The Last Rose of May. (Closed, Started)

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"None. Just here for the lack of Glorinst oppression." Tara responded, making a show of brushing him off. She was obviously trying to provoke him, she didn't believe him and was pushing back. Zavier admired her boldness, she knew who he was and was still trying stand up to him, most people just became quiet and got a fearful look in their eyes. It was a refreshing change of pace. Her answer probably was about as genuine as anything else she had said, Zavier thought, meaning it was probably hiding something else.

He took a look around the docks, taking note of all the airships. It wouldn't be long now before the vast tides of refugees hit this city, as had happened in Uleth. Anyone could see that the game was almost up. The Republic wasn't stopping, and it seemed like nothing the armies of the remaining empires could do would change that.

"For how much longer, I wonder." Zavier mused aloud. He looked at Tara who was still glaring at him. "Miss Rhosyne-or do you prefer Tara?-perhaps we could take this conversation somewhere else. Somewhere where we could have a more relaxed conversation. I'm sure one of the inns nearby would be suitable." He looked about the area, trying to find a nearby one-not his own, that was obvious-that he could speak more to this woman at.

Instead of the forceful reaction that Tara had expected in this little engagement. The man was expecting something else, perhaps fear. He was a contract killer after all, an assassin hired by the highest bidder. But Tara had dealt with those who ideas about themselves with one clean cut, regardless of what uniform they were wearing. Tara had long admitied to herself that in the military, she was nothing but a killing machine, a weapon for whoever in charge to force their way. This faux-gentleman was simply the same, but had the freedom to pick and choose who he killed and had disregarded compassion in the process. Something Tara vowed to herself and to the rebels of Uleth that she would never do.

"For how much longer, I wonder." Zavier mused aloud. He looked at Tara who was still glaring at him. "Miss Rhosyne-or do you prefer Tara?-perhaps we could take this conversation somewhere else. Somewhere where we could have a more relaxed conversation. I'm sure one of the inns nearby would be suitable."

Playing the gentleman, again he had given her a show of compassion. Maybe it was time for this tete-a-tete to actually become a tete-a-tete and the Hipereon authorities wouldn't take too kindly for two suspicious characters loitering around a pirate vessel. She wondered whether she would call her by rank, the rank she held in the Uleth military that is, but then again she would have to give him her full name, along with her aristocratic titles given to her by virtue of being born into a noble family. It didn't matter, she had discarded those titles long ago.

"Just Tara." She replied and motioned over the bundle of buidling over yonder, "Let the way."

At least this will kill some time.

Marc was smiling as he stepped out of the 'Falling Man'. Having just spent some rather enjoyable time with some rather talented women, he felt the urge to explore the city. But first, I need some more coin. Sammy and Cynthia have also done a remarkable job of bleeding him dry, not that he could fault them for that.

Weaving through the narrow streets that surrounded the docks, Marc did feel kind of naked without his guns. well you old fool, how do you think the city watch would react to seeing someone so heavily armed? Just because that its a good point doesn't mean I like it. He was still lost in thought when he rounded the corner, and saw two figures standing by Firebolt. Stopping himself just before he stepped fully into the open, he moved back a bit and watched. Who the hell are these people?

"Just Tara." She replied and motioned to a bundle of buildings over yonder, "Lead the way." Zavier made his way to a nearby inn, grateful that Tara had decided to be agreeable for a change. Like every other inn in the city, it was packed full of visitors and revelers. It wasn't long before a pair of patrons got up to head back out into the celebrations in the city. Zavier and Tara quickly descended on the table. It was louder in the inn than out by the airships, but it was a small price to pay to be out of the way. It would be rather unfortunate to be seen loitering around a pirate's airship with what appeared to be a pirate when the authorities came around. But then, if they hadn't noticed the obvious pirate ship in their docks, then he had doubts as to their competence.

As they sat down, Zavier looked back out the window, watching the people walking by before he addressed his companion again. "So Tara," Zavier said, still not looking at her, "You know who I am, would you mind telling me who you are, really?"

