Journal Posts

A cause for betrayal
We become shaped by our environment surroundings, and situations. This land has rendered its people into two classes, predators and prey. Life has become simpler, yet complicated at the same time. The predators take from the weak, and amass their power, while the subjugated follow the rules, and are beaten and broken by the rule breakers.

This world is not fair to the weak, or for those who follow a more noble path. Take our plight for example, we are the subjugated trying to survive. Constantly betrayed, with daggers in our back, we have become tools in someone else's game. At every turn and every corner we cross, a new dagger slips into place, and turns ever so slightly. Its brings one to wonder when we will eventually bleed out, and if there is a way out of this cycle. Do we become the predators? or will we continue to be the prey...
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Epic!
Training
Crusher and Pak'Cha met in the training ring after Solaris and Malla were finished. The thri-kreen eyed the human curiously. "So, you wish to learn the Way?"

Crusher shrugged. "I don't know about all that. I just want to learn to fight the way that you do. No weapons to break or be taken from you, just your own strength and skill pitted against your enemy." He thought back to how good it had felt going up against Granikkus with his bare hands.

Pak'Cha replied, "There is more to it than just your physical ability. Tell me, do you have any Talent at all?"

"Well, not much, but..." Crusher's face screwed up in effort as he began to concentrate on a nearby rock, and sweat broke along his brow. Before long the rock rose unsteadily a few feet into the air.

Pak'Cha made a strange chittering sound that Crusher recognized as thri-kreen laughter. Crusher felt a heat rise in his face, and he let the stone drop. Pak'Cha spoke gently, "You will never be a master of the Way. But that does not mean it is completely hopeless. There is a foundation there that we can begin to work on, however small. First we will need to find a focus for you, an object that you can use to channel your Talent and make it more potent. Like so." Pak'Cha held out a stone, and flames began to dance along his multiple limbs.

"Hmm, I might have something that could work." Crusher had recently invested some of his new-found wealth in old Bazraag's tavern in North Ledopolus. Bazraag had sent him back a package with a couple of things from his own gladiatorial days; he had heard that Crusher had come out of retirement for a match, and thought they might help him in future matches. One was an amulet that was supposed to increase a gladiator's endurance in the arena. The other was an old bazraag fang that didn't do anything special but Baz had used for years as a good-luck charm. Crusher pulled out the fang. "Will this do?"

"Yes, as long as you can form a mental connection to it it will do. Now let us begin..."
Session: Session 18 - Sunday, Dec 16 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Epic!
Just when you think you are going to win one...
If it is not one thing then it is another. Just when it looked like everything was going to work out for once, we get cornered yet again. If this bafoon thinks he can keep us leashed, well he is going to be in for a surprise.

For the time being we have to play along, so it looks like we get to enjoy yet another long skiff ride...
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Things to Put Aside.
Solaris stood over a trio of slaves breathing hard and laying on the ground before him, his face hardening as he looked upon them "What are you all waiting for? Recover!" At the spoken word the slaves scrambled to pick up training weapons near their fallen forms and get back to their feet, the slightest of them wincing heavily and clutching his ribs as he tried to stand straight. Bruised or broken ribs on that one Solaris. You may be using training weapons and armor but your wrath can still cause harm, harm that may be beyond even our abilities to heal... Solaris merely grunted at Kalinth's words and walked over to the slave, "This will not be pleasant..." were the only words of warning the slave got before energy wracked his body as Solaris began to forcibly mend the slave's ribs. The slave all but collapsed when Solaris finished mending him, "Help him back to the barracks and you all will be done for the day." The other slaves quickly scooped up their comrade and began taking him away just as Mala walked into makeshift training courtyard, a slight look of anger upon her face as she noticed the trio leaving, anger which she then directed at Solaris, "I know Hargo gave us permission to train those slaves to help in the defense of the Dusty Jewel, but since when did training combatants become beating them nearly half to death with blunted weapons?" Solaris stood there for a moment before looking at Mala, "They are learning, very quickly at that. Besides... the more terrifying and brutal I make myself out to be to them now, the less likely they are to lose their nerve when it really counts. I assume you didn't come down here to lecture me about my methods though, right?" Mala lifted up a blunted spear nearby and examined it for a moment before replying, "Not really. I'm here to help you." She then struck out quickly with the spear, making a thrusting strike with it at Solaris's chest.

