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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    Chapter One: The Enemy Within




    Spoiler: Blue
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    After completing his last mission, the fourth, for the Dragonmarks Elite, Blue was promoted to be officially a member of the Elites, one of the few Warforged able to reach past the level of ‘Affiliate’. Not that it meant anything: after all, ranks in the group are only a badge of valour to show between companions, and none of the agents has ever considered the chain of command something to follow strictly (or even loosely). It took some time for Blue to adapt to this concept of giving ranks without really using them, but Aaren programming was really well done, and as he used to say: “few warforged can show Blue’s ability to change and adapt to new situations”.
    The warforged was invited on the moving fortress to meet with commander d’Phiarlan, and heard of new recruits. Now, it is time to meet them.


    Spoiler: Inuurasha
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    It was difficult for Dekland to convince you to join this trip with a bunch of dragonmarked fanatics. “Look, I know what you think of the houses, and you know you are often right! But this time… this time they are trying to do something good! I’ve seen them in action in the outskirt of the Eldeen reaches last year! They stopped an agent of the Lords of Dust and were even able to broker a peace between to druidic sects that were rivaling themselves for almost a century! You must go and see for yourself! Please, if not for yourself, at least do it for the Flame! You must heed its calling!”
    Whether it was the Flame, Dekland, or the fact that a voyage like this was a novelty, you accepted the invitation, and there you are, waiting to meet one so called commander of those Phiarlan spies.


    Spoiler: Jack
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    When traveling from Thrane to the next known stop of the moving fortress, Jack had the time to recall Tzandra words. “The Flame calls you there, something big is going happen, and you will find more things that lie burning beneath the surface.” Somewhat cryptic, especially from a Templar and not from a prophet, but words worth remembering. Meeting the Dragonmarks Elite the last year was almost a casualty, even if Jarlaxle never seem to act randomly; now, after that mission against the Lord of Dust pawns seemed more a defeat, at least in the eyes of some of the less accepting in the Church hierarchy, knowing that his work was appreciated by someone was a good news for Jack. Maybe what for Jack looked like a stop in his tracks, was actually a new beginning? After all, the Flame burns in mysterious ways...


    Spoiler: Sidara
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    A free week of travel in the most expensive (and slow) ship ever built was an interesting offer; at least that’s what said Gerad d’Medani, Master Inquisitive and agent of the Twelve who contacted you for the third time in less than a year. This time you accepted his offer: “Consider it a pleasure cruise, and maybe you’ll find that the work proposal of our commander is not as bad as you thought”. After all, looking at the Mournland from the windows of the fortress seemed safer than being out there. Now the week is passed, and it is time to meet this famous ‘commander’



    Argonth, the moving fortress, known in all Breland as a glorious relic of times that nobody really wants to live again.

    The constant grind of metal gears and clockwork components creates a slow, steady, humming noise that somehow is not annoying as it should be; it even seem to disappear whenever you walk on the golden tiles covering the Great Hall’s floor. Surely king Boranel did not restrain himself in throwing money to transform this would-be fortress in an attraction and a manifest to Breland power.

    Eera ir’Jalon, Argonth master of magic, told you to wait for her in the Great Hall, an immense room covered with paintings on the walls, depicting various scenes of the Last War, some stylized, some more realistic; all of them picture soldiers of Breland winning a fight or protecting innocent people. The eight columns sustaining the ceiling, which looks way higher in the inside than on the outside, are covered with purple drapes, while banners of the Bear, Breland national symbol, hang from the ceiling every two columns. All the place is clearly meant to impress its visitors, as few as they may be. Every voice echoes in the room, as if all of those who speak were empowered by some arcane manipulation.

    It is only a matter of time before Eera comes back, but now only four figures stand in the Hall, and the humming gears feel more distant every second they wait, while the fortress seems to be still in place, even if the clockwork mechanisms are clearly declaring the opposite: from the distance, you perceive that they are turning faster.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Keeping there links to the OOC thread and your sheets

    Inuurasha
    Sgt. Jack Hammer
    Sidara Kell
    Blue

    Last edited by CozJa; 2017-03-09 at 05:48 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    Inuurasha looked over the hall and a slight chill crept up her spine. The whole fortress brought back unpleasant memories of The Last War. Her gaze lingered on the paintings, sadness in her eyes. She understood of course, people needed these images to rally their spirit after such a horrible period in history. She’d just as well prefer to forget. Forget the horrors war beset upon the lands of Khorvaire, forget the families torn apart, and the atrocities committed by neighbor against neighbor. Of course the scar on the land that is the Mournland, made forgetting impossible, and with the Treaty of Thronehold providing only the most fragile of peace the need to rally national pride was still paramount to the nations leaders. She’d seen the same happening in Thrane, though she’d done her best to shelter herself from the worst of it.

