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  1. "Your impulsiveness never ceases to amaze me," Graham Jones grumbled, readjusting his black mask as he stalked quietly beside his partner. "Do you even know where we are?"


    She, in her green and gold getup, smiled back at him. "I don't need to since I have you with me," she said arily, though the slightest tremor in her voice told him she was out of her comfort zone. That took some doing.


    "Ah yes, your personal roadmap," he muttered.


    "Quiet," their guide hissed. Graham glanced at the guide, then at the four burly guards that trailed behind them. There were many things about this situation that were not good. Outnumbered, certainly. And the men were carrying guns. Not the surest advantage yet, but their craftsmanship was impressive, to be sure. And they were loaded, could be fired before he could put an arrow to his bow. Which was currently strapped to the back of one of the big guys, along with Adara's. And their hands were tied.


    Well... had been tied. Graham had got his hands free little more than five minutes into the walk. When they searched him for weapons, they'd definitely been thorough on him. Less so on Adara. Strange to find such gentlemanly behavior amongst common street thugs, but the longer the walk continued, the less common they seemed. At any rate, there had been a small knife in Adara's hair, and through a few subtle movements, Graham had obtained it. Now, as they walked, he held the ropes tightly around his wrists, waiting for his best shot at getting them out of here.


    At length, their guide stopped and turned to face them.


    "What's with letting us keep the masks?" Adara asked him. "Most people seem hellbent on finding out who we are."


    The guide smirked. "What matters is your deaths," he said, snatching lightly at the fabric of her cloak. "High quality stuff, this. Yes, I think we'll know who you are in the morning when two rich children are discovered to be missing from their homes."


    "If you wanted us dead," Graham said quietly, "you should've killed us when you first got the drop on us."


    The guide grinned at him. "Ah, the quiet one speaks." He held up a finger. "But, o Silent Archer, you assume I and my men are the ones you'll be facing. We are not. Only an act of God will save you now." He glanced nervously over his shoulder and Graham held up his unbound hands.


    "Like this?" he asked.


    But the other man was already moving. Away from Graham and Adara. At a glance, Graham realized the others were doing the same.


    "Your hands will not save you this time," the guide said, breaking into a run. He called over his shoulder, "Do you know how near the edge of the city you are?"


    "Loony," Adara said with a laugh. "C'mon, get me untied. We can still catch them."


    But Graham wasn't looking after their former captors. As he brought the knife in his hand down on the rope around Adara's wrists, he said quietly, "Do you hear how quiet the streets are?"


    "So it's not a party district," Adara said dismissively.


    "Ssh," Graham hissed.


    "What?" Adara rubbed her wrists.


    "Quiet," Graham ordered, his eyes narrowing. The streets weren't just quiet. They were nearly abandoned. What few people Graham saw seemed in a hurry to get indoors. In his youth, he'd seen similar behavior, but if he asked about it, his mentor would only ever tell him, "When you're ready, you'll understand."


    "Okay, silence is creeping me out," Adara whispered loudly. "Can we go now?"


    "I think we'd better," Graham answered softly. Abruptly, Adara clutched his arm and pointed to a dark alley. A form lurked there, half standing, barely visible in the low light. As if sensing it was being watched, it turned toward them.


    "What is that?" Adara whispered.


    Eyes glittered in the darkness. A low growl rumbled out from it.


    "Something we're not trained to handle," Graham answered softly. "Run!"


    They did.


    The beast followed.

  2. Alright, as promised, here's my second.


    Name: Graham Jones

    Age: 27

    Description: Image

    • Height: 6’1”

    • Weight: 180 lbs.

    • Hair: Brown, buzz-cut

    • Eyes: Blue

    • Weapon(s): Bow arrows, throwing knives, 1 long knife for close-quarters combat.

    • Apparel: As with Adara, Graham dresses in modern fashion while not playing a vigilante’s "sidekick." Unlike her showy costume, his is entirely black, including the mask




    The boy’s first recollection is a strange man lifting him off the street, and taking him home. His next is combat training. From an early age, he understood he was being prepared for something greater, and for many years, he accepted it without question. Then he saw Adara Moore from a distance and learned a completely different lesson: there are many paths life might take. When his master discovered his interest in the girl, he tried to beat it out of the boy. Instead, the boy, at fifteen years of age, took what his master had taught him and used it to save the girl. Though the girl’s parents offered him a home, he declined, promising he already had one. But when he returned to his master, he did not receive the welcome he expected.


