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 (Azure Caves) Meet me at the Caves (21st Board)

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Artemis
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PostSubject: Re: (Azure Caves) Meet me at the Caves (21st Board)   Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:42 pm


"We'll cross over the Everbridge, yes," Armeno said, squinting into the sun to check that the narrow cliff path was clear as they nudged the horses onto it. "But I think we'll have to go past it; I wouldn't be surprised if the Surahnians are already sending scouts out that far. It doesn't have to be Tarz, though... Maybe Harglen."
Something in her tone of voice had alerted him, and he twisted around on Velox's back to smile at Kassandra, noting her tension as he did so. Something had clearly happened in Tarz- but now wasn't the time to press her for details. If it was related to the scars on her back... Well, perhaps he would be making a day trip to Tarz.

"Sounds like a good plan to me," Armeno agreed, giving her another warm smile as they rounded the top of the cliff and she drew up alongside him. "We've got a few days on the road; we don't need to think about anything complicated for now. Come on, we should try to get some distance done before it's too hot."

Moving the horses up to an easy canter, they set off towards Jiluria with a mood which somehow managed to be simultaneously comfortably familiar and disconcertingly alien.

~*~

It was late evening when they finally reached Jiluria, muscles aching from such a long day of riding. Even with the long summer days, the sun had already dropped over the horizon and Armeno had to remind himself to stay alert despite his tiredness- crime couldn't have been entirely eradicated in the town, and the streets were almost entirely dark at this hour save for windows glowing faintly and the odd torch lining the more major roads.

"I've never spent much time in Jiluria," Armeno murmured over the gentle clopping of hooves and odd shout in the night. "Do you know any good inns?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: (Azure Caves) Meet me at the Caves (21st Board)   Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:26 pm

Hot and sticky from riding for… well, days now, Kassandra was somewhat glad to finally see Jiluria come into sight. It was a mixed back of feelings though… on one hand, ‘comfort’ lay ahead, at least physical comfort and Armeno’s eternal closeness, as she had had for the past few days- on the other, this was Surahnian territory now, and they both very firmly and suddenly stuck out of the picture of Surahnian military order. Both of them looked very out of place, for different reasons. Armeno was an elf, an outstanding thing in any society, let alone this one now. Kassandra was a woman, and travelling as she did… well. It just wasn’t what this new order did at all.
Thankfully though, Jiluria was quiet in the night. Too quiet, for what had once been a busy port town, even more so for the activities that brought in a little extra income of more than a few in the settlement… the Surahnians had done nothing good for that particular business. The pair of them couldn’t exactly complain though, given that now, they had the easiest ride through that perhaps might ever have occurred in Jiluria, barely coming across another human, and when they did, avoiding all stares completely.

“I’ve been through a few times, but it’s never been quite like this. This is weird,” Kassandra said, her voice lowered a little from normal. Sound carried so much when it was eerily quiet like this, and although there was nobody around, she was still very much aware that it was Jiluria, and there were no doubt ears listening. “It’s too quiet. Let’s just find somewhere to stay for the night, then get out of here early. Somewhere away from the docks, they’re the worst part.” Not only were they the noisiest, but also full of drunken sailors most of the time. Sadly, perhaps not any more though… Jiluria was a shadow of itself. “The Dancing Webspinner, I think that’s an inn here… it’s not the nicest, but it’s a bed.”



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PostSubject: Re: (Azure Caves) Meet me at the Caves (21st Board)   Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:07 pm


It wasn’t until they encountered somebody else- a Surahnian youth crossing the road- that Armeno became uncomfortably aware of how much they stuck out. Kassandra’s being female didn’t concern him- he should be sufficient chaperone that that wouldn’t raise any eyebrows, although it was unusual to see women out this late. No, the biggest issue was how clearly native and how heavily armed they were. How could he not have thought of that earlier? He really was tired; cursing himself mentally, he drew his cloak closer around himself, trying to cover his sword. Not for the first time, he was deeply grateful that his long hair mostly hid his ears; in the darkness, it wasn’t at once obvious that he was an elf. A Surahnian would be unlikely to notice anyway, of course- he’d heard that some believed elves to be nothing more than legend!- but it was never a bad idea to be cautious.

