NOTICE: This is a collaborative effort with Flamefang, the character and setting is of his creation.
Chapter 1 - Arriving in the IslesEdit
The breeze blows unhindered across the open sea, blowing Cyrlis’ hair back and away from her face, as she stares out towards the Buskan Isles. As the isles grow on the horizon, so do the waves as the wind picks up intensity, the sky behind the isles darken with the approach of a storm. As she stands on the deck of the ship, activity around her increases, as sailors eager on reaching land before the storm is upon them, secure the deck and the sails. She pays them little heed, lost in her thoughts, even as the first mate, Kethan Rilynn' Shal, approaches her, to inform her they would soon be docking, she gives no indication of having heard him. He stands before her, uncertain if he should wait for a response. When she realizes he’s still standing before her, she turns her head and gives a slight nod of acknowledgement, so subtle that Kethan is uncertain whether she was acknowledging him or dismissing him. Caring little for the man standing before her, she returns to her thoughts, gazing out at the isles as the ship. Kethan returns to his duties, leaving Cyrlis standing on the deck, as splatters of rain drops start to fall.
This would be her first trip to the isles, since she left the <Invincible City>, nearly two years ago now. She had thus far been content simply to explore the vast continent, but lately something in the back of her mind seemed to be luring her to the isles, so after weeks of trying to ignore the idea, she booked passage on a merchant ship bound for the Buskan Isles.
As the ship grew closer, she could start to make out the other boats in the harbour, as well as a bustling of activity as the merchants hurried to protect their wares from the coming storm. It was not until they had finally docked that the sky was completely enveloped in black ominous lightning streaked clouds. The light drizzle quickly turned into a bone soaking down pour. Cyrlis, travelling light as always, took her one bag and quickly made her way off the docks and deeper into Larskan.
The once busy streets were quickly becoming vacant, as people hurried to find shelter from the intensifying storm. She soon found what she was looking for; a sign loomed in the distance, the <name of inn?>. A seemingly respectable establishment, at least to her it appeared to be marginally more fit to accommodate guests then some of the other inns nearer the docks, which looked more like something a common farm animal would sleep in, most assuredly not someone befitting her upbringing.
She steps inside the front door, at the same time she reaches into her pocket where she wraps her fingers tightly around a stone, warming to her touch. As she holds the rune tighter the water seeps off her, leaving her completely dry. She makes her way to the front desk to request lodgings for the night.
"Excuse me Sir, are there any rooms available?" she asks the man standing behind the desk, his beady eyes look up, and hover for a moment on her pendant hanging around her neck, he quickly looks back at his book attempting to hide a smirk growing beneath his greying and unruly beard. He licks his pudgy thumb and flips a page in the book sitting before him, which Cyrlis can only guess is the book that this man keeps all the records of his rooms for rent in. He smirks again, this time bothering to respond to her inquiry.
"And what is such a respectable looking noblewoman like yourself doing travelling alone in the Buskan Isles?" He asks her as he tries to contain a smirk.
Cyris stands a little straighter, clearly annoyed by this inn keeper's audacious question, she clears her throat, "I do not see how my travelling arrangements are any of your business, I require lodging, you provide lodging, you either have accommodations for me or you do not, but if you insist on speaking to me in such an impertinent manner I will seek lodging else where." Picks up her bag and turns as if to move towards the door, hesitating slightly.
"Well now hold on, I never said your money wasn't good here, we just don't see a lot of travellers such as yourself. I'm assuming you'll be wanting our best accommodations then?" the inn keeper asks greedily, watching her as she pulls out her money purse.
"Very well, I shall remain here then," she pulls out her money purse, "And how much will it be?" She asks.
"Well now, that'll all be depending on how long you plan on gracing us with your presence 'm lady", the inn keeper asks in an almost mocking tone.
"Well, I should say I haven't really planned on how long I'll be here, but I would be willing to pay a weeks in advance, if I end up staying longer we will discuss further payments at the end of the week. How much will that come to?" Cyrlis asks trying to remain composed, not allowing this commoner to ruffle her.
