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Val turned back toward the tavern, picking his shirt off the… 
6th-Nov-2006 09:54 pm
Matrix Style


Val turned back toward the tavern, picking his shirt off the ground. “That’s good. A simple life. I almost envy you.” With a far away glance that left him seeming almost vulnerable, he drifted back to the White Wing. “Occasionally, I wish my life were that easy.” That said, the cold shell returned and he looked at Daine. “If you’re finished, today we have a lot of work to do. I had Anne leave a large sum in your room and you have some time to prepare yourself fully. Today we infiltrate the Temple. I’ve already sent for a large party of bounty hunters who will attack in a few hours. We must give the Osia the warning and prepare them for battle.”

As he reached the door, his lips lifted in a mischievous grin, “I told you that you needed to play a role. I hope the one of wife won’t be too much to handle. You have the proper temperament for it.”
He left that hanging in the air as he disappeared into the Inn to prepare for the day’s tasks.

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

Val entered his room with an air that could only be called authoritative. He moved quickly and efficiently, donning the articles of war. First a comfortable, long sleeved silken shirt went over his head, followed by a tight fitting leather tunic. A war harness brought the whole piece together, giving him the look of a warrior mage. An assortment of throwing weapons were pocketed within the harness, adding another deadly element to his already formidable arsenal. His arms were left free, allowing him the movement to cast, with his hands bare as well, negating the risk of spell failure.

His legs sported a loose pair of black trousers of a light material to keep his movement unhindered. The only armor he wore on his lower body consisted of a pair of shin guards, plated with steel. Instead of combat boots, he wore moccasins, light weight and serviceable.

Finally, Val reached for the weapons he preferred to all others. The trench knives he had used since becoming the man he was had served him on all occasions. To him, there were no substitutes. Strapping the sheaths to his waist, he smiled and closed his eyes. It was good to be back in his element.

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

Reaching the common room, he noticed that Daine hadn’t yet arrived. He had no time to waste, so he left a note with Anne for her to meet with him at the temple, but by pass the hunters. Moving swiftly, he saddled his mount and donned the mask and white cloak that had made him legend. It was but a short trip from the capital to the temple, and he had work to finish.

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

He reached the bounty hunter camp in under half an hour, pausing for a moment before being identified by those around him. “You attack soon,” he said without preamble. “You have all been paid well for this mission, and any who brings back the head of a mage will receive double what I have already given you.” This brought a murmer of approval from all those in the vicinity.

“You have 1 hour to prepare. Do not fail me.”

That said, Val spurred his horse away from the camp to a secluded area of the woods. He removed his mask and cloak, burying them in the earth and solidifying them in rock. No one would stumble upon his tracks. He left the stallion where it was and sprinted toward the temple, getting caught up in the role of messenger until a part of his mind actually believed he was.
The temple came in to view quickly, and at about the time he figured he would be spotted, he tripped, falling face first into the ground. It was an easy ploy, but often gave the appearance of a rabbit in flight, making it seem as if he were actually running for his life. He scrambled back to his feet and continued on a dead sprint to the main entrance. His eyes had grown wide in fear, and his nostrils flared with mock effort. He stumbled quite a few more times, making his act seem more real to any of those who watched. In all, it was a flawless performance.

He reached the doors of the temple and all but flung himself at the wood, “Open up,” he screamed, viciously holding onto the act of prey. “Please, please open up,” he begged, slamming balled fists against the door.


Comments 
9th-Nov-2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
Grabbing a hold of his bow, Mortimus grinned. He had felt overly vulnerable without it, at least in the temple. He could defend himself weaponless against a normal enemy, but he didn't like the idea of being at the wrong end of a mage's wand without something a bit more substantial. Luckily, it hadn't come to that. This Icthus person seemed to regard Kea's opinion highly and had decided, he thought, to trust the hunter for no other reason than her supplications.

"Alright," he said, returning to Kea. His rapier was strapped on his left thigh and his quiver slung over his back. "This should be everything."
9th-Nov-2006 11:09 pm (UTC)
Keaira nodded slowly, turning to look at him. "Good," she said. "I don't know how we're going to manage to get through this...how in the world would anyone have found the temple? No one's supposed to know about it..." She bit her lower lip, which was what she usually did when she was worried and nervous. She had only been in her first fight with someone the night before, and doubted it would do much good if she had to use weapons now.
13th-Nov-2006 04:47 am (UTC)
Mortimus smiled warmly and took her hands in his. In truth, he felt as concerned as she did. Ever since he had developed these...feelings for her in particular, a degree of sympathy for these mages had sparked within him. On some level, he wanted to see them win this one after so many years of being trodden down.

"I don't know," he said. "But if they mean harm, we'll stop them."
13th-Nov-2006 04:55 am (UTC)
Keaira looked down at their hands as he took hers in to his, her heart pounding fast in her chest. Slowly her eyes lifted up toward his as she stopped biting her lower lip.