    His master flew into a rage, insisting he was training the boy for something far more important than the life of a simple rich girl. Though the boy had heard this lecture many a time, this was the first time he demanded to know what he was being trained for. His master coldly informed him that there were monsters in the world and defeating them might well save all humanity. The boy, ever a skeptic demanded proof of the monsters, and his master insisted he wasn’t ready. Without proof, the boy called his master a delusional fool and left. With nowhere else to go, he returned to Adara’s home and asked if their offer of a place to stay was still valid.


    Adara’s father brought him into the house and took him aside. He explained to the boy that he was still concerned for Adara’s safety, but that she was reluctant about going out with a bodyguard. Her father hoped that this boy would be less conspicuous, and therefore more acceptable to Adara. The boy promised to keep an eye out for her. Upon learning he didn’t have a name, Adara’s father called him Graham Jones, after a distant ancestor, and welcomed him to the family.


    Graham Jones has been with Adara ever since. He saved her from a second kidnapping attempt, saved her from the fire that claimed her parents, and reluctantly joined her in a vigilante lifestyle to continue guarding her life, as he promised her father he would. In return for his service and training, she taught him what it means to “play rich,” and now, no one would suspect young Graham Jones of being one of the pair of masked vigilantes patrolling their streets.

  3. Hah! Yes, indeed. What's this night been? Going on two days now. Sorry, I keep getting distracted. Here's the first:


    Name: Adara Moore

    Age: 29

    Description: Image

    • Height: 5’ 7”

    • Weight: 125 lbs.

    • Hair: Brown, shoulder, length, curly, often artificially straightened.

    • Eyes: Blue

    • Weapon(s): Bow, arrows, throwing knives, 1 long knife for close-quarters combat.

    • Apparel: For her day-to-day life, Adara dresses in the fashions of the era. As a vigilante, she wears a mask, and a costume done in the same style/colors.



    Adara Moore was born into wealth, but her parents were careful in raising her. Not everything she desired was given to her. She was taught the value of her future wealth long before she would ever be able to spend it. At seventeen years of age, she was kidnapped, to be held for ransom, but a boy two years younger defeated her guards and returned her to her family. Realizing the boy was one of the orphaned street rats, Adara’s father offered him a place to live in exchange for his service to the family. The boy declined, saying he already had a home. But a week later, he returned and asked if the offer was still open.


    This new addition to their house fascinated Adara. She spent much of her free time with him, even inviting him to attend various social events with her. They introduced him as Graham Jones, a distant cousin come to live in the city for a while. In a matter of weeks, they were inseparable, for Graham was as fascinated by Adara as she was by him. But her interest in him took a sharp turn a month later when her would-be kidnappers tried again, and Graham fought them off, and was injured in the process.


    During his recovery Adara scarcely left his side. When he was conscious and feeling up to it, she pressed him with questions about his past. When at last he admitted he’d been trained in combat from a young age, she demanded that he teach her everything he knew, but he stubbornly refused. He insisted she didn’t know what she was asking, and for a time, she let him be.


    One year later, having failed to snatch Adara twice, the men responsible for the attempts instead set fire to her home. Graham got her to safety, but her parents died in the blaze. Deeply grieved, Adara first ordered the reconstruction of her home. Then, she ordered Graham to teach her how to fight. Again, he begged her to reconsider, but this time, her resolve was stronger. She insisted the deaths of her parents could not go unanswered. Graham tried to persuade her that he could hunt them himself, but Adara answered that if he did, she would never speak to him again. Reluctantly, he began training her, much as he had once been trained.


    Adara took his training and put it into use as a vigilante. By the time she was twenty-five, she’d created a mask and costume, and made secret purchases of a specialized bow, arrows, and knives. Graham joined her in her vigilante activities, though more because he knew Adara’s father, were he still living, would kill Graham if something happened to Adara. And since he can’t stop her, he just has to do his best to make sure she doesn’t get herself killed. Needless to say, his costume is much less flashy than hers.


    In four years, they've hunted down the men responsible for the death of Adara's parents, as well as a few other notorious criminals. What they don't know is that their next hunt will bring them face to face with something they're not remotely prepared to deal with.

  4. The redhead was already on her knees by the bag before he had finished, one of his shirts in her hands. She looked up at him, looking for a moment as though she would insist upon helping. Instead, she got back to her feet and handed his shirt back to him, apologizing again for the inconvenience. With that, she turned and hurried away to the table where she'd indicated she'd be waiting for a drink.

