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 Chapter One: Trial of Towers

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Trance Maxwell
The Legendary Gunslinger
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Name: Trance Maxwell
Race: Dinti: The Adept
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PostSubject: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/5/2008, 11:42

You find yourself standing in front of the largest building in New Haven. A mud covered sign attached to a wooden post displays a carved picture of black boots with the words: Spirits and Rooms found below that. Across the road is a decently sized building displaying the banner ‘Aulgane’s outfitting’. Next to that is the very well maintained nearly to the point of being pointless New Haven Stables. Down from there is a small shop with a picture of a mortar and pestle carved into the very timber of the building. The last building of interest, besides the abundant hay-roofed homes is the archery range. Large and majestic the front doors made of a dark oak with glass windows displaying the name: Divine Mark Archery. A small r within a circle shows itself after the name, for whatever purpose it should hold.


Nightfall is approaching slowly; the sun begins its descent down, just barely above the tree line to the West. It is slightly drizzling, a freezing rain. It’s enough to make you want to get out of the open and into shelter. The sound of a fiddle is heard from nearby, and a few laughs and hoots. The scent of fresh turned dirt and baked bread mixes together and is distinguishable above all others. It is unmistakable; you can tell you’re in Scilsdal.
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Lizarbugon
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Name: Satrokeis
Race: Nagatani: The Charming
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/5/2008, 14:11

Previously having taken lodging at the tavern, Satrokeis stands at a table, not quite waiting for any food or drink but rather just to stay indoors. Though he is not exactly the most inconspicuous person present, he doesn't seem to mind, as he is currently pre-occupied looking out a nearby window.

"...Splendid weather." Satrokeis muttered sarcastically. After a pause, he spoke to a passing employee, simply requesting some water. Though well aware the funds he acquired from providing assistance to some adventurers on their way to this place could more than cover the tavern's most expensive drink, Satrokeis knows it's best not too spend too much so quickly.

The best thing he could do now is hope to wait out the freezing rain outside.
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Downsized Titan
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Name: Murchadh
Race: Nullmina: The Sea Watchers
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/5/2008, 14:18

The sun is setting, but that doesn’t bother Murchadh much. Just under the muddy sign of the black boots, promising spirits and rooms with its silent advertisement, the misty rain slowly began to trickle from his black bandana down his pale-gray face. He makes an exasperated motion with his gloved hands. “We’re here. Gills, fetch us a table. Sorcha, confirm a room for the night.” Both of his companions, young sailors by the looks of them, nod in silent agreement. He watches them enter the establishment, then turns his attention to the rest of the town of New Haven. His stormy-gray eyes scan the local horizons, they flit and fleet over each and every person they come across, his mind’s eye analyzing each of them. With a satisfied grunt, Murchadh ducks into the structure, following his companions. His eyes quickly spot the source of the fiddling heard outside – a quiet smile is passed in appreciation towards the man. He sets himself at the table procured by the young lad known as Gills.

Gills is a tall, gangly Dinti lad with bronze-toned skin from exposure to the sun. About 16 years of age, he is dressed in a typical sailor’s garb -- a linen shirt and cross-stitched pants. A black bandana is tightly wrapped about his head, and many gold baubles hang from his ears. A seemingly-too-large-for-him-to-handle cutlass is sheathed at his side. Gills is soaked from head to toe – quite the feat in only a misty sort of rain.

“How did you manage to get yourself so acquainted with the rain, Gills,” Murchadh asks, a mocking tone to his voice.

Gills takes a moment to respond, his eyes flashing, his wit sharpening. “Weeeeell Cap’n, I reckon it’s ‘cause I’m nae nearly as slippery as yaeself.”

“Slippery, you say? Oh come now, Gills, you insult me.”Comes the mocking reply, the stormy-gray eyes mock-flashing with dangerous undertones.

“Nae, Cap’n. I jus’ figger that yae be so slippery o’ mind, body, an’ soul, thae sea 'erself cannae touch yae, much less a wee bit o’ rain.”

Murchadh grins, and Gills does as well. The older man is apparently friendly with his younger sailor. “Well, I suppose if you put it that way, then yes. I am quite slippery…” He trails off, his eyes scanning the room. . . aha. . . “Wench!” He calls out to a barmaid within close proximity, “I must sample your rum, let’s have a bottle of it, if you please.” The word almost hissed from his lips, playfully so, albeit flirtatious is probably the better word. As an afterthought, he adds “Oh. . . and a cup of water.” Gills nods in silent agreement with a smile. They both know Sorcha doesn’t partake of the sweet alcohol.

Sorcha returns from a rather lengthy discussion with the innkeeper. Sorcha looks different than Gills -- but when one looks close enough, one would note that they are related somehow, one could guess that they are brother and sister, very much the same age. Sorcha's pale, freckled skin is modestly exposed, adorned much like Gills in a typical sailor’s garb, albeit a leather vestment compliments her developing bust line just enough to catch a man's eye. Instead of a black bandana, her brilliant red locks are held back by the means of an elaborate black, lacy ribbon. Perhaps the most interesting thing about her is the strange instrument of sorts she carries at her side. It consists of a leather bag, a flute-like reed protruding from the bottom of the bag with seven keys, a reed with which to blow into the bag, and three highly-polished wooden pipes that jut forth from the top of the bag, seemingly with no purpose at all. She's proud to show off this instrument known only as "The Bagpipes." She is mostly dry now, much more so than her brother. A flustered expression resides upon her delicate face.

“I swear. . . if thae men on thae ship can keep their eyes off me bosom, than yae’d think ae landlubberin’ innkeep could do thae same.”

Gills looks to her “Wan’ me tae do somethin’ about it, Sorcha?”

