Cannon fodder (fantasy superpower rp) (closed, started)

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Claire sighed at the guard's statement. It figured that the town would be all smiles and helpful after they'd killed the mage. Given how the guard had treated them so far, she wasn't sure she was ready trust them just yet, but didn't see much of an excuse to turn down their offer. Still, all of these thoughts were secondary to the more important question: could they kill Abumot with a fire?

"Do any of you mind if I share some of your glory? Just long enough for me to get what's in the head." they're Hansav ally said, bringing up the next wonderful question: could they really just let the Hansav take the potentially dangerous magical item so easily? She certainly hadn't expected what he was looking for to be a magical item inside the necromancer's head to be his target when they started working together. When all was said and done, she didn't think it was such a good idea.

In the end, she looked to William - trusting his opinion on the matter more than her own.

William walked a bit further back than the rest of the party, he started to feel quite tired though he made sure not to show it to Claire. He ignored the guard's mocking question, but as soon as Ivaan showed them the head their mood quickly changed. Suddenly they were seen as heroes, though he didn't mind this change in attitude. Still he could be called suspicious at best, he would have to watch these people carefully. The hansav turned back into his normal form and asked,'Do any of you...in the head.'

William looked at him and wasn't sure what to say. He looked down to see Claire looking up at him, he smiled at her and then looked back up. The smile faded from his face when he asked, "What does he have in his head which you want that badly anyway? I can't just let you have it if it is something dangerous." He sounded suspicious, the ash began to gather around him. He was ready to react to the hansav if needed.

Ivaan's eyelids dropped, entering the gate
He grunted at the jubilant guards, throwing the sack at william.
"Too tired to be a hero. I'm going to the inn."

And go to the Inn he did.

The hansav was clearly trying to think how to phrase is answer 'I don't know? All I know is that from all the thinks in that library that clearly smelled the most valuable. Honestly if it something dangerous would you rather have it in the hands of traveller just trying to make a living or somebody with connection to people that would seek to use it for personal gain?' The hansav asked clearly knowing that the question wasn't going to convince anyone.
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The inn
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The inn was much larger then the one they had previously stayed at, having two floors and over 100 rooms. With ivaan a gaurd entered the inn. When ivaan asked for a room the yama inn keeper put asked for some gold but the guard told her he was one of the once responsible for abumot's death, with that ivaan was given a look of disbelief, a apology and then a key to one of the best rooms in the inn, the inn keeper then left with the guard for the town square. It was technically two rooms one a living room type area with a fire place and arm chairs, though the chairs were clearly not designed with a sophronius in mind. The bed room had a king size bed with silk sheets, a large wardrobe, and there was a fruit bowl on a table but it was empty.

Ivaan looked at the key reproachfully as it was handed to him. "It wasn't that big of a deal. we jus' had to cause a cave in and then dig him out again." At this point Ivaan is working on autopilot and could hear the bed calling to him, so he said; "Thank you for the room. I don't like to take charity but I'm far too tired to argue right now. Come to think of it, I think Will's got all the group's money... Anyway, I got a nasty cut on my leg in the fighting, so would you mind sending someone up in the morning to give it a seeing to? I cleaned, stitched and bandaged it myself but It's nice to have a second opinion. Thanks."
With that, Ivaan was off faster than-
Actually it was more of a lumbering limp.
But it got him to the room all the same.
Looking around, vaguely enjoying the décor of the rich room, before slumping on the bed and quickly falling asleep.

"Inn sounds good" Karen said and took off after Ivaan.

Rias just sighed at the sudden change in attitude in the locals, but headed for the Inn as well "I'm going to the Inn as well"

Bom listened to the Hansav's extemporaneous excuses. They sounded perfectly plausible to him.

"Fine. We'll see if Ivaan wants to hand it over later. Mind you don't get some weird disease or something from eating it."

Ivaan, Karen and Rias had already headed off to the inn. Bom decided to take in the sights. Being the killer of the great and powerful Abumot surely entitled him to a great deal around here. What he chiefly needed was a new set of clothes, and a weapon worthy of his newly found prestige. Time to go to the markets, he thought.

"Honestly if it something dangerous would you rather have it in the hands of traveller just trying to make a living or somebody with connection to people that would seek to use it for personal gain?" the thief said, trying to convince them to give him the source of the magic. She didn't have any intention of giving it to anyone - it needed to be destroyed or - in the very least - locked up for all of time.

Having had enough of the many troubles with the Hansav, she picked up the bag and turned to the grave robber. "So I take it then, your intention is to sell the little magic bobble. How much do you think it's worth?" she asked, suggesting an offer to just buy the Hansav off - he got some income, they didn't lose any dangerous objects out into the world. Win-win.

Of course, if he said it was too much in an attempt to be greedy, she could always try to destroy it with her powers, ending the debate once and for all with no benefit to the grave robber - all be it ruining the good will between them.

Ivaan suddenly threw the sack at William. Since he had both his hands full, he used the ash to catch the sack. For a short moment he was surprised just how strong his power had gotten lately, and he wondered how he would deal with it once he got back home. But that thought quickly vanished as he returned to the present. The hansav then said 'I don't know?...would seek to use it for personal gain?' he seemed to think about it. Claire then spoke "So I take it then, your intention is to sell the little magic bobble. How much do you think it's worth?" He understood what she was getting at. "In that case it would end up in the hands of someone except for you anyway.. I will hand it to the people who have suffered by his hand then."

