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Old 09-07-2012, 05:56 PM   #26
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"Yorgis and Daliah believe that you were us before the raid on Daumig. We're wondering if you're not a spy than why were you hiding amongst us. Are you an escaped prisoner, some lord's daughter fled from his grips?" Malkin asked her.

She thought on how best to answer and figuring tell her whole story would probably be the fastest and easiest. "Sit gentlemen and let me tell you a story." She said softly and then waited for them to sit before she continued.

"Many years ago an enemy of Keltin stumbled upon a small village that had no soldiers amoung them. Keltin's enemy thought it would be fun to destory the tiny village and masacare all the people. And that was just what they did but some how one little girl no bigger than a toddler escaped their knowledge and when the enemy was gone she began walking with no where to go and nothing to eat. No one knows how long the little girl walked but as she lay on the ground weak as a kitten an old woman who was both a hermit and mage took the child in. She raised the child to be ready to fight off any enemy and the ways of the Mage. When the child grew into a young woman the old mage sent her off into the world to find her path in life.

The young woman traveled here and there but never finding a place that felt right to her. While traveling threw the wilderness she stumbled upon a camp and watched it caustiously not sure who the camp belonged to. She learned it was the camp of a group she had thought a myth but had always dreamed was real. Unsure how to approach the group she watched and followed the group even into battle staying hidden and keeping an eye on them. When the need arose she rose to help the group strike at her enemy and allow the group to live and continue on their path." She paused a moment and grinned, "The End."
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:24 PM   #27
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Malkin listened intently to her words while drinking from some water. Privately he wished he had broken his fast tot have some food to enjoy the story on it's merits alone. It was tragic enough and he could hear the truth behind her words. She was like him, him and the rest who had been hurt by the enemies that plagued Keltin.

Beyond that she was brave, not cowed by them at least and resilient enough to recover fast. Her spells seemed powerful enough and perhaps Yorgis could train her more if she wished.

"An impressive tale Miss Ania. Provided myself and the other captains agree I'm sure we may find a place for you with the Shadows. You've proven yourself capable enough." Malkin said and found Yorgis nodding ever so slightly.

"There is food in the tent across the way. Fill your stomach and meet with some of the others. Just know that should you wish to join the Shadows that we join for life. We are a legion of the lost but we are also a family under one banner. We serve Keltin first and foremost and must be ready to give our lives for our home. If you wish to leave arrangements will be made to see you safely back to Keltin." Malkin said though deep down he wished that she would stay.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:43 PM   #28
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Ania listened to his words and considered them before making her desission. "Thank you Malkin but I have already broke my fast while you slept as for meeting the others I would perfer to be pointed in the direction of a stream first if there is one near by." She told him.

She wanted the chance to clean herself for two reasons one because she knew it would do her some good and two, though it was spiteful, she wanted to make Daliah eat her words about her appearance. She did not know why she felt this way she really could careless and it wasn't the woman's words so much as her attitude that erked Ania. Daliah tried to make herself seem better than Ania and Ania believed no one person was better than another on a basic level it was ones actions that raised or lowered their personal value.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:54 PM   #29
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Malkin nodded and pulled on his jacket and then some socks and boots. He turned to Cestus. "See that everyone goes about their training. Check with Vakiir, he was Andalos' friend." He turned back to Ania.

"Come I will show you." He said and then grabbed a dagger, a pack and his sword and then departed from the tent. Outside the camp was a buzz with acitivty. The last few tents were being setup in the shadow of the mountain and the sun was rising in the East.

Others talked and some broke their fast around a camp fire and he was once more glad for Yorgis. The old wizard had numerous runes and charms around the camp to hide them from sight and other senses. It allowed them to easily remain hidden to a very good extent.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:03 PM   #30
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When Malkin said he would show her the way she nodded and slipped her bowl back into the pack before slipping the back over her shoulder and lifting her staff before rising to her very short height and following him out of the tent. The camp looked as she had seen it every morning she had watched them. As she and Malkin slipped from the camp she noticed many eyes on them and heard a few whispers as they left. She was new to them all she knew it would be expect for them to gossip about her til the learned more but the gossip would run higher with the fact that she had spent the night in Malkin's tent and now they were going off alone into the wilderness.