She shakes her head, a coy look accompanied by a knowing smile replaces her flustered expression, “No, yea cannae blame a man . . . fer wantin’ what ee cannae have.”

The three chuckle to themselves, partaking of their rum and water, and continue to discuss in hushed tones.

Murchadh looks up every now and then to assess the room, his stormy-gray eyes oftentimes fall upon the barmaid, however homely she may appear . . but they search perhaps beyond that, looking upon each patron individually, mentally cataloging them. He is here for a purpose after all, so far away from his ship, and so near the dreaded Bristonia. . .

As the night wanders onward, Sorcha and Gills both take their leave of their captain, heading upstairs for some much needed rest. The captain sees them off with a charismatic smile, but as soon as they are gone, a dark, brooding cloud seemingly sets itself over his head. . . His hands clasp a whalebone pipe from within his leather vestments. Smoke soon begins to wreathe about his head, his thoughts dark and brooding, plotting. . . even the curves of a barwench are not enough to pull him from his sudden mood. . . he sits, smoking, drinking . . . and will continue to sit for quite a while.
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Rowan
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/5/2008, 14:58

Moira looked out at the drizzling night with a barely audible sigh. Rain was to be expected at this time of year, but she did wish that it wasn't so bone chilling. She said her goodnights to the group of people sitting around the small cottage's fireplace-old friends, they were, who's son had taken sick. The boy was on the road to recovery, but Moira would stay in New Haven a few more days in case she was needed. She had taken lodgings at the inn, reluctant to strain her friend's resources.

She dodged across the muddy street, through a side road, sticking to shop awnings wherever she could, until she finally burst through the door to the inn. She was soaked almost clear through, her auburn hair clinging in unruly tendrils to her neck and forehead. Moira stretched out her wings and with a brisk motion, shook the water off them. She made her way to the fireplace, smiled as one of the young farmer's sons blushingly offered her his seat, swung her fiddle case off her back, and hung her cloak up to dry.

"Something I can get you, Rowan?"

Moira smiled again at the barmaid's use of her childhood nickname. The girl was a cousin on her mother's side. "A hot tea, please, Aine."

"Right up..."

Aine was as good as her word. Moira relaxed into the warmth and sound of the inn, and passed the time by examining the patrons. The inn had gotten busy, likely because of the foul weather, and there was the usual mishmash of Dinti, Airetaim, a few Nullmina, and surprisingly, a Nagatani. The fiddler nodded at her, and she nodded back; some nights they would play duets, but not tonight. Moira was bone-weary and reluctant to stir any farther from her chair than she had to.

At least until she was dry again...

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CURSE the Mongi and their love for baked goods! They STOLE my cookie!! I...am chocolate chipless...
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Malcove Dredth
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/5/2008, 15:25

It was just starting to get dark as Malcove entered the town, but he was determined to make it here tonight. He made his way down the street that was beginning to get muddy until he found himself at the tavern & inn of New Haven. He stepped inside and quickly shook himself off a bit, drying himself off as much as possible for the time being. He took a look around at those present at the inn tonight, it was a decent crowd for this time of year. He then looked toward the small stage, only a fiddle-player there tonight. "No one singing this time," he quietly said to himself, smiling.

He then walked over to the innkeeper and got his room for the night. Turning around, he surveyed the tavern again. After a moment, he went to the bar and found a stool. Malcove ordered a brandy from the barkeep, and after receiving it he began to sip at his drink while enjoying the fiddler's music.

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Until Next Time! ^_^

So you're telling me I went to the Nexus, fought a demi-god, had my prototype armor and weapons destroyed, and on top of it all I DIED... and all I got was this lousy t-shirt?
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Name: Murchadh
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/6/2008, 06:21

Murchadh continues to brood silently to himself, seemingly dead to the world as the sweet-smelling smoke puffs quietly from his whalebone pipe. The barmaids had all but left him alone at this point, and perhaps one or two of them were a trifle disappointed that the flirtatious, stylishly dressed man had all but walled himself in his thoughts.

But then the lone-fiddler, after taking a bow upon his lonely stage from his previous song, begins to play a. . . strange and melancholy, though inspirational sort of tune. Murchadh snorted smoke from his gills – something that must have hurt, for his stormy eyes begin to water and turn red for a moment’s turn. They focus intently on the fiddler – who was not indeed fiddling, but merely playing the song. No words were being sung, and that, somehow, prompts Murchadh to stand. He seemingly glides to the stage, his whalebone pipe and mug of rum left by their lonesome, forgotten, upon his table.

”Stop.” His voice is hushed, intrigued even. The lone-fiddler frowns at the interruption, looks upon the strangely dressed man, immediately recognizing him for what he was – a sailor at best, a pirate at worst. Before he could speak, the sailor (Pirate!) begins, ”That is truly a beautiful song. . . but you must accompany it with the verses for it to be right, my good fiddling friend.” Murchadh held the fiddler’s gaze, not looking around to see how his interruption might be taken by his fellow patrons. ”Allow me to sing the verses, please, forgive the interruption, play, play again.” His voice is alluring, his tone nigh-pleading. One may be reminded of a very . . . charming . . . snake.

The lone-fiddler, while he was distracted for the moment by the strange man and his strange request, burst into a smile. Sure! Comes the silent, nodded response, no words need be spoken. He lifts the lovely instrument to his chin, his bow at the ready. . . and he begins to play. Murchadh takes the lead . . .

<refrain:>Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird onna wing.
Onward! The sailors cry…
Carry the lad, that’s born to be King. . .
O’er the sea. . . to Skye.</refrain>

Tho’ the waves leap,
Soft shall ye sleep.
Ocean’s a royal bed.
Rock’d in the deep,
Flora will keep,
Watch, by your weary head.

