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Border Crossing

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1 Border Crossing on Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:42 pm

"You're late." Baralai Fairchild despised the rain, almost as much as he despised mages. He was waiting at one of the bridges that crossed the river that in turn divided the two largest kingdoms in their land. It was the same bridge where he had waited countless times. Templar or no, gold was gold, and this gold also got rid of troublesome mages.
"You want the gold or not?" A black clad man snarled as he jumped down gracefully from his equally black steed.
Baralai muttered something rather unbecoming of a Templar, then held a gloved hand out. "Gold first, then the cargo. Try anything..." He words were cut off as the mage he was transporting broke free of his restraints. It all happened so quickly that he didn't see the flash of lightning and the proud Templar was crashing into the raging river below.
Six months. It had been six months and the fallen Templar still woke in a cold sweat after dreaming of that night. The mage had rendered him immobile, though wide awake when he had plunged into the river, his heavy armour weighing him down until a pig farmer had dragged him from the river several miles away. It had taken months to get back to health and pay back the farmer for his kindness. In that time word had gotten out that Fairchild the Templar was a deserter.

Alice Gormanghast was scowling into the mirror. She hated this world she had been born into, even now as her maid pulled tightly on the laces of her dress she thought of nothing but a way to escape. Her brother's were all war heroes, famous to everyone in the kingdom for their brave deeds and triumph in defeating several of the dragons. But Alice... All she was known for was to be the prize her father handed over to the man he deemed brave enough to end the war altogether. She was the proverbial Princess in the tower, useful only for luring in prospective suitors. The young brunette didn't even realise her rose coloured lips were quirked into a slight smile 'if only they knew'. Indeed, her father would have a literal heart attack if he knew his prized daughter had secretly been learning how to shoot a bow and handle a sword. She lost herself for hours at an end in books that told of the thieves guild, and their mysterious leader who was sometimes known to have a higher moral code than the knights of their kingdom.

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2 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:05 am

Yena Lavellan hung by a branch from a tree that overlooked an old farmer's pig pen. She was starving. It had been several days since she'd eaten and the slop that she was reaching for with her long thin fingers was looking a bit appetizing. Her stomach growled and she nearly lost her balance, catching herself at the last possible second. She'd almost reached the slop when the fat pig who lived in the pen saw her and greedily headed over, sticking his snout in the trough before she could get anything. She cursed it to the dread wolf in her native tongue. She hoped Fen'harel ate the beast for supper. 
All at once the branch gave way and she went crashing into the slop. It scared the pig badly enough to send it away, squealing the alarm. Yena winced. She could already see the mountain of a man that tended to these pens coming over here and snatching her up by her pointed ear. 
Fear enveloped her and so did the slop and she cursed again. She was having trouble controlling her magic. It was the reason her clan had sent her away. She was a terrible elf and an even worse mage. 

Anaris Black adjusted his vest and smoothed down the front of it. He hated social events. He didn't care if this was to meet with a war council or not. He pulled his long black hair into a leather strap and frowned. 
The king was offering up a princess as a pretense to get some of the best warriors to attend. Anaris found this funny since the girl had already been promised to him. And all because he'd promised to bring in slaves from Fereldan. Mages no less. 
The old fool had no idea that none of these people were slaves to Thieves or anyone else. They were there because they wanted to be. Because they were escaping the cruel grip of the Templars. They all seemed to listen better when they thought something nefarious was going on.

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3 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:57 am

Baralai had been about to saddle up one of the horses and take some of the pigs into the village to sell when he heard the fattest of them suddenly squealing almost hysterically. He pulled his gloves back off and stomped in the direction of all the commotion. If it was thieves again, he would be taking several fingers as punishment. The golden haired man was ready for a little bloodshed as he reached the pig pen and saw a slop covered figure sitting in the dirt.

Alice wanted to squirm in her seat as her father gestured man after man over to meet her. The young princess felt worthless, and basically without a voice. She smiled politely, laughed when appropriate and tried her best not to scream when her father suggest she and the man before her dance. Of course, she had no idea that her hand had already been given to another anyway.

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4 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:19 pm

Yeah was crouched to run but realized too late that her foot was caught in a rat hole beneath the trough. She grabbed a handful of the slop and prepared to lob it at the man who was charging toward her. She missed him by no more than an inch, striking the pig instead. 

Anaris was in no hurry to meet with the king or the princess. He kept to the dance floor, sweeping many a lady off her feet. They would find much later that jewels were missing as well.

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5 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:34 pm

Baralai saw the pig squeal and scuttle away and was quick to draw his sword. "You had better have the money to pay for the slop you're ruining, thief!" He snarled, the sharp tip pointing directly under the intruder's chin.

Alice's mind was barely even with the conversation anymore. She was imagining at least half the guests were from the thieves guild, and the whole ball was just a part of their elaborate plot to over throw the royal family. The young princess didn't even realise she had giggled out loud at the thought of the look on her Father's face if someone actually stole the tiara from upon her own head.