He used his ash to hand the sack to the head guard. "Here, good luck with it, I hope burning it will work," he said as he turned to the inn. He was very tired and didn't feel like doing anything else with the matter. After a few steps he looked down at Claire again, and suddenly a question appeared in his mind. He wondered if they would share a room? He began to blush slightly at the thought. He kept walking towards the inn thinking of a way to voice his question, eventually he coughed and then asked Claire. "So.. I was wondering.. Are we going to share a room tonight?" He looked away from her, a slight blush on his face.

the hansav opened a pouch and took out a gold coin and gave a bit of a sniff 'I would say the thing could set a person for live, but my guess its what is keeping abumot alive even now, so I don't think I would want to sell that. Virtual immortality sounds good to me' those still with the guard could start seeing a large crowed and plenty of talking. The head guard raised the bag and shouted 'here is abumot' he then pointed at the people with him 'And these are some of the people that killed him' with that the crowd let out a huge rawer of celebration.
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The inn
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The karen and rias arrived at the inn only moments after ivaan but by that time the inn keeper had already left, it was easy for them to tell which room ivaan had as there was only one key missing from the numbered key rack. They could also hear the rawer let out by the crowd at the town square.

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The market
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It was empty, usual for this time a night and especially so considering everyone seemed to be at the town square. The crowds rawr could also be heard here.

On seeing that the markets had already closed for the night, Bom gave an annoyed whistle. He heard the crowds in the town square, and decided to check it out. Might as well get some use out of the walk, he thought bitterly. He crammed his hands into his pockets and walked on, kicking away stones and pet animals as he went.

Reetch wasn't used to all this, not by a long shot. The crowd cheered uproariously, in the twilight they surrounded and loomed over him, the torches and bonfires making the unusual scene borderline frightening. He felt himself being jostled to and fro, his tiny frame passed around, hugged, his back patted, his small hands grasped and shook by what felt like the whole town.

He looked around for his friends, half of which had evidently slipped away from the celebrations, the remaining few trying to walk away, talking amongst themselves whilst getting the same reception Reetch himself was getting. He tried to squeeze through the throng and escape to the Inn, but found himself constantly being pulled back, with mugs of ale and various food stuffs now being pushed into his hands.

Rias and Karen made they're way to the only room that was missing a Key, and found Ivaan out like a light.

Karen bee-lined for the bathroom opting to was up and check on the hole in her chest to make sure that was ok.

Rias, again, followed, also wanting to get cleaned up.

The tub was filled, having to do it them selves since the staff was missing, presumably outside in the crowd, Rias visibly glad she wasn't outside. Rias then used her power in a less conventional manner, first creating a light source, then destabilizing it enough to generate heat but not explode and dunked it in the tub. Shortly after the tub was warm enough and the pair stripped down and climbed in, with a little room to spare.

"Here, good luck with it, I hope burning it will work," William said after handing the bag over to the guards. Then, his task complete, he turned away and toward the inn; still holding Claire. Before they could make it far however, the crowd of people erupted in celebration at the demise of Abumot. Claire, not really ready for the uproar, waved slightly to show her gratitude for treatment, but mostly tried to remain inconspicuous: a task all but impossible being one of the handful of humans in the city and the only one being carried.

Fortuitously, they quickly escaped the crowds - long before their was an issue of hero worship. As Claire looked up to see William's reaction to the situation, the reddish color of his face betrayed the fact he was embarrassed - the sudden cheerful cries of the crowd no doubt the cause. With that, the crowd's cheers faded to a distant rumble as an awkward sort of silence settled over the two. Claire wasn't sure the cause, but tried to make conversation to break it; the operative word being "tried" as, before she could say a word, William spoke up, asking his question. "So.. I was wondering.. Are we going to share a room tonight?" he said, before turning away, his blush intensified.

At first, the question didn't draw any reaction from her by reason of it's meaning escaping her. As her mind interpreted the words however, Claire's face reddened wildly - she'd not expected the question in the slightest. What more, it caught her off guard in its entirety. She'd been so focused on Abumot and the library and the magic coin and the grave robber, that the issue of their future sleeping arrangements had been left unresolved and unnoticed. That said, the prospect of sharing a room wasn't entirely dis-interesting; to the contrary it was tempting. Claire, resolving the question internally, remained quiet - and distinctly red faced - until they reached the inn.

It was when they reached the inn - and saw Karen and Rias in the lobby - that she resolved herself. "William; you should settle accounts with Rias. I know she has some problem with you and you need to work it out - for everyone's sake." she said, a bit tangentially. Extracting herself from his arms via her powers, she took one of the keys off the wall, placed a few coins and a note explaining the room rental in its place, then turned back to William. "And when you're done with that, I'll be waiting upstairs in our room."

She turned around before he could see her face redden once more.

William glanced back at Claire after a few seconds, her face looked a bit surprised but not red at all. Suddenly her cheeks turned red, as she finally seemed to understand his meaning behind asking that question. She didn't answer his question though and kept staring at the inn, the cute blush not leaving her face. When they finally arrived in the inn, she said to him. "William....for everyone's sake." He sighed in response, he guessed it could not be avoided. She then escaped from his arms by using her power, and paid for a room. William was just about to turn around, as Claire said "And when you're done with that, I'll be waiting upstairs in our room." His mouth opened in a mix of surprise and delight.

