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Old 05-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #76
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Althea waited until Soren was a fair enough distance away before picking up the trousers and shirt he'd brought her and heading into the bushes a little. Laying them over a branch she began to unlace her dress and was soon stood in her slip, holding up Soren's trousers before her and trying not to laugh.
He was considerably taller than her, taller than most men, so the sheer length of the fabric hanging in her hands seemed positively absurd.

"Oh what was I thinking!" She muttered to herself, easing her feet out of her boots and slipping them through the legs of the garment. Hoisting it up her legs to her waist she smothered more giggles as fabric still pooled around her feet. Tucking in her slip, fastening them and pulling the ties as tight as she could she then started to roll the waistline over on itself. Over and over, pulling the hem higher and gathering the fabric a little closer to her actual body shape. Satisfied that she wouldn't just be trailing trousers instead of dress through the mud, she eased her boots back on and then focused her attentions on the shirt.

It was a light material, so it would fit more comfortably under his breast plate she presumed, and pale in colour. She was sure she would be infinitely more comfortable once they hit their stride than she was in her dress, cooler if nothing else. But it hung around her and she was worried she would catch it on every low hanging branch or bramble they walked past. So she pulled her belt from her dress and after adjusting the shirt so that she was sure the wide neckline would not reveal the centre of her chest as opposed to one side more than the other, she cinched the belt over the top. Pulling the billowy fabric in around her waist and tighter across her upper body in general.

Fingers nimbly rolled back sleeves to her elbows as she twisted slightly to try and figure out how she looked. Glancing directly downwards she could make out the valley between her breasts in the light that filtered through the fabric but without the pressure of her dress' bodice her cleavage was considerably lessened and, despite a little more natural movement as a result, she thought it was subtle enough that Soren shouldn't be overly offended.

Picking up her dress, shaking it free from creases, Althea folded it up and headed out of the foliage. It felt very odd. Material encasing each leg, rubbing slightly, especially where the material was considerably closer than any other outer garments had been between her thighs. But it also felt free. She took a few overly large strides on her way back towards the fire which they were allowing to die down. Enjoying the lack of drag from her skirt and the ease with which she could move her leg to take another step. She glanced up to make sure Soren wasn't looking and then ran the rest of the way, giggling softly as she moved surprisingly quickly without skirts to tangle her ankles and legs.

Slightly breathless from her run and with dark hair spilling down around her shoulders she called to Soren's back.
"Ok, I'm as ready as I'll ever be!"
He turned and she saw his expression change rather dramatically.
"Oh does it...does it look that bad...?!" Her hands automatically tugged at the shirt, trying to straighten it. "I mean, it feels great. Well, not great but definitely easier to move in." She corrected herself, not wanting him to think that she enjoyed wearing men's clothing, wearing his clothing.
"I can always put my dress back on. If you think it best?"
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:16 AM   #77
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Soren blinked a few times as he registered the actual appearance of Althea in his spare clothing. He never thought that a man's clothing on a woman would display her so openly as it did for Althea. Not that he had any real problems with the way she was displayed. There was nothing being shown that shouldn't be seen, indeed everything on display was amply defined by her dress, or even more so. But there was something about the way the clothing sat on her body that made her look more appealing.

"Oh does it...does it look that bad...?!"

"Huh? No. No, not at all."

Althea tugged at the shirt, pulling it in ways that made her bust stand out a little more prominently than before which in turn made it a lot more difficult to keep his eyes on her face.

"I mean, it feels great. Well, not great but definitely easier to move in. I can always put my dress back on. If you think it best?"

"Well, if it is easier to move in, then stay that way. We'd just loose more time having you change back again. So, since everything else is done, let's get your dress packed and we'll be on our way."

They headed up the waterlogged path, making good time as the water was draining quickly and the earth wasn't too boggy or muddy. The path seemed to be in a reasonably good condition otherwise; not many branches obstructing their way, plus there seemed to be gravel or cobblestones on spots that were prone to pooling water. Those features of the path had Soren wondering about what was at the other end, particularly how abandoned it would be.

