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Private Witch Hunter: Inermis


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***************


Witch Hunter
Inermis


***************
OOC: http://mlpforums.com/topic/120044-witch-hunter-inermis-dark-fantasy-human-epic

@SilverHeart,
@Scribblegroove,
@Evilshy,
@Windbreaker,
,
@FirstPonySpectre,

An audable thud echoes through the small ship as it comes to a sudden halt. From below deck it is impossible to see, but it is clear from the bustle above and the addition of new voices added to those of the crew that you have finally docked at your destination. After weeks of travelling, you have arrived at Inermis - the dead land .

You are apprentices of the Witch Hunters - raised and trained in the isolated fortress of Wrathspire Keep. Since an early age, you have endured a hideously violent training regime designed to push the body, mind and soul to their limits, and beyond. In the past year alone, six apprentices of various ages have died: most at the very hands of their masters during training. It has been a harrowing upbringing, but it has made you strong beyond belief... and for good reason.

From the moment the order took you in, your life was taken away and replaced with a single, unquestionable purpose: to cleanse the land of magic, and all that practice the foul arts. Witches hide in every dark corner of the world where they wield powers that could split the very fabric of reality asunder, and only by showing no mercy can the survival of the land be guaranteed. Your order is celebrated for it's devotion to a heavy and dark duty, but also spurned and feared as merciless butchers and murderers.

Today, you begin your final trial. Hundreds of years ago Inermis was overrun by sorcery and daemons: it was declared a Dead Land - lost to humanity and unsalvagable, left to rot with no contact from the mainland. Recently however, it seems that humanity has established a foothold once more and driven out the darkness. Ships have arrived from the island, built new from new wood and bearing fresh produce. Such a feat has never been done before - dead lands remain dead.

You have been sent to Inermis to investigate whether it has indeed somehow brought itself back from the brink of destruction, or if it remains tainted. You are to cleanse it of any trace of magic you find, gather information and return home. Should you survive you will finally become a true Witch Hunter in your own right, ready to brave the world alone. Should you fail...

A Witch Hunter does not fail. The are victorious, or they die.

This is your story.


***************

Aboard The Violet Star
Early Morning

You have spent the majority of your journey aboard the Violet Star - a merchant vessel converted for carrying yourselves on this specific quest - within the cargo hold: repurposed as a training hall and sleeping quarters for the apprentices. The journey has been hellish: you were workef harder than ever in your training by a Hunter you had never met before this expedition: a humorless and foul tempered man by the name of Hunter Tathla. With his greying hair and scars covering every visible piece of skin you have seen, it is clear that he is one of the oldest hunters that you have ever met: perhaps even in his mid fourties.

And he has so far displayed all of the personality of a brick. Every day you have been subject to a minimum of twelve hours of training: physical, mental and spiritual. He has been quick to anger, and even quicker to strike down any back talk.

Today however, he merely paces the hold with a thoughtful look on his face. The hold is dark, and the only source if light are four lanterns to illuminate the large hall. Towards the back of the ship are a number of beds where you have spent the nights these past weeks, and alongside them a line of black leather greatcoats hang from the wall. The sounds from above sound like they are making quick progress, and you will soon be permitted to depart.

Until then however, this may be the first chance you have had to formally introduce yourselves to each other. Hunter Tathla apoears deep in though and clearly does not wish to be disturbed, however he may be able to answer any last minute questions you might have. Edited by Cinder
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@, @@Windbreaker,    Silne smiled. This might not be as challenging as expected. It seemed that even after centuries the Witch Hunters were still feared here. That was good, it made things easier. "

@@SilverHeart, @@Windbreaker,@,   Alice Mare   Alice was a little taken aback by Silne's handling of the situation with the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper acted just like the one in the bakery too - m

Aaren Grey @@SilverHeart, @, @,     Aaren's eyes narrowed when Silne said she showed mercy. He wanted to tell her that her brand of mercy wasn't mercy, but he thought better of it. She would proba

Ivondras Zúr

 

"The mist of the mind distracts me from my goal"

 

A blade hissed through the air, and almost hummed with the speed and strength at which it was handled. In an empty corner of the training hall Ivondras fought with several imaginary enemies at once. His blades held high, his feet ever moving. Ducking and leaping in an utmost controlled fashion, making sure his guard was never down, he never lacked space or mobility, and most importantly, dealt as much damage to his invisible opponents with every swing of his swords.

