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Old 01-08-2013, 06:14 AM   #1
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Turning of the Tide (Closed for SinisterSpiders)

War ravaged the land. Hardly anybody even knew what had started the war, and what was worse, nobody seemed to care. The dwarves were secluded up in their mountains, decidedly neutral, but as for humans and elves, it was a different story.

The war had started well over twenty years ago. Barely anything at all to an elf, but more than enough time for more than one glory seeking human to join upon coming of age and retire.

The lands to the west of the continent belonged to the elves, and the east belonged to the humans, that much was uncontested. As for the middle ground, the ground had been practically split asunder by all of the artillery and fire traps that had been used.

The battle lines of each were constantly fluctuating as each side tried to outwit the other and gain the upper hand that might turn, or possibly even end the war.

The elves were a proud and noble people, always had been, always would be. As such, they didn't tend to hire on too many mercenaries except in very crucial situations. The humans however, were all about mercenaries. They didn't ask any questions other than, "Do you wanna kill some elves?" It was only for that reason that the humans had started to push the elves back. It was a slow push, but it was steady none-the-less.
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Blood coated the huge battlefield. Human and elf alike lay dead and dying. The battle was over for the most part, except for one curious formation of elves. The humans had all but pulled back for the night, which is what made this particular batch stand out from the rest. The reason for this circle was of course a man.

Darion's eyes flitted back and forth from elf to elf. He knew how it had happened, and he'd tried to stop it, but his men had been too eager. The enemy had pulled back their center, a common ploy. Unfortunately, Darion had been leading a fairly young company, with only a few veterans, and the moment they saw the elves pulling back, they charged forward.

Darion wore a fine suit of chainmail. It had been made by the elves, but few humans would admit it. Over the chainmail he wore plates guarding his shins and calves, his thighs, his forearms, biceps, and of course a breastplate covering his chest and back. Curiously enough though, as many of the elves surrounding him commented quietly about, was the helmet. Despite the fact that his weapons and armor told the story of an agile warrior who would want to be able to see as much as he could, Darion wore a heavy helmet that covered his entire face, with only his eyes showing.

Darion's reason for this was quite valid, but he dared not tell any of the elves of it. He was posing as a mercenary, but he was in fact the prince of the king who led the human army. Even worse was that he was a half-breed bastard half-elf. His mother had been human, and she had been raped by an elvish warrior on a night raid, or so he had been told.

The king had of course been so ashamed of the incident, and the child that had ensued that he had his wife banished, especially after she failed to bear any more children after Darion. Worse for him yet, was that since Darion was in fact the only one to even slightly pose as an heir, the king had to keep him around until he remarried and hopefully had an heir of his own blood.

As such, Darion's past had been kept strictly secret, he'd been forbade to talk about it, and his social interactions had been horribly restricted. It was for those reasons that Darion had taken to the sword, or swords rather was the better term, for he bore two scimitars.

Darion had caught on quickly, and when he had heard that The Tempest was going to arrive to teach some of the king's best, of course Darion had been there. Even then, Darion had worn the helm, hiding his identity. Only six other men in addition to himself had passed The Tempest's tests and been allowed to learn from him. And learn he did, The Tempest was said to be the finest warrior on this continent or the next.

So there he was, Prince Darion, taught by The Tempest, with all the other six who had learned from him dead around him. Scattered around the bodies of Darion and the other six were no less than fifty elven warriors, and it was this that caused the hesitation among the elves. Many of them had bows pointed at the lone figured standing in the center, but it was hardly necessary. Blood flowed freely down his left leg, and that arm hung limp at his side. Darion's head was hung low, and he was breathing heavily. He was tired, exhausted, and ready to drop, yet some unknown force kept him up. Clenched in his other hand was one of his scimitars.

The elves surrounding him weren't quite sure what to do with him. Yes, it would be easy to kill him, but would the general want someone such as he dead or alive? One of the soldiers ran off in the direction of the generals tent, leaving the others back to guard the stranger.

When the messenger came upon the general's tent he was allowed inside. The man removed his helmet and bowed his head respectfully before the general. As fate would have it though, the general was not only that, but a queen as well, and one of the finest leaders and tacticians the elves had ever had or seen. "General, there is a..situation. We have a man we need you to check out." The elf knew he was taking a chance, but he hoped she was in a good mood from the victory.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:23 PM   #2
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General Kel'aris

Kel’aris sighed as she dipped a soft cloth into a steaming hot bowl of water. The fabric soaked up the fluid eagerly and she drew it out again slowly. She wrung the cloth out between blood and dirt caked fingers and then wiped it over her dirty brow, relishing the feel of a hot liquid other than blood on her skin.

All things considered, the battle had gone well. She had lost some of her people to be sure, but their victory was confirmed. The soldiers she had lost had died knowing that they were fighting to advance their cause and protect their families and their way of life. When she had finally walked away from the field it was with the knowledge that her people had not died in vain; she had dispatched a regiment of soldiers to finish of those enemies wounded beyond repair and to round up those who could be used as prisoners of war.