About an hour before noon, Soren found a good spot for them to rest and have some food. He tried to hide his anxieties over their pending destination as well as concerning his reactions to the way Althea was dressed. The pants she wore seemed to outline her rear more than her dress had, which in turn made him more appreciative of that part of her body, adding it to an ever growing list of features about her he was liking more and more the longer he knew her.

He needed to talk to someone about what was happening. He had no idea of what he should do, of whether he needed to talk to Althea about how he felt, or if he simply needed to get rid of the feelings or what other options existed for him. His being Althea's Guardian was making things ever more complicated for him, and he really needed to find out what was the best thing for him to do before matters went to far to be put right.

If they could be put right.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:25 AM   #78
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The day passed without major event. Althea felt more pleased with her decision about her clothing with every step that she took. Stepping over branches and skirting around the larger puddles was so much easier than she could ever have imagined. True, the trousers did feel a little strange, pressure against places where there normally was none, but it was more than bearable. And the lack of restriction around her torso felt divine. She could breathe easily and when the exertion of their pace started to take it's toll, it didn't seem to matter. After a small section of particularly boggy mud that sucked and pulled menacingly on their feet she was left rosy cheeked and a little breathless. In her dress she knew she would have been either exhausted from trailing it through the filth around her ankles or would have been moving at a snail's pace through trying to hold her skirts up and not lost her balance.

Sitting to eat their midday meal Althea realised just how revealing the clothing was. Although it wasn't skin that it revealed, she was covered from shoulder to heel, it was shape. As she offered Soren some bread and little cured meat, she realised that the trousers were no longer as baggy. Clinging along her thighs and down to her knees, showing quite clearly how they flared in width the higher up her leg they were, until they met in the middle of her. Luckily that particular point was just beneath the hem of the shirt and out of sight. But, should he be looking - and she was sure he would not - Soren would be able to follow her leg from her boot all the way up to her hip.

The didn't rest for long, the desire to find the home the Water Spirit had spoken of driving them soon onwards along the path. Sylea's hooves clopping loudly whenever they found themselves on one of the many 'paved' sections of the path. Privately Althea was also sure the reason they were so swiftly on the move was Soren. He seemed strangely quiet, more so than usual.

Later in the afternoon, when conversation had been practically nil, Althea paused to plait her hair so that it would hang behind her back and out of her way. While moving the weight of her hair into something more bearable in the growing heat of the day, Althea wondered what might be on his mind. Deciding that whether they reached the house or not by nightfall, she would ask him what was on his mind. He was her Guardian, they should be able to be honest with each other, shouldnt' they?

'And what if he asks what's on yours?'

Her cheeks pinked, even though the words were in her own head, the truth within them remained. Forcing herself to try and stop her mind from continuing down the path it had started, she opened her mouth to speak.

"So, do you think we'll find it before-?" Althea began but as they ducked around a particularly large bush that was in their way her words ran out. They walked out into a smallish clearing, a stream running close to the edge, bubbling over stones and sparkling in the sunlight that filtered down. Towards one side of the opening was house, made of large stones with a tiled roof and plenty of windows, many now dusty and cracked with age. The door looked solid enough though and Althea briefly wondered how on earth they would make it through

Althea didn't have to ask him to check the map. She knew they were in the right place. The house, or what was left of it, strangely seemed as if it belonged where it was. Almost as if it had grown up out of the earth along with the roses that climbed up the wall.

"Well, if nothing else?" Althea smiled, feeling a little of the glade's calm seeping into her bones. "I can definitely see why they chose to live way out here. It's lovely."

Once Sylea was tethered securely Althea wandered to the door, fingers running lightly over the wood until they found the knocker and she pulled curiously. She wasn't overly surprised when the door didn't even shift slightly when she let her full weight tug against the door. Even if it was unlocked, it looked very strong and very heavy.
"Reckon you can get it open?" She grinned at Soren as she let go of the metal ring and stepped back from the house slightly, eyes moving across the exterior and brow furrowing for a second or two. "Although...I wonder if there's a key around here somewhere. That would certainly be easier than trying to break through this!" Althea laughed, rapping her knuckles sharply on the massive door.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:52 AM   #79
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Soren was getting too preoccupied with his thoughts about Althea, at least the thoughts he viewed as inappropriate for him to have. When it got to a point where he missed a solid branch that slapped the top of his head while walking under it, he focused totally on keeping an eye out for trouble. He found his willingness to stop his errant thoughts heightened his ability to pierce the foliage, as well as remain focused on his proper task.