It was almost a half hour later before their fight was finished. Mala and Solaris both staring at each other, both holding onto weapons obviously pushed beyond their intended training purposes and covered in wounds to show just how far beyond they'd gone. Mala drew herself up and bowed slightly to Solaris, "I think that is enough for us Solaris, If we continue we are likely to have to start fighting bare handed." Solaris nodded and bowed back, "Thank you Mala, It has been a while since I was able to... spar." a sudden pained look coming across his face at the word. Mala stepped forward and placed an arm on Solaris's shoulder "I heard what happened in Balic, heard a little about a guard captain named Brinna to." Solaris's looked up at Mala, "I feel like I wronged her... Like I betrayed her in some way. Like I ruined a chance to reclaim something I've lost." Mala nodded, "I don't pretend to know exactly what you're feeling at the moment but I do know that wallowing in regret and being mad at what happened will only make things harder for you going forward. Put it behind you Solaris and focus on what is to come, if you don't you may never get a chance to try and make things right with her." Solaris nodded and watched as Mala walked off. She is right you know. For our sake, we must put it behind us for now..."I'll make right by her somehow... someday." We both will Solaris. We both Will.
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Epic!
Dear Harbek,
I received your letter and package via courier. I am very grateful for your contribution to the cause. It is extremely generous, and will be a boon to a great many deal of our warriors. You were always very passionate about our issue, and I can see that my training was not in vain. I take it you are doing well working for this merchant, I will do what I can to gather some background on this individual you mentioned. Your letter was very vague as to why he peaked your interest, but considering your contribution, it's very fair.

Sad story about the Balic-based group you told me. Do not blame yourself for this loss, you did what you could. We should be able to recuperate our losses with what you gave. Also in return for your generous contribution, I have sent some items of interest that you requested, plus an old training item of yours. I hope this will solidify our long-standing relationship, and your future contributions. Your aid is needed more than ever. You have a good heart, strong will and courageous soul. They will lead you to victory my friend.

Nettle

Harbek looked up from the letter, nodding with content, and sighing with relief that he had received a return letter from his old mentor. Walking back towards his bunk, he rummaged through the package. In it was an amulet that held the life and spirit of the land, a sleek pair of form-fitting boots and an old belt that Harbek used to train in his younger years. He had enjoyed his time in the merchant group, and would continue to profit. Although, he never forgot what he set out to accomplish. His failure to help the Alliance group in Balic weighed heavy on his mind, and so he had chosen to rekindle an old friendship.
Session: Session 18 - Sunday, Dec 16 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Epic × 2!
Down time..
Pak'Cha idly walks around the compound at the Dusty Jewel. He takes in the area, noting the number of people around, as well as quarters. This pack seemed to be on hard times, though to be honest, who wasn't?

This Hargo, didn't like the Thri-Kreens. Those "bugs" as he called them. He would see. Pak'Cha strolled back to Hargo's Quarters, and clicked his mandibles several times. "May I come in?" he asks.

"What is it, Bug?" Hargo replies, going over a scroll of paper. "I was wanting to know if you could purchase something for me. I have money enough." Pak'Cha says.

"Hmm.. Likely enough that I can, supposing you actually have the coin for it.. What were you looking for?" asks the human, turning his gaze up into the bulbous eyes of the bug. "A stone.. Specifically a Ghostflame stone..." "I'll see what I can do, when I see your coin."