They saw so few others, though, that his caution seemed almost entirely unfounded.
“Agreed,” he muttered, glancing around edgily. “That sounds fine to me, I’m really not feeling fussy tonight.” Following Kassandra’s hesitant directions, they made their way along a few more streets, slowing as a figure strode out into the centre of the road apparently without concern for the two horses which could quite easily run him over at any moment. To Armeno’s alarm, however, the stranger didn’t simply continue on his way but halted abruptly in the middle of their path, turning to face them and, presumably, examine them in silence.

“Can we help you?” Armeno asked quietly and perfectly neutrally, willing his voice not to carry too far through the quiet town. He didn’t want to turn this into a confrontation if it could be avoided, but all the same he couldn’t help but tense for action, nudging Velox a fraction closer to Kassandra.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: (Azure Caves) Meet me at the Caves (21st Board)   Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:56 pm

Jiluria was quiet, and as they made it through more and more of the town, Kassandra started to relax a little; they would be fine. Nobody was around to stop them, and they could be out of the place just as quickly in the morning, before the invaders had risen, and continue on their journey unnoticed and unheeded. It seemed like luck might be smiling on them, especially when the first pedestrian merely melted away into the shadows and caused them no grief at all, and barely even registered a glance their way.

Bright hopes never seemed to last long in their company however, and of course, neither did their luck. Kassandra felt her shoulders tighten as a stern looking figure decided to block their way barely a couple of streets from the inn to where they were headed, trying to look tall with his feet wide, despite the fact that the pair of them were on horseback.
“What are you doing out here?” The man barked the words in his guttural language first, then translated to common when met with a blank wall. “There is curfew for all those who are not Surahnian. What is your explanation?”
He looked from one to another, arms folded across his front before jabbing a finger towards Armeno. “You. Speak, or I will have you both arrested!”
The Surahnian Rebels were not, ironically, welcoming towards rebels of the system.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: (Azure Caves) Meet me at the Caves (21st Board)   Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:34 pm


Armeno sucked in a quiet breath when the stranger replied in Surahnian- so, this was clearly a guard. Fortunately, the man seemed to speak at least some Common, though his accent was far from easy to decipher. Thanking whatever powers may be for the darkness and his hair concealing his tell-tale pointed ears, the elf replied,
“We’re just travellers. We’ve only just arrived in the city; I’m sorry we’re breaking curfew, we didn’t anticipate arriving so late.”

It was no more than a white lie; he hadn’t expected to arrive much earlier than this, but it certainly wasn’t untrue that they were travellers. A part of Armeno itched to take on the man and be on their way, but he was tired and he didn’t think a fight was going to earn them anything except squads more of guards coming running. Keeping his breaths controlled and even, he lowered his head slightly and watched the guard, waiting for an answer.

Meanwhile, the Surahnian seemed to be busy trying to decipher what Armeno had said.
“Travel?” he echoed, deep suspicion etched in his voice. Clearly, he didn’t think anyone out this late on well-bred horses was likely to be your average native on holiday. He was right to be suspicious, but right now the two islanders could do without it.
“Yes,” he said, speaking slower now and enunciating clearly. “We want to find an inn.” Uneasily, he glanced at Kassandra- what did the Surahnians consider an acceptable reason to be out after dark? If the man decided to search them, they didn’t stand a chance of getting away from Jiluria without fighting.

But, much to the pair’s relief, after a moment of further scrutiny the Surahnian grunted and relaxed slightly.
“You go to inn here.” This was accompanied by a stab of his thumb to a small, shoddy building around the corner. “Stay there. I will watch. You must not leave until morning.” With a nod and a brisk thanks, Armeno gave Velox a nudge, and the horse wearily trudged towards the indicated inn, Tamarisk pacing beside him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: (Azure Caves) Meet me at the Caves (21st Board)   Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:08 pm

On edge, Kassandra hoped that they would not be detained as Armeno carefully manouvred them out of the pickle they had found themselves in. It was silly really; if this man wanted them inside so quickly, why keep them out here with his barked commands. He could barely speak their language anyway... foreigners. Invaders, they weren't welcome, especially when they had absolutely no interest in assuming the cultures already on Dragons' Cove, intent on squashing them instead, it seemed.

She let Armeno do the talking, and thankfully he managed to get them out of any worsening of the situation, meekly following direction as they were ordered to the inn they were already going to. A poor attempt at regaining power over them, if it were that. It explained Jiluria's quietness though; the streets had been near empty, unusual for the small rogue town. As she dismounted and sidled closer to Armeno, she hoped they wouldn't have any more unpleasant encounters in the town before they left. Soon, they would leave soon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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