  5. With a little laugh, she placed a hand on his shoulder and shook her head. "Need? Hardly. Want? Certainly. But who doesn't have something they want?" She shrugged and let her hand fall from his shoulder. "I overheard you saying you'd be joining the caravan. Since you certainly don't look the merchant type, it had me curious."


    She hesitated a brief moment, then shook her head again. "But someone unwilling to play games is also likely to be unwilling to divulge his reason for travel. And so, I'm terribly sorry to have bothered you." To the woman who'd returned with Kyo's water and was looking inquiringly at her, the redhead added, "White wine, a sweet one, if you have it. At that table. I'm just leaving this one."


    She rose from her chair, pushed it in, and walked around behind the warrior, again putting a hand on his shoulder as she passed. "A pleasure to meet you, sir," she said. As she moved around the corner of the table to leave, her foot caught on his bag, and she stumbled awkwardly over it. Though she managed to stay on her feet, his bag sprang open, dumping some of its contents to the floor.


    "Oh, I'm so sorry!" she cried, blushing and taking a quick step back toward the bag to help him recover his things.

  6. As the woman departed from his table with a bewildered look, a hand came down gently on the chair beside Kyo and pulled it back from the table. The woman to whom it belonged was tall, though not overly so with dark red hair that fell loosely about her shoulders, and pale blue eyes that carried a mischievous sparkle that matched the smirk on her lips. Her gaze was fixed on the warrior as she took the seat beside him, running her hands behind her legs to prevent her midnight green dress and long black cloak from bunching as she sat.


    "Just water," she said. "There are sixteen types of people in this world, and only three of them would opt for just water. So the question is... which one are you?" She smiled fully. "Or are you going to make me guess?"

  7. At Luna's approach, the Justicar turned to face her, examining her from head to foot as she spoke. The excited tone was indeed unmistakable and beneath her helmet, the Justicar smiled warmly. Through the narrow slit in her helmet, her blue eyes sparkled, conveying a mixture of amusement and understanding.


    "I'm sure you will, young one," she said. She gestured for Luna to follow as she headed for the nearest door into Zakera Ward.


    "Councilor Tevos and Commander Bailey are right to fear my presence," she went on. She led Luna through the crowd with a purposeful stride, her destination clearly known to her. "It is neither willingly nor lightly that I have returned to the Citadel. I don't imagine Tevos has told you anything. She knows very little herself."


    As she walked, the Justicar spared another brief glance at Luna. "You're a Commando. Tevos wouldn't send anyone else, and your build and stride give you away. Your eyes..." She hesitated, and when she spoke again, her voice was quieter, and tainted with regret. "Heavens, child. You're so young."

  8. Bailey laughed humorlessly. "Good. Too much longer and I think she'd have ventured out on her own. She keeps saying she knows the Citadel as good or better than she knows Thessia or Illium."


    He pointed to an armored and helmeted woman standing by a nearby window. "There's your Justicar. Oh, and one more word of advice, Ms. Ir'sai. Don't ask her name. Dunno why, but she's determined not to give one. Broke our DNA scanner on her way in so we wouldn't get any name but "Justicar" for her."

  9. Akeirra climbed aboard the horse to Per'dra's right and drew it around closer to Per'dra and her mount.


    "My path lies in a different direction, mi'lady, for I have made the Dark Elves a promise to secure your party's release," she said softly, her speech slower and smoother than it had ever been before, with a hint of a foreign accent that could not quite be assigned a home in the known world. This must be how she truly spoke, its sound fit her appearance far more than had her previous way of speaking.


    "I have committed the Dark Elf's map to memory," she went on, "and I know your destination, for it is my own. We will meet again, fair Per'dra, and when that time comes, I welcome the challenge of earning your trust."


    With that, she spurred her horse away into the darkness of the forest, and was soon out of sight.

  10. Akeirra closed her eyes and exhaled slowly until she could breathe out no more. Then, motionless, she listened. With her eyes closed, she stopped all other senses but hearing and therefore heard much further. Her brow furrowed as a familiar sound came to her ears. Her eyes snapped open and she inhaled sharply.


    "She stirs with good reason," she said. "The Purge has not yet reached her, but they are within sight."