Pak'Cha nods, and sets a Coin purse on the desk. "Anything you can find me, will prove as useful as I am.."
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Epic!
Chapter 5: No Good Deed
Post at some point in 2012. In the mean time, here's a puppy

Session: Session 18 - Sunday, Dec 16 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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A moment to Spar
I listen to Sanguine and Animus begin their talk with the seneschal and slowly feel myself grow bored, bureaucracy was never something I was partial to growing up and as arguments over ridiculous points on a contract begin, I was fully reminded of why. I look to the guard captain nearby, a former templar named Brinna, and I smile inwardly at the idea that comes to mind to relieve myself of such tedium. I approach her after a few moments, appraising her as I do so, taller than average for a female with a build that shows an obvious martial lifestyle, her hair cut shorter and bound back to keep her eyes clear, the majority of her face hidden behind a gorget that clearly leaves her sharp eyes visible to all. She is definitely a fighter, something I'm counting on.

I sit and watch as Solaris approaches the former Templar and begins to talk to her while I begin sampling her surface emotions. Suspicion clearly flares up in her emotions and words, but Solaris won't be deterred and her suspicion is suddenly replaced by a measure of intrigue and interest as he proposes the idea that they spar. Solaris follows her a slight thrill clearly able to be felt running through him at the prospect of sparring, memories of his training as a youth flickering through his mind. We continue through the near empty house towards a courtyard when suddenly Brinna stops and a flicker of fear slips from her to me, followed by her bowing as a figure comes around a corner.

I see Brinna bow quickly and address the figure "I'm sorry High Praetor, I did not see you approaching." to which I immediately bow to show my own respects. The High Praetor seems unconcerned though and simply lets Brinna know of his intentions before moving on his way. Kalinth seems somewhat surprised and overwhelmed at the power this person is radiating and shares a brief moment what he is feeling, in that moment I feel like an insect before a person ready to crush it, and am thankful when the moment ends. I muse quietly to Kalinth 'Apparently there are worse things than a Tembo...' We resume moving through the house and arrive at a courtyard obviously well used for training. Brinna signals for me to wait for a moment and disappears through a nearby doorway only to reappear a few minutes later, a trikal and bastard sword in her hands and much of her torso armor removed, revealing a dull tunic underneath. She throws the trikal to me and feel a small measure of guilt as I appraise her again, with her gorget removed I realize that she is quite near to my age and surprisingly attractive.

I see Brinna revealed before us and feel Solaris's interest in the former Templar deviate from martial matters to other thoughts and chuckle to myself at the prospect. While I don't recall everything of my previous life, I do recall the idea of attraction to another and a level of impotence from my previous life in not being able to act upon them... I see various thoughts skim through Solaris's head as he begins to remove his torso armor to mimic what Brinna has done and the discussion of the terms of the sparring being set as 'strictly martial' and chuckle inwardly as Solaris recalls a particular evening in which he had been sparring a female instructor in a 'strictly martial' way only to find himself on his back learning an alternative sort of unarmed combat towards the night's end. I mentally nudge him and quip "Remember now Solaris, Strictly 'martial' no tricks or anything, wouldn't want to disappoint her." He stands before her now, trikal in hand, a smile upon his face and signals his readiness to her.

The sparring match begins quickly and without any hesitation from Brinna. It is within moments that I am knocked down and have a dulled blade at my throat. It is in that brief moment I realize just how much strength Kalinth gives to me. I was raised a fighter though and the idea of a few bruises does not deter me from continuing to spar with her. We go back and forth and I slowly start to reawaken techniques long forgotten, overwritten by the greater abilities I could wield with Kalinth's power and before long I manage to land a few counter strikes of my own. It is too little though to turn back the sheer martial skill Brinna possesses and I find myself taking more and more strikes as we go on. It isn't until Sanguine and Animus arrive after a particularly brutal round that ended with me on my back that we stop. Animus soon takes his leave of us while Sanguine comes over to help me up, asking Brinna how I did. Brinna makes a report that I chuckle at "He has potential, with proper training he could handle more than a raider or two" Sanguine simply looked at me for a moment and with a knowing eye says "You held back..." a statement rather than a question.