    She was still dressed in a simple, traveling outfit common to the people of Adar, loose fitting and comfortable and a small holy symbol of the Silver Flame hung from her neck. She rubbed her neck and was thankful she’d decided to stow away her armor for the journey. I’m getting too old for this kind of thing, she recalled telling Dekland a week ago when he had approached her with the idea of traveling here and joining up with this peacekeeping squad. And standing here in the cavernous room she felt every bit of her hundred and ten years. Her spirit was resolute however. She had agreed to Dekland's request, with reservations, and before she left Thane had gone to take council with the Keeper, Jaela. She knew it enraged the Cardinal’s that Jaela granted her the occasional audience, but they dared not challenge the will of the Voice of the Flame. It had been jarring, when she met Jaela for the first time because of the physical age of the girl, but she had found the Keeper both wise, comforting, and endearing. The had talked for hours before the trip and Jaela had helped her steel her resolve for what was sure to be a long and dangerous mission.

    She shifted her gaze to the other’s in the room, studying them one by one. She’d not met any of them before and she wondered if these were to be her companions on this journey. She’d met many half-giants in Adar and she was sure one of the three standing here was of that race, but she’d never seen one look quite the way this one did and wondered about his past and where he had come from. As her gaze passed to the warforged the chill she’d been holding back returned a bit. Warforged made her nervous, by their very nature. Reminders of the Last War aside, they troubled her if only because of the secrecy surrounding their creation. She knew they had a soul, but where did it come from? And how had Cannith harnessed this energy. The unanswered questions troubled her, but she held no prejudice against them. She’d known and been friendly with many ‘forged over the years, and knew they possessed the same capacity for kindness and valor inherent in the human race. Her eyes shift to the final figure standing there and she was relived to see another woman in the crew. She nodded in acknowledgment of the woman and broke the silence, hearing her voice echo within the chamber. “Greetings and well met. I am Inuurasha, child of the Rasha clan, walker in the shadows, and humble servant of The Flame. I have traveled many miles from Thrane to be here, and am honored to meet each of you. I assume you are also here to take audience with Eera, as I am?"

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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    Jack stands quietly in the Great Hall. Having recently undergone a ritual to reduce his own size, to the half-giant the room seems even bigger, but he guess he will eventually get used to everything looking that way. While certainly impressed by the host, Jack is well versed in the Arcane arts and could at least name most of the enchantments in place, and sometimes even how they function. Tail, his familiar since the time was still in Xen'drik, sits comfortably on his shoulder, his tiny talons biting in the fabric of his master's simple robe. Jack is not one to show off, though the many marks and tattoos on his exposed flesh can draw some stares at times, and this extends to the way he dresses.

    As he waits, he glances at the others gathered with him. They all seem quite experienced, but very different from each other.
    He recognises the warforged from his previous experience with the Elites, one year before. The rest of them, though, must be fresh recruits, like himself. It speaks volumes of the rate of attrition of such a group: apparently, being the best does not mean being invincible.

    Opposite to him he sees a fellow believer of the Silver Flame. Jack seems to recall seeing her a couple of times as he fulfilled his role as a guard to the Speaker, though they did not interact directly. While he would like to believe that is proof enough of the good character of the woman in front of her, Jack is keenly aware from previous experience that sometimes there will be conflict among people with the same goals and ambitions. He just prays she's not the subject of Tzandra's cryptic warning. Time would tell, as with most things.

    The last one registers to his enhanced senses as a fellow spell caster, though it hardly looks that way. She looks...vibrant... as if standing still were not a natural state for her. Her yellow eyes seem to grab the attention of the viewer and put him on their guard, but the flame touched weapon does a lot to reassure Jack about the woman: it might very well be they have a lot more in common than arcane capabilities.