A second drenching of the cloth was enough to wipe the worst of the grime off her face, and the third was dedicated to rehydrating the blood and dirt in her hair before she untied it and made an effort to comb it through. As she combed, Kel’aris remained on her feet. It had been a long fight and an even longer journey to get to this point. Even as the leader of the Elves their quest had taken its toll on her. She feared that if she sat down she wouldn’t want or be able to get up again for a very long time… And being idle was something that she couldn't afford.

Kel’aris, like all Elven leaders, was not only the political leader, but the military one. Given that her patronage of their people had spanned a mere forty years and twenty two of those had been invested in this war; she was known primarily as the General. It wasn’t until recently that Kel’aris was bothered by the length of the war; at first she’d assumed that the humans would be easy to defeat. Now, however, she knew better than that. The humans had proven themselves to be a mighty foe; what they lacked in skill and life span they more than made up for in effort and sheer numbers. The tide of the short-lived enemies had risen steadily over the years, their numbers seemingly inexhaustible. Even though this campaign was but a small measure of sand in the hourglass of her life, it felt as though it had dragged on well beyond what it should have…. And that was something that her ever-growing number of naysayers had taken up as their prime argument against her. That was, until now. This battle had been fought the main group of the human foot soldiers, and her skilful warriors had taken them down.

Kel’aris shook out her raven black hair, pleased that the knots and blood had worked out reasonably quickly. Her fingers then loosened her bracers and she sighed in relief as she felt the cooler air of her tent caress her sweat soaked skin.

She heard the stern voices of the guards outside of her tent and her eyes snapped up as she placed her bracers onto her desk carefully. The curtain of her tent was swept aside and she looked up to see one of her soldiers removing his helmet and bowing his head respectfully. She inclined her own in acknowledgement.

“General, there is a … situation. We have a man we need you to check out.”

The relief that she had felt at the victory slowly seeped away as she looked at the nervous soldier before her.

“But of course.” Kel’aris murmured to herself before looking at the man more seriously. “Very well, take me to him.” She said, picking up her newly cleaned scimitar and her green and gold plumed helm.

After a few minutes of walking their destination was clear. They had cleared the tents of her people and were headed towards the field of battle. Even though the fighting was mostly done there was still a flurry of activity, healers, servants of Is’nar and soldiers all going about their business. However, there was a formation that stood out from the rest off in the distance. Kel’aris began to walk faster as she saw her honour guard standing in a wide circle around a chain mail clad fighter who was looking around them with a sense of calm that belied his situation. The enemy was wounded, that much was certain from this distance. Kel’aris could see the crimson sheen of blood flowing freely down his leg, and one arm hung by his side like while the other clenched a scimitar for as though his life depended on it. Which it very well may.

“Why does this one warrant my attention?” Kel’aris asked the messenger as they approached the grizzly tableaux.

“He alone remains,” The male begun, panting heavily “six of his most skilled comrades lay dead beside him, yet it took all of your honour guard’s attention to get him to this point. He is strong, General, and we thought that you might want to interrogate him before we did anything more permanent.”

“Very well.” Kel’aris said briskly. “Thankyou Jariel.”

The circle of her Honour Guard parted before her as she approached. Their heads bowed in respect, but their eyes carefully schooled on the wary warrior between them.

“General!” She turned to Lehrik as he spoke. He placed a hand on his helm and looked at her meaningfully. She rolled her eyes and continued towards the prisoner, her helm still held under her arm. She did not get to her position being intimidated by one armed warriors.

“You.” Kel’aris said, her voice ringing loudly with authority . “What do your people call you?” She looked into the eye slits of the full helm and did not look at the ground below her feet. Ground that was littered with the corpses and blood of her enemies and her kin alike.

Last edited by SinisterSpiders : 01-21-2013 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:44 PM   #3
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Even as Darion stood there, surrounded by elves, he couldn't help but wish that they'd just kill him and get it over with. It would have made things so much easier. He was by no means the type of man who would ever truly wish for a merciful death, but it would serve to spite his father, as well as ease his own pains.

Darion's head did eventually lift a bit more when he saw the circle around him start to stir. He eyed the men curiously, and couldn't help but swallow hard when they parted and bowed their heads so. He didn't have to be the son of a king to know what that meant, and his brown gaze moved immediately to the woman who they had parted for. He'd heard rumors of the beauty of the raven-haired elven queen, and even in the aftermath of battle they barely did her justice.

The queen's words, when they came, were spoken in a loud and authoritative tone, one that he knew every elf around them could hear. He noticed that she met his gaze, and he forced himself to stand up straight, even if he had to favor his bad leg to do it. He met her gaze with a strong glare of his own, intending to die a proud death if it was to come at her order.