When they were out of ear and eye shot of the camp she softly spoke to Malkin, "Thank you for everything Malkin."
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:23 PM   #31
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Malkin turned to her when she spoke. He didn't much care for some of the looks he saw but he had anticipated such. But he didn't wish to just send guards with her. It wasn't that he didn't trust them but she wouldn't trust them and vice versa. She was here as a guest, for the time being at least.

"Your welcome Ania. You helped us sure enough so you deserve the chance to join if you'd like. But after losing so many to traitors and the Cingar the others cannot help but be... wary."

He knew they would think him entrance perhaps but he was quite resistant to most illusions spells so he wasn't worried. It was partially his training but some said it was part of the royal blood in him. Malkin had no magic but some magic didn't work well on him.

Soon enough they came upon the stream. It was just past most of the sentry points but looked beautiful in the rising sun. Malkin had not planned to wash or anything but as he stood their watching the water he felt like cleansing himself from the weight on his shoulder. He set down his pack and quickly removed his jacket as he moved forward. Then he slipped out of his boots and socks and continued on towards the rushing stream.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:42 PM   #32
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She nodded and followed him to the stream she was a bit suprised when he dropped his things and began stripping as well but she shrugged it off. She set her own pack down and pulled out 2 bottles one was purple and smelled of liliacs the other pink and smelling of rose. She took the bottles and set the on the edge of the bank next she slipped her small shoes off and untied her robes slipping it off but retaining posession of it. She leaned down and picked up the purple bottle and head into the steam. Making sure she stayed up stram from the robes she soaked them then poured some of the purple liquid onto the purple material and began washing then rinsing it.

Walking back to the bank she planted her staff in the ground and hung her robes from it so the wind could start to dry it and after she washed herself a spell would finish drying it so she could dress. Ania was not shy about her body and was so absorbed in cleaning her robes and getting ready to clean herself she forgot all about Malkin being right there. Picking up the pink vial she headed back out to the stream and dunked her head under the water getting her hair wet. First she washed her hair then her body before rinising and getting ready to head out of the stream again.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:51 AM   #33
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Malkin gave her a small smile before he removed his pants and headed out into the water. For the most part he kept his gaze away from Ania especially once she removed her robes. At the stream he fully immersed himself and closed his eyes under the water for a moment. A hundred things went through his mind, what to do now that Iskan was dead, how to deal with the possibility of further betrayal, Cestus, Daliah, and now this woman.

He would not lie seeing her body stirred him and the thought of grabbing her and tossing her onto his furs was very invigorating. Slowly he rose up above the surface taking in a long breath and opening ups his eyes before throwing back his head making his hair fall back. The simple pleasure of swimming felt great after nearly finally meeting his end in Daumig. His entire life out here surrounded by the enemy meant death was never far and the song of a king knew just how to focus on the simple pleasures.

Turning back he saw Ania rising up from the stream, water glistened over her body. He looked at her newly cleaned hair the side of her bosom, her legs.

"Leaving all ready? You so eager to get back to the fighting?" He asked and rested his head against the water behind him as he back stroked for a moment though most of his body lay submerged.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:34 AM   #34
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"Leaving all ready? You so eager to get back to the fighting?" he asked her and she jerked up suddenly remembering he was there.

She gave him a soft smile to him and commented, "I need to dry my robes and I am sure there are many important things that must be taken care of in camp not including me meeting everyone, fend off doubters, proving my worth, setting up own tent, and figuring how I might fit into your little band. It is to be a busy day Malkin no time for playing about."

With her piece said she finished exiting the stream and stood before her staff and robe waving her hand and whispering an incantation. The wind picked up brief before it died back down and when it did her robes were dry. She quickly and silently dressed gathered up her soaps and repacked them.

"Besides you still need to break your fast I imagine you are starving right about now." She commented innocently as she pulled a piece of fruit from her pack and bit into it.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:50 AM   #35
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Malkin grinned slyly at her small smile and nodded to her. Yes it would serve well if she spend some time getting to know the others. They would likely be hesitant at first but he could see most eventually coming around.

