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"Hhhh-hh-hh-hah-hhh-hhh... A long, slow breath escaped Per'dra's lips.


Silence. Emptiness. The rumbling of which the Bard had spoken began, although this time there was a different quality to it: desperation. Now that the Elf's mind was present within Per'dra's consciousness, at least in regards to her nightmare, it was an easy task to translate the sounds:


"I'm trapped here. Help me! The Spine of Sazhen' is a place that you can see, and the place which I guard, but my soul is fading from my body. You are the only one, young girl, whose heart is almost purely attuned to those of Wyrms, though you do not believe we exist. The first creation of the Ultimate, the One who guides us, was Sazhen' itself. I am V'toryv, the second creation.


"When Sazhen' was formed, it was rock and ice. The Ultimate created it this way so there would be water, and thus life. However, in order for the seed of life to be planted, I was sent to breathe fire upon the surface of this world. Once, at the dawn of time, I was a thousandfold the size of Sazhen'. However, as the Ultimate created more children--you humans, elves, dwarves, and other mortal souls--I asked for my soul to be placed in a much smaller vessel. At first, the Ultimate refused, saying that his other children had strong wills and might choose to slay me. However, I said I would take the risk. I am encased in this crystalline shell, and it holds me well. I wished to visit ye who perish in the blink of an eye, who wither like the grass and do not last for millennia.


"For the first hundred years of Sazhen's existence, I bred my offspring, Wyrmkind, and younger mortals such as yourselves lived in peace with us. However, hunger soon overtook them--hunger for power, for riches, and for our sacred blood. That is what this army called 'the Purge' covets. As my children die, I weaken, and if I myself perish, Sazhen will be no more.


"I reside within its Spine. Listen! If you do not find me first, this 'Purge' will. They're ravenous for blood, and they will not stop until they have mine. Look for the mountains that no one can climb, to be seen in darkness' time..."


The crystalline form of V'toryv convulsed in pain, letting out a mighty roar. At the same time, Per'dra's eyes grew wide, and she slumped on her barstool.

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The Elf saw it all, heard it all, he was within her dream, he finally understood - the inkling that had swept over him the day he'd decided to 'hunt' the Purge for the sake of preventing a greater end than that of his kind.


His disdain grew within him though, he questioned the great Wyrm, why she had decided to descend to the world of mortal-kind only to spend it with those whose lives ended so quickly, and whose greed destroyed not only her offspring, but his own kind: Man. He had questions for the great Wyrm, questions he would have to ask when next this woman found herself in the throws of a demi-deity induced dream.....Or nightmare as the woman had called it, lest those dreams be lingering messages, then he would have to question the great Wyrm directly, when the time came.


At the end, when the roar came he did not release Per'dra from the state of waking dreams immediately, but instead turned her floating figure around. Within the dream she was still very much conscious, though like in a dream she was unaware of his presence, or hers, until he made himself known, did she notice what was occurring.


He wore no mask here, and his features were plain to see, his crystalline hair flowed in a breeze that neither of them felt, his opalescent eyes were normal here, his figure was not so gaunt, his clothes not so primitive, his skin khaki, not taupe. In dreams he was what his people used to be, a powerful race of intermingled Elven bloodlines, forged into a single astonishing race: 'The Bejeweled Folk'.


He spoke in his people's old tongue, but in the place of her dreams, she knew what he was saying, even if it didn't sound like anything she could understand, much like what had happened with the great Wyrm mere moments ago. "You will not remember what has happened here, when you look around, you will find that it seems like you were daydreaming about your, 'nightmare', you will remember it as you always have. I will tell you Sorrowful One, what has transcended here must not be taken lightly by anyone!"


He continued, "I will come with you, and I know of one other who will help, for she would follow me anyways." He paused, rolling his beautiful eyes and shaking his head.


"You will need help. Find it. If ever you need council on your dreams, I will be there. When you become aware, I will induce the memory of the dream upon you. Now..." He reached out, seizing her head in his hands the same way he had when he'd put her into this state of waking dreams.


".....Awake...." An echo in her ears from reality came through, but heard in her dream, ".....And Be."


"Cuivaengië [Awake & Be - General translation]."


In the real world it seemed like mere seconds, but when he spoke the words that broke the silence, he almost seemed to be thrown from the stool which he was perched on.


