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Friv
Essence 6
Essence 6
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Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
Exalt: Elemental
Fighting Style: Spell-Fu
Artifact: The Crucible of Tarim
Location: Toronto
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Twilight of the Second Age, Part 5: Justice In The Evening

10 Apr 2006, 00:49

Part 4
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Jarik Threespurs grinned, raising a mug of ale. “A toast! To the glories of the First Age!” The men around him laughed and raised their own glasses, and the sound of ceramic clinking together filled the room. Jarik raised his mug again and drained it, smugly thinking back to the tunnels he had left late last night, loaded down with enough loot to last him months of luxury; the best tomb yet. Halana and Sarn had vanished somewhere; he hadn’t bothered to ask.

“Hey, get a refill over here, huh?” Beaming wide enough to swallow the moon, Jarik waved the barmaid over, and waited while she filled his mug with the inn’s ale. It was piss, of course, but it was better quality piss than most of the dumps around the mountain, so Jarik had invited all of his best friends out for a night of drinking – first drink on him. He drained the mug in a single gulp, and then grabbed the barmaid’s arm as she turned to leave. She stopped, and he grinned slightly as he saw a hint of fear. “Don’t worry, honey. I don’t bite hard.” He chuckled at his own humour, and a few of his friends chuckled too.

The bartender cleared his throat. “Um, sir, this isn’t that kind of bar. If you’re looking for that, there’s a place just down the road…”

“It’s there, and I’m here.” Jarik chuckled, reaching into his shirt and pulling out a slim golden necklace, which he tossed to the bartender. “This should cover it just fine.” The bartender’s face clouded over, and he started to reach under the bar, but stopped at the cough as Havek, leaning on a stool, casually started spinning a knife on the table. The bartender paused, torn with indecision, and Jarik grinned again, turning back to the barmaid.

“Nice trinket. Hope it was worth it.”

The room fell silent. Jarik frowned, letting the barmaid’s wrist go as he turned towards the door. He blinked, and his jaw dropped. “Holy crap.”

Kieran was standing in the door, a long brown cloak hanging over his slender frame. His arms were crossed over his chest, but Jarik thought he saw a hint of gold flashing from under the cloak. He looked… angry. It wasn’t something Jarik had ever seen before. He raised an eyebrow, and forced bravado into his voice. So the kid had survived, somehow. Probably lost his nerve before the tendrils even noticed he was there.

“As a matter of fact, kiddo, it was. Good to see you alive.” He fought down the smirk, his hand sliding inch by inch towards his sword, just in case. There was a slim scabbard poking out from under the cloak, some sort of ornate leather binding. “We thought you were dead for sure, didn’t we, Havek?” Havek nodded, his expression serious. The men in the bar looked from Kieran to Jarik, and frowned at each other.

“I bet you did.” The voice came from the kitchen entrance, and Jarik spun, too shocked even to try and disguise it. That bitch! It wasn’t possible. It simply wasn’t… but it was. Elena. Leaning on the doorframe, casual as hell, her sword tapping the floor. It wasn’t possible. “Jarik, you are the most miserable worm I have ever met.” She smirked, and Jarik’s teeth clenched. He narrowed his eyes, looking from the kid to Elena.

“So, your trick worked after all, kid. Nice going. So what’s with the attitude?”

“You left her to die, Jarik.” Kieran’s voice was ice, and he started walking forwards, one hand pushing back the cloak to rest on the pommel of his sword. Jarik caught another flash of gold, and frowned. “And it wasn’t the first time, was it? How many accidents? How many times has your wealth been fed by someone else’s blood?”

Jarik snorted, and nodded slowly. “You pathetic little moron. You actually think you can just walk in here and… what? Get revenge? No.” And as he said that, one of his friends raised the heavy mace he had been concealing, and swung it full force into Kieran’s back. Kieran didn’t even have a chance to turn, caught entirely by surprise.

The flare of golden light as the mace struck home lit up the room. Kieran staggered a step forwards, and then turned to look at the man who had attacked him, seemingly uninjured. That man took a shocked step backwards. In that moment, Kieran drew his sword, and as he did, it changed. A gleaming golden sword, elegantly curved, it was just over four feet long, and it hummed as it slashed through the air. The mace head fell to the floor with a heavy ‘thump’, and Kieran smiled, a smile without a hint of kindness. “Don’t.”

The men in the room pressed back against the wall, leaving Jarik and Havek alone in the room, with Elena on one side and Kieran on the other. Kieran turned back to Jarik. “To answer your question, this isn’t about revenge. It’s about justice. No more murders.”

Jarik gulped. He looked back to Havek, and then the two brothers moved as one. Leaping forwards, Jarik drew his sword in a sweeping curve, bringing it towards Kieran’s arm, while Havek grabbed two knives, pushing off from the bar to leap at Kieran from the other side.

