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Palming the Ace, Early 748 CRP
The Sambo Sumo
post Mar 2 2011, 01:45 AM
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Well, Zola might really be in over her head this time. She pressed both hands to the shirt that was covering the knife wound on her right side. She didn't know if that was really helping, but she'd always heard you were supposed to put pressure on the wound. Still, it was really painful, and she was definitely getting weaker as the blood continued to flow. But she could finally see the town ahead of her. Rose Hill was the name, she thought. It didn't look very big...She sure hoped they had a healer.

She was sure lucky she managed to steal Brandon's horse. Not only because it allowed her to make her getaway, but also it would keep heading toward town if she passed out...At least she hoped so. Things were starting to get kind of fuzzy. The full moon had seemed really bright a few hours ago, but things were starting to get dark pretty quick. Maybe...Maybe if she just closed her eyes for a few minutes, she'd have the strength to finish the ride into town. Yeah, that was it. Just a few minutes...

---

Samantha MacAlister grinned as her smoke-ring floated up into the torchlight. She was getting pretty good at that. Her papa would be proud. Well...Actually, no he wouldn't. He'd always said smoking wasn't very lady-like. But he always told her she could do anything she wanted, as long as she put her mind to it. And right now she wanted to blow smoke rings. Surely he wouldn't be too upset with her. She sighed as the next puff of smoke came out as an asymmetrical blob. She missed the old man.

"Hm...You see that?" Sam brushed her short brown hair out of her face. Her short chubby assistant, Katie, looked the way Sam gestured. "Just looks like someone on a horse."

"Yeah, but look at the rider...Hey, go inside the inn. See if anyone's a healer." Katie got up and did as she was asked as Sam headed down the road. "Damn..." She bit her lip as she took in the site of the injured young girl. She looked to be in bad shape. Sam gently pulled the girl off the horse, carrying her back toward the inn.
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Foe
post Mar 3 2011, 04:50 PM
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Avery relaxed at a table at the Rose Hill Inn. The trip was long and before she cared to do anything productive, a little down time was very welcome. She hadn't expected there to be an international component to the requirements to raise in the guild to B-rank status. Sure she hadn't fulfilled all of the other ones yet, but the Guild Master told her to go to Begnion now, rather than later, so she did.

The myrmidon was fairly convinced that this was not standard among the guild members are found herself once again wondering if the Guild Master and he father were up to something once again. It didn't really matter in the long run, she guessed, not like she had some reason to not go. Something about extended the guild presence beyond Begnion was what he said. If that was the reason, then she'd try her best to not misrepresent the organizations values.

For now she had a chance to take a break and just turn her head off, and it was a welcome thing.
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Shuuda
post Mar 3 2011, 05:24 PM
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Beatrix sat alone at a small table in the corner of the inn. She nursed a mug of strong booze under her lips. She had been feeling lonely ever since she had parted ways with Foxx after aiding him in his search for his lost brother. For a while now she had been considering a long overdue homecoming. She was missing her mother more than ever and could not stop thinking about her as well. She took another sip from her mug, only to be reminded of the time when she had first encountered Foxx in a tavern not so different from this.

Eventually, she stood up, not so much feeling like having a drink any more. "Maybe a nights rest will do me good", she said, feeling the temperature of her forehead. She wondered if she was coming down with something, it was winter after all. Wisely, she had rented a room with some of her leftover money, so she could at least rest in comfort.

She began to make her way through the room, dodging the other tables slowly. Her aim was to reach the stairs that were near the main doors, but she was really paying attention to what was straight ahead. Her eyes were unusually still that night.
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The Sambo Sumo
post Mar 6 2011, 09:37 PM
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Katie burst through the front doors of the inn, out of breath from the short run. "There's, uh, an injured girl coming into town. She looks pretty bloodied up, I think. Is, uh, there anyone that could help, um...heal her?" Katie didn't notice anyone walking around in long white robes carrying a stick with a blue ball on top, but sometimes healers were sneakier than that. "I, uh...Dunno what did it. M-Maybe the people that hurt her are coming..." She did, at least, see a couple weapons laying around.