It felt good to be out of the open, hopefully no tattletales would go to the authorities after seeing what looked like a pirate confrontation. The festival had made its mark in the inn, decorated with icons of the Gods and someone was being rather enthusiastic with confetti, not to mention the drunks who downed every drink with a touch of vigour. Underneath the revels and merriment, the question on everyone's mind must have been how long could this last? Maybe the people were simply giving their all in celebration, lest this be the last Six Days of the Gods in the last standing Empire.

Some a table was freed up as some patrons left to hit the town. The noise was incredible, but she was sure that skilled eavesdroppers could separate the tapestry of conversation and pick at the most valuable threads. They both pounced on the table, knowing that a few seconds could spell the difference between failure, another pair of patrons taking it, and success, the capture of the table for Zavier and Tara. Here, one could really see the festival's effect on people, they toasted, they drank and were made happy in the intoxicating atmosphere had tempted you to join in. This was broken by the question Zavier asked.

"So Tara," Zavier said, still not looking at her, "You know who I am, would you mind telling me who you are, really?"

It irked Tara that he didn't made eye contact when she could potentially tell all. She sighed and choose her words carefully, this man could go around telling everyone that she was traitor and Tara could be tried for treason if he wanted to, with the right information. Best to give him the abridged version, with a few selective details left out.

"Ex-military." She replied, "You want specifics? Tell me the details of yours."

TL;DR
Basically Garen and a squad were up in the mountains on the northern coast and Garen discovered a Dark Mage conversing with someone through a shrine, probably Kith. He took a hit to the head on the way out of a cave-in and will be in the ward in Tibarn for a day or two.

Festivals. The perfect time for laughing, reflecting on life, and the occasional terrorist. Some people say that you can feel danger in the atmosphere. Like it's quiet. Too quiet. Of course I knew better. The perfect oppertunity for chaos is when everyone is occupied. It wasn't quiet. Far from it, it was noisy. All I had to do was go to the source of the noise. The market. Truly a sight to behold. The fountains, the mosaics on the ground, and of course the smell of food out of this world. Competition between salesmen in the market raised the quality to something unimaginable, until you had tasted it for yourself.

I wasn't hungry. I kept looking. If I were a terrorist, how would I blow up as many people as possi- The fountain. Classy.

Judas Mortimer walked up to the fountain and looked. Then climbed up to the top and reached in.

No bomb. I got restrained for disrupting peace though. As I was dragged away to the closest temporal holding cells, about 4 streets from the market, I pondered about the most important thing I had to do when I got out.

Should I cut the red wire or the blue wire?

"Ex-military." She replied, "You want specifics? Tell me the details of yours." Like every other response, it was curt, brief, and challenging, Zavier considered how well that description summed up the woman as well. He mulled over her response for a moment. Ex-military. Uleth was desperate, he knew, everyone knew, and they weren't picky about their recruits. A lack or limbs, or eyes, wouldn't, by any means, keep someone out of the military. On top of that, most people who could claim the title 'ex-military' in Uleth were currently feeding the worms. There was quite a bit about this woman, he knew, quite a bit worth investigating. Still, he had somewhere to start from on her, and Zavier decided to indulge her little game.

He turned away from the festival crowds outside back to his companion. Tara kept her eyes fixed on him. Vaguely, Zavier wondered if that sour expression ever left her face. "I prefer the term 'mercenary' in public." He began, "Before you ask, yes, I am Zavier Martres, the rumors you've heard about me probably aren't entirely true, but then, you've probably already figured that out. You want to know about me, and I want to know about you. I have little enough to hide, at least at the moment, so, ask away. A question for a question." This would be a bit risky, revealing too much could cost him, but this woman was interesting, and his curiosity was raised. Sometimes, risks were justifiable.

She left the man to stew with that response and here came another one from him. Clear but vague, two could game at that game and Zavier had already agreed to play hers. The dour approach seemed to be working, odd, that was mainly how she stopped the stares, people asking questions and the odd 'cyclops' insult. Well, at least he was facing her now, but Tara didn't let that stony facade leave her face. It didn't help that she had to bear waiting at least six days or more to leave this place and return to Uleth. If this man thought that she was a coward that was simply conscripted into the army because of the country's desperation, he was way off the mark. Neverthless, it had succeed, a question for a question was a fair enough deal.

