the second horseman was waiting, its rider was gone.

"What happened!?" the third gangster called-out.

"Get inside! Flush 'em out!" the first rider snapped again.

He waited a moment until he heard the other man's horse begin to advance, then he moved his horse in as well, hoping to catch Tarek while he was distracted by the other man. But by the time the gangster reached his companion, all he found was a bloodied corpse on the ground, and a frightened horse standing over him.

"Where did..." he began to ask aloud, before he felt something slide into his lower back, "URK!"

Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jan 24 2018, 04:16 PM
The bandit charged at Wondu and hit him at the top of his shoulder which made him fall to the ground. Luckily, the wound on him was less severe and Wondu got up again and fought back against the bandit.

//9 def//

The cobra moved back away from the rider's sword shortly after the rider drew it. 
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jan 24 2018, 06:28 PM
The gangster attacking Wondu came at him again, attempting to stab his sword right into his chest.

As for the rider who was pointing the sword at the cobra, he slowly got back to his feet and began to advance on the snake, poking at it with his blade.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Feb 08 2018, 04:01 PM
As Wondu continued fighting the gangster, he whistled a tune which made the cobra to jump at the rider and attacked him rapidly.

"I say!" Wondu scowled at the bandit, "What's with you people fighting us just to get that treasure-thing like that?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 09 2018, 04:53 AM
The dismounted rider was ready for this though, and he easily swatted the snake away with the flat-side of his sword. It is fortunate for the cobra that the man didn't use the sharp edge, or there would two halves of a snake on the ground right now. He then raised his sword to slash down upon the serpent, but was suddenly blasted away by a bolt of lightning.

Tarek now emerged from the fog, which soon cleared to reveal the three lifeless corpses of the men who had tried to kill him there. All that remained now was the lone gangster fighting Wondu, but Tarek stood back and just watched, figuring he'd rather see what Wondu was capable of than saving him.

As for that gangster, he attempted to stab Wondu in the chest with his sword.

//7//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Feb 13 2018, 03:15 PM
Luckily, Wondu moved out of the way again, not trying to get himself killed.

//7 def.//

Wondu was getting tired of fighting that last gangster and had no choice, but attempt to stab him back.

//9 atk.//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 13 2018, 03:28 PM
Wondu's attack was a success, as he managed to stab the gangster in the side of the torso. The man tried to keep on his feet and hold his sword to defend himself further, but he stumbled and fell down to one knee. Realizing he wasn't going to win now that all his comrades were dead, he tossed aside his sword and pleaded with Wondu.

"Wait! I... I'm just a hired swordsman, I have no loyalty to those guys! Just let me go and you'll never hear from me again!" he cried, clutching his wounded and bleeding side.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Feb 13 2018, 03:43 PM
"Don't listen him..." Marliea half sang, half shouted, and other half didn't care... as she played around with one of her swords.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Feb 13 2018, 05:13 PM
Wondu looked at the wounded gangster before turning to Marliea and Tarek.

"How would you know that?" he asked to her, "What if he's telling the truth?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Feb 13 2018, 05:15 PM
Marliea laughed, "Does anyone though..."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Feb 13 2018, 07:44 PM
"We have no use for him. Finish him off, Wondu." Tarek stated, now stepping toward the snake charmer.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 11 2018, 03:51 PM
"Now just a minute here, Tarek!" Wondu snapped, "I'm a snake charmer who fights against evil crime, not an executioner! And I don't execute anyone just because they're bad or wounded or..."

While Wondu was explaining, the cobra slithered toward the wounded rider without being seen and suddenly...

>Cobra bite<

...he bit the rider which made Wondu turn around in deep shock. After that happened, the wounded rider was dead.

"You bad snake! I did not order you to kill him, yet!"

"What elsssssse can you do?" the cobra hissed, "He wassssss nearly dead anyway. Ssssssso don't blame me."

"That's no excuse!" Wondu shouted sharply, "Now go to your basket!"

The cobra hissed at Wondu and slithered to his basket.

"(Sigh.) Well, guess you had your wish." Wondu sighed, looking back to Tarek.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 11 2018, 04:15 PM
"You could learn from your snake." Tarek remarked, satisfied that the deed was done, even though he was disappointed in Wondu somewhat.

He looked over the various corpses scattered about, but he had no interest in them. He had what he needed.

"Take what you will from the bodies. I'm done here." Tarek informed them, "We will depart as soon as you both are ready."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 12 2018, 07:10 PM
"I've been ready. It's you two who've been playing around with half dead bodies." Marliea retorted as she left the rock she was sitting on.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 12 2018, 07:27 PM
Wondu eyed on Tarek after his remark which was almost insulting to him. He then went through the dead bodies to collect their stuff that's valuable to him.

"Learn from my snake. Pah!" he mumbled quietly to himself, "Maybe you should learn from your snake. Uh wait a minute. Did I just say that after him? Never mind."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 13 2018, 01:42 PM
And they were off. For the remainder of the day they crossed the desert, heading in a general Southeasterly direction. By nightfall, they had made good progress, but it would still be some time before they were out of the wasteland.

As they huddled around the fire that night, Tarek glanced between his two companions, figuring now was as good a time as any to reveal the context of their endeavors.

"So, I suppose I owe you both an explanation."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 25 2018, 03:21 PM
"No, I'm used to this sort of thing." Marliea deadpanned as she studied the blade of one of her swords.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 25 2018, 03:43 PM
"An explanation, eh?" Wondu stated while smoking his pipe, "Well I don't see why you owe us an explanation since we mainly helped you find some sort of treasure-thingy...what ever those two things are. What is it that you want to explain to us?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 25 2018, 05:37 PM
For a moment, Tarek regretted that he had even bothered to offer an explanation, but he concluded that he would need to provide one eventually if these two stuck with him. So far they had proven useful, even if he found Wondu squeamish and Marliea inattentive.

"These are no mere treasures." he said, placing the most recently recovered object into one of the tiny compartments on his gauntlet, "These are the Shards of Losh."

He fastened the compartment shut, then tested to make sure it was secure.

"Losh is one of the True Gods, not the false deity the Ceruleans would have us all worshiping. Like all the gods, he personifies a part of nature, in his case, the storm. Losh was once a cruel god, and his storms wrought havoc upon the Veridians, my people, when they were still a young race on the Southeast Coast. But the Veridians were strong and devout, and instead of cursing the Storm God, they praised him for testing their resolve, and forcing them to learn to overcome hardship. This moved Losh so much, that he took favor on the Veridians, and bestowed upon them a gift."

Tarek stood up and took a couple steps away from the camp, not ceasing his speech as he did.

"The gift was, for lack of a better term, a fragment of his power. And with this gift, the Veridians built their empire in honor of their patron, Losh. The fragment was passed down from emperor to emperor through the ages, but somewhere along the way it was shattered in to five pieces. The details of how or why have been lost to history, but what is remembered is that from then on the empire began its gradual decline. These shards are those pieces, lost one-by-one over the centuries until only a single piece remained in the hands of the emperor."

A faint mist began to form around him as he turned away from the two and raised his hand in the direction of a nearby cactus. A bolt of lighting fired forth at the poor plant, setting it ablaze, before Tarek sprayed a jet of water out from his hand shortly after, putting out the fire.

"I intend to reunite them all." he concluded.

Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 25 2018, 06:01 PM
"There are no gods," Marliea chuckled as she looked back down at her blade and shook her head, "you're more naive than I thought."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Apr 25 2018, 06:12 PM
But Wondu's eyes were wide open and he didn't puff a smoke out of his pipe after he listened Tarek's story about the Shards of Losh. But right after Tarek finished, Wondu puffed a big cloud of smoke till it sizzled.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 25 2018, 06:41 PM
"Believe what you'd like." Tarek growled in Marliea's direction, "The shards are real, that you cannot deny!"

He returned to the camp and retook his seat by the fire.

"I have spent half my life tracking down the other shards. Now that I know where the all are, I can secure them all before any unwanted parties are any wiser."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Apr 25 2018, 06:51 PM
"You have magical items. Many people do," Marliea corrected as she put her sword down. She then looked up at Tarek and folded her hands, "How is it though, that now, you know where all of them are? You located them, yet postponed recovering them?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Apr 25 2018, 09:01 PM
"There are other interested parties. I needed to make sure that once I started collecting the Shards, I could do it quickly, before any of them figured out what I was up to. The more of the Shards I reunite, the more likely someone is going to catch wind of it." Tarek replied.

He looked out over the desert, as if he knew there was someone out in the distance watching him from afar.

"And that isn't counting people who have a personal interest in me. I may be known as a bounty hunter out here, but I am something else back in my country." the man continued, his tone of voice indicating he was resuming his storytelling, "After the last emperor died, the empire broke apart into smaller principalities, and the final Shard vanished. The emperor's closest male relative, the would-be heir to the throne, became the Archduke of Sovek, the former imperial capital. He and his heirs kept the heart of the former empire safe through the ensuing years, while the lesser dukes oversaw the outlying territories. But without the unified empire or the Shards, Veridia's power waned. Then there was the revolution, twelve years ago, which you probably are aware of. The peasants overthrew the dukes and established a republic, with the Cerulean's help no less. The Veridian Republic is what now rules my homeland, a corrupt puppet government of the crusaders. And they and their Cerulean masters do not like me."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 10 2018, 06:03 PM
"So we're here to help you get the power you need to overthrow a government," Marliea yawned, "I suppose I've done worse things..."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 10 2018, 07:48 PM
"If you have no moral qualms with it, then good." was all Tarek said to that, "If neither of you have any more questions, then I suggest we get some rest. We've got a long ride ahead of us."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 14 2018, 05:44 PM
Wondu looked puzzled after the conversation and Tarek's story about the past and the power of the shards.

"Seeking revenge I see. Hm. Many people who tend to overthrow the republic ended up failing. That's what I heard." he said before he lied down, "It could get worse if some evil demon-weirdo would get shards on his hands. Think you would survive from all that?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 15 2018, 07:17 AM
"Of course I believe I'll survive, and much more that that." Tarek replied, "I can still count on the two of you, I hope?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 15 2018, 06:15 PM
"For as long as I can," Marliea said as she laid down, "but once other endeavors call my name, I will be gone."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 15 2018, 08:40 PM
"And what endeavors are those?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 16 2018, 02:34 PM
"You'll know when they call," Marliea replied as she went to sleep.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 16 2018, 04:02 PM
Several days later...

Days passed as the trio trekked southeast, seeking the great barrier mountains that separated the Cerulean Valley from the rest of Acrylia, though naturally staying on western side to avoid the inhabitants of said valley. But it would be weeks before they even saw those mountains, for they were still deep in the wastelands of Ochre's void...
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 16 2018, 05:02 PM
...when they came upon a body lying in the sand. It appeared to be a male youth, no more than 20 years of age, with blonde hair.