It also helped him to keep his eyes of Althea in her new style of dress. She was decently covered, nothing that should not be seen was seen, but a lot of what was normally hidden was now hinted at rather clearly, which had the side effect of reminding him of previous views of her body when he was tending to her health after she nearly drowned. He knew at the time he was not taking his time to ogle her, and only looked at her when he absolutely had to. But what he saw was burned into his mind so well, he could close his eyes and see exactly everything he saw in those fleeting moments.

Again, his focus on the task at hand kept those visions away from his eyes, and kept them from distracting him and possibly allowing some unseen danger to strike.

"So, do you think we'll find it before-?"

Althea's words broke through his concentration at the same time the clearing came into view. He had his suspicions that the place they sought was up ahead, but all he did know for certain was that there was a clearing. But whoever made the place had chosen well; the clear ground was enough to offer a measure of protection without needing too much work to keep is clear, as well as the small stream that supplied their water. It was a soothing place, the air warm without being hot, and the house was placed to catch most of the daylight sun.

The house was of sturdy construction, even to Soren's partially trained eye and the distance between them. It showed signs of age, and lack of maintenance, but he would be surprised if he didn't find it in a liveable state.

"Well, if nothing else, I can definitely see why they chose to live way out here. It's lovely."

Soren nodded. The place was very pleasant and peaceful. Had they not been told of it, he doubted that anyone would have found it. Before he got more involved in the exploration of the area, Soren tethered Sylea and gave her an apple as a treat for her hard work. Once she had a chance to cool down, he would take her to the stream and let her have a drink.

Soren drew his sword, advanced carefully on the building, checking the blind side for any lurkers. Upon finding none, he relaxed a bit, but kept the sword out in case anything was hiding beyond the tree line.

He returned to find Althea at the door, examining it closely. He cursed himself silently for not telling her to remain with Sylea while he checked about the place. When he approached, he saw, as Althea had, that the door was very solid and well made, with very little intent of letting them pass easily.

"Reckon you can get it open?"

She grinned at him like she was challenging him to demonstrate his prowess against the barrier before them.

"Although...I wonder if there's a key around here somewhere. That would certainly be easier than trying to break through this!"

Althea laughed, rapping her knuckles sharply on the massive door. Soren took one more look over the door, giving her a smile of his own.

"And if you found such a key, where would you use it?" The only thing that was not a natural feature of the door was the metal ring he had seen Althea touching. "There is no lock on this door."

He sheathed his sword and looked closely at the door itself. He went to the left hand side of the door and leaned against it. His legs bent, he gave it a hard push. His feet slid on the ground, the door belligerently refusing to allow him passage. He looked at the door and shook his head. He moved to the middle of the door, a pace or two away from it, then rushed it, slamming his shoulder against the wood with a loud thump. Pain flared in his shoulder for a moment, but he was rewarded with a tiny movement at the right hand side.

"Soren, some days you lack the wisdom of the cattle." His father's favoured saying when someone approached a problem without doing the simplest things first. He repeated his barges against the door closest to the left most side, and the door moved a fraction more with each impact. At least he was prepared for when the door finally surrendered to his continual assaults, and caught hold of the wall with a hand rather than fall into the darkened room beyond.

"I do believe, Mistress Althea, that I am capable of opening the door." He spoke through clenched teeth while he moved his very battered shoulder to test the extent of the damage he did to himself. "I shall go get a torch before we enter. Please wait here for me."

Soren fetched a torch from the packs on Sylea, along with the flint and tinder and his shield, and soon rejoined Althea. In short order, he lit the torch, handing it to her. He settled his shield, grimacing when as the weight pulled on his tender shoulder, and drew his sword.

"Shall we?" he set himself before her to protect her from whatever was within, then slowly stalked through the door into the dim room beyond.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:10 AM   #80
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"And if you found such a key, where would you use it? There is no lock on this door."
Althea looked back at the door curiously. Truly this was no normal house.

She stepped back to let Soren approach the door, arms folding in front of her lightly as he tested one side, only to apparently have it not move a fraction.
She opened her mouth to suggest that maybe they should look for another door, or maybe a window, but the thought stayed in her head as Soren charged at the door.