"If it's a week you want, then that'll be <insert appropriate amount of money here>, but if you'll be wanting extra amenities, that'll of course cost you more...." The inn keeper chuckles to himself, eager to make as much money off Cyrlis as he can con out of her.
"Very well," Cyrlis hands the inn keeper a <insert amount of coin here>, the inn keeper's eyes grow wide. "This should cover the week and any "amenities" I will require. If you'll please show me to my room now, and have someone bring me up a hot meal, I'd prefer to eat alone in my room then down here with...with....well just send it up to my room. She grabs her bag, and follows the inn keeper up to her room. They walk up a set of old wooden steps, as they reach the first landing she notices a strange looking set of eyes appear in one of the windows, but by the time she blinks to clear her focus, the eyes are gone. Thinking she must be seeing things from the cold weather, she continues to follow the inn keeper up yet another flight of stairs. They read the top most floor, the inn keeper turns to a single door on the right side of the hall, puts his key in the lock and opens the door. As Cyrlis walks by the inn keeper he passes her the key. "I'll send up your food straight away, hope you don't mind being a bit apart from the rest, but this is our best room despite it's location." The inn keeper turns with a smirk on his face, eager to get on with his work. Cyrlis surveys her surroundings with slight distaste, this was the best room they had, clearly the people here had n o idea what type of room best suited someone of her upbringing. She hesitates before laying her bag down on the four poster bed, a bed that clearly hadn't been slept in in sometime, as a fine layer of dust clung to the bedding.
Closing her eyes, for a moment, she concentrates on the dust in the room, as she opens her eyes again the dust has dispersed. She lays her bag on the now clean bed, and looks around at the rest of the room. She walks over to an old dresser, on top of it a shabby mirror, clearly in need of cleaning, her image askewed by all the dust and smudges and cracks in the mirror, feeling too tired to be bothered to rectify it tonight, she unpacks her belongings into the dresser, then, holding another stone in her pocket, as it glows warm in her hands, the drawers seal themselves against any intruder who might wish to steal her belongings.
As she goes to look out the lone window in the room, a knock on the door brings her out of her thoughts, she composes herself, and opens the door just enough to see who was knocking. On the other side is a woman, dressed rather shabbily, carrying a tray of food. "I was told to bring food to this room, for you I presume." The lady holds out the tray, smirking at the Cyrlis, clearly unimpressed by people of stature.
"Thank you," Cyrlis opens the door further, "You may lay it down next to my bed on the side table, I'll leave it outside my door when I am done, no need for you to interrupt me again this evening, I am rather tired from my long journey, I wish to not be woken with first meal tomorrow until well after dawn." The woman gives Cyrlis a clear look of disdain but obliges her nonetheless, after laying Cyrlis' food on the night stand, she gives a curtsy.
"Will that be all miss, may I be excused now," spoken with clear sarcasm. Cyrlis ignores the tone in the woman's voice.
"Yes that will be all." She motions for the woman to leave her room, then closes the door behind her a little harder then necessary. She then eats what appears to be some sort of meat stew and bread, although appetising was not a way in which she would have described the meal. She then lays the tray outside the room, and proceeds to undress, climbs into the four poster bed, draws the curtains shut, and falls into a deep sleep. Oblivious to the malicious intents the inn keeper was currently formulating for her in the downstairs store room.
Chapter 2 - Danger LurksEdit
The inn keeper upon sending one of his employees up to Cyrlis' room with a hot meal, sneaks back into his store room to compose a message. Casan Rilynn' Tahl, leader of the Tahl faction, would pay dearly for this kind of information he was most certain of it. He knew all about how Casan had been secretly bribing and manipulating many of the other factions to support his plans to try and take soul power over the Isles, although many factions still opposed him. News of a noblewoman on the isles, would surely help him gain favour with Casan especially considering this woman was clearly not just any noblewoman, he had seen that pendant before, on mages travelling from the continent, something they all wore quite proudly in fact, showing the world that they trained at The Invincible City. He had heard rumours of magnificent and powerful weapons being made there, surely someone with this knowledge could prove very useful to Casan's cause. He hurried through the message, and then grabbing his cloak, exits out the back alleyway, leaving one of his other employee's in charge in his absence.
