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Forums » Fantasy Roleplay » Chronicles of Obelus: Journey to the North (Full)

Varen Dominal (played by darkborn202)

Varen heard the bells, even while sleeping. That jolted him awake. He quickly puts on his jacket and boots, and rushes up to join the rest of the group, which was forming around Dalisto.

"What's happening no-" Varen was about to ask for information, but he stopped short when he Elyzia told him what was happening. "I know it has probably been said before... but do we have to fight?" Varen said wearily- not that he was tired physically, but he would rather not see another pointless struggle that would lead to carnage.

Varen suddenly had an idea. He scooted a short distance from the others, and quietly called up a shadow. When one had arived, Auren whispered to it, and it was soon slinking off. Good. The shadow should get some measure of the Elven party's intent.
Lolu'res internal clock wouldn't be reset. While she did get some sleep, eventually the woman gave up. She stayed below deck for a long while as she contemplated her journey. She really had time now, to come to grips with the reality of her situation.

The woman had been stuck in the desert town. Her journey would have ended there. But now, she was going right back to where she started. No matter where they went, dervish and other bounty hunters would likely be searching for her. The Queen wouldn't allow a slave to get away, would she? The dervish back in the desert town was proof enough of that. A slave escaping the Queen was possibly a huge blow to her image.

What was worse, although the Sea Witch had nothing to do with the Queen, the loss of Lozita was incredibly demoralizing. No amount of slaughter that had occurred could overshadow such a huge loss. Lolu're wondered if the group would even be able to go on had it been Dalitso who had been thrown so carelessly overboard.

These thoughts keep the woman below deck for a time before she simply couldn't stand the sound of her own inner voice. She managed to climb back onto the deck when the sun had disappeared again. It was ominously quiet, save for the occasional woosh of water as the ship tore through it. And it was as she was heading over to Dalitso and the young Alicia that Lance's voice carried over to them.

Almost immediately Lolu're felt distressed. It wasn't the snow that started to fall, nor the jolt of the ship that nearly threw her from her hooves. It was the thought of another potential fight. She stood there, in her little island of the deck as Lance awakened their Leader. Her keen ears noted the appearance of Chi and her description of their foes. The sudden bells only made the Centauress' stomach churn more.

Oh, Vikne no. The large woman thought sadly to herself. The poor man had truly done so much to himself, she couldn't bear see him hurt again.

And young, beautiful, wonderful Alicia uttered the very words that she had wanted to utter. The woman-beast looked fondly on the girl for a moment before she tore her eyes away from the youth and followed the girls gaze to Zamora. While Lolu're's confidence that Zamora was a normal elf had faded some, the fact of the matter was that she had to be an elf, right? So wasn't there hope for diplomacy?

And now it was Varen's turn to appear and echoed the words from Alica and Lolu'res mind.

"...Captain Lance." Lolu're's voice sounded soft, "Do we not know their intention? If we go ashore, swords swinging, we are sure to all become porcupines." The archers had the distance, and while Vikne said he could create a wall, the mages would likely be able to tear it down as arrows rained down on them. "If we send one unarmed, we may yet stand a chance to avoid killing and death."
Dalitso (played by Serverus) Topic Starter

Lance heard the Centauress’ words and he agreed that diplomacy would be the wiser solution. After the bells were sounded and the crew all gathered together, including the heroes, Dalitso stood to his feet and nodded at the Shaman, should this camp ahead be a threat to them. It seemed everyone was in agreement that bloodshed could be avoided this time. Alicia’s words softened him—with all of her battle prowess even she was opposed to unnecessary violence. Indeed Varen wisely echoed Alicia’s prudence and such gave joy to the Afgarians heart.

Fortunately, Zamora had not reacted yet and he hoped for their sake that she would behave her self and stay her weapons to hear the group out first.

The thirteen men rode forward, to surround the front of the ship. The elven archers stayed on the coast and the two mages walked slowly behind the riders. Dezus had a bald head, a drow dressed roguish in all black leathers, with a long black cloak and a glass eye he called red marble; the other was a elderly man with a traditional wizards staff, a long white beard and ivory robe that glowed in the night. The human mage, Dimly casted a light from his staff that illuminated the entire area around them.

One rider, stood out amongst the rest and rode mid, halting just at the edge of the gangplank. It was a woman, Commander Delilah, a Knight of Jubilee.

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She was in King Jospeh’s trusted fellowship, sent to aid the elf’s in the Ivory Forest. Her armor was much more layered—a finer craft than the mounted men behind her. She was tall and handsome, her blade glowing with the ore of Ophelian; a rare metal that became stronger once an orc was near. Her armored legs and helmet was drenched in crimson, thus when she removed her helm, her long red hair fell down her shoulders and she was beautiful with a freckled skin. She bowed honorable to Dalitso and his caravan.

“Evening, travelers.” Her voice was baritone and soothing. “Welcome to the north. Is that my cousin Lance?” She eyed the Captain with a sweet grin.

“Delilah?” Lance straightened out his whiskers, still on deck.