    He is pulled from his thoughts as the woman in front of him breaks the silence. She greets them very politely, which is always a good thing in Jack's book.
    "I greet you all as well. I am Jack Hammer, born in Xen'drik and now hailing from Flamekeep, student of the arcane arts and its application on the battlefield, fellow servant of the Silver Flame, sworn Protector of the Keep and the Speaker. I cannot speak for the others, but i can confirm I was made to wait here by master Eera. I believe, however, that we are waiting on someone else: the head of the Dragonmarked Elites, if my sources are to be trusted. And they usually are."
    Last edited by iTookUrNick; 2017-03-09 at 02:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    The being known as Blue stands in the Great Hall, his adamantine plates of his face never changing as he takes in the details of Brelish extravagance in the face of war. It's ironic - such a nationalist impulse gave birth to him, in a way. If it weren't for Breland, Aaren would not have had the funding to create Project Cobalt in the first place. While he's never been one for formal settings, this place seems unusually nice and ornate, so he takes extra special care not to crush anything beneath his heavy tread. Every single one of his steps on the floor resounds throughout the chamber; a slow but steady 'thump-thump-thump' as he moves close to the middle of the space. Blue pays no attention to the sight of the lands beyond the windows. He's already surveyed them and studied Argonth's most likely path through the countryside. He's been there since before any of the new recruits or other Elite members arrive, but shows no signs of impatience. In fact, if anyone were to try and ascribe a quality to the glimmering blue eyes beneath the helm, one might say that they were quite content to sit and wait forever.

    At the various introductions, the huge warforged turns his head and orients his shoulders towards each speaker with a slow grinding sound. He says nothing for a while - a much longer pause than is customary in most conversations, long enough in fact for most to believe that he's either not listening or completely ignoring whoever is talking. He does nod slightly at the one who is called 'Jack Hammer', however, upon recognizing him from an earlier assignment, but doesn't answer the question of the woman in veils, this 'Inuurasha' with the overly long name. The glowing lines beneath Blue's armor plates fluctuate with a silent energy, the only real sign beyond his actual movement that this thing is more than just a living statue. Eventually, he does speak. Just three little words, rasped through metal vocal cords as though through a lightning rail engine, but they're enough to serve his purposes.

    "I am Blue."
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2017-03-13 at 11:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    Sidara has hardly stopped moving since she entered the great hall. Pacing alongside the far wall, she glances often and impatiently through the large curtained windows. She seems ill at ease in this floating fortress, wholly disinterested in the extravagance of its furnishings. To those standing nearby, it is all too apparent that she wishes she were elsewhere.

    As the others exchange introductions, she steps into the shadow of one of the large columns and leans a shoulder against the rounded stone. Tucking her thumbs behind her belt buckle, for a rare moment, she is still.

    Appearing relatively young, and of unremarkable height and build, she does not cut a particularly imposing figure. But her eyes, shining from the darkness, yellow, inhuman, predatory, are wearisome in their intensity. Her armor, which she wears with the comfort of a second skin, evidences a lifetime of battle, with small scratches, dents and gouges marking nearly inch of the polished metal. A longsword hangs sheathed at her hip, its grip faded with use and worn to the contours of her hands.

    Her gaze falls first on Inuurasha and then on Jack. She looks them each up and down in turn, her expression a glacial scowl. Symbols of their faith draw particular scrutiny and evoke particular disgust, but she says nothing to either before turning to Blue with a sigh.

    "Never seen a warforged quite like you," she muses after a moment of quiet inspection, seeming to appreciate the construct's unique features. She smiles at his simple greeting. "And where were you made?"

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I apologize again for the delay. This was probably one of the hardest introductory posts I've ever had to write. There's simply no way Sidara would be happy to learn that she's supposed to work with two followers of the Silver Flame, but I don't want to be overtly hostile towards other players' characters, and I certainly don't want anyone to mistake Sidara's disrespect as a character for my disrespect as a player. Finding the right balance will continue to be a challenge moving forward, and I hope you guys won't hesitate to speak up if you feel as though I've handled something inappropriately.

    Edit: I admit I was hoping that Blue had been made in Korth Eston as it would have made for some interesting discussion, but alas, I see now that that's not in the cards.
    Last edited by rypt; 2017-03-13 at 11:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    Blue assesses the threat of the last person to enter the Great Hall, and finds her to be of a higher potential danger. The way she moves suggests a formidable warrior spirit, and her gear marks her out as somebody with experience. But it is her eyes - those yellow, unwavering slits - that are worth the juggernaut's notice. As before, he is slow to answer, his mind parsing out many details great and small. Whether he is unaware or simply doesn't care that his protracted silences are coming off as aloof or rude is not certain. Either way, Blue's eyes meet hers for an uncomfortably long time before he speaks for a second time.

    "I was born in Eston." He emphasizes that singular word without elaborating on why. Project Cobalt - and everything surrounding it - has been filed away as just another secret project of the Last War. Its many financiers and geniuses are either dead or missing; Blue only cares about the whereabouts of one. "And there are no warforged like me: only me." The words are not intended as a boast, but as simple statement of fact. They only had enough material for one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    Jack notice the scowl and the lack of an introduction, but resolves not to press the issue. Despite the end of the war, most of its tragedies are still fresh in people's minds and some individuals had it worse than others. This, in turn, reminds him of his time after the Siege of Shadukar, but he decides not to go there. Fortunately, there does not seem to be anyone from Karrnath among the assembled guests.