Althea winced as he crashed against the wood, only to have it stay almost exactly where it was to begin with, apart from a little crack appearing on one wide.
"Are you alright?" She asked softly, having heard his exhalation of breath that she was sure had to signal pain.
He either didn't hear her or didn't want to shift his focus, either way, Soren continued to batter the door with his shoulder. Each crashing connection between his frame and the door drew a quiet hiss from her lips. She didn't like the idea of him hurting himself, especially not for her benefit.

"I do believe, Mistress Althea, that I am capable of opening the door."
"It would appear so," She smiled, her expression laden with concern as she watched him moving his shoulder gingerly. His tone told her he was hurting before the action confirmed it.
"I shall go get a torch before we enter. Please wait here for me."
"Of course, and thank you Soren," Althea waited obediently while he gathered what he felt they might need.

Soon the flickering torch was in her hands and he was armed with his sword

"Shall we?"
Althea couldn't help but smile as he moved protectively in front of her as they drew nearer to the door. It was a nice idea to think of him protecting her, although her mind reminded her he already had. Several times.
"Let's." She nodded, moving close behind him with her hand raised so that the light of the torch would help light the way while keeping the flames out of harm's way.

Inside the house it was dark and the air smelt extremely stale. What little freshness poured inside when Soren broke the door was soon gone, smothered by the old . Carefully they climbed over the broken door and stood in the hallway. A stairway led up before them and she could make out doorways to either side and another set further back.
"Which way?" She whispered, although why she was whispering she wasn't certain. It was obvious no one had been here for quite some time. A thick film of dust carpeted the floor, a trail of clear footprints following them as they crept further away from the door.

Stood behind him a very strong urge to lean forwards and kiss the shoulder that she was sure was hurting rose up inside her and it took all of her resolve not to give in to it.
"I think we're the first people in here for years," She murmured, letting her gaze wander around as her eyes grew more accustomed to the gloom. On the wall was an ancient looking clock, it's face covered in grime and it's mechanism silent. "I wonder how long it has been since anyone was in here..."

The question hung in the air as they looked around, Althea trying to decide which would be the best place to check first, Soren no doubt trying to ascertain the level of danger in the darkness around them
"Well, if this was my house I think I'd keep anything of value upstairs, wouldn't you?" She whispered, leaning a little closer to him to keep her voice low in case she was wrong about the abandoned nature of the building. "Maybe we should try up there first...?" Althea moved the torch towards the staircase slightly, the flickering light being thrown onto the first few steps. "What do you think?"
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:54 PM   #81
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Air that was stale to the point of being dead filled Soren's nose before the disturbed dust battered and scratched his nostrils.The flickering torch light showed an interior that had not been disturbed in years. The last time he saw anything like it was when his family opened up an old room for a newly married couple to move into. Everywhere had been covered with dust, but not to the same level of thickness as in the abandoned Sindra's home.

Not that surprising was the look of the furniture; everything as if it had been lived in normally before the people left it. No signs of violence, or searching by others at any time. All the doors were closed, leading where, he had no idea and wasn't game to guess, and there was one set of sturdy stairs leading to the upper floor.

Another not so surprising event was Althea's decision to ignore his warnings, or her inability to remember when confronted with something of interest. Rather than staying behind him, she ventured forth toward the base of the stairs. The momentary thought flickered through his mind that she might be responding to some mystic senses that only Sindra had, and that she had some idea of what may be up there. He silently scoffed at the idea, falling back to the two options he came up with earlier.

Soren had been focused on looking at the surrounds so much he had not heard Althea's soft words at first. It was a habit he was going to have to break himself of, as there would be times when she would alert him to dangers that he wouldn't be aware of, and ignoring her to the degree he had been would be bad for them both.

"Well, if this was my house I think I'd keep anything of value upstairs, wouldn't you? Maybe we should try up there first...? What do you think?"

Soren let her question float around in his head. If it were his house, anything valuable would be upstairs too. Soren rolled his shoulders and was pleased to feel that some of the pain had gone from his efforts getting into the house. He carefully moved around Althea to get to the base of the stairs and took each step carefully. With each footfall, he paused on the initial contact then let his full weight ease onto it. He found no traps or weak steps by the time he got to the top and his heart rate dropped back to something close to normal.