“Aye. I was worried you might have drowned in the ocean by now cousin.” She jested.

“It would be a beautiful death, Delilah. To be one with the ocean, my spirit forever haunting the great sea of ghosts!” Lance chuckled.

“No thanks. I’m a woman of the land and I prefer to die on it.” She smirked. “But this news of the Demon Caravan travels fast. I heard through the whisperers about a group of dangerous assassins, a mad Shaman and a wood elf Queen Slayer who cut down a hundred mermen.” She looked on board spotting them all out already. Dezus and Dimly had reported this information to her a day ago. “Damn that Sea Witch...may her worthless soul rest in oblivion. Isabella has harassed us many a days on the mer coast. But I never thought she’d end up butchered like a tuna.” She cackled. “We have a camp up ahead if you all are in need of shelter...if not for the night? I am sure you all are exhausted. Winter is no doubt here.”
Vikne (played by yourfathersuncle)

Vikne relaxed and rose from the ground. The mad shaman. It had a strange but satisfying about it, far from what grand titles he had dreamt for himself so many years ago. Regardless, he was now an unstable wizard, but one with many secrets yet to be seen.

The shaman's face had become much more pale, dramatically lighter than the prior day. "It was rather well our captain had kin here." Came Vikne, facing Dalitso. Suddenly he began to grimace again, swiftly recovering.
Alicia (played by ShayN-03)

Alicia gazed at the knight in slight curiosity, she grew tense once she heard they were finally in the North. She wouldn't complain though, she signed up for it the moment she got on board the ship with Dalitso and the Caravan. Last night she had many thoughts about it, but in the end, she couldn't really bring herself to regret joining so far.

She was grateful that they didn't attack first, the knight and Captian Lance were cousins! It would've been truly upsetting if more blood was shed necessarily.

She flinched though, once she heard Delilah curse the Sea Queen. She was hoping that sooner or later, the Queen's name would fade away. Every time she thought of the Sea Queen, she couldn't help but start thinking about her Merpeople. And soon she'd start thinking about...Lozita.

She slowly and casually wrapped her hand around the handle of her scimitar. It kept her grounded and slightly relaxed.

"...Ah, we may have to take up that offer." Alicia murmured after seeing Vikne wince.
Zamora (played by Aubrey)

The strawberry blonde elf's vibrant green eyes search the approaching bodies, seeming to seek something in particular. Upon seeing the glass eyed Drow, a light smirk seems to light her features for the fraction of a second. Should any be looking, they'll see definite recognition light her gaze. In the next moment it vanishes and she resumes her intrigued facade. She watches Commander Delilah come forth, and listens as she speaks with Lance.

As her name is spoken and the awful title with it, she shrugs. Might as well embrace it. In her mind, she believes she feels the glances of her fellow Sword Singers. Were they expectant? Did they wish for her to do something interesting? Or were they wary of her after the long night of slaughter? Though she expects Dalisto to speak, Alicia is the one to accept the offer. Should any look her way, Zamora will nod once, as if in agreement. As the last tag-along, she knows she has little authority.
Varen Dominal (played by darkborn202)

Varen glanced around, to ensure that everyone was there. No one was missing? Good. Except for Lozita.... Varen couldn't help but inwardly wince. An unnecessary death, but there was no need to dwell on the past.

The shadows returned, and told him the party was not hostile, right before the party itself came and introduced themselves. When Delilah introduced herself, Varen couldn't help but glance her way, then at Lance, doing a mental comparison. Finally, he couldn't take it anymore.

He leaned over to Lance, and muttered in his ear, "Is she really your cousin? I'm not seeing the connection... Did she inherit the looks, while you didn't?" All of this said with a small smile. He couldn't help but make some small pokes at the captain, for humor.

Elyzia, on the other hand, quietly started muttering in his head. There is blood on her sword and armor... a recent fight... She had a point.... introductions could wait.

After receiving Lance's response, whatever it may be, he turned to Dalisto, and said in that same quiet tone, "They've recently been in a battle, based on Delilah's appearance... It could either be with the barbarian queen I've heard about, or the orcs.... Would it be prudent to find out who they fought, the numbers, and the specific results?"
Lolu're stood stoically, but her posture was anything but aggressive as the thirteen strode forwards. She noted the strange drow with a strange eye, the other mage looked almost exactly like typical human mage stories she had heard. She winced slightly from the casted light, but she soon got used to it's glow so she returned to her former self.

One rider in the middle commanded attention, and it wasn't just her posture or armor, but rather the blood she appeared to be coated in. She braced herself as the woman pulled off her helmet, wondering if they were going to be sent back across the sea. Instead, she found herself surprised...this woman was the blood relative of none other than the captain of this very ship.

Immediately relaxing, the Centauress visibly relaxed during the cousin's exchange. The offer of shelter was taken up almost immediately by Alicia, and the woman-beast was quite glad of it. She missed Vikne's wincing, which was probably a good thing. She would much rather have her hooves on land, even if she was closer to the filth that had enslaved her kind.