    Instead, he cheers at the answer given by Blue: "Well said! Freedom and honour to the new Warforged people. May the Flame guide your steps." As a former slave himself, Jack is a strong supporter of the recognition of the rights of warforged. And when he heard of war forged converting to the True Faith, he knew that not only they were people, but they could be good people to boot.

    Enthusiasm aside, Jack does consider Blue's latter claim. While he certainly looks like the armored hulk of adamantine that people imagine when they think of heavy warforged soldiers, there are some serious modifications in and around the plates. He concentrates, trying to discern the details. He sees some psionic power, not his specialty really) that is an achievement in itself. And then something else... a reactor of sorts? He has no clue.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Do not worry about offending me. I know this is a game, and the setting was made to foster conflict.
    At the same time, I think you made the right decision in not pushing the issue at this time. I'm sure we'll have multiple occasions to explore the topic during the game.
    Last edited by iTookUrNick; 2017-03-14 at 04:33 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    Inu listens as her new companions speak. The anger and derision in the woman eyes take her aback at first, but the Last War has created many feuds, and this isn't the first time she's felt this anger from a stranger for reasons her allegiance to Thrane and The Flame. She resolves to know this woman better and hopefully change her mind as time goes by.

    The warforged is fascinating to her, and she wonders if he is truly a one of a kind model. She never seen one constructed as he is and knows that Cannith was doing all kinds of unusual things in their creation labs during the war so it is certainly possible.

    Well the Jack seems friendly at least, she thinks. She sighs, pushing her thoughts of days at the monastery from her head and focusing on the uncomfortable task of bringing this group together, as she was honor-bound to do.

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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    As you are speaking, the doors on the opposite side of the room open with a loud noise; you can see two cowled warforged moving it from each side, as two figures enter and calmly walk toward you.
    One of them is your well known guest, Eera ir'Jalon; the middle aged woman wears a finely crafted blue robe with white intersections resembling different geometric patterns changing with her movements, while the other one is a tall, lean elf, with penetrating green eyes and jet-black hairs, wearing a dark vest completely devoid of any embellishment.
    If it wasn't for the striking contrast between his sober appearance and Eera gaudy robe, you would feel hard-pressed in noticing the elf presence, like he was more than able to blend into the background, whatever it may be.

    The wizard is the first to speak:
    "Thank you for being here, I know that some of you may find themselves quite away from home here in Brelish territory, both in mind and body. But my friend here, Eluvan, wanted to speak with you about... pressing matters."

    As she point toward him, the elf look at each of you, studying your movements and reactions.

    "Greetings to you, I am commander Eluvan d'Phiarlan, actual leader of the Dragonmarks Elite. Some of you already know what that means, what being an Elite means; and some of you, hopefully, will learn it. As of now, the only thing you need to remember is that our first and foremost goal is to preserve peace across Khorvaire. We are here on Argonth, because in the last year our agents detected a strange pattern of accidents in the city of Sharn. You may have heard of them during your voyages, but only lately the Dark Lanterns were able to connect the dots."

    Spoiler: Knowledge (Local) 5
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    Those are all the news related to these 'accidents':

    The Burned Bodies
    The disappeared tower
    The mad Wizard
    The Falling Tower


    Eluvan stops for a moment, while one of the cowled warforged re-enters the room, approaches Lady ir'Jalon and hands them a pack of papers.

    "You will find more informations about the City Watch investigation reading those papers; the only thing we know for sure, is that somebody is behind those attacks, somebody that seem interested in raising tensions in the city. Needless to say it, but many politicians in Breland are blaming other nations, and campaigning for direct interventions; the Dark Lanterns have still everything in control, but we fear that another spark could have terrible consequences."
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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    Jack feels the two elves coming before they even enter the room. He is relieved, as their arrival breaks the awkwardness of the halting conversation (team building efforts will be necessary in the future). He turns to look just a moment before the doors start swinging, taking in the details of the new arrivals. The commander does seem like a person you'd rather not get on the bad side of. He bows to both of them in formal greeting, not willing to interrupt.

    As the commander explains the issue, Jack recalls the articles on recent editions of Korranberg Chronicle regarding incidents in Sharn. The city gets plenty of coverage, some of it bordering on the unbelievable, but there are a few that stand out in retrospect: cases that featured both powerful magics and a surprising lack of clues regarding the perpetrators.

