[HWRP] Chapter 1 - Enter the Castle Demuirge

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Postby Sisemen on Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:40 pm

James listened with interest as Yaldabaoth explained his summons, nodding slightly. His eyebrows raising in suprise and interest at the mention of the payment, then furrowed in concerned.

Something doesn't feel right, here. With that amount, he could have gotten himself a few well trained mercenaries or agents. Why spend that much money on a group of unproven individuals? Unless he's summoned people for specific reasons, having kept tabs on us. which I like even less. And his being so vague doesn't help. And does he expect us to remain here at te ready? The money's almost too good to pass up, but I'll need to return to the Spring Winds eventually, at least for a little while.

James leaned back in the chair, his concerns visibly apparent on his face. He looked over to Jen as she asked Yaldabaoth to explain what he planned, the over to Yaldabaoth waiting for the answers, his questions still forming in his mind. When Yaldabaoth had given his answers, James leaned forward, forearms resting on the table.

"Interesting tasks, to be certain Lord, but why spend so much money on an unproven group such as this, despite each individual's skills? With the payment you're offering, you could certainly hire skilled mercenaries used to working together. Or even more people to assist you. I hope you do not take offence, but in the circles I run in, people who make these kind of offers have ulterior motives, usually of the back stabbing kind."

James kept a firm, perhaps even slightly challenging look on Yaldabaoth, waiting for the answer to this question before asking any other.

----

Meanwhile, outside, Odyssey contently moved around, looking, exploring.
Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever
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Postby Hazardswake on Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:59 am

Yaldabaoth's face remained unchanged, a calm smile still on his face. "I understand your caution, sir, but the situation here is rather complicated. Many of the mercenary guilds would attract undue attention to this place, despite however secretly they claim to be able to operate. Zera's information network is said to run deep, and if I were to hire a mercenary team it surely would raise a red flag to Burns, which is attention that I do not need.

For the right pay, certain guilds can make exceptions and also probably would be able to arrive here without Burns' notice, but I find the hunters and soldiers from these guilds to be... of lesser character, if I must say. Thus, a hand-picked team seemed the best way to go.

To say I'm an eccentric man is surely correct. I'm looking for people who can change things and think for themselves when the time comes, not mere cronies or Hench men. You have all come to this ruined land, and I mean to pay you well for your services, as I am blessed with the wealth of my fallen brethren.

I understand this raises suspicion, but I would not consider less than that pay. It is what I feel those who heed this call deserve. There may be more on the way; many letters were sent out, some to those very far away, using my associate's ETHER.

If I was the sort to backstab or recruit people that I saw as merely expendables, wouldn't it be more efficient to just hire some people from the local towns? Even so, I understand that this may look too good to be true. All I can do is answer your questions. Aside from that, I have nothing save my word to prove the validity of my claims."
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Postby Kindred Spirit on Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:43 pm

Stefan stood around a corner and knocked gently on the wall to announce his presence. "I...uh, sorry if I am late," he said apologetically. "Slight inconvenience in traveling." He stepped around the wall so that he could see the others, and vice versa, smiling around the room and flushing, somewhat embarrassed to be interrupting with his tardiness. Trying not to interrupt the flow too badly, he quietly took a seat.
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Postby Hazardswake on Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:50 pm

Yaldabaoth gestured with his hand in welcome. "No need to apologize. I thank you for joining us. If you would introduce yourself to the group, please?" Yaldabaoth's voice was inviting and kind, but still almost felt stern.
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Postby Kindred Spirit on Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:10 pm

"Of...uh, course." His eyes looked at the table, still a bit embarrassed. At least he wasn't flushed anymore. "My name is Stefan," he said clearly, adding in a sort of mumble "Pleased to meet you all."
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Postby Sisemen on Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:48 am

James calmly listened to Yaldabaoth, his expression relaxing somewhat as the man gave his explanations, though he still remained somewhat cautious. Leaning back into his chair, he looked around the group then back at Yaldabaoth and as he prepared to ask another question, Stefan entered the room. Looking in the new comer's direction, he gave a slight nod of his head at the introduction, waiting for Stefan to take a seat before continuing with the conversation.
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Postby Germ on Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:34 am

Millie looked to the door as the newcomer entered, giving him a smile when he introduced himself. He's... timid, she thought, her expression a little empathic. Close to how I was, it seems, or maybe even more. But then I met Jenn... Millie looked a little nostalgic.

Jenn looked to the new guy, an eyebrow raised. Odd guy. I'll never understand why some are terrified of these things. She looked to Yaldabaoth. "Anyway, who's this Burns you mentioned? Why would he care what we do?"
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Postby Mordax Praetorian on Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:42 am

Izis was neutral to the new arrival, simply another face to add to the countless others it had seen today

The suggestions indicated that it should get to know the lord better, however Izis waited for some sign that it was allowed to move before doing so, this world was very new to it, and so it decided to be cautious
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Postby Hazardswake on Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:40 am

After taking time to catch Stefan up on the details of why he was called in with the others, (see the post on page 2 that starts with "Keon noticed it was his turn. "My name is Keon Reminester, from Galrand."") he turned to answer Jenn.