She quickly ran up the stairs, leaving behind a smiling and blushing William. He walked over to the bar and bought a beer, before walking over to where Rias had just been. It seemed the world worked in mysterious ways... As he had wanted to walk towards Rias, but she had already left with Karen. He sighed, it seemed he would have to fix this later.. still for now. He drank his beer in one go, and then went up the stairs. He walked over to the room, where he had seen Claire go into earlier. He knocked on the door, and said. "Hello Claire, I was sadly not able to fix my problem with Rias, as she has already gone to her room.. Can I still come in?" He really hoped the answer would be yes.

The gaurd's lit up a bonfire in the centre of the town square, which appeared to be what the crowd was gathering around. The hansav was able to easily get through the crowd using his cloud form, number 3 had also sneaked his way through the crowd. The head guard and the hansav stood next to the fire, reetch stuck in the crowd bombarded with happy townsfolk. The guard took abumots head out of the bag, which started shocking the guard but the guard tried his best to ignore it 'He has been slain, by this hansav and others. A once great member of this nation thought to have died a hero came back as a villian, shall be cast to the flames for his crimes against his own people. BURN!' with that the head was thrown into the fire. With that number 3 let out a cry of terror that could be heard all through out town 'master, somebody help master' it cried while picking up burning pieces of wood from the fire and throwing them aside with little regard to its own health. The crowd of people all seemed to stop their celebration as they watched this creature with blank stares of confusion. 'why will non of you help master' it cried, its hands almost unusable at this point because of burn wounds but yet it kept trying to get at abumots head in the centre of the flame.
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The Inn
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The unicorn walked into the bathroom and looked at karen and rias.

By luck clair had picked a key to a room like the one ivaan was using, except their fruit bowl had a rotten fruit in it, well presumably rotten by its foul stench and black spots but it could also just be a type of abumot fruit that she hadn't encountered before.

Ivaan's eyes flickered shut as he lay in the thick sheets, his bag rolling off the bed and thumping to the floor.
He remembered about his journal as he lay there, and decided to fill it in in the morning, falling into a deep slumber.

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...And opened his eyes to darkness, but he was not afraid. The smell of plant life and loamy soil rose to greet his nostrils, and he heard songbirds in the canopy above.
Yawning, he sat up, rubbing his face and stretching. Another day dawns, another lesson to be learnt by Ivaan the Shaman's apprentice.
Ivaan put on a pair of sheep wool trousers and a spider silk shirt, before grabbing his trusty brown cloak, made by leather carefully and painlessly harvested from living animals by his father, and unfurling it over his back.
As he does this, he falters. On the edge of hearing there's an odd noise...
A strange thrumming, continuous and regular...

Ivaan shook his head, grabbed up his Shaman supplies and a walking staff.
He exited his hut onto the dirt pathways that criss-crossed across the forest floor, rolling his neck and enjoying the bustle of the villages morning rush.
Ivaan's Elder sister smiled to him as she passed, her fur waving a little in the early morning breeze. She threw him an apple from the bushel she had collected, telling him to "Catch!" as she passed. Ivaan yawned dryly and took a bite out of his breakfast, thanking her back as she walked away.
Ivaan picked up his apprentice gear and began walking to his father's office.

As he walked, the world blurred a little and that familiar thrumming noise returned, a little louder now.
The dream changed, and suddenly he was back in the crypt, facing down Abumot.
"You fool." The necromancer cackled. "You'll never control the bear within. I've seen your soul, Ivaan. It's wild and hungry and brimming with rage."
Ivaan found himself unable to talk. Abumont shifted, his features changing to that of "Yermy" the old yama the group met in the dilapidated village.
"Only the strongest survive for long out here."

The sneering old yama faded, and Ivaan found himself in the abandoned Inn's stables, the walls stained dark brown with gore.
The walls start reverberating to the same Thrumming beat, somewhere between a drum beat and a thumping of a heart-
"DINNER'S READY" Comes the voice of Rias, and the sound of a table being set comes from the Inn.
Ivaan turns, and comes face to face with Mr. Bom, his face and body covered in gore, cuts and bruises, his eyes bloodshot.
"my power - it happened again, and I think that was what hurt xgriblphwib-" Mr Bom grows larger and suddenly it's not just the walls of the barn that are covered in gore, but it's the inn, and the blood and guts are on plates on the table, "Eat up" Smiles Karen, "Excellent steak" she moans, shovelling an eye into her mouth.

Disgusted, Ivaan backs up, "I'll stick to salad, thanks-"
He trips as he walks backwards and the ground falls out from beneath him, the floorboards giving way to a black void.
Ivaan gasps, but something catches his hand.
Ivaan looks up to see Rias smiling, tears streaming down here face.
The steady beating grows louder, but it's never in "Focus". There's an interference, like a strange white noise.
"I don't know why I'm here" Rias says, the words barely audible over the beating; "you shouldn't be fighting at all".

Rias disappeared in a puff of smoke, and Ivaan started falling.

Ivaan's Father's face appeared to him.
"You're a smart young bear."
It turns into Abumont, and Ivaan's fall ended with him colliding into the body of Abumot as the group found him just before Karen beheaded him; with his organs laid out across the table.
"The heart from the slave hisses and roars
Beats for it's owner's chest once more"

Ivaan looks down to the selection of Abumot's organs as the beating reaches fever pitch:
The heart on the table isn't Abumot's. It's the one Ivaan picked up in the crypt and put in his bag.
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Bom watched the display from afar. Not being the party type, he didn't plan to join in the festivities. The pitiful sight of Number 3, destroying himself for the sake of his undead master left a sick feeling in his mouth. Should have put him out of his misery before. Bom thought. Hopefully this will be the end to it. Not able to watch any more, he turned and walked back towards the inn and tried to ignore 3's cries over the crowd.