 

"All that matters are the teachings of the soul."

 

In his routine he thought of nothing but the many poems and lines that he had learned many years ago. His mind was clear of all clutter, and he was utterly focused on his imaginary combat, his willpower and hatred.

 

"My head is empty, but in furious state"

 

He could feel their tissue collide with his blades, smell their foul blood scatter in the air around him. See their wretched and tainted souls leave their body to dissapear into the abyss for all eternity. He could hear their screams, their pleas.

 

"I show no mercy, for I have become fate"

 

Ending his rite, he also ended his practice. In one motion he assumed a neutral position and sheathed his blades. He then proceeded to a punching bag a few feet away. Without stopping for the slightest moment, still not breathing even slightly heavier, he started dealing punches to the bag as fast as he could, and slowly began his continuous rite again, speaking each word in between a few jabs and kicks at a time.

 

"The mist of the mind distracts me from my goal..."

 

He seemingly ignored everything else around him. He simply waited until he recieced new orders. As long as he had no orders he would dedicate his time to practice. Unending, mind-numbing, relentless practice.

Edited by Scribblegroove
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Alice Mare

 

They've finally arrived. Alice's first thought was if there were any snacks anywhere. Mr. Tathla was extremely annoying when it came to it. The rest of these people didn't seem to mind - or so she thought - so she decided they weren't worth associating with.

 

That big, burly guy though was funny. He looked like someone who every girl would flock to but to her, he looked like a big moron. She had to take a note of that if she was going to travel with him for a while - a mischievous smile forming on her face.Speaking of which, with all that training (which was really boring) she's never got to look over everyone and find something wrong with each and every one of them. It'll give her something to do when she's bored - what was she supposed to do, introduce herself? That would give any pedos here the chance to jump at her. 

 

The second person she looked at was the other girl who was there with her - who looked really serious. She looked smart - probably even smarter than Alice and she looked pretty light on her toes during the training. What Alice thought of her was that she was boring but not somebody she should pick on. 

 

Another person she looked at was a nearly-bald guy - he looked really, really old since he has that cut. She smirked, covering her mouth. This guy looked smart too - she didn't know for sure. It's not like they were given tests during the voyage - but he looked capable in almost everything. That didn't mean he was interesting though. 

 

A notable person was the guy wearing a mask. He looked really weird - did he think he was a superhero or something? It was funny how he was dressed - why was he dressed like that - all in black with a fancy fedora and everything - if he was going to go "clean the place of magic?" Wouldn't that get his trench coat dirty and he'd look stupid? She decided that she won't stay too close to him. He has weird thinking.

 

The last person was an average guy - finally - with really light blue eyes. He looked like a pretty gullible guy given his looks - other than his eyes, he looked like a nice guy, not worth picking on. Of course, this only made her want to pick on them more. 

 

Looking over everyone has made Alice realize that she and that girl were the only girls there and there were.. one, two, three, four.. yes, four guys. She didn't like this. Maybe they were all a bunch of perverts. She huffed and looked over the ship to avoid any of them confronting her and suddenly remembered after all these days that she was really happy she was not in the water. She could hardly swim and she probably would drown. And with this bunch, she didn't want anybody saving her. She wondered when they could get off this ship and touch solid land again. Alice decided to just stand in the corner - well, she guessed that she had to introduce herself at some point - but she's not going to start talking to anyone. She had to admit though, she was excited. 

 

And man, she was hungry. Would it kill anyone to get crackers?

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Gron Falgus

 

Gron finished polishing his shield once again. He had heard that a shinier shield would help it block magic, and since magic is like special light and mirrors reflect light, and a shiny shield was like a mirror, Gron figured it worked that way. Most of his free time was spent polishing his shield and armor, and combat training. He also ate a lot, but after 12 hour training days, who didn't?

