Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Conquest: Heroes of Arcadia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mephisto's Cafe
    Posts
    2,651

    Default Conquest: Heroes of Arcadia

    Conquest: Heroes of Arcadia
    (PG-13)

    Halcyon High City of Thune
    Capital of the Halcyon Empire


    Thalia Valke strode through the halls of the Halcyon Imperial Palace, and for the umpteenth time she marveled at the change in décor since Ryder's ascension to the throne. Gone were the ostentatious gold-and-gemstone gilding, the imperial portraits of past kings and queens, the ornate tapestries telling tales of old victories, and the marble statues of heroes in battle.

    Ryder had done away with all of it. What he put in its place was simple; elegant and modern. Sleek lines, minimal decoration - even the ceremonial throne room had been completely overhauled. No longer was it an obelisk of precious metals and decadence. It was sparse; an elevated marble throne upon marble stairs. The only ornamentation was a series of stained-glass windows depicting heroes and events of legend.

    It was because of those heroes that Ryder had called her to meet with him. Not in the throne room, but his private office. That was the real seat of power. That was where the king truly ruled from. It was where he fought from now that the revolution had ended. It was where he fought to keep the peace so many had paid for with their blood. Now he believed that the old relics of heroes past would help preserve the future.

    He'd tasked her with finding them - either a relic itself, or just a trace of it. She didn't understand the details of how possessing these relics would prevent further war, but she trusted Ryder. He had already provided her with a list of suitable candidates for the journey. They'd narrowed it down to five plus her. Four of them knew to meet her at the palace courtyard. Osric Roehrborn, Lhara Val’ahar, Desi Castillo, and Sirnak Fento were already waiting. The last, however...he'd been more difficult to convince. It had taken some of her more...persuasive talents to even garner his attention. Nevertheless, she was...known for her abilities to persuade even the most stubborn of people.

    ===

    Lance Donovan was not one for following orders. He wasn't a soldier. He was a killer. Throughout the war he'd never seen organized combat; he never partook in drills, nor was he given marching orders. He was simply pointed in a direction and unleashed; tasked with dispatching everything that crossed his path. That was his nature, and the nature of war. Ryder and his generals knew that grim reality, and Lance was their way of keeping their hands clean of it.

    When Thalia Valke showed up at his door with "orders" from Ryder, it rubbed him the wrong way. He'd paid his dues to the "Hero King" and was promised anonymity in return. That was their agreement. Lance's power for Ryder's blind eye.

    So why had Ryder gone back on their deal?

    Were Lance a pettier man he would assume that Ryder no longer honored their agreement; he would assume that Ryder believed his new status, and high walls, and armed guards would protect the king from the his wrath and the truth. But Lance was not a petty man. And he knew that Ryder was smarter than that. For Ryder to summon him - the way a man summons his dog - meant that something very different was going on.

    It didn't help that the Valke woman was the one Ryder had sent. She was powerful. Dangerous. Even for someone like him. Their scuffle had exacerbated to the point where it seemed they'd kill one another. And Lance wasn't sure he'd be the one walking away. It was not his usual sentiment. And he didn't like it.

    He stalked through the streets of the Halcyon High Capital; eager to get it over with. Cities were a mixed blessing; full of potential and entertainment - but also crowded, loud, and intrusive. It made being him much more difficult. The Need was never stronger than when he was surrounded by people, the Hunger never more intense. The Passenger whispered ever louder, more incessantly, to the point where it was almost louder than the cacophony of the city around him.

    He pushed past the madness and stuffed down the Need. He forced himself to ignore it even though he knew it would only come back stronger and louder than before. He moved through the lower sections of the city and made his way towards the palace itself; where the Valke woman had ordered him to arrive.

    "Halt," bid the guards, weapons at the ready. Lance hardly blamed them; even looking as human as he did he cut a threatening figure. They were right to be wary of him. "State your name and business."

    "Lance Donovan," he answered curtly. He was annoyed with the scrutiny but refused to make it into a thing of note. Push through the noise and the clamor. Do what needed to be done. "I'm here to see the Valke woman. Or Ryder. Whichever one of them called me. I don't particularly care who."

    The guards bristled, but checked the registry and allowed him to pass.

    Once within the courtyard, he felt uncomfortable. He was surrounded; not by enemies, but by uncertainty. He had given up the high ground; he was unfamiliar with the terrain; he had abandoned all sense of tactical advantage.

    The Passenger whispered, almost screaming its protest. But with a snarl he stuffed it back into the dark corner of his mind; the high towers in the dark spaces behind his eyes.