<refrain>

Exile and death,
Sword and flesh,
Thunder clouds rend the air.
Baffled our foes,
Stand by the shore,
Follow they will not dare.

<refrain>


He completes the song – his haunting tenor voice trailing off on the last word of Skye – some ancient and forgotten isle of myth, to be sure. His voice, sweet and enchanting, holds true to his Nullminan heritage. Anyone who figured Murchadh for a Dinti would most assuredly be wrong.

However, several children, their eyes are glazed over, and apparently unable to speak for a few moments after the song is completed – whether it is any cause for concern is up to their parents or not. . . Murchadh would not premise to care. . . He loves that song – a song passed onto him from a sailor . . . a song about times of old. . . of spite. . . of a sort of rebellious nature towards a certain nautical nation. More than one patron feels themselves cursing those empires that are too powerful. . . perhaps even a nation almost literally right next door. . .

Strange. . . how things like that occur when a Nullminan sings. . . the sailor’s shoulders sagged a bit, he was tired from the effort. . . A curt nod is given to the lone-fiddler, but no other acknowledgement is given to any other patron as Murchadh returns to his table. He ignored the claps, he ignored the fluttering eyelashes of the barmaids. His song had been sung, his subtle message of spite still hung in the air – but his rum and pipe had been neglected too long. . . He picks them up, partaking in a sailor’s vices once more. . . although a strange, knowing smile spreads across his lips.
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Trance Maxwell
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/6/2008, 07:26

The silver moon made its presence known in the sky. Despite the shadowy overcast of cloud and rain it shined through. To the despair of many a patron who wished to head home the weather trudged on, a slight breeze setting in to give the rain some company. Yet a few were more than eager to return to their bedsides and so they set a few Cren down and made their way out into the night.

The barmaids collected the payments, and took to the dishes. The innkeeper made his way around the tavern, lighting a few extra candles and putting a few more logs on the hearth that was starting to plume smoke but not much else. The fiddler continued on, playing his rhapsodic melodies. Not much to be expected this time of year. Not much at all, that was until the high pitched noises were heard.

They were distant at first, nothing but a vague echo coming from outside in the slopping mud. But then suddenly the front doors burst open with force and a man with a look of stark fear followed in with them. His eyes darted around the room with speed as his mouth opened wide…

‘The Town is under attac-‘ his voice was cut short by the piercing edge of a small three pronged fork projecting into the back of his neck. It seemed to have been thrown from outside. Then the rising stench of wet fur was on the wind. Not more than a second later, as his body collapsed to the ground a creature jumped onto the man’s back and retrieved the three pronged fork, twirling it around in both its petite front paws.

The creature was small, standing no more than two feet tall weighing probably less than a sack of horse feed. Its fur was a rich red, a strip of white on its belly. It stood on its hind legs, a long face and small rounded ears showed a look of wholly discontent. The creature’s movements were fluid, graceful, but most of all rapid. It took most of your concentration just to be able to see its next move. Which was to remove itself from the now probably dead man’s back and lunge forward, bringing the three pronged fork up, holding it much like a javelin, posed to strike once again.

‘Mongi? Why are they attacking the town?’ questioned the bartender. Apparently his question would go unanswered as the now named little ‘mongi’ chucked his fork at the man, catching him square between the eyes. It would seem there was now a job opening available at the Dusty Boots. The furry thing giggled once, twice, and suddenly the doorway was teeming with these ‘mongi’. Teeming with what was probably a dozen or so.
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Lizarbugon
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/6/2008, 13:11

Quick to react, Satrokeis instinctively reached for his hunting blade, quickly reminded by its lack of presence that he had left both that and his knife back in his room, as he was quite sure they would not be needed. By now, one of the mongi had started to approach the Nagatani. Thinking quickly, Satrokeis grabbed his glass of water and threw it at the small creature, and with a sequential flick of his wrists, held his hands forward, as if holding an invisible pole in front of him.

"Runespear."

The now-aggravated mongi leaped forward, too annoyed from being struck by the glass to notice the large, almost-glowing weapon in its target's hands, not that one would want to stop and examine a deadly looking spear that an enemy had materialized. In one fluid motion, Satrokeis swerved to the side, barely avoiding the furry blur that was the mongi, swiveling around, he reared up as far as the ceiling would allow. The mongi only just started turning around as the Runespear made its deadly descent...
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Rowan
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/6/2008, 13:12

Being a native Scilsdalian, and having had run-ins with the Mongi before, Moira knew the tiny race was acting out of character. They were scavengers, lovers of shiny things, and highly intelligent. They knew that attacking a whole town was next to suicide. But here they were, and Moira knew, they may be pacifistic most of the time, but an angry Mongi was a terrifying thing.

So, without a second thought, she vaulted over her chair and grabbed the two people next to her- her cousin Aine, and the other barmaid, Sheera, who had come to trade stories with her at the end of their shifts- herding them and anyone she could reach into the nearest corner. Many of the Scilsdalians knew what she did, that it would at least slow the little devils if they could have a barricade at their fronts and good solid wall at their backs, so quick as they could, they grabbed tables and chairs and piled it up around them. As soon as everyone in her vicinity was sheltered, Moira rummaged through a small pouch at her waist. With a quick flick of her wrist, a handful of shiny brown seeds that looked rather like peppercorns scattered across the floor.

The Mongi however, were attracted by all the noise and movement. With deranged yelps, they charged toward the barricade. But just before they got there, Moira slapped her right palm on the wood floor and spoke, her voice sharp and hurried, "Talee almaith vortis haa!" Almost instantly, plants erupted from the ground, growing with the speed of a runaway train, weaving itself through the chairs and tables, braiding and tangling over the heads of the patrons behind the barricade. It was a Rosethorn briar bush, a hardy little plant with spikes that could get almost three feet long and were sharp as a dagger. Several Mongi had to skid and jump back to avoid being impaled. In no time, the patrons were caged in by the briars. Her barricade grown, Moira stood and whispered another incantation "Talee almaith stalwarth feir..." and the pendant around her neck began to glow.