As mirrored downstairs, there were three doors; one at the end of the short hallway, one close to it on the left side, and one on the right side closer to the stairs than the other two. Soren looked back to Althea, nodding to the right side, hopefully telling her his intentions concerning where he was going to go.

Two slow, silent steps brought him to the door, which he found was not fully closed. He set his shield better to protect himself against whatever may be hidden on the other side, and pushed the door open with the tip of his sword. The door gave easily, and quietly, opening to reveal a dust covered library.

Soren walked in, disturbing the layer of dust on the floor, which made him want to sneeze, but he successfully fought the urge. With the exception of the small entry space, the rest of the room was full of shelves, which ran from floor to ceiling, packed with tomes of various sizes, colours and bindings, as well as enough space between them for a person to move along. Even if there was a gap between the tops of book and the shelf above, another book or two were inserted flat.

"What do you think Dagda would say seeing all of this?"
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:49 PM   #82
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"What do you think Dagda would say seeing all of this?"
Althea heard Soren’s question, she did. But there was no answer forthcoming from her immediately. Instead she stepped around him slowly, eyes growing rapidly accustomed to the gloom and spying book after book after scroll after parchment.
This…this is amazing…” She murmured, the words leaving her lips without any real command behind them, it was a half spoken thought and little more. A smile rapidly curved her lips as she moved a little further away from him.
For the first time since entering the home of the Sindra she felt something other than dust in the air. These weren’t just any old books, they were magical, of that she was certain.

Running the tip of her tongue over her lips she headed over to the nearest shelf, fingertip skimming along the edge before finding a volume that for some reason stood out. Reading the faded gilt along the spine Althea frowned, symbols she didn’t understand made up the title. Undeterred she opened the book at random. The page that was revealed showed an illustration of a tree surrounded by more strange symbols.
This is really odd, in all the books Dagda had, I’ve never seen anything quite like-” Althea began turning back to Soren to show him, a finger poised over the picture when there was a small flash of light and suddenly the space between them was filled by the illusion of a tree. The same one that had been in the book. Glowing with a slightly green hue and apparently painted in thin air, Althea’s eyes were wide as they met his through the apparition.
This is amazing.” Her voice was barely above a whisper, almost as if she was worried the sound of her voice would make the magical vision disappear. “I wonder what would happen...” Tentatively she lifted the finger that had been over the pages and reached out to the tree.

Another flash and the tree changed, the leaves on its branches growing fuller and then the green light turned to gold. Leaves tumbling down and vanishing into thin air as they did. Soon the skeletal framework of branches and limbs was all that floated between them, a darker bronze glow about it, with the faintest trace of blue at the tips. Soon though, tiny pale green spots of light began to appear all over the branches, growing like buds and then bursting into leaves. Fresh and verdant, they were soon decorated with soft pink flowers.
It’s beautiful,” Althea sighed, her breath appearing to shake the sparkling leaves and flowers before sending some of the pink blossoms tumbling through the air towards Soren. Then the tree was as it had been when it first appeared. Slowly it faded and Althea was left staring bright eyed into Soren’s face.

Whatever else happens? We have to take some of these books back to Dagda!
Putting the book back onto the shelf, excitement coursing through her veins, she reached out and tugged at Soren’s hand.
Come on!” She urged with a smile back over her shoulder at him as she led him deeper into the room. “I think I saw a door on the other side of the room!
All sense of worry was gone, there was just a thrill now. Burning and tingling and lighting her soul ablaze. But whether it was the prospect of more magic being found, or at the feel of Soren’s large hand in hers, she couldn’t say for sure.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:50 PM   #83
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The breathy quality of Althea's voice hit Soren in a way he had not anticipated. He felt himself react in a very male way to hearing her voice, which once more added to his confusion about what was happening between them. He liked her, he was willing to admit that much, but he suspected that his feelings were a little stronger than just liking her. She was attractive, of that there was no doubt in his mind, and he would freely share himself with her if he ever had the chance. But even that didn't feel right. Soren knew that he could just share himself with her the same way some of the farm girls had. Althea deserved more than just that.