Varen spoke up, and Lolu're glanced over to the man nodding slightly in agreement. "I agree with Varen...." Her eyes were settled down upon Dalitso, though her height should not betray her loyalty towards him and his commands.
Dalitso (played by Serverus) Topic Starter

This northern hospitality was a surprising feat, one that Dalitso did not expect. Part of him was very unsettled by Vikne and Zamora’s new reputation, but he knew they all could do nothing now but press onward. They could not let outside judgements hinder their goal. Everyone on this ship he had made a decision in his heart to protect—even if it was a crazed shaman or a demented wood elf murderer; they both were now part of the Demon Caravan.

Vikne was the first to bring attention to the fact that Lance and Delilah were cousins; this relaxed everyone; thus Alicia had decided to take their offer—she was learning to trust her instincts and walk in her alpha female role. Although the look in her eyes made it difficult for Dalitso because neither of them had any moment to truly grieve. Losing Lozita had destroyed a part of his heart forever. But he could not hold himself for ransom in a mountain and weap—even though he wanted to. Dalitso gently took Alicia’s hand and brought it to his lips to kiss it. “It is decided then, we shall gladly take your offer.” Dalitso said to the female mounted Knight.

Lance and his crew had already begun to unload the caravan itself—the Tengu beasts stubbornly moved from beneath deck, nestling wild feathers everywhere. “Get these damn chickens off my ship!” The Captain was cursing orders out in haste not to get any Tengu poop on his polished deck they worked so hard to clean.

Delilah studied this affection between Dalitso and Alicia and her insides tingled with jealousy. “I will do my best to make you all feel at home here. And that is sweet. Is she your daughter?”

The Commander felt guilty because she had a wife back home. But this man was unlike anything she had ever seen before. He was not ebony like the slaves in the underdark or weak like the unlucky blacks who were enslaved in the true north; but he was humble, attractive and by the looks of it, good with a sword. She watched this Dalitso, how his muscles were so perfect even underneath that ferocious lionskin he wore—and his scent was sweet like cinnamon, such made her cheeks flush. She also noticed that only the dark skinned ones in his pact—all females with the odd swords wore those exotic cloaks. As a Lady of the north, she had only heard of lions in stories, but never had she seen them before until now. They looked much more aggressive than wolves. She was intrigued by their culture.

Before Dalitso could answer though, Varen had jested with Lance and Delilah found a blush in her freckled skin at his kind compliments.

“Most men get the ugly gene, mate. What was your excuse I wonder?” Lance offered a grin and playful wink. “Maybe your mother lied to you at birth and whispered to you, ‘Varen believe in your heart that you’re an ugly man’...thus when you grew older you knew in your heart that Varen was truly a lovely woman.”

The pirates on deck roared monstrously in laughter. Even Delilah’s soldiers could not hold their snickers and giggles.

Then the Centauress arrived on the shallow coast to stand beside Dalitso—she could probably sense the flirtatious glare in Delilah’s eyes. Alicia was grooming to be a Lady, but Lolu’re was the Alpha Female now and the humans all silenced at this truth when the beast woman spoke—as if she naturally commanded that respect.

Indeed, Varen brought attention to the blood on Delilah’s armor and questioned it—thus wisely, Lolu’re was in support of this similar concern.

Again, Dalitso was unable to answer; Delilah finally stepped down from her muscular black steed and handed the reins to one of the humans—her varuian steel boots fell into the shallow water, with each foot step.

“I respect that you honor Dalitso. But I stand here before you, so do speak to me freely. I can tell that you all are not from the north. Even though I honour my King with sword and life, I know Jovina is no barbarian...if so her people would be dead by now. The Norse are not primitive like many think, but they are strong willed...resilient conquers who forge advanced cities that are difficult to siege—if only we had a longer summer. No, Jovina is a different kind of savage. I have met many barbarians before and she has destroyed all of them who refused to take a knee in the north. And the Orcs are the last things any of us want to see.” She trembled at the thought. “Korag did send his troll army to try and take the eastern region of Elvira’s forest. We are at war now, if you are unaware, hence why me and my men are covered in gore. Elvira’s army is still pushing back the last of the trolls as we speak and my unit was sent here to take out the troll reinforcements that came in from the south. We pushed them back right before winter. The Queen should be arriving here by dawn if this conflict remains in our favour. But enough politics.” She let the snow fall on her skin and embraced it without budging. “We have tents pitched on the coast, each with makeshift fire pits already made in them. We have warm ale ready to drink and fresh fish prepared for a feast. Lance will you stay with us for the night?”

The Captain found it hard to resist that temptation, but he had other contracts to consider. “Unfortunately, dear cousin...I can not. I have an agreement to be in Jubilee by the next nightfall, which means we privateers can only dream of sleep and hope to achieve it. Take care Dalitso, and it was a pleasure doing business with all of you. Do not hesitate to use my services again.”

“Thank you, Captain—for everything. Hopefully the seas will be safer now for everyone.” Dalitso smiled.

“Well, tell King Joseph and my wife Gloria that I love them and I miss them dearly.” Delilah said. “Tell them that I’ll be home soon!”