A few moments later Sam slid through the still open door with the bleeding girl, setting her on and empty table. The bartender didn't seem to be to happy about getting blood all over his clean tables, but he wasn't tasteless enough to protest. "She's in pretty bad shape. She was unconscious when I found her." The girl's eyes were open now, but she couldn't seem to talk. She groaned and squirmed a bit on the table.

Katie pulled the bottom of the girl's shirt up over the cut. It was several inches deep, with blood steadily flowing out. Katie winced. "Yeah...not good..."
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Satori
post Mar 7 2011, 04:21 PM
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Verena wore a small smile on her face as she packed up her trumpet at a corner table. She had been hesitant about straying back into Begnion just for a gig, especially one that she hadn't personally planned, but it had surprisingly gone rather well. She hadn't gotten quite the same positive reception that some of her more frequent venues in Crimea often gave, but there also hadn't been any fights, and no one had tried to chase her off the stage with an ask. All in all, middle of the road, but when the thought of Begnion in general left her with such low expectations, middle of the road wasn't half bad.

Even so, she was looking forward to heading back to Crimea in the morning. Or she would have been, if it wasn't so cold out. Traveling in winter was a simple fact of her lifestyle that she had long since gotten used to, but that didn't mean she had to enjoy it. At least she'd be able to stay the night in a warm room first.

As she finished packing up, someone came running in through the door on the other side of the room, shouting about an injured girl and asking for a healer. On instinct, her hand snapped back over her shoulder and pulled Restoration from its bindings. Quickly closing up the trumpet case, she picked it up and turned around just in time to see the girl in question carried in and set down on the nearest empty table. "Oh..." she said faintly, hurrying over as fast as the crowded tavern would allow her. She had all sorts of questions, chief among them why they had moved the injured girl all the way here, but they would have to wait.

"Here. One side, please," she said hurriedly, examining the girl on the table. Her wound was deep and badly bleeding, but there didn't appear to be anything stuck in it. This would be nice and simple, then. She held her staff over the wound, focusing magical energies into it. The ruby orb atop it glowed softly, and the wound wove itself back together under the light of the staff.

"You're lucky you got here here when you did," she said to the ones who had brought the girl in as she finished. "Where'd you find her?"
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Shuuda
post Mar 7 2011, 04:57 PM
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Before she could reach the staircase, Beatrix was alerted by the arrival of a desperate woman calling for help. A few moments later and the bloody body was carried in by another woman. Concerned for the girl's well being, Beatrix stayed down stairs to watch things unfold.

She saw the armour that the injured girl was wearing, wondering if she had gotten injured in a fight. The comment about people maybe heading their way had not escaped her, and butterflies in her stomach with telling her that the night could get a whole lot worse. The girl's appearance reminded Beatrix of when she was younger, in her early days in the Crimean army. The fact that the girl was not crying in agony caused Beatrix to think that she was being rather brave This made her worry all the more for her health. Once the healer had worked her magic and the wound was sealed, Beatrix decided to approach and offer her help.

"Erm... Excuse me, Ladies", she said, leaning forwards. "I think we should get her onto a bed for resting. I have a room rented out and I believe I'd be able to carry her with ease". She might not have been able to magically fix wounds, but she could at least offer the poor girl her bed.

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Just to note, Eli, I'm treating Lighthouse as non-canon at this point, so Beatrix and Zola will never have met. If however, you want that to be different just get in touch and I'll be okay with changing my post.
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Foe
post Mar 10 2011, 09:31 PM
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A mess of a person was dragged in with a sense of urgency, and Avery was quick on her feet and fumbling about for a vulnerary. It ended up being not needed, as on her way a proper healer had shown up. That was good, they did better than these items she had at the ready did, and based on the armed girl they brought in, it may well have not been enough.

A second woman then showed up once the healer had done her thing, offering her bed for use. Avery was being beat to the punch everywhere she turned, Begnion was formidable, it seemed. Maybe this is what the Guild Master was on about, maybe not. Either way, she could help too.

The myrmidon chimed in after the broad helpful woman who just spoke, "I'll help too if there's anything else that needs doing."
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The Sambo Sumo
post Mar 17 2011, 05:05 PM
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Zola felt a soothing warmth splash over her body as she began to regain full consciousness. The sharp pain that had been there moments before was now gone. While she still felt weak, she would probably be fine. Either she'd somehow made it to a healer, or she was dead. She should probably open her eyes to see which one it was. As her vision faded back into focus, she noticed around five women standing over her. Assuming this wasn't heaven, she was safe...