    As the commander finishes speaking, and the envelopes are getting passed around, Jack takes stock once more of the assembled group. He speaks: "Commander, I am honoured to be among those selected to keep the peace across Khorvaire, and I will strive to succeed on whatever mission you assign us as a sacred duty. However, it looks to me that what you have here in this room is more of a strike team than an inquisitive unit. Do we have any leads yet? Are we supposed to keep our investigation private, or will we be able to count on Brelish agents on-site? And finally, if I may ask, are you expecting strong resistance and conflict within the confines of the city?"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Finally, we have a destination. And... a target, I guess, shady as they might be.

    I don't expect it to matter at the moment, but do let me know if someone stands out for things such as creature type (for example in case they are disguised or something), particularly high intelligence or very strong auras.

    Also, I wanted to ask about your thoughts regarding planar binding in general. I think a Movanic Deva could be a great asset to our current mission, especially since we also lack a supporting divine caster, but I get it is a big deal.
    Last edited by iTookUrNick; 2017-03-19 at 04:28 AM.
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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    The elf turns at Jack, and raises his head to look him in the eyes.

    You are right, in fact we didn't call you there to 'investigate', but to retrieve informations. Being here on Argonth is not by chance: We are approaching Sterngate, the fortress guarding Marguul Pass and you will have to go there. After considerable efforts, we were able to discover that the Emerald Claw has a hidden base in the caves north of Marguul Pass, where they are keeping sensitive documents on their operations in Breland. Our hope is that by obtaining those documents, we will be able to trace the culprits of those attacks in Sharn, and deal a powerful blow to this terrorist organization. After this, we will consider how to... act"

    Eluvan browses quietly through the papers, probably not really paying attention on what is written on it.

    "... as for your other question, you will have the full support of Brelish army and the Dark Lanterns. We have already dispatched some agents that are waiting for you at Sterngate."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    You can now access the dossier in the OOC thread, under the 'Extra Info' spoiler.

    @iTookUrNick: regarding auras, Jack catches a moderate arcane aura on Eera and nothing at all on Eluvan. As for planar Binding, see the OOC thread
    Does this poster have a sign?

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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    Sidara flashes a wry smile at Blue's response. "Were you, now? Well, I was born Eston too. I don't know what that makes us other than equally far from home. Something less than kin but more than strangers, I suppose."

    At the sound of the opening doors, she tilts her head to one side. "Tell me that's what I think it is." She bends over at the waist to peer around the pillar beside her. "Finally," she mutters at the sight of their approaching hosts.

    Sidara listens as patiently as she is able to Eera and Eluvan's introductions. She hasn't the foggiest idea what's been going on in Sharn, and she isn't particularly excited by the prospect of investigating. Better to leave that kind of work to the inquisitives. At the mention of an Emerald Claw base, however, she perks up.

    "So why us?" she asks the shadowmarked elf. "Why me," she gestures to Blue, "why him," and then to the pair of oddball Flamites behind her, her expression souring, "and why them?"
    Last edited by rypt; 2017-03-20 at 10:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Dragonmarks Elite: Golden Stream of Silver (IC)

    "Indeed," grumbles the warforged to the woman Sidara as she speaks more of Eston. "That was well-said."

    Blue nods in some semblance of cordiality as the two figures approach and discuss the particulars of the mission. Despite Eluvan's rank as the commander of the Dragonmarked Elite, Blue finds himself almost unconsciously gravitating towards Eara ir'Jalon. Of the two, she is the one who has spent the time getting to know him, to fix him up between missions. He trusts her. The promises he's made to the organization will stand of course, and he has not come this far only to back down from the first mission... but before Jack speaks up, Blue cannot help but feel a twinge of disappointment. A civilian investigation is not where his talents lie. He is more than aware of his tendency to make others uncomfortable in his presence. So it comes as something of a relief when he hears that the actual mission will be an infiltration of caves north of the Marguul Pass.

    He looks at Sidara again when she brings up the question of why. He thinks about that for a moment, and then another. He does not need to know 'why'. A soldier does not ask why he fights, and so Blue has never asked Eluvan - or any of the other members of the Dragonmark Elite - why they do what they do. They protect people; that's good enough for him. Blue shakes his head slightly, the words of Aaren coming back to him. They are at odds with everything he learned on the battlefield.