What with everyone at the bonfire, and everywhere else so quiet, it should have been the perfect night to go out thieving. Typical. Before he got to the inn, he turned into a run-down looking slophouse.

For the rest of the night, he passed this time scrounging many, many drinks from the revelling locals.

Rias yelped in surprise as the Unicorn entered and Karen laughed "Well, for the most part people only live in these things to get out of the elements, I'd be good with a tent but since even the moss in the god forsaken country is out to get you the Inn is the best option" Karen said to the Unicorn, in reply to something it said mentally to her, Just then trio heard #3's scream and Rias sighed.

"Sounds like they started burning Abumot's head, what a waste." Rias said disapprovingly as she sank into the tub a bit more. "Still upset about the way things turned out eh?" Karen asked, Rias nodding in-reply "We just silenced some one whom, despite questionable methods, still had much he could have done to benefit the world on the whole, and for a bunch of cowardly villagers who lack the spine to deal with it them selves, not to mention are quite willing to throw other peoples lives away to save them, assuming them don't lock them up first" Rias said bitterly.

Karen looked at Sleipnir for a second them back to Rias "So your still leaving then?" Karen asked. "Maybe, we'll see how I feel once every one is healed, but if we're just going to put swords people with out stopping to try and really fix the problem then I'm not sure I want to continue, whats the point? All we're doing is ensuring some one else like them pops up again sooner or later since we aren't addressing the issue that started this non-sense to begin with." Karen nodded an got up to get a towel Rias not far behind and they dried off. "Well do what ever you think is best, personally, not a fan of the idea of you leaving, mostly cause I think your the only one here that understands me, well, besides Sleipnir, that is"

Rias nodded and lay out her bedroll. "Well, we'll see how I feel later, for now I just want to put today behind me, well that and get out of the god forsaken country." Karen giggled and lay her bedroll out as well, then grabbed a bunch of unused sheets and pillows to make a bed for Sleipnir, shortly after the two women where sound a sleep.

"Hello Claire, I was sadly not able to fix my problem with Rias, as she has already gone to her room. Can I still come in?" William said from behind the door. "One moment" she called out from the room. Claire, not having expected such a quick arrival, quickly finished changing out of her traveling clothes and into her new, clean option - the clothes William had bought her earlier. When she was finished changing, she called out "Okay - you can come in."

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"One moment" Claire said from inside the room. William was happy to hear this, as he had been a bit scared that she would have been angry. "Okay - you can come in." She suddenly said, startling him a bit. He grabbed the door knob and turned it, stepping into the room. Inside the room Claire was waiting on him wearing the new clothes he had brought her, she looked beautiful.

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"Wow" is all William said, before realizing what he was doing. He blushed a bit as he turned his face side ward's, and quickly got rid off his sword and shield. "Ahh that is much better." He said turning back to Claire with a light blush. "You look really amazing in those clothes Claire." He said as she carefully stepped towards her trying to gauge the mood.

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"Wow" William said as he stepped into the room, causing her to blush lightly, mirroring his own embarrassment. She liked the clothes, but she hadn't thought the clothes would really suit her. His surprise was a pleasant surprise.

After he said this, he put his sword and shield down by the door, muttered his relief at their removal, then returned back to her. He took a step forward, saying "You look really amazing in those clothes Claire.". There were many things people might say about William - good and bad - but no one would ever say he didn't know what to say to a lady.

"I'm glad you like it." she said, turning her eyes away from him - not really sure what to otherwise say. She'd be lying if she said she'd put them on solely for comfort and to escape her traveler's gear. In part, she wanted to thank him for the day earlier - how he'd bought her replacement clothes, how he carried her... everything. And so, she'd decided to let him be the first to see the clothes.

That said, the entire situation was highly embarrassing and more then a little awkward, leaving her without much to reply with. What was she supposed to say; Claire really didn't know. "So... um... yeah..." she said, grasping for something to say, before stumbling back onto the conversation of clothes. "If you want to change too, I can step outside if you like."

"Smooth Claire. Smooth" her inner monologue said, critiquing her ability to converse.

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"I'm glad you like it." Claire said looking away from him. She then turned back to him, and said "So... um... yeah....If you want to change too, I can step outside if you like." William turned a bit red at this comment. He was uncertain of what to do next, when he suddenly remembered his fathers words to him, If you don't take the lead, then someone else will. A thought then entered his mind, as his face took a more sinister turn.

He shrugged and said with a naughty smile. "Well you can leave if you want, though I don't mind if you stay." With that said he walked past her and began taking off his armor. He slowly took of one piece at the time, and placed them all in the corner of the room. He then took off his shirt and kicked off his pants, as he quickly put on a new fresh set. He then turned around hoping Claire would still be there. "So what do you think?" He asked showing off his new clothes.

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William smiled strangely and said "Well you can leave if you want, though I don't mind if you stay." than walked past her and began taking off his armor. Claire kept her back to William. Clank by clank, she could hear the armor being removed and kept her eyes directed elsewhere - despite a desire to do the opposite. Eventually, the clanking stopped. She turned slightly, catching a glimpse of his muscular back. She stared at him for a few moments, enjoying the view, before she caught herself and turned away.

It was as she pulled away that she came to a realization. Just as she'd never seen his back unadorned before, she really didn't know William all that well. They hadn't really spoken about anything of meaning since they'd first met. Maybe that was what they could speak about.