"Attëa! One greater than the Third!" He nearly shouted as he came to his senses, a short slender figure rushing to his side and helping him up, the figure being that of a young Dwarven maiden, though she looked nothing like any common Dwarven maiden, that was for sure; her brows wrinkled in worry, but she said nothing.


The Elf hissed at her as he got back up on the stool and waited for the woman's eyes to focus back on reality so that he could induce her mind with the memory of what had happened, the Dwarf standing next to the Elf perched on his stool staring at the woman curiously, waiting to see what else happened.

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Meara, the old barmaid, had finally summoned enough courage to move from her place behind the counter and scuttle around to her young friend's side. "Lass? Lass! Are you all right?" She thought about slapping the Bard's rosy cheeks. However, Meara dared not in front of the Elf and the Dwarven maiden who had suddenly appeared at his side. If she tried to bring Per'dra out of her glassy-eyed trance that way, it wouldn't bode well for her. Who would go to a tavern where the barkeep routinely slapped his or her patrons around?


"I'm all right, Meara," the Bard cried. "I was simply having a daydream about my awful nightmare, fueled by that absinthe, I bet!" She winked at the older woman, concealing the truth from her. "I found out that I was dreaming about dragons. A dragon, as a matter of fact. Where could my mind have gone, to imagine such outrageous beasts?" She grinned at those around her, wondering whom she could trust with such knowledge besides the Elf. "Maybe my poor little brother was a dragon, roaring hello. Who in Sazhen' knows?"


"I certainly don't, my dear lady," Meara answered, shaking her head. "You've had enough alcohol for tonight, I daresay. Won't you go on home to bed?"


"Not yet. I--this tavern is so warm, and my quarters in the slums aren't."

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The Elf didn't understand how the barmaid had released herself from his spell of illusion to be silent, but if she hadn't been by whatever fluke, he would have surely forgotten her and she would be the world's most intimidating mute barmaid.


He watched, half-bemused by her concern for the other woman, waiting for her to end her fretting to merely shove her aside with one hand, hissing at her to warn her from any retaliation, or words.


"Not yet. I--this tavern is so warm, and my quarters in the slums aren't." The Bard said in final response to the barmaid.


"And it is good that you aren't. Come," he said softly, placing his hands once more on her face, brushing aside her hair, the Dwarf rolling her eyes.


"Rîn! [Remembrance - Literal translation]" He spoke, his eyes flashing brightly, the fog transforming into a guttering spurt of ethereal violet fire, dancing from his eyes, then they were normal, his eyes no longer violet, nor spewing fog and sparks. He released her face.


She would remember everything, even what he had said to her, though simply because he had spoken in his ancient tongue did not mean she had any understanding of it simply because she knew what he had said, it was hard to explain, but regardless of the language, she would know.


"Do you recall?" He spoke quietly, pointing slowly to one of his now normal, opalescent eyes, that peered out through the mask, though these eyes were dimmer and crueler than the eyes she had seen in her dream, they were the same beautiful amber-green, dual-shaded eyes.


Of course she would, but he wanted to make absolutely certain that she remembered, everything, from her vision, to the words he'd spoken.

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Per'dra's voice had frequently been compared to music, which was only natural given her occupation. Right now, however, its tempo was a bit off. No musician was ever perfect, whether the notes came from his or her instruments or vocal cords. As she gazed into the Elf's eyes, she heard her words emerge with a quavering, tremulous fear. Blinking, she murmured:


"In my nightmares, a dragon has been calling out to me: V'toryv, the Second of Creation. She is the Great Wyrm who first breathed life into Sazhen' at the command of the Ultimate. Right now, her soul is becoming trapped in the Void, where the condemned find no peace. The Purge seeks her blood, and the blood of her scaled children, in order to increase their power. She guards the Spine of Sazhen' with her very life. If I don't find V'toryv before the Purge does, all is lost. If she perishes, this entire world shall collapse upon itself."


Blinking, she continued: "As for you...you are ageless and magnificent. If I have any more dreams--any more communication from V'toryv--you can help."

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((I fixed it. :xp: And was I, 'the rude man from across the room', even though I'm sitting close by?))


Tael looked to his side to hear a laugh from the woman, commenting on the dream and the Purge. He then heard the Elven speak, and he assumed he was speaking to him.