But she was spoken for. She and Jameth were courting, and Soren had little to offer to counter the benefits of being married to Jameth. The young suitor was a son of a successful merchant, and if what he heard was right, was going to be a successful merchant like his father. Jameth could give Althea a good home, which was something Soren doubted he would be able to provide.

But he stopped those thoughts as he watched Althea as she investigated the books. She treated them like they were someone's new born child; all delicate movements, slow and careful placements of her hand and a softness to her voice as if she were afraid of frightening someone. But he also saw adoration there as she finally lifted one book from the shelf. He straightened himself up to get a better look at the page she opened when the magic contained within came to life. His instinctive reaction was to jump back, the sword and shield readied for action. But rather than the slavering demon from one of the lower hells bursting forth to steal their souls, he was faced with a translucent tree, accurate with the shape and colour. He watched in awe as the tree lived through the full cycle of the seasons, noting it was an apple tree by the blossoms that were falling from it, before it vanished from sight.

He looked to Althea's face, and was amazed at how beautiful she looked with her face so alive with delight and wonder at what she discovered. He remembered seeing her face look like that before, but struggled to place where and when it had happened. While delighting in the expression on her face, he absentmindedly sheathed his sword and let his shield arm hang loose.

“Whatever else happens? We have to take some of these books back to Dagda!”

"Sure, but I will leave that to you to decide which books to take."

Althea had returned the book, and took his free hand to lead him deeper in to the room. He felt his pulse speed up and his heart beat a little harder as they moved between the book cases. He knew that it was from her touch that his heart was beating faster, thought he could hardly place a reason on why. There was too much going on at that moment for him to figure out what was going on, so he did his best to ignore it and focus on what was actually happening.

“Come on! I think I saw a door on the other side of the room!”

He said nothing, but his thoughts focused on the door she mentioned and what may lie in wait behind it. Indeed, when they got to the other end of the room, there was a door, just like all the other doors in its design and appearance. Soren felt that there was little chance of there being a danger about, but he still brought his shield up just in case, then opened the door slowly.

A snapping noise preceded the loud thunk noises of several darts slamming into his shield. Soren froze, thankful that his bladder was empty as he knew that it tried to empty itself on hearing the sounds. Soren shifted the angle of the shield and saw the wickedly barbed five inch long projectiles firmly stuck the in wood. He steeped aside from the doorway, making sure that Althea was safely beside the wall, then pushed the door open further. Another snap announced a further volley of darts that slammed into the end of one of the bookcases.

"Let me go in first, in case there are any more of those kind of surprises."

Soren peered into the room, finding the first tripwire that he broke. He looked about at saw the two mechanisms that had been set up to shoot the darts. Further looking about the room revealed no other obvious signs of traps, but he was not going to believe it until he had a good look around. He had taken two steps into the room when he saw the items that rested on a table inside. One was a sword, larger that any he had ever seen before. The blade was long, maybe a little over half his height in length, but it was wider than any other blade he had seen. It rested within a sheath, and both gave the aura of age, as well as being very well crafted. Beside it, resting on a small velvet pouch, was a ring. It appeared to be a plain band of silver, but again something about it was... different.

Soren removed his attention from the table, and focused on the rest of the room. It took a couple of minutes, but by the end he was certain that there were no further traps to be wary of.

"It's safe to enter, Althea."

He moved to the table, placed his shield on the floor resting against the table leg and picked up the sword. To Soren's surprise, the blade was not as heavy as he thought it would be given its size. The blade came out of the scabbard with a whisper of noise to reveal a blade that appeared to have been cleaned the day before. He inspected the blade, and it was perfect, as well as being very sharp. To his eye, it looked as though it had never been used at all; not nicks in the edge, no signs of sharpening nor any signs of rust or other aging.

He looked at Althea, his confusion clear as he held the blade, knowing that the weight was good for him, the balance and the way it felt in his hand he knew that he would have little problem wielding it in a fight.

"That ring, Althea. There is something about it. Could it be magical? And this sword? This doesn't feel right for a sword of its size, yet there is nothing wrong with it. Why are they here, sitting in this room with nothing else but this table? They must have been important for them to be protected as they were, but why?"

He put the sword back into the scabbard, returning it to the place where he found it and took a step back from the table.