He made his way carefully down the back alleys, the rain still coming down, though not nearly as heavy as it had earlier, the stone streets flowing with run off from all the rain, his feet splashing through the deeper parts of the water, too much in a hurry to care how wet he got, he did not care to be out at this time of night, but the message was urgent, and he was sure the pay off would be well worth his troubles.
Coming out of the alleyway onto a main through way, he looks to his left and right, checking to see if he's being followed by anyone, then hurries across the main street onto another alleyway. After dodging some fallen crates and straw, he finds his way to a shabby looking establishment, a sign out front advertising unlimited ale and ladies inside. Instead of taking the front door he slips around the back, as he turns the corner to face the back door, a giant figure leaps from the shadows, holding a spiked mace in front of the inn keeper.
"Halt, who goes there, what do you be wanting around here, up to no good are you?!" The figure demands.
"Tasan, it's just me you bloody fool, best be taking that made out of my face right now, if your boss finds out the kind of information I'm carrying he won't be too pleased that you tried to bash my brains in before it could get to him..." The inn keeper responds, unphased by this man's malicious intent.
"Well blimey, Ilan, why didn't you say it was you, the boss isn't around tonight, give me the message I'll make sure he gets it." Tasan holds out his hand waiting for the message. "Don't you worry your trousers off, I'll make sure he knows it's from you, you'll get paid whatever it's worth. He's in a meeting now across the city, so unless you want to walk there in the rain tonight, and then interrupt this top secret meeting, I suggest you just hand it over."
Ilan grudgingly obliges, and passes the note to Tasan. "Just be warned, if I find my message didn't make it, I'll be sending my boys to find out what happened to it." Once the note was safely in Tasan's hands, Ilan turned and hurried back to the inn.
Chapter 3 - Dreams, Drams and DestiniesEdit
Cyrlis tossed in her sleep, dreams plaguing her every sleeping moment. She stands back at the Invincible City, having just graduated receiving the highest marks of all in her class. She looks eagerly out into the crowds of parents and relatives who had come to see the graduates on that hot sunny day. Sweat beginning to drip down her neck as she continues looking out into the crowd for familiar faces, not that she truly expected them to come, in light of her brothers both recently moving their way up high in political standing. Her parents no longer cared whether she was married off or not, as her brothers already ensured that their family would remain high in the noble community for years to come. Her father, a Katarian Nobleman had just also just recently approved a betrothal between her oldest brother and a young noblewoman from another family, who's father was a governor of good standing, and noble blood going back generations. This would solidify her brother's place in politics, and their families good name. She stops looking, knowing it was futile all along, and makes her way back to her dormitory to pack, she would send her family word that she would be travelling about the continent, ensuring them she would send word occasionally so they would know she was safe, but the words were more to comfort her then her parents, as she did not believe they would truly care one way or another. The scenery blurs, as Cyrlis stirs in her sleep, morning sun peeking in through the grimy window.
She awake with a start, noticing the curtains around her bed were opened further then she remembered leaving them when she went to bed. She silently reprimands herself for not putting proper precautions on the bedroom door, to keep any unwanted intruders from coming in while she slept. She cautiously checks around the room seeing that nothing else was touched, then realises there is a new tray, with bread, meat and cheese, on her beside table, clearly the servant woman had come in recently to leave her morning meal. She dressed for the day and quietly ate her meal. Although, the bread was rather dry, meat touch and cheese mouldy, she did the best she could knowing she needed some sustenance for the day, making a mental note to seek out a more welcoming pub of some sort where she would be able to procure a more fitting noon day meal. Once finished, she grabs her satchel, puts it over her shoulder with any necessities she might need while out exploring, and heads out of her room leaving the tray by the door, and putting some proper enchantments in place so that no intruder could enter her room while she was gone.
At the bottom of the stairs she quickly looks for a way to leave the inn without having to walk by the inn keeper, realising walking by him is her only option, she stands straight, and walks by him, as she walks she feels his beady eyes staring at her, but pays him no heed, as she exits the inn out into the warm sunny air, a stark contrast from her arrival to the isles. She takes a deep breath, and makes her way further into the city, set on exploring.