"Quiet, dreg, lest you conjure a Dreambrand's wrath!"


"Of course. I apologize, as it was not my intention to be rude.", Tael replied, with a small smile.


It was true, he did not wish to cause problems, or be rude to these newcomers. A few seconds later, he saw the bard and elven 'awake' from their dream, though he was unable to hear what they were discussing about it.


"May I ask what happened?", he said - somewhat-quietly - not wishing to be as rude and blunt as he was before.


He sipped on his tea.

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The Bard took this opportunity to smile with relief. Truth be told, she had been visibly shaken, not only by the revelation of her nightmare, but by the Elf and his mysterious way of entering others' dreams. Turning to Tael, she replied:


"I've finally discovered what's been haunting me all these nights, via the aid of my newest acquaintance." She gestured toward the Elf. "That's what happened. It seems a dragon has been present in my dreams: the last Wyrm that exists." How much should I tell him about what I really learned? The Purge may not have chosen this tavern as its next target to burn--as they've been doing with houses of ill repute and other slum buildings--but what if their spies are here? "That dragon was causing the soundless roar that always woke me up. You know how it is in dreams: what's louder than thunder to you can't be heard by anyone else." She rolled her eyes. "It's a good thing I'm alone. If I'd had a husband beside me these past few weeks, he might as well have moved out due to all my thrashing about while he's trying to sleep, and kicking off the covers!"

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The door to the tavern opened quietly as Valron pushed his way through and headed straight for a man who was quietly sitting at a table all by himself. Valron didn't give the man a chance to move before he sat down at the table and grabbed his arm. He lifted the viewer of his helmet and stared at the man with anger very much evident in his eyes.


"Two more common solders Velor." He said in a quiet voice that didn't disguise his anger. "You assured me that these two knew something. That they were higher ups in the organization and they would have information. Once again you were wrong."


"I-It's not my fault good knight!" Velor said nervously. "I was assured by a reliable source that they were higher ups and that they would have the information you sought! Please...don't hurt me!"


Valron slowly pulled his sword off his back and pointed the blade directly at the other man's throat. "I want information Velor. I want to meet this so called source of yours and talk to him personally."

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As Tael continued to sip on his tea, he listened intently on the bard's words, understanding if she didn't tell him everything. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a knight harassing another man. Out of good conscience, he walked towards the two men, leaving his tea on the counter. He walked towards the knight, not angry at him, but out of a desire to figure out why he has the other man at sword-point.


"What's going on here?", he said, in a non-angered tone.


((*Sword-point - our equivalent of gun-point.))

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Tegan had seen this sort of behaviour before, particularly in a target who was innocent, or otherwise didn't deserve to die. She must have had some serious emotional scars, and the insensitive half-Drow wasn't helping. Tegan pulled him away before he could make things worse.


"Vakarr, you're not helping." She said to him. Then, turning to Emi, she lowered her hood and said "It's okay, you have nothing to fear from us."


Look at me, the compassionate assassin. She thought to herself, fully aware of the contradiction.

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“Now now my dear, no need to be so quiet. I assure you I don’t bite…that hard,”


Emi's shivering was becoming more noticeable. She was a reaver, an assassin, but she operated in the shadows, away from everyone and mostly in the cover of night to hide from crowds or people. It seemed a good fit for an occupation. Given her scars and the treatment she needed for her skin was costly, assassin work paid well enough for this. So, whenever she was around people, her emotions would run wild, not to mention the physical trauma caused by years of insults, beatings, and just general teasing.


"I... I ...", she lowered her head even more...closing her eyes, visibly shivering even more. She suddenly opened her eyes when she heard Tegan speak.


"Vakarr, you're not helping." She took the man away from the table, she relaxed a bit, anyone could tell as she wasn't shivering as much. Then the woman spoke again.


"It's okay, you have nothing to fear from us."


Emi glanced from her lap to Tegan's face, her expression softened a bit.


"O-okay", Emi managed to mutter. She was intently listening to what was going on around her, but mostly because the Elf and the Bard woman were being really loud, and given the fact that there was mostly no one around except a few drunk people in a table close to the exit, it was easy to listen.


"I am... not so good... with... people", Emi said in the same almost whisper volume she had been replying before.

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"What's going on here?"