"What do you think we should do?"
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:08 PM   #84
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Althea squeaked with surprise as the round of vicious looking arrows hit Soren's shield, moving without a word to the place he directed her to. Shaking a little as the first real proof of the dangers they might face, quite literally, hit them. Shrinking back against the wall subconsciously as Soren began to open the door. Her eyes shutting tight as the whistle of more darts whizzing through the air towards him could be clearly heard. The loud when they found their mark was loud and made her cry out. Pushing herself away from the wall with a racing heart, terrified that Soren had been hurt. However it seemed a bookcase was the unwitting victim this time round.

"Let me go in first, in case there are any more of those kind of surprises."

Althea nodded, hoping with every fibre of her being that there wouldn't be anything else waiting to 'greet' them. She watched as Soren disappeared through the open doorway, her breath held, ear focused on the sound of his footfalls. Somewhere, far beyond the walls of the house, she thought she heard a rumble. Quiet and soft but there all the same. Minutes dragging by with almost painful slowness until at last he told her it was safe to enter.

The room was largely empty and at first glance one probably wouldn't have considered exploring it. The booby traps at the door to make sure no one let their curiosity get the better of them told another tale. Her eyes were immediately drawn to the table and the relatively mundane objects upon it. Swords she didn't know a great deal about but she knew that a well-made sword was a valuable item, but worth trying to kill a man over the possession of it? That sounded far-fetched even to her. The ring, looked plain and simple but she was sure that was probably not the case either.

Althea watched as Soren withdrew the sword from its casing and with little obvious effort hefted the large weapon in his hand. The metal was pristine, it's surface buffed to a mirror like shine and the edges looked dangerously sharp. He moved the sword back and forth in the air, the light dancing over the length of it enticingly. Then a brighter flash for a second as a brighter light was reflected.

"That ring, Althea. There is something about it. Could it be magical? And this sword? This doesn't feel right for a sword of its size, yet there is nothing wrong with it. Why are they here, sitting in this room with nothing else but this table? They must have been important for them to be protected as they were, but why?"

"The only thing I can think is that these belonged to the Sindra and their guardian. That they're the items that were left to be found."

"What do you think we should do?"

"Well, seeing as we made it past the protection, I guess we take them with us..." Althea shrugged. She was just reaching out to touch the ring when there was a sudden flash and a loud bang, making her jump and end up with a shaking hand holding Soren's forearm.
There was another clap of thunder almost straight away that made her cry out with shock and then blush at her reaction.
She smiled up shyly into his face before stepping back to put space between them once again.
"Sorry, I think I was just startled."

Taking a deep breath she steeled herself to try and pick up the ring for a second time. This time there was no terrifying sound as her fingertips closed around the band and lifted it from upon its pouch.
Lifting it to the light coming in the through the window, she turned it around. Keen eyes searching the inside of the band for an inscription or something similar, but there was nothing. The ring was smooth, inside and out. Frowning slightly she tried to gauge the size of the ring in comparison to her own finger. She had no desire to get the thing stuck on her finger, especially if it had powers she did not yet know and had no possible chance of understanding or controlling. From outside the gentle patter of rain hitting foliage filtered through the air to where they stood. Deciding she needed to know far more about the ring before it went anywhere near her finger, she picked up the pouch and dropped the band inside. As she pulled the drawstrings tight there was another rumble of thunder.

“There’s something…different about it.” She said by way of explanation as the pouch was held carefully in her hand. She knew she should put it back, as he had the sword but she couldn’t bring herself to let it go. ”There are no runes or markings, no words or anything to distinguish it from any other ring but…” Her eyes dropped to the small bag nestled in the palm of her hand. “…I just get the feeling it’s no ordinary ring.