Suddenly, they heard the satisfying crack of a blade breaking. The Mongi had rallied quickly, and had been hacking away at the briars, but as soon as Moira gave the incantation, the plant was imbued with the strength and hardness of iron. The little animals howled their fury and swarmed the briar cage, reaching their tiny hands into the small openings where Moira's wall had braided itself thin. She and the others made themselves as small as possible, jabbing daggers and forks, whatever they could reach, through the same openings, hoping that the deranged Mongi would give up, and praying that somebody on the outside could fight...
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/6/2008, 15:18

Murchadh sighs. The commotion dragged him away from his faraway thoughts, from his precious vices of tobacco and alcohol. His eyes watched the commotion for the moment, his form strangely still – for perhaps the sailor-pirate knows that an attacker on the berserk – that is, the fuzzy little denizens of Hell laying siege to the common room – will always be attracted to the first thing that moves – the first thing to catch their frenzied eyes.

His eyes strain to the top of the stairs, and there stand Gills and Sorcha – Gills with a nigh-comical expression of grumpiness, a pleasant dreamer awoken by a sudden nightmare . . . Sorcha is wide awake, her green eyes rapidly assessing the situation. Gills stands with his overly large cutlass in hand – and Sorcha has armed herself with what looks like a broken nightstand’s leg. Murchadh couldn’t help but chuckle inwardly at the girl’s resourcefulness. That’s why he had brought them along, after all.

While Murchadh wasn’t out to save anybody – he was most assuredly out to make a few indebted to himself. A few favors here and there usually meant returned favors later. He motions silently to Gills and Sorcha, whom both begin to whoop and holler.

With a blood curdling screech, five of the Mongi turn their ravenous, frenzied eyes upon the young Dinti sailors. Without so much as a thought, they leave the impervious bramble wall, and storm up the stairs, only realizing too late that Gills and Sorcha possess the high ground. Gills’ overly large sword blocks their path, used much like a shield as they grasp onto it, slash at him with their weapons. Shockingly, Gills is much stronger than he looks, holding two mongi with the flat edge of his cutlass. Sorcha wields her improvised mace with deadly malice – obviously practiced in that sort of brawl one would expect a sailor these days to possess.

Murchadh doesn’t miss a beat. His whalebone hilted kukris are drawn forth with precision speed, his pantaloons swishing together as his swimmer’s legs carry him the short distance to the stairwell in a matter of a moment’s death. A pincer maneuver the Mongi now find themselves in -- caught between a strong lad’s sword arm coupled with the merciless, bludgeoning blows of his sister, and the hack-and-slash fighting style of their Captain, a predator of the open seas. The Mongi didn’t stand a chance. The five furry figures are furiously fell, but not before inflicting a number of scratches on Gills’ face, and a small slice on Sorcha’s forearm. . . Murchadh, surprisingly comes out unscathed. Or perhaps not so surprisingly – he is a captain.

The three advance down the stairs, Murchadh assumes the front with Gills and Sorcha taking up his flank. Murchadh raises his chin towards the remaining Mongi, indignant, mocking, “It’s usually the rowdy sailors that start the raiding, wee beasties. . . but you’re more n’ welcome to try n’ take Murchadh n’ his brawlin’ crew!” Gills and Sorcha echo in unison, “Aye!”
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Malcove Dredth
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/6/2008, 15:59

Upon seeing the bartender fall down dead on the bar, Malcove quickly leaped to his feet and turned to face the Mongi who were swarming into the tavern. Now Malcove had never had to fight Mongi, but he knew enough to know that they were dangerous in numbers. He also knew enough to know that this sort of thing was much out of character for the furry little creatures.

Malcove picked up the barstool he was just seated on and flung it at a group of Mongi headed for him, hoping that the stool might stop a few of them or possibly knock some of them unconscious. He then picked up another barstool and reached behind him to bring out one of his trusty throwing knives. With the Mongi that got past the first barstool coming for him, Malcove held out the stool and braced himself for anything as he wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the Mongi...

_________________
Until Next Time! ^_^

So you're telling me I went to the Nexus, fought a demi-god, had my prototype armor and weapons destroyed, and on top of it all I DIED... and all I got was this lousy t-shirt?
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Trance Maxwell
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/7/2008, 14:42

Perhaps the creatures had not expected such resistance from the townsfolk. Usually you don’t find so many well-armed and well versed in arms men and women in one area unless you are at war. Regardless, they did not turn and run they stood their ground, as one after another took blows and fell, the entire time trying desperately to at least scratch their attackers.

When it would seem to be the end of their attack, another wave of eight or nine would burst through the door charging viciously into the fray. As soon as they would sustain a great deal of damage or see most of their comrades dead only then would they turn and flee, their faces betraying them, showing looks of terror, and surprisingly, fear. Not the kind of fear when you grasp what you’re up against, but more like the panic of not realizing what you are actually doing. Like waking up and realizing that while sleep walking you jumped into a deep chasm. Yet they kept coming in droves, coming to a most certain defeat.

Suddenly something else entered the tavern, something that was neither small, furry, or carrying a three pronged fork. It was a man, standing just slightly over six feet tall, his rich dark brown hair soaked from the rain, falling mostly over his forehead. His clothes were…unique, for anyone that hadn’t at least been to Rioun once or twice. A dark turtle neck shirt and what had become known as the commoner’s pants of the modern era, blue jeans. Adorned over that was a jet black trench coat.