Valron turned to look at the man who had walked over to their table and then turned back to look at Velor. He narrowed his eyes as the man's eyes widened in fear as the sword edged a little bit closer to his throat. "Nothing much." He said casually.


I-I assure you that I know nothing!" Velor whispered in fear as the sword actually touched his throat without breaking the skin.


Valron smiled. "If that's true then why does it seem that whenever I get information from you I always end up fighting these foot solders? And they always seem ready for me no matter how quietly I approach them?"


"Blind luck on their part?" Velor said in a voice filled with fear.


"Wrong." Valron said "I suspect that you are somehow affiliated with the purge. And I think you've been trying to get me killed."

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"Nothing much."


This actually drew a laugh from Tael.


"Is this a normal day for you, holding a man at sword-point?", he asked, slightly chuckling.


He saw the other man widen his eyes in fear, as the sword touched his throat.


"If that's true then why does it seem that whenever I get information from you I always end up fighting these foot solders? And they always seem ready for me no matter how quietly I approach them?"


"I assure you, I do not know this man.", he said, gesturing his hand. "And I'm no footsoldier.", he added.


"I suspect that you are somehow affiliated with the Purge. And I think you've been trying to get me killed."


Tael widened his eyes at this, instinctively drawing both of his swords. He kept them firmly in his hands, keeping them at his sides.


"This man is affiliated with the Purge?", asked Tael, in a firm voice. If he was, then he deserved death.

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I knew it! Per'dra thought to herself, a wave of panic overcoming her. It was only a matter of time before those soldiers got here. That's why it's all the more important to kill this man--if, indeed, he is a spy. She strode up to the one who was being held at sword-point, slowly and carefully, revealing the very peak of her absent bodice. No one else except the victim (spy?) could see it.


"Tell me: If you don't seem to value your life very much, how much would you value a last tumble with the most popular bard in the slums of Paryer?" Then she smiled eerily. "Oh. I forgot. You Purge scum value purity so much in women that you'd sooner pluck out your own eyes than look at what I showed you ever-so-briefly. Isn't that right?" The man's face was as white and pasty as bread dough that contained too much water. "At least then, you won't be able to see any blood when we kill you. I've always thought that your marching ilk were blind..."

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Vakarr stared at Tegan in silence. The elf was indeed bold, he'd give her that. He looked over to a skirmish he heard and saw a human pointing his sword at another. He watched as another human walked over to try to stop this from going on. Vakarr snorted as he looked at the three. Humans, they were such revolting creatures in his mind. They were selfish and greedy, and any nobility they showed was only to make them look better. He turned his attention back to Tegan and Emi, chuckling slightly.


"Not so good with socializing? Don't worry my dear, you're not alone." Vakarr said. That was as close to nice as he'd get for now.


Vakarr looked back to see how the skirmish was going. He heard one word that stuck out from the rest...Purge. Now that he was listening more intently, he picked up that the one man being held at sword-point might be a Purge spy. He watched as a human female walked over and began taunting this captured man. Vakarr looked to Emi and Tegan.


"Its quite a bold claim they're making over there," Vakarr said.

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Emi could feel the atmosphere around the tavern tense up. She could feel the emotions of terror the man at sword-point was feeling. If he was indeed with the purge, he deserved to die... that's what everyone else kept saying, or thinking. Somehow, she needed to go away, not be around when they take his life. Not because she couldn't witness it, but because...


She shut her eyes with force, as if she was bracing herself up for something. Being a reaver, the soul of the man would be absorbed by her the moment it left his body, it was the one think she hadn't learned to control properly, before she ran away.


She gritted her teeth and kept her eyes closed, she kept her head down and clenched her fists on the mid section of her cloak, gripping it tight. Maybe they couldn't see it, and there was no way they would be able to tell she was a soul reaver just by sight.


Please... not here... please... She kept saying in her mind, the voices of the souls she had absorbed often spoke in her mind, but as she had become so adept at escaping to her own world, she was able to withdraw herself just enough to keep them silent.

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((Chevron, if it's okay with you, I'm going to make Velor blubber a bit.))


Since the man was not responding to Per'dra's taunting, except with wide-eyed fear and silence, the Bard turned to the crowd to decide his fate.