The room was silent for a few minutes, neither of them speaking, just the steadily increasing sound of rain drumming on the roof above. Eventually a particularly bright flash of lightning and deafening crack of thunder seemed to jerk Althea from her thoughts. Crossing to the window she frowned as she looked outside. The clearing that surrounded the house was almost completely obscured from view by the rain. The ground still drying from the previous night’s deluge was already showing signs of flooding.
Before we think any more about the contents of this room, I think we might need to explore a little more of the house, see if it looks like there’s anywhere we could stay the night.” Althea looked back towards Soren over her shoulder with a slightly shy smile. “Somehow, I don’t think even your tent would hold up in weather like that!
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:35 PM   #85
marauder13
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Something deep down within Soren liked the way that Althea went to hold him at the sound of the thunder. That she saw him as a source of safety felt really good. The snide side of him wondered if Jameth produced that kind of feeling in her, somehow doubting it. He looked her way, mainly to see that she was indeed alright, and saw her slow blush after she was scared by a following boom of thunder.

"Sorry, I think I was just startled."

"Well, you're safe in here."

Soren kept his quiet as Althea investigated the ring with the same care he had with the sword. He thought hard on what each of the items could do, and his imagination ran away with him. His sword could burst into flame, or glow with a terrible light when confronting evil. Maybe it would make the wielder fearless or even kill who it stuck with a single cut. Soren harrumphed in silence as he stopped his train of thought. It may not be magical at all, and just a well kept blade.

“There’s something…different about it. There are no runes or markings, no words or anything to distinguish it from any other ring but… I just get the feeling it’s no ordinary ring.”

To Soren's eye, it appeared that Althea was lost in a similar type of thinking that he had, contemplating the nature of the ring. She would have better ideas of what was capable of such a device, unlike himself, who had no knowledge of the greater mysteries. He was glad that she was there, it made him feel like there was someone who could tell him what was safe and what was not.

The roaring boom of thunder, combined with the heavier downfall broke the silence and stillness within the room. Soren followed Althea to look out the window. The rain was heavy, and the farmer in him was thankful that the crops had been newly sown, rather than more mature. Such downpours tended to wreck crops rather than aid in their growth. He thought of Sylea, but she was tethered under a large tree, which would offer her some protection from the weather, and save her from getting too wet. The only problem was that she was still carrying their supplies. Soren decided that once the weather broke enough, he would find her proper shelter and unload the packs from her back and give her time to rest.

“Before we think any more about the contents of this room, I think we might need to explore a little more of the house, see if it looks like there’s anywhere we could stay the night. Somehow, I don’t think even your tent would hold up in weather like that!”

"And everything would be soaked before it was setup, and that wouldn't help us either. Let's hope that the other rooms don't carry any surprises like this one."

Soren made his way back to the main hall, slowly making his way to the next door. He checked to see that Althea was in a safe place before he opened the door. That time, he stood to one side in case of more darts. When nothing happened, he slowly peered through the doorway to find a very spartan bedroom covered by a slight layer of dust. A single bed that had seen better days sat in the middle of the room, a dresser with two draws to one side, and what looked like weapons racks on the other.

"Well, I think I know where the Guardian slept."

Soren took the two paces required to reach the door at the end of the hallway. Again, making sure that he had Althea covered, he opened the door carefully in readiness for any other surprises that may await.

The door opened to another bedroom, but that one was completely different to the remainder of the house. It was in pristine condition, as if a maid had been through just before they arrived. The massive bed was made, the dressers were of higher quality and better appearance than in the other room, and the air was fresh, with the lightest fragrance of lemon flowers. He stepped in, his guard slowly dropping as he took in the miraculous state of the room.

"I think the Sindra may have liked their room a lot. This... is done with magic, isn't it?"

The thick rug bounced back well after his foot left the surface, and the coverings of the bed were new and fresh. It all made sense to him, but he never thought that magic would be used in such a manner. Almost an everyday way.

"Well, there is a bed in here that should provide you with a comfortable place to sleep. I'm sure that I can find enough to make a bedroll to sleep on. When the rain dies down, I'll go and tend to Sylea. She will need a rest after carrying our supplies for the duration of the storm, plus it would do her good to dry out properly too.

"Good thing that the house is well built. Great Maker! The front door."

Soren dashed down to the entrance of the house, closing the door as best he could to slow the spread of the rain water within the downstairs room. The dust helped to a degree in slowing it down, only turning into a thick mud where the water managed to advance. He wiped his boots on the lowest step before making his way back to the master bedroom.

What he didn't notice on his return was that any mud that fell from his boots that hit the floor of the bedroom slowly faded and disappeared, leaving not a single trace of its existence on the surface that it touched.
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