“Will do, cousin! You all take care of yourselves out here. I am no good to any of you on land. I’ll only be a hindrance.” Lance nodded and turned back to face his lazy eyed crew, while he wheeled the wooden gangplank back upward.

“Raise the anchor then you billy goats! You all are a pack of worthless, titty-chested, spoiled egg-breathed, moldy-eyed, rusty-bottle drinking, ring worm itching, lice transporting, no women getting, dogs. And Jim, you’ll be taking the rudder while I get me some well earned rest.”

“Aye, Captain.” Jim said. “Wait, did you just call us lice transporting? That is kind of disgusting.”

“It was a form of figurative speech, Jim.” Lance grinned.

“Touché.” Jim winked.

The Golden Salamander was finally cast off and the Demon Caravan would begin to step foot on the north for the first time.
The ride to the south was as much of a setback as it was a breath of relief from the abject tension of the battleground. The fronts had ceased in their struggle, at least for the time being, and it was within this respite that Elvira and her immediate company had departed, riding swiftly through the winding forests that they and their ancestors had long since called home. Neither smooth bow nor coarse cudgel had conquered one another at this time, but an opening had been found and the advantage pressed. Elvira was confident that Hiram would be able to deliver the finishing blow to that group without her aid. It allowed her to turn her attention onto other things.

It was no doubt assuring to have the aid of King Joseph, and any assurances were needed. Although there was a quiet confidence in her own tactics, war was war. It was an unpredictable, rearing beast that may be observed and patterned, but never trained. Refined guesstimates were truly the closest any would come to predicting the tides of such war, hence the gathering of advantages being critical in assuring victory by the safest margin as could possibly be. Lives had already been lost, on both ends. The sooner that those wretched Orcs could be driven back and the less elven blood would be spilled, the better. There were already...other troubles, that needed to be resolved, outside the war...

Elvira and the company that surrounded her--comprised of armored warriors and rangers alike--could see the great ship coasting through the slits of the golden sun between the trees. Demon-touched, and powerful... she had no doubt been informed of the fate of the merfolk, and it intrigued her. Having such a powerful ally would truly be a blessing...yet, with such power also came the smallest note of bitter scorn. At heart she did not approve of war, and yet there had been little in the way of resolving such brutish advances with diplomacy...what had to be done needed to be done.

Shortly upon where the sand would transition into the soft grasses, the caravan would come upon the group of waiting elves, all mounted. Elvira, in the center, was an elegant and yet striking figure, her beauty not without the strength that lurked behind it. Even with the brunt of her sleek armor, she looked perfectly composed, and not as if she had just ridden miles from a great conflict. Her presence drew eyes and with it, there would be no doubt that she was the Queen among the elves around her, even if the company was small--less than twenty. Speed had been opted for than security.

She watched, assessing the men who dismounted from the Golden Salamander. The map of recorded orcan and troll movement was a imprint in her thoughts all the while. A surprise ally would only remain so if care was exercised.

Two of the elven warriors from her party would gently ride out to meet the caravan and the rest of the men, weaving along the outside of the throng of humans still trying to regain their land legs. They slowed, searching for those who were evidently most distinguished, as would be evidenced not only by armor, but by the number of those clustered around him. Eventually, they were able to meander towards Delilah. These warriors, despite being occasionally speckled with the black and sticky blood of their enemies, nonetheless retained their majesty.

"Commander Delilah?" one sought to confirm. "Welcome to Ivory. Her Majesty, Queen Elvira, has requested that your men move further into the treeline as soon as they are able. These shores are unsafe. Orcan scouts have traversed this place before. The rest of us are securing the area, so that you may set camp in peace."
Alicia (played by ShayN-03)

"...Jovina."

Hearing her name made Alicia hold her breath in fear and anger. She tightened her grip on her scimitar and listened in on the conversation. Queen Jovina is truly an enemy to fear; she's as intelligent as her kingdom is strong. Her thoughts then went to the Orcs, and she'd never fought one before in the gladiator pits. Skilled as she was with her sword she wasn't sure if she could even take one on. Slaves only fought Orcs when they were invaluable, useless. And the carnage served as entertainment and a way to teach slaves to work harder for their lives.

She chuckled quietly, amused by the playful insults Lance threw at his crew. She was going to miss the Captain. Alicia hadn't seen a personality like his in a long time.

When the Caravan came upon a group of Elves, Alicia immediately cast her eyes down when she saw the Queen. There was so mistaking it; the elf looked as powerful as she is beautiful. And Alicia had already been taught not to look at superiors in the eyes.

Her gaze then turned on the two elves who approached the Commander. Hearing about Orcan scouts sent shivers of slight fear down her spine. She went closer to Dalitso and Lolu're looking around in case anything unusual could be spotted. The last thing Alicia needed right now was another death in their group.
Zamora (played by Aubrey)

Zamora smirks at the shadowmancer’s comments on the cousins’ appearances. The slight opening of her mouth allows her tongue to taste the enticing tang of blood in the air. She notices it on their clothes and blades shortly afterwards. Again, her eyes slide to the Drow, but this time far more curiosity. The elf’s green gaze shifts to look upon the two that ride with him. “Orcs,” she whispers gently, her hands moving expectantly to handles of her sheathed weaponry. Her freshly straightened braid shifts from her shoulder to fall between her stiffened shoulders. She listens to the captains words and seems to brighten further once she hears trolls may be involved.