 

Polishing done, he walked up to a training dummy and took up a stance, imagining it as a wizard throwing fireballs his way. He slowly advanced, moving his shield to block the imaginary fireballs, until he was close enough. With a yell, he bashed the dummy with his shield, then immediately followed up with a powerful, armor-clad gut punch. He felt the wood holding the dummy crack a bit, and remembered the several times Taltha had reprimanded him for breaking training equipment. He quickly looked around sheepishily, seeing if anybody had noticed, and made yet another mental note to only go all out on actual enemies. Luckily, the dummy wasn't visibly broken, so he figured he could get away with it, but he certainly didn't want to continue using that dummy.

 

Looking around, he say another hunter practicing combat as well. He was bald, but Gron knew it was impolite to refer to him as "bald one", and thought a minute, trying to remember his name. Ivon... something... Ivondur? Ivondors? Why must his name be so long? I hardly even know him Mine is easy, Gron. Nice and short. At a loss, Gron decided that Ivon would be an appropriate nickname, and approached him, smiling.

 

"Hey, Ivon!" he called out brightly. "Let's spar a bit? You with your swords and me with my shield and gauntlet, get some practice with a real foe?"

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Aaren Grey

 

Aaren finally had a chance to relax and take a breather from the rough regime of training, training and yet more training. He just seemed to lounge around, watching one of the big tough guys practice not taking anything particularly seriously right now. His skills were sharp and his mind was clearing. In the end, he just started humming something to himself as he got a measure of the others. Two girls and four guys, including himself.

 

Two of the guys seemed to be focused on physical strength. Not a bad approach, though it's not the answer to everything. One seemed fairly friendly and might be good to talk to. The other one having a go at the punching bag... Probably not. Dedicated to the point of zealotry. Decisive, but reckless.

 

A guy in a mask. Odd, but he might just like privacy and the mask helps with that. Made him hard to read, though, so Aaren was suspicious of him.

 

The first girl seemed like the quiet type. Light on her feet by the looks of her, but the equipment didn't look like it matched the way he'd seen her move in training.

 

The second girl...well, he saw her checking everyone else out. Possibly getting a read on the others, getting a feel for them and deciding how to react to everyone. But she didn't seem to have that large of an attention span, since he saw her looking for other things as quickly as she'd inspected everyone.

 

Of course, he wasn't that bothered in the end. If there was one thing Aaren was good at, it was thinking on his feet. Still, better not to isolate himself from the people he was likely to work with. He dug out a bag of beef jerky he'd been eating sparingly since arriving on the ship. A bag like this usually wouldn't last longer than a day or two, but Aaren hadn't had the time to eat it as quickly as he would've liked. His stomach was telling him to scoff the lot right here and now, but he was too nice for that. He looked to the others and held up the bag so they could see it, after taking some for himself and putting it in his pocket.

 

"Hey! Anyone want some beef jerky?" He called out to anyone listening.

Edited by Windbreaker
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@@Windbreaker,

 

Alice Mare

 

Alice looked at the two men about to spar with each other in disgust. After all that rough training, they're training again on their first break they've had in days? They were complete morons. Right after she's finished insulting everyone in her mind, she heard a guy ask anyone if they want beef jerky.

 

"No thank you, that'll make me fat like you," Alice replied to the man with a sweet smile, skipping up to him.

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Joel

 

(The gold text is Joel's thoughts and the crimson color text is the voice of his wife that he hears. Anything italicized is his thoughts and all. Just wanted to make that 100% clear so no one is confused.)

 

Gracefully collapsing down onto a cushioned seat, Joel kicked back in a relaxed position, arms folded behind his head and sitting up right, his back against a wall. A bit too at ease to bother taking note of everyone in the room, for he knew he'd have the chance to analyze them later. Though as he gazed around the small room he saw two men preparing to spar one another.

 

"Why waste your energy fighting now?" He thought to himself curiously.

"Can you fault them for wanting to practice?" The voice of Joel's departed beloved questioned back. 

"I suppose not. After all this is our job. I still don't see that justifying their disregard for their own stamina, however." He stubbornly thought.

"Just let them have their fun, okay, Joel?" The woman's voice requested of Joel. 

"Yeah, I had planned on not getting involved anyway. However I should probably introduce myself to these other hunters." Joel inquired as he sat even more upright, taking a spell to take in his surroundings. 

"Yeah! You go make some friends!" Julia's voice said with a glee. 