    And yet, he is rather curious about the make-up of this team. While he trusts his commanding officers to put the right people on this mission, the tension between Sidara and the other two is palpable. A unit is only as strong as the bonds between them. An old saying, but a true one. He wonders quietly whether this one will last very long.
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2018-03-13 at 11:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
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    Jack perks up as well at the mention of the Emerald Claw. The Flame holds all sacred duties in high esteem, but the Claw is particularly reviled among the enemies of the Faith, especially because of the events of the last war, and Jack is eager to strike down one of their operations.

    He is less pleased to hear the tone in the woman's voice (she has yet to give them a name). However, he is curious to hear the answer to her question, so he keeps silent.

    Afterwards, he takes the opportunity for a couple more questions of a more operative nature:
    "Two quick ones: what are the chances of collateral damage within the caves complex, and do you have a summoning circle available within this keep?"
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    Inuurasha watches as the pair enter the room, studying their movements. She listens, as Eluvan lays out the situation. Peace across Khorvaire was the goal and reason she was here, but a shred of skepticism remained in her mind. No one profited more from the Last War than the Dragonmarked houses, and she knew there were those within its ranks that like nothing more than to see fragile peace fractured once again. She pushed the thoughts from her mind, reminding herself not to hold onto the past too tightly and to not let those past experiences shape her future.

    She furrows her brow as Eluvan speaks of Sharn. It had been almost five decades since she’d been rescued from the sewers there by the grace of The Flame, and the city held nothing for her but painful memories. She hadn’t heard of any of the troubles being discussed currently, but then again she hadn’t heard news of Sharn at all in years as she’d deliberately avoided it. Her mind wandered to Roland; such a sweet naive man. He’d been dead nearly fifty years by the blade of an assassin meant for her, but when she closed her eyes she could see his sweet face and hear his jovial laugh as if he were right in front of her.

    Thank the Flame she whispered to herself as Eluvan discussed striking the outpost at Marguul Pass, perhaps I’ll avoid the towers after all she thought. She listened with quiet composure as her companions spoke, wincing a bit at the unnamed female’s characterization of her and Jack, but feeling compassion for the troubled woman none the less. She could still feel from time to time the pain and anguish being forced to abandon your homeland caused to a person. These feeling would come on like trickles in the recesses of her brain without warning and would spread throughout her body like raindrops rolling down a sheet of glass. She’d never experienced anything like that personally of course, the memories and feelings she felt were those of Rasha, the Quori progenitor of her line. But these feeling made her sympathetic to the feeling of this trouble Cyran. Her anger made sense when viewed against the backdrop of the Cyran-Thranish conflicts that punctuated the war. She hoped that they’d have a chance while on the road to talk and clear the air. But regardless of this woman’s feelings, there was a job to do and little time to do it.

    “I accept your charge Eluvan, and I will see it done.” She says, breaking her silence in a firm direct voice. “How long will it be until we reach Sterngate?"

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    "Well said, lady of two worlds," Eluvan answers to Inuurasha, then he goes on to explain.
    "We are approaching Sterngate, and you will have to leave shortly. That answers even your question, Master Jack, We don't have time for summonings now, but at Sterngate there's a Ghallanda hostel, that should be able to give you the needed assistance in these kind of things. You will be able to assess the best course of action when you reach the fortress, and receive a survey of the place, we asked the help of some... friends."

    The elf turns to Sidara "As for your question, you are all powerful and expert warriors. But that is not the first reason you are here. All of you bear the scars of war and death, all of you know of loss, and all of you know how important it is that something as the Last War doesn't happen again. Remember this when you will have to fight into those caves, or when you will travel with people you don't trust: Your mission is not about yourselves, it is about every living creature of Khorvaire, whether it is a Human, elf, warforged, or whatever else."
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    Jack accepts the elf's explanation with a polite nod, resolving to direct any further questioning to the field agents. His trepidation rising but well under control, he waits for the fortress to arrive to their destination.
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    "Very good." Inu says when their proximity to Sterngate is revealed. This entire fortress made her a bit uneasy and she'd be glad when they were on their way. "I'm still in my traveling clothes, and need to prepare for the journey that awaits us." She continues, retreating a few steps and crouching down while producing a worn leather sack. She places the sack on the floor and opens it wide, sticking her arm in up to the biceps and fishing around. She produces a breastplate of mitheral, scuffed and worn from use, a symbol of the Silver flame etched upon it as well as underclothes, a pair of loose fitting breeches and a pair of high, soft leather boots.

