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Border Crossing

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

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"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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31 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:11 pm

Baralai shook himself off like a shaggy dog and glared at the small woman again. "Then stop running from me, knife ear!" He snarled. "If you had the coin I would give you safe passage to the border into the next kingdom, but I doubt a waif like you has the gold for that!"

"E-excuse me..." A young woman bumped into Anaris, though she was quick to steady herself and pull up the hood of her cloak once more.

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32 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:57 am

"I do not and you would not. You just said you were planning to give me to a circle. For whatever good that would do." Yena snapped, now frustrated and shivering. 
"Baralai?" An ancient sounding voice came from the farm house nearby. "You're still here? It will be dark soon. Is everything all right?" 

"No worries." Anaris said warmly, smiling down at the tiny creature. 
"Watch where you walk, woman. You have no idea who you run into." A snake like voice hissed. Anaris sighed deeply. His moment of peace was gone. They had found him.

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33 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:17 pm

"It's alright, Jacob. Just taking care of some vermin." Baralai called back. "I'll secure the animals then head into the barn for some sleep, if that's alright?"

Alica wasn't accustomed to people speaking to her this way, it was always fake niceness and saccharine sweet smiles with lots of low bowing. The small runaway smiled slightly, glad that at least she was so far undetected. "Perhaps the pretty boy should mind where he walks, hmm?" She suggested.

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34 Re: Border Crossing on Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:31 am

"You're not heading out tonight?" Jacob asked, his voice cracking. "The seller won't wait forever and you are planning to return to your Templars soon. Remember?" 
Yena narrowed her eyes at the man in front of her. He was more than he seemed. She shouldn't have been surprised. 

The man jerked her backward by her hood. "Never speak to him that way again, girl." The elven man hissed. 
"That's enough. She is right. I was in the way." Anaris said gently, removing the other man's fingers from Alice's hood. "Leave her be."

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35 Re: Border Crossing on Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:37 am

Baralai sighed quietly when Jacob revealed who he was. "I'll take the animals tonight." He assured the elder man. "Don't worry about anything, I'll have the coin back here by day break." He purposefully made no mention of the Templars.

Alice's fingers were on the blade at her hip. She hadn't wanted to cause a scene if she could avoid it, but this elf was making it rather difficult.

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36 Re: Border Crossing on Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:54 pm

"I knew you were being underhanded for a reason. I don't know why your kind hated mages but you do. It's not right. It's as bad as a bear that hates bees." Yena was clearly pouting now. 

"Look at this, sire. Now the little girl wants to fight!" The slender elf cackled. "I don't think she knows what she's getting herself into. Put your plastic away, child. It will do you no good against warriors."

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37 Re: Border Crossing on Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:25 pm

"Oh hush, girl. Pouting wont change my mind anymore than a bee stinging a bear will make him like it." Baralai replied with an amused chuckle.

"Warrior? You? You reek of bureaucracy!" Alice spat, her blue flecked eyes narrowing at the elf from beneath her hood. "Like a dog begging at the king's feet for scraps. You make me sick!"

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38 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:18 am

"You never know. It may make him desire nothing but the taste of honey. Magic is magic after all. It's very strange." Yena pointed out.

"Alice..." Anaris recognized the young woman by her tone. "Careful. You are not playing war with your brothers anymore."

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39 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:53 am

Baralai arched his brow slightly as he glanced at Yena. "Honey, you say? You say this from experience, mage?"

Those words just further enraged Alice, her fierce gaze turning on the man her father had tried to sell her to. "And you have no power here." She spat, her fingers still on her blade as she sprinted into the gardens that surrounded the castle.

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40 Re: Border Crossing on Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:36 am

Yena nodded, "I have seen it before. And...I am not a mage. I have a name, just as I'm sure you do. I do not call you Pig farmer,  after all. I'll be going now." Again she tried to slide out of his grasp and disappear.