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6 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:00 pm

The Templar was met with a pair of bright crimson eyes that were on the verge of watering. It wasn't because she was crying, it was the smell. "I'm not paying you for food you shemlan are throwing out anyway!" She shouted, another slop ball slapping him in the chest.

"There he is." Her father leaned over the table, looking hard at the ballroom floor. "Do you see him, daughter? Motion that one over. He will come when he sees you."

Last edited by mjrahabim on Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

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7 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:07 pm

"Not throwing out, feeding animals worth ten times as much as you, knife ear!" Baralai snarled when he saw the woman was an elf.

Alice sighed heavily and even rolled eyes that were a pale grey with bright blue flecks in. "Father, there are at least fifty men out there, I could motion to the wrong one." She huffed

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8 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:34 pm

Yena got to her feet and dared to give the enormous man a shove. "I am not worthless! And excuse me for being hungry!" Too late the arc of electricity sparked from her fingers and shot into his chest. 
She winced, well aware she had once again lost control of her magic.

"Oh trust me, the right one will come." Her father sat down, looking a little gruff and a bit concerned. "At least he'd better. Damn thieves guild is slipping off with half the palace."

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9 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:47 pm

The rage in Baralai's honey coloured eyes was clear when he felt the magic push him back. "Filthy mage!" He spat the words will more hatred than Yena had probably ever heard. The large Templar was advancing on her again, the intent to kill clear in his every action now.

Alice heard her Father mutter about the thieves guild, and couldn't help the sudden grin she wore. "Very well..." The Princess barely even met the gaze of any of the men, though she did rise to her feet, a slender hand beckoning someone approach her. "And who exactly will the 'right one' be, Father?" She asked, not even looking at the mass off people in their ballroom right then.

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10 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:09 pm

Yena's eyes went wide and she turned to run. She forgot that her foot was still caught and she went crashing into the slop, her chin slamming into the edge of the trough. 

Anaris was standing before the table before Alice even had a chance to sit. He gave his most gentlemanly boy, sweeping low before her. "I am here to serve you, your highness." He told her, holding out his hand for hers.

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11 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:18 pm

Baralai could be heard sighing heavily, then putting his sword away. He picked Yena up by the back of her collar, and dumped her into the stream behind the farm. Even he wasn't sure if it was to wash the pig stench away, or try and revive her.

Alice hadn't been expecting just one man to arrive, and was left somewhat speechless for a moment as she mutely extended her hand to him.

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12 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:55 pm

The icecold water was enough to wake Yena up. The moment she hit the water she came up gasping and ready for another fight. "Shemlen!"she shouted, stumbling when she grabbed for a rock. 

"Alice, this is an Anaris Black." The king was smiling as the dark haired man took his daughter's hand and kissed it gently. "He is your future husband."

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13 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:03 pm

Baralai reached down and closed his large fingers around Yena's slender wrist, squeezing until she would be forced to drop the rock. "You like stinking of pig shit?"

"What?!" Alice snatched her hand back without really thinking. "How could you?!" She hissed at her father. "Promising me like a piece of meat to someone I haven't even met before?!"

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14 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:21 pm

"Do you?" The slender elf asked, her eyes blazing. She didn't pull her hand away, though she did continue to glare at him. "You probably spend everyday smelling like that!"

"Don't be cheeky,  Alice. You knew what this ball was for. Anaris win the battle before it began. I've told you before not all battles are fought on the field."

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15 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:28 pm

"I spend every day working, something a knife ear mage knows nothing about!" Baralai snarled, lifting Yena back out of the water by her wrist. "You're property of the circle. I'll send word to them so they can come and reclaim you."

"Then where exactly did this battle take place?!" Alice demanded hotly. "And if a woman's hand is such a grand prize, why have you only married off one of your sons? Are the other two as worthy as you have people believe?" This kind of outburst was more than enough to earn anyone else a beating.

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16 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:02 pm

"I'm property of no one but myself!" Yena swore, fighting like a wild cat now. "I don't know what this circle is, but I won't be going there!"

"Do you find my appearance offensive, my lady?  Is that why you're tone is so cruel?" Anaris asked her, his tone extremely soft. "You do not even know me and yet you seem to have made judgements against me that I'm sure you will find are unfair."

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17 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:06 pm

"I see, and that is clearly going so well for you, piglet." Baralai snorted, dropping Yena back into the water.

"Pretend to be hurt, sir, but the greatest offense in all of this is that a woman is no better than cattle. A mere object to be traded for the financial or political gain of men!" Alice didn't even ask to be excused as she swept from the grand table and into the sea of dancing nobles.

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18 Re: Border Crossing on Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:08 am

Yena squealed as her legs hit the icy water, probably not helping her case. "What in the name of the ancient elves is wrong with you?!" She splashed water at his legs, shivering. "I did not kill you and it's not like the pig is starving!"