Dunking his head once more he let out a sigh to calm himself and refocus. Even for a moment it had been nice to entertain some thoughts, if only for a little. He emerged back from the stream and grabbed his clothes but he realized in his wish to enjoy a simple pleasure he'd forgotten a towel.

"Does that spell work for people? I seem to have forgotten something crucial to the process of drying oneself." He said and made sure to cover himself with his pants as he stood a bit away from her.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:50 AM   #36
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Ania boldly laughed at him doubling over she laughed so hard. Here was the big strong leader of the Seven Shadows holding his pants over his lower half dripping wet and looking rather sheepish. Everytime she looked up to talk to him she started laughing again.

She held up a finger asking him for a moment and turned her back to him staightened, took a few deep breaths. Keeping her back to him she muttered a diffrent incantation and waved her staff in his direction. Within seconds he was as dry as if her never got in the water. Turning back to face him she smiled "Much better." She sat on a rock and watched him waiting on him to get dressed.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:14 PM   #37
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Malkin grinned at her laughter over the situation. She seemed quite upbeat and in a way it was refreshing to just act a bit normal around her. He didn't know why he did but it was nice. He watched her look back at him after she dried him and he silently recorded the situation. Should she have been an enemy agent it would have been the ideal time to cast a spell on him.

They were alone out here but she had used beat back the water dripping off his skin. He pulled on his pants covering his good sized shaft and then pulled on his armored jacket.

"Much appreciative." He moved a bit closer to her and looked down at her on the rock. "You laugh as if you have not had something to laugh about in a very long time Ania." Malkin said simply as he looked at her and he wondered how long she had been on her own before she had come upon them.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:24 PM   #38
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Ania smiled up at Malkin as he stood over she had watched him dress and had to admit she found his body, to herself if no one else. "I do believe you are very observent Sir. It has been awhile sine I have had a good true laugh. I do find you and you your group rather amusing."

She jump up from the rock gracfully to stand before him and still had to look aways up."shall we head back to camp? I really do need to set up my own area." She sais smiling up at him with genuine warmth.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:32 PM   #39
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Malkin favored her with one more smile. "Of course." He said and then he turned off and started walking with her back to the camp site. "Besides the firewall and the drying spell do you know any other spells that would be tactically beneficial in a fight?" He asked and knew she might very well withold some of her spells from him but he would expect as much.

Ahead he knew the camp was there but for all intents and purposes he just saw the high canyon wall looming and a sentry hidden amongst some rocks as they approached.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:43 PM   #40
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At his quetion she paused and thought of how to answer him in a general way. "You can't see the camp can you? Did you ever wander how I spied on you for 2 days saw every move and not one person ever found me? From where we are right now I can see the camp as if it were any nornal camp. I have never found an illusion or spell I can't see past. Spells just require knowledge and energy if one have the energy and the knowledge they can do whatever they wish. Just si you know if I were at full energy I could summon a small shadow army." She paused for a moment and laughed "litrely that is not you and your group. If you want me live threw the night I wouldn't tell your maggic user that though. He might well become upset enough to try and kill me."
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:00 PM   #41
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Malkin listened intently as they moved past the sentry. He nodded to the warrior before they continued along. "Interesting. But I doubt Yorgis would attack you. He's old and grumpy but I'm know he has some really powerful spells as well." The leader of the Shadows said before they moved back into the protective bubble.

Malkin headed off in the direction of the food and then looked back to Ania. "Talk to Peter Landis for some basic gear for the tent. You know where to find me." He said with a simple sly grin before he departed. Moving off he figured she would figure out things on her own well enough and he joined some of the others near the chow line. He exchanged tales of the battle with those who had been responsible for moving the tents and he took a few jabs when they asked how his little trip with the prisoner had been.

He had expected as much but laughed and grinned all the same. His father had instructed him the benefits of being with the rank and file sometimes and knowing that you couldn't always just lord over everyone even if you were the leader and a lord for that matter. To help with loyalty you had to show that in some ways you were the same even when you stood apart from most of the men that you served with.