    She looked up at the guard captain. "Is there a horse I might ride? Sending a message to my contact will not bring her hear fast enough. I must go for her myself and bring her back immediately."


    To Tegan, she added, "You and your friends must take this map to the Auris River and leave immediately. I will catch up with you once my promise of aid to the Dark Elves is fulfilled."

  11. "Sorry to bother you, Justicar."


    Roused only partially from her meditation, the Asari Justicar smiled faintly beneath her helmet. "That would assume I am easy to bother," she said. "I assure you I am not."


    The ship's captain shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. "Uh, yes, of course, ma'am."


    Slowly, the Justicar turned her head to face the captain and her eyes opened. The captain's heart skipped a beat, his gaze locked on the narrow slit in the Justicar's helmet that revealed her eyes. He'd been around plenty of Asari in his time, but this Justicar's eyes looked impossibly old, even for the Asari. Bright blue, their depth seemed immeasurable and the captain was lost in them.


    "You had something you wanted to tell me?" the Justicar asked, though the faint sparkle in her eyes suggested she already knew it. Either way, her words were enough to bring the captain back to himself. He looked away awkwardly.


    "Ah, uh, yes ma'am," he stammered. "We're coming in to dock at the Citadel. Thought you'd like to know, y'know, to get your things ready for departure."


    The faint blue aura of biotic-centered meditation faded from the Justicar's skin and she stood. Her right hand stretched out toward that side of the room and her hand glowed blue brightly. A small shoulder bag lifted up from the floor and sailed into her waiting hand. She slung it casually over her shoulder, tapped the pistol on her belt, and nodded.


    "I am ready," she said. "Thank you."


    The captain excused himself in a hurry, and the Justicar left her room, opting to spend her final minutes aboard this ship somewhere else. Though her meditation had been exceedingly useful, she wanted a change of scenery. It wasn't quite what she expected though. After staring out the window for hours on end, even the vastness of the ship's cargo hold felt claustrophobic. She'd been aboard too long. It would be well to leave.


    The Justicar felt the faint tremor as the ship docked and she turned to head for the airlock. It was a smaller cargo vessel, so it didn't take her long to reach it. She stopped when she reached the captain and flicked on her omni-tool to process payment.


    "As promised," she said. "Half upon boarding, half upon arrival. Thank you for your services, Captain Wade."


    The Human bobbed his head. "Uh, sure, no problem."


    The Justicar laughed softly as she turned to leave. "You're a terrible liar, Captain."


    She left the ship, preparing herself for the challenge ahead: Customs. She had been to the Citadel twice before, first as Amaya T'shaan, and then as Reya. Now, she had no interest in using either name, and she would fight whatever Customs agent she had to in order to deflect any attention from either of the women she used to be. If she had to appeal to Asari Councilor Tevos to do it, then so be it.


    The first Customs agent she approached tried to scan her. "I'm a special case," she said, batting the scanner away. The Turian hesitated.


    "Orders are orders, ma'am," he said, trying again to bring the scanner to bear on her. Again, she pushed it aside.


    "I will speak to your commanding officer," she said, "but I will not submit to a scan. It will tell you two different names. Both women are as good as dead now."


    The Turian frowned. "I can't let you in without this," he said.


    A low growl forming in the back of her throat, the Justicar sent a biotic pulse into the scanner, effectively ruining it.


    She cocked her head. "I believe the proper course of action now would be to direct me to your superior."


    The Turian was caught so off guard that the Justicar faced no further opposition from him. Just beyond the door at which he stood, there was a Human male who had the air of being in charge. The Justicar approached him.


    "Just got a report about you," he growled.


    "I will provide credits for the replacement scanner," the Justicar told him.


    He chuckled. "C-Sec thanks you. I'm Commander Bailey. And you are?"


    "I'm known as the Justicar."


    Bailey stared at her for a moment. "Huh... Councilor Tevos notificed C-Sec you'd be coming. Seemed freaked out of her skin. Terrified you'll start some cross-species scuffle."


    The Justicar nodded. "Her fears are not unfounded. My Code demands I punish injustice wherever I find it. I am here for an Asari, but if anyone stands in my way, or does something illegal or unjust in my sight, I am bound to bring them to justice. Asari, Turian, Human, Salarian, Hanar, Vlous, Elcor, Batarian-"


    "I get the picture," Bailey said. "Does your Code allow you to turn offenders over to local law enforcement?"