Anger intensely flares within Brinna at the idea of Solaris having held back until he quickly explains his reasons, Anger which then is replaced with a measure of intrigue. She demands another match, this one without any holding back and quickly assumes a position of readiness at the opposite end of the courtyard. Solaris stands and begins to ready himself, beginning to draw upon my strength, mine and his minds slowly merging as the markings upon his body flare into life, "Time to show her what we are capable of Solaris..."

We stare at Brinna for a moment as we begin channeling energy into our right hand, preparing what is one of our weakest abilities yet also one of our clearest demonstrations of power. Raw energy coalesces in our hand forming a sphere, Brinna seems nervous and excited at the prospect of the fighting to come and merely says "On your go." With a flick of our hand the ball transforms from a sphere into lightning and strikes her squarely, the attack visibly staggering her, leaving her wide open for us to sweep her feet and place our trikal at her throat. She gets up as I move away to assume a position of readiness, surprise clearly visible in her face and excitement clearly coloring her emotions. We fight for several minutes, intensely focused on one another, and the roles reversed from the previous match, Brinna now the one struggling to turn back our attacks. She eventually calls yield after being knocked down particularly hard and we cross to her to help her up, letting a surge of energy flow into her as she takes our hand. She seems amazed as her bruises and minor cuts seem to heal and disappear as well as the fatigue from the fight's exertions, at this we simply smile.

Solaris and I separate as Brinna leaves to retrieve her equipment, Sanguine now approaches and I sense a sense of satisfaction from her. She checks with Solaris that we are ready to leave and begins to depart while Solaris waits behind slightly to walk with Brinna out of the estate. Cheering is clearly heard from the arena and I can only assume from the chants of "Crusher!" that our comrades succeeded in their match and from Sanguine's satisfaction that our thefts were successful. We are in the streets now and I watch as Sanguine separates from us to go meet up with Animus as Solaris stands beside Brinna, something on her mind muddying her visible emotions with nervousness. However it is only after a moment's hesitation that she starts talking with Solaris about meeting later after she is off duty. More than a small bit of joy tingeing her emotions as he agrees. I feel a level of hope form in Solaris's mind at the prospect of establishing a meaningful connection with someone, hope that I share as well as I realize that we both have no true ties to anything but our work, both due to our respective lives being destroyed... Something I hope one day will change.
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Epic!
Victory
The crowd was deafening. Crusher felt the elation of victory, an old familiar feeling, coursing through his blood. Standing with his companions on the arena's central bridge, he allowed himself to bask in the adulation of the crowd.

Then he looked down at their defeated opponents, laying in the sand. When he was younger, Crusher would have resented Pak'cha for taking the final blow against Granikkus, and would have relished the opportunity to squeeze out the half-giant's life with his bare hands to prove himself the stronger one; now he found that it did not bother him so much. He was content to share the victory, and to leave his opponent alive to fight again. Perhaps one day he would return to the arena again, to find Granikkus waiting for him.

Then Granikus opened his eyes and looked back. Crusher saw the shame of defeat and a rising fury in the face of his fallen opponent. This defeat has destroyed him, Crusher realized. This match was nothing more than a distraction for the deeper machinations of Hargo Vole and the Veiled Alliance, and look at what it's done to him. In truth, all of the glorious battles fought in the Criterion have been nothing more than distractions for the people of Balic, haven't they? I don't think I've ever fully realized that before...

Then he remembered Claybo's rage at being enslaved. Gladiators are little more than pawns and slaves. Don't forget the reason I left this life. This arena is not my home anymore.

On the bright side, at least House Tomblador promised to throw a great victory party. That was something to look forward to, assuming they survived the next few hours...
Session: Session 17 - Sunday, Dec 09 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Epic!
What it takes
Harbek basks in the glory of their triumph in the arena, boosting his confidence, he begins to think to himself.

I'm not about to celebrate with some dainty nobles after our hark work. Ahhh, the unsuspecting noble brother... ...is looking around at something. We're not out of the woods yet, this guy knows somethings up, I see it. He can feel it, the sword has a presence and he looks to be searching for something familiar. Those fools must have brought it. They need to get out of this crowd and find a place to lay low. Let's see if they can do something this...