"Hey, have you guys seen my legs?" he asked as he looked up.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 16 2018, 07:51 PM
Tarek didn't answer him, instead he looked around to see if there was any sort of cover that ambushes could be hiding behind. Seeing none, he looked back at the fellow in the sand.

"I'm not in the mood for games, boy. Get up." he finally told the kid.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2018, 10:28 AM
"But...what about my legs?! If I don't have my legs, how can I..." he then looked down at his legs, "Oh! There they are! I knew I left them somewhere!"

He then stood up and and smiled, "Crisis avoided!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 17 2018, 12:58 PM
"How the blazes did you get all the way out here on foot, kid?" Tarek demanded, "I'm not aware of any settlements nearby."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2018, 01:44 PM
"Yeah? Well how the blazes did you guys get all the way out on horses! Wait... no..." he stopped and thought for a moment.

"He's a bit of a shard..." Marliea whispered to Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 17 2018, 02:50 PM
"Looks like a drunken shard if you ask me." replied Wondu looking back at the boy, "But he's too young to be drunk. So he must be a baby shard. I think."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2018, 03:10 PM
"...what?" Marliea asked with a bewildered look.

"Do you guys have any water?" the young man asked.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 17 2018, 03:13 PM
"Naturally. But the real question is whether or not you are worth giving any water." Tarek replied.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2018, 03:16 PM
"Oh... no I was wondering if you needed some," the young man explained as he removed a canteen from a bag on the ground, "I'm still good! But thank you for offering."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 17 2018, 03:35 PM
"What's your name?" Tarek inquired.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2018, 03:38 PM
"The name's Phil. But you can call me Melvyn," he paused for a moment, "Sorry, other way around. My name's Melvyn, but you can call me Phil. Though I guess no one calls me Phil. So just call me Melvyn."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 17 2018, 03:41 PM
"Well, Melvyn, is there a reason you're out here in the middle of the desert?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2018, 03:52 PM
"Probably. But I'm sure your reason is better." he smiled, in anticipation of a story.

Marliea dismounted her horse, and sat in the shade it created.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 17 2018, 03:58 PM
"We're traveling to the Barrier Mountains. Nothing exciting." Tarek shrugged.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2018, 04:00 PM
"Sounds great! I'm in!" he said excitedly.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 17 2018, 04:03 PM
"I didn't say you could come with us..." Tarek scowled.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 17 2018, 04:10 PM
Several days later...

"I've never been to the Barrier Mountains before," Melvyn said excitedly as he walked alongside the horses, "this will be great!"

"Do we have to keep him?" Marliea moaned.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 18 2018, 06:46 AM
"We can tie him up and leave him at the next village." Tarek shook his head in response.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 23 2018, 05:08 PM
"I mean, you could, but where would you guys be without me?" Melvyn said as he sprinted to catch up again.

"Farther along," Marliea replied.
 
"Exactly! And why would you want that?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 23 2018, 05:52 PM
"Because the longer we take, the better chance we have of meeting a gruesome end." Tarek retorted.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 23 2018, 06:15 PM
"...wouldn't that be a worse end?" Melvyn asked, looking a tad bit confused.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 23 2018, 06:22 PM
"Just shut up, kid." Tarek sighed.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 23 2018, 06:28 PM
"Yeah, shut the kid up!" Melvyn snapped at Marliea, "Now, about this tight deadline mission... what exactly are we doing?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 23 2018, 06:41 PM
"That's not your concern. Once we reach the next settlement, we part ways. With you, I mean. We part ways with you. You go one way, we go the other, got it?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 23 2018, 06:51 PM
"Ooh, splitting the team to cover more ground! Great plan!" Melvyn agreed, "Who am I going with, the fat lady or the snake man?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 23 2018, 07:11 PM
"Uh, what he means is," Wondu began to answer, "Us three will continue our journey without you. But tell me, what were you doing in the middle of the dessert all alone?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 23 2018, 07:14 PM
"Wait, without me?" Melvyn looked at Wondu in confusion, "Why would you abandon me, after you came all this way to find me?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 23 2018, 07:19 PM
"Uuh...well um...ask him! He brought it up!" Wondu pointed at Tarek.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 23 2018, 07:54 PM
"We didn't come here to find him!" Tarek snapped, "We're crossing the desert to get to the Barrier Mountains!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 23 2018, 07:57 PM
"But you need me to help you cross the mountains!" Melvyn explained, "You've obviously never been there before!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 23 2018, 08:14 PM
"Oh? And what exactly is it that we need you for?" Tarek scoffed sarcastically.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 23 2018, 08:18 PM
Melvyn scoffed back, "You need a guide. Duh."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 23 2018, 08:24 PM
"A couple of minutes ago you said that you've never been to these mountains before!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 23 2018, 08:29 PM
"I think he was joking." said Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 26 2018, 07:50 AM
"But neither have you, which already gives me more experience!" Melvyn stated confidently.

"I know these mountains." Marliea corrected him.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 26 2018, 09:13 AM
"You were saying?" Tarek glared at Melvyn, "You will need to come up with a better reason if you expect to be allowed to stick around."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 26 2018, 02:33 PM
"No, you'll need to come up with a better reason if you want to stick around!" Melvyn replied.

"Just tell us what you're good at." Marliea asked.

"I'm good with kids! I actually helped my mom deliver a couple of my siblings!"

"Thats...useful."

"I know, I thought it would be."

"Can you fight?"

"I have 9 siblings, of course I can to fight!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 26 2018, 03:52 PM
"Uh, what has that got to do with anything?" Wondu asked with a puzzled look.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 26 2018, 07:26 PM
"Nothing. Which is what this conversation has amounted to. We will deal with this issue later, at the appropriate time." Tarek growled, "Let's not waste any more energy, there's still a lot of desert to cover..."



Weeks later...

The Barrier Mountains were slowly growing the horizon, while the desert of Ochre's Void had given way to savannas and patches of woodland, as the lands of Cerulea and Veridia drew nearer. The three travelers were alone once more, having ditched Melvyn in the last village they stayed at. And by ditched, we mean Tarek and Marliea tied him up in his bed while he slept, then left in the early morning hours before he awoke. Already, the boy had seemingly been forgotten.

"So, you said you knew these mountains." Tarek addressed Marliea, "What do you know of the Silver Mountain?"

Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 26 2018, 07:52 PM
"Nothing very interesting, only the most deadly mountain on the range," she replied as her face began to look peaked, "Very few have been able to climb it, and those who do never return."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 26 2018, 07:54 PM
"Because of the treacherous wind known to blow around the mountain, and only around the mountain." Tarek added, "Curious, is it not?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 27 2018, 07:50 AM
"Nothing in those mountains surprises me anymore," Marliea replied, "Some people have told me it's haunted, other's say it's the home to an old hermit. I don't think it's much more than a simple curse myself."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 27 2018, 08:04 AM
"I believe the hermit legends are true. And I believe that hermit has something that belongs to me." Tarek stated, "And we are going to go get it back."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 27 2018, 09:13 AM
"'Something that belongs to you.' I have no idea what that could be," Marliea said sarcastically, "As for the hermit, I've heard those stories since I was a child. If there ever was one, he is most likely dead by now."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 27 2018, 08:07 PM
"How would you know? Have you ever met any hermits before?" asked Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 27 2018, 08:08 PM
"Just you," Marliea scoffed.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 27 2018, 08:12 PM
"We will find out if the hermit is still alive soon enough." Tarek remarked, "Shouldn't be more than a week's journey to the Silver Mountain from here."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on May 28 2018, 09:02 AM
"You haven't seen the worse of that." retorted Wondu with a slight smile, "My brother traveled almost  three-years to find old artifacts at some abandoned village until he realized he went the wrong way. Because he was reading his map upside down. But anyway, I'm sure we will make it there before we get lost or someone might get us lost."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 28 2018, 12:16 PM
"Fortunately for you, we have no need of a map..."



A week later...

The Silver Mountain was visible long before the three ever reached it. Rising above the rest of the barrier mountains, the pale, windswept summit was largely devoid of snow, unlike the lower peaks around it. It was not deep into the range, fortunately, but they would still need to partially scale at least one other mountain to reach it.

A chilly breeze blew through the foothills as they passed through a dying little village along the road. It would be the last sign of civilization they'd see as they turned off the main highway and crossed the open countryside between them and the mountains.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 28 2018, 12:38 PM
As they were leaving the village, they could hear the sound of hooves behind them.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 28 2018, 12:39 PM
Tarek briefly looked over his shoulder, wanting to check to make sure it wasn't someone coming after them.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 28 2018, 12:42 PM
"Hey guys!" Melvyn called as he and his horse caught up to them, "You would not believe what happened to me a couple nights ago! Somebody tied me up in my bed... isn't that amazing!"

"Yes, kinda wish it would happen again." Marliea grumbled.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 28 2018, 12:44 PM
"Where'd you get that horse?" Tarek asked, after a moment of glaring hatefully at the youth, "You didn't steal it, did you?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 28 2018, 12:49 PM
Melvyn looked down.

"Oh hey, I'm on a horse!"

"Stop fooling around kid, where'd you get it?" Marliea sternly asked.

"You know, for some reason, I feel like you don't like me," Melvyn pondered, "but you're probably not feeling very well, so I won't pay it much mind."

Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 28 2018, 12:59 PM
Tarek just looked over at Marliea.

"We'll deal with him in the mountains." he said to her in a hoarse tone, low enough that Melvyn wouldn't hear.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 30 2018, 05:05 PM
She nodded in approval, and they continued.

***

A few days had passed, and they were beginning to make their way through the barrier mountains. As the mist of one morning filled the air, they reached the crest of one of the smaller mountains. In the gully of the mountains before them lay a small village, with farms sparsely scattered throughout along the few level areas. But as they approached, they could see the village was no longer inhabited, as most the buildings had been burned or ransacked, with various personal belongings scattered on the ground.

Upon entering the village, Marliea dismounted her horse and began to scan the ruins; the color had drained from her face, and her disposition was even more grave than usual.

"Well this is dramatic," Melvyn pondered aloud as he looked around.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 30 2018, 07:14 PM
"Be on your guard." Tarek told the others, "This looks recent enough that whoever did it could still be around."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on May 30 2018, 07:38 PM
"They're gone," Marliea said as she reached down and felt some of the ash, "they don't stick around after they have what they want."

"What is it you guys do again?" Melvyn asked in a confused tone.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on May 30 2018, 07:39 PM
"You know who they are?" Tarek inquired, ignoring Melvyn completely.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 12 2018, 07:31 PM
"Two brothers of the Zivotae clan," Marliea explained, "they're gathering magical items, much like you are."