"If this were any other place in Paryer, you'd have recourse through the law," she explained. "You'd sic the Watchmen on me, and I'd be strung up on the gallows before you could say Long live Sazhen'! However, this is the Drunkard's Haven--the last refuge of the people, at least however many are left after your army's 'preventative exterminations'! Are we vermin, diseased mice and rats, to deserve this treatment? Why in the name of V'toryv haven't you gone after the slum lords in the Gold District, who evict us at a moment's notice if we're even one copper short on our rent? They're the true thieves!"


In her fury, Per'dra hadn't noticed that she'd let the name of the Great Wyrm slip. Taking her steel short swords from the hilts at her sides, she interlocked the blades with the swordpoint of Valron, the fool's other inquisitor, to form a triangle. "Your neck is now between three instruments of death, instead of one," she said. "We people shall now hold you in OUR court. If you lie, you die. My first question: Are you affiliated with the filthy Purge or not?!"


"Kk-k-kkhhhk--!" That was the only sound that escaped Velor's mouth.

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Vakarr watched Emi with interest. He wasn't amused by her actions as he had been previously, just studying her. He took note of her eyes being shut tightly. It couldn't have been the drunkards he saw as she was here before him and wasn't bother then. It might be his presence but he had been proven wrong on that once. The only other thing in his head had to be the little skirmish occurring on the other side of the room. She must not want to see the execution of this man.


Vakarr looked to Emi, then to the small group of humans, then back to Emi. Vakarr was not someone who did things out of the goodness of his heart. He believed he shouldn't waste his time on most people. On the other hand he could get rid of the small group of humans for a short while, which would be both beneficial to the two of them. She wouldn't have to see the bloodshed, and he wouldn't have to deal with them being in the room.


He silently cursed his polite mannerisms for a few moments. He then heard the woman speak up. Things were definitely beginning to heat up. What did interest him in this woman was her clear hatred of the Purge...and perhaps this man could provide some information. He glanced back to Emi and let out a sigh.


"Pardon me, this should only take a moment," Vakarr said to the two.


He slowly walked over to the small group of humans. He already didn't want to speak to them, they were hairless rats to him. He eyed up the group of humans. The one who had his sword pointed seemed to be almost the same height as he was. He looked to the man who had walked over earlier, then to the woman. He cleared his throat, wanting to get their attention.


"I do hope I'm not interrupting anything too...important here. However, I would like to inform you that this is a public area...despite some of the more intoxicated individuals in here. They have come here for a drink, not to watch a beheading take place. Perhaps it would be wise to have this little session of yours outdoors?" Vakarr suggested in his usual deep yet polite tone.

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"This man is affiliated with the Purge?",


"Your neck is now between three instruments of death, instead of one," she said. "We people shall now hold you in OUR court. If you lie, you die. My first question: Are you affiliated with the filthy Purge or not?!"


Valron continued to smile as the two others joined him. Velor was shaking so hard from fright that Valron was able to see a small bronze object that was now sticking out of his pocket. Valron smiled again and grabbed it with his free hand and ripped it free.


The bronze object had the insigna of the purge.


"I believe that this will answer all of our questions." He said as he held it up to show it to the others.


He looked over at Velor who had tears of fear forming in his eyes. Valron narrowed his eyes. "So...all this time you were a member of the purge..." He said thoughtfully. "That would explain quite a few things."


He turned to look at the others in the tavern. "What do you say? Should we see if he knows anything? Or should he just die?"


Valron looked at Velor again and then at the woman who had decided that the people should decide his fate. He smiled. He rather enjoyed that particular idea.

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"MAKE THE RAT TALK!" shouted a drunken man, his breath stinking of ale. It could be smelled all the way across the room, and in a way, Per'dra Raliry was grateful that he'd spoken up before all the rest of 'the people' had. Even drunk, this patron of the Drunkard's Haven was still in possession of some of his senses. He stood up, shaking his fist. "SQUEAK, you rodent!"


Turning to Velor, Per'dra smiled slowly and took the shining amber insignia into her palm. "Very well. This is indeed the sign of the Amber Hand. I assume you know everything about this seemingly-innocuous piece of metal, since you follow both the Purge and its cause." All of a sudden, she remembered Vakarr. "You're right, good sir. We common folk are not animals, even though this spy and his ilk are worse than beasts! If we decide that he is to die after being interrogated, we'll behead him outside so no one else will have to see."