Harbek approaches the high praetor, speaks up with a smile spreading across his face, "You ever drank with a dwarf?!"

The High-Praetor looks down, annoyed with his concentration being broken, "YES."

Harbek's smile fades a bit, but returns with a chuckle, "Well you ever drank with a dwarf that just won his arena match?!"

High-Praetor Tomblador's annoyance grew, "YES, and it was like drinking with any other dwarf, vulgar and pointless. Maybe this party will teach you something about manners and etiquette because your memory will fade quickly, and you will be nothing more than a nobody, as much as the dead of The Gray. Anything else you care to converse about."

Harbek eyes the High Praetor, smile turned smirk, "Nah, I guess I'll see you later."
Session: Session 17 - Sunday, Dec 09 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Epic!
Chapter 5: A Very CONvincing Plan
Harbek
"I met a man by the name of Nettle years back. I think he was like you folks. He taught a lot about how to live my life. He also told me about defilers. He showed me how to use the primal energies to fight. He was a strong shaman. So let's talk about what we know before we get hasty. I'd hate to have to keep my oath and cut you down at the same time. That is, I think we're after the same thing here."


The alliance leader had heard of the preserver named Nettle. That was enough to stay his hand, and not a moment too soon. The party negotiated an alternative option, in which they would retrieve another Templar sword to trade for Hargo Vole's blade. The alliance members agreed and were just about to shake on it when Anamis and Solaris burst in the room. Praetor Darian Haraxes and a company of legionnaires were only minutes behind them. He was on the hunt for veiled alliance members. The parties used a secret tunnel that took them through Balic's sewers and parted ways. Sanguine had twenty four hours to make good on her promise to procure another Templar sword.

That was twenty five more than she needed. First, she contacted Oulestes and accepted the job he'd offered, so long as he played along with an exhibition match they were going to suggest. Next, they conned Entellis Tomblador into funding the very match Crusher wanted: An unarmed combat between Crusher and Granikkus. The idea of squashing a rival in the slave trade was too enticing to Entellis and he quickly agreed. While he and Crusher went to challenge Granikkus and House Thestis, Sanguine and Anamis handled the contract.

It was a simple ruse -- keep Oethen, the seneschal, busy while Anamis steals and duplicates his ledger using an arcane ritual. To keep the guards busy, Solaris used his charms. The former Templar turned guard captain, Brinna, took a liking to the psion and was eager to "spar" with him in the courtyard.

While they practiced all manner of duplicity and thievery it was left to Crusher, Harbek and Pak'Cha to put on an impressive fight. Granikkus was more than willing to take them on. The pomp and circumstance could not have been more pointless, but it provided necessary time.

When Granikkus finally entered the Criterion, he brought with him a surprise. Claybo, the tarek bought to Balic by the heroes stood with him. He was marked as a slave and ready for battle. When he saw Harbek and Crusher, Claybo flew into a savage rage. The battle will be talked about for years to come. Easily ranked in the top five matches in the Criterion. Granikkus leveled every blow possible at the older warrior, but Crusher took every strike as vindication that he was the superior. Nothing the goliath did slowed Crusher down. While the champions clashed, Harbek did what he could to try and calm the savagery of Claybo, with no success. Pak'Cha, however, cared little about his opponent, and the dwarf was soon knocked unconscious.

It was never a fair contest. Crusher knew what to expect from the thri-kreen and his plan was to keep Granikkus distracted long enough for Pak'Cha to begin delivering strikes. And when the dust finally cleared, the three stood victorious over a beaten Granikkus.

The cheers shook the very foundations of the Criterion. Entellis couldn't be happier. He greeted the victors and invited them to a celebration in their honor. It was impossible to decline, and seeing Sanguine give the thumbs up, Crusher figured that some wine and food were quite well-earned.