"So what do you think?" William said, drawing her from her thoughts. She turned to look at him, and found herself staring again. Another thing no one could deny about William: he cleaned up well. "Wow" she said, reiterating his comment earlier right down to the tone. "You look great." she said after a long pause, during which she couldn't remover her eyes from him.

She took a few steps over to him and slowly took his hand into hers. His hand was large, rough, and callused - from years of sword training no doubt - compared to her own hands, smooth from her life as a noble. Again, she felt their differences and the fact they didn't know each other as well as she wished they did. In that moment, she resolved herself. Tonight, she'd find out as much about him as she could so she could love him even more. She pushed herself up on her toes and kissed him on the cheek. "So William... can we talk tonight? The truth is, we don't really know each other and I don't like it. I want to know everything about you William; to love everything about you."

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When William turned around, he could see that Claire was still standing in the room. She was looking at him and said "Wow" copying his earlier comment. He smiled as she continued to look at him. He looked at her as well, after a while she broke the silence by saying "You look great." he blushed a bit, a bit ashamed at the praise. She then did a few steps forward, and grabbed his hands. He looked down at her hands, they were soft and smooth. Though it was clear that they had toughened up recently, it was clear that the mission had, had its effect on her.

He looked up at her face, as he continued to think about her. But suddenly it hit him, what did he really know about Claire? He knew next to nothing, only what she had said and what had been in the report. She suddenly pushed herself up on her toes, and kissed his check. "So William... can we talk tonight?...to love everything about you." He looked a bit surprised for a second, before recovering and going back to a wide smile. "I was just thinking the exact same thing Claire." He guided her to the bed and took a seat on it. He looked at her, but realized he had no idea where to start. "I don't really know how we should go about this though... so I will tell you a bit about myself I guess. And then you can tell me about you okay? "

Before she could respond, he continued by saying. "As you already know me name is William Phoenix. I am 22 years old, I have no brothers and sisters and both my parents are still alive. I have a couple of different pets, including but not limited to cats, dogs, horses and different fishes. I really love being outdoors, and have traveled all over the world.. Uhh I finished my training for the army just before we all went on this trip.. and I had finished my schooling for economical business just before that. I don't believe in any kind of god... That is about all I can come up with.. Any questions? " He asked looking at Claire.

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William guided them toward the bed, where they took a seat. "I don't really know how we should go about this though... so I will tell you a bit about myself I guess. And then you can tell me about you okay?" he said, as he pulled his thoughts together. Claire nodded in agreement, saying "Sounds fair." Then, the sharing began.

"As you already know me name is William Phoenix. I am 22 years old, I have no brothers and sisters and both my parents are still alive. I have a couple of different pets, including but not limited to cats, dogs, horses and different fishes. I really love being outdoors, and have traveled all over the world.. Uhh I finished my training for the army just before we all went on this trip.. and I had finished my schooling for economical business just before that. I don't believe in any kind of god... he said, giving a rough overview of himself. Claire listened to the entire speech closely, filing away all the information. Claire's heart was beating at a rapid pace through the entire speech. In a way, the way they were sharing themselves was far more intimate than anything they had done during the training sense.

"That is about all I can come up with. Any questions?" he said, finishing up the basics. Claire had a few questions of her own, but decided to give her own introduction before she asked them. "Okay... My full name is Claire Rich'e Eris du Montaigne and I'm 21. I likewise am an only child and my parents are still alive. I've only had one pet - Elise, my falcon" she said, pointing to the window where the bird was sitting in wait for the perfect opportunity to hunt. "I also love the outdoors - particularly forests. Until now, I hadn't done a lot of traveling - at least outside Embla. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but my parents are diplomats for the Embla aristocracy. I've had a bit of education - mostly in government and politics. I was also trained to control my powers by a buvor Matsumancer after my powers awakened." she said, following his own setup. She paused for a moment, thinking about how to describe her beliefs. "I do believe in a god, but I don't think he or she is around any more. If a god does exist, then god must either be cruel to allow so much suffering - and therefore unworthy of worship - or god left the world after making it, only coming back rarely. I choose to believe the second." she said. She knew a lot of people fought over who's religion was right and she hoped William wasn't bothered by her faith. She quickly added an addendum, realizing the difference in their perspectives. "I don't care if you agree with me though." she said, hoping to keep things civil.

"So what are your parents like?" she asked, wanting to know more about them as well. "Where have you traveled to?" she asked after he gave his answer to the parent question. When she received that answer, she asked her last initial question. "You don't have to answer this if you don't want to but... how did your powers awaken?"

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Claire started her introduction, without asking any questions. "My full name is Claire Rich'e Eris du Montaigne and I'm 21....I don't care if you agree with me though. " It was clear was trying to keep a religious debate away, William chuckled. He was impressed by her story.. if that made any sense. "Well don't worry bout religion and me, I respect any and all religions. Just as long as they don't bust down my door, or say that if I don't give them money I will end up in hell." He said trying to keep the mood light, and show her that he didn't care about that subject at all.

She then started asking him questions, starting with "So what are your parents like?" "What are my parents like? Oh that is a hard one...Well they are very nice people, though untrusting. You see my father and mother both come from..." He paused slightly looking at Claire, he decided to trust her and be honest with her. "nothing. They were poor as dirt... and only recently have we climbed to such a position. My father is a shrewd and charismatic man, able to turn a profit anywhere. He also thought me quite a bit about life, and is always there when I need him. My mother is a very strong.. and kind woman. She always smiles no matter how bad it is, and cares deeply for any living thing."