    The Justicar paused thoughtfully. "Depending on the crime, that would not be justice."


    Bailey frowned. "Maybe I'd better get Councilor Tevos on the line, let her know you've arrived."


    The Justicar laughed. "She'll want to send an escort, I'm sure."


    "Hope you don't blame me for feeling that's the best option," Bailey said.


    "Call her," the Justicar ordered. "I can wait."

  12. For several moments, Akeirra did not speak. Then, she nodded. "The Network is not known for warriors, but strategies, we have. Unfortunately, I cannot be permitted to remain here, and I cannot think that this band of refugees would take kindly to one of their own remaining here while I'm allowed my freedom. If I may, I think there is a third alternative."


    She pointed to a spot on her air-drawn map, no more than an hour's hard run from Tener'ixal. "The Network has someone here. If you would permit me to send a message to her, she can be here in just over an hour. Then, you will have the Network's best strategies for repelling the Purge and this group may continue on, with your direction to the Auris River."

  13. What else do the two of you know that we don't regarding the Purge?


    Akeirra traced a rough map of the continent in the air, knowing the Dark Elf's memory would be good enough to maintain it without a physical representation.


    "The Network has been able to confirm they spread from this region," she said. "Their current front lines range along this line," she drew another, jagged line across the continent. "In some places, they advance more quickly than others. By Network estimates, Tener'ixal will be hit within a week."


    She frowned thoughtfully. "I was on my way to meet with the Dwarves when I encountered this band of refugees. The Dwarves told the Network that they had a myth that, if proved true, could utterly destroy the Purge. I have been sent to deliver this information on the Purge to the Dwarves, and to see if I can verify the validity of their claims."

  14. At the captain's words, Akeirra relaxed a little. She smiled at the Elf behind her as he eased his arrow off the bow, as if to thank him for speaking up. He met her smile with a stony expression, as if he wished he'd let his arrow fly before seeing what it was she was offering him. Then, she glanced at Tegan and with a simple gesture in the direction of the captain's voice, she moved forward to obey his orders. As she passed by Per'dra, she dropped to one knee and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.


    "Take heart," she said quietly, the pace of her words slower, the cadence smoother. "The word of one of their own will surely persuade them to authorize our release." She frowned darkly. "If I'm wrong... there may yet be hope." She tapped her forehead with a knowing smile. "Oh, the secrets I keep."

  15. As soon as the trap had sprung, Akeirra ducked into the shadows, fearing an ambush. Instinctively, she thought only of her own safety. But she had barely left the group - could still reach out and touch two of them, in fact - when the point of an arrow was gently touched against her back. She froze, knowing the arrow would run her clean through if she dared move.


    She turned her head slowly until she could see the Elf holding her at arrowpoint. He wore a grim expression, and the look in his eyes told her he wanted nothing more than to be ordered to release the arrow he held at her back. Still, he would not go against his standing orders, and Akeirra deemed it necessary to use that to her advantage.


    Slowly, she reached back, a card in her hand, turning it so he could see what was written there. The archer's eyes narrowed as his sharp eyes took in the small slip. He was torn between keeping silent, as he was supposed to, or speaking up. It was important information, after all. Even the Dark Elves had made use of Zhannain's Network.


    "Captain," he said at last. "This one bears Zhannain's calling card."

  16. Name: The Justicar (born Amaya T'Shaan, later known as Reya)

    Age: 681

    Species: Asari

    Gender: The question answers itself ;)


    Appearance: Image: Amaya T'Shaan. Note: This image was captured during Amaya's days as an Asari Commando. Since then, no one has been able to prove they've seen her face, much less snap a photo of it, as she always wears a helmet, which shows only her eyes.


    Occupation: Asari Justicar

    Personality: Because of her strict adherence to the Justicar Code, many would call her harsh. However, few would dispute that her actions were just.


    Weapons: One Cerberus Skunkworks Harpy X pistol. Beyond that, she is a weapon.


    -Pistols: Master Marksman.

    -Biotics: In developing her biotic abilities, she focused on Slam, Shockwave, and Reave. These three are her strong suits, but she is also capable of Barrier, Pull, Singularity, Throw, and Warp, though to a lesser degree.


    Biography: In her early years, Amaya T'Shaan traveled incessantly. She visited as many new worlds as she could afford to. She worked aboard cargo freighters to visit worlds she couldn't afford, and learned as much as she possibly could about the people and creatures that lived there. When she was 171 years old, she returned to Thessia and settled there briefly before relocating to Illium with a Turian partner. They lived there together for twenty years and had a daughter.