It was then that the party was stunned into silence. For the victors were approached by non-other than Androponis himself, congratulating them on a stupendous exhibition. His servant provided each of them a silver medal and the sorcerer-king made his exit. They barely had time to exhale when Entellis' brother arrived. The newly appointed High-Praetor Kaladon Tomblador was, at first, happy to hear of his brother's good fortune. All too quickly, however, his mannerisms changed. The glowing white eyes of the Templar scanned the crowd. Something was wrong...
Session: Session 17 - Sunday, Dec 09 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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A Dark Reflection
Political bickering, price adjusting, and manipulation, simple traits that I have possessed only through necessity. I’ll admit to some level of skill, but my heart is not truly in it. See, my basic appearance should be enough to give me away. A simple stereotype quickly see’s through my charade of fake smiles and laughs. For, how can a devil truly be trusted? It is a flaw that I admit I have. I am a devil, and I cannot be trusted! The stereotype fits me perfectly, so the question is, how am I still alive, and how does this continue to work? Is it that there are worse villains than myself? Or am I simply paranoid, believing that no one can trust me, thus fulfilling my own self prophecy! It’s quite the situation I have gotten myself into…

In any case I’ll be happy when I can end these charades. When I can take off my social mask, and relax in self satisfaction. I realize those times may never happen, but even a devil can be hopefull!
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Back into the fray..
These strange people talk far too much. I don't mind talking. Not very good at talking myself, so I try not to if I can help it. Talking here. Talking there. Talking about talking, so we can go to talk to someone else about more talking! It is very trying. But... I know it's important. Not sure why it is, but I know it is. So I say nothing of the excess of talking. When it comes time for action. Time for fighting. For what I'm good at. I get rolled. Knocked out. Shamed.

I have nothing to offer this clutch if not my prowess on the field of combat, and the skill of my arms...

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


The roar of the crowd, as we step onto the sands of this fight. Another promotional fight. Doubt crawls along my shell, remembering what happened the last time I stepped into this pit. How I failed my clutch then. The betrayal. Looking at our foes, as they step onto the sands. A dwarf. Stocky. But not so Nimble. An easy opponent. Out move him. Too fast for him to touch. Too fast for him to evade.
The next foe to step onto the sands is a Tarek seems to know my dwarf, and the one with big hands. He rages at them, shouting abuses. The sands under his feet seem to writhe with his anger. Interesting that one. Primal user. Dangerous? Likely. I lean over to Harbek, and offer to handle the Tarek, Claybo. Grunting, he seems to decline the offer.

Last to step onto the sands, introduced as Graninacus. Big fellow. Heavy. Tall. Angry. He rages more then the Tarek, also shouting abuses. I wouldn't want to face him in single combat.

The fight begins, and both Crusher, and Harbek leap into the fray. Each of them finds their foe, and unleash a devastating tide of blows. The foes return the tide of blows, heavy fists striking into solid flesh, with meaty little thumps. Amateurs.

My foe comes to me. The fool. He closes with me, looking eager. He lashes out, far faster then I expected, knocking me to the sands. Rising, I show him how to hit a person, fists lashing out in a series of blows. Unleashing the power that I hold, I tear into these silly brutes. My clutch holds their own this time. No, this fight will not end in their deaths. Thinking of my former clutch brings the rage near to the surface. I could show these meat bags what it means to lose control. I see an opening, from the little drawf. His life sits firmly in my clutch. I lash out, the thought crossing my mind to let this fleshling to pass from this life into the next. But I remember this is a promotional match. No blood. Just honor. I drop him, pulling my blow enough to avoid killing him. But not enough to let him continue fighting, anytime soon.

Moving to go to the aid of my mates, the ground seems to lift, and slam into my chest, driving me down. Damn primal users. Rising,and trying to shrug off the effects of the Tareks' attack. I move around crusher, leaping onto his shoulder, a quick shout all the champion needs to know what I'm about to do. I end the fight decisively, with a pair of heavy strikes. The big one, Graniscus gets the full fury of my blows, nothing held back. He's too damn big to risk a glancing blow. The Tarek, I pull the blow at the last moment, bending my knees enough to avoid breaking his neck. They both topple, as I rise. This time, as the crowd roars, I lift the hands of my clutch mates, proud to stand with them.
***********************

The roaring crowd. The mass of flesh. We move from the pit, to the house of talking. The growing silence of the crowd is more of a warning, then anything. Turning, I see the High King, flanked by two others that could obliterate not only myself, and my clutch, but also the entire mob as well. Tensing for the briefest of moments, I ponder if my talking friends have talked us to death. But, the fight in the pit, and the fight at the bar takes its toll. Sinking to my knees, I think about the many ways they could kill us, until a soft voice interrupts my thoughts.