"I prefer the term 'mercenary' in public." He began, "Before you ask, yes, I am Zavier Martres, the rumors you've heard about me probably aren't entirely true, but then, you've probably already figured that out. You want to know about me, and I want to know about you. I have little enough to hide, at least at the moment, so, ask away. A question for a question."

"Glad to hear it." She curtly replied and tapped the table quietly, but to them it was like the hammering of the judge's gavel, indicting the questioning session had begun, "The contracts with the Uleth goverment?"

Standing just out of sight, Marc waited until the two figures moved off before heading over to the ship. Wonder what that was all about? He thought, doing a quick check of the vessel to make sure it hadn't been tampered with. Finding nothing he went below to his cabin to refill his purse, that done he was about to leave when a feeling struck him. Better safe than sorry. He mused.

Retrieving a pistol, he tucked it into his waist band and disembarked. "Now...let's see what sort of trouble I can find." Moving down the street, he was passing an inn when he saw the man who'd been standing around the ship. Acting on impulse Marc swung around and entered the inn, quickly making his way to the table where this mystery man and a one-eyed woman were sitting. Stealing an unoccupied chair he sat down across from the pair. "Hi...I know you two don't know me but I've got a question. Why the fuck where you hanging around my ship?" As he spoke he placed one hand on the butt of his pistol, and the other on the hilt of hiss saber.

Zavier considered Tara as she thought over his offer. What was this woman hiding, and why risk letting him know? But then, he was in a similar position. He smiled, curiosity had gotten the better of both of them evidently.

"Glad to hear it." She curtly replied and tapped the table quietly, but to them it was like the hammering of the judge's gavel, indicating the questioning session had begun, "The contracts with the Uleth government?"

It was a question he had been expecting. Every time someone knew who he was and, for whatever reason, felt the need to say something, it always came down to his job. Every time, Zavier gave the same response. "It's a job." He said, "We all have our skills, mine just happen to be of a more morbid sort. I like to think of it as 'problem solving.' Uleth wanted my services, and they were willing to pay quite well for them. I wanted to stay out of jail and keep my head on my shoulders. It was a mutually beneficial relationship." He took a moment to scan the room out of habit, to ensure that no one heard more than was acceptable. Everyone, however, was too busy getting drunk and laughing at each other to notice. Zavier relaxed slightly. Gods, he hated crowds.

He was about to ask his question when a man barged into the inn and sat down in a seat next to them. "Hi...I know you two don't know me, but I've got a question. Why the fuck were you hanging around my ship? Zavier glared at the man. His hands rested on his weapons, Zavier was unimpressed. He turned back to Tara. "One of your friends?" He asked, angry that he had to waste a question on this man.

Tostundir always disliked running. Too undignified, he thought. Useful, though. He kept on through the streets, and just as he was about to reach the skydocks, he saw her again. Just sitting there, on a crate. That's her, the woman from the bar. He was sure it was her. He knew that he wanted a better look at that ship, but... there was something about the look in her dull amber eyes earlier that intrigued him, and now, there she was. Looking at... nothing, apparently. Her eyes were closed, but he didn't think that she'd quite fallen asleep, even though she had a slight smile on her face. That was probably a result of the alcohol. He could feel his footsteps abruptly stop beneath him as he changed course. Against his better judgement, he approached, his cane clacking along the cobbles as he walked towards her. He had no idea why he was doing this, or, for that matter, what he was going to say.

He tapped her on the shoulder, and cleared his throat, removing his hat and bowing slightly as he said, "Ahem... Tostundir Axela, at your service."

He looked up through his eyebrows after a second. Perhaps she was asleep, after all.

Evangeline was just starting to doze when she became aware of the sound of someone approach. It was probably just some reveler taking a shortcut but Evangeline listened to the movement on the street anyways. If it was someone more interested in a sleeping girl, well, Evangeline hadn't brought any blades or guns into the city; but the knuckleduster in her pocket would be a satisfactory odds evener if needed.