    "Oh good, you decided to come." It was the Valke woman. Thalia. How grating a voice. Haughty, arrogantly noble - so full of duty and obligation. She lacked any sense of whim and freedom. "I was worried we'd have to kill you."

    "We, yes," Lance muttered, looking over the group. Thalia had explained the setup: a chosen few; some of the most capable and knowledgeable of Ryder's subjects. Though Lance was now beginning to doubt that fact. First there was the tall, thin man in the fancy robes. A mage, certainly, but hardly imposing at first glance. Beside him was a smaller man; lean and wiry, equipped with a handful of makeshift weapons and cobbled-together equipment. The next two were of more concern.

    The girl - a slender, petite, black-haired thing with dark eyes, dressed colorful robes - fit the bill of an eager mage. And Lance made a mental note not to underestimate her for her size. It was the other man - her traveling companion, it seemed - that caught his attention most. Tall, pale and hawk. He seemed too close to Lance's own kind. Too much like a fellow monster. Lance recognized the madness - that selfsame hunger in his eyes. He understood that. He knew that kind of man.

    It wasn't someone he needed to concern himself with.

    Only the Valke woman - tall, powerful, and as dangerous in her own way as he was - really warranted his concern. The rest would be easy enough to handle - to push away or pull in close - but Thalia already knew him; already crossed blades with him. Getting his way there would be infinitely more difficult.

    "Well then, we have an appointment to keep," said Thalia. She spared Lance a pointed look. "Let's get started."

    =====

    "We've been asked to travel east into the Orvale Republic," Thalia explained, hefting her pack over her shoulder. "The King has arranged passage for us with The Twelve. There's an old temple on one of the high peaks. Abandoned for centuries. Few people have even been there other than a few likely looters and vandals."

    Lance wondered why they were even bothering then. Anything of value...or even novelty, would have been sacked decades ago. But the decision was no longer his. He'd been forced into joining Ryder's little party, and the Valke woman was adamant about seeing their "mission" through.

    "You can call yourself whatever you want.
    Soldier. Leader. Patriot. Revolutionary. It doesn't matter.
    At our core we're all the same thing.
    Monsters."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Somewhere in the Philippines
    Posts
    620

    Default

    OOC: Yay! It's up! Also, note: I only said demonic because that's what Sirnak thinks of him.

    Sirnak Fento
    Palace Courtyard, Thune


    To say Sirnak is anxious would be true; to say he's a little unsure would be true; to say he's surprised, however, would be a bit of an understatement. After all, he's only five feet tall, rather skiny, hasn't been doing his job as a mercenary for a very long time and thus no years of experience, has no armor or actual weapons--bar his family sword--and what was worse was that he didn't even know one simple spell to somewhat compensate those flaws. He'd be a big liability. And yet, here he is, standing in a palace courtyard to search for relics that Ryder believes will sustain peace with several other people.

    Sirnak tried to calm himself down as best as he could, especially with a very menacing mercenary nearby him, but his anxiousness was very much noticeable. He would try his best to help along this quest, yes, but with the line-up of a wealthy mage, a brilliant alchemist and her sinister mercenary, and someone else he couldn't remember for the love of sanity, his lack of tools might end up being the downfall of the mission.

    He perks up. Footsteps... The last one must be arriving. Now is the moment where his doubts were sealed as a demonic man came in, his annoyance not obvious, but Sirnak could still feel it; the feeling of annoyance. He looks to Thalia when she strikes up a conversation with the man.

    "Oh good, you decided to come. I was worried we'd have to kill you."

    "We, yes," the man said.

    I was right. He was annoyed, Sirnak thought before he stiffened when said man looked to his side, then to him.

    Sirnak breathed out, letting his body relax somewhat as he put up a serious expression. Yes, it's probably too late since the man probably noted his earlier reaction, but he couldn't care less anymore. Especially since he never thought he'd be greatful about going through depression as that was when he first reigned his emotions. But he could still see it: he was no threat; he wouldn't be a challenge. He didn't like those thoughts swirling around his head.

    The man looked back to Thalia when she said, "Well then, we have an appointment to keep." She gave the man a pointed look. Sirnak was a bit happy about that. "Let's get started."

    ----

    Sirnak followed Thalia and the group, and listened to her as she explained to the warrior from earlier.

    "We've been asked to travel east into the Orvale Republic," she said, hefting her pack over her shoulder. "The King has arranged passage for us with The Twelve. There's an old temple on one of the high peaks. Abandoned for centuries. Few people have even been there other than a few likely looters and vandals."