"Burns is a representative from Zera. He and his companions are the ones who actually rule Acidra, presently. He and his company seem to be overly cautious of anything that might be a threat to Zera, and they seem to be quite paranoid about any activity in this area."
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Postby Germ on Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:36 am

Jenn quirked an eyebrow. The idea of stirring up Zera was pretty appealing, but she kept that desire from showing in her expression. "Threat? You're joking. What kind of friends and missing people are these that their absence is better to Zera? Or is this Burns paranoid to the point that all travelers are automatically grave threats to the world's most influential nation?"


Millie rubbed her eyes a bit, exhaling slowly. Looking up, her eyes began to shimmer lightly as she attempted to form a Psi Link to Reza.

*Edit: Eh, screw it, might as well start bolding.
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Postby Sisemen on Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:08 am

James sighs softly

"Or maybe simply a threat to their own little plans, using Zera as an excuse. Wouldn't be the first time people in power use security of the nation as an excuse for actions against individuals."

An amused grin spread on James face.

"It keeps my crew in business"
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Postby Mordax Praetorian on Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:34 am

Izis was listening to the conversation between Jenn, Keon and James

It took one look at its claws and then came to the conclusion that these "burns" and "Zera" people would probably be hostile towards it at first glance

"These people dont sound very nice"
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Postby Hazardswake on Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:15 am

Yaldbaoth's face grew serious. "Yes, I'm not sure exactly what Burns and his assiociates are after, but it would be unwise to do anything that might draw their attention at this moment."

Yaldabaoth turned to the group. "Does anyone have further questions, or shall we talk of who here wishes to take this job?"
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Postby Germ on Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:28 pm

Jenn steepled her fingers, holding them in front of her mouth. "How does Burns operate, or gather intel? What kind of Zeran forces does he have access to? More to the point, if he thinks we'll cause trouble, how soon will we know?"


Millie ostensibly paid attention to the conversation. On closer inspection, however, it showed that she wasn't so attentive. Her attention wasn't on Burns or Zera, but rather on the Psi Link she had formed with Reza.
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Postby Mordax Praetorian on Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:12 am

The suggestions were all for it, and besides Izis had come this far and it appeared that should it accept, it would be allowed to spend the nights in this castle, which was far warmer than the cave in the woods where it had been staying

"I'll do it"

There was a suggestion of excitement comming from elsewhere, especialy at the thought of fighting
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Postby Sisemen on Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:07 am

James nodded at Jenn's question, adding a comment of his own "And has anything occured past or recently that would cause him or those under him to keep a closer eye your activities or those around this place?"
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Postby Kindred Spirit on Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:34 pm

Stefan was quiet as he listened to the others ask their questions. Those two seemed to be thinking the point rather deeply, which was a good sign for the immediate future, if they were to work together. But regardless of Yaldabaoth's answers to their questions, it seemed that the matter was, for him, settled. This is quite an opportunity, he thought. More pay than I'll get in any other job I'll find anywhere else anytime soon. Interesting companions, and a place to stay for now. "I'm in, Stefan said, not as hesitantly as he had been speaking before, though his voice was still quiet.
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Postby Hazardswake on Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:36 am

"Burns has a few soldiers stationed in most towns, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has men living among the citizens in secret. He has access to the logs of the sea guild and some merchants.

As for when we'll know, Zera Soldiers approaching this castle should be the most obvious tip-off. There's not much immediately around here as far as towns, and they'll have to pass through the ruins of Liagg. If I've heard correctly, Burns isn't one for sublty.


Yaldabaoth turned to James. "Zera claimed what power it has over this land through war. This castle was never the capital of Acidra; the capital, which laid southwest of Mondego, is in ruins.

It's been almost five years since the war, and Zera has done well in keeping rebellious tendencies down, and Burns apparently wants to quickly deal with anything suspicious.

As for keeping an eye on me, I am tied to the former rulers of Acidra by blood, but distant blood."
His face saddened. "While I wasn't as aquanted with most of them as I should have been, I mourn their passing. With the exception of a relative of mine who's taken to adventuring, I am possibly the last of my bloodline.

I'm still not certain as to why Zera allowed the position of ruler of this land, even a ruler who is just a figurehead, to continue to exist. It could have been to keep the masses from losing morale, but after a year I was forbidden from even appearing in front of the people, save those few who trek here to visit me. It's absurd. But please excuse me; I'm rambling, aren't I?"


Yaldabaoth turned to Izis and Stefan. "Thank you, both of you. And the rest of you? Have you decided, or do you have more questions for me?"

----

Keon raised his hand, almost as if he's forgotten he doesn't attend classes anymore. "Sir, I accept as well." I want to see, as well, why the Dean of Galrand thinks so highly of this man, Keon thought.
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Postby Germ on Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:20 am

Millie looked to Yaldabaoth, a distracted expression on her face. "Oh... I'd also like to accept, sir." She returned her attention to her silent conversation with Reza.


Jenn closed her eyes for a moment. Millie accepting the offer had guaranteed her cooperation. Although I knew it would go this way... I suppose I'm kind of glad it did, too. She spoke, eyes still closed. "I've got nothing more at the moment. I suppose I'll join up, too."
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Postby Sisemen on Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:06 pm

James thought the matter over a few moments longer, after the others had accepted.

Damn it, I need the money. But I still have a bad feeling about this.

With a small, soft resined sigh, James noded

"Where do I sign?"
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