Anaris smiled as he watched her slender form dissappearing into the darkness. Oh how little she knew. 
Alice wouldn't get far. The guards were waiting for her at the end of the garden and before she knew it she was being carted back to her father. 
"You will marry Anaris!" The old man screeched at her. "Whether you like it or not! He is saving our kingdom! We will repay him!"

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41 Re: Border Crossing on Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:17 pm

Baralai was far too accustomed to mages trying to slip his grasp and soon had a hold on Yena again. "You can call me what you like, unlike you I am not an unholy creature."

Alice had squirmed the entire trip back to the throne room and glared up at her father defiantly. "I am the price for saving a kingdom? I find it hard to believe any man is that desperate for a wife!" She hissed at the king. "If I am the prize for saving the kingdom, should I not be given the chance to save it myself?" She added with a regal sniff.

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42 Re: Border Crossing on Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:42 pm

"That's not true. You have a hole right there." Yena placed a hand on his chest, not quite sure what she was doing. "Your heart seems to be missing, sir." She breathed.

"You are a woman. It is not possible. We need magic and thieves besides. These are not things you understand or posses." Her father snapped. "Take her upstairs. We will perform the wedding without you."

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43 Re: Border Crossing on Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:02 pm

Baralai hadn't been prepared for those words and was slow to push Yena away. "What does a creature know of hearts?" He asked, his voice dangerously low.

"Father, if I may..." Alice's brother was smiling at her thinly as he leaned close to their father's ear. "You could have one of the maids dress her, then simply bind her wrists and gag that obnoxious mouth." He purred, seeing it as the perfect chance to humiliate Alice as she had him all those years ago.

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44 Re: Border Crossing on Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:37 pm

The Templar was not the first to call Yena creature so she wasn't sure why it hurt so much. She turned her face away, unable to stop another shiver that ran over her. "You'd better go." She said softly. "Your pigs are starting to wander off."

"Gagging her would be an insult to Anaris. But the rest..." the old man considered it and then nodded. "Dress her and bring her back here. Make sure she is good and tied so that she cannot get away. The rest of you decorate the main hall and contact Anaris' people. We will have a wedding in an hour!"

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45 Re: Border Crossing on Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:22 pm

"You could fetch me a higher price than the pigs, and I could finally return to the order." Baralai mused, silently debating if he should forget the pigs and simply drag her to the slavers.

Alice bit the arm that would holding her and surged forward quick enough that she managed to punch her brother in the nose before she was restrained again. "I will not forget this, you pathetic mutt!" She swore as she was dragged away.

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46 Re: Border Crossing on Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:56 pm

"You're one of those Templars." Yena said bitterly. "Why am I not surprised?" She dabbled her fingers in the water, her thoughts darkening.

Anaris stood in the great hall some time later, his lips set in a thin line. He hadn't wanted this. In fact he'd been going to turn down the marriage. Alice deservedo her freedom but now...this was the only way he could give it to her.

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47 Re: Border Crossing on Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:08 pm

"You know many Templar's then?" Baralai scoffed. It was a normal reaction for someone like him to hate a mage. It was what he had been indoctrinated to believe since birth.

The dress Alice had been forced into was truly one fit for the princess she was, but it was no more than another form of shackles for her. Though it looked as though she carried a bouquet of pink lilies in front of her, it was simply to hide the irons on her wrists. For the moment Anaris was spared her hateful glare, as her face was hidden by a flowing veil.

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48 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:33 am

"I'm not a slave. I'm sorry." Yena sent shock waves through the water and then ran when his knees buckled. 

Anaris held out a hand for her but was pushed aside by one of her brothers. The wedding lasted no more than a few minutes and he barely got out the words of agreement.

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49 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:06 am

The sensation reminded Baralai of nearly drowning in the river all those months ago. It took him longer than he would have liked to shake it off and pick himself up again.

"Aren't you going to kiss your new wife?" Alexis sneered, merely doing it to cause his baby sister more misery.

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50 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:16 pm

Yena burst through the woods, disappearing in the darkness of the thicket. Her life was a series of bad luck events. This was just another. The giant honey haired Templar was probably going to kill her for this.