    “I should mention, before we set off” she says as she begins disrobing “that I have the ability to link our minds for short periods of time, a few times each day. It is a blessing of Rasha, progenitor of my line.” She is now nearly naked and you can see her lithe and athletic body is covered in the same twisting tattoos that adorn her face. Many scars are visible as well, a testament to her years of battle. She seems completely at ease and without hesitation, despite her current state of undress. She’d been raised to have no modesty about the body in her homeland of Adar, and years as a solider had only reenforced this.

    She continues speaking as she dresses, “I’m mentioning it because I seek approval from each of you, I believe it would aid us in our mission, but would never link our minds with out permission first.” She looks up as she says this, meeting the yellowed eyes of the woman without a name.

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    Jack sends to Inuurasha: 'It is extremely kind to ask for permission. You have mine, of course. I expect you will have no problem if I do the same. My own special kind of telepathy is not as far reaching as yours might be, but it is always active. I suggest we save yours for when we need or expect to split up.
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    Finding all of Eluvan's answers to the questions asked to be satisfactory, Blue simply bobs his head once in agreement, the sliding of the metal plates around his neck and shoulders grinding out of place and then back again, before realizing that the rest of this team is making their consent known verbally. "I accept this mission, commander," the construct of war says with as much fervour as he can muster.

    While he has nothing more to add himself, Blue listens intently to any more operational details, not even blinking an eye as the monk decides to disrobe in front of their commanding officers. If her aim is to make Commander d'Phiarlan uncomfortable, things might not go according to plan. Then again, it could just be practicality. Who is he to judge? So the warforged says nothing, content to wait for the floating fortress to arrive at Sterngate so they can reconnoiter. When she speaks up about matters of tactics, however, Blue gains a spark of animation.

    "What is the effective range on your link, Inuurasha? Will it work across planar boundaries? And would it be susceptible to a dis?"
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    That is good to know Jack, I agree. Inu mentally responds. She turns toward the warforged as he begins to speak.

    "We would need to be fairly close when establishing the link", she looks around, "perhaps within a distance front that wall over there to the door" she says motioning. "Once the link is established, it's range is the whole of Eberron." She rubs her chin distractedly, thinking for a moment. "I don't believe the link will extend to other planes of existence, but I honestly can't be sure as I've never tried maintaining it across planar boundaries."

    She wonders if the construct has had occasion to traverse the bounds to other planes or is just being thorough and makes a mental note to ask him about it later. "It does not function in an area of dead magic zone, and I imagine would be susceptible to a targeted dispel, though I've never had that happen."

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    Range in establishing the link is 75ft, fyi.
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    Though she seems less than satisfied by the elf's response, Sidara offers no objection. "Yeah, fine, but you'll have to excuse my lack of enthusiasm. There is no shortage of suffering in this world, and it just so happens that you're sending me into a cave with two people whose church is responsible for the majority of mine."

    Sidara rolls her eyes at Inuurasha's immodesty, but does not bother to move. In reply to the monk's request, she laughs a humorless laugh. "If you really want to hear my thoughts, you can go right ahead."

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    "One does not have to follow the Flame to do the Flame's work." quotes Jack, helpfully. "It helps me to remember that when I work with people that do not share my belief, and I'm sure it can help you as well to think our interests are aligned in this: there are few individuals as hated to our Church and our Cause as the members of the Emerald Claw."
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    Eluvan looks at Sidara after her retort, and answers her with a cold glare: "We don't need enthusiasm, we need results." then, he salutes each of you, and quickly leaves the room.

    "I thank you all for being here, and even Eluvan does; it's just that... we are growing thin in our resources." says Eera ir’Jalon who, instead, invites you to follow her across the entrance she came from before, where two cowled warforged are waiting; the little room has nothing of interest, apart from a curious pulley that seems intended both for people and materials alike.
    “This is your way out,” she explains, as one of the warforged opens the door with a loud squeak, and the other starts maneuvering two levers on the wall.

    She steps on the pulley with all of you and you descend for some time. When you reach the bottom, you find yourselves on the left side of Argonth, at a distance of no more than 150ft from the rocky terrain below.
    “I know that this is not the best system of transportation, but captain ir’Ranek didn’t plan for a stop at Sterngate. Liutenant Harod d’Deneith of the Blademarks will be in charge of the expedition logistic, contact him as soon as you reach Sterngate.”

    As you see the figure of a fortress raising up in the mountain's horizon, slowly becoming bigger as you approach it, miss ir’Jarnon enters into the pulley, ready to come back up.
    “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to my studies. Be aware, especially you Blue, else I’ll have to replace my repairing kit!” She says with a smile; before leaving, Eera casts upon you a Feather Fall spell, to let you jump off the Moving Fortress with ease.