What she definitely wasn't expecting though was the walking figure to stop and introduce itself. Evangeline opened her eyes to examine the bowing figure and immediately felt a rush of agitation. This 'Tostundir Axela' fellow was undeniably the well dressed toff from the bar earlier. Evangeline had spent a good long time looking for him all around the city, and now he just showed up again out of the blue. For a moment Evangeline wondered if he was some kind of hallucination conjured by too much drink and stress.

She regarded him for a moment, the knuckleduster in her pocket singing a strangely seductive tune that she ignored. Fortunately the worst of the drink had burnt off so Evangeline was feeling much more in control.

Evangeline let out an annoyed breath before she spoke. "Don't think I need your service for much anything right now thank you very much." She replied allowing a strong thread of agitation to wind through her voice.

Rez looked over to where he heard his name being called.

"Hey Zeke!" He said, walking towards the newbie. "Have you seen Eva? I wanted to show her something."

But just then he noticed a man wearing goggles and a long cloak with what looked like a spell tome in his hands. The pirate subtly moved his hands towards Margret's handle, getting redy for a fight if need be.

So she did hear him, after all. Tostundir breathed a sigh of relief. He would have hated to repeat himself.
"Don't think I need your service for much anything right now thank you very much," she replied to him. He gave a warm smile, in spite of her irritated manner, and stood up straight, placing his hat on his head again. "I do hope you are alright, ma'am. I must say, you looked rather troubled earlier." He then took a few paces to her side and sat down on a crate beside hers, crossing his legs and leaning towards her, saying in an almost conspiratorial tone, "Perhaps you would tell me what is the matter, Miss...?"

Establishing a name was a first step to getting her to tell him about her problems. That strange ship would still be there later. It could wait. But this, he felt, was more important. He just hoped that his friendly attitude was enough to get her to open up a little. He had to admit, he was a little concerned about what she was holding in her pocket.

A hole. In a cell. I wondered who designed this place. Then climbed down without a second thought. Exile, escape from prison, didn't matter. At the end of the day I would be a hero, and my rank and reputation restored. As I walked through the conveniently high ceiling possessing sewers, I started to notice mumbling. Some fiddling and climbing later, I escaped the sewer. Right in front of an inn. A few people were talking to eachother, something about ships.

Suddenly, the warning bells started ringing. 4 times. Code for escaped prisoner. Heralds were going to notify everyone what I looked like. I breathed in and walked up to the innkeeper.

Judas:"Excuse me, but can I buy the ugliest clothing you have to offer, and perhaps a conveniently face covering cap?"

In the mists of the drunkard revelry, the sour lass was suddenly accosted by the man then barged into the pub and almost made the establishment be stunned in silence at the random show of violence in the scene of celebration and jubilation. Whoever it was charged straight towards the table where Zavier and Tara were sat in, interrupting the game of questions that was going on. Some people just take in those subtle social cues that sometime private was going on and that these two shady characters should be left alone with their business. Tara scowled even harder as the man approach, almost matching the frown on his face. He sat himself down and preceded to then shout, surely attracting the attention not only of Tara and Zavier but of the whole inn, making cracks in the jovial atmosphere. The man was clearly ready to turn this into a bloodbath as well, by his stance.

"Hi...I know you two don't know me, but I've got a question. Why the fuck were you hanging around my ship?

Those hissed words didn't phase Tara. For all she knew, this man might just be an angry drunk, in contrast with the happy drunks of the inn, then got the idea that he owned the ship from the whispers of the green fairy. Zavier appeared to be angry about wasting time with this lout or it could be even wasting a question, well those were her rough guess. He replied to the man before Tara could ready a response.

"One of your friends?"

"Not one that I know of." She said with a casual air before turning to the unannounced man, addressing him with a sharp tone, "Problem? Go see your captain about it, he owns the ship."

She waited for the man to leave and clutched the hilt of his sword in case he went ballistic.