"Here's my second question: How close is the Purge to cracking down on the Slum District? Days? Weeks? Even hours? How much time do we have left?"

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"As for you...you are ageless and magnificent. If I have any more dreams--any more communication from V'toryv--you can help."


It was both what he was, and wasn't expecting to hear from her, the Elf nodded, the Dwarf at his side simply shaking her head and rolling her eyes, moving back to the empty table she had come from.


His eyes began to glow, and then glazed over with a violet hue, completely altering his natural eye color, wisps of ethereal haze licking up towards the ceiling, but dissipating from existence before it even went above the mask.


"It's a good thing I'm alone. If I'd had a husband beside me these past few weeks, he might as well have moved out due to all my thrashing about while he's trying to sleep, and kicking off the covers!" The Bard mentioned, the Elf simply shaking his head slightly.


"A lifemate indeed...." The Elf scoffed quietly to the side, his shoulders jerking up as he let out a breath through his nose. "....No. Best that you not have someone, lest he be inept for the tasks and journey ahead - left to be alone, slain by the Purge as you go ever farther away.....Or worse," the Elf commented as the woman distracted herself with others around her, whether she heard his words were unknown, as increasing commotion from the surrounding patrons drew her away from the bar.


Though his eyes were not on what was happening at the table where the humans had been gathering, his sharp elven ears were. He heard everything of what was said after the Bard had decided to depart from her place at the bar beside him; shaking his head as things quickly began to turn violent.


He looked up at the mage who'd been questioning the Bard before him and shook his head once more, commenting dryly, though more to himself than to the mage, "How like the race of Man to be so full of vehemence, assumptions, and fear."


With that the Elf got up from the bar, moving over to an empty table in the tavern, one apart from the Dwarf's. As he did the barmaid sought to address him, but almost as if he could hear her finger raising and mouth opening he angled his head over his shoulder, one violet eye glaring her to silence even before she had spoken.


Th Elf kept listening to the exchange of words taking place at the table where the now apparent and evident Purge spy was being questioned mercilessly.


As things heated up and another, somewhat more sensible man approached the table, the Elf felt that it was time to pull the Bard from her revelry, her anger and disgust for the Purge spy had already brought out the mention of the great Wyrm, and knowing that the spy was there, who was to say there weren't more.


He stood, his figure now far more evident while he was standing; he was tall - taller than even the man who'd approached the group at the table. His enlarged shoulders from his leather pauldrons, tattered and primitive clothes, and his gaunt figure - coupled with his mask and headdress - made him all the more like a wraith from the bowels of an accursed forest of some sort. Approaching the bard from behind, he reached out and pulled her shoulder back, turning her towards him.


"Now is neither the place nor time for this. Don't waste your efforts in killing a gutter-spawn such as him, hunt those of the Purge that need to be hunted: soldiers, and superiors," he hissed at them. "Though I would gladly hunt any one of the race of Man, Purge or not, if it ensured my people's safety. Let time wither him away like he deserves, as he crawls through life clawing at causes such as the Purge to make him feel needed, to leave his legacy, only to have it fade from existence with his last breath as he dies in the filth of his own sins!"


These last words were far more heated, showing an apparent, 'despise', of those who belonged to the race of Man; the comment quite evidently directed towards those of the race of Man who were present, more than just the spy himself.


The Elf calmed quickly, his attention reverting to the Bard, and the Bard alone this time, speaking quietly, "You've let yourself slip once. Who's to say that this man is the only spy? Pull out of this bout now, before your 'human nature' proves Attëa's trust in you false, and you end up a corpse by dawn!"


The Elf said no more, pulling away from the Bard, he eyed the group of people at the table, leering at them with callus eyes. As he turned around he almost immediately saw the Dwarf at her table, cheek-resting-on-fist, she simply shook her head at him, he squinted at her, but went and sat down at his table.


((If I may make a request. Please do not kill the spy, he will be invaluable in giving the Purge Leader - that would be me, per MsFicwriter's permission - reason to 'follow', per-say, our little - or pretty big - band of misfits. If you do kill him, then I'll just have to have another spy at the tavern like my elf character suspected.))

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((Sorry, Chevron, but the spy's going to say something else. Hope it's OK.))