‘Now this is quite the party!’ He said with the tone of a man, who walks into a funeral, and finds a festival instead.

He takes a few steps forward, coming over next to the bar. At first it seems like he’s blocking out the rest of the world, the bombardment of furry creatures that surround him. He stares down at the barstools, which by this point seem to be scattered across the floor. The man places his foot underneath the one closest to him and flips it up, it twirls ever slightly on one leg before he plops himself down.

‘I’ll have a shot of whiskey good sir!’ He gestures to the bartender, but upon seeing the bartender lying face down on the ground acquires a look of discontent. Frowning he reaches over the bar and grabs the closest bottle.

‘Taking a nap I see. A little early for that don’t you think?’ The man goes to take a swig from the bottle but is short as it falls to the bar, the one in the blue bandana had accidentally bumped into the man while trying to fight back a few of the creatures. He stares down at the now seeping all over the counter alcohol, his eyebrow twitches slightly and he stands, turning to the blue bandana wearing man. ‘Little early to be drunk too don’t you –‘ As he goes to finish his phrase he stops short as all he sees is one of the mongi, who had lunged at the bandana wearing fellow coming straight towards his face. Without a moments notice his hand slips down to his waist and back up, a revolver in hand. It spirals around in his palm, as he pistol butts the creature straight in the jaw, sending him flying all the way into the opposing wall, with a satisfying thump.

‘Home Run!’ smiling he turns towards the man who had bumped into him and his eyes lighten, demeanor shifting. ‘Seeker?’ Before the other man can reply two more droves of mongi charge through the door and must be fended off.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/7/2008, 15:57

The arrival of yet more Mongi does not seem to bring any concern to Satrokeis. He looks over to the briar wall, and is contented to see that it doesn't seem to be receiving much attention from the attackers. It was quite fortunate how many combat able individuals were present, as Satrokeis admitted to himself that fending for himself against these numbers would be... irritating. An unnerving thought came up though, as it seemed likely that these Mongi may not just be focusing on raiding this tavern alone. However, being pre-occupied with skewering the approaching creatures made it hard to check on the condition of the town. That, and Satrokeis was none too eager to get pelted by that weather. Even just having the door ajar made it cold enough for the Nagatani's movements to become just a little more sluggish.

Satrokeis began to weave his way over to the briar wall between strikes, ducking away from the enemies and turning potential serious stab wounds to mere scratches. It seems the wall was once again popular to the furry fiends.

"Everyone behind the wall, are you alright?" Satrokeis urgently questioned as he brought his seventh Mongi victim to its end.

It was just now that he had noticed the fear expressed by these creatures. Such an emotion combined with this reckless attack didn't seem to add up, though Satrokeis was not entirely familiar with the Mongi. He found it unlikely that this was a common trait, however.

Nevertheless, the Runespear continued to attack its prey.
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Malcove Dredth
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/7/2008, 16:58

Malcove is taken aback for a moment upon noticing just who is beside him at the bar. He hadn't expected to run into adventure so soon in his journey, much less with swarms of Mongi. Even less did he expect to meet such a familiar face this early in what was going to be a long journey to the north. However, Malcove had already begun to accept that his trek northward into Vellios would very soon be cut short and that a new adventure was about to take form.

But the presence of an oddly dressed man from the past wasn't going to stop those furry things from constantly attacking, so Malcove ran to a table and knocked it down in front of him for cover, bashing and cutting away at any Mongi who dared draw near.

"It seems we have a knack for bumping into each other at the most peculiar of times!" he managed to shout at the newcomer as he stabbed through on of the little devils, flinging its body behind him as he bashed another to the side with his stool. "A little help would be appreciated. I've never known you to back down from a barfight, after all." He smirked at his last comment, even as ten more Mongi charged towards his table, forks in hand and ready to fly...
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/7/2008, 17:41

Moira watched the fight from behind her wall with growing anger. It just wasn't RIGHT, she was sure of that. Even more angering was her helplessness. Moira was Scilsdalian, a fighter by nature, and hiding behind a wall while people fought was getting wearing. She watched as the lone Nagatani fought his way through the tavern; if she didn't know better, she would think he was angling for them...which turned out to be the case.

"Everyone behind the wall, are you alright?"

"Fine," Moira answered grimly. She was examining her creation, trying to find points where the wall had grown thin and she could reshape them. She had to get out, HAD to. Her mind had fallen on something while the fight had gone on. When she was a young healer-in-training, her Uncle Jorah, who was the area's master healer, had taken in a man affected by spell-fever. Dark magics had turned his mind until he was unrecognizable, raving and hallucinating, thinking everyone was his enemy. He had attacked Uncle Jorah, but the Healer had been quick to react, invoking his powerful healing magic in one strong burst, and the man was shocked out of his delirium.

Now, if only she could remember how to do the same...

"Keep the Mongi off the wall!" The Nagatani nodded his agreement and started batting furry bodies off the bramble cage. Moira, with a whispered word, dropped the Ironwood spell, and her pendant went dark. She hacked at the side of the cage with a borrowed dagger, making it just wide enough for her to pass through, and jammed a table in the opening. With the Ironwood spell down, she felt her energy returning, and she could think more clearly. Sticking close to the spear-wielder, she knelt. Earth had always been her element, the one she was most comfortable with. Moira looked deep into her mind's eye, recalling the long hours of the Glyphic language her Uncle had made her learn, and without thinking, her dagger cut the runes on the floor.

Earth...change...become...inside...

"Talee almaith naragh chu!"

Her power sunk deep inside the scuffed wood of the floor, and suddenly she could feel every vibration, every thud and strike in the tavern. Focusing fully on the pitter-patter of Mongi feet, she whispered a quick prayer to her Goddess, Idia, the Lady of Light that she could cleanse the minds of the little creatures, and sent what was left of her magic through the wood and into the Mongi.