Evangeline instinctively leaned away from Tostundir as he leaned in. His smile was decent enough, but Evangeline had become somewhat desensitized to common charms, and this fellow didn't hold a candle to Rez once he got going. Evangeline was not amused in the least though and only felt her temper rising up, no doubt buoyed up by the dregs of alcohol still flowing through her.

Evangeline's previous encounter hadn't endeared this guy to her at all, and now she absolutely couldn't stand his apparent patronizing. Here she was in the middle of the slums; skin as tanned as any sailor or dockworker, cloths as common as muck; and he was trying to fish for her name and problem. Did he think he could somehow fix her? It also seemed like he was fishing for a boot to the head.

In a single confident fluid motion Evangeline slipped off the crate she had been sitting on and stood up. She busied herself for a moment brushing off her leggings then her hands before she responded. "Well, at the moment, my trouble is that some darkly dressed, possibly imaginary, toff won't leave me alone. Think you might be able to help me with that?"

Evangeline became aware of the sound of warning bells in the distance. It had been years since she last heard the peals, but the old patterns came back in a flash. Someone in the jug must have made a brake for it. Well, it probably wasn't this guy, and it probably wasn't anyone from the crew, so Evangeline paid it little mind.

"Well, at the moment, my trouble is that some darkly dressed, possibly imaginary, toff won't leave me alone. Think you might be able to help me with that?"

Tostundir was hurt. He didn't let on, but he was a little. He was only offering help, and she was acting towards him with quite a lot of hostility. Still, she was very quick off the mark, and his warm smile of friendliness turned to a smile of respect. Perhaps, even, a little admiration.

Uncrossing his legs and leaning back against the wall, he paused while the warning bells rudely interrupted their conversation. Quickly changing the topic to hide the fact that he was unable to come up with a witty response, he said, "You're an adventurous sort, aren't you?" She had all the hallmarks. The battered fingernails, heavy duty trousers, calloused hands...

He could also tell that she had killed. There was a weight she carried about her shoulders. He wasn't going to mention that yet, though. For now, this was just a lively to-and-fro between two intelligent strangers. He was enjoying it. Perhaps he let that slip a little in his expression.

His mind wandered to who she might be. Perhaps she was a spy from the Republic. It would be an ideal time to move in: there wouldn't be very much security at the city, given that they coldn't very well stop the revellers at the gates and check each one. That was probably just his imagination running riot, though. She was much more likely to be a Sky Pirate. He never really tolerated them, but she was an interesting character indeed. And she had to be from around Lightwatch: people who weren't from the city wouldn't want to be in an area like this, and she was very relaxed when he ran into her. Outsiders would be terrified of running into the wrong sort of crowd here. He definitely wanted to know more about her. The question was, when exactly was she going to hit him. He could see he was getting her riled up.

Evangeline crossed her arms over her chest as she eyed Tostudir. She had experienced men sizing her up before, but not usually for her story. This guy on the other hand was really starting to confuse her; who in the world would be so interested in finding out about some random stranger? It would almost have been better if he just tried to scold her or hit on her, either of those she knew how to deal with.

On the other hand, Evangeline could feel herself start to get a bit of a feel on the guy. At least he was predictable in his ability to say something that would tick her off. It was just like someone with education to pick up clues and then promptly come to exactly the wrong answer. "Sorry, wrong there." She replied before letting a layer of sarcasm out. "It's called a job, though I understand if you don't know the concept. Don't expect you got that fancy coat through such an alien thing." She finished dismissively.

No luck. War, war, war, war and more war. Maybe a few pieces of news about the festival but very little and it did nothing to improve Olivia's overall mood.

Discarding the newspaper in a nearby bin, she set off to walk around town, a slightly unusual sight in military uniform beside that of the revellers. She also noticed as she walked that there seemed to be more and more of what were either mercenaries, pirates or both in the city with each passing day. While not necessarily a bad thing, it made her wary and she was already on edge enough as it is.

Something was going to hit the fan soon, she was sure and it was unlikely to be pleasant. But the waiting, the uncertainty. That was getting on her nerves.

" Zeke! Is that your name? Thank you Zeke, for not calling over the ape-man."