    At the end of that time, the Turian and their daughter disappeared without a trace. Two weeks later, an Asari Commando unit found what was left of them. Dismayed, Amaya almost reverted to her wandering life. Instead, she entered training to become a Commando herself.


    During the next three-hundred years, Amaya worked hard, leaving almost no time for relaxation. Occasionally, she burned out and a concerned co-worker would take her away for a week off. But in spite of their best efforts, she always found trouble that needed their attention. She occasionally melded with people who captured her interest, and from these melds, she had two daughters. Amaya's daughters, due to the risks inherent in her profession, were raised predominantly by their fathers.


    When Amaya was 518 years old, she received word that one of her daughters and both of her mates had been killed in similar manners to her first losses. In a panic, she raced to find her only living daughter. She found her daughter still living and sent her into hiding. Then, she entered training to become a Justicar.


    Justicar training was no cake walk; Amaya was nearly killed three times before it was over. But when she completed it successfully, she cast off her old identity and renamed herself Reya. Though there was an assignment lined up for her if she wanted it, she declined, saying simply she already had one. Then, she hunted down and killed the group responsible for the deaths of her loved ones. Recognizing this as a violation of the Code, she spent fifty years in isolation, self-inflicted exile.


    When she returned, she renewed her pledge to uphold the Justicar Code and took to wearing a helmet to conceal her identity from those who knew her. To further distance herself from the woman she had been, she gave up the name "Reya" as well, calling herself simply, "The Justicar".


    For the next hundred years, she served as a Justicar, her stubborn refusal to reveal her identity making her something of a legend to those she aided. It also attracted the notice of the Citadel Council and they expressed an interest in making her a Spectre. Unfortunately, she is notoriously difficult to track down, as she almost never stays in one place for long.

  17. "Forgive me Miss Akeirra, but if your trust though touch truly works I wish to see this for myself. " Vakarr said as he stuck his hand back out.


    Akeirra looked down at his hand, a little uncertainly. "Didn't say trust. Said telepathy. I'm in early stages development, manifests as telepathy-by-touch only. And even then, not much information. We exchange names, scattered images, fragments of surface thought, snippets of native language."


    She glanced again at Per'dra. "Curious Per'dra got nothing. I had hoped..." She sighed. "My connection to the Network, my aversion to the Purge, these things I hoped would transfer. But they didn't. You're different somehow."


    Turning back to Vakarr, she sighed. "I honor your request."


    After one final moment of hesitation, she placed her bare hand in Vakarr's waiting one. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, a faint tingling sensation rushed up Vakarr's arm and things he had never known were suddenly there in his mind.


    Zhannain translates "unknown"... Spy from Nowhere... ally... Akeirra... Dwarves seek information... avoid the Purge... sacrifice life before delivering Network information to enemies...


    With a yelp of pain, Akeirra drew her hand away, bringing both of them up to massage her forehead. "Sorry, Vakarr," she groaned. "I had to terminate connection. For you, a slight tingling. For me, raging headache."


    Perhaps her pain fueled it, but she seemed even more agitated now. "No time to lose. Purge will be drawn aside by ferryman's pyre. Not long though. Time to be moving."

  18. At the physical contact, the woman winced, but did nothing until Per'dra released her hand. As the murmurs of discontent and distrust rippled through the group, she began massaging her forehead.


    In reply to Tael, she said, "Leaderless? No. You have destination. Destination suggests leadership."


    To Vakarr and Tegan she offered a smile. "Skilled, I am not."


    Turning to Per'dra, she said, "You got nothing?" She murmured a few words in her strange language. "Your name, I now have. Per'dra." She smiled faintly. "Beautiful name. Only information I learned from you."


    She began pacing again. "Purge has spread far. Yes, even here. Heading for Dark Elves next, if information accurate."


    Her gaze turned back to Per'dra. "You asked earlier. The Network. The Spy from Nowhere. Zhaanain. All are one. I am representative. Akeirra, my name."

  19. At this new information, the mystery woman's eyes lit up. "The Auris! Towns along its banks, nothing special. Where it ends, special."


    She began pacing. "Our paths. Same direction, same destination. Dwarves await." She stared at the party curiously. "They don't take kindly to strangers. How would you gain entry?"