Every Mongi in the room stopped as if shell-shocked, and looked around almost in unison, sanity returning to their eyes. And then, with squeals and yips as the patrons continued their attack, they fled out the door and into the night. Suddenly, all was quiet again...

...and Moira, flat out of energy, tumbled over to lay flat-backed on the floor, reveling in the feel of cool earth beneath her, and trying not to black out.
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Malcove Dredth
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/7/2008, 23:18

Just as the slew of Mongi were almost in striking range, they suddenly stopped and appeared to have awoken from their odd state of mind. As all the critters began to race out of the tavern, Malcove let out a sigh of relief. He put his knife away back into his belt, set down his stool, and stood there for a moment surveying the room. The Nagatani and trio of what Malcove thought was safe to assume were pirates seemed to have held their own fairly well. It seemed that all else in the bar were either unfortunate enough not to last against the Mongi attack or were already recovering and patching themselves and each other up.

Malcove picked up his stool, walked slowly over to the bar again, placed his stool beside the trench coat-wearing stranger and sat down. After a long pause, he spoke: "Well, I guess you wouldn't really have come all the way out here to Scilsdal just for the alcohol. Although I'll admit that you never fail to show up for a party." Speaking of the Mongi attack, he doesn't smile at his own remark this time. A slight smile does come over his face with his next question to the stranger. "So, how have you fared since the end of the Dragon Wars, Trance?"
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Trance Maxwell
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/8/2008, 07:34

Trance spun his revolver in his hand several more times before putting the make-shift bludgeon away. His eyes dashed about the room slightly, surveying the damage. He turned and stared at Malcove for a brief moment.

'Apparently you don't know me as well as I thought you did Seeker. I love Scilsdalic Whiskey, and their ale selections...This your party, or someone elses? I have to thank the host. It's impolite not to!' he stretched his hands out in both directions and stood their, his hands cupped pushing up on the air a few times.

He let the second question fall on deaf ears, at least for the time being. He returned his gaze to the tavern.'Everyone alright?' Trance inquired, with a slight smirk, trying to lighten the mood as usual.

He stepped over to the front doors and peered his head outside for a brief second, looking to the left then the right. 'I don't see anymore. From the looks of it the townsfolk are chasing off the last of them right now. Even the old lady is out their with her dough roller!' Trance let out a small chuckle. He closed the doors as he brought his head back into shelter.

The tavern lay in shambles. Overturned stools and tables lay everywhere. Steins and mugs were scattered amongst the floor along with several of the remaining patrons. Other then a few cuts and scratches, the death of the man who had come to warn them, and the probable death of the bartender everyone else made it through. While the innkeeper stared in disbelief and bewilderment at what had become of his business, he was grateful to be alive. So grateful he went around and began to thank those that had fought valiantly, offering them free drinks and food for the whole night. The rest of the locals continued to sit in their minds and try to reason why the Mongi would try such an act. In reality, so was Trance...
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/8/2008, 10:50

With the furries slain, and their furious fellows retreating out of town, Murchadh and his brawling pirate crew stand in the middle of the common room, their weapons and clothes covered in all manner of gore. They had fought viciously, quite accustomed to a fight for survival. Of all the patrons, the three had slain the most Mongi, and a grim tribute to their efforts lies now at their feet. The three had worked as some sort of team -- some sort of combat machine, whose task it was to slay wee, angry beasties. Gills and Sorcha still look starstruck, their chests heaving and billowing for air – but not their captain.

Murchadh begins to light his pipe – sort of an after-slaughter smoke – cool and calm as can be. . . . he was apparently no stranger to chaos. His eyes survey the damage, return to his crew . . . he gives a nod to each of them, a silent well-done. . . His eyes venture over to the bramble wall – he had seen it during the heat of battle – and now saw the cowards removing themselves from the confines of their safehaven. He spit upon the ground, a sudden bad taste in his mouth. . . “Magic users. . .” he hissed, more so to alert his young crew, who became very much so, their eyes widening. . . they had seen and heard the runes, but in the heat of battle, did not seem to recognize them.

Murchadh approached the winged woman, prone as she was upon the ground. Puff, puff billows the little whalebone pipe. . . Murchadh eyes her much as he might a shark, interrupting his pleasant midday swim. He nudges her with his boot, checking to see if she’s still alive… upon seeing her merely winded, he gives a nod. He doesn’t presume to give her a hand up, but looks around, puffing on his pipe. He warily eyes the magic sign on the floor, still smoldering with the last bits of divine power. . . His eyes then find the Nagatani and his magic spear . . . A curt nod was given . . . and then the blue bandana’d one and his strange companion, holding a jolly conversation so soon after their lives were at stake. The tall one… the coward with the guns. . . Murchadh figured him to be as crazy as the backwards day.

He moves to a table, puffing upon his pipe, and motions for Gills and Sorcha to take a seat – and that they do. He calls the innkeeper over, "My good man,” his siren-like voice cuts through the after-slaughter tension like a hot knife through butter, “You will give us food and drink, and something more. As you can see, my companions and I slew most of the creatures that were so misfortunate as to pick tonight to raid your inn. I can hopefully be rest assured. . . that free room and lodging are to be provided… and maybe even a few bits. . . if you could spare them?” All the while, his eyes dangerously played over the innkeeper, a crooked smile stretches across his face. . . and his index finger balances one of the bone-hilted kukris upon the wood of the table. Murchadh was a pirate with a flair for subtle intimidation, for the innkeeper begins to sweat from his brow.