"How can you be so sure?" she half whispered. "Half of the mages in that temple don't even know how to fight. If they're killed..." She swallowed hard, looking back down at her hands. They were small compared to his, and yet they seemed to...fit. "I'm worried most about Icthus. He'll let revenge get in the way of other priorities, and if he's not careful, he'll get hurt."
13th-Nov-2006 05:23 am (UTC)
His heart went out to her. "Don't be afraid, Kea. If it helps...I won't let them do anything to the mages. If it means my life, I won't. And Icthus knows what the dangers are."

He could see that she wasn't convinced. He faltered for a moment, unsure of what to do. Then, with unexpected resolve, he leaned in and planted a small kiss on her cheek. He paused for another moment...then kissed her fully on the lips.
13th-Nov-2006 06:21 am (UTC)
"No, Mortimus," she said, again in a half whisper. "I...you're all ready risking a lot by even helping us. It's inevitable that we're going to lose some mages, and no one can help that," she finished. As he leaned in to kiss her cheek, she felt the color in her cheeks rise, but it disappeared after a moment. And then it happened- his lips were pressed to hers once more, and she found herself pressing hers against his as her eyes slowly closed.
14th-Nov-2006 06:45 am (UTC)
"Kea," he said softly. "You have to understand...I have come to care very deeply for you. I don't want to see anything happen to you or the mages here." He smiled at her. "We'll save as many of them as we can," he offered reassuringly.

(Gah, BS post ;-p)
14th-Nov-2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
When he pulled back, her eyes lifted up to look at him longingly. She knew she had to ignore that feeling, though, just for a moment, and focus on what was about to happen. "I care for you, too, Mortimus...there's something I should tell you. Something I should have told you before you even met Icthus," she said. She looked down at their hands again before looking back up and speaking. "Icthus is my brother...he adopted me as his sister when I was sixteen." She waited for a few more seconds before continuing, giving a short laugh. "He caught me trying to pit pocket him, and we talked...I was one of the first few to join the Osia...do you understand why I'm so worried about him? Why...he might not like the idea of...well, this?"
17th-Nov-2006 08:39 am (UTC)
"A pickpocket sister," Mortimus chuckled. "Well, I always thought there was a special relationship between the two of you." He pulled away and turned his back to her. "If you'd like me to contain myself in the future, I will," he offered.

Silence for a moment; then he added, "Although I hope that is not what you want."
17th-Nov-2006 04:09 pm (UTC)
Keaira laughed, her eyes narrowed to the ground, "I wasn't exactly the best pitpocket either, but he was the only one who'd managed to catch me. And it was almost as though I wanted him to catch me. Pitpocketing and working at taverns, or doing chores around people's houses was the only way I knew how the survive. There is a special relationship between Icthus and I...he trusts me with a lot of responsibility with the Osia, and just in general."

She looked up and watched as he pulled away and turned his back to her, frowning slightly. She walked over to him and put a hand on one of his arms, standing at his side and turning to look up at him, "I don't, Mortimus. Because honestly, I'm not sure that I could contain myself...but we should keep it a secret and not let anyone else know about it, at least until after we've talked to the Elementals and dealt with Malfalcone. The last thing I want to do is stress my brother out because his little sister is...well, with a bounty hunter." She gave a soft laugh, hoping that he would agree with her about waiting to tell Icthus and the other mages.
20th-Nov-2006 04:47 am (UTC)
He smiled lightly. "I can understand that," he replied. His features hardened as he looked at the temple. "Something doesn't smell right here..." he muttered. Reflexively, he tested the bowstring, feeling it pull tight under his fingers.

He couldn't quite explain it, but he felt as though something...well, bad was about to happen. "Come on, we'd better get back quickly. And not just in case Icthus is considering flaying me alive for keeping you out here too long."
20th-Nov-2006 05:25 am (UTC)
"Thank you for understanding, Mortimus. I promise, we can tell him about us when this whole thing is over," Keaira said. She nodded, "You're right, something isn't right...I don't trust those people who were knocking at the door, despite what Liluael was saying." She started walking back to the temple with him at a quick pace, looking around for any signs of something they hadn't seen yet...
22nd-Nov-2006 06:45 am (UTC)
(I got nothin'; maybe have them show up at the Temple soon. If a post is required, then...)

Mortimus ran as fast as he could back to the temple, his senses telling him he should have been there long ago.

(Bleargh.)
22nd-Nov-2006 05:38 pm (UTC)
(I think I'm going to talk to Brent and see what he's planning, because I have an idea, but I don't want to do anything to ruin whatever he's planning. I don't know if Mortimus and/or Keaira could see any of the hiding bounty hunters or something and do a whole "It'S A TRAP!" sort of thing...so I'll have to wait and talk to Brent. >.>)
23rd-Nov-2006 05:21 am (UTC)
(Okay, here's the deal.

...I'd say go ahead and take some random NPC bounty hunters and have them see Kea and Mortimus walking back to the temple. Have them get grabbed and not realize it's Mortimus, and then have Mortimus realize he has to act like he's betraying Keaira or something. And then...yeah. That'll at least get us a start. It's either that or we have them see the hiding bounty hunters and be all IT'S A TRAP!)
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