"You guys are gathering magic items!" Melvyn gasped, "That's so cool; which ones?"

"And now they've taken the Kayezl's stone..." Marliea reflected, paying no attention to Melvyn.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 12 2018, 07:39 PM
"I take it they have followers?" Tarek inquired, looking over the wreckage of the town, "Or do you mean to tell me that two men did all this?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 12 2018, 07:55 PM
"A few stragglers might follow them, but they have powers..." Marliea clinched her fists while staring into the distance, "they already had two of the stones, plus other items filled with dark magic. They've destroyed dozens of our villages, and killed many of our warriors. Now they have three."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 12 2018, 08:12 PM
"If these are your people... why were you in Orche's Void instead of here with them?" Tarek inquired.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 13 2018, 05:05 PM
"The Clans of Valskaena aren't as unified as one might think," Melvyn explained reflectively, "while they all originated from the same family, they are by treaty bound to protect their own tribe and stone without the aid of another clan. Marliea would have been infringing on their territory if she were to aid the Kayezl clan, especially since she failed as Rojavik of her own."

Marliea drew her sword and slashed Melvyn across his leg, causing him to fall from his horse.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 14 2018, 06:41 PM
Tarek raised an eyebrow at the two, Marliea's violent reaction to Melvyn's words seeming to confirm the truth of what had been said.

"It seems you both have a more explaining to do." he remarked, "Most importantly how and why the boy seems to know who you are, Marliea."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jun 14 2018, 07:23 PM
"I wouldn't imagine how she'd know about the rest of the stones." replied Wondu, "Though I agree with you of an explanation."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 15 2018, 07:49 PM
"How would I know that?" Marliea snapped.

"Yeah, how would she know that!" Melvyn agreed.

"Better start talking," she said as she pointed her sword in his face.

"You want me to talk? This is a change..."

"How do you know so much about Valskaenan history?"

"I... read."

"Then how did you know I was the Rojavik? You couldn't have read that!"

"Uh... probably the same way I knew you were pregnant.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 17 2018, 06:46 AM
Tarek narrowed his eyes and looked at Marliea, realizing after a moment that what Melvyn said could very well be true. He hadn't known the woman until within the last few weeks, so he had dismissed several aspects of her appearance and actions as personal quirks, but now they were shed in a different light.

"Is that true?" he asked, wanting to hear it confirmed by her.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 18 2018, 02:32 PM
"You didn't know?" Melvyn gasped in disbelief, "Well, I guess the wyvern's out of the bag..."

"Oh shut up..." Marliea snapped at Melvyn, "There's no rule that states a Rojavik can't have children."

"Or be married..."

"How on earth do you know all this!"

"Know what?"

"That I was married!"

"You have a ring."

"NO. I. DON'T."

"Then how can I know you're married?"

"...Oh just shut up," Marliea turned her attention to Tarek, "So, yes. I'm pregnant."

"You can tell by her short temper," Melvyn explained as he stood up.

At that comment Marliea punched him in the face, sending him falling back to the ground.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 18 2018, 03:26 PM
"And you didn't consider that something I should know?" Tarek glared at her, "I can't afford to be slowed by something like this."

He paused as he considered the glowing stone Marliea had so recently used in the cave to try and lure-out the crazed man trapped there. It also took on a new meaning with the recently revealed information.

"And if those marauding brothers you mentioned catch wind that you are here, I suspect you will be able to afford delay even less than I."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 18 2018, 03:45 PM
"Agreed," Marliea replied as she surveyed the village once more, "Let's go."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jun 18 2018, 04:06 PM
"Hold on a second." called Wondu, "Are you talking about the shards that the Zivotae clan has right now?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 18 2018, 04:11 PM
"Uh, no. The Zivotae clan is collecting the Stones of Valskaena," Melvyn corrected him, "The Shards of Losh are totally different!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Jun 18 2018, 08:16 PM
"Oh. I see." said Wondu, "Wait, Stones of Valskaena? I kind of remember hearing about those stones. Well, my brother that I mentioned to you earlier told me about it six-years ago. Unfortunately I forgot what sort of powers they have."   
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 30 2018, 03:34 PM
"They don't have powers," Marliea replied, somewhat annoyed at his statement. "If they did then anyone could use them. They only help harness the power within a descendant of Valskaena."

"Oh, and it only works for the female descendants!" Melvyn chimed in as he stood up, "Hence, why all the Rojaviks are women!"

Marliea punched him again in the face, sending him back to the ground.

"Can we go now?" She asked Tarek as she mounted her horse.

Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 30 2018, 04:12 PM
"We'll will leave as soon as you're ready."



A couple days later...

Though the trek to the Silver Mountain itself presented few obstacles, the ascent up the peak itself proved far more difficult. The higher they went, the greater the wind became, and the steeper the trails became. Eventually they were forced to tether their horses in a sheltered area and continue on foot. The snow began to get deeper and deeper as they went ever upward, as of yet there was no sign of life.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 30 2018, 08:06 PM
"I think we need to let the pregnant lady rest." Melvyn suggested as he tried to cover his face from the wind with his scarf.

"You know if I punch you from up here the fall will kill you!" Marliea threatened.

Melvyn looked down the mountain, "It's just like Chilly Mountain back home. I don't think it'd hurt much.

"I'll make it hurt!"

"And you're a mother?" Melvyn jabbed, "That's kind of hard to believe you know."

Marliea stopped for a moment trying to catch her breath, "Shut up, will you."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jun 30 2018, 08:13 PM
"She's not a mother yet, kid." Tarek stated, "Regardless, we'll stop and rest beside that tree ahead."

Up ahead was a fairly large pine tree, one of the last on the mountain as the terrain was becoming increasingly inhospitable to plant and animal life.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jun 30 2018, 08:31 PM
"Wow, you've told him nothing." Melvyn said in amazement.

Marliea glared at him.

"Oh come on, it's so obvious! If this were your first, you'd be overly cautious with your activities. Yet you're not as comfortable as a seasoned mother, so I assume this is only your second.Maybe third, but that's pushing it."

"Second." Marliea grumbled after a moment.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 01 2018, 07:56 AM
"So why exactly did you take on this job, again?" Tarek asked Marliea, "It seems you already have plenty of obligations."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 10 2018, 07:03 PM
"My obligation is to keep my family and my people safe. To do that, I cannot be with them." Marliea replied painfully, "I can't help my people, but perhaps I can help yours."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 10 2018, 07:44 PM
"Well, that is appreciated." Tarek nodded, his tone softening a bit, "Perhaps, once we have done what needs to be done, I can return the favor."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 10 2018, 07:57 PM
"Wait... did you guys just say something nice to each other? That's amazing!" Melvyn gasped in amazement as he pulled out a small journal, "I must write this down..."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 10 2018, 08:03 PM
"You can wri--?" Tarek started to look toward Melvyn with a slightly confused expression, before something caught his eye, "Wait, did any of you smell smoke just now?"

He edged out from the cover the tree provided and looked off into the distance, eventually noticing a faint trail of smoke in the sky above.

"There! Looks like our hermit might be alive after all."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Jul 10 2018, 08:08 PM
"That can wait," Melvyn mumbled as he continued writing,"this is much more interesting..."

Marliea stood up and looked where Tarek had spotted the smoke, "That's impossible..."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Jul 11 2018, 09:39 AM
"Evidently not. Something is alive up there. Let's get moving!" Tarek motioned for the others to get up and make ready to follow, his own energy seeming to spike now that his target seemed within reach.

***

They continued upward, the sight of the smoke serving as their guide. The power of the winds grew immense, threatening to hurl them all off the mountains. The party was practically reduced to crawling on their hands and knees, gripping the ground as they slowly advanced.

Then, all at once, there was absolute calm.

When they looked up, they found a rickety shack standing before them. Various oddities and pieces of junk seemed haphazardly strewn around the grounds surrounding the structure, and it was amazing that the wind hadn't blown them away. For that matter, it seemed amazing the wind hadn't blown the shack away.

But then again, the wind was still blowing behind them. They could see clouds of snow particles being blown and whipped about, and trees were still being rocked about further down the mountainside. Yet right here, at this spot, there was total calm.

"He knows how to use it." Tarek stated, drawing out his sword, "Be cautious, we mustn't alert him to ou--"

Just then, the door of the shack flung open and a rather aged elf with long, grey hair tied up into various dreadlocks, braids, knots and and with various charms and trinkets dangling from it, stepped out of the structure.

"Eh? What took ya people so long?" he squawked in a high-pitched, raspy voice, "I've been waiting for ya all since dawn! I've had to reheat the coffee five times already! Young man, put that thing away! There's no need for weapons up here!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 04 2018, 07:59 AM
"I don't think I'm going to like it here..." Marliea grumbled.

"This is so fascinating!" Melvyn admired as he looked around. He then approached the elf and extended his hand, "I'm so very excited to meet you! My name is Phil Melvynson, but you can call me Morry! No wait, that isn't right..."

He thought for a moment before extending his other hand. "Sorry, sometimes I get them mixed up."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 04 2018, 09:18 PM
"Don't get me mixed up, young man!" the elf grumbled, "I don't want to re-do my divinations only to find ya were pulling my leg! Now come in, come in."

Tarek sheathed his sword, but uttered in a hushed tone to Marliea and Wondu.

"This may be a trap, but we will be less vulnerable to his wind powers indoors. Just be prepared."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Aug 07 2018, 03:40 PM
"Well in other case," gasped Wondu trying to keep warm and breath from the cold wind, "we can't stay out here and freeze our skin and bones to death! Not to mention my snake is hibernating! I mean, we'll end up as icicles! BRRRRRRRR!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 07 2018, 04:09 PM
"Oh, you practice divinations? That's awesome!" Melvyn said in excitement,"I've studied them before, but never found anyone very experienced in their use!"

"Can we please just go in..." Marliea grumbled.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 07 2018, 04:16 PM
"Yes yes, please do!" the old elf grumbled in response to Marliea, as he retreated back into his shack.

Tarek shrugged and followed him in, finding the place rickety but somehow relatively warm and protective from the elements. The elf began pouring coffee for the four visitors as they entered, though to be honest, we're not entirely sure where he got a supply of coffee beans this far up a remote mountain.

"Sit, sit." the old fellow urged.

Tarek checked over the creaky chair he was offered, then sat down, though he didn't feel very comfortable about its structural soundness. He was even less comfortable knowing the elf knew they were coming.

"You said you were waiting for us...?"

"Eh? Aye, I did say that. I foretold your arrival years ago and have been watching for it every since. I know what ya carrying there, son, and I ain't fool enough to try and stop ya from what ya came to do." the hermit explained.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 07 2018, 04:29 PM
"You shouldn't drink that." Melvyn whispered to Marliea.