While the conversation carries on, she pulls away from her weapon and reaches into her shirt, as if reaching towards her left breast. Surprisingly, one won’t find any cleavage at the grasp, but a dark gray cloak made to stand against the chill of winter. She fastens a clasp made of gold, hued copper on one half and mercury on the other. By the time her fingers have finished their task, Queen Elvira’s warrior echoes the request of his matriarch. Though others may look away, the strawberry-blonde wood elf in disguise stares steadfastly with her astonishingly bright green eyes. There's quite a high chance that the queen, as powerful and wise as she is in years, will be able to see a shape shifter. Perhaps she can even identify the fact that Zamora is a dragon.

Regardless, the young woman moves forward to set an example. Though it has been years, the forest feels like a familiar embrace. She makes her way to the two just a bit farther into the land - Dezus and Dimly. Smooth as water, she leaps up and mounts behind the one eyed Drow. "A true gentleman wouldn't make a lady walk," she says, as if explaining her behavior to any with ears keen enough to hear her taunting words to the Drow.
The woman-beast, ever silent in her vigil beside Dalitso, cast her dark eyes upon the Captain as she spoke. She bristled slightly at the mention that the queen wasn't a barbarian, and perhaps that might be easily seen with her tact and diplomacy skills, the way she effortlessly keeps her people in line with so delicate a smile... Perhaps she did not seem so barbaric to outsiders, but Lolu're herself felt the lash of the Queens wrath and had the scars to prove it. No one could ever convince the Centauress that the Queen was not barbaric... yet she still nodded in agreement. It would do little in their favor to start an argument over trivialities, and though the bestial woman believed fervently that the Queen was as evil as they come, she was more likely to stay silent than to argue such passions.

There was speak of Orcs and Trolls, which explained the carnage upon their persons. When the Centauress had fled months ago, she had recalled whispers of such insolence towards the Elven kingdom, but she did not linger long to know the truth. Lolu're had sought escape more than anything, and it was south her freedom had taken her. Her thoughts were disrupted when Lance bid them farewell. The woman solemnly hoped that they would live to see the man again. And as if to punctuate that notion, Lance was scowling and spitting foul language at his crew that the woman-beast grew accustomed to. It was a sign of love, not hate, and in some way, Lolu're would miss it.

"Safe winds guide you." The woman spoke up loudly, her eyes on the captain, crew, and ship, as they cast off across the waves.

Those eyes returned as two others approached. She tensed slightly at the mention that the Orcs would possibly be in the area, but she looked to Alicia who had moved closer. She shifted closer to the girl, putting a hand on her shoulder without looking down. It was mostly as a sign that it would be alright, for she knew that the girl was still likely wary after the battle on the ship. Fingers gave a gentle squeeze on the shoulder, but she continued to stay silent, stoic as ever.

When able, her eyes fall on the Queen, though she does not divert them. She would memorize the woman, in the event a battle does start. The queen of the elves would need to be protected, for moral could fall to devastating depths if such a thing occurred. The Elven kingdom must remain intact. She is further amused by Zamora's impudence. Lolu're herself has no choice but to walk, she almost laughed at the prospect of following Zamora's example. Instead, she looks down to Alicia. Though the Centauress is a lady herself, she is quite a willing servant to Dalitso, and by extension Alicia.

"You may ride if you like."
Dalitso (played by Serverus) Topic Starter

Ecru hues watched the great Golden Salamander disappear beneath the vast ocean. The sun still lingered over the horizon in the west, as if it mourned the sunset like everyone else. Darkness was sure to come upon the land. The cold nightfall was already aggressive as wind and hail blew through the air madly, moaning violently like impregnated hounds. The stench of blood and ocean made Dalitso's nostrils sting. The owner of the Caravan had not said much. He did not need to speak often when he had the brightest companions in the five realms around him. Surprisingly, Lolu're offered herself. Dalitso smiled at her kindness and helped Alicia up on her; he climbed up the Centauress after her and rested his calloused hands on Lol'ure backside to massage her skin a bit; he figured she could use a good one after all they'd been through. The trio would trod carefully on shore to follow the Knight of Jubilee. With Lozita resting in the ocean, Zosa naturally took lead of the gypsies who guided the tengu mounts and the caravan to the nearest shelter. Zamora had chosen to sweet talk the Drow, even catching a ride with him. Dalitso was curious if they had met before, but then thought maybe it was good for her to be in the company of elves again, so he thought nothing of it.

They were finally off water. To be on dry land again was a miracle in itself, Dalitso thought as he considered the dangerous situation they now encountered. Delilah had mentioned a war that involved Jovina and her Orcs.