Zola shrugged off the arm of the brunette woman who had seemed to be trying to pick her up before she'd woken up. It wasn't that she didn't appreciate the help, she just couldn't exactly say "No thanks, I'm fine." She slowly sat up and took in her surroundings. It looked like she was in an inn, or something. She must have made it all the way to Rose Hill, then. That was good. She didn't think she'd be able to get back on the road in this condition, and there was something she had to do.

Zola dug through her pockets, trying to find her magic-marker that Mergie made. It allowed her to write glowing letters in the air to help communicate when she didn't have paper. Ah, there it was. Good thing it didn't get lost during her escape. "does anyone know someone named samantha micalester? she is in danger from assassins!"

The woman who'd been trying to pick Zola up made a funny face. Zola actually almost let herself laugh at it. "I'm Samantha MacCalister..." the woman said. Zola cocked her head. She was expecting someone a little older. The assassins made it sound like her business was one of the biggest in the country. But she was so young and not really rich looking.

"the bisness woman?" Zola asked. She was answered with a nod. "people are coming to kill you"
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Shuuda
post Mar 18 2011, 06:27 AM
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Beatrix lit up with a smile as the girl began to recover. But a few things began to both her. Firstly, the fact that the girl was using some kind of magic writing, like Aelika did back in Seli. She figured that the girl must have been unable to speak, and permanently if she was carrying a pen like that around with her. However, what was even more worrying were the words that the girl was writing. Beatrix shivered when she read the word assassin.

"Oh dear... Heading this way?" She gulped. She looked up at Samantha in silence for a moment. She could not work out why assassins would be after this woman, but regardless of the reason Beatrix did not approve of hired murderers. Being a mercenary or a soldier was completely different of course. She rose her hand slightly. "Excuse me, Lady, but if these people are coming after you then I would lend my protection... I don't want to see anyone else getting hurt".

She looked down at the tired girl and smiled softly, trying to reassure her that things would be alright. She had also noticed that the girl who had approached after her was carrying a sword as well as offering to help too. She smiled at her as well and nodded. "I... I'm Beatrix... what're your names, Ladies?"
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Foe
post Mar 21 2011, 04:45 PM
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Assassins, this was a serious accusation and after the last set of events Avery was in, she didn't want to be too quick and assume this Samantha was innocent. The stout woman, on the other hand, had, and was now requesting introductions. 'Protection', such a slanted word. Avery wasn't sure what it really meant as of late, but she also imagined this Beatrix did indeed mean well.

"I'm Avery," she replied, "but more importantly, why would there be assassins after you, Samantha?" If she had any sliver of a chance to solve this without 'protection' then knowing why would be needed.
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Satori
post Mar 21 2011, 06:31 PM
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Assassins, and a girl who had nearly gotten herself killed to warn someone about them. Verena's question hadn't been answered, but from the looks of the girl's words there was a good chance she had already been trying to get to the inn before collapsing. The mention of assassins, however, distracted Verena from the potential need to berate the two who had carried the girl in for moving her.

One of the two who had approached to help offered to help protect the woman who was being hunted, despite, to Verena, expressing some trepidation at the thought of assassins coming. The other asked why the woman would have people chasing her. Which, Verena thought, was a fair question. People didn't just get hunted for no reason. Even it was just as simple as being in the wrong place at the wrong time, something would have happened to draw their attention. Verena didn't want to see anyone hurt or killed either, but she had to know more about what was going on before getting involved in a situation that could easily and quickly put her in over her head.

"'name's Verena," she said, before turning back to the girl who she had healed, returning her staff to its bindings. "Hey," she said softly. "How'd you find this out?"
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The Sambo Sumo
post Mar 25 2011, 12:51 PM
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Samantha turned to the redheaded woman. "I...don't really know. Er...Well...I suppose I could venture a guess. My business practices have pissed of a competitor or two, but I mean...It's nothing malicious!" Samantha had inherited a fairly large and well-equipped business empire from her father. But she'd come to be known for spreading its influence even further than her dad by using some rather underhanded, yet legal strategies. For example, she'd come to Rose Hill to undercut her competitors with her superior resources, then, once they were forced out of business, she'd jack the prices back up and enjoy a local monopoly. The practice was dirty, indeed, but in the end she gave people goods for cheep, and gave plenty of small town workers jobs.