"Oh shut up." She snapped as she began to drink her coffee.

"No, that isn't good for the baby! My mom drank that with one of her kids, and the baby still hasn't gone to sleep!"

"Anyway," Marliea directed to the elf, trying to change the subject, "You said you foretold our coming?"

"Well I'll foretell you one thing!" Melvyn interrupted, "if you keep drinking that coffee, your baby will never go to sleep, and will keep you up for years and years to come!"

Marliea grabbed Melvyn's coffee, threw it in his face, then promptly returned to drinking her own.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 07 2018, 05:14 PM
"Aye, I foretold your coming with this." the elf produced a crystal ball and set it on the table, where it promptly rolled off and fell on the floor, then rolled to the farthest corner of the hut.

Tarek raised an eyebrow.

"It took a while." the elf muttered.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 07 2018, 05:22 PM
"I never knew an orbuculum could have so much personality!" Melvyn admired, "May I examine it? I've never seen a working one before!" 
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 07 2018, 05:40 PM
"Eh, that's fine, knock yerself out sonny." the elf waved Melvyn off.

"You're some sort of soothsayer then?" Tarek tried to the topic back on a more serious note.

"A seeker of forbidden knowledge, be I." the elf nodded, "And thus I have collected a great many lost and forgotten things in my pursuit of that quest. Alas, I am resigned to part with this one, for I have seen no future where I retain it alive."

He lifted his hand, revealing a ring around his finger. In place of a gemstone was a glass casing, in which was contained a tiny fragment of metal. The elf removed the ring and held it between his fingers, then eyed Tarek.

"Tis yers now, as will the last ye seek. But be forewarned... a dark shadow looms over thy future. Of its nature, I cannot be sure, but it is there as sure as yer coming was."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 07 2018, 05:54 PM
"Interesting," Marliea deadpanned as she took another sip of her coffee.

"Hey, I can see myself!" Melvyn said as he looked into the crystal ball, "What does that mean?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 07 2018, 05:56 PM
"'Tis a very important revelation ye've discovered there, sonny." the elf looked at Melvyn, "It means..."

He allowed himself a dramatic pause.

"That ye are a complete idiot."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 07 2018, 06:01 PM
"Very interesting..." Melvyn pondered as he sat down and placed his hands on the crystal ball.

"Wait, there has to be a catch... or a fight... or something." Marliea asked the old man, a little bewildered, "You're not going to just give it to him."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 07 2018, 06:47 PM
"Ya think I should have some manner of puzzle or diabolical scheme, do ya?" the old man turned toward Marliea, "So I thought too, but I sensed it was destiny that the Tarek Izabran should reunite the shards, so I resigned myself to fate."

He held out the ring for Tarek to take, which he did without incident.

"What more can you tell me of my future?" the younger man asked.

"I have divined little of value. Ya future is cloaked in uncertainty, save only the shadow, and one other thing."

"And that is?"

"War, my boy. War. It shall define ya life, as well as those who chose to stand by ya side." the elf hissed, his voice taking on a more sinister edge, "Tread carefully..."

With that he sat back upright and picked up his empty coffee pot.

"Now then, I have nothing more for ya. Be off now!" he cracked as he got up and walked away from the table.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Aug 07 2018, 06:59 PM
"Out to the cold again?" cried Wondu looking outside, "But we just got in! I got cold feet!"

The cobra raised his head out of the basket and looked at Wondu.

"You're a human being. You're sssssssuppossed to have cold feet. It'sss common for human beingsss." he hissed and lowered his head back into the basket.

"Thanks for reminding me." mumbled Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 07 2018, 07:00 PM
Melvyn carefully placed the crystal ball on the table, and then began to write in his notebook.

"That is a wonderful obuculum. You should be very proud." Melvyn complimenting as he rose to his feet.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 07 2018, 07:14 PM
The obuculum just rolled back off the table and onto the floor.

"Yeah, yeah." the elf muttered, "No be goin' now! Leave me in peace!"

Tarek examined the ring until he was satisfied it contained the shard, then stood up from the table. He regarded the old man, who seemed to be more interested in putting away his coffee pot now than anything, then decided it wasn't worth bothering with him further.

"Let's go." he said to his companions.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 07 2018, 07:18 PM
"It was very nice meeting you!" Melvyn waved, "Oh! And your coffee pot will get a hole in it next week, so you might want to find a new one before then!"

Marliea finished her cup before following the others.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Aug 07 2018, 07:44 PM
"Oh dear. I was beginning to like this place. It's better than the snowy mountains." complained Wondu after he got up and walked toward the door.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 08 2018, 07:49 AM
The elf just made some indigent noise as they departed his hut, immediately finding that the pure calm previously surrounding the shack was gone. Instead, there was a steady stream of wind. It was strong, but no unnaturally so.

"I'll see to it that the return trip goes much smoother." Tarek remarked, finding a large rock on the ground.

Crouching over it, he smashed the glass orb on the ring, then plucked the tiny metal shard from the glass fragments. Moments later, it had been secured in his gauntlet, giving him four out of his five objects of interest.

"There is but one more to recover." he informed the others, "Until the most recent crusade, it was in the possession of the Sultan of Corsai. Now it is in the hands of Lord Stephan of Braston, a Cerulean crusader lord. He is now the Cerulean ambassador to the republic in Veridia, hence, our new destination is the capital city of Sovek."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 17 2018, 03:25 PM
"Wonderful, I hear Veridia is beautiful this time of year!"

"Veridia? Beautiful?" Marliea scoffed, "Yeah, you'll love it..."

"Oh, I already know I will." Melvyn replied.

"So how well protected is your ambassador?" Marliea asked Tarek.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 17 2018, 03:32 PM
"He's a Cerulean Lord, they usually have a sizable cohort of guards. He probably even has some knights serving under him too." Tarek replied, "Luckily, one of my family's surviving servants lives in the capital, and he'll be able to give us a better idea of what sort of opposition we're looking at."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 17 2018, 03:34 PM
"You know... we could just call it four and good." Melvyn suggested, "Sometimes it's better to not have the whole set!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 17 2018, 04:12 PM
"I'm sure you would know." Tarek retorted, then looked at the other two, "Are you both still with me?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 18 2018, 05:34 AM
Marliea rolled her eyes, "You don't need to keep asking that."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 18 2018, 06:19 AM
"That will be the last time." Tarek assured her.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 18 2018, 06:29 AM
"You're not kidding..." Melvyn mumbled.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Aug 27 2018, 04:03 PM
"You sure you want to go to Lord Stephan's Kingdom?" asked Wondu with a worried look, "You will be outnumbered if you face his guards. I've heard they're more aggressive after their training. Either way, he will take the stones out of your hands in order to join his. Just saying though."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 27 2018, 04:05 PM
"I'm not worried." Tarek smiled, patting Wondu on the shoulder, "I've got you guys."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 27 2018, 04:23 PM
Some time later...

It took a couple months before the travelers finally reached Sovik, as the roads became progressively worse the closer they got to Veridia. And the weather was even worse than that. Snow fell frequently, but rarely did it stick, as the lukewarm temperatures prevented the ground from freezing over fully.

Upon arriving in the city, they found a large but decaying town, surrounded by tall but crumbling fortifications. Looming high above it all was the old imperial keep. It was a large, square tower that had once been part of a larger palatial complex, but most of the other structures had since been torn down or collapsed. Even so, the palace tower was the most impressive peace of architecture in the entire city, if for nothing else than for its sheer size. As the group passed through the main gate, Tarek pointed out the building, noting he had grown up there as a kid, though it now served as the senate chambers for the Veridian Republic.

But the tower was not their destination, as Tarek instead brought them into the slummier part of town. There, they came to a dirty-looking shop built of stone blocks. By appearance, it was likely one of the older buildings in town, and had seen a lot of uses over the years.

"Here's where we'll be staying for now." Tarek explained, "We'll be keeping the horses around back.

After passing through an alley, they found a rotting stable behind the shop. Here they tied up their mounts, then finally made for the back entrance. At the rear door, Tarek knocked what was obviously some sort of code, then waited. After a few minutes, the door opened, revealing an middle-aged man who, despite the raggedness of his clothes, held himself as though he were a much higher-class citizen.

"Ah, Master Tarek, you've returned!" the man smiled, "It is good to see you again, sire. I see you have brought additional assistance."

"Mostly." Tarek cast a sidelong glance at Melvyn, "Let's get indoors."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Aug 27 2018, 04:44 PM
"Good grief!" gasped Wondu, "I had no idea the town would be like this!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Aug 28 2018, 06:04 PM
"I agree, I think it's quite lovely." Melvyn said as he approached the man at the door and extended his hand, "It is very good to meet you! My name is Mel Philbertson, but you can call me Morrison."

Marliea rolled her eyes as she followed, though a bit slower since she was in the final weeks of her pregnancy.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Aug 29 2018, 10:17 AM
"Yes, erm, it's a pleasure to meet you." the man awkwardly shook Melvyn's hand, then allowed him entry.

Next up was Marliea, whose pregnancy did not escape the attention of the doorman.

"Oh my, is this..." he looked at her belly, then at her eyes, then at Tarek.

"Not. Mine." Tarek answered bluntly.

"Forgive me." the man said to both of them, then went on ahead of Marliea, "This way ma'am, I'll find you a place to sit."

Tarek and Wondu entered last, Tarek having to drag the Alizarian indoors so he would stop gawking at the cityscape.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 04 2018, 03:38 PM
"Forgiveness? You've obviously not met a Valskaenan before..." Melvyn chuckled as he walked into the building.

"Note that you're still alive." Marliea corrected.

Melvyn peeked out the door, "Only because of my greater purpose!" And he ducked back inside.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 04 2018, 04:03 PM
A few minutes later...

The group was assembled in a living room of sorts, which despite the outside appearance of the structure, was surprisingly well-kept and clean, even if it still smelled old. Their host prepared them all hot drinks, then sat down with them.

"Have your men had any luck watching Lord Stephan, Pavel?" Tarek asked the man.

"Well, he's a bit of a right proper sort that Lord Stephan, doesn't indulge himself in food, drink or women outside of Cerulean legality." Pavel responded, watching as Tarek took out a smoke roll and lit it indoors, "Doesn't smoke neither."

"Heh, doesn't have any weaknesses, does he?"

