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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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61 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:50 am

Baralai was peering down over Yena now. "Are you so certain of everything?" He asked, though his voice was considerably softer than it had been. "There is a kingdom out there plagued by dragons, yet their people are all born without magical skill. They pay a heavy price for mages to send into battle for them."

Alice found herself staring at the wound on Anaris's back, wondering who was strong enough to have subdued a man like him. "You had this planned... You knew what my father and brothers would do, didn't you?" She whispered as she glanced at all the other people in the room.
"Healing well is not healed, sire." The elf he had called Relgan breathed.

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62 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:45 pm

"Fighting against a dragon?" Yena breathed, staring up at the towering man. "That's madness. It would take an army to even get near one." 

Anaris nodded at the princess. "Your brother talks quite a bit when he's drunk. He doesn't seem to mind who he's talking to either." He chuckled, turning his attention on the elven woman who was refusing to help him with his shirt. "It will heal, woman. It is fine. Leave it be."

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63 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:37 pm

"Not if the dragon can't see its foe." Baralai shrugged. "I hear they pay a lot of coin for just one mage."

"He really hates me this much?" Alice whispered, though she already knew the answer. "I just wanted to disappear, but now I find myself married to a man I don't even know!"
"Show some respect, girl!" Relgan snapped, not liking her master being spoken to this way.

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64 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:00 pm

"Fine." Yena said after a long moment of simply staring at Baralai. "It's obvious you need the money. So do it." 

"It's all right. She speaks the truth." Anaris said softly. "She cannot be faulted for that."

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65 Re: Border Crossing on Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:22 pm

"All this effort to flee, and you accept this so readily?" Baralai asked, though he was very almost smiling. "What am I supposed to call you, anyway?"

The female elf still muttered something under her breath as she turned away to pick up the shirt Anaris had cast off.
"Why are you helping me?" Alice breathed. "What do you gain?"

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66 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:49 am

"Call me whatever you like. It really does not matter when I am little more than dragon fodder to you." Yena said softly. "Piglet sounded as good as anything else." 

"Hopefully your help." Anaris said as the elf who helped her dress began to make a mess of Alice's hair. "The marriage is a sham, yes. But I would greatly appreciate your partnership in matters..." he paused, holding up a hand. Everything around them went still and it seemed as if everyone disappeared. 
Without warning he grabed Alice and pressed his lips to hers, his own fingers sliding through her hair. He pulled her hard against him and with his free hand he yanked up one of her slender legs, sliding it up his own.

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67 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:41 am

"And what if you were the one to defeat a dragon?" Baralai countered. "They would have their bards write songs about you, piglet."

Alice hadn't been expecting this sudden move, but it would be wrong to say she didn't like it. The princess was astute enough to realise Anaris must have heard someone approaching the room and allowed her own slender fingers to tangle into her new husband's hair as he held her close.

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68 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:39 pm

"I doubt it. The one who buys me would tale credit and you know it. Besides..." she couldn't help but give him a slight grin. "I can't even fight a pig for food. It's not looking good for me."

Anaris' stomach twisted into a painful knot and he groaned, turning to press her against the wall. Her brother was now watching. One of his men would have to intervene soon or he'd do something they'd both regret.

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69 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:55 pm

Baralai was surprised to find that smile rather charming. "They would have people to teach you, I wold imagine." He replied. "Unless... you're afraid?"

Alice had opened one eye just enough to see Alexis standing there. She knew the Prince wouldn't be happy unless he thought she was being forced to do something against her will. The dark haired woman opened both eyes now to meet her husband's gaze and hoped he understood what they needed to do. She discretely took one of his hands and indicated him to slide the flowing layers of her dress up. That done she turned her face to the side and began sobbing for him to stop whatever he was doing.

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70 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:26 pm

Yena nodded, jumping when the thunder crashed overhead. They were protected from the rain by the trees but this wouldn't last long. "The dragon is bigger than you I'm sure. Wouldn't you be?"

"Stop your tears." Anaris hissed, understanding perfectly. "This is your fate as my wife. Get used to it." Though he didn't undo his breeches, he thrust himself against her and kept doing it until a drunken elf bumped into Alexis and asked why he wasn't joining the party down below.

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71 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:38 pm

"Scared?" Baralai shook his head and laughed. "Fear prevents you from doing what must be done."

Alexis looked at the elf rather disdainfully then finally turned away. It seemed he was satisfied with their little performance.
Once she saw her brother leave, Alice surprised Anaris by kissing him one more time. "Thank you." She breathed. "That... Can't have been easy for you." She added, though oddly didn't push him away. "Alexis will give word to my father that the deal he was so desperate to make with you is sealed."

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72 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:11 pm

"The dread wolf curse us. I must have been born afraid then!" Yena laughed softly, proving this by jumping as another clap of Thunder shook the very earth they were standing on. 

"And our work has only just begun." Anaris said with a sigh. "Come we must return to the party. They'll want to see that I have taken full possession of you."

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73 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:23 pm

"By the maker woman, it is only thunder!" Baralai exclaimed. "One would think you never heard it before!"

Alice nodded before leaning down to pick up her tiara from where it had fallen on the floor. "They will expect us to dance." She reminded Anaris softly. "Is that okay?"

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74 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:31 pm

"It's just that...usually I am the cause of it." Yena said, clearly ashamed. "I burned down half a forest with a lightning spell once. I can't control my magic." 