Ivan smiled a crooked toothy smile. Putting away his tome, but it was clear he was packing 2 pistols and sword. Looking over the one called Duke and looking at Zeke. Like a cheap magic trick another bottle of aged spice rum appeared into Ivan's hands.

"Its rude not to introduce people ... Zeke. I'm Ivan and this is to our health" While taking a swig and offering some to those around.

"Problem? Go see your captain about it, he owns the ship."

"Aye, that he does." Marc replied, the 'drunk buffoon' facade fading rapidly away. "But seeing as I'm crew, I feel a certain 'ownership' of her as well." With a quick jerk that none of the other patrons noticed he drew his pistol, keeping it out of sight below the table. "Now when a fellow such as myself sees two people of...a certain type, shall we say...hanging about a vessel such as the one I crew on, he has to ask himself 'Who might these people be, and do they mean me or the ship harm?' Now I know you two aren't with the Watch, you don't seem nearly dumb enough, and you're not looking to do business, if you where you'd know how to reach Duke without all the standing around."

Marc caught movement out of the corner of his eye as Tara shifted her hand. "Now, now lass no need to get hasty...unless you figure you can draw faster than a bullet." The last word was punctuated by a muted *click* below the table, as Marc cocked his gun. "Now I'll ask again...why where you hanging around the ship?"

"Now, now lass no need to get hasty...unless you figure you can draw faster than a bullet." The last word was punctuated by a muted *click* below the table, as Marc cocked his gun. "Now I'll ask again...why where you hanging around the ship?"

Zavier couldn't help but roll his eyes. It wasn't just the fact that the threat was stupid, but rather it was that it was so painfully sloppy. In his line of work there was nothing worse than someone thinking they can do your job, and do it so ineptly. He pulled himself up slightly, calculating how long it would take to grab his nearest weapon versus how long this person could take to fire. It was about even odds he could kill this man, Zavier reasoned.

"You're an idiot." Zavier began dismissively, "I doubt even you are stupid enough attempt to kill someone in a crowded public area. Even if you were, you're outnumbered, unless you figure you can kill both of us in the half second window before we kill you." He gave the man amoment to think that over. "Now, if you're done wasting our time I advise you to leave, unless you want the port authority to confiscate your ship."

Rez let his hand go back to his side and approached the robbed man.

"Hello, I'm Rez Tereth, Duke of the sky pirates called the Scorchers. What's your name?" HE said, holding out his hand for a handshake.

As the man talk it was clear to Tara that this wasn't just a drunk, but he was still stumbling over his words, as Zavier was content to point out. Her scowl deepened as the man spotted her reaching for her weapon and in turn readied his. Tara wondered whether the man would actually fire it, the sound of the bullet would shatter the festival mood and the port authorities would definitely come a-callin' without Zavier's help. Nevertheless this might just be another one of those men who constantly itched for a fight, she had seen plenty in the army, men will simply were out to prove something and nine times out of ten they had ended up being men with simple minds as well.

"Now I'll ask again...why where you hanging around the ship?"

She sighed, "Ask your captain. Threats have a way of closing doors. Go seek another."

He was the one being hasty, rushing into things with a quick click of the gun while she had grasped the sword in calm, almost delicate, manner. Zavier was an experienced 'problem solver' as he put it and she was a veteran of many battles. Thoughts entered her head as she continued to stare at the man, Try your luck then, you'll find there's a reason that many people still carry swords in this age of guns...

"Sorry, wrong there."... "It's called a job, though I understand if you don't know the concept. Don't expect you got that fancy coat through such an alien thing."
Tostundir smiled. Once again, she had thrown another insult at him: this woman seemed to be very defensive. Maybe she even had a grudge against people of his class. Given her apparent status in the world, it wouldn't be much of a surprise. Most people did.

Tostundir let out a sigh. She was proving to be more difficult to get to than he thought. He was only interested after all. Still, he'd got this far. At least he knew her-... oh, wait, she hadn't even given him her name. Blast, he thought.

For a moment he considered telling her that he invented for a living - which was true - but he suspected she wouldn't understand. She would assume that he used his Royalist wealth to pursue his dream, rather than sustain himself on it and use his ample savings for safety in case of hard times. He was, however, willing to admit, that he had it a lot better than a great many other people.