"It wouldn't seem so at first glance... Ah, but it isn't so. We found one. Turns out the the fellow has a soft spot for ratting. Every other week he hops in a carriage with his dogs and heads to one particular establishment in the western quarter." Pavel grinned victoriously.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 04 2018, 04:17 PM
"My younger brother loved ratting," Melvyn lamented, "He'd do it all the time! I could be minding my own business, discussing the logistics of enchanting chilled cream with the Chilly Mountain dwarves, and he'd go and tell mom! Every time! He'll probably turn out bad someday..."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 04 2018, 04:26 PM
"Not that kind of ratting, kid. The kind where you put a dog in a pit with a bunch of field rats and see how many the dog can kill in a set amount of time. It's a wasteful sport, but such a thing has long been common practice among peasant and noble alike." Tarek growled at Melvyn, "Anyway, Pavel, what sort of protection does he bring to this place?"

"Just one knight and a pair of his best guards. He doesn't want too many people knowing about it, see. But, the place is a bit rough, and they don't disallow arms there." Pavel replied, "Still, it's the best chance we've got. The rest of the time he's under much heavier guard, and the Cerulean consulate is a bloody fortress."

"We'll make it work." Tarek nodded.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 04 2018, 04:33 PM
"How do we know he'll have the shard on him?" Marliea asked.

"Oh, he has it." Melvyn answered as he gave Tarek a, 'You're a real jerk and that last tone you gave me didn't sit well...' look.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 04 2018, 04:56 PM
"He knows what it is, and if he knows what it is, he knows never to let it leave his person." Tarek remarked, "But do we know where he keeps it?"

He looked toward Pavel for the answer.

"I'm afraid not, Master Tarek. If he has it, he keeps it well hidden. You'll probably have to force him to tell you." the butler informed him.

"That won't be necessary. I'll know where it is." Tarek noted.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 04 2018, 08:11 PM
"When do we strike?" Marliea asked.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 04 2018, 08:38 PM
"You've got four days to prepare before his next ratting match." Pavel noted, "Though if I may say, ma'am, in your condition it might be best if you remained here regardless."

"If you can keep her here, Pavel." Tarek chuckled, cracking a rare smile as he stood up, "When we do act though, there will be a reaction by the garrison. If you've managed to gain any more allies, you need to get them into town as soon as possible."

"I suppose I should get on that, Master Tarek." the servant nodded, "After I fix beds for you all of course."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 04 2018, 08:55 PM
"Very kind of you Pavel." replied Wondu, "But um, how would you find allies without being spotted, even in this city?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 07 2018, 11:02 AM
"Don't worry about that, my good man. I've lived in this city for years; nobody will think twice if they see me." Pavel grinned, "Now about those beds..."

***

Over the next few days, the exhausted travelers were given a chance to rest up in preparation for their dangerous mission. Pavel left and returned a few times, having made trips to different allies in the city to inform them of the situation, or to direct them to inform others. Word had been sent to out-of-town supporters, but they probably wouldn't arrive for some time.

For now though, the group had to make their move against Lord Stephan. Pavel had secured more local clothing for the mercenaries (and Melvyn) so they wouldn't stand out as much. Come the night of the fourth day, the four set-out for a dreary tavern on the western side of town.

"Are you sure you won't remain here, ma'am?" Pavel begged Marliea, "That baby could come at any time."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 09 2018, 02:10 PM
"I didn't come this far to sit this one out." Marliea replied as she adjusted her new clothing to hide her blades.

"This is a bad idea." Melvyn sighed as he walked next to Pavel, "Will you be coming with? I might need help with the delivery."

"You're not delivering my baby." Marliea snapped.

"Actually I will be." Melvyn corrected her.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 09 2018, 02:37 PM
"I'm afraid I will be staying here. It's best for my anonymity that I am not seen at the site of an incident." Pavel stated, "Which is why I would suggest the lady remain here with me."

"We'll just do this quickly, then." Tarek stated.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 09 2018, 02:43 PM
Melvyn rolled his eyes, "It won't work..."

"Oh shut up." Marliea grumbled as she looked to Tarek, "Let's do this."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 09 2018, 03:34 PM
"Right."

***

A little less than an hour later...

The tavern looked like many of the buildings in the slummy part of town, made of old stones with some wood framing built onto it. A faded wooden sign indicated the place was called "The Drunken Eastporter", though many of the locals wondered why the name needed to be so redundant. In any case, the four arrived before their target, as planned.

"Marliea, the knight that accompanies Lord Stephan will be in the main bar area. Post yourself there and watch him. When the commotion starts, kill him. Wondu, you position yourself near the entrance to the pit and make sure the Lord and his men can't escape. Melvyn, you're with me." Tarek instructed.

As they entered the tavern, they found it a smokey, foul-smelling place, yet while many of the patrons looked like commoners and scum, a handful of people at some of the tables and even at the bar were dressed like political elites or gentry. There some off-duty guards, what looked like a city official, a trio of wealthy merchants sitting a table on the upper level playing cards, and even a high-born lady at the bar. Still, most of the patrons were pretty low-class, and the bouncers were armed with swords and looked like rough customers.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 09 2018, 03:44 PM
"Oh dear." whispered Wondu as he looked the entire room, "This will not be easy the way it looks."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 09 2018, 04:19 PM
Marliea nodded and proceeded to her position while Melvyn followed Tarek.

"This will give us some good bonding time!" Melvyn whispered enthusiastically.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 09 2018, 04:24 PM
"Right..." Tarek trailed-off as he and Melvyn headed into the side room where the fighting pit was.

The room was dimly-lit by only a few old candles and lamps, while at the center was a decently-sized pit dug out of the floor. Nothing was occurring there yet, but a few animal owners already had their entrees present in anticipation.

"We're to play the role of gamblers for now. We'll wager on a few games, then wait until Lord Stephan presents an opening. At that point, I need you to distract his guards so I can get to him." Tarek explained.

He put a hand on Melvyn's shoulder.

"I have complete confidence in you."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 09 2018, 04:28 PM
"Well you should," Melvyn smiled, "my gambling skills are quite magical."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 10 2018, 12:34 PM
"That's not what I me-- you know what, good. I'll let you handle that too." Tarek decided, thought occurring that the kid might not be just boasting about that.

The two of them took position in the pit, as the preliminary amateur rounds began only a few minutes later. The serious gambling was not to be until the serious players arrived, though some were already here. Lord Stephan had not yet arrived...

But did soon enough. It was impossible not to tell he was a man of importance when he entered the establishment. From where she was positioned, Marliea would have been able to spot him first. Stephan was a man in his forties with a full beard and a prototypical noble continuance. With him were a pair of midget Veridian hounds, which were smaller versions of a popular canine that had been selectively bred by the Veridian's for years. In its normal form, a Veridian hound was almost as large as a wolf, and very similar in appearance, owing to the fact that they were mostly of wolf heritage. They were popular for hunting, personal protection and guarding, but the miniature breed was unfortunately popular for more illicit purposes.

Flanking Stephan and his leashed hounds were a pair of guards in chainmail armor, who followed him as he promptly headed for the back room. Trailing behind was a fourth man in plate armor, though his armor was not a full suit, rather being a breastplate and partial arm and leg protection. This individual, evidently the knight, was a bit younger and had a thin mustache and well-combed hair, looking every part the charmer. He naturally sat next to the rogue noblewoman at the bar, with whom he seemed at least somewhat familiar. But after a greeting, he turned around in his stool and faced the bar as a whole, turning his back only to the bartender rather than the rest of the establishment. Despite his ulterior motives, he also appeared to be on the lookout for trouble.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 10 2018, 07:59 PM
Marliea noted his entrance, but was sure not to make her surveillance noticeable. She turned herself so she could watch the knight, but also Melvyn and Tarek. She also ordered a drink to make her presence at the bar seem more natural. Her garb managed to cover her baby bump enough to make it mostly unnoticeable, though it was becoming progressively more noticeable to her...

Melvyn meanwhile, was digging through his bag looking for something. He pulled out his notebook, and began writing down notes.

"I find this practice most interesting," he whispered to Tarek, "It is the perfect example of a practice brought to popularity from the decline of a culture and government! So classic..."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 11 2018, 07:04 AM
Tarek narrowed his eyes at Melvyn, but didn't verbally respond to his statement. Instead he shifted his attention to Lord Stephan, and his dogs and escorts, as they entered the room.

"They're here." he told Melvyn, "Keep your attention on the betting for now though."

***

After a few minutes of chatting with the noble lady, the knight noticed Marliea sitting at the bar, not particularly far from him. After kissing the hand of the noblewoman, he shifted his seat to be closer to the pregnant woman, though he didn't quite notice her baby bump initially.

"You're new here." he remarked, his Cerulean accent quite pronounced, "For what purpose does this fine establishment owe the pleasure of your patronage? Just the drinks, or something more perhaps?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 11 2018, 02:05 PM
"Just the drinks," she replied in her usual charming demeanor.

***
Melvyn nodded as he examined how the bets were being made in the establishment.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 12 2018, 08:34 AM
"I see, well the drinks here are certainly worth it, I will admit." the knight nodded, "But the company here is what really makes the place memorable."

He looked at her a moment, before nodding again.

"You probably think I'm a fool for saying such a thing, but you would be surprised at the people who frequent this place. Yes, most of them are rabble, but as is obvious, there are quite a few of higher standing. And if you look a trifle closer, you can see even more. Like that man over there, enjoying his fifth tankard of mead at the back table. He's the archdeacon at the cathedral, if you can believe it. Or that chap over there, who works in the treasury office." he pointed out a couple different people in the room, then looked back at Marliea, "And then there's you. I can see it in your face, you aren't just some common low-lifer. So, what is your story?"

***

Some of the gamblers were going through a scribe who was writing all the wagers down on a large ledger on a table within view of the pit. There were a few others making bets using smaller parchment fragments, and still others making bets individually with people, one-on-one. But it seemed the ledger was the main betting center.

Lord Stephan had arrived and turned his dogs over to the handlers, who placed them in a holding area to wait for their turn to go in the pit. The matches went quick, barely a couple minutes each, so the professional ratting dogs were soon getting their turns.

Tarek glanced around to make sure Wondu had positioned himself somewhere where he could stop Stephan if the lord managed to slip away from him.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 13 2018, 02:21 PM
Marliea looked at him with a straight face.

"Just the drinks," she replied.

***

Melvyn looked in his notebook, then walked up to the betting table. He proceeded to place a modest bet on the next match.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 13 2018, 02:46 PM
"Oh, I see how it is." the knight chuckled, "Let me assure you, I'm not one to give up so... easily...?"

At that moment, he had glanced down just enough to finally notice enough of Marliea's figure to realize the situation. It wasn't super obvious, but once he saw the roundness being covered up by robes evidently designed to cover up the matter, it clicked in his head.

"Oh... I apologize, I didn't realize." he glance down at her belly again, then back at her face, "I uh... will leave you to your drinks..."

Red-faced in embarrassment, the knight went to return to his previous seat.