As slowly as she dared, Per'dra withdrew the two blades from around the spy's neck. She stood under the spell of the Elf's words, even though she was not actually bewitched or enchanted at all. She was simply caught off guard, and stunned by how contemptuous he suddenly seemed. "I--if I have erred, I shall pay for it," the Bard replied, "but how did I 'slip', as you put it?" A name echoed in her mind: V'toryv. You were not to reveal her. After a long pause, the Bard nodded. "Now I see."


"WHAT do you see, you bird-brained wench?!?" cried the drunken man who had first called for the spy's interrogation. "Why did you just lower your swords? The fool was going to blab, and now you've gone and removed two blades from both sides of his neck! If I were you, I'd pummel him--" Rushing forward, the middle-aged barfly, surprisingly spry for his sixty years, prepared to sock Velor in the jaw. However, Per'dra saw it and blocked his path expertly. "G'out of my sodding way, before I decide to punch you!" When she did not do so, the drunken man lowered his head and charged.


However, his head smashed not into Per'dra's stomach, but the rock-hard one of Meara. The barkeep had come out of nowhere to the rescue, and as soon as she had the thin old coot in a chokehold, she hurled him straight out the door! He landed with a thud in the dusty streets outside, and to make matters worse, he'd also landed in a pile of horse dung. The patrons laughed!


"Y--you idiots," rasped the spy. "You only have hours to live, 'ere we come..."

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Tael watched as the situation heated up, with the knight holding a medallion of the Purge that he drew from the man's pocket. The Elven ushered the bard to move away, and Tael took the opportunity to "talk" with the spy.


"The situation doesn't warrant any debate.", he said in a dark tone, "Anyone who's had even the slightest association with the Purge shouldn't leave this place alive.". He gripped his swords, and thrusted them into the man's chest. He pulled them out, and put his boot onto the man's neck.


"No one will miss you.", he said, pressing down all of his weight onto the boot.


He realized that the bard slipped a few words out that she shouldn't have, so he now had a valid excuse as of why he killed the spy. He brushed the blood off of his blades, the onyx shining in the light.


((I have a valid excuse! :xp:))

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((MsFicwriter here. In the perspective of Master_Archon and his character, LordDeathRay made a serious miscalculation, but I'll run with it because I can't wait to see how the Elf reacts. After all, conflict is always interesting!))


Per'dra wasn't the only one that screamed as the Purge spy fell onto the floor in a pool of his own blood and filth. The Drunkard's Haven suddenly became full of wailing, gasping patrons who were bolting for the exit. Middle-aged Meara shouted for order, to no avail. Almost everyone panicked.


"Silence!" That was the Bard herself, once an icy chill had reminded her of what was truly at stake. "Didn't you hear what that spy just said? All of us have a matter of hours before the Purge's soldiers get here and slaughter everyone! If they haven't already, they're probably forming a battle plan to figure out how best to sweep the slums. They want us DEAD, and not merely evicted. To the Purge, we're all scraps of garbage, and the more 'scraps' of whom they dispose, the better! If you all want to run, go ahead, because I'll be right behind you!" She turned. "I'm getting out of here. Does anyone want to join me? If we flee to the woods, we have a better chance of escape."

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"NO!", Was the only thing she was able to say, her voice loud. As the body hit the floor, the soul of the man materialized itself before them. The soul looked around. His voice seemed distant.


"What is this?", the man asked in his confusion. All of a sudden, he started to get pulled to the left, as much as he tried to run, his feet did not seem to touch the ground. He began screaming, trying to grab onto whatever was in the way, but his ethereal hands only went through the table feet and the chairs he so desperately tried to cling to. With a sudden forceful pull he let out one final scream before his spirit impacted with Emi, sending her to the ground on all fours.


It took her a moment to realize she had probably all the eyes of everyone in the bar.


"A reaver!", on of the regulars in the tavern exclaimed.


She opened her eyes, fully taking in the scene around her. She couldn't manage to sit up, instead she crawled away to the next corner, away from everyone else. Her gaze going from one man to the other in the room, not sure what their intention would be after they had witnessed what happened.


"I... didn't... I... can't...", she could not say anything, she was withdrawing but the man's screams were sounding in her head, she could not block it out. She put her hands on her ears and started to rock back and forth, pressing herself to the corner of the room. She could not close her eyes. Not until the soul of the dead spy settled down.

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