    When the fortress is near enough, you all descend with ease, landing on the rocky terrain of Marguul Pass, not distant from the only road leading to the fortress. At the gates of Sterngate you can see four heavily armored soldiers that already noticed you and are expecting for you to approach them.
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    Jack follows Eera as she leads them out. He half listens as she gives the usual speech of how they are all spread thin (which cheapens a little the one about how they are the best), already focused on what it's going to happen after they leave. In doing so he misses the part where they are not stopping to disembark, making him go 'What...?' as they are lowered to the side of the fortress and expected to leave. Still, it's an easy enough idea to pick up after seeing the feather fall spell cast.

    The descent is quite uneventful, especially for someone accustomed to flying as he is. When on solid land once more, he dusts himself off and moves with his companions toward their next stop: Sterngate.
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    Blue salutes Commander d'Phiarlyn stiffly, not registering the change in the elf's tone whatsoever. Orders are orders, and besides, the elf is right; in his experience, esprit du corps has never stopped an enemy's blade. Remembering the last time he had living squad mates, Blue decides not to share this insight out loud.

    When escorted from Argonth's halls and out onto the platform, the warforged takes another moment to survey the hilly terrain. It will make for good ambushes and other stealth engagements, which unfortunately is not his specialty. He will need to prove his value to the team in some other way. Looking down at the ground below, Blue sees a potential opportunity. He listens to Eara intently, and nods when she mentions him, but he does not wait for anyone to cast a ward on him. Her words have made up his mind. The fall will not even hurt. Jumping off, the warforged descends at full speed, hurtling towards the ground.

    Blue lands with a spectacular thud, falling onto one knee and planting his enchanted battlefist into the hard packed earth, which rattles at his impact. Pulling out his midnight blue crystal greatsword - itself nearly the size of a smaller human - is more tiresome, and he finds that he can barely lift it. That will change when we meet the enemy. He looks up at his new teammates as they float lazily to the ground, waiting for them so he can get walking to Sterngate.
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    As though his eyes levied some unspoken challenge, Sidara meets the the Phiarlan's glare in kind, holding it wordlessly and unwaveringly until the moment of his exit.

    The ill-tempered Cyran then turns to Jack. "Nor does one have to follow the church," she remarks as she steps away to follow ir'Jalon.

    It is good to be moving again, more so to be free of this plodding monstrosity. When Eera indicates the precise manner of their departure, Sidara can only laugh, watching with a wide smile as Blue leaps from the edge of the fortress and plummets toward the earth below. "I knew I liked that one," she quips before stepping off the platform and allowing the fortress-mage's magic to carry her gently to the ground.

    Once she's landed, she takes a moment to admire the depression created by the warforged's impact before turning her attention to the not-so-distant Sterngate. "The name's Sidara, by the way."
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    Inu follows the group as they exit the chamber and make their way to bowls of the fortress. She's aching for the open air and moves quickly.

    "Indeed they do not, friend." She replies to Sidara. "The Flame burns bright, without need for the attention of man." She contemplates continuing, but thinks better of it for the time being. "A discussion for another time perhaps. For now, a focus on quick resolution to our charge."

    She steps of the edge and lets Eera's magic carry her to the ground. "Well met Sidara, it seems we're indeed expected." She says, nodding toward the soldiers as she begins walking toward Sterngate.
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    "Well met indeed" agrees Jack. He continues as they move towards Sterngate: "This was... educational, I guess. We learned two things: the first name of the last of our companions to provide it, and which one of us has no need for feather fall spells." It is clear from the tone that he found the last bit impressive. "You seem of very sound constitution, my friend. It would be useful to know what other things do not bother you that might bother our enemies instead. I will not be asking what does bother you, but you are free to volunteer such information if you think I can help in some way."
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    There is no need to be too boastful about these things. It is his purpose to withstand the world; for him to take pride in it would be akin to a bird marvelling at its wings every time it takes flight. The thought makes Blue pause. How would I know if this is the case? I have certainly never lived the life of a bird. He realizes belatedly that once again, he has not answered a question posed of him.

    "It would be simpler to list my weaknesses." Once more, Blue isn't boasting; it's all about making sure his squadmates are informed. He'll be in the trenches with them before too long, and the secrets that went into his creation are not as important as trusting the people at his back. He taps his chestplate to let the adamantine ring. "Exposure to fire or acid can hurt me. It damages my composite plating and inner systems. I am also vulnerable to effects that alter my form. Beyond that, I am more or less invulnerable. I also have a few extra safeguards, but they have limits."

    He pauses again. "Any help you could be in that field would be appreciated."
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