***

As it turned out, the next match proved favorable to Melvyn, and his modest bet returned a modest sum. Tarek allowed the young man to continue in that capacity, as exchanged a small bet with one of the roving solo bet-keepers. At the same time though, he kept an eye on Lord Stephan, who was near the pit and awaiting the first of his dogs.

Deciding to take it easy and blend-in, Tarek pulled out a smoke roll and lit it as he pretended to observe the current match. The crowd was rowdy enough that it gave him plenty of cover...
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 13 2018, 03:00 PM
Wondu was already in position that Tarek told him. He was sitting on the floor near the door incase Stephan escapes. He also had his basket ready nearby where the cobra was at as well as having his sword close to him but hidden. He glanced back at Tarek and shook his head once letting him know that he was ready.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 13 2018, 03:15 PM
"He gave up easily..." Marliea chuckled softly as she casually surveyed the room.


***

Melvyn was doing quite well in his betting, having won several more matches after steadily increasing his initial bet. His momentum grew, as did his winnings.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 13 2018, 03:28 PM
But now was time for the big gamble. Lord Stephan was fully focused on the match for his dog, which was about to begin. It seemed like a good time to move-in on him. The main problem was the two guards were flanking their lord on either side of him.

"You're doing good, kid, but I need you to go distract those guards now. Just keep them busy for a couple minutes." Tarek whispered to Melvyn.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 13 2018, 03:36 PM
Melvyn put his winnings and his notebook in his bag, before quickly walking ahead of Tarek and behind the two guards. He simultaneously tapped on their shoulders.

"I'm sorry, I don't want to interrupt," Melvyn began, "Wait a minute, actually I do. Regardless of my intentions, since I have your attention I was wondering if you could help me find something."

Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 13 2018, 03:42 PM
"Ey, look buddy, do we look like we're the sort to help you?" one of the guards asked, as they turned around to face him.

"Aye, go bother someone else." the second retorted.

Tarek immediately began moving in on Stephan, positioning himself close to the pit, and slowly shifting around the perimeter so he could come up alongside the lord while his guards weren't looking.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 13 2018, 03:44 PM
"But there's no one else here!" Melvyn said in desperation, "And if you don't help, then I'll be stuck in this room all alone with no one to help me!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 13 2018, 04:55 PM
"Alone?! Are you crazy, kid? What the heck are you talking about?" the first guard exclaimed, wondering what Melvyn could mean with the room being so crowded.

"Hold on a second, what are you trying to pull." the second guard was instantly suspicious.

Meanwhile, Tarek came up alongside Stephan, finding that the nobleman was remarkably enthralled with his dog as it slaughtered the rats in the pit. With the guards turned away, he had but a few seconds to pull this off.

He suddenly reached out and grabbed the lord's shoulder, sending an electric shock right into the main through his clothing. Stephan gasped in surprise, his eyes going wide as his body went rigid. But before Tarek could remove his hand, he felt a cold, solid substance filter between his hand and the lord's robe. It then began to form over his own hand, preventing him from withdrawing it.

His eyes still wide from the shock, Lord Stephan turned toward Tarek and scowled. There was an anger in his eyes as he spoke.

"Your interrupting my pastime, scum."

Tarek quickly reached up to grab at the ornate clasp connecting the chain on Lord Stephan's cape, managing to grip it but not tear it loose.

"Hey, what--!?" the guards turned around to face the scuffle.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 13 2018, 05:06 PM
"Hey, I'm talking to you!" Melvyn snapped as he grabbed one of the guards by the collar, and attempted to punch him in the face.

//8//
 
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 13 2018, 06:15 PM
The guard took the blow, though it wasn't as effective as it could have been. It still caused him to recoil and and turn his attention back to Melvyn.

"Why you little..." he growled, before lunging forward and trying to grab the younger man by his tunic and wrestle him to the ground.

//6, 9//

Meanwhile, Tarek was trying to rip the lord's clasp free, having detected the presence of the shard in it. But Lord Stephan wouldn't have it, forming a sharp icy blade in his free hand and trying to stab at Tarek's gut. Tarek was forced to release the shard and defend himself.

As the two of them grappling with one another, a mist began rapidly filtering into the room, causing chaos and confusion among the patrons. Pretty soon, more punches were being thrown, and...

***

The sound of an all-out brawl was now filtering into the bar area, causing the knight to get off his stool and put a hand on his sword hilt. After a moment of hesitation, he started trying to force his way though patrons toward the entry to the pit chamber.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 13 2018, 06:22 PM
Melvyn went to the ground quite easily. Once down, he tried to headbutt the guard.

//5, 8//

***

Marliea followed him, fighting her way through the crowd. As soon as she got close enough to the knight she drew a small dagger and attempted to stab it into his back.

//9//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 13 2018, 06:52 PM
The guard managed to pull his head back in-time to avoid the attempt, before winding up to pummel Melvyn with his fist.

"Time for bed, kid!" he taunted, then tried to put Melvyn out-cold with a punch to the face.

//8, 8//

The other guard, ignoring Melvyn, tried to intervene on behalf of his lord by attacking Tarek from behind. Sensing the man was coming up behind him, Tarek released the hand that was holding back Stephan's ice knife and quickly spun out of the way, allowing the momentum of to cause Stephan's blade to strike into the guard's chest. The ice shattered on contact with the chainmail armor, but the force of the blow still stunned the guard for a moment.

***

The knight detected a shallow slash across the side of his arm, as the combination of the people pushing past him and Marliea, and his own armor covering his back, resulted in the blade only nicking him. It did alert him to her presence though, and he quickly whirled around and drew his broadsword.

"I knew you weren't here for the drinks." he winced, though with a self-satisfied smile.

He made a sudden thrust for her upper-chest with his sword, intending to run her right through.

//5//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 18 2018, 03:51 PM
"Night!" Melvyn replied before being knocked out.

//3//

***

Marliea drew her sword and caught his blade with hers, pushing herself close to him.

"Well it definitely wasn't for the company," She scoffed as she attempted to use her free hand, still holding the small dagger, into his side between his armor.

//9, 11//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 20 2018, 05:26 PM
Using the moment of separation, Tarek kicked the guard and sent him flailing into the crowd. Turning back toward Stephan, he found the lord had a real knife in his hand now, which he tried to stab downward into Tarek's shoulder. The lord's arm was intercepted just in time, though now Tarek saw the other guard had finished with Melvin and was about to join the fight.

With his gauntlet arm still frozen and useless, Tarek used the only thing left he could use as a weapon: his head. A sudden forward headbutt to the lord's nose caused Stephan to gasp and see stars. Tarek used those few seconds while Stephan was stunned to force the lord's knife hand down against one of the posts surrounding the pit, jarring the knife loose. Upon hearing the blade clatter to the floor, he released Stephan's arm and threw a snap punch into the lord's throat, causing him to go wide-eyed and gasp for air.

***

The blade managed to penetrate several inches into the knight's side, causing him to grunt in pain. Releasing his sword with his left hand, he grabbed her arm and tried to force it and the knife out of his side, while at the same time trying to force the locked swords down on Marliea.

"You aren't the first assassin I've put down, wench." he growled.

//5, 6//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 20 2018, 05:52 PM
"I'd rather talk to Melvyn!" Marliea grunted as she held her position with the swords, but lost control of the dagger, dropping it onto the floor.

//7, 5//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 20 2018, 06:19 PM
Tarek again grabbed Stephan's clasp, but this time he focused less on pulling it free and more on something else entirely. Rather then try and rip it free, he focused on the fact that the shard itself was within his hand now, forming a sharpened blade of ice upon his knuckles, facing straight toward Stephan's throat.

"Arrogance will always be your nation's greatest weakness." Tarek said through gritted teeth, before stabbing forward quickly and impaling the lord clean through his neck.

***

The knight suddenly stepped back and disengaged his blade from hers, before whipping it around and trying to slash across her midsection.

//10//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 20 2018, 06:30 PM
Without delay Marliea deflected his blow, drew her other sword with her right hand, and swung it toward his neck.

//10, 4//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 20 2018, 06:43 PM
Tarek allowed Stephan to fall away from him, using the ice power from the shard to freeze the chain then shatter it, freeing the clasp. The two guards now cornered him, but seeing their lord dead caused them to hesitate.

"No need to stand on ceremony gentlemen." Tarek remarked, a crackle of electricity rolling up and down his arm, "The party is over..."

***

Or it was in that room, meanwhile, the knight repositioned his sword to block Marliea's, before beginning a series of quick, lower-power attacks to test her defenses and try to cause some minor injuries.

//7, 3//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 20 2018, 06:51 PM
"I thought you said you'd fought before?" Marliea taunted as she easily blocked his attacks. She then attempted to swing one of her swords around, higher than he was swinging.

//9, 4//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 20 2018, 07:17 PM
The knight parried the high strike easily, before abruptly thrusting the pummel of his sword right at Marliea's face, using the leverage and positioning of his sword to enhance the power of the blow.

"Many times."

//11, 12//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 20 2018, 07:23 PM
The blow knocked Marliea down, dazing her while her nose and lip began to bleed.

At that moment Melvyn ran up behind the knight, jumped onto his back, and began to try to strangle him with his arm.

//6, 11//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 20 2018, 07:29 PM
The knight didn't expect that, swinging wildly with his sword over his head trying to hit whomever was on his back, but missing.

"Gack! Get... off... me!!" he choked.

//7//

***

Tarek stepped over the corpses of the guards, finding Melvyn wasn't on the floor where he had last seen him. The room had all but cleared out by now, so he proceeded to the exit to check on Wondu...
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 20 2018, 07:41 PM
Now Wondu the whole time during the battle was sitting the on the floor as Tarek told him to do. But his head was facing down with his eyes closed. (He's not dead readers.) Turns out, he was sleeping. Since he had nothing to do but guard the entrance for Stephan's escape.

The cobra on the other hand looked at Wondu slowly nodded his head sideways and felt annoyed.

"Humanssss." he grumbled. 
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 20 2018, 07:45 PM
"...wait, are you actually expecting me to listen to you?" Melvyn asked as he continued to strangle the knight.

//9//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 20 2018, 07:49 PM
Tarek sighed.

"Wondu, get up! It's time to go."

***

The knight slowly sank to the floor, before going limp in Melvyn's arms. Apparently the man's armor did not allow him to reach back far enough to dislodge the younger man.

//5//
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 20 2018, 07:57 PM
Wondu woke up wildly after he heard Tarek's response.

"I'm up! I'm up!" he startled and got up to his feet, "I was watching! And guarding!"

"I've been." remarked the Cobra and sank into his basket.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 20 2018, 08:01 PM

"Wow, that looked WAY easier in the orbuculum," Melvyn pondered aloud as he walked over to Marliea, "You ready to have that baby?"