In a battle he could very well have to order any of the men and women eating with him to do something that was likely to result in their death. But they knew that and he knew that and they all eat together that morning all the same.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:46 AM   #42
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When Malkin said he doubted Yorgis would attack her for her skill she humphed to herself. To beable to do such a thing required a tremendous amount of energy few every reached and doing the summoning was considered a bit taboo amoung mages. She didn't say anything futher on the subject if he told Yorgis she would deal with the conseqeunces that came no matter what she had hoped she would have a chance to talk magic with Yorgis so they knew how to work with each other. How he never discovered her was beyond her she had never been able to hide her magical energy from others though she was working on it and it was obvious Yorgis could because until today she never knew there was a magic user in the group.

"Talk to Peter Landis for some basic gear for the tent. You know where to find me." He said as if she knew where to find the man or what he looked like. The camp was rather large but not as large as it had been and she needed to find one man, a stranger amoung a group that was largely made up of strangers, sure no problem. She headed off and began wandering around camp listening to bits of conversation trying to catch who was who and making sure she avoided Daliah. She did not wish a confrentation at this point in the day before she was even settled.

She eventually ran into Cestus and smiled softly when they got closer. Without a word he handed her two gold pieces. She laughed as she looked at them. "I will make you a deal Cestus I will pay you one gold piece if you show me where the devil Peter Landis is and I will give you another gold piece if you keep me from Daliah until I have my own tent set up."

Cestus laughed but did not mention her avoidance of the green haired woman only nodded and led her more toward the center of camp. Once they found the man Cestus stood to the side like her personal guard which made her smile as she got a few nessessites from Peter to set up her little area in the camp. That done she nodded to Cestus and he followed her to the edge of the camp away from most other people before he helped her set up the basics of her tent she would use the magic to finish after they manually did this part of set up. The whole while Cestus kept an eye out for Daliah.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:58 PM   #43
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Malkin occasionally caught sight of Ania throughout the day. He didn't give her any information besides Peter's name as a test to see how she would react. Magic was definitely a key strength that he could not ignore but self sufficiency was key to survival, particularly out here.

Later though he saw Cestus moving along with her with gear in tow. When he asked Peter, the balding squat quartermaster for the group the man told him that he felt Cestus was taken with the girl or at least didn't believe she was a spy and Malkin had to laugh a bit.

Cestus wasn't really slow or anything but he could be simpler than others, brutally efficient in a battle and utterly loyal. But he was glad that the man spent time with her. Malkin would have liked to but there were certain duties he needed to see to and he'd already gone and spent likely too much time alone with her, at least for now.

In his tent he worked over details of other potential operations with Daliah, Yorgis and Slevan, the newest captain to replace Two Fingers Rob. Slevan was not inexperienced to battles or command but it was easy to see he was a bit nervous over the new responsibilities.

"Our next main goal is to bring word directly to our brothers at the border that General Iskan is dead. I'm sure they'll find out in time but hearing it directly from one of their own should help boost morale." Malkin said as he studied the maps.

"Now ravens are still out for carrying messages it's too likely they will be intercepted. But there is a mage's tower in the city of Clauston. Yorgis says that with some modification and spells we could communicate with a mage back home and pass the word along. Not perfect but I won't send one or two men out alone after everything that's happened." Malkin said before also explaining the need to ask the homeland to prepare more troops to link up with the shadows before Winter started to fall around them.

To maximize their potential Malkin needed to boost the groups numbers to both replace the ones who had perished and increase the threat posed. Deadly yes but it was part of the reason the Shadows were here.

"Anything else?" Malkin asked to the captains assembled for the early noon meeting.

"What about Ania?" Daliah asked and Malkin nodded slowly.

"I believe that Ania is on our side. As such we cannot be sure immediately that she may not have been sent for a more elaborate game then simply killing us at Daumig. We've all heard of the Silver Fox I'm sure." Malkin said and there was a bit of silence at the mention of Cingar's reported spymaster. Most in the room had heard men mention him in interrogations and from other things.

"But I do not believe she is a spy. Yorgis will eventually work and train with her and see what she can do to help the group. I gave her till the end of the day to figure if she wishes to stay with us or not. If she does not then we will leave her when we move. You all have your duties." Malkin said and quickly dismissed the group.

Daliah remained and he saw her green eyes gazing at him.

"This isn't about you and me Malkin I'm concerned with the survival of the group." She said after a moment as he closed up some of the maps.