Instead, he decided to reply to the first part of her statement. "You may say that it's just a job, but I suspect that you took it out of choice rather than necessity. I think you enjoy it. To an extent, at least." He chose not to directly ask her what her job was, because if she was a pirate, she would deny it. This way, he was able to show her that he was aware of her occupation without bringing the situation to a head and allowing her to think that she had the upper hand.

He read her face carefully as he spoke.

The whole exchange happened a little too fast for Zeke to follow. Fortunately Duke seemed to calm down the, somewhat, excitable Ivan before he (or his book) could cause any kind of scene. Though the smell of alcohol was practically radiating off of him and it was attracting a few curious looks.The man smells like he could strip paint. It took him a moment to fight against Ivan's aroma and the ethanol themed daze it tried to induce.

"Um, nice to meet you Ivan." Zeke said, giving a polite grin to Ivan before turning to Duke. "Hey, Cap. Sorry can't say I've seen Eva anywhere. You know how she gets when we dock. You got something planned?" Wonder if he's seen Kalley.

Taking Rez's hand firmly and shaking it like a proper pirate from Pirate Havens should. Even ending with a fist bump. Thankfully not with the mummified hand. Though, he has been known to use it in the past.

" They be calling me Crazy Ivan. Though my birth name is simple. Ivan Drago, formerly of the Deadstar crew. Now, MASTER of mysterious art of drunk casting... or not."

"Um, nice to meet you Ivan."
Zeke giving a polite grin to Ivan before turning to Duke. "Hey, Cap. Sorry can't say I've seen Eva anywhere. You know how she gets when we dock. You got something planned?"

"I could probably be of 'elp."

Calia stepped into the tavern. Several people with eyes towards the door stopped what they were doing, many who didn't know who she was simply admired her looks. Most all had silenced themselves by the time she made it to the bar. "A pint of your finest".

The barkeep was quick to reply, he seemed unfazed at her sight, like seeing someone of her status was so common he didn't distinguish the fact. It was interesting. A cool pint was set down for her. She spilled some coin for the drink and service and raised the mug. "To the gods"! She panned around the tavern with the mug, pulling it to withina hairs breadth of her lips...

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Solontair overlooked half the city from atop the palace walls. A small pocket watch read about a half hour after eight. "Let the show begin".

A massive explosion erupted far below. Flaming debris flew across the lower city. It happened right next to a city square. Hundreds, maybe thousand would of been killed. Only those with a powers favor could of survived in there.

The black clad assassin dashed off to enter the palace proper.

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Calia opened her eyes, not that there was much to see other than debris. A small fire illuminated the uncollapsed section of the tavern. Righting herself from the floor, no obvious major injuries. Calia withdrew her greatsword and pulled herself up. "Is, is anyone else alive"? Her voice was somewhat week, anyone in her situation would be shaken.

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Confusion veiled and slowed down everything. It took a few minutes but finally sirens were going off around the garrisons and the airdock. Soldiers and sailors scrambled to assembly. Still few knew what was really going on. Was it an attack, an accident? No one knew what to do.

In reality though it was the grand opening to a rebellion. Armed men in droves poured to the streets of the eastern lower city, driving away and killing any in their way.

Well this is a fine mess you've gotten yourself into. Marc thought. Once again you acted before you thought...how are you gonna save your ass now? While he was thinking of a way to extricate himself from the two annoyed people, he was saved by chance.

Over the general noise of the inn he heard shouting, and before he could react, he was knocked from his seat by a pair of drunks who were intent on beating the crap out of each other. Rolling away, Marc staggered to his feet and realized that the inn was quickly becoming embroiled in a fully fledged brawl. Securing his pistol, he used the growing chaos to escape outside.

"You got bloody lucky mate." He muttered angrily to himself. Ducking into a nearby alleyway to avoid the law that had been attracted by the commotion, Marc moved off into the city. "WHAT THE BLOODY HELL!" He shouted as a large explosion rocked the city. Gathering his wits he began to run toward the scene, fearing Duke may have been caught in the blast.