"Ravon..." Anaris glanced back at the old king, his dark eyes glittering. "You told me she was demure. A gentle soul with a voice like a dove. Are you trying to offer me another woman perhaps? Not keeping your end of the deal?"

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19 Re: Border Crossing on Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:58 pm

"You were trespassing." Baralai informed the elf simply. "I am well within my right to take your head, girl." He added.

"A voice like a magpie, more like." One of Alice's elder brother's had joined their father after his sister's outburst.

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20 Re: Border Crossing on Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:46 am

"I was not." Yena shook her head, finally beginning to calm down a bit. "I had no ill intentions, I was just hungry. I wasn't going to take the pig." 

"Alexis, " Anaris smiled warmly when he saw the younger man. "I had it on good authority that you were still off fighting the war. Already lose an apendage? A small village or two?" He teased.

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21 Re: Border Crossing on Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:43 am

"Your intentions don't change the fact you were on land that does not belong to you, uninvited." Baralai replied icily. "This farm is a long way from any towns, what is a mage doing so close to the border?"

Alexis reached out and shook the other man's hand. "I heard my father had finally managed to find someone desperate enough to take my sister off his hands." He replied with a devil may care grin. "I had to see the fool for myself."

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22 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:43 am

"Border?" Yena pushed her hair out of her face and looked up at the enormous man, feeling confused. She knew very little about politics and what lands belonged to what dignitaries. Her people simply moved through them all. "You mean the edge of the farmers land?"

Anaris chuckled. "Your father's message came pleading and crying like a child and then I get here only to have the old man do the same. How can I say no to that?" He patted the other man's shoulder and laughed. "Besides, she is not half as beastly as you made her out to be. When you were younger I believe the term you used was, 'riddled with warts'!" He added, his words making the entire table erupt with laughter.

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23 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:16 pm

Baralai looked at Yena as though she were some undiscovered creature. "Yes, the edge of the farmland." He replied with a roll of his eyes. "As a mage you shouldn't be traveling unaccompanied anyway!"

It was a mixture of female giggles and hearty male laughter, and Alice had heard every word. The dark haired princess was glaring hatefully at the man her father had promised her to from a few feet away.
"Yes, well... Half as beastly isn't the same as beautiful!" Alexis offered up in reply with a chuckle of his own.

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24 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:50 pm

"My clan sent me away. They said that I was too dangerous to stay. They gave me a pack with bread and cheese and let me go in the forest." She hung her head, her long hair brushing the surface of the water. 

"I think you were keeping her from me." Anaris said almost too softly. "You knew I would be attracted to her sparkling eyes and attitude."

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25 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:05 am

"A mage too dangerous for even her own people...?" Baralai asked, suddenly rather worried. "Can you not catch your own food, girl?"

"If that is the polite term for loud mouth, then yes." Alexis snorted.

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26 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:21 pm

"Not all elves are taught to hunt. A few, like myself, are taught to maintain the campsite. I was asked to cook what the hunters brought back." Yena explained. "And yes, I was too powerful to remain in my clan..."

Anaris chuckled. "I do not know why women here are silenced. It's a terrible thing."

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27 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:04 pm

"So even your own people didn't want you." Baralai snorted. "I'm contacting the circle, they will come and collect you and put you away with the other dangerous mages."

"A woman's place is to give you an heir and keep her mouth shut." Alexis told Anaris, no longer smiling. Alice was still listening. It was no secret that the two youngest of the king's children had no love for one another. The princess would spend hours reading when she was supposed to be learning needlepoint or etiquette, and Alexis had always blustered that a woman should not be allowed to read, as it would make her think she had permission to think. It all stemmed from one single incident when Alice had unintentionally made her brother look foolish by offering up a sound battle strategy while her brothers were playing war games one rainy day.

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28 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:10 pm

"I don't know who your circle is, but I will not be going with them. Or you!" Yena was on her feet and running through the water, Bara's pack of food tightly in her hands. 

"I suppose that is no longer a concern of yours, is it?" Anaris asked. The two men had always been on opposite sides about the issue of Alice. He'd been the one to carry out her battle plan. It had saved his life.

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29 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:14 pm

Baralai sheathed his sword and took no more than a few strides to catch up to the small woman. "You think I wont chain you up in the barn until they arrive?" He asked as he caught hold of the back of her dress.

Alice wasn't there to hear any of it this time. She was pushing through the many people who filled the ballroom, deciding tonight was the night she was leaving this privileged world behind for good.

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30 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:05 pm

"I think you're a enormous Shemlan who is nothing but a brute!" Yena shouted as she crashed back into the water. She again cursed the elven gods as icy water sprayed over them both in a magic sheet. 

Anaris stayed as long as he could at the ball before bowing out. He promised the king to return soon for the wedding. Soon enough he was outside and taking in a much needed breath. He needed to be alone.

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