"I trust her and my trust in people has always been good enough for you before Daliah. It's hard to believe you when you say it's not personal." Malkin said thoguh he kept his tone calm and civil. He still cared for Daliah and would never wish to hurt her or cause her to lose faith in him. But it was a difficult line to walk.

She lowered her head. "I know. just be careful Mal." He paused for a moment and then heard her move through the flaps. The seventh hair to the throne slowly looked back and gave out a sigh.

------------

Outside Cestus looked over the finished tent and chomped on a long carrot as he looked at Ania. "So the enemy killed your family when you were a little girl?" He asked simply before taking another chomp.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:23 PM   #44
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Ania looked at Cestus and gave a small friendly smile. She really did like the big guy. "Yes." She answered him simply and started digging through her pack. She rose and handed him the two gold pieces. "Thank you for your assistance today I hope we shall become friends in the future if I live that long." This time she smiled sadly. She knew most of the camp thought her the enemy and she would not be suprised if there were attempts on her life.

With a sigh she began to pull things from her pack to guard her own tent hoping it would help her live longer. She went into the tent to set things up. Her pack did not look like it carried much and besides protectants it really didn't. She invited Cestus to come in while she set up the inside. She had but one fur and laid it upon the flat ground for her to sleep on she would use her cloak for covers. They head seat the tent up around a small boulder so she would have something above the ground to sit upon. She pulled out her scrying bowl and sat it upon the rock. All of her other magic items were pulled out and placed at various spots around the inside of the tent.

Cestus watched her silently as she did this. When everything was set up she sat on the rock holding her bowl like a sacred treasure now that she was set up and had had time to think fear ran high in her. Her life she knew was on the line each time someone came to her tent or she stepped away from it. She wandered at the wisdom of staying here. She was thankful for Cestus silent company it gave her strength she didn't know she had. Finally she rose and mase an herbal tea that would strengthen her energies. It tasted foul and she hated the damn thing it was a drug to some mages and she didn't want to become addicted but to protect her life she would do it.

She knew Yorgis would know what she had done and if the old goat said anything about it she would tell him just what she thought of him. With the drug in her system and her courage gathered she look to Cestus. "Well I suppose it is time I meet everyone and discover just how well I need to watch my back. I am sure you need to meet with Malkin I have kept you far to long." with that said to him she walked out of her tent held her head high and went to the tent that housed the dinning area.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:04 PM   #45
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Cestus left soon after and watched her leave for a moment. Then the big man moved along to go meet with Malkin, he was past due for the early briefing but he knew the leader wouldn't mind so long as he was taking care of Ania. Cestus had been around Malkin a long time and he'd seen the small moments where his true self came out. It wasn't hard to see the look in his eyes or the chance when Ania had been around.

Malkin probably would deny it but his friends could be much more observant. Cestus moved along and made to join with Malkin at his tent.

---------

Sala chortled as he dumped a slab of meat on another plate. The round bellied man had a black bushy beard and a turban wrapped over his coarse hair. Looking up he spotted the new girl and gave her a small grin. A soldier once but now the finest cook that the Shadows had ever known he was interested to hear what the girl wished to eat. Today the stores were full of variety, waterfowl, roasted meat, eggs they had been lucky in the last raid and the cook had rejoiced. Too often he just had to make rations for the men and women, it was a bore and dull affair. So today he was happy and if Malkin allowed the woman to walk free than she was free enough in his mind.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:44 PM   #46
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Ania smiled at the cook when she arrived to him. "Greeting Sir my name as Ania. What are you serving today?"

He seemed happy and the feeling rubbed of on Ania making her smile genuine. He introduced himself and gave her a list of what all was avalible to eat. She was sure she disappointed the man when asked just for soup and bread. He served her up though and she smiled at him again placing a hand on his arm, "Thank you Sala for the food and being so friendly." She patted his arm before she walked away.

Everyone was glancing at her and whispering but no one would speak to her and almost everyone avoided eye contact as if scared she would curse them. Ania quickly decided she had to be the all around smallest person in camp and almost everyone seemed to be wary of her. When she sat at a mostly empty table the other occupants quickly decided they had had enough to eat and needed to go do some training. Quickly they rose and left leaving Ania alone at the table. She ignored the feeling this brought in her and went about eating her soup. Her hair fell over her shoulders and hide her face from those around her.