    He took a brief glance at the warrior. He could still see the annoyance but now some contempt. He obviously found this pointless. If that's so, then why did he join in the first place? Unless...

    Sirnak shook his head before looking to the sky. He couldn't tell what time it was exactly, but he felt it was either closing noon, or after it. He went back to looking onward, reinvigorating his steps.

    Why am I getting so worked up? he wondered. He wasn't like this when he went on missions for his clients, or even the time when he killed those corrupt noblemen. Then he remembered: his parents' deaths and his wish.

    Speeding himself up somewhat, he put on a determined face. He wouldn't have been accepted if he wasn't capable. His doubts from earlier cast aside, he'll do all he can to help to complete this journey, even if it's the last thing he'll do.
    Last edited by TheCharredDragon; 23rd May 2015 at 10:39 AM.
    I want this game bad...

    "Two groups, one game, it was all meant for fun, but it all goes wrong. This is no ordinary dungeon, it's Perception."
    Are you a fellow Fossil Fighter?
    Linking my squad at my own risk.
    Fun fact: Boondock--which has led to variations such as boonies (which was said by Trip)--comes from the Filipino, Cebuano and Tagalog word bunduk, which means mountain, hence boondock's meaning.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    76

    Default

    Traveling with the Val’ahar girl had already proven to be much more of an adventure than Osric originally expected. Knowing that her journey was for research, he figured the most excitement he would experience would be fighting the occasional bandit on the road. However, their journey had taken them through dangerous mountain passes and shady city crypts, visiting secluded wizards and abandoned temples. Most recently, Lhara’s research took her to Thune, a very old city known for being the religious capital of the nation. It was here that their journey really began to get interesting.

    “It must be my lucky day,” Osric had said with a smirk as a beautiful blonde woman walked up to them. Her face was cold and serious, and her armor gave the impression that she meant business.

    The woman introduced herself as Thalia Valke, ignoring Osric’s comment. That was a name Osric recognized; she was one of Ryder’s personal guard. Apparently, she was forming a group of people with the task of finding the ancient relics in order to use their power to maintain the peace in the land. He wondered, would this be good or bad for Lhara’s cause? Would they let her do her research on the relics to see if they hold the power she seeks, assuming she agrees to help? She must not have had the same concerns, as she quickly agreed to join forces with Valke. It was clear why Valke would want to recruit Lhara, as her whole life has been devoted to learning about the relics Ryder seeks.

    It had been years since Osric had last step foot in the Halcyon Imperial Palace. The last time he was here, he was fighting the Morgenstern supporters in the halls during the battle that would win Ryder the throne of Halcyon. The palace looked much different than he had remembered. Before, the halls were decorated in the flashy decorations you would expect from a king with more money than he knew what to do with. He also recalled there being a good amount of blood and bodies strewn about. Now, the palace seemed empty. Gone were the statues and tapestries. Osric liked it better before.

    Osric found himself standing among a rather small group of individuals in the palace courtyard. As he stood back and observed the other people chosen to help find the ancient artifacts, he couldn’t help but wonder what Valke’s criteria was. Besides Lhara and himself, there were two other young men in the group. Neither of them looked to be of any physical threat. The taller one looked to be a mage of some sort, so maybe he had some unseen potential. The shorter one was harder to rationalize. He was short, skinny, and, well, average. What was he offering to the quest?

    Looking everyone over, he hoped no one was expecting him to be the muscle of the group. He was only here because of Lhara, and unless Valke or the King were planning on paying him, Lhara was his only concern.

    ---

    Lhara couldn’t believe her research had brought her to the aid of King Ryder. She was practically bubbling with excitement as she stood in the courtyard with the group that would be locating the ancient relics. The resources and knowledge she would now have access to would completely revitalize her search! She hadn’t admitted it to anyone, but she was running into one dead end after another in her journey. This opportunity could not have come at a better time. She could hardly wait to discuss the relics with Thalia and the other members of the group. They must have so much that they could teach her.

    As she pondered this, a fourth man joined their group. He was tall, the tallest of the group, and physically impressive. She glanced at Osric, who was already sizing the newcomer up. She looked back to the man. She didn’t recognize him, but he was clearly powerful. She doesn’t like to judge people before meeting them, but this man had a nefarious aura about him. But she pushed that feeling aside. If Thalia and King Ryder trusted him, so should she.

    After a short exchange between the man and Thalia, Thalia told the group they were headed to Orvale. It had been a long time since she had been back to her home land. She really hoped that this would not just lead to another dead end.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •