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Palace of Nabil

Oru
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Oru
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5:30 PM - Jul 02, 2015 #1

Three Months passed. Jade was attended by several young nobles. Two she enjoyed meeting with - they shared poetry with her and told her tales, and spoke to her of their religion. They were a young Lord and his Lady, The Lord and Lady of Hal'shanna to the South. They came by at least once a week with permission from thr Sultan to visit with his angel.

The Sultan stopped in at least twice a week, schedule permitting, and he watched her fly. Once he asked her to sing, and he seemed to taken with her modest voice that it was how he would always end his visits with her. Shara was permitted near her always.

During the last couple days of the first month, having seen Walker and Raka only in passing or at banquets, Shara was able to sneak a message to Walker one late evening. She knocked on his door, smiled shyly, and passed him a folded note. It said, "I miss our talks, and hope you are well. Visit more often! Sincerely, Jade"

Somewhere in themiddle of the second month, Raka stopped in, late at night. Jade was playing some sort of tile game with Shara (and losing horribly) when her handmaiden had heard his approach. She sat upright with a start and excused herself to see who it was. In a matter of moments, Shara was bustling Jade into a long robe (It came up under her wingsand hooked onto her shoulders, like much of her wardrobe.)

Jade was pushed out into the night then, where Raka looked up from the ground with arms crossed. 'What?" She asked, crossing her own arms.

Raka glowered at the ground a second, then looked back up at her. Then he cast his eyes left and right then turned to leave.

The second time that happened was a few days later. He was looking totally healed from his injuries in the desert. He had left somethig on the ledge, muttered something about Jade needing to practice her own scowls, and stormed off. In the small parcel he had left for her was a small bird, seemingly carved from Jade. Her namesake.

The last time he came by, Jade leapt right off the ledge and snatched his arm before he could leave. "Um - Its all right." She smiled at him.

Raka narrowed his eyes at her. "...I didn't apologize."

Jade shrugged. Raka grimaced and shook her off with irritation. Then she laughed again. Raka muttered something about her being a presumptuous bird, and stormed off again.

At the end of that night they were both smiling.

Raka, however, in his free time, returned to Jacintha. Several nights later, he aught her in the hall and dragged her (by force) to his own rooms where they were undisturbed. The way he saw it, they both had itches that needed scratching. With the way Jacintha seemed to think she was using HIM for her own pleasure, that was the same behavior he dependedo n to satisfy his own urges, and not commit to further... trouble. She would always leave him in the morning without as econd glance, pleased as punch,a nd Raka wouldn't have to deal with the backlash.

Jacintha was jubilant in her victory.

After several months, (three from their arrival to be exact) a new set of nobles arrived at the palace to witness the grandeur of the Sultan's angel. They were from Rak'shasan, lesser lords with lots of coin to spend on such a frivolous trip. However, the oldest of these nobles - Six brothers and their retinue - Was Punjar Al Rak'shasan. And there was nothing he hated more then the opulent waste that was the Sultan's rule. He was there to see the angel - and perhaps to take some of that purity for himself.

Shout out to all those players I miss, and the new friends I make.
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Gigantor
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6:44 PM - Jul 02, 2015 #2

At the end of month three Walker was finally beat a little less and permitted to go on his first mission with Raka, Edgar and his boys. Where they proceeded to pummel him there. Laker was given all the bait jobs. The secret was he didn't mind so much. It gave him a chance to be alone and move the way that was natural to him. They didn't trust him with a weapon, though at seemed like a decision more for the protection of the boys than it was to Edgar. He still couldn't figure out how the man had survived that day.

He was growing frustrated with all of the unanswered questions and it felt like the clock to escape was ticking away. He'd stayed away from Jade throughout his "training", he couldn't stand to let her see his wounds and bruises, he knew she would feel the pain Walker had spent years numbing himself to. Also, since their arrival banquet he'd felt uneasy about the mark and the conversation he would need to have with her. What that mark over his heart meant for her...and for him. After reading the letter he knew he had to pool his courage and seek her out, if nothing else but because he missed her.

Edgar had his band tracking a band of marauders outside the city. He'd never heard of this group until a few days ago and the details were sketchy. This was beginning to feel like a Dima suggested mission. No matter, he would be properly rewarded and it gave him a chance to restock on some of his personal supplies.

He sent Walker ahead to ambush the camp then lead them back to the rock outcropping they were waiting behind. Raka was on the other side ready to cut off their escape.
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Oru
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7:18 PM - Jul 02, 2015 #3

Raka was always silent during Walker's training. He said no comforting words, spared no easy glance, and made his presence as minimal as possible, except for the rare occasion that Walker needed to be physically moved from his practice area.

On this mission, Raka was to cut off the escape. Easy enough. There shouldn't be too many of them, thirty tops. A brigand group set on pillaging the Sultan's subjects - i.e. taking money out of Dima's pockets. He and maybe three other men stood at the crux of a swerve int he pass that marked the escape roude of the brigands. He paid them no mind.

He kept flexing his control, one hand on, one hand off, both hands on, both hands off, fire up to his elbow, down tot he wrist, arching from both hands, quietly as to not draw attention as he was crouched behind some bushes. Soon enough - the sound of battle would cross his ears and he peered out to see how the plan was progressing.

-----

Jade walked with Shara in the Nocturne Gardens - the most peaceful place during the day. The owls all slept in their roosts, and the nightengales were slumbering. The night-blooming flowers were all still and quiet. As they chatted silently about Shara's childhood int he palace, a soft throat clearing caught her attention.

Behind her, she turned and Shara dipped into a low bow, seeming to dissapear intothe foliage. JAde regarded the new noble face, and sketched her own bow. She was getting pretty good at it.

The man madeno bow back to her, only watched her, and she glanced back up at him to see if he would allow her to straighten, but he was looking at everywhere but her face. He smiled and she felt it like cold water spilling down her back. He reached out and unabashedly toched a wing.

Jade straightened. 'Good day."

The Man licked his lips, a devil's beard pointed and scented with wax on a full, square face, set upon strong shoulders and a narrow waistline and hips. "Very good. Forgive me, Angel. I was admiring you from afar and wished to introduce myself. I am Punjar Al Rak'shasan"

She bowed briefly again. Shara dipped over to her elbow and whispered in her ear, something nonsensical. Jade smield and nodded. "Forgive me. The Sultan's clothier wishes to see me. Good day, Lord Rak'shasan."

She scurried off, thanking Shara with a squeze to the arm, feeling the man's eyes on her as she went.

Several times, people had come to the Rose gardens seeking her capture - minor offenses. The first time had startled her, and that was maybe a month and ahalf ago. A Man had come into her room with rope and SHara had nearly pushed him to his death from the height. The second time, patrolling guards had caught a similarly sketchy individual.

SUrprisingly though, Jade felt safe int he gardens here. Though she hated being a pet, as long as she didn't see it that way, it was bearable.

Shout out to all those players I miss, and the new friends I make.
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Gigantor
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9:14 PM - Jul 02, 2015 #4

The marauders were caught by surprised when a heavily clocked man burst from the galley tent, ran through their lunch gathering at the fire and kicked coals in the faces of the men in front of him, then on fleet feet he kept running.

The alarm was sounded as everyone came to realize what happened. Men started shouting (some screamed in agony from burns) and they all jumped to their feet to seek out a weapon, a horse, or to chase Walker down.

He was in the desert running to the render vous point with his pursuers at the right distance behind him. He was coming to the rock when a man broke ahead of the troupe on a black steed that stemmed to fly over the sands. He gained ground on Walker quickly, the rider lowered his halberd and lined it up with Walker's back.
***

Edgar watched as the plan unfolded. Everything was going well, even the shadow was on time and moving fast despite the work over he received daily. Then the man on the horse started and Edgar whistled, wondering if Walker could close the gap or if the myth was bigger than the man.
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Oru
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9:25 PM - Jul 02, 2015 #5

Raka watched the approach. He nodded at the three men with him, and two of which took up bow and arrows, falling back and going up a small dune to get a better angle. He felt the fire coursing through his veins and watched as Walker sped out and ahead of the persuit.

He shut his eyes and focused. He'd have to put a lot of concentration into this wall. A gasp from the man beside him - another archer, just in case- made Raka open his eyes. There was a man on a rather nice black horse aproaching with a halbred - and Raka would be damned if Walker made it.

He watched for a second. He quickly made the pros and cons in his head, cursed, and sprinted forward, just a few paces, running up the side of a dune, and twisting his body around in a leap to get more height. At the apex of this leap off of the dune he threw his hand out and a burst of fire was expelled, knocking the halbred-bearer right out of his saddle and into the paths of the other persuers. The horse kept running past.

Raka landed in a roll and cursed loudly as the persuers passed by him in retreat. Shrugging, he instead lit himself up and started hurling fire, uncoiling his chain and rushing the brigands -

Who were totally unprepared for such a forthright attack from such a.... frightening visage. The archers he'd left at his back took several of them out, confusing their retreat into a sloppy mess that was surprisingly easy to mop up.

Once their numbers were down, he glanced aroudn for Walker and gave him a scowling shrug.

Shout out to all those players I miss, and the new friends I make.
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Gigantor
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2:24 AM - Jul 03, 2015 #6

It was far too late when Walker became aware of the thundering hooves bearing down on him and he compounded the problem by looking over his shoulder. He saw the glint of sun off a halberd, the frothing mouth of a wild eyed horse and then there was a fireball. The rider fell off. Walker was nearly trampled by the steed but managed to latch to its neck and then painfully pull himself into the saddle. He wasn't a skilled rider but he managed to hold on through all of the hard bobbing and made it past the rock. One of Edgar's men grabbed his horse and let him slump to the ground.

Edgar was not amused by Raka's deviation to save the peacock. It would be addressed later. He raised his arm and gave his squad the signal. They charged over dunes with spears and swords to cut down the fleeing enemies. Only a small few made it back to their camp but there they died as Edgar's men caught up to them to finish their work. After that it was time to pick through and take what they could.

The commander turned away from the pillaging and grabbed a chest full of Raka's shirt and lifted him off the ground.

Edgar: What exactly did you think you were doing? You're suddenly something special and don't have to follow my commands?

The big man clenched his jaw tightly and his eyes spoke rage. Walker approached from behind with his tusks stashed up his sleeves. They were the only win he'd manage to achieve in the palace. He wasn't sure if they'd be enough to take the man down but at least he could help Raka.
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Oru
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2:30 PM - Jul 04, 2015 #7

Raka awaited the inevitable scolding by scowling his way around the remains, helping the others pick the bandits clean and dismantling their rough camp. He was lifted into the ground as he made his way over to the black horse.

He snarled right back at Edgar, hands clamping on the big soldier's wrists, eyes flashing with anger. He made no show of the fact that being off the ground bothered him in any way. In fact, it only made him feel taller at the moment, which was just what he wanted. Snapping like an angry animal, Raka replied, "Oh, you expect me to let The Magus' new pet be cut down by a careless bandit, I suppose? You think that would please him when we return with a few worthless trinkets and horses? At least I have faith in the men you've worked so hard to break in, You fat, ignorant idiot!"

The rant made Raka feel great. A bit of flame licked the corner of his eye and he let a trace trickle down his arm to singe the arm hair on Edgar's forearm as he stared right back, a challenge in his eyes and a vicious snarl on his sharp face. He paid Walker no mind.

"Now Put. Me. Down."[

Shout out to all those players I miss, and the new friends I make.
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Gigantor
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4:28 AM - Jul 06, 2015 #8

Raka was right. Edgar hated to admit it, even though Raka complicated their mission he was only reacting to the situation. He put the Tanjuri down and brushed his shoulders then turned and turned on Walker but before he could unleash a fitting punishment a pair of his soldiers approached with a living hostage.

Soldier: Seems this one didn't want to take chase because he knew it was a trap. Too bad nobody else listened to him.

They shoved the man to his knees as Edgar approached. The man was healthy though had some fresh bruises blossoming on his face from his chat with Edgar's boys. He had the bearing of a warrior, strong shoulders, square jaw and apparently had enough good sense to smell a trap.

Soldier: We thought you might want to see him.

Edgar nodded. His boys knew him well and it would be a good opportunity to teach Walker that he was not a man to disappoint. He strode up to the kneeling man who spat and cursed in a foreign tongue. Edgar ignored it and pulled the man to his feet. His soldiers stood to either side and turned their heads when Edgar shoved his hand into the man's chest. The air filled with the snapping of bones and the man's anguished screams. The captive fell down dead in the sand, blood gushing from a gaping chest wound while Edgar stood over him with his heart in his hands. He raised it high above his head, blood dribbling down onto his armor. The soldiers shouted in triumph then Edgar brought the organ down and started to eat it while staring at Walker and at Raka.

When finished he gave the order for everyone to saddle up and head back to the palace. With blood stained lips he addressed the Dei Lunathi.

Edgar: You get to run all the way back. Maybe it'll make you faster for next time.

With that, he turned and left.

After the spectacle he'd witnessed, Walker was happy to see the man leave with his loyal dogs. Walker wanted to thank Raka for saving him, which was the truth, but doing so would only mark Raka as weak and Edgar's treatment would only get worse for both of them. He would have to wait for another opportunity. He started to run. One of the soldiers rode slowly, most likely to watch Walker.

Once in Nabil and when Walker was cleared to return to his rooms, he slipped out of sight and moved through the shadows until he got to where they kept Jade. He came out behind a statue of a nude woman.

Walker: Jade?

He said in a hushed tone while keeping his eyes out for any who might report his appearance to Edgar or the Sultan.
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Oru
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12:53 PM - Jul 06, 2015 #9

Raka watched Edgar eat the heart of his enemy impassively. He remembered the first time he'd seen that, bile had roiled up from his belly, and he's had to swallow back the disgust. Now he was surprised to find that it didn't bother him.

He supposed that was good.

On their departure, Raka managed to comandeer the black horse that had borne Walker's to-be killer. The beast was wild eyed and frightened of him, but it was also afraid. Raka had a firm hand though, and with little trouble he had a new horse.

His horses didn't tend to last long anyway.

Once they arrived, he split off from Walker immediately. He went to his own rooms and cleaned up. He ate in the mess hall with the soldiers of the palace by himself. As he ate a bowl of ratehr flavorless gruel, someone popped up next to him and cleared her throat.

When he looked over, he was curious to find Shara. Mid'gha's little daughter. (Well, little in height, really.) He raised an expectant eyebrow at her and she bowed. Wen she came back up she placed a note on the table by his elbow and then bowed in departure. Raka opened it up, and it only had a short message. Scrawled in charcoal was a comical little face, mouth turned down in a single line. Underneath it had 'SCOWL' in big letters.

Raka snickered. He put it in his pocket.

Jade was in her garden - she had taken to calling it that now, considering thats where she generally lived these days. Three months of calling a tiny room her home, and trying to forget about Dust.

But that was silly.

She was sitting at a bench, scowling at a scroll that Shara had left with her while she went to do an errand. It was in the Desert tongue, the written language. She'd been trying to learn it, but it was so very different. The little jade bird hung on a thin bit of twine about her wrist.

She was about to give up when someone called her name. She looked up and quickly peered around. It sounded like -

Smiling, Jade scoured the darkness, and liesurely stood, put the scroll on the bench and strolled over to a bunch of night-blooming roses close to where Walker was. "Walker? I hope I'm right or I'm going to look very silly when Shara comes back." She squinted into the darkness and thought she spotted someone.

With a delicate eep, she nearly leapt forward and trapped him in a hug. "I've been so worried about you!"

Shout out to all those players I miss, and the new friends I make.
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Gigantor
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7:47 PM - Jul 06, 2015 #10

Walker grinned from ear to. Ear at the sound of her voice, sweet like the wind chimes that used to hang outside his home. He tried not to wince when he took her into his arms for a hug.

Walker: i apologize I haven't visited more often.

He said then sat down more out of need than choice. The "training" usually left him battered, bruised and nursing at least a few broken ribs at any given time. The near death was just more sign of how close to burning out his body was, normally no man or steed could keep up. Seeing the glint of he halberd had brought him win smiling distance of death and now that he was in the presence of his angel he couldn't put up the strong face anymore. His body gave out. He slumped to the ground wi a heavy sigh.

Walker: How are they treating you here?
****
When meals were done a messenger sought Raka out and brought him to Edgar. The large man was in his private training room pummelling his training partner. There was rarely a challenge anymore, it served more as repetition to hone his instincts, but even those were masted from his long years as a warrior. Edgar was bored.

But Raka always served as a good source of entertainment. It would be a good opportunity to learn more about these stones that Dima adored so much. When the magus sought something this badly, the objects would be far more than baubles.

Edgar: have a seat whelp.
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