"My name is Darion elven queen." Darion said calmly, loud enough for her and their audience to hear.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:09 AM   #4
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General Kel'aris

"Darion?" Kel'aris said, the name rolling off her tongue and bouncing around her mind. The exhaustion of the battle was taking its toll on her and she wasn't able to think of why that name should be familiar. However, knowing that he had to be a great warrior to have survive this fight, she was sure it should be a name she knew.

"You have a choice Darion." Kel'aris said sternly, her twinkling green eyes looking into the brown ones that were shadowed by his helm. "Remove your helm, drop your weapon, and come with us as a prisoner of war. Or, die by my sword."

The threat was very real, but Kel'aris's straight but relaxed posture remained the same. She knew that this man had bested some of her most skilled warriors, but so had she. And she had sustained no noteworthy injuries in the battle.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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Darion listened to Kel'aris' warning, taking note of both the look in her twinkling green eyes, and her posture. He could tell that her threat was very real, and judging from her appearance, she was not as wounded as he was. Despite what he saw though, he held her gaze and spoke. "And what is there for me to gain from such an offer? Do you really think somebody like me, somebody who can do all this..." Darion lifted his sword and gestured at the grisly scene that surrounded the pair of them before continuing. "would ever willingly choose life as a prisoner over the honor of dying at the hands of a queen?"

Even after he spoke, Darion held Kel'aris' gaze, giving his words a few seconds to sink in before he spoke once more. "It is rather sad though, that we could never have a fair fight here. I would very much enjoy that, even with my injuries. We both know your men would never allow it though." Darion let his gaze move slowly back and forth, taking in the circle of men who still surrounded him, bows still in hand with arrows readied. "Even if you told them to stand by, they would never let me strike a killing blow before turning me in to a pincushion."

Darion lifted his sword once more as his brown gaze settled back on Kel'aris. "It is for that reason, and that reason alone elven queen, that I do this." He lowered his arm and brought it across his body, dropping the finely crafted weapon on top of it's twin on the ground. "My weapon is dropped, and I will come as your prisoner, but if you want my helmet removed, you can do it yourself." Ir was a gamble, Darion knew that, but he was still a prince at heart, even if next to nobody knew that. His pride would always be with him, especially with the knowledge and skill that he possessed. If she wanted to kill him for his insolence, he was ready to die.
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG2zyeVRcbs

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:04 AM   #6
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General Kel'aris

Kel'aris watched as Darion's blade clattered to the ground to join its twin. She looked up at him, amused, after his impassioned speech.

"With one breath you say you would never willingly become a prisoner, yet with the next you surrender yourself." Kel'aris said shaking her head, her voice carrying clear across the field.

"And it is regretful that you will not take me at my word. If I challenge you to a fight and order my men and women not to interfere, they wouldn't dare. The word of an elf is tied to their honour, and I spoke truly." Kel'aris explained. She took a few steps towards the lone soldier in the circle and slid her scimitar into the scabbard at her hip before turning and throwing her helm towards Lehrik who caught it easily.

"Though as you said, it would not be a fair fight. Not with you as injured as you are." Kel'aris's last few steps took her to the spot just before the injured man. He was taller than her, quite a bit so, but she reached up and gripped the bottom of his helm. She pushed it up and over his head and let it clang to the ground on top of his weapons.

"A prisoner of war indeed!" Kel'aris exclaimed, taking a step back so that she could get a better look at his features.

He was handsome, there was no denying that, but what made him so was the unusual mix of features on his face. Not full man, nor full elf. He had the elven jawline and eyes, but he had the ears and brow of a human. His brown eyes danced with wisdom that was often lacking in the eyes of the short lived race. She reached up, taking his chin in her hand, and turned his face this way and that. She could hear a murmur of discussion from her Honour Guard.

"Hmm... Something tells me that you will be worth much more to us alive." Kel'aris said. She turned on her heel and begun to walk towards the circle of our people.

"An'are elet shalome!" She hissed to Lehrik in their language as she passed him. Kel'aris snatched her helmet from her grasp by the plume as she exited the circle.

Seize the half-breed!
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:33 PM   #7
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Darion remained still, even as Kel'aris approached him. The desire to try and attack was incredibly strong, but he forced himself to endure the humiliation of her removing his helmet. Her words were in no way a surprise, and neither was the murmur of discussion that his appearance sent through the circle of surrounding soldiers.

As Kel'aris turned her back and started to walk away, Darion moved to follow, but her words forced him to pause. When the circle of soldiers started to close in around him, he tried to pick up his pace to follow Kel'aris. His injury made it difficult though, as did the many hands that tried to grab his arms, being none to gentle with his injury. "I'm not going try anything!" Darion shouted, trying to shake the hands free of his form, hoping to salvage at least a little bit of dignity from this situation. The motion did cause him to gasp softly from the pain in his arm though, and the soldiers paid no heed to his words or motions. Their grips simply tightened on him as they practically pulled him after Kel'aris, offering up little mercy for his injured leg.