Claire then asked him "Where have you traveled to?" "Where have I traveled too? I think you should ask me, where haven't I been too? I have been in every country, visited every capital at least once. I have seen unending forests, complete filled with all kinds of animals. I have climbed mountains and hills higher then anything you can imagine. I have walked in deserts, where the sun burns hot on your skin and the sand is always blocking your vision. I have traversed many swamps too, filled with all kinds of dangerous animals." He laughed as he noticed he was getting very excited again. "I have been almost anywhere."

She then asked her last question "You don't have to answer this if you don't want to but... how did your powers awaken?" William took a deep breath, that was a bit more personal one. "Well I... got trapped. While traveling on one of my many journeys, there was a large rock slide. I ran from it, and because of that ended locked in a cave. A large boulder blocked the path, and I couldn't get out. I tried to push it away for hours, but to now avail. Eventually I decided that I might as well make a fire, at least try to stay warm. That is when the ash started to act weird, and after finding out it listened to me. I made it go through small cracks and called my companions for help. They quickly came to my rescue, and that is how I discovered them. "

William looked at Claire, he still couldn't completely believe that they were together now. "I think it is my turn to as questions now.. I would also like to know what your parents are like.. What your childhood was like.. And same to you, if you don't want to answer my questions. You don't have to answer them, or the one I am about to ask, which is; How did you discover your powers? " He was smiling, he really enjoyed talking to her like this.

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After laying Claire's concerns over their differing beliefs to rest, William began to answer her questions as she asked them. His first answer came as something of a shock. While she knew the Phoenix family was the new powerhouse of Embla's economy - every noble in the state knew of their growing power - she didn't know that they started from nothing. Suddenly, William's comments about her giving him bread and saving his life made far more sense. As soon as he finished, she wrapped her arms around him, saying "I want you to know, I would love you no matter where you came from okay?" She wasn't sure if it was necessary to say it, but she was sure she'd regret it if she didn't say it.

His next answer was much more engaging and interesting. He told her of far away places she'd only read of and never seen. Though she'd joined the enhanced being corp for her duty, the added benefit of seeing the world was something she couldn't deny. It was secondary to her meeting William now, but she couldn't help but want to see more later.

His last answer was perhaps more personal than his tale of his family. He talked about being trapped; where death seemed a certainty. His powers had awoken in time to save him. Claire couldn't help but see the parallel with her own story and wondered if the others had similar near-tragedies that lead to their powers. Claire squeezed William's hand as he spoke, providing some support for him if he wanted it.

Then came his own questions. "I would also like to know what your parents are like... What your childhood was like... And same to you, if you don't want to answer my questions. You don't have to answer them, or the one I am about to ask, which is; How did you discover your powers?" he asked, to each she nodded. He'd shared some details close to his heart, and she wanted to do the same. Not for some sense of even trade, but because she wanted to let him in.

"My parents are... well, they can be a bit strict, but they're wonderfully good and kind people. My father has always been very protective - I think that's a trait of men with daughters. He's always done what he thinks is best for my mother, Embla, and me. He's the same kind of stickler for honor and duty as I am; if not more so. I... haven't always agreed with him on what's best, but he's always doing his best for the people he cares for. He acts as a go between for the rulers of Embla, resolving their conflicts peacefully and quickly. My mother is the kindest person you could ever ask for. Like my father, she's very strict - and twice as stubborn - but she does everything she can for others. She acts as a diplomat between Embla and the other nations - keeping Embla safe from the outside. I... don't get to see her as much as my father thanks to the necessity of her travels, but she's the best mother I could ever want. She was the one who gave me Elise, a gift from one of her travels." Claire said, trying to describe her parents. She looked out to where Elise had been perched, only to discover she'd taken off on a hunt.

"My childhood was good. I was..." she said, trying to think of the words to say. "a bit of a rebellious child. My father always wanted to keep me inside studying, but I was always sneaking out. My family's main estate has a large forest on it. I would sneak out into it and pretend to be some kind of wild person, living off the land." she said with a little laugh "at least until dinnertime." she concluded, laughing at the thought. "The estate is a few miles outside the little town of Liérre-Vallée - the Lily Valley. I don't know if you have ever been there in the spring, but there are fields of lily's that sprout there each year, covering the little river below in their petals. During the spring, the little town attracts a huge festival with people coming from all over Embla to see the bloom, but during the rest of the year, it's a quiet little town with only a few hundred people. In any event, when I could I'd sneak down to the town to play with the other children. We'd head down to the river and play until the sun set. My father didn't approve - he thought it was to dangerous - but I'd do it every chance I got. But yeah, that's how I spent my childhood - excluding the studying." she said, describing her younger days, before segueing into his next question.

"When I turned 16 though, my father announced my engagement. I was to be married to some backwater lord's fourth son I'd never met from some northern provence I'd never visited. It wasn't surprising really; the Montagine family isn't the largest, most powerful, or most useful family and arranged marriages are used all the time to keep alliances. The family name was slightly more prestigious then ours so it was a good more, and it wasn't like my parents weren't doing what they thought best for everyone. Still... I hated the idea of it. I didn't want to leave them, or the forest, or the valley, and certainly not to marry someone I'd never met. We got into a fight over it. I'd stood up to my parents before, but it had never been such a long fight. In retrospect, my parents must have lobbied for the positive arrangement for years before it came to fruition so I can hardly blame them for finding my cheeky, 16 year old arguments against it. Eventually, with none of us willing to give up any ground on the matter, I just left. I went up to the roof to calm down. I must have sat there for hours just... angry. Before I realized it, the sun had set and it was getting cold. I stood to go inside, but as I did I slipped on the tiles and fell off the roof. I thought I was going to die when I slipped off and then... I was on the ground, staring at a human sized red circle. Needless to say, my parents were shocked by the display. In a strange sort of irony, the power was my saving grace. Because of it, I was suddenly much more valuable to Embla. They couldn't just marry me off to some third-rate noble anymore. They annulled the engagement and hired a teleportation mage to teach me how to use my powers." she said, a feeling of anger growing in her as she thought about some of it, despite her best efforts.