"Are you worried I can't dance, my dear?" The elven man asked, smoothing down his black hair with his fingers. "Do you not remember whose toes you once stepped on when your mother asked that you be taught?"

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75 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:37 pm

"Your people never taught you?" Baralai asked, making the rash assumption that all elves were proficient in magic.

Alice frowned at Anaris at first before her blue and grey eyes grew saucer wide. "That's impossible!" She breathed, wondering how she could have not recognised him upon their introduction several hours earlier.

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76 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:49 pm

"My magic is hard to control. No one wanted anything to do with me. Even my own parents were afraid of me." Yena told him. "My mother put me in the woods and was horrified to discover that I found my own way back. Must you ask..." again she stopped short as lightning struck a nearby tree and split it in half. 

"Is it now?" Anaris asked, an amused grin playing on his lips. "Why is that?"

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77 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:52 pm

Baralai didn't jump at all, he was instead watching Yena. "Why did you find your way back if she did that to you?" He asked curiously.

"Well..." Alice spluttered several times as she sought a reply, until finally she simply shoved her hands roughly against Anaris's chest. "You should have said something!"

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78 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:02 pm

"The wolf stalked me. Where else was I to go?" Yena asked sadly. "People in my clan hated me. They said I was the child of the Dread wolf."

The dark haired man chuckled and shook his head. "Are you kidding? You hated me then. Called me an ugly old man with pointed toes that matched my ears. When you were very small you used to love to pull those ears by the way."

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79 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:08 pm

"Maybe you were." Baralai asked with a serious expression. "It isn't unheard of for Dread Wolves to take human form.

Alice's smooth cheeks flushed with colour, and it was only now that she put distance between herself and Anaris. She had few childhood memories, not since her mother had simply disappeared one day. "We should go downstairs, they'll be waiting."

ooc: Woop! 14000!

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80 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:39 pm

Yeah laughed. "The Dread Wolf. There is only one silly Templar. And yes he can take human firm but my mother... was the clan whore. I doubt he bothered with her." 

"As you wish." Anaris said almost sadly. He ventured down ahead of her, making himself seem like the cat that had gotten the cream. Really he was feeling as if he'd lost so very much.

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81 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:44 pm

"That would make more sense for him to have had her then." Baralai snorted. "Or perhaps it is just the wishful dream of an unwanted child simply wishing she was special." He added rather coldly.

Alice was a few steps behind Anaris, her head bowed to make it seem she was extremely miserable. In truth, her thoughts were simply elsewhere, trying to recall any time she may have seen Anaris as a child.

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82 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:08 pm

"Oh I have no doubt of my worthlessness." She said with a shrug. "Otherwise, I wouldn't be stealing food from a pig to survive."

Anaris nodded to her father and the two men disappeared for a good while, discussing battle plans and armies.

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83 Re: Border Crossing on Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:13 pm

"Did you never ask your mother who your father was?" Baralai asked curiously. "Or was she so easy she didn't even take names?"

Alice was again looking for a way out. Her family had sold her, making her feel less than worthless. It was only by luck that she had been sold to someone like Anaris.

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84 Re: Border Crossing on Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:59 am

A crash of lightning drowned out Yena's answer and it was in that moment that the bottom fell out of the storm and they began to get pelted with hail and harder rain.

"You're not tryin to leave are you?" The ef who had helped her change dresses was now serving. She paused by Alice with a sad frown. "He expects this. How sad that he'll be right."

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85 Re: Border Crossing on Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:23 am

Baralai grumbled and grabbed hold of Yena's arm as he pulled them deeper through the forest, unknowingly closer to the border between the kingdoms.

Alice frowned at the elf, then looked back out over the ballroom. "What does it matter? It isn't as though he fell in love and chose me to be his wife. I was a gift, no different than cattle!"

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86 Re: Border Crossing on Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:02 pm

Yeah stumbled after him, trying her best to keep up. His powerful stride alone was enough to have her hopping. The rain was blinding her and she was weaker now than ever. She was starving to death.

"Or king is full of secrets. You'd be surprised at what you could learn from him." The young woman said.

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87 Re: Border Crossing on Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:19 pm

Baralai groaned when Yena stumbled for the third time. Without a word he turned and lifted her slight frame up into his powerful arms. "If I am going to get a decent price for you, first you must eat something."

Alice shook her head. "I have gone from one royal household to another. Nothing will change."

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88 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:01 pm

"I'm going to die anyway. What's the point?" Yena asked. She didn't know why but for the first time in her life she felt protected and safe. It was the oddest feeling considering this was the most dangerous threat she'd ever come across. 

The elf went from smirking to outright laughing in her face. "Hey, Reglan!" She shouted to the other woman. "She thinks we're royal!"

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89 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:56 pm

"You are so certain you wont be of use to those desperate fools?" Baralai asked with a quiet chuckle.

Alice was fuming, scowling hatefully at the elven woman. "Then why address him as 'King'?!" She demanded hotly, not for a second entertaining the other kind of royalty. The very kind she had dreamed of since she was small.

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90 Re: Border Crossing on Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:54 pm

"I don't exactly have the greatest track record." Yena said. A giant tree cracked and began to fall before them. With the wave of her hand she kept it still until Baralai was on the other side of it, thinking nothing of what she'd done. 

The elven woman gave her an impish grin and walked away, giggling with the elder woman.

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