"I'm not here to make friends, Julia." Informed Joel in a rather direct, and grim tone. 

"Hey! Look at that girl with the brown ponytail. I think she was looking at you. She's pretty cute. Should go say hi." The excited girl's voice spoke, clearly not paying attention to what Joel had thought.

"I suppose it's as good a place to start as any." The man gave in with a smirk. 

 

@,

 

With that Joel got up and approached the young woman, one hand placed on his fedora and his poise stanced in a smooth and suave position. He shot a glare at the girl with his uncovered eye before speaking. "Excuse me, miss." he spoke in a deep, rather seductive tone. "Pardon my rather abrupt intrusion on your conversation but I just had to introduce myself. I'm Masquerade, and whom might you be?" He greeted her with a smirk. 

Edited by FirstPonySpectre
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@@FirstPonySpectre,

 

Alice Mare

 

"...Are you a pedophile?" Alice asked curiously, quickly losing interest in the other guy she approached. "You really shouldn't hit on girls younger than you, it's really nasty," Alice said with a thoughtful look on her face. "Mr. Pedo, you want to know my name? It's Alice Mare!" she announced proudly, probably a good solid five feet away from the masked man.

 

"Masquerade is a funny name. What were your parents thinking?" she asked, obviously having fun with teasing this man.

Edited by Kaia
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@,

 

"Haha! She thinks you're a pedophile!" Julia's voice laughed playfully.

"Hmph, yes, clearly she acts younger than she looks." He noted to himself, ignoring the voice. "Perhaps I should alter my approach a bit."

 

Joel chuckled gleefully before looking down at the young lass, making sure to have direct eye contact with her, and speaking in a very calm and collected voice. "Alice Mare? I must say that is quite the beautiful name if I may say, and it's an honor to meet you, Ms. Mare.." Joel complimented with a genuine sincerity in his voice. "Well, Ms. Mare, let me assure you that I am not a pedophile. In fact I find pedophiles quite nasty as well." Joel affirmed the pony-tailed girl with a welcoming tone. Joel gave a very heartwarming smile to the young girl before finishing his post-introduction statements. "Yes, Masquerade is quite a funny name, isn't it. Then again my parents were quite funny people." 

 

The half masked man took a pause to let his words sink in before asking the question, "If you don't mind me asking what got you into being a witch hunter?" 

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@@FirstPonySpectre,

 

(( Added something to her personality that I think you should note for Masquerade. ;) ))

 

Alice Mare

 

"It looked fun, that's why! Why else would I join? A stupid reason like justice?" Alice asked, her attitude completely changed for a moment - but then she was back to her old self not wanting anything to do with the man. "Why do you want to know? You want to get into my personal life?" Alice squinted suspiciously at the man.

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@,

 

"Woah, she got feisty quickly." Julia noted to Joel. 

"Evidently so. Perhaps I should be a bit more aggressive here." He contemplated.

"That'd be stupid, Joel. Tell her you'd want to be her friend. Even if you don't want to be you're a liar anyway, so what's the difference You'll get on her good side and she'll think she has a friend, right?" The voice of Joel's lost wife requested. 

"Yeah, you make a valid point, Julia." He agreed with the voice before speaking to the young girl once more. 

 

"In all honesty, Ms. Mare I was just looking to make a friend. Would you perhaps be interested?" He asked the small girl in a very kind tone. A smile gracing his face. 

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@@FirstPonySpectre,

 

(( I probably should have mentioned she didn't want a friendship unless she initiates it.. ^^' She'd like just crackers or something. ))

 

Alice Mare

 

"Mr. Pedo, are you sure you're not just saying that to deceive me or do something dirty?" Alice asked, even further away from the man. "You're big and dumb! You can't fool me!" Alice said, from behind a pole on the ship, shaking and puffing oht her cheeks.

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Aaren Grey

@,

@@FirstPonySpectre,

 

"You should really stop calling people pedos when you're not that much younger than them, missy. From the looks of you, I'd guess you're around 18 years of age, which is plenty old enough for consent. I doubt anyone's gonna bother you about that unless you go asking for it, though." Aaren piped up, having been quietly listening to this conversation. He spoke in a calm and friendly tone to make it clear he wasn't looking for a fight.