As she finished, she felt much better. Whatever William thought, she'd shared herself and she'd learned about him. Now, she was closer to him then before. She squeezed his hand and looked up at him. She didn't have any more questions at the moment, but she wasn't sure William didn't have any left.

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As soon as he was done, explaining about his parents Claire hugged him saying "I want you to know, I would love you no matter where you came from okay?" This news made him very happy, he hated people who judged him based on where he came from. When he was telling about the places he had been too, he could see a sparkle in her eyes. It was a sparkle that every passionate person posed, he was happy to see she had it. When he told his last story, Claire gently squeezed his hand. He appreciated it, and was once again really happy that she was buy his side.

Claire seemed to think after hearing his questions, she then began answering them. "My parents are...a gift from one of her travels." William nodded, their fathers sounded a bit alike only then different because of what jobs they had. Her mother sounded really nice as well, he wondered if their parents would like each other. Claire then began answering his other questions.

"My childhood was good....living off the land." She said with a little chuckle, she then continued with her story "At least until dinnertime...excluding the studying." She said finishing off the story of her younger part of her childhood. He wasn't surprised that their childhoods were nothing a like, his had been much darker and filled with sorrow from the sound of it. Still he wasn't jealous of her it had made him into the man he was today, a man who had the good fortunate of meeting such an amazing woman.

"When I turned 16 though, my father announced my engagement....hired a teleportation mage to teach me how to use my powers." He was a bit shocked at the later part of her story, while he had heard about arranged marriages before.. he had never even thought about how awful they really where. He squeezed her hands, showing that he understood how though a period it had been for her.

Claire squeezed his hand as well, as she looked back up at him. He didn't have any other questions left, as he looked at her. He couldn't help but smile brightly, the more she talked about herself the more he began to like her. Is this what they call love? he wondered for a brief moment, before shaking off the thought. He wouldn't voice such things just yet, he didn't want to scare her off or anything like that. Instead he leaned forward and then kissed her, placing his hand at the back of her neck...

It wasn't long until abumot was merely a skull, though in that time number 3 had badly burned or completely lost a good chunk of his arms. He now merely knelled infront of the fire, completely silent, tears streaming down his motionless face. A metal orb rolled down the fire from abumots skull, with lightning reflex's the hansav leaped like a cat towards were it was going to exit the fire. The moment he grabbed it, it disappeared with a bright flash propelling the hansav into the crowd. The hansav quickly looked around very confused at what just happened before turning into a cloud and quickly leaving the town. The townsfolk looked confused, all of them starring at reetch in hopes of some answers.

Reetch blinked, what happened went so fast he barely had time to take it in. Before he saw the sorry state Number 3 was in, and was thinking of trying to console the thing, when the Hansav pushed through the crowd and seized an orb or sphere of some kind that emerged from the remains of the Necromancer's head, before disappearing in his usual fashion.

Looking around he saw the locals now turning around and looking towards himself, most expressing confusion and fear, other with a more accusing stare. He looked to see if any of his friends were still around, it was clear he was the only one still in the centre of town. The spotlight was on him.

"Ermmm...." he mumbled. "He does that, from time to time..." he said, referring to the Hansav's disappearing act. "He isn't exactly affiliated with us...I think..." He began backing away, slowly in the direction of the Inn. "Not to worry, I don't think he's up to anything too underhanded. Nothing to worry about, I can assure you..." Reetch made it out the crowd, still backing off, making his way to the door of the Inn, fumbling with the latch. "Perfectly harmless, I'm sure of it...thanks for your hospitality, however, you fellows do know how to throw a party I must say." before closing the door and bolting for the stairs.

From the sounds of snoring and the general smell, he guessed which room Ivaan had taken and decided on that. Wanting to avoid any questioning visitors, he took what bedding he could find in the drawers and made a bed for himself atop the heavy wardrobe out of sight. Ears pricked, and shivering with nerves, he listened for anyone approaching, before falling into a very uneasy sleep.

The next morning was calm until at 10 am there was a knocking at ivaan's door. Number 3 was still kneeling in front of the ashes of the bone fire.

Bom woke to find himself submerged up to the neck in cold water. Startled by this discovery, he leapt back, smashing backwards into something hard and rough. He and the impeding object splashed into the water. After thrashing around for a few moments, he looked up to see a small Yama boy, throwing chunks of bread at him. He took a moment to get his bearings, and finally figured out where he was. Embarrassed, he wiped the bread and algae from his face and climbed out of the ornamental fountain. A mother materialised and dragged the startled boy away.

He felt like he'd been head butting tombstones all night. Judging by the amount he'd had to drink, that could easily have been possible. Bom staggered across the park green towards civilization, trying to pick up the pieces of last night's binge as he went. All he could find where vague recollections of flower eating and arguments about whether it was "buy the glass" or "by the bottle".