Sadly, there was nothing for Darion to do but try and endure the humiliation and pain that surrounded him, hoping that he would get a chance for revenge against the soldiers around him, and the damn queen that led them.
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Old 01-16-2013, 06:35 AM   #8
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General Kel'aris

As Kel'aris left the circle of her people she could hear the commotion behind her. She was tempted to tell her soldiers not to be too rough, but Darion was their prisoner now. And a prisoner that had killed some of her own people.

When Kel'aris reached the main avenue of tents her course diverted from that of her guardsmen and the prisoner. She returned to her own tent and resumed her cleansing ritual. It felt good to be free of the grime and blood of battle but throughout the cleansing the memory of Darion's features nagged at the back of her mind. As soon as Kel'aris had tugged her clothes on she pulled back the curtain covering the entrance to her tent.

"Tulmar?" She said, one of her guards turned and stood to attention.

"Please find Lehrik and have him come here." The guard nodded and then went about to do her bidding.

~*~

It was a while before Tulmar returned with Lehrik. When he did, General Kel'aris thanked her guard for his service and invited the leader of her honour guard to sit at her desk with her.

"What do you know of this half-breed? Darion?" Kel'aris asked.

"We've been trying to find out something, anything." Lehrik said with a grim expression. "The most we have heard is some far fetched rumour about him being the King's son. However, I don't put much stock in this rumour. If the King had a half-breed heir we would have known about it."

"Hmm..." Kel'aris thought about that rumour. "Do me a favour please? Once Darion's wounds have been tended and he has been cleaned and fed, please have him brought to me."

Darion nodded and got to his feet. Before he could leave the tent Kel'aris called his name and stalled him.

"Lehrik? Please don't undermine me again like that. If I want to approach an enemy it is unsightly of you to reprimand me like that."

Lehrik looked as though he wanted to argue but a stern look from Kel'aris set that determination to rest. Instead, he merely nodded and left the tent. Kel'aris relaxed back in her chair, thankful to be off her feet for the first time in what felt like days.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:03 PM   #9
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The only good thing that Darion could pull from his treatment, was that it was short. The circle of men that guided him after their queen diverted from that path, and he could only imagine where he would end up.

When he got to his destination though, he was actually surprised. He'd expected to be put with the rest of the prisoners, but he was instead brought to what looked like the camps medical area. He was of course not left unattended, and both of his hands were shackled to the sides of his bed. It was far from ideal, but it was certainly better than what he'd expected.

Darion was similarly surprised at the treatment he received. Though they were less than gentle or cordial with his injured body, they did tend to his wounds, clean him of the filth and stench of battle, and feed him a full meal.

Though he'd been looking forward to resting after his meal, Darion was surprised when the guard came for him almost immediately. If there was one thing that Darion could be grateful for, it was that given the condition he was in, with both his left arm and leg injured, he had to be supported while they walked. This time though, there wasn't a doubt in his mind where he was being taken. It was just a question of what Kel'aris wanted with him.
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Old 01-21-2013, 05:43 AM   #10
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General Kel'aris

Kel'aris was taking a sip of sweet spring wine when a guard brought Darion into her tent. She sat a little straighter as her keep eyes observed him.

"I see my people have tended to your wounds." Kel'aris said with a nod of approval. Now that the dirt and grime was gone she could see him better. The fact that he was half human and half elf stood out even more prominently now, and she understood why he hadn't taken his own helmet off willingly.

"Lotrin, can you please bring that seat over for Darion?" Kel'aris asked. The guard left the half-breed to stand on his own two feet (however injured) while he complied with her request. The chair was pushed unceremoniously against the back of Darion's knees so that he fell back into it without the change to appear graceful.

"Thank you Lotrin. You can leave us now, just wait outside the tent and I will call you when Darion needs to return to a cell." Lotrin inclined his head respectfully before exiting the tent. Kel'aris took another sip of wine before looking at Darion. "How have my peolpe treated you thus far?" She asked, "After the battle, that is." She added with a slight smile.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:55 AM   #11
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Darion was thankful that he was at least able to stand, if not quite easily walk with his injury. It made things far less embarrassing when the solder fetched the chair that the queen requested for him. He did not however, appreciate the roughness with which it was pressed to the back of his knees. He grunted as the motion took his weak legs from under him and deposited him heavily onto the chair.

Kel'aris' words brought Darion's almond shaped brown eyes to her. He noticed the small smile on her face, and he couldn't help but scoff at her. "Better than they've treated any of the other prisoners you've managed to capture I'd bet." Darion said, a hint of spite in his voice. He met the elven queen's green gaze and held it, determined not to show any form of weakness in her presence. He knew that he would need every ounce of his resolve if he was going to get him out of this situation, and he certainly did intend to get out of it.
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:05 AM   #12
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General Kel'aris

"You scoff at my question." Kel'aris stated evenly. "Tell me Darion, how do the humans treat my people when they take them prisoner?"
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:17 AM   #13
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Kel'aris's next question actually caught Darion off guard. It was spoken in an even tone, a far cray from the condescending tone she'd been using towards him until this point. He held her gaze for a long time in the wake of it before finally bowing his head, giving it a slow shake back and forth.