Chapter 4 - Edit
As she makes her way down the side street, and away from the inn, in the light of day the street takes on an entirely different appearance. Most of the buildings around the Inn, were either other Inn's or what appeared to be private homes and offices. Some buildings have signs advertising their purpose, a couple of buildings seemed abandoned, with boards covering the windows and door. Signs of the previous night's rains could still be seen, water pouring off gutters, puddles of water pooling on parts of the streets. The alley ways leading off the side streets appeared to be mostly dirt, with the rain from the night causing them to be more mud. The side streets, though coble stone, had water pooled into the cracks between the stones. As she nears the main <thru way> it was clear that this was the main artery supplying the city, the crowded thru way made the side streets look abandoned in comparison.
Pausing to take in the busy scene before stepping out onto the street, she watches as a woman pushes her way through the crowded streets, with a small child in tow behind her, holding on to the woman's hand, even from this vantage point she can see that the child has such a tight grip on the woman's hand that her hand her fingers are tinged with red from the blood flow. A little ways behind them, an elderly man trying to drive his cart and horse through the crowd, yelling at the stragglers to move out of his way, then whipping the horse when it refused to budge, she could see the fear in the horse's eyes each time the whip fell, neighing in protest, but ultimately succumbing and plodding its way through the crowd. The street was much wider then the side streets and alleys, on each side of the street were cart vendors, attempting to sell their wares to the people walking by. The breeze off the sea brought with it the smells from the port along with various foods being sold by vendors. Seeing a break in the foot traffic, she quickly makes her way onto the street and left, heading back towards the port, to investigate the market district.
Almost immediately upon stepping out onto the market street, she nearly collides with a woman exiting a shop, the woman, arms loaded with packages, comments curtly under her breath, and then disappears in the throng. Nearing the market district she notices a seemingly quaint establishment with a few tables to eat outside in the sun. She enters, orders a suitable late morning meal, and goes outside to sit at one of the tables, and watches as the crowd swarms by.
Chapter 5 - Edit
As soon as Cyrlis left the Inn, the innkeeper Ilan, shouted to his helper that he was in charge until he got back. He then hurried back to the same shabby establishment he had visited the night before. The same man that had been there the night before, was sitting on the stoop of the establishment's back door, seemingly fast asleep. The innkeeper clears his throat rather loudly, and awakens Tasan.
"Huh, what, who, oh it's just 'you', what do you want now, you were just hear last night, I gave him your ruddy message." Tasan demands, clearly annoyed at the innkeeper's presence and the interruption of his nap.
"Well is he back yet, I want to talk to him myself if you don't mind, I have another message for him." The innkeeper states.
"Well it was a late night for him, I doubt he's up yet, and I'll not be the one to go in and disturb him just for some message from you." Before Tasan could respond the door behind him opens, another man steps out, one with strange markings on his face and fore arms.
"Hey Tasan, Casan is up and wants you to run an errand for him, so you best get in here and get your instructions, and who's this you're talking to?" The man asks.
Tasan grumbles under his breath and then responds, "This is Ilan, he owns that inn over on <name of street>, he's the one that brought the intel I gave to Casan last night when he got back from his meeting. He claims to have more information." Rolls his eyes and stands, preparing to enter the establishment to get his instructions, but before he could get by the man stops him.
"Ahhh yes, that was a good bit of intel, did you give him the money that Casan gave you to give to him?" the man asks Tasan.
Tasan looks immediately uncomfortable, "I ummm, well I don't see how that's any of your business Asaran, well you see I was just on my way to ummmm......" Asaran interrupts him.
"Give it up Tasan, I know you didn't, you greedy <insert appropriate insult here>, give him the reward before I tell Casan you've been skimming off him." Asaran demands. Tasan grudgingly fishes out from under his cloak, a small bag, coins rattle as he tosses the bag to Ilan, Ilan catches the bag of coins, opens it, looks in to try and count his reward money, but is interrupted by Asaran.
"Oy, you don't have to count that here, now what's this message?" As Asaran asks Ilan about the message Tasan shoves past him and into the establishment to go get his instructions. "Well, I'm waiting, I haven't got all day to stand around here with you."