"Again, I am inspired by your exploits on sea, Dalitso. Perhaps you would make fine allies to Queen Elvira and King Joseph. I know you are more than just merchant traders coming to share your spice. The swords you wield. The cloaks you wear. And the mad shaman. With your talents alone we can push our enemies back and win this war." Delilah said with vision.

That was when two elven riders came from the thickets of the forest. They were messengers who offered a request from the Queen of the Woods. "These shores are unsafe." They had said. Dalitso trusted them and knew that moving camp would be a wise decision. But he would let Delilah and the Elf Warriors know why he was here so they would not assume he wanted a place in this war.

"Your offer is enticing and I am humbled that we can inspire your realm, Commander. But we are not mercenaries for hire, nor do I have any experience in war. We are broken travelers with skills and talents. But we are also a legitimate spice company." He showed Delilah and the elves his contract parchment; a legal documentation that allows him to sell spice in the five realms. "Some of us came here by chance and I just took them in during my own travels. The desert is a harsh place to leave the wanderer behind. We ended up sticking together. So until we learn more about this war and the powers at be, we will remain neutral." Dalitso finished.

"Well that is unfortunate," The Drow hissed for all of them to hear. His King had commanded him to make his move, through the Spiritist's eye who watched him with her red stone. Dezus was not only a famous assassin but also master of conjuration and necromancy—two forbidden black arts of magic in this realm. Those in the Underdark knew him as the Kapellmeister. Now it was the time to reveal his treachery. He rode hard on his black warhorse, leaving all behind as he made his way toward the Ivory Forest, with Zamora on his backside. He halted dead in the center so all can witness.

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"Elvira, do come out and see this. Unless you choose to hide in your forest then so be it, your grace. I will go no further. I know your Elvatian scouts hate my dark skin and will cut me down at will. But you, you delivered me from the Underdark when you found me as a young elf, beaten and disgraced by those wicked Lolth's Priestesses...curse that Matriarch society." He spat. The Drow opened his fingers and a necrotic wasp came from his black finger nail. "So believe me this is hard to do. But I had to make the decision I thought was right. With the Demon Caravan choosing to remain neutral they have become a threat to us all." The wasp went for the pink skinned neck of whom it was commanded to and that was Delilah; piercing her skin and absorbing within her.

"Honestly, I felt you were holding me back, Elvira. Korag the Great has given me free will to use my true powers and I found it intriguing. I don't want peace. Death is all I've ever known. Rise then, my hungry children and feed on all that live before you.”

Suddenly, from the shore of the ocean, roaring and screeching was heard. Undead began to rise from the sea, eating and chewing on Delilah's army and the elves who supported her. Screaming and crunching of flesh was heard.

The Necromancer stepped down from his mount, avoiding Zamora and making space from her, with his sword. He knew she was powerful, but he was disgusted that she held back her true self to fit in with these travelers. She had gone soft. Dimly was slow to cast his spell. "Be still you mumbling old fool. And you, be still." He removed the glass eye from his socket and used two spells on Dimly and the mad Shaman Vikne who was unpredictable and feared by many souls in desert and sea. The paralysis spell would last only a short duration. Dezus unsheathed his ebony blade and brought it through the white haired wizards back. Blood and foam came from Dimly's lips and his skin turned black as night; crumbling before them. He went for Vikne but was cut off by the Sword Singers. He was losing time. Korag created a portal for him that would take the Necromancer to Axiom. Thus before he stepped through the seal he said his important words.

"You have seven days, Elivra, or else the unnatural redroot in Delilah's blood will kill her. The only curable source is in the Mountains of Creation. Oh...and she is very contagious. If you touch her flesh you will have the same fate. Good luck protecting your forest and finding this ancient cure."

Dezus stepped through the portal and vanished as it sealed.
Delilah was seen on the ground, paralyzed as green roots circled around her face and skin. Meanwhile, the undead were coming in hordes, not for the forest but the flesh that lived within it.
Although the Queen could only be seen by a few in the forefront of the army, surrounded by her protective contingent, her voice seemed to emanate from the Ivory Forest as a whole, as if the entire glade itself echoed her voice so that all could hear. Her compatriots had been galvanized into action as the dead burst from the ground, all of them drawing varied blades, cutting away those who threatened them. Elvira's own steed had momentarily whinnied and shied away from the nearest of the undead before she was able to soothe it into courage.

"So be it, Dezus, traitor of kin," the echoing forest reverberated her voice with a somber bitterness. "After centuries, you would turn against us, if only to flee into the arms of our enemy. My father would weep from his place in the skies..."

It was at this point when the portal closed, taking Dezus from this place.

"May Oberon forgive you for this treason."

As the elven guards cut away at the undead, dismembering any who dared come close, Elvira began to issue low yet swift orders even as she drew her own falchion from its sheath. "Keda, Jorahn, Mish'vel, Ehnyéru, send word to those stationed at the Valley of Mist and Welden'eve for assistance. Ride like the winds, and may the gods bless you."

One of those that she addressed cut down another of the dead with a sharp cleave of the blade that splintered the decaying bone, shortly before turning back, eyes unable to withhold evident concern. "We cannot leave you in this peril, your Majesty," he protested.