"Truthfully speaking,highness, you probably do not want to know. Humans are a barbaric people, and though most don't even know how this war began, they hate elves with a fiery passion that has practically been beaten into them."

Darion closed his brown eyes briefly, her question bringing to mind the cruel tortures and eventual executions that he'd seen, all approved by his father.
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:26 AM   #14
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General Kel'aris

Darion didn't need to voice his answer, Kel'aris could see it in the way he hung his head. His tone only added to his confession.

"Perhaps next time you scoff at your treatment you can spare a thought for my kin, and yours for that matter, who weren't treated quite so well." Kel'aris let out a slight sigh for continuing. "You mention that most of your people have forgotten how this war started in the first place. What about you Darion? Do you know why you have been sent to fight back my forces?"
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:03 AM   #15
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Darion actually found himself briefly sympathizing with Kel'aris and the elven prisoners that had been tortured and killed. That sympathy lasted only until her final statement. Her words brought his head up, a fiery look in his elven eyes as he practically spat his words at her.

"I did not say my people elven queen. For I have no people. Elves say I'm half human, and humans say I'm half elf. I don't know or care how this war got started I am simply a mercenary trying to make a living doing what I do best."

Part of what Darion had said was true, and part of it wasn't. The lie he told about not knowing how the war got started though, was one he'd told many times. It went hand in hand with the lie that he told about his lineage, and they were both lies that came as easily and naturally to him as any truth he spoke, a fact he was grateful for, because he did not want to imagine his fate if Kel'aris ever found out who he truly was.
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Sappy or not, this song is the story of my life, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Old 01-21-2013, 07:24 AM   #16
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General Kel'aris

"Perhaps the problem is not that you have no people, rather that you have two." Kel'aris said. She was shocked by the sudden venom in his words, but she had no intention of letting it show. She hadn't gotten to her position of General by letting her emotions rule her expressions.

"You are right, however. My people would say that you are half human. You are different to most of us. " Kel'aris conceded. "Just as you are different to most humans. It must have been hard for you, growing up. Forced to straddle the divide between two warring nations in a civilization intolerant to difference."

Reluctantly Kel'aris got to her tired feet so that her height was now above his.

"You are also wrong in one thing. You are not just a mercenary. You fought surrounded by a group of the most skilled warriors that the humans had to offer. You held your own while they all perished. You remained proud and defiant when I made you the offer to come as a prisoner. A mercenary doesn't refuse to join an enemy. A mercenary doesn't allow themselves to become a prisoner of war; they are tools of war, they fight for the side that will pay them the most, or take away the least."

Kel'aris walked around to the front of her desk and leant against it, crossing her arms over her breasts and looking deep into Darion's anger filled eyes.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:47 AM   #17
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Darion was hard-pressed to hide his surprise at what Kel'aris said. She, of all people, was the last one he'd ever expected to understand what his life had been like, be it his childhood, his adult life, or his current predicament. Yet there she was, speaking confidently about things most people could never grasp, staring at him, almost daring him to tell her that she was wrong.

Darion stared hard into Kel'aris's eyes, studying her for several long minutes. Her gaze didn't waver, but neither did his. It was a standoff of sorts, but not the quite that one would have expected. Somebody did have to break the silence though, and eventually, Darion did.

"They watched me take their combat tests." He said at last, his gaze lowering and turning to the side as he remembered the events of a day in his past that he would never forget. "They said that I was made for this war, that I was born to end lives. It was easy for me to do it, having been hated all my life, but I didn't expect this, didn't think I'd ever get to train under The Tempest."

Even as he spoke, Darion wondered if the queen would know who The Tempest was. The war had been going on for a long time, but the legend of The Tempest, a man whose speed and weapon skill supposedly knew no equal, was an old one indeed. With a low grunt, Darion forced himself to his feet, favoring his bad leg way more than he wanted to be.

"I was with a skilled company today, but skilled as they were, they were also young, and new to the front lines. A more experienced group would have realized your ploy and fallen back instead of charge forward, and perhaps a better man than I would have been able to save them, or at least control them. I couldn't leave them to their fate though. I had to try."

When he was done speaking, Darion scoffed audibly at his own words before turning back, looking at Kel'aris over his shoulder. "And look where that got me." After his final statement, Darion turned back around, fully facing the elven queen. He let his eyes move over her form, taking in the elven beauty before him.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:44 PM   #18
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General Kel'aris

The Tempest? Kel'aris thought as Darion spoke. That certainly explains it. There had been many great human figthers, that Kel'aris would never deny. However, the ones of legend were few and far between. One of those legends, one who had survived more battles than he had years (and he was reportedly over forty), was The Tempest. Kel'aris had yet to see him fight with her own eyes but reports had come in from witnesses, a testament to his greatness. His skill could match that of even the greatest elven warrior. So naturally Kel'aris wondered what it would be like to test her own steel against his.