This man also talks. He gives Crusher, Harbek, and myself a bit of shiney, phrasing our skills at arms. He then leaves, nearly as quickly as he came. Relaxing, as we are invited to talk, and eat, and drink some more. Until another voice comes up. Another person we have to dance around. Glancing around at my new clutch, I chitter inwardly, vaguely pleased. This clutch is much stronger then my last. But so are the ones we struggle against. It seems that if we are going to live, we shall do so excellently, because a single mistake will cost us our lives, and the life of our employer.

So we will all talk. And we will all fight. Those good at talking, will have to cover those who lack those skills. Those good at fighting will have to cover those who lack those skills. All is as it should be. With a strong clutch, even one as strange as these new mates of mine... What could stand against us?
Session: Session 17 - Sunday, Dec 09 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Any time guys...
Sanguine's eyes dart from Clubb's bloodied form, to the energy blades, to the dwarf stalling for time, all the while berating herself for the fatal slip up in her bluff.

"That's right Harbek, keep them talking. Solaris should be closing in on us with Anamis in tow any minute now. We just need to get them to show us where the sword is," Sanguine sutbly edges to the back of the corned group waiting for the flash point to be reached. "Damn it Solaris, hurry up..."
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Bloodsworn
A grin began to reveal itself on Harbek's face. Missing a couple teeth and a chipped tooth never helped in his attempts to make friends or socialize. The confidence in himself seemed foolish and misplaced, leading the casual observer to believe him to have been a lucky dwarf. Harbek scanned the room, taking note of friend and foe. His comrades were beaten and bloody, just as this fight was about to break out. Their foes stood strong with swords that carried an energy along the blade. Harbek wasn't one to back down.

*****

Silt clung to the wheels of the cart. It moved slowly along the road, surrounded by sandy dunes. The driver kept his head low, using his wide-brimmed hat to shield himself from the sun. The back was covered, and in it were two individuals conversing with one another. Both were of average height, a half-elf and a dwarf. The dwarf was young, not quite having reached maturity yet, but a thick back from years of labor.

Nettle "Events like these are becoming more common. It has nothing to do with you, your family or friends."

Harbek "That so? Don't make sense otherwise. What's he get out of the mine with no workers? You think he was hired by Klag, so he can get the business all to himself?"

Nettle "Klag's not doing too well, he's dead. We passed through a couple of his mines, on our way through. Whoever did this doesn't think like you or me. Just a killer I suppose."

Harbek picks at a scab on his forearm, one that's not quite ready to come off "Killer, huh? He was more than that, like he was spawned to kill. Spawned to spawn little killers to do his work, but tell me what you know about these kind of killers." The scrape on his arm began seeping blood again. Harbek lifted his arm to his mouth.

Nettle "I know a lot about people like this Harbek I used to hunt them. You're not the first to land in a situation like this. You won't be the last. Now I'm too busy to go after them myself, but I pass on what I know. If you stay with me, you have to stay full four years, understand?"

Harbek "Yeah, not like I have much else going on in my life right now! Hahaha!!" A full smile emerged from his chapped lips.

*****

Harbek continued smiling, while sheathing his axe. "I met a man by the name of Nettle years back. I think he was like you folks. He taught a lot about how to live my life. He also told me about defilers. He showed me how to use the primal energies to fight. He was a strong shaman. So let's talk about what we know before we get hasty. I'd hate to have to keep my oath and cut you down at the same time. That is, I think we're after the same thing here."
Session: Session 16 - Sunday, Dec 02 2012 from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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