"I won't give birth here." Marliea grumbled as Melvyn helped her up.

"Of course not! We're going back to Tarek's house. Right Tarek?" Melvyn called to the other room.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 20 2018, 08:09 PM
"Good job." Tarek blankly replied to Wondu before heading out through the entryway, just in time to hear Melvyn, "It's not my house. Let's go."

He looked away from the two just in time to see two very large men looming over them, one with a huge morningstar and the other with nasty-looking battleaxe. A much smaller man squirmed out from between them.

"Look what you did!" the little weasel of a man wailed, "You chased away all my costumers! You killed people on my property! This disaster will cost me a fortune!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 20 2018, 08:21 PM
"Don't worry, some customers will always come back," Melvyn comforted the man, "Like us! We can come back every week if you'd like!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 21 2018, 05:56 AM
"Oh, of course they will!" the man laughed, "Disaster enhances my establishment's reputation! I'll lose a fortune today, but gain it all back with interest tomorrow! Aha!"

Tarek had his hand on his sword hilt, but didn't draw out the weapon as he listened to the apparent owner of the bar speak.

"Now then, I sent out one of my boys to delay the authorities in getting here on time, so I suggest you lot hit the road so I can give them the old "Oh, I have no idea who they were! It all happened so quick!" shtick, right? Go on, shoo! Shoo! Oh, and do come back!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 21 2018, 06:38 PM
"Thank you! We will!" Melvyn answered happily as he waved at the man and left the building. Marliea rolled her eyes and followed.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 24 2018, 09:38 AM
Tarek paused, before crouching down and electrocuting the unconscious knight to make sure he wouldn't be waking up anytime soon... or ever, in fact. He wasn't sure if he could trust the proprietor to keep their identity a secret, but he'd have to take that risk. The knight had been the greater risk, anyway.

Once outside, they made their way back to Pavel's decrepit shop, using back roads and alleys to avoid attention at first, then switching to normal routes once they were far enough from the crime scene. It was getting cold and the sun was long gone at this time of day, while snow was once again falling freely from above. Upon arrival at their destination, they found it unoccupied, as Pavel was elsewhere visiting with allies, so Tarek unlocked the door himself with a key he possessed, then allowed the others to enter. He then set about setting up a fire, leaving Marliea's issue in the... capable... hands of Melvyn and Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 28 2018, 02:51 PM
"Very good, Tarek!" Melvyn said, "Get a good fire started, we will need it for boiling the water!"

"You don't need boiling water," Marliea sighed.

"No, like I've said before, I've helped deliver several of my siblings! We most definitely need boiling water!"

"What on earth for?!"

"For the mother to throw on the closest available person, naturally. It helps with the nerves."

"Wondu, you can get the water!" Melvyn instructed as he led Marliea into one of the rooms.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 28 2018, 03:09 PM
"Of course. Right away!" assisted Wondu as he head outside with a bucket to get water.

He then returned fifteen minutes later with the bucket full of water. And he poured it into a small pot to heat it up.

"I'm looking forward of having a nice-hot-batttthhhh." the cobra said.

"It's not for you, snake." Wondu replied, "It's for Marliea."

"Hm. Humanssssss. Alwaysss take the fun over usss sssnakessss." the cobra grumbled and lowered his head back into the basket.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 28 2018, 03:22 PM
"Hey Wondu, meet the baby!" Melvyn smiled as he brought a little baby out of the room, "But if you want, I'm sure Marliea will still take that boiling water."

"MELVYNN!" She screamed from the other room.

"You can't name it after me, it's a girl!" Melvyn said back to her, "Sheesh."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 28 2018, 03:45 PM
"Then...what shall I do the hot water?" Wondu asked looking at the pot.

While Marliea was lying on a bed, she suddenly saw Wondu holding the pot of water.

>SPLASH<

He splashed the water at her.

"Congratulations Marliea! You're now a mother!" he cheered, "Sort of."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 28 2018, 03:47 PM
"WOOOOONDUUUU!" Marliea screamed.


In the other room...


"Oh boy, he's dead..." Melvyn pondered.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 28 2018, 03:48 PM
"Yeah, sounds like someone's in hot water..." Tarek remarked as he passed by Melvyn to take a smoke outside.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 28 2018, 03:49 PM
"Maybe he should throw in a towel..." Melvyn added before turning to Tarek, "Hey, you want to hold the baby?"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 28 2018, 03:52 PM
"Eh..." Tarek looked toward the door, then toward the baby, then toward the door, "Fine..."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Sep 28 2018, 03:57 PM
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!" screamed Wondu.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 28 2018, 04:20 PM
A couple days later...

Tarek had called everyone to a meeting around Pavel's wooden dinner table, a once beautiful but sadly decaying piece of furniture. Both the group's leader and his assistant had intermittently come and gone in the days after the death of Lord Stephan, but now they seemed to have everything on the outside arranged as much as they were able to arrange it.

"This is it. This is what it all comes down to." Tarek used a dagger to point at the canvas map spread across the table between them, "The old Palace Tower, the seat of the Republic. Pavel's men have already scouted the tunnels, and it looks like they were merely sealed off after the revolution. They will be our way in."

 
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 28 2018, 04:25 PM
"Why do we need to go to a tower again?" Melvyn asked as he cradled the baby, "If you want a tall building, we have a couple in Westinburg that are nice... and they haven't been ruined by a revolution or anything!"

The baby made a few noises after he said this.

"See? Arlyss agrees! Westinburg it is!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 28 2018, 04:31 PM
"Because controlling the Palace Tower is to control the city of Sovek. The people will rally behind us once we've taken power and deposed the senate. The key is not to alert the garrison in the Cerulean consulate until we have secured the tower." Tarek explained.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Sep 28 2018, 04:37 PM
Melvyn paused, "...So we can't bring the baby?"

Marliea just glared at him.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Sep 28 2018, 07:41 PM
"I can take care of the baby here." Pavel offered, "I won't be much good in a fight and Master Tarek knows the layout of the tower as well as I. But on the other hand, I can say I have experience in taking care of children. It's been a while since I handled a newborn..."

He glanced briefly at Tarek as he said that.

"But I look forward to the challenge again. If you'll permit me of course, ma'am."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Oct 01 2018, 03:21 PM
Marliea quickly took the baby from Melvyn and handed it to Pavel.

"Thank you." She said relieved.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you didn't trust me!" Melvyn laughed... but since he was no longer holding the baby Marliea didn't hesitate in slamming his head against the table.

Marliea nodded to Tarek, "Let's start a revolution."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 02 2018, 07:38 AM
***

Dawn...

The four proceeded through down the dark alleyways and back streets as the sun was just rising on the horizon. There was a chill in the air and a fog looming over the city, making their heavy cloaks seem not out-of-place as they traversed the streets. The guards became more common as they neared the Palace Tower, but they were avoidable.

Finally they arrived in a narrow alley a couple blocks behind the tower, which had the look of a place that hadn't been used in ages. Two men, also cloaked, were waiting for them at what appeared to be sealed-off doorway in the stone wall.

"We've uncovered and restored functionality to the entrances, as requested, sire." one of the men indicated, "The rest of our people will be entering through the south entrance, as soon as the bells ring in the cathedral. We may enter sooner if you will it."

"We can wait for the bell." Tarek indicated.

For several minutes, the cloaked people stood in the lonely stone walkway, shivering in the damp cold that penetrated their clothing and chilled them to the bone. Then finally, the booming gone of the bells in the Cerulean Cathedral echoed across the cityscape, and signalling it was time to move.

The two men forced open the ancient stone door, revealing a set of stairs leading into a dark stone tunnel below. A box containing torches was sitting just inside, at the top of the stairs, having been left there by the men before so it'd be ready for use the day of the mission. After lighting enough torches for everyone, the group proceeded into the catacombs...
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Oct 04 2018, 04:44 PM
"I'm Melvyn, by the way," Melvyn whispered to the two men, "I'm so excited to be here and to meet you all; and at such a pivotal point in your nation's culture!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 04 2018, 04:52 PM
The two men exchanged glances, then looked back at Melvyn.

"Yes indeed, this will be the moment when we restore our glorious nation to it's former... glory! Make Veridia Great Again!" the first agreed.

"What he said." the second shrugged.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Oct 04 2018, 05:05 PM
"I assume the Republic wasn't good to your culture." Wondu stated out to the two men, "Not making any peace treaty to you or anyone else of this land."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 04 2018, 05:24 PM
"Well, we haven't made peace with them either." the first man scoffed, "But it is going to end today."

"Hush, we're nearly there." Tarek hissed back at them.

They had reached a small flight of stairs leading up to another secret entrance. Unfortunately, the mechanism was no longer functional, forcing the group to have to muscle it open. On the opposite side of the entrance was, of all things, the dungeon hallway.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Oct 04 2018, 05:45 PM
"This is awesome!" Melvyn whispered in delight as began writing in his notebook, "My report was boring up until this point, but the ancient remains of your civilization's justice system adds so much depth!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 04 2018, 05:54 PM
"Wait, who is this guy?" one of the men asked Tarek.

"I'll let you know when I figure it out." Tarek responded.

They proceeded through the dungeon, which was apparently used for storage now rather than imprisonment. The wooden door leading out was on the top of another flight of stairs, which was just wide enough for two people to ascend side-by-side. Tarek led the way to the top, but hesitated just behind the door.

"Be ready, they may have guards on the other side." he informed his followers.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Oct 04 2018, 05:59 PM
"Isn't that why I'm here." Marliea said stoically as she slowly drew her swords.

"Yeah, isn't that why she's here?" Melvyn agreed as he backed up.

"You're ruining the moment."

"Well, I saw it was going nowhere."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Oct 04 2018, 06:10 PM
"That's the reason why she's here." replied Wondu with a smile.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 04 2018, 06:20 PM
Tarek nodded, since this was indeed the reason she was here. Wasting no time, he hurled the door open, revealing an open doorway and one surprised guard. The "oof" of a second man being hit by the swinging door indicated there hadn't been only one guard in the hall. Tarek allowed Marliea to strike first enemy, while he rounded the door itself to attack the stunned second one.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Oct 04 2018, 07:22 PM
Marliea lunged toward the man, thrusting her sword into him easily... so easily in fact, that her momentum sent her crashing to the floor.

"That's the reason why she's here?" Melvyn asked as he stepped over her body and began to examine the new room.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 06 2018, 10:05 AM
"Guess so." Tarek shrugged, slamming the door into the face of the other guard again as he tried to stand up.