Kel'aris watched Darion as he spoke of his fallen comrades. For someone who admitted that he had been hated for his entire life he had an unusual amount of compassion and duty. That was good. Compassion and duty, like anger, could be worked with.

"You did the right thing." Kel'aris said with a curt nod, "You stood with your brothers and fought until you could fight no more. You being able to save them had less to do with you being a better man than it had to do with the battle being ill planned and ill conceived. The human forces outnumbered mine three to one and despite that they were still defeated. Your leaders are bold, but they are rash. They send their people out to fight as though they would send them out to drink. Every life is valuable in a society, not just those who sit on thrones with crowns and fur capes. "

Kel'aris stopped and took a deep breath, calming her growing anger.

"As for where your actions got you? Well, you may not like this but you will be with us for some time. That is, of course, unless you manage to escape or die of your wounds in the mean time." Kel'aris returned to her desk and sunk into her chair, she leant back, looking into Darion's defiant eyes. "Lotrin?" Kel'aris called loudly, a split second later the curtain door of her tent opened "Please return Darion to wherever it is that we are keeping him."

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Old 01-21-2013, 07:22 PM   #19
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Darion didn't turn back to Kel'aris until she started to speak. He listened to her tell him that he'd done the right thing, but all it served to do was make him more mad at his predicament. Her telling him that he was going to be with them for quite some time did nothing to calm him. Despite his anger though, Darion held his tongue, despite the fist that his right hand slowly clenched itself into.

Ultimately, it was the queen calling for Lotrin, and the careless way in which she told the man to take him back wherever they were keeping him that caused Darion to snap. He new how the man would approach him, and the second the man was standing right behind him, Darion acted. He turned, as swiftly as a cat, adrenaline aiding his motion.

Being half-human, Darion was taller than the man, and as he turned, his clenched right fist came around, catching the surprised man square on the jaw. As the man went down, Darion's hand kept moving, gripping the man's sheathed scimitar and completing the spin with the weapon in his hand.

The guards outside heard the commotion and charged through the tent flaps, weapons drawn. Darion was ready for them though, and he lifted the single blade to parry first one of their weapons aside, then the other. He then brought the blade back towards the first guard, catching him on the temple with the flat of the blade. Even as the man fell unconscious though, Darion was reversing that fast moving blade, bringing it back towards the second guard, catching her on the temple as well, also with the flat of the blade.

The commotion was over almost before it began, and Darion turned himself sideways, his right size facing Kel'aris, giving him a clear view of the tent flap. It wouldn't take long for more guards to appear, but he had something to say.

"And what right do you have to say that I did right or wrong? Can you honestly say you would have done the same thing in my shoes, elven queen? Would you have stood to the last soldier, knowing what fate awaited you at the hands of my f...king?" Darion lowered his gaze for the briefest of seconds, having lost all sense of what he was saying in that instant, realizing that in his anger, he'd all but given himself away. When his gaze came back up though, his brown eyes burned with intensity once more. "You say that every life is valuable. I just spared three." Darion gestured briefly to the fallen soldiers before casting the blade he held to the ground. "Remember that before you pass judgement on me."

With his last words spoken, and the sounds of many booted footfalls coming towards the tent, Darion limped backwards towards the side of the tent. He knew well enough that he couldn't take on an entire army of elves, and he wasn't even going to try. He'd made the point he wanted to make, and it was time for him to die, he was ready for it. All he could do was look Kel'aris in the eye and wait for it to come.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:47 PM   #20
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General Kel'aris

Kel'aris watched as Darion spun and punched Lotrin. She had seen angry prisoners before so his actions were no surprise. What was surprising, however, was the speed and efficiency with which he incapacitated the two guards that came in when they heard their comrade fall. Despite his injuries Darion managed to knock three of her soldiers unconscious, and through her haze of anger at his actions Kel'aris couldn't help but acknowledge his skill.

Even though Darion was angry and had turned on her people Kel'aris didn't reach for her weapon. Had he wanted to kill her soldiers he probably would have, and then he would have had to deal with her wrath. What he had done was make a point. Or, more to the point, thrown a tantrum. He had let his human side get the better of him and completely disregard what she had said. Perhaps she was wrong, perhaps he wasn't ready to hear her properly.

What did catch her attention though, was Darion's earlier slip of the tongue. 'Would you have stood to the last soldier, knowing what fate awaited you at the hands of my f...king' Kel'aris found this little mistake particularly interesting, and decided to investigate further once he was safely restrained.