    But before anyone could answer, she shook her head. "Doesn't matter. I can help. Dwarves contacted the Network. Want information. Classified, can't say what. I have it."


    Her pacing stopped and she grinned widely at Per'dra. "But why trust me? Why trust you? Purge makes an easy scapegoat. I can prove us both trustworthy to one another, Leader. Telepathy-by-touch."


    She pulled the glove off her right hand and wiggled her fingers. "But dare you risk it? You show caution. Good. But if Purge after you, you have little time. Choose quickly."

  20. Once the group had more or less settled around her fire, the woman opened her eyes and watched each member in turn for a few moments. When at last her gaze landed on Per'dra, who was kneeling between Tael and the woman herself, she watched in silence, curiosity sparkling in her violet eyes. As soon as Meara and Per'dra finished with Tael, the woman spoke, rather faster than she had when they first encountered her with her eyes closed.


    "Scuffles?" she asked. "Arrow shot. You're all worn. Seen a loss recently. It shows. Your eyes, they ache. Hmm..." She pointed at Per'dra. "You. You seem to lead? What brings you so far off the beaten path?"

  21. As Tael spoke, the group's path took them near a small fire. At first glance, it looked untended. A closer look proved it was not; a woman with youthful features knelt by its side, her long brown hair braided and dangling over her left shoulder, her gloved hands folded in her lap, her eyes closed. She was dressed entirely in black, her face the only skin left uncovered. She had weapons too, and though they were set aside, they were still easily within her reach.


    "Bring your injured man to the fire," she said slowly, her eyes still closed. "You might better tend to him in the warmth it provides."

  22. Well since Archon posted a rather long backstory for one of his, I suppose I won't cut mine down either :p





    NAME: Akeirra

    GENDER: Female

    AGE: 121

    SPECIES: Meinari (of which Akeirra is the only known living representative)

    CLASS/COMBAT ROLE: Thief/spy/infiltration expert

    APPEARANCE: Light skin, dark brown hair, violet eyes. Tends to dress in black turtleneck, long-sleeve shirts, black pants, and lightweight black boots, and wear her hair in a french braid. She always wears elbow-length black gloves, and if she's aiming to be completely unseen, she will complete this outfit with a black mask.

    WEAPONS: A pair of sais, hilts bound in black leather. A set of twenty throwing knives. All these weapons have black blades. In addition to them, she also occasionally carries a small pouch containing an assortment of poisons, mostly in powder form.

    ARMOR: Usually none, though she has been known to don lightweight leather pieces if she thinks she'll need a little extra protection.

    STRENGTHS: Speed, agility, silence, flexibility.

    WEAKNESSES: Her small size means it's relatively easy to overpower her, provided you can first catch her. Her curiosity has also been known to get her into trouble, as it has prompted her to stay in a hostile environment longer than she should have. While she is fast, she tires quickly. Her best bet at getting out of a conflict is to dodge and dart, and hopefully get out of sight before her adversary can catch up to discover where she's gone.


    BACKSTORY: Akeirra awoke one day thirty years ago with a jagged piece of metal jammed through her left arm, deep scratches scattered across the rest of her body, and no recollection of who or what she was. The first people to encounter her in this state were members of a spy ring and though none of them could understand her when she spoke, nor she them, they managed to calm her enough for their medic to tend to her wounds. As the medic worked, they spoke amongst themselves and Akeirra listened attentively, hissing occasionally against the pain.


    Once her arm was bandaged and most of her other scratches had been tended, they began what they expected to be an arduous process: communication. Indeed, their early attempts failed at doing much more than frustrating the entire party. At long last, in exasperation, Akeirra tore the remainder of her right hand glove clean off and pressed her hand against the forehead of one of the thieves. He yelped in pain and Akeirra fell back, swearing in her native tongue. As the other thieves were drawing their weapons to retaliate against what they perceived as an attack, Akeirra spoke in a language they understood: “I… didn’t know I could do that.” With communication at last a non-issue, they asked her name, but found to both their dismay and hers that she remembered nothing. Opting to let that go for the moment, they took her with them, spying in her posture and the way she moved that she could be an asset to their band.