Evangeline fumed at Tostundir's sugestion. How dare he pretend like he knew anything about Evangeline's situation? What in the world was there to like about her life? The never fresh food? The horrible beds? The terrible company? The constant danger? The blood? The deaths? How could anyone so clearly educated say something so profoundly stupid? If Rez hadn't dragged her into it; hell, if it wasn't the only thing she knew how to do; she would jump at the chance to do just about anything else.

Evangeline was done being nice. She had held her humor at this guy for quite a bit now, but even she could only take so much. Evangeline stepped closer, ready to really blast him with her full built up anger.

However, just as she was about to an explosion shook the ground and slammed her with a wave of hot air. Evangeline whipped around as the world seemed to slow down around her. She could see the blast not too far off, but distant enough not to be a direct threat. The head sized pieces of masonry and lumber flying through the air though were a different story. But Evangeline was already running fully on reflexes and when a boiler overheated or a munitions room cooked off there was only one reaction that anyone who lived had.

"Get down!" Evangeline yelled as she launched herself at Tostundir trying to knock him to the ground and cover him behind some of the crates.

Zavier kept his eyes on the oaf as he tumbled out of his chair and lurched toward the door. As that annoyance left, another annoyance started. Two of the drunk revelers started arguing, with their fists it appeared, and the fight was starting to spread across the inn. A full brawl was imminent, he knew, and sighed, this was excessively aggravating. He turned to Tara, "We should go." Zavier didn't want to be found when the authorities arrived to sort things out.

He rose to leave, weaving his way around the growing drunk melee, staying just out of reach of the punches. The exit came more fully into view, and Zavier took on a brief smile. He seemed to be sidestepping trouble today quite well. When he made it to the door he was knocked off his feet by a massive explosion. Zavier acted instinctively, getting out his pistol, he jumped up and kicked open the door. Once he dashed out of the inn he took a moment to breathe and think. What the hell is going on? He wondered.

"I could probably be of 'elp."

"I'll bet you could Ivan bu-"

Zeke was cut off as a plume of flame lit up the streets on the horizon with a deafening roar. Zeke was so shocked by it that he barely reacted in time to shield himself from the cloud of dust and smoke overtook them. Rubbing his red and bleary eyes and Zeke tried to survey the scene around him. The blackening smoke still lay thick in the air darkening the street around him. His lungs felt like they were on fire.

"Duke! Duke, you okay?!" He called out. then when no answer readily came,".... Ivan?" It was hard for him to see anything, as his hearing slowly bled back into existence he could here people screaming all around him. The sound of crackling flames and collapsing rubble providing a nice bass line for all the madness unfolding around them. But there was something else... a smell.

Burning. Burning wood, cloth and plenty more. Still there was something else... the smell of burning meat. Oh gods.It took all of Zeke's self control not to wretch there and then. He had to get himself together, had to find the others.

"Duke, speak to me!" And with frantic vigour he started forcing his way through the clogged up street in search of his captain, trying to get a good look at the faces of every person as he went.

The smell was always what did it. He could watch the burning dance and be satisfied, but when the smell of burning hit his lungs, he just had to help the dance grow. He inhaled the smoke through his nose and smiled as he pulled Margret from his back.

"Duke, speak to me!" he heard Zeke call.

Rez's heart was pounding, but his hands were steady. He had walked down the street a few yards and he could smell that this explosion was made by some form of magic, with the aid of gunpowder or other explosive. The story was in the smoke.

"Come on Zeke," he responded. "This is what we're being paid for. If you can hear me from the bottom of that bottle Ivan, feel free to join us."

He let out a triumphant laugh, then charged down the street towards the armed men who were steadily advancing.

The pirate duke made his way into a broken store-front window and flattened himself against the wall as a squad of the invaders came by. After their footfalls had passed the storefront, he leaped out into the street and squeezed his trigger.

The flames poured over the soldiers, lighting them up like matches, they threw down their weapons and began flailing, as men so often do when they are set ablaze. This would be a night of many dances.

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