Once Darion stopped moving it only took a few seconds for her soldiers to swarm into her tent. Two of them took each of his arms and held him tightly. Kel'aris got back to her feet and walked towards him slowly, fixing him with an acidic glare.

"The only judgement you need fear is that which you pass on yourself." She said as she closed the distance between them. Her face was inches from his as her eyes green eyes burned into his brown ones. "Nothing, Darion, and I mean nothing, will torture you more than your own self doubt and insecurity."

Kel'aris turned her back on him as she leant down, her fingers going to the neck of Lotrin to feel his pulse. She slowly did the same for the other two guards and confirmed that they were both still alive, albeit unconscious.

"You are angry Darion, I can understand that. But please take my word for it when I say that another show like this won't go unpunished. I am not only a queen, as you seem so fond of calling me, but a General. And yes, I value all of the people I serve. If your hurt another one then I will call on you to pay your debt to them and their families."

With a haphazard flick of her hand Kel'aris dismissed Darion and her soldiers. She spent a bit of time channelling some healing magic into each of them. It was difficult; she was worn out and tired beyond reckoning. However, her desire to keep them alive enough to allow her to channel an adequate amount of magic into them to keep them stable. When Kel'aris was satisfied she got to her feet and left the tent to find some healers.

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Old 01-21-2013, 08:07 PM   #21
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When the men grabbed him, Darion wasn't actually sure whether he wanted them to kill him or not. He winced noticeably at their rough treatment, but given the circumstances, he'd have been a fool to expect anything different. He would also have been a fool to expect Kel'aris to respond differently from how she did. The arms that held him tightened and pulled his limbs a bit farther, ensuring his helplessness, despite the trickle of blood seeping through the bandages on both his arm and his leg.

Kel'aris words, spoken in that tone, and with those green eyes burning into his own though, only served to prompt a response. "And what judgement is that highness? What doubt and insecurity did you see just now. The closest thing somebody could peg as such is the fact that I didn't kill your soldiers when I had the chance. Ask yourself this highness. Why didn't I kill them, and why didn't I attack you? Ask those questions and come to me when you have an answer."

Darion knew he had no right to say what he did, or demand anything of Kel'aris, but he was young and proud, and he would be damned before he let her speak to him as anything less than an equal.

Though Darion heard the last of Kel'aris' words, he paid them no heed. He had no intentions of repeating what he'd just done. The casual flick of her wrist indicated that they were done with each other for now, and the rough treatment only continued for Darion as he was pushed and puled through the tents. He was thankful though, when the medical tent he'd been brought to before came into sight.

The night would find Darion shackled to his medical cot. Both of his wrists and ankles were shackled this time though, and four soldiers stood around his cot, weapons drawn, almost seeming to be waiting for the opportunity to finish him off. He was thankful though, that his wounds had been given fresh bandages. It would be a long night like this, but Darion knew that it was a night he deserved and had brought on himself. He only hoped that the next morning came quickly.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:53 PM   #22
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General Kel'aris

The next few days were a whirlwind of meetings, briefings and debriefings. Between the near constant stream of duties General Kel'aris managed to find snatches of time to conduct further investigations into the mystery of Darion. Much to her disappointment, but not so much surprise, there was very little to be said of him. What Kel'aris had managed to uncover was interesting indeed.

Very few of the human prisoners knew of a half breed in their ranks. Some had heard rumours, other had just laughed off the suggestion. However, they all knew of the mysterious mercenary, Darion, who never removed his helm. There were tales that it was because of a fight he'd had as a lad; he had disfiguring scars that he wanted to hide from view. Others said that it was because he was really a woman, and he wanted to hide his face so that he could still fight. Whatever the rumour, each seemed to be as untrue as the next, and none had supposed that he was half them and half their enemy.

Aside from these rumours Kel'aris was unable to uncover any other useful information. His age was as much a mystery to her as it was to his comrades; being half elven kind she was unable to guess at his true age. For a human he looked young, in his early twenties or late teens at best, however with the blood of the long-lived in his veins it would be useless to try and make a guess.

What had puzzled Kel'aris the most, however, was the way he had faltered in his words in his anger. 'Would you have stood to the last soldier, knowing what fate awaited you at the hands of my f...king' . Kel'aris had a good hold of the human tongue, and for all her knowledge she could only think of one word that would have finished his ill-fated sentence before he had scrambled to change it.

Father.

Kel'aris did not want to jump to conclusions. She was a patient General who knew that, in time, the mysterious Darion would be unveiled to her. So, despite her curiosity, she did not visit him. In this case though, his words had spoken louder than his actions. He had talked to her as though he had a right to demand things, a right that few felt entitled to. She had thought of several possibilities for why he hadn't killed her people or attacked her, but the most prominent was self preservation. He was a fighter, in more than one sense of the word, and a true fighter knew when to go to battle and when to lay down their sword.