    Over the next few months, she trained with them, calling herself Zhaanain, which she told her new friends was the nearest her language came to saying, “Unknown”. Then, during a trip out with one of them, she attended a show put on by a magician. The magician cast a spell on his audience, making each of them tell him their name in turn. Even after months of calling herself Zhaanain and being called thus by her friends, the spell drew out things she could not remember. When she returned to her senses and realized the magician now held information she did not, Akeirra begged him to tell her and he agreed. Her name was Akeirra, her species called Meinari, her age ninety-one. He confessed however that he had never heard of the Meinari and suspected her of having the strength of mind to withstand his spell long enough to throw in something entirely fictitious. It hardly mattered to Akeirra and her friends though; they now had some facts to go on.


    As the years continued, Akeirra progressed rapidly in her training. By age ninety-six, she had proved her aptitude for the kind of work the thieves wanted her trained for. When she turned ninety-nine, she was sent out on a job alone, from which she almost didn’t return. Her job was to infiltrate a blacksmith’s and steal a unique sword designed for a king. Infiltration was easy, as was finding the desired sword. The job went sideways when she laid eyes on a pair of sais, completely black with black leather grips. Until this point she had carried only a handful of throwing knives for defensive purposes, but now she at last saw something she wanted. She carefully laid aside the king’s sword and moved to grab the sais, but that brought her into plain view of the blacksmith’s apprentice, whose location in the shop she had misjudged. At first, he took her for a prospective customer he hadn’t heard arrive, but she darted forward in a panic, seized the sais and rushed back the way she’d come, catching up the king’s sword as she went. The apprentice caught up the bow he kept on hand for just such an occasion and snapped off a quick shot just as Akeirra was disappearing. His arrow embedded itself in her shoulder and she fled without removing it. She returned to her thieving friends with the arrow still in her shoulder and immediately collapsed.


    It took a week of care during which she was feverish and only borderline conscious before she recovered; the apprentice’s arrow-tip had been dipped in poison, ensuring that if his aim did not kill, his target should not be able to get far. When Akeirra was strong enough to walk, she was called before the leader of the band of thieves. He reprimanded her severely for her failure and kept the sais for himself, saying it would be a lesson to her in the foolishness of deviating from the job. She accepted this and immediately returned to work.


    For five years, Akeirra’s record was nearly spotless. She successfully accomplished all the objectives she was sent for, but she was also captured fifteen times, nearly captured thirty-seven times, and injured in one way or another almost every job. The band’s leader finally had enough, telling her that if she was not more careful the next time he sent her out, he would kill her if she came back. As she had seen him follow through in this threat before, she fought hard to ignore her curiosity and came back successful, not even once captured, and uninjured. Unfortunately for that band of thieves, Akeirra was not their weak link, and the night after she returned completely successful, they were caught in a surprise attack. Their leader, assuming Akeirra had turned to save her skin drew the sais and tried to kill her, but was shot through the heart before he could land a blow.


    Akeirra and several others were taken captive in the raid and interrogated regarding their positions in the organization. It was assumed this thieving band was a small part of a larger operation and the men who took them wanted that ring’s leaders. Most of the thieves refused to talk and so went to their deaths loyal to a dead leader, but that leader had tried to kill Akeirra before he was himself struck down and so she had no such loyalty. She offered her services to the agents and proved her worth by picking the pocket of one of her interrogators while chained to a chair. And so, her second round of training began.


    For three years, they trained her intensively in how to lie, how to resist interrogation techniques, how to use the sais she so treasured. When she was 106, they started spreading a rumor about a new thief/spy for hire. They sent out assassins to take out a few small-time thieves and spies and assigned credit for their exploits to Akeirra. In each case, they left her calling card – a small black throwing knife with her name etched into the blade, in a flowing script, in her native language. In just a few short months, people were beginning to call her the Spy from Nowhere.


    A year later, with her reputation established, Akeirra returned only once to the spies who made her into a legend. She left them a promising lead on the ring of thieves they so desperately wanted, but they were unable to follow up on it, for she had scarcely reached the city gates when their headquarters erupted in a massive explosion that took out nearly a third of the city in which it resided. She spent the next fifteen years enhancing her reputation and ensuring that no one alive could identify her specifically as the Spy from Nowhere. To give the legend a little additional distance from her real self, she also spread the rumor that the Spy’s name was Zhaanain.


    In recent years, the Spy from Nowhere has turned into a major spy network, in which only a small handful are aware of Zhaanain’s true identity. Whenever working with others, Akeirra tends to introduce herself as an associate of the Spy from Nowhere, though she occasionally makes an appearance as Zhaanain herself, mostly just to keep the legend alive.

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