”Y-yes… of c-course,” the plump, once-jolly fellow stammers. He calls a barwench over, her eyes dreamingly lay upon Murchadh for a moment – for decent looks and battle prowess . . . or for his siren’s voice, one couldn’t tell – and she arranged the rooms for them and produced a bag of the oh-so-precious currency. Before the innkeeper handed the money over, he stammers once more, ”Y-you will protect us… i-if they come again?”

Muchadh smiles a wicked smile – he has the innkeeper right where he wants him. ”Why yes, my plump little friend. . . you keep my mates and I happy. . . and we’ll be sure to keep you happy – at least a while longer.” His crewmates marveled at the site of their captain with a grin they knowingly shared. . . they were learning from him, learning how a pirate does things. . . Murchadh accepts the payment, winks at the blushing barmaid, and orders a round for his mates with his newfound cash. “Somethin’ a bit stronger for the boy than rum, lady, if you will. . . he earned it tonight.” Gills flushed red with pride. . . and the three were very much so content for the time being. Murchadh sits, smoking, drinking once more. . . though this time his eyes are focused on four characters. . . those that were the most capable during the skirmish.
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Lizarbugon
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/8/2008, 13:02

Satrokeis took a moment to glance around. The previously appealing establishment was not quite in that condition anymore, but that didn't seem to bother two of the fighters who seemed to be talking casually. Satrokeis thought he caught a momentary glimpse of a firearm being held by one of them, but had heard no gunshots during the skirmish. Before he could think more on the subject, the innkeeper passed by to offer his thanks in free food merchandise. Satrokeis made note to take him up on this offer, just not yet. He had already been treated to a full meal from the adventurers he had accompanied an hour before the attack.

It was after this that the Nullmina that had been in the brawl walked almost warily in this general direction. He regarded the Airetaim on the ground, his response to her current incapacitation seemed more of a formality than anything. When he nodded to Satrokeis, it was returned in kind. With a quite statement the Runespear was unsummoned.

Satrokeis leaned over the exhausted Airetaim, and extended an arm for assistance. Funny how the one that slew the fewest of the Mongi had ended up the most worn down, but with the magnitude of the feat bringing the beasts to their senses, or so he guessed had happened, couldn't have been easy.

"Are you able to stand?" Satrokeis inquired.
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Rowan
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/8/2008, 13:23

"I'm able," Moira hauled herself up with a touch of stiffness, and stretched her wings to full extension with an expression that made her look like an angry hawk. Being prodded by a sailor's boot did nothing to help her mood, nor did the scores of furry little bodies, but with an effort she calmed. With an even bigger will, she halted the bone-shattering glare she wanted to shoot at the Nullmina. She did what she could to help, and it certainly wasn't for the ungratefuls in the room. Moira spared a quick smile for Satrokeis, "Thank you."

And with that, she tipped her head up, and walked with a sure, firm stride that she did not in the least bit feel, toward the door. Keepers only knew what sad state the town was in, and she wanted to help.

It was, after all, the Scilsdalian thing to do.
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Trance Maxwell
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/9/2008, 06:23

As the innkeeper made his way around the bar to start cleaning up the mess, Trance stood and offered a gesture of assistance. Helping him to remove what was left of the bartender, and the other man out of the area. As the two came back in to the tavern and the innkeeper turned to thank Trance he produced a decently sized purse of Cren, probably twice the size of the one the innkeeper had just given to the pirate and handed it to the man.

'Myself and the Seeker here will be all the protection you need. Don't be threatened by fallacy or bad tastes.' Trance glared over at the Nullmina and his two younger companions. 'And if you really feel the need to return the favor all I ask for is a few shots of whiskey and some information about the locals!' He then turned on his heels and took a seat at the bar. Turning around in his seat he saw the Airetaim starting to make her way for the door.

'Fae, I can tell you care greatly for the townsfolk, but after that last stunt you may want to rest it off for a few moments. Please, come and have a drink with us!' he pats the seat next to him with his right palm. He smiles slightly, a discerning look that would make anyone understand he had good intentions.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/9/2008, 10:49

Murchadh doesn’t catch the winged wench’s dangerous looks – and frankly he would care less. He has his money, his room, and board paid for – he is set for the time being. Gills and Sorcha are being taken care of, and they are learning the tricks of the trade – part of the purpose he brought them along on this . . . adventure.

He watches the crazy one with a mildly amused expression. . . and laughs. . . almost cackles. . . upon receiving the glare and the harsh, oh-so-cavalier words clearly directed towards himself and his crew. Murchadh had already mentally categorized the man as weaker than himself – for Murchadh measured strength in the amount slain. . . and the bodies of Mongi being removed from the inn were more than a testament to his own physical power. Sure, people had their tricks. . . their so-called magic. . . but the strength of a man’s arm and the keen of his blade. . . that was all he needed. He knows the innkeeper would trust the brutal display of strength over the man’s simple promise any day . . . any businessman reacts to deeds, not words. But the sheer knowledge that Murchadh had the innkeeper in his pocket wasn’t enough – this crazy one, he had mocked Murchadh. . . .And Murchadh finds himself in a. . .playful mood.

“Oh come now, who sat there, so calm and oblivious to the chaos surrounding himself? What sort of chivalrous hero are you that strides in like a Prize Cock, fends off but a few beasts, even partaking in whiskey over the corpse of a dead man during the initial fray?” Murchadh’s tone was mocking, a crooked smile on his lips. He talked down to this man. . . It was not a hostile tone by any means, as one may have expected, but instead a sort of playful teasing, from one warrior to another. . . If one thought about it enough, Murchadh sounded intrigued. . . because crazy people are interesting. Their quirks make them unpredictable – much like the changing seas and winds – much like any Nullminan. And he likes that. . . .Or maybe the redness in his cheeks and the mug of rum in hand told of a different reason. . .