She was suprised when a few minutes after she started eating when she heard someone sit at the table she was at. She looked up to see Yorgis' face and she had never been so pleased to see him she had thought he would be one of the ones avoiding her. She gave him a friendly thankful smile and went back to eatting when he was ready he would talk to her. It didn't take long either before she heard him say, "It's dangerous for you ya' know." He didn't sound reprimanding only concerned and she didn't have to ask what he was refering to she knew it was about the drug she had taken.

"I know but what else was I to do when every corner I turn here could be a death trap. I know Dalaih wants my blood. How many others Yorgis do you know? Because I don't. I am the smallest one here and all I have to defend myself with is magic and contraty to believe we both know it has a limit. I hate doing it as much as I hate the enemy but for my life I will and if it was needed to defend the life of my country men I would do it even more willingly." She told him the fire of her passion clear in her voice. She knew her voice was her biggest weapon and her staff her second. They weilded the magics she carried.

Yorgis nodded as if he found this acceptable and ate with her in a companionable silence.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:08 PM   #47
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Soon enough the meal was ended. Some people stopped by to make introductions to Ania. Simon the squire smiled at her politely but kept quiet save for shaking her hand. The Gunter brothers said that for 50 gold they'd make sure Daliah didn't sneak into her tent to try to kill her with the offer that it'd be 25 gold if she'd tumble with one of them, or free for both. Daliah herself actually came by and gave her a calm welcome to the camp said that she wished her forgiveness for her earlier abruptness. It was plain to see that the green haired woman didn't easily say the words but they seemed legitimate enough.

The day went on and around the camp some people trained while others talked. Some read books and training manuals while some played games of chance with dice or with cards. Some went off with one or another for some personal time as well. Discipline was still kept but everyone had some down time here and there.

Soon enough in the evening after eating Malkin walked through the camp looking for Ania. He was interested to hear what she thought after the day there, and interested just to see her again. Having not heard how Daliah attacked her he believed that at least one fire seemed to have been tampered for the moment and he hoped that things would simmer down where the new mage was considered.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:21 PM   #48
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Once Yorgis had sat with her things seemed to die down a bit and people became more friendly. Daliah even apologised for her shortness earlier but Ania didn't fully trust it. The woman was jealous and Ania knew if she spent anytime with Malkin no matter what she was doing she would have to watch her back, jealous women sometimes became stupid women. After it seemed she had met most everyone and names were swimming in her head.

She spent sometime with Yorgis after the meal and knew he kept a close eye on her because of the drug in her system. She was glad he hadn't told everyone but wandered if he would tell Malkin at the very least. After she left Yorgis she went for a walk in the woods of the surrounding area enjoying being in nature and around animals. She had needed a break from the people she wasn't use to so many people being around her. When sun was close to kissing the land goodnight she made her way back to her tent. While out walking she had eaten nuts and berries and had no need of a dinner.

Back in her tent and her home for now the drug was getting close to being out of her system and to distract her from being tempted from taking more as most mages were at the point she began playing with the light from the fire in her favorite crytals casting a slew of colors over her tent's canvas. She knew it was an effect of the drug that let her be so submerged in the light show but at least it kept her from wanting more and soon she would go to sleep
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:32 PM   #49
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Malkin couldn't find Ania anywhere and so he headed to her tent after getting the information from Cestus. Yorgis had said that he should check in on her but little more than that when he'd passed the man later.

So he moved through the tents giving nods to those he passed as people settled in. He stopped at Ania's newly made tent and then tapped a bit on the flap. "Ania. Can I come in?" He asked simply as he stood out and felt the taste of the cold air start to creep in around the camp as they rested in the shadow of the canyon.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:36 PM   #50
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A voice startled her and she dropped the cystals and stared at the closed tent flaps for a moment until she could connect a name to the voice. She sighed when she realized it was Malkin. He was a very attractive man she supposed she could see why Dalaih would be jealous but Dalaih should be with Cestus they would equal eachother out. Picking up her crystals to play again she almost forgot he was there but at the last second before the lights could distract her again she called out, "Come in Malkin."
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