 

 

"Sorry to interrupt. My name's Aaren, and I was offering snacks if anyone wanted any. It's beef jerky." He said, offering the bag to the two of them.

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@,

 

(I figured as much, but this is sort of how Joel would approach the situation, lol.)

 

"Brilliant plan." Joel teased the voice of Julia 

"Yeah well at least she's talking to you, correct?" She responded, trying to justify her previous order.

"Just because you're walking doesn't mean you're going somewhere useful." He informed the invisible voice. 

"Point taken." She succumbed. "You can take it from here, Mr. Pedo." She teased.

"Don't call me that." Joel ordered the voice.

"No promises!" She responded with a snicker.

 

A calm and still very collected smile on his face, Joel spoke out to the girl once more. "Well, I suppose I am pretty big and I guess I can be pretty dumb at times, can't I?" He admitted to the girl in defeat. "But I can assure you I'm not really into doing any of these 'dirty' things you speak of. It's really not my style." Taking a pause to take a step towards the girl, he got onto his knees so he was eye level with her. "What'll it take to make ya trust me? Hm?" He asked calmly. 

 

@@Windbreaker,

 

Hearing the voice of another man Joel looked up, seeing the man who emitted the voice holding some jerky in a manner that seemed to imply he was offering it to him. 

 

"No thank you, sir. I'm not entirely that hungry right now to be quite honest, thank you though." Joel paused for a spell before introducing himself. "I'm Masquerade by the way." He greeted himself, even though his interest in the man was rather slim as he was focused on befriending the strange girl he's been mingling with. 

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@@Windbreaker, @@FirstPonySpectre,

 

Alice Mare

 

"I..I know! You're both lame!.." Alice frowned, puffing out her cheeks again angrily. She reached her hand into the bag and stalked back over to her corner. She began to mumble under her breath about how she could get those guys back for trying to hit on her and how she didn't like how jerky tasted like but it was the only snack she could get. And she still wanted snacks. Alice at times turned around again and glared at the guys hoping they would leave.

Edited by Kaia
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@, @@Windbreaker,

 

"I thought you said you'd try it your way." Julia questioned the actions Joel had taken.

"I lied." He responded as he stood back up straight. Using his hand to readjust his fedora and mask.

"She's a weird one.  Hmm?" She stated. 

"That's an understatement if I've ever heard one." 

"You going to give up?" She asked, disappointment in her voice. 

"Of course not. I'll befriend her eventually. Besides, I think I know exactly how to do so now. I just need some cookies." Joel remarked as he shoved his hands into his pockets, staring off into the distance. 

"Well you don't have any right now, do you?" She asked even though she knew the answer. 

"You already know the answer to that is no, but I can buy some or get someone to make some when we head into town." He informed her as he turned to the man next to him who he had very rudely introduced himself to.

 

"I apologize for my rather uncouth introduction. That girl is quite the strange one." Joel said with sincerity before squaring his body to the man, making eye contact with his uncovered eye. "I'm Masquerade. If you wouldn't mind me asking whom are you?" 

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Ivondras Zúr

 

@@Evilshy

 

Rythmically his fists connected with the punching bag time and time again, occasionally throwing in a kick, putting as much of his fury into the inanimate object as he could. Even though he knew the odds of him having to resort to hand-to-hand combat was minimal, there was no reason not to train his martial skills in every possible way. Yet again he pretended that the bag in front of him was an enemy that could strike back any moment, so he held his fists high, and kept his feet moving. Though he couldnt remember a real name for his specific style of fighting, he knew enough about it to know that it was a mix of several arts.

 

"Hey, Ivon! Let's spar a bit? You with your swords and me with my shield and gauntlet, get some practice with a real foe?"

 

He heard a voice behind him. It was one of the other initiate Witch Hunters. He hadn't really paid any attention to the others at all. Why would he? Either they were incompetent, or they'd prove differently themselves in the course of time. As far as he knew, the only one capable of putting up a reasonable fight was the man who was now in front of him. Most likely even stronger than the mountain bears that he had seen, and at one time fought, in his youth.