"Then you will ride all the harder for it," Elvira replied simply, running gentle fingers along the runic carvings on its center. The runes would fill with a gentle blue light, casting an ethereal glow throughout her sword. Oh, dear Ayu, she absently thought. If there is any dire time that we are in need of your gifts of the arcane, that time would be now. "Go," she beseeched them, before four of the elven riders wheeled away from the group, scattering back into the forest. "Guard Delilah, but keep your distance," she ordered a few others, before she herself rode forward upon her horse with the remaining portion of her contingent.

The few elves used their steeds to their advantage, the increased mobility allowing them to pass by and decapitate heads, arms, and the complete picture from torso-up as they passed by with their swords. As Elvira's glowing sword sliced through another who had crawled from the bosom of the earth, it ignited an azure fire that engulfed the creature and caused it to crumble. The flame scarred and scorched the grass yet did not spread.
Vikne (played by yourfathersuncle)

Vikne had held his tongue through an exchange of words between parties. The band of warriors made their business and their request clear to these travelers. They were in the midst of a war, and wished for aid from such a skilled group as was the Demon Caravan.

The shaman was somewhat flattered, though he had his reservations. Entering a conflict on such a massive scale would grant us many enemies and restrict our ability to travel freely. Before he could make his concerns known, he was struck by a spell that sent him to the ground. He could not resist physically, though he was seething with rage. As he wallowed in his own anger the same forking tendrils from the prior battle had again become visible. The crimson marks stopped short of the man's neck, ceasing only when he regained movement.

Vikne slowly pushed himself up, facing the undead horde. The shaman prepared a spell, though something seemed amiss to him. He felt a strange sensation, a new power within him. This magic has grim implication, it is vampiric in nature. He thought. "It seems these elves can handle themselves. Shall we assist?" Inquired the shaman.
Alicia (played by ShayN-03)

Alicia tensed upon seeing the undead, they appeared out of seemingly nowhere...!! And Alicia smelled them before she saw them when she turned her head. She tensed and as quickly as she got on the Centauress she got off. She pulled out the scimitar she was already holding and stood protectively in front of Dalitso and Lolu're. She knew the two could handle themselves, but after witnessing the death of Lozita she didn't care.

"Vikne...!" Alicia's mouth cried out before she could stop herself.

"It's one thing after another..." Alicia thought and spoke, "The undead aren't after just the elves, they're after us too." She narrowed her eyes and tried to block out the sounds of bones crunching and screams. That would be them soon if she didn't pull herself together.
Zamora (played by Aubrey)

Zamora is not in the least bit surprised that Dezus has almost immediately shown his hand. Just how long had he been discontent to snap when she was finally near? Should any eyes manage to look at the elf, they'll see that she is not bothering to hide her degrading grin, as if she finds the one eyed Drow to be nothing more than an amusing toddler throwing a tantrum. She rides naturally upon the horse, balancing with such ease that she doesn't have to touch the elder gent, though her hands to move to finger her weapons. Her dagger slips partially out. One hit to the shoulders and she could end him. During half his speech she looks like a child, contemplating if they want to open their new toy or not.

In the end, she draws her hand away and slides neatly into the steed's freshly vacant seat. She stares down to the fallen captain, offering no solutions. If she had wanted, she could have killed yet another threat to the Demon Caravan, but she doesn't want to become the Drow slayer. The title is far less appealing than the silly one she's already earned. "By Io," she groans, watching as Delilah is surrounded by perfectly able bodied guards. Zamora rides as close to Elvira as the guards allow and shares her thoughts. "Allow me to set fire to your captain," she says in a calm, perfectly sincere voice. "Your other option is infect more people. Don't worry, he told you exactly where to find the cure, and he's likely set a trap there." Is he trying to force me to change? The strawberry blonde has no intention of showing her scales. She sits upon the ebony equine, calm and quiet as she awaits a decision.
Varen Dominal (played by darkborn202)

Undead. Undead. Is this Drow serious? Well, he did a good job of painting his race as evil. First, betrayal, then necromancy? Pffft. He'd seen more frightening things at home.

Well, more frightening, but not more dangerous. At least, at the moment. He decided to stand beside Vikne. Maybe it was dangerous, but it had two pros. The first: Show Vikne he was offering support. The second? To be honest, it looked cool in his head. Two magic users, facing the horde of undead. Enough to fire up the imagination of any bard.

Completely unaware of what was happening with Vikne, he quietly asked with an air of anticipation, "Shall we decimate these bags of bones? After all, they've got no muscle- and brains." A joke, corny, he knew, but still. Who could deny him this, in the face of undead?

Of course, after a second, he realized... maybe Dalisto should have given the order.... He glanced back, slightly uncertainly. That was, until he saw Delilah on the ground, and everyone surrounding her. Alright... maybe not the best time to ask. Act now, ask for forgiveness later. He turned back around, and reached for his magic.