By the time he had eventually slanted his way onto the main street, he figured out where the others might be. He made a bee-line for the inn, doing his best to shield his eyes from the blinding sunlight, and avoid the confused looks of the locals.

The knock at the door brought Rias around slowly. She yawn and went to stretch when she felt some one's arm around her, confused she looked at the arm the sharply snapped around to see Karen's still sleeping face, Rias face turning red as she wondered why Karen was 'holding her'. Rias, remembering the door got up, wrapped a towel around herself, and opened it "I help you?"

Ivaan woke with a start at the door knocking. His dreams had been... odd, to say the least.
He rubbed his eyes as he heard Rias talking to someone at the room's door. He realised that the room had been turned into something of a dormitory by the group, which Ivaan had no problem with. What he did have a problem with, however, was his rumbling stomach.
A huge yawn unfolded itself and Ivaan stretched as he sat up on the side of the bed, revealing enormous canines in his scrunched up muzzle. He took his journal out of his bag and began to write the previous days experiences.
"Who is it Rias?" said the bear as he wrote.

There were two guards at the door, one spoke 'we are looking for the healer of the group, we want to request his aid at removing the cobra from avada's office. Which we need access to in order to get a message out that the town is now safe to approach'

When bom entered the inn the in keeper said 'rough sleep in the fountain sir?' bom could see two guards outside one of the rooms.

Bom took a minute to parse the two guards, confronting Rias. Bom's general instincts were to avoid the authorities when necessary, but he still had to deal with the frustratingly well informed inn keeper.

"Uh, fine thanks," he mumbled.

He walked past the innkeeper and tried to get a closer look at the two. He couldn't quite hear what they were talking about, but Bom didn't want to take chances. Taking cover on the corner, he peeked out at the guards and tried to listen in. Glancing back, he noticed the innkeeper was still looking at him. A bemused expression flashed across the fellow's face. Bom half-smiled back. He mouthed the words "Keep quiet" at him.

He opened his eyes, and sat up right away, ready to fight. He was panting in a mix of fear and exhaustion, he then realized where he was. He looked to his left to see Claire laying next to him. He brought a hand up to his face, he felt very cold for some reason. He remembered the nightmare.. and the face it made just before the being had killed him...He glanced back at Claire, and smiled to himself. She looked so perfect lying there, he leaned towards her and kissed her forehead. He then got out of bed and put his clothes on, he needed some fresh air after that. But first it was time to wake her up, he sat back on the bed as he kissed her on the cheek again. "It's time to wake up, sleepy head." He said as gently shook her.

"Its for you Ivaan, they want your help with that snake that killed whats her face" Rias said with a mix of annoyance that they STILL hadn't dealt with the snake and befuddlement as to why they would want Ivaan to get rid of it, her powers would be better suited. Then she woke up a little more and remembered they didn't know she had powers, let alone what they where.

at this point Karen sat up, yawned, stretched, then after looking around, lay back down, put her back to the door and tried going back to sleep

Ivaan finished up his journal entry and sighed. Snakes. I hate snakes. Snakes and necromancers.
Ivaan put on a pair of trousers and wrapped a cloak around himself before packing his journal into his bag.
Ivaan took a moment to refresh the dressings on his leg with the materials in his bag.
"O-ok, one moment please while I make up the antidote. What breed was it again?"
After hearing the reply Ivaan nodded and took out his alchemy kit, taking various chemicals and herb and crushing them into a paste with a mortar and pestle. Hopefully we shouldn't need it, but better safe than sorry. Ivaan took some water and mixed it with the chemicals, turning it into a brew that he quickly poured into a couple of small porcelain bottles.

Standing up, antidotes in hand, Ivaan walked over to Rias and the guards.
Ivaan turned to Rias, crouching down and nudging her; "Could you, umm, give me a hand with this? you've probably got the... skills suited to catching a snake. I'll be honest, they give me the willies."

"Sure, Figured I was gonna get asked anyway." Rias replied before walking back over to her belongings and pulled the lid off a jar she found in the bath room after heating the tub. The red mist flowed out and then formed a partition so the boys couldn't watch her getting dressed. The partition soon came down to the sight of Rias adjusting her gloves, and the more interesting (or freaky) sight of the same red mist braiding her hair. "Kay, Ready" she said as the braid fell to her back with a red 'crystal' ring on the end of the braid holding it together.

Ivaan stared for a moment, before shaking his head, chuckling.
Everyone's getting stronger. Ivaan thought as his stomach growled.
"I'm going to need some food first, Rias. Did you see any good places on the way in?" Ivaan turned to the guards, "Could we get some breakfast first? We have time, right?" he asked, I doubt the snake's going to be going anywhere if it hasn't already.

"It's time to wake up, sleepy head." a voice said, drawing Claire from her sleep. She mostly ignored it, rolling over and trying to remain asleep. The bed was comfortable and she was tired, so she didn't really want to rejoin the world yet. None-the-less, she couldn't ignore it forever and the kiss/shaking had forced her into consciousness. After a few seconds, she resigned and opened her eyes to the sight of William standing over her. Though she didn't want to be awake, it was at least a small consolation that the events of the night prior hadn't been a dream.

Sitting up while keeping herself covered and rubbing the sleep from her eyes he said with a groan "Good morning William. Sleep well?", a smile on her face. Eventually he would get used to this.

"Wasn't looking, was more interested in getting a bath and finding a place to sleep, that, and getting away from the crowd" Rias replied with a shrug, as Karen gave up on going back to sleep and got up and started getting dressed.

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