 

In other words, strong beyond belief. His control over his body seemed limited however. He didn't seem to be ultimately balanced somehow lacking the characteristic poise and vigor in his body language. If they were to genuinely engage in combat, he'd most likely win. However, in sparring circumstances he had to make an effort not to actually kill his opponent, and preferrably not maim him either. This man's abilty at brawn and brute force, which was far easier to be used without containing yourself, would give him a definite advantage over himself. He didn't see a reason not to comply to his suggestion however, so after spending a few seconds in thought, evidently inspecting his opponent, he eventually stepped forward.

 

"Very well." with a dramatic noise of a blade sliding out of it's sheath, both his hands reached behind is bag. "To fight without a weapon... I cannot place wether it be brave or foolish. Let us..." Quickly he lashed out with his right blade towards Gron's right leg. Even though he prepared to stop the motion of his blade the moment he knew Gron wouldn't be able to parry his attack, his blade went as fast as it would in a real fight. "...find out!"

Edited by Scribblegroove
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Gron

 

Gron saw Ivondras ready his swords and sunk into a ready stance, holding his shield out with arm, with his other in a ready stance. However, he wasn't quite prepared for Ivon's quick strike at his leg, and grunted in anticipation of the blow.

In retaliation, he took a few quick steps forward, pushing his shield against Ivon's left sword in an attempt to render it useless for a few seconds, while aiming a punch at his right arm.

"I did not know we were starting so fast!" He said as he threw his punch.

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Aaren Grey

@@FirstPonySpectre

 

"Yeah, no kidding. She acts way younger than she actually is." Aaren said, his cold blue eyes locking with Masquerade's single uncovered eye. "Name's Aaren Grey. Sorry about interrupting you there, but I've got the feeling it would've gone the same way. Just would've taken longer."

 

'So far, we don't seem to be a team. There's potential, but we've got a ways to go before unlocking that potential. For now, I guess I'll just go with the flow and see how things play out.' He thought to himself. He was still suspicious of Masquerade, but only because the mask prevented him from reading the man's face.

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Silne sat on top of a wooden crate that had hastily shoved against the wall. It wasn't the most comfortable seat, but after all their training she was more than hapoy to give her aching muscles some deprive. She was also somewhat thankful, yet somehow slightly disappointed, that no one had bothered her so far. However this gave her time to observe the other apprentices. None of whom she had had the pleasure to meet yet.

 

The mangiant, whose name she believed to be Gron, was currently sparring with the other warrior of the group, Ivon-something. Gron's style of fighting interested her more than Ivon's. Seeing a warrior use a shield for offense wasn't very rare in itself, however she had never seen someone use it with out a weapon in the other hand. It seemed oddly fitting to her.

 

Besides the two apprentices sparring there was also Alex Mare, who seemed a little too hot-headed and confrontational for her own good. At the moment she seemed pretty angry over whatever had happened with Aaren and "Masquerade", who had just started talking to each other.

 

Silne slid off of the crate and quickly stretched her muscles, she had a feeling she'd be doing that a lot today. It would probably be rude to interrupt Ivon and Gron's sparring match or force her way into Aaren and Masquerade's conversation. That left only Alex or the Hunter. While seemingly difficult the choice wasactuallu quite easy, she had a few questions for Hunter Tathla.

 

Once she had finished stretching she quickly adjusted her chain maile so that it was slightly more comfortable and Quietly walked over to Hunter Tathlas. She stopped a few feet away, mostly out of respect for his personal space and partly because she was far enough away that if he decided to strike her she could still move out of the way. Silne waited several seconds before saluting him and the. She spoke "Hunter Tathlas, do we have any intel on the port city and where we should start our investigation or are we going in entirely blind?"

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Ivondras Zúr

 

@@Evilshy

 

His blade was going straight for Gron's leg, and he didn't see him make any attempt at dodging or blocking his attack. So at the lasts moment he held in and merely slapped him with the side of his blade. He would feel it, and it would somewhat hurt, but it wouldn't leave a wound, only a bruise.

 

The incoming attack was one he knew would meet it's target anyway. He had place himself too far forward to retreat quickly enough and dodge the attack. Again, if Gron were using a blade, he'd attempt to parry it with his sword, which was at the ready right underneath Gron's arm. But trying to parry his attack now would mean risking to slice his arm open. He tried to step back a little, giving the blade in his left hand more room whilst moving his right blade up again. After Gron would hit his attack he'd be able to slice his arm open quite heavily. But if Gron would choose to change his approach, his chance would perhaps be lost.