Which was promptly interrupted by Zamora's proposal: "Allow me to set fire to your captain.." Great Spirits, she was ruthless.... speaking of, just exactly how would she do that... It sparked his memory, and suspicion, about Zamora. She was a dragon. Duh.

Wait, she was a dragon. Couldn't she just morph into one and kill these zombies?

Wait, again. Crap. She was hiding her nature as a dragon. There was a reason why. An Undead horde wouldn't change that fact. But still, there was the question... "Just how exactly, Zamora, do you plan on burning her?" Gruesome question, but still, it had to be asked. Torches were impractical. Waaaay to impractical, given the circumstances.

Oh, circumstances.

There was a zombie horde to deal with. He turned around again, and began preparing to use magic once more.
Dalitso (played by Serverus) Topic Starter

Ecru hues softened to see the unlucky elves and humans snatched down by the shore line. Albeit the screaming and crunching of flesh was short lived. Delilah’s army was doing their best to cut down whatever pale skin came near, despite losing their leader. Dalitso admired the Queen’s action, when he finally spotted her amongst her entourage, decapitating the undead from her mount. The glow of her falchion greatly impressed him, how the arcane craft burned the corpse after each cut, made him smile.

Naturally, he had kept his eyes on the Drow after the villain threatened his shaman friend and took the Wizards life effortlessly. The Necromancer Dezus had betrayed his own people. This did not sit well with Dalitso. Then the cowardly imp slipped through the graces of a portal. Dalitso was coming for him with his scimitar unsheathed; until the Drow had finally teleported, his demon blade striking the air.

“Flee, coward. I will see you again.” Dalitso spat.

The assassin was still mounted on the Centauress, deciding to stay close to her. He would rely on Lolu’re’s fine vision and archery skill. There was no way out of this fight now—unfortunately, his fate had been decided.

Alicia had slipped down from Lolu’re and stood to guard them. Vikne and Varen were nearby as well, waiting for the command. He understood why they had yielded—for the sake of neutrality. But the tides had changed. The undead were still coming. And even worst, the Drow had become his enemy tonight and they would see Dalitso’s face with full rage.

“I thought you’d never come around...my Lord!” Chi appeared as if she was an extension of his wicked heart and wretched mind. From an aerial view; mid sky, the Valkryn roared. The tigress demon came down and swirled her blade around, cutting undead to pieces.

More undead kept rising from the sea.

The Caravan was overrun, hundreds of minions were coming now. Zosa, Nahita, Sanze and Pela we’re defending the caravan as best as they could; cutting down undead by the dozen—pale bodies melted to ash with each strike.

“Zosa! We need to get back.” He rode in skillfully with his demon scimitar, taking undead heads by the thrust; torn bodies slowly deteriorated into a trail of fiery vapors. “There is too many.” He cried.

Zosa began to shed tears. The tengu mounts were surrounded and it was her life or theirs. Sanze took Zosa’s arm and dragged her back to the others. The caravan was lost. The tengu flapped and shrieked, unable to avoid the horde that ripped into them. Scarlet and feathers sprayed everyone.

Dalitso’s heart ached. “Get back to the forest!” He commanded.

Zamora had the right idea...to seek the elven refuge. When he rode in, his companions all together, he noticed Delilah was in terrible shape.

“Vikne and Varen, buy us some time. Keep the hordes back until we decide what to do.” He knew the shaman’s magic could eliminate areas of interest and whatever Varen was could scythe a field of minions like wheat on a harvest. “Just don’t get yourselves killed.”

He stepped down from the Centauress and heard Zamora’s proposal. He placed his scimitar into the ground and knelt before the Queen of the Woods. “Your Majesty, I admit that I was indecisive with your messagers upon approach. But I did not expect treachery.” He looked down to see the horror that was the Knight Commander, Delilah. “I am Dalitso of Zephia. Sword Singer of the Aceba desert. Zamora is my companion, but I do not agree with her way of handling this. If the Drow says we have seven days, then that is hope for Delilah. She seems a woman deserving of that honor. I would like to take his challenge. If he is trying to draw you out of the Ivory, so this Korag, that he praises may strike, I certainly can not let this happen. I will find this ancient cure...with your blessing. I know I am a stranger and nomad in this land, but I would like an opportunity to gain a place with your people.” He spoke as if he now had nothing to lose.

He looked back to see his precious caravan destroyed; his business, his livelihood, lost. He swallowed. “My days of spice trading are over. And after I find this cure, I will return and find Dezus. I will avenge those loss this day. Who else is with me?” He looked around to see his companions—to see if they would rally around him or leave him now. He never asked to lead them. It just happened, so he understood if the journey ahead was too much for them to bear.

“I have no choice, you kind hearted fool.” Chi said, tearing a minion in two with her claws and taking off the head of another undead with her sword, that found his way around the Shaman’s wrath. “Someone has to look after you mortals.” She purred. Her yellow orbs studied Elvira. “Aren’t you a beautiful creature.” The Valkryn complimented the Queen.

The Gypsies all put their swords into the ground bowing to the Queen in unison—their lioness cloaks swayed in the snowy wind.

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