Zola watched as the merchant processed the threat to her life. She hadn't really been what Zola had expected. She had pictured some rich, fat, old, greedy woman with fancy furs and jewelry. The woman in front of her seemed down to earth and nice looking...But even if she had been the cut-throat pig Zola had imagined, she wouldn't have deserved to be killed for it.

Zola was a bit hesitant in revealing her 'sources.' But they had to know if they were going to trust her. 'well i was kind or working for them,' she admitted. 'i didnt realy understand the facts of the mission when i agreed. they hired 10 mercinaries and they want to make the attack look like it was bandits or something so that it cant be traced back to whoever put out the hit. i thought we were just going to take out some kind of crime boss or something. but when' Zola stopped writing. They didn't need to know what had first caused her to be suspicious. It wasn't necessary, and was kind of private.

'well anyway i made them tell me more about the mission. when they realized i was going to come warn her they tried to kill me. i was able to get on that horse and get away thogh.
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post Mar 25 2011, 02:40 PM
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Avery was disgusted. Money, always about the money. Kill for money, pay to kill, get paid to kill the one killing. Its like the two things were so integrated with each other that in order to like money, you had to like death. At first she was ready to just move on and let things take their course, if it was all just about money. Yes, money is something everyone needs, but it doesn't have to be so much so that lives are secondary to it.

Then the silent one began to write with her magic pen again. The myrmidon read the messages, and from what she read, there was still something to be done about all of this. This girl with the glowing words was caught up in all of this, lead on by a false premise and then nearly killed for trying to make things right again. If Avery had something to stand for here, that was it.

"I don't know about your business, Samantha, but I will help. This girl has been caught up in all this, and unlike the rest of them headed here, she didn't want to be part of it. If we can deter your would-be killers in a peaceful way, I will stand at your side and help as I can."
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post Mar 25 2011, 04:56 PM
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"That's right", said Beatrix, nodding her head. She was glad that Avery was on-board for dealing with the problem, since she knew that one person alone would not be able to handle the numbers opposing them. "We're not going to let anyone around here get hurt by these ruffians". Her eyes would drift towards the silent girl every so often. It turned out that she had been working as a mercenary if her story was true. Beatrix felt sympathetic, having had her fair share of bad jobs in the past as well.

"What should we do with this lady?" she asked, nodding her head towards the girl. She turned to the woman who had healed her wounds. "How long might it take for her to make a full recovery, Lady? I mean, those assassins might come after her for revenge or to finish her off". A small part of her hoped that the girl would recover quickly so she could lend even more help to protecting the area.

"Lady Samatha, perhaps it would be best to send your customers away tonight. If worst comes to worst then we wouldn't want them getting caught up in all of this. Things would be easier for Lady Avery and I if we had less to worry about".
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post Mar 26 2011, 03:23 PM
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Business. Of course it would be business. Sometimes Verena wondered whether it was possible to make money without upsetting someone, whether it be through underhanded business practices like this woman was suggesting or playing a tune that an audience member didn't like. Sure, there were occasionally some people that deserved to be put in their place for their money-making tactics, usually when they involved stealing, but nobody needed to get killed over it. Certainly not for non-malicious business practices, assuming the woman was being truthful.

The other two that had offered to help the mute girl as Verena healed her chimed in, offering their help with this situation as well. "I normally make it a habit to not get involved in business disputes," she said. "That said, nobody needs to die over this, so I'd be willing to lend my aid as well."

When asked how long the girl would take to recover, she answered, "Give her the night to rest and she should be fine." Yes, that would probably do it. She'd known some of her old mercenary companions to recover after healing near-fatal wounds far more quickly than that, but wasn't going to hold people she didn't know to the same expectations. As for people coming to finish her off, they'd likely be defending the MacCalister woman from them anyway. All recovery time was likely to change was whether they were defending one person or two. Even so, she hoped they would have that much time.
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