Ilan clears his throat to compose himself, "Well if you don't mind, as I don't know you from a hole in the ground, I'd prefer to deliver the message myself......" Before he can finish talking, the door opens wider, and there behind Asaran stands Casan Rilynn' Tahl himself.
"What is all this bickering about?! Asaran I thought I told you to get over to the inn, watch for that girl to follow her when she leaves along with your other two companions, who both appear to still be sitting over at the bar doing not much of anything resembling following my orders..." Casan demands.
Asaran straightens up a bit, "Well I was on my way when I ran into Tasan and Ilan out here talking, apparently Ilan has more intel for us, but he refuses to give it to me, says he'll only speak to you about it. points to Ilan.
Eyeing Asaran with suspicions, he proceeds to tell Casan what he came for. "Well I thought you'd like to know that the girl I told you about last night, she left the inn about 20 minutes ago, and from what I could tell she headed for the market district, I figured in the off chance that you were interested, you might want to know where to start looking for her, as she's not currently in the inn." Ilan finishes with a smug look on his face.
Casan ponders the information for a moment and turns to Asaran, "Ok, take your companions and head that way now, remember, do not grab her yet, I want you to watch out for specifically what I told you to watch out for, I must be sure first, this is important so no dozing off on the job. If all goes well we'll grab her tonight when she sleeps, and keep an eye out for Veran Rilynn' Valsa or any of his number, I suspect a spy in my ranks, and I don't want him on to my plans just yet." with that Asaran heads into the establishment to get his companions and head for the market district leaving Casan and Ilan alone. Casan reaches into his pocket, pulls out a few more coins, and tosses them at the inn keeper. "Keep me apprised of any information regarding this girl, Cyrlis, you said her name was? If all goes as planned I'm hoping to snatch her tonight while she sleeps, you put her in the top most room right?", Ilan nods in response. "Good, I'll make sure it's worth your while, there'll be more money where that came from if all goes well." Before Ilan could respond, Casan turned back into the establishment, closing the door behind him. Ilan turned back down the alley, and towards the inn, happy at the prospects of making more money.
Chapter 6 - Edit
Cyrlis sat at the table, after finishing her meal, watching the people come and go by her, satisfied to simply sit and watch her surroundings. It felt good to just sit in one place for awhile, for as much as she loved travelling, it sometimes weighed heavily on her soul, to never be at rest in one place for very long.
As the sun rose higher in the sky she decided to get up and explore the market district for a bit, before heading out of the city to some ruins she had heard about. Paying for her meal she made her way through the crowd and towards the nearby market district, where throngs of stalls selling all sorts of wares filled the market square, the fancier shops and buildings lined the square, with signs advertising all sorts of things, from the frivolous to the more staple things needed in every day life.
As she entered the market square she started to grow uneasy, something felt off, but she couldn't put her finger on it, there were so many people crowded around her, it was hard to think let alone look to see if she was being followed. At one stall, selling various silks, she pauses, and while handling each silk, carefully surveys the crowd around her, trying to get some sign of anyone who might be looking at her suspiciously. For just a second, she sees a man with markings on his face slip behind another stall, but then after another few minutes, nothing else seems out of place. She moves on, further into the rows of stalls, some selling foods of all types, breads, cheeses, wines, meat, fish. Some stalls holding pottery, fabrics, tools, weapons. Some of the outer stalls even hold some livestock, birds, small animals, pigs.
She pauses at one stall, selling books, looking carefully over the pile she selects one with intricate designs on the cover, running her hands over the cover, she becomes acutely aware of someone watching her, before she can look around, a man out of nowhere suddenly bumps into her, knocking the book out of her hand and almost knocking her over...
Chapter 7 - Edit
Grumbling to himself, Asaran makes his way through the crowd trying to keep up with that annoying girl, but his companions were acting like bumbling fools and he was having to spend more time keeping them back from getting noticed then watching her himself. Why he couldn't just grab her he just did not understand. Ultimately those would be his instructions anyhow, why he had to spend his day following her he had no idea what Casan was thinking. He had only just pulled Avelan, one of the men helping him keep tabs on her, back in time before she saw him.