***

Though he remarked on several things about the tower's interior that had changed since he had left over a decade ago, Tarek was still able to navigate the layout with little trouble. The guards were mostly just Republic-loyal Veridians with basic training, instead of professional Cerulean soldiers like the ones that garrisoned the Cerulean consulate. In addition, the second group had been tasked with sealing the entrances to prevent outside interference, then cutting-off the guard barracks.

Thus, it wasn't until they finally reached the senate chamber, formerly the Imperial throne room, that they finally were presented with any level of challenge. This challenge was in the form of a unit of ten guards, two of them archers and the rest normal guards with spears and short-swords.

"Halt! You shall not breach the chambers of our sacred republic!" the lead guard shrieked with religious fervor.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Oct 18 2018, 06:59 PM
"No, YOU shall not breach the chambers of your sacred republic!" Melvyn shouted back.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 19 2018, 06:05 AM
"Wait... why would we want to breach the chambers...?" the lead guard rubbed his chin.

"Good question. I guess you can ask yourself that when it's been done." Tarek replied, suddenly firing a mixed blast of lightning and wind toward the lead guard, hurling him back into the chamber entrance with enough force to cause the heavy wooden doors to crack slightly.

"S-s-stop them!" the lead guard sputtered, his back broken but his will not.

The rest of the guards, after hesitating a moment, brandished their weapons and went after the remaining people in the strike team.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Oct 19 2018, 06:57 PM
"Think we should retreat?" Wondu asked with a worried look.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 22 2018, 06:04 AM
"Never! This is our one chance for victory! CHAAHAHAAAARGEEEE!!!" the fanatical rebel screamed, raising his sword and charging the guards.

The others followed-suit and the brawl was on.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Oct 22 2018, 06:25 PM
The others... except for Melvyn.

"Don't mind me; I'm only observing." he stated as he leaned against the nearest wall.

Meanwhile, Marliea had moved on from her last "fight" and was busy trying to cut down as many guards as possible. She didn't seem to be as effective as she had in earlier conflicts, though her skills were still superior than her current opponents.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 23 2018, 06:22 AM
Indeed, the guards were were pretty easily defeated, and only one of the rebels suffered significant wounds. After losing half their ranks, the remaining guards dropped their weapons and ran away.

"Come back you cowards! You must defend the senate with your lives!" the fanatical guard leader cried, "FOR THE REPUB---"

Tarek blasted the man again, slamming him right through the door and sending him flailing into the senate chambers. The senators, all seated around a large conference table, rose to their feet upon seeing the door forced open.

"Just stay calm..." one of the senators urged the others, though the rest of the assembly, consisting of about a twenty men, murmured nervously.

"Guard the entrance. Let no one in or out." Tarek told one of the rebels, who nodded.

Leaving them to stand sentinel at the doorway, Tarek ushered Wondu, Marliea and Melvyn to follow him into the senate chamber. There appeared to be no guards left, as they all must have been sent to hold the entrance.

"Tarek Izabran, I should have known you'd be behind this disruption." one of the senators, an overweight man who looked rather wealthy, addressed the intruders.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Oct 23 2018, 04:37 PM
"Hey everyone," Melvyn said as he waved his hand, "I'm Melvyn. I'm here for the drinks."

Marliea glaced at him for a moment, before shrugging it off and resuming to act serious.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Oct 25 2018, 06:38 AM
"Do excuse us for interrupting your meeting." said Wondu, "But I think you took something that belongs to Tarek and the citizens of Veridia."
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 25 2018, 07:34 AM
"On the contrary, what was taken from Tarek and the other dukes was never rightfully theirs." another senator, the apparent chairman, stated, "For too long, the aristocracy extorted their wealth and power from the people. This republic took from them on behalf of the Veridian people, not from the Veridian people!"

"Then explain why this nation starves and decays while you all sit here fat and contented." Tarek growled, "Especially you, Duke Sudja!"

He pointed his sword at the fat senator that had spoken first.

"You betrayed the other dukes, including my father, just to save your own hide from the revolutionaries! Now you sit on a council of murderers as reward for your crime!" Tarek advanced toward the man, placing his sword tip against his throat, "My father trusted you as a friend, but you showed the rabble how to breach the palace defenses! You enabled them to sack the place and kill everyone!"

"It was necessary that Veridia change." Senator Sudja responded defiantly, though there was a touch of fear evident in his face, "Your father and the other dukes could not see that, so I did what I had to. The revolution was going to happen regardless, so I acted to prevent a prolonged civil war that would cost even more lives."

"Tarek..." the chairman cut-in, "There is no reason for further violence. Many regrettable things occurred during the revolution, this we know. Allow us a chance for recompense. The Republic can compensate you for your losses and grant you a position in our government, provided you cease this foolish rebellion and relinquish your claim to nobility."

"Yes, yes. There is no reason to repeat the cycle." Sudja added, scowling as Tarek's blade irritated the skin of his throat.

As the two attempted to talk Tarek down, a dark figure with a crossbow emerged from the shadows on the balcony overlooking the throne room. Raising his crossbow to his shoulder, the figure targeted the back of Tarek's neck and prepared to put an end to this rebellion with one swift stroke.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Oct 25 2018, 03:21 PM
As he raised his crossbow, Marliea saw that movement out of the corner of her eye. She lunged toward Tarek with her right shoulder while drawing her sword with her left hand. As he was pushed out of the way, she spun around 180 degrees counterclockwise sending her sword flying into the balcony and into the figures face, but not before he had released his arrow...

Marliea gasped as she fell to the ground, clutching the arrow that  had pierced her above her armor and into her upper lung.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 25 2018, 04:47 PM
Tarek was frozen in place for a moment as he watched Marliea crumble to the floor, while out of the corner of he saw the crossbowman fall from the balcony and land on the stone floor with a sickening splat. A deathly silence fell over the room as he finally found it in him to move again, dropping to his knee over the fallen woman. He quickly broke-off the shaft of the crossbow bolt, but judging from the angle and how far it had penetrated, he could tell that it would do no good.

"I..."

For once, he was at a loss for words. She had saved his life, at the cost of her own. Unless Melvyn possessed some other piece of surprising knowledge, there was nothing that could be done to save her.

"Thank you." he managed to say, shaking his head slightly.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: DeadJim on Oct 25 2018, 04:59 PM
Marliea smiled slightly and nodded at him. Melvyn, who was unusually quiet, moved closer and knelt on the other side of her.

"She can't stay..." Marliea whispered, "Arlyss, she... can't stay in Acrylia. Her and her brother aren't... they're not safe here."

"I'll take them with me to Westinburg," Melvyn replied, "Noverth is far. The brothers won't venture that far away from the mountains.

Marliea hesitated a moment, but then nodded.
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Shawnex on Oct 25 2018, 05:05 PM
"MARLIEA!" Wondu gasped as ran up to her, "No! Don't go now! Somebody help her! She needs medic! Stay with us!"
Title: Age of Retribution Part III: Shards of Eternity
Post by: Tyler294 on Oct 25 2018, 06:57 PM
Tarek wanted to offer to keep the children in Sovek, but he wasn't going to contradict Marliea's wishes in her last moments. She was satisfied with Melvyn taking them to Westinburg, which was known to be a peaceful and safe place, and Melvyn supposedly had a big family that could provide a better home than anyone here in Veridia could.

"I'll make sure your family has what they need to provide for them." Tarek told Melvyn, before looking down at Marliea, "And I'll make sure your sacrifice is not in vain..."

Silence befell the room once more as Marliea released her final agonizing breath, her body going still seconds later. Tarek placed a finger on each of the woman's eyelids and drew them shut, before wordlessly rising to his feet and turning back to the senators. The self-proclaimed rulers of Veridia shrank in fear, for the look on Tarek's face had changed, and it was the look of man prepared to kill.

"Tarek, wait! That wasn't what it looked like!" the chairman protested.

Tarek drew out his sword.

"I assure you, the Republic will grant you whatever you want!" Sudja cried, "I will give you whatever you want!"

"What I want...?" Tarek began to slowly advance toward the senators, "All ever truly wanted was to see my parents one last time..."

Sudja tried to back away, but the bulk of the senators were standing behind him, and none of them allowed him to slip behind them.

"Can you do that, Duke Boris Sudja, can you bring back my parents? Can you bring back Marliea? Can you bring back the noble families you betrayed? Can you bring back the thousands you've starved?"

This time, Sudja turned around completely, using his girth to barrel through his peers and try to get as much distance between himself and Tarek as possible.

"Tarek, this is a mistake! Don't-- AAAAGGGHHH!!! the chairman tried to protest, but Tarek merely raised his left arm, the one with the gauntlet, and fired a stream of lighting into the man, causing him to fall to his knees, screaming as he was roasted alive.

The death cries of the rest of the senators echoed through stone hall as the ponderous Sudja fled to the only place he could access, the balcony overlooking the city. But as he reached the ledge that jutted out hundreds of feet above the city square, the harsh realization struck him that there was nowhere left to run.

Reluctantly, he turned to face his fate, as Tarek appeared on the balcony as well, sword dripping with blood. The former duke quaked in terror as the son of the friend he had betrayed stalked up to him and raised the tip of his blade so it hovered in the air between Sudja's eyes.

"Tarek..."

"Refer to me by my rightful title, worm!" Tarek snapped.

"Duke Izabran, please! I'll do anything! ANYTHING!"

"Then kneel!"

Sudja quickly lowered himself to his knees, his eyes remaining locked on Tarek's.

"Now..." Tarek placed the hand that bore his gauntlet in front of Sudja's face, removing his sword in the process, "Kiss the hand of your emperor!"

"Emperor?"

"I have reunited the Shards of Losh, you fool! Within my blood flows Imperial lineage! Must I make it any more clear to you?"

"H-hail..." Sudja's lips quivered, "Hail to the emperor!"

He lowed his head and kissed the top of Tarek's hand, an ancient show of respect that kings and emperors had demanded since time immemorial. The humbled man weakly withdrew and looked back up into Tarek's eyes, thinking that perhaps he had earned mercy by his submission. But he did not see the eyes of a merciful monarch, but the hateful glare of a vengeful tyrant.

"S-sire?" he whimpered, finding he could no longer move his legs, realizing only too late that his body had become bone-chillingly cold, "No... MERCY!"

And with that, Boris Sudja was frozen into a block of solid ice, his horrified expression unflinching as Tarek continued to stare him in the eye. With a flick of his wrist, the Emperor of Veridia blasted the frozen senator with a gust of wind, hurling him off the balcony and sending him to shatter into a thousand shards on the street below.

The space between him and the ledge now vacated, Tarek stepped forward to gaze across the city. His city. The one his father ruled over for decades. The one he himself would rule over for decades to come. This place, his childhood home, the seat of an empire lost to the ages, would finally be restored to its rightful place in the world. A republic had died this day, and in its place, an empire had been born.

"Hail to the emperor..."