 

At any rate, he had to prevent Gron from grappling him. Ready to jump back with full force if he were to attempt to grab his arm instead of punch it, he knew that re-positioning himself further to Gron's left would allow him a greater chance at a quick jab, since he couldn't reach as easily there with his shield. Perhaps he'd be able to go straight for his throat then.

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@@Windbreaker,

 

Joel's eye made contact with the blue eyes of Aaren. Joel examined the man stealthily as he took a more informal stance, shoving his hands into the pockets of his trench coat. "It's perfectly alright, no worries." Joel reassured the man calmly.

 

"Here's your chance! Make a friend!" Julia demanded Joel.

"I'm not trying to make a friend. I'm trying to make a tool." Joel thought to the voice of his betrothed. 

"I'm going to pretend I understand what you're getting at here and say, go make a tool!" 

 

"Pardon the creepy looking mask, by the way." Joel attempted to subtract from his suspicious mask. "I was in a terrible accident and it left a terrible scar, so I use this mask to cover it up. Compared to the scars it looks much more classy, wouldn't you think?"  Joel asked, attempting to make conversation. 

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(edited)

Tathla - Witch Hunter.

 

@@SilverHeart,

 

Tathla spent a moment glaring at the upstart apprentice which had dared address him without invitation - eyes narrowed under his heavy brow and nostrils flaring with sone kind of barely suppressed rage. It had been clear from the first time anyone met him that the man was unstable, but up close it was more evident than ever. A vein pulsed on his temple and his jaw moved slightly, as if clenching.

 

After a moment however, he spoke.

 

"We know nothing." The violent tutor answered in a tone that suggested he might not be too happy about this fact. "The island was cut off from the world long ago, and we are only the second ship from the mainland to dock here since then... and the first should only have been a day ahead of us at that."

 

Appearing thiughtful for a moment, the hunter made a noise of disgust and shook his head. If he knew more of this first ship, he wasnt willing to disclose it.

 

"Inermis is still corrupt - you can't simply 'cast out' darkness that has taken root: the only cure is death. A person, a city or an entire island if need be - better that a hundred innocents die than risk a single Witch living. There is no room for mercy when these forces are involved."

 

Having been rather reserved for most of the trip - save for barked orders and insults - he was suprisingly talkative. Perhaps he was beginning to show the apprentices some small amount of respect... or perhaps he was merely preoccupied.

 

"You want my advice? Trust nobody. Presume everyone to be tainted, touch nothing you find here and purge at the first sign of sorcery. N'herr is a tiny town: get a feel for the hunt here before you try to take on the rest of the island."

 

***************

Aboard the Violet Star

@@Windbreaker,

@@Scribblegroove,

@@FirstPonySpectre,

@@Windbreaker,

@@Evilshy,

@,

 

As the sounds from above gradually calmed to a less chaotic mess, a clunk echoed through the hall, followed by the creak of a poorly oiled hatch. Towards the front of the ship, a light from above illuminated the wooden stairway that let up on to the deck of the ship.

 

"We ready n'ever you are!" One of the more cheerful sailors called down into the dimly lit hold, his accent thick, but clear enough to understand. "Your free to come back here to rest whenever, and we'll be ready to leave in two days. You can head back any time after that."

 

With that, he moved away.

 

The hatch leading up on deck was now open: brilliant sunlight pouring inside and cutting a beam through the dusty air. A bright blue sky illuminated the word overhead from outside the cabin, and a few sailors still doing their jobs clattered around securing the ship.

 

Hunter Tathla crained his neck towards the light before snapping his attention back towards the apprentices.

 

"Listen!" He barked. "Here you start your first real hunt. Start by searching for traces of magic in this port town. Rumors, strange behaviour and so on. Once you have a lead, investigate it. Talk to people, find out about them... break into their homes and look around if you like. When you have evidence - or even if you simply susoect that somebody is guilty... you may administer swift and bloody justice."