Kel'aris had hundreds of years on Darion's decades, and she would not be subject to the beck and call of a passionate adolescent. He would hear no word from her until he gave her something worthy of responding to. So, Kel'aris went about the business of preparing her troops to meet up with eastern flank of their forces. They had won a battle, yes, but the war was not yet over.

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:41 AM   #23
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Though the next few days weren't as bad as Darion had first envisioned when he thought of what life as a captive of the elves would be like, they were still far from enjoyable. The only times that he was allowed off of his cot were to relieve himself, and even then he was escorted by four guards. Healers stopped by every day, and though he knew they could have healed him magically, he wasn't surprised that they chose the slower route that was using herbs and medicines.

The only truly bad thing that Darion could say about his days in the medical tent was that he was bored as all hell. He was a warrior, and had spent tireless hours practicing the very same art that had gotten the elves to spare his life. Now though, he found himself bound and helpless, even if he was healing, and the time was starting to take it's tole on him psychologically. That tole only got worse when he started to hear talk of an upcoming engagement with the enemy.

When the day of the battle finally came and the army started to mobilize, Darion found himself slightly disappointed. He'd expected that Kel'aris would have come to him by now, at the very least to try and get some insight about her enemy. Sadly though, even whilst the battle was going on, he was left alone, potentially all but forgotten, .
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:01 AM   #24
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General Kel'aris

The trip to meet with their Eastern Flank had gone well for the first few days. It wasn't until two of their messengers failed to return that Kel'aris had begun to smell trouble. However, her usual intuition for battle was useless when a scout returned with news of a large host of humans advancing on them quickly. They were cut of from their other, larger, contingent by this new human army and Kel'aris was dumbfounded. Never before had such a large force been able to travel without her knowledge, and the fact that they were but a day's march away from each other chilled her to the bone.

She had begun to send out orders immediately. The scouts had confirmed that the humans were headed right for them. Even if they turned around and tried to go around their Easter Forces would be forced to chose another path, and until messengers stopped disappearing in the no-man's land between there was no way of knowing which way they would go. They would have no choice but to fight. To fight and hope that their comrades were closer than they thought.

The twelve hours leading up to the battle had passed quickly and Kel'aris had all but forgotten about the prisoner being held by their medical unit. It wasn't until a number of her commanders approached her and asked her to utilise their newest tool that she thought of him.

After the battle, she had told them dismissively, at the moment we have more important things to think about.

The battle itself was short but bloody. Their skilled forces were no match for the sheer numbers of humans that trickled through the trees. Their horn of retreat echoed reluctantly through the forest and was met by a resounding cheer of triumphant human voices. In the midst of the chaos she dispatched five messengers, hoping that at least one of them would get through to Commander Greische of the Eatern Flank. They would have to regroup elsewhere. Somewhere safer. Somewhere that they had the advantage of knowing the land where the number of humans would not pose such a problem.

On the first night that they dared set up camp after the battle her commanders had come to her again. Again they had asked what she knew of the half-elf-half-human that they held. Kel'aris had told them that they should be thinking more about the safety of their own people than the mystery of a half-caste young human, but they insisted that she needed to know more.

So, much to Kel'aris annoyance, she made her way towards the row of tents with red streaming banners above them. The smallest tent was heavily guarded, and Kel'aris knew immediately that it was the one that would hold Darion. The guards parted as she made her way in to the tent.

Darion had been strapped securely to the cot, it was good to see that they were taking no chances with him. His wounds were looking better too, undoubtedly thanks to the talented ministrations of her herbalists and healers.

"Darion." She said with a curt nod as stepped inside the tent. "I have heard that you've been the model prisoner thus far."
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:20 AM   #25
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Darion breathed what felt like the thousandth heavy sigh of the closing day. It wasn't so much that he was irritated at being a captive. It was more or less that he was just bored. He hadn't earned the honor to learn from The Tempest by being chained to a cot, and he hadn't learned from the master swordsmen in this position either.

The queen's entry, when it came, actually caught Darion by surprise. He hadn't figured that she would actually show up, especially after a battle. He did not return the greeting or the nod of respect, and what she spoke of him being a model prisoner, he could only chuckle at what he could only assume was a joke.

"It would be awfully hard for me to be anything but a model prisoner wouldn't you say?" Darion asked in a mildly mocking tone. To accentuate his point, he lifted his wrists enough so that the shackles rattled when they met the steel of the side bars on the cot. "I don't suppose I deserve any better though." He said with a shrug. "I had only intended to make a point. I trust your soldiers are doing well enough? I only intended to incapacitate them, not kill them."

Darion's brown eyes shifted then, from a relaxed and calm look to a more serious one. "Pleasantries aside, I can only assume that your visit to my prison has some sort of purpose. May I inquire as to what that purpose might be?" Darion didn't actually expect an answer, let alone the truth, but it didn't hurt to ask. Hell, the more time he spent talking to her, the less time he spent alone.
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