“But since you are competing here in my new. . . protection business. . . I must call you out, Sir!” Murchadh stands, his smoke billowing about his head. . . Sorcha and Gills possess confused expressions which wrote their thoughts upon their young faces. . . Was this another lesson? Their Captain, Gods save him, was sometimes . . . unpredictable himself.

Muchadh motions for them to follow, to bring their victuals along with them. . . he moves to Trance’s proximity with the blue-bandana’d one. . . and pulls up a stool. “Invite the fae to your table, but not Murchadh and his crew? I take offense, sir!” He chuckles darkly, his eyes dangerously playing over them. “She should sit with us, as should the Nagatani. . . For we are the saviors of these good people tonight. Let us not brag too much in haste. . . the Gods have a funny way of smiting the . . . ah. . . wicked.” Murchadh dramatically waved over to the fellow warriors, even if they are magic users… His whole tone during this time was playful, his voice loud and boisterous, overly dramatic.

Murchadh, once seated, invited or not along with his crew, looks Trance dead in the eye, suddenly becoming quite serious. “But I am a traveler, as you can tell. I am not interested in exploiting an innkeeper, I am not interested in being a hero like yourself. I am interested as to why a bunch of Mongi suddenly decided to attack a town. . . Perhaps you, oh Sir Knight, may know why. . .” His voice once again had taken on a Nullminan sweetness, one of promised trust, and most assuredly charming. . .

Gills was still oblivious – drowning himself as he was in the strongest malt whiskey -- but his sister caught on. Sorcha smiled at her captain – at his savvy and cunning. Murchadh had told her once, and she had never forgotten. . . “Wench,” he had said, “Keep your friends close. . . but your potential enemies and true enemies closer. . .” This was their lesson now, and she leans forward with interest. She knows Murchadh means them no harm, but this is most assuredly a way to get to know the powerful ones in the town -- the strong ones. It was the strong ones you had to keep close -- to either make them allies. . . or what have you. Poor Gills, she thinks to herself . . . she would make sure to fill him in later.
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Rowan
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/9/2008, 14:20

Moira stopped for a second, considering the gunslinger's words. She WAS tired, and thirsty. Magic always took a lot out of her. The rude self-invitation of the Nullmina was unfortunate, but hopefully he'd decide to go. With as much as his young companion was tucking away in alcohol, he may not have a choice. Keepers, but Moira didn't envy him the headache he was going to have in the morning. The thought made her smile. She felt her expression lighten, and she shrugged. Surely the town's own defense crew was working by now. "Why not?" She took the offered seat next to the gunman and flagged the bartender, "Mead, please."

She downed the first tankard in a few deep gulps, and held up for more. She was more sparing with the second one, and settled back in her chair, listening against her will to the Nullmina spout off. But...Moira had to say this for him, he was an eloquent bastard. Most Nullmina were though. It would be interesting to see how the gunman would react...
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Malcove Dredth
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/9/2008, 15:14

Malcove merely asked the innkeeper for some water and waved away the cren payment he was offered. Upon recieving his drink, he sat back and took in the pirates words. Just as Trance was about to come back with whatever response he would, Malcove brought a hand up and came in quickly with his own. "Your words do ring true on at least one point, sir: we all did our part in fending off against the threat at hand and we should all be free to sit at the same table if we wish to do so." With that, he brought his hand back down to grasp his mug.

He continued speaking to the pirate leader. "Each person has their own way about life, and none at this table are any exception to the rule. Whether you be a thief, a scholar, a warlord, or a priest. Everyone has their own standards of living. Don't be so quick to label those you know nothing about." He paused for a few seconds to let his words sink in before he went on to speak to the table as a whole, which now consisted of all the fighters. "Now about your question: Mongi indeed are a more rational race of creatures than the many that attacked this tavern only moments ago. Our Fae friend here had a clear enough head to figure that an outside source of power was driving these creatures to act out of their nature. Luckily, she also possessed the skill to free their entrapped minds." Looking around, he saw the gears turning in everyone's minds and beginning to grasp the magnitude of the situation. "So the real question that needs to be asked from this point is this: Who or what caused the Mongi to attack New Haven and for what purpose?" Having said his part, Malcove came back a bit from the table and drank some from his cup.

He then looked over to Trance, who was giving him a look that seemed to say, 'You stole my thunder...' "Sorry if I jumped the gun there on you... pun intended," he added with a slight smirk.
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Lizarbugon
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter One: Trial of Towers   2/10/2008, 02:53

Satrokeis, who had felt obligated to join the table upon his mention, had listened to the Nullmina drove on, and recognized the tone, the kind of charm that he frequently used. Of course, it'd not be easy to charm one of The Charming themselves.

The man with the blue bandana's quick pun seemed to confirm Satrokeis's previous possible observation of a firearm. The glare that this would have provoked was quickly restrained. Now was not the time to cause another scene, as from learned by past experiences, a few gunslingers tend to be very violent in response to the Nagatani's view on guns. For now, he only needed a name...

"For now, perhaps we should introduce ourselves. If we delve deeper into this, it is sure to make it easier." Satrokeis stated formally. However, before anyone could properly respond, he spoke again, first turning to the Nullmina and making sure to employ his own bit of charm in his words. "But first, let me see if what I have gathered is correct. My line of work involves catching names. You referred to the boy as Gills on a few occasions, and the girl as Sorcha. You also have referred to yourself as Murchadh, correct?" He turned next to the Airetaim. "And I believe the barmaid had called you Rowan." Lastly, he turned to the two Dinti he had not addressed. "The one with the bandana was simply referred to as 'Seeker'... and you, gunman, had been called Trance. Am I correct with all this?" As a final note, he added, "My name is Satrokeis."
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