 

Striding towards the steps up on to the deck, he waved towards the back of the ship, where the apprentuces coats hung. Beside each was a pair of small pouches - one containing ten gold pieces, the second containing two days worth of food: stale biscuits and dry, salted meat. These were your supplies: anything else would need to be aquired by other means.

 

"Grab your coats and show me that you can be hunters."

 

***************

Port Town of N'herr.

The steps rose up from the converted cargo hold onto a sturdy wooden deck: other trapdoors there clearly suggesting the presence of other, smaller cabins which presumably were use by the crew and captain of the ship. High above, the flag bearing the insignia of the Witch Hunters marked the Violet Star as connected with the order. From the deck, a wooden gangplank had been extended over to the dock and secured.

 

To all intents and purposes, N'herr seemed to be exactly what the messengers reported: there were no signs of danger evident at a glance and although quiet, the town seemed welcoming enough - certainly, all of the stories and speculation made this place seem hellish, but the scent of baking bread hanging in the air suggested otherwise.

 

A couple of small boats were moored in the water, but none as impressive as the admittedly rather modest Violet Star. The buildings around the dock (and as far as you could see into the town) seemed to be built mostly from wood and coarse, grey stone. Most were only high enough to have a single floor, but taller examples could be seen dotting the town - especially towards the center. The roads appeared to have once been beautifully cobbled, but now passage of time seemed to have rendered them more closely resembling a dirt track.

 

At a glance, it would appear that the town was circular in shape, with the dock on the south side. Directly ahead of you, the road continues in a mostly straight line towards the center of town: likely where shops and the like are located. To the east it follows the coast a short distance before gradually turning north, while to the west it stops after a few hundred yards at a large warehouse. Tathla stands at the base of the gangplank, watching how you will begin your investigation.

 

Objective:

- Begin your investigation.

- Seek out Witches in N'herr and purge them.

Advice:

- Explore and get a feel for the town - try things! Being inquisitive and taking initiative will likely be rewarded.

- When entering a new area, finding a map may prove useful.

- As Witch Hunters, you may use whatever means necassary to achieve your goals.

- N'herr shelters at least one witch.

Edited by Cinder
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Aaren Grey

@@FirstPonySpectre,

 

"I wouldn't know. Haven't seen the scars, so i can't really compare." Aaren said, addressing Masquerade's comment about his mask and the scars behind it. Aaren could get a million theories about him from the sound of his voice, but fortunately, he was spared the mental torment of trying to figure this guy out when Tathla announced their arrival.

 

"Let's talk more once we get off this ship. The sooner we get on dry land, the better." He said, moving up to collect his coat. His outfit hadn't quite been complete without it. Once he had his gold and provisions, he made his way off the ship.

 

---

 

It took him a moment to adjust to the dry land after so long at sea. Next, he thought of what he'd need. Information was a must, since they could likely wander into a trap or otherwise cause more damage than they needed to without it. Furthermore, it wouldn't hurt to get acquainted with some of the locals and try to win a few over in the event they needed help. Next, some real food, rather than the stale crackers and salted meat stuff. That would do for rations, but while they were in town, he was going to get decent food. Which brought up the problem of needing to get more gold if he ran out. All of these goals seemed to point him in one direction: the centre of town.

 

"Well, I'm going for the town centre. Seems like a good place to go asking questions. Anyone want to join me?" He asked of his fellow Witch Hunters.

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Alice Mare

 

Being her ignorant self, Alice only listened to a little bit of what Tathla was saying, so she heard 'hunters,' 'justice,' and 'investigate.' She got bored fairly quickly. She heard that guy from earlier - the beef jerky one - saying that he'll be heading to the town centre. She was admittedly headed there too, but she didn't want to say anything since if someone else was there, she wouldn't be able to buy any sweets. She frowned, and with a huff she began to skip down the steps connecting the Violet Star to the dock.

 

Alice didn't say anything to anyone, and began walking in the direction she figured had the most shops. She saw a couple of stores in the distance and looked around her as she walked - hoping to find a snack shop soon since she was already tired of walking. Walking was boring, and tiring. Maybe she should spend money on someone to carry her around instead of sweets. "I mean, anybody would want to carry me anyway. I don't need to buy one," she thought to herself, snickering.

 

(( I'll end it there for now just in case you want to add anything to the environment. ))

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