"Of course." Anaris gently pushed back the veil and took her face in his fingers, his thumbs sliding over her cheeks. "You are free, little bird. Wait and see." He breathed before his lips brushed hers.

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51 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:24 pm

Baralai was stomping through the trees, already muttering to himself how much he was going to make the mage pay for this. He was so well distracted that he missed the sight of the storm coming that would make leaving the forest impossible for the both of them.

Alice's blue flecked eyes were filled with confusion as Anaris breathed those words to her, but that wouldn't stop a fat tear from sliding down her cheek as her new husband kissed her. The princess didn't even remember that she and Anaris knew each other rather well, or they had done when they were children.

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52 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:57 pm

Yena stayed in the trees above the tall man. She could feel the atmosphere beginning to change but she was too worried about him to pay attention to it. 

When he pulled away he took another moment to wipe away the tear before turning to her brother. "Remove the shackles." He hissed. "It would be an insult for my people to see a captive bride. They hate that sort of thing."

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53 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:10 pm

"You can't hide from me forever, mage!" Baralai shouted after some time, though those words were more than enough proof that he was having difficulty finding his meal ticket back to the Templars.

Alexis merely tossed the key at Anaris. "She's your problem now, you do it." He snorted, having not witnessed nearly enough humiliation on his sister's part.

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54 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:24 pm

Fat raindrops began to slap her in the head. Yena swung out of the tree top and dropped down, hoping the Templar was long gone. 

Anaris caught the key and in a swift movement was on his old friend. With a knee in his back he all but shoved the keys in his face. "Do it yourself or I will use these to unlock your eyes." He hissed.

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55 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:33 pm

Baralai had stopped searching to simply wait. He was smiling to himself as Yena dropped from the treet a few feet away, though he didn't make himself know.

Alexis had clearly not been expecting this, and grabbed hold of the keys, his pride very much wounded. He jabbed Alice's wrist several times before he actually unlocked the shackles, passing it off as shaking fingers, though Alice knew better.

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56 Re: Border Crossing on Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:43 pm

Yena waited until she was sure he was gone and stepped out into the clearing. She couldn't have had worse timing. The lightning flashed, revealing the slender elf where she stood, shoving her fingers through her soaking hair.

An arise held his hand out to Alice once they were done, not expecting her to take it. "Come," he said only loud enough for her to hear. "We must now go and pretend to consumate this marriage."

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57 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:18 am

"All that magic, and you're still trapped like an animal." Baralai snorted, thought the lightening hadn't illuminated his location.

Alice glanced at all the face watching them, then surprised herself by placing her hand in the one Anaris held out to her. She didn't know why he seemed to helping her, but for now she had no choice. "They expect it right away?" She squeaked.

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58 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:39 am

"You're not going to give it up are you?" she shouted over a clap of thunder. She was already backing up toward the trees, her eyes wide and her body tense. "Leave me alone, Bear!"

Anaris looked down at the tiny hand in his and nodded. "Its your custom. That the bridegroom show he is pleased with his gift. Not to worry. My people are prepared for this."

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59 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:55 am

"You should know, Bear's can be rather tenacious." Baralai practically purred. "Never satisfied until they have what they want."

Alice felt like everything was moving in slow motion. She felt herself nod her head at the answer Anaris gave her, but she barely felt her feet move. He spoke of freedom, but had yet to tell her the cost.

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60 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:40 am

"You will not have me! I am worthless to my own people. You really think anyone would give you a decent price for me?" Yena continued to edge backward, slipping on a fallen branch and tumbling into the leaves. 

Anaris swept her away to the sounds of cheering. The moment they stepped into the bridal chambers people appeared from the darkness. A young woman with a dress took hold of Alice while another began to tangle the sheets on the bed. "Get changed and we will wait until the appropriate time." Her new husband told her, removing his shirt and tossing it aside. Another elf gave him a different more relaxed shirt, pausing to touch the wounds he still had on his back. They look like whip marks. "It's healing well, Relgan." He told the woman softly. "Hurry now."

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