It should have been flawless. The two brothers were practiced when it came to ganging up on people. There should have been no way to avoid both blows at once. But, used only to the boy who had tagged along, and acting in fear, Jarik was unprepared for the speed with which he moved. As the two advanced, Kieran took a single step backwards, bringing his sword around the table and catching a mug on the side. The mug flew wide, slamming into Jarik’s sword arm, as Kieran brought the sword around towards Havek, knocking his knife aside and slamming his blade forwards. Blood spurted, and Havek coughed, looking down in stupefication at the gold and crimson jutting from his chest, and staggered backwards, coughing in shock and agony. Kieran seemed almost as shocked as Havek, staring at the sword in his hand like it was a living creature.

Jarik’s teeth clenched. Raising his sword, he drove it towards the boy’s unprotected back. Whatever trick had saved him last time was not likely to work twice, not with his focus so distracted. However, as he charged forwards, another sword came down, sending his blade flying sideways. Elena smiled, stepping forwards. “Forgetting someone, Jarik?”

On the other side of the room, Havek recovered. Looking down at the wound in his chest, his eyes narrowed and he charged forwards, fury replacing common sense. Kieran knocked his sword aside, stumbling backwards, his eyes wide. Then, his jaw suddenly clenching, he spun in a loop, leaping over a sword thrust onto a table as he sent his blade flying around him in a deadly arc that stopped at the side of Havek’s head. Orichalcum met bone, and bone parted. Havek fell heavily to the ground, blood staining the wooden floor.

Elena, for her part, drove Jarik backwards, enough so that he was barely able to register his brother’s death. He realized quickly that she was the better warrior; his thrusts were countered, and soon enough she had scored twice, shallow cuts that were sapping his strength. He tried one last desperate gambit, kicking a chair into her path, only to have her leap nimbly over it and slam her sword into his chest. Falling backwards, his eyesight going dark, he cursed the day that he had met her.

Elena looked down at the corpse of Jarik Threespurs, and then around the shocked and silent room. Finally, she turned to Kieran, who was starting to shake. “Come on, kid. Let’s get out of here.” Putting a hand on his shoulder, she led him outside, where Khory was standing with a small crowd of passersby, and the wagon that the trio had led out of the . “Keep moving!” The blood on their swords combined with her expression, and the crowd dissolved like mist. She turned to Khory. “Any trouble?”

“Nope.” He looked at Kieran. “You okay, boy?”

“Yeah… yeah. I just never… I never killed anyone before.” Kieran looked back into the bar. “I mean, he deserved it, but… yeah.” He licked his lips. “We’d better get going. After this, the Wyld Hunt will be coming this way for sure.” He paused. “It was nice meeting you, Khory. Glad we could help you out.”

“What, getting’ rid of me that fast?” Khory grinned, his red hair loose in the wind. “I got nowhere to go, and I owe ya my life. If you don’t mind a tagalong, I’d be happy to come with.” He raised a hand. “And yeah, I know the Dragon-Bloods are gonna have trouble with you. Don’t care much; never been a big fan of the Realm.”

“Well, in that case, feel free.” Elena smiled. “Any sign of that girl that was with us?”

“Nah. After she vamoosed at the edge of the tunnels, I haven’t seen ‘er.” Khory shrugged. “Hope she had somewhere to go to…”

Kieran nodded, stepping into the cart. He wiped the daiklave off, and slid it back into its sheath, at which point it shrank and changed, to all appearances nothing more than a normal sword. “Well, we got justice, and we’ve got a cart full of First Age stuff to sell. I’ll have to look through it as we travel, see if anything’s worth keeping.” He managed a weak smile, as Elena and Khory climbed in. “Let’s be off.”

The three started the cart, and it rolled slowly down the path towards the woods of the Northeast. For a few moments, the path was still. Then, the air rippled, and a young woman stepped onto the path from the trees. She looked up worriedly at the evening sky, and towards the inn. Then, taking a deep breath, she slipped soundlessly down the road, following the path the cart had taken.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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Mazinja
Essence 4
Essence 4
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11 Apr 2006, 10:32

Yay vengance!

... so, what happened to the girl that was with them? >_>
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Friv
Essence 6
Essence 6
Topic Author
Posts: 1072
Joined: 28 Jan 2006, 00:42
Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
Exalt: Elemental
Fighting Style: Spell-Fu
Artifact: The Crucible of Tarim
Location: Toronto
Contact:

11 Apr 2006, 13:22

Heheh. Funny you should ask that. *evil grin*
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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BrilliantRain
Essence 8
Essence 8
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Joined: 17 Aug 2005, 14:50
Title: The City of Mod
Exalt: Alchemical
Fighting Style: Primordial-Machine Weaving
Artifact: Eye of Autochthon
Location: Nurad
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20 Aug 2006, 00:19

This installment gives a nice object lession in the value of politeness in the world of exalted. I.e. be polite to everyone, for the person you insult might turn out to be any one of a 100 different supernatural creatures who can cut you in half with a single strike.
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