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Character Count: 90
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Season: Summer

The onset of the Summer season has led to a swarming of Fire-, Electric-, and Bug-types, overtaking most populations in the Region. In their place, Water- and Grass-types have retreated to the shade and to cooler areas, while Ice-types have all but vanished. The rising temperatures has also led to the annual thaw of the infamously cold Istin City, though it remains the coldest.

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 Miles Ashford-Thatcher's Travels, Sir Eev
Adelulf
 Posted: Dec 25 2014, 04:50 AM
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Tier 4 or Die Trying
******
Banned
Total Posts: 743
Member No. 1545
Joined on 8-April 14.


Characters:
Leodel "Leo" Degen, Rodric Steiner "Hatchet", Reva of Fough

Awards: 4




Welcome back to Harper! You know the drill; keep an egg count, request updates after posts, link this to your signature and have some good fun! As requested, this starts off after your freeform The Monk and the Drunk

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The knock at the door came once more. If this second attempt went unanswered, Miles would find himself set up for a morning far too similar to the last (although this time it could actually be called morning). Given the amount of beverage consumed the night prior it would be unlikely that any inhabitant of the room, including the turtwig should he be there as well, would be quick to respond other than Lily. No matter who answers or when, be it the turtwig (vines to turn the handle?) with his initially harsh demeanor, Lily with her calm mind and friendly disposition toward Autumn, or Miles who may want to practice his avoidance skills, Autumn would be found on the other side of the door with a message.

”Momma wanted me to, 'Tell Uncle Miles it is time to get up and pay back a bit of that cask he helped down the last few nights. He needs to get dressed and ready to head out, then meet me in the kitchen. Have him bring his new pals as well.' And good morning everyone!” The imitation of her mother's words would be rather spot on, possible frighteningly so depending on Miles opinion on the matter, but it seemed that duty called. So sober or not, the veteran drunk would have to find his way downstairs and to the kitchen to receive his assignment; after all, his Jack may own this fine establishment but we all know who really runs things in married life. Am I right wink wink?

Hopefully everyone could make it down in one piece, as Carline would give no quarter to even the wounded today – it seems the argument about the amount of work Autumn was doing around the inn had picked back up after Miles had gone to bed – and the mother was in no mood for games or laziness. Carline would pause in her preparations for the days lunch, a carrot half cut before her on the counter, and grace Miles with a no nonsense glare as he entered the room.

“You look like something a poochyena coughed up, Miles. Good grief, clean yourself up a little before I send you out to represent this place.” Now this comment will be uttered regardless of how well Miles managed to compose himself, and “represent” might imply a more serious task than was actually in store. Carline wiped her hands on her apron and then took a sheet of paper off a nearby shelf, holding it out for him to take and making sure her body language showed she wished him to take it quickly. On this sheet of paper would be a variety of words in various states of arrangement depending on the amount of alcohol still in the drunk's system, but once the words could be deciphered it would be clear that this was nothing but a grocery list.

“That broken cask last night in the store room did more harm than we thought, so my dear husband is having to finish cleaning and I have a stew to prepare for guests. Since no one else here old enough to grab today's groceries can be employed for free, the job falls to you. The faster you get to the stands the better, I want the freshest ingredients possible for dinner tonight. And don't forget to stop by the General Store to grab items at the bottom. If you need things along the way, it comes out of your pocket alright? And try not to let it slow you down too much. Autumn, could you go grab Momma a small sack of potatoes from the store room, love?” The last sentence obviously was not addressed to the handler, and was a clear sign that he was dismissed to be about his business.

Now. Miles would be free to respond to this forced labor anyway he wished, but I assure you that unless that response happened to be “Yes, ma'am” or something of the sort, he would find himself very sober in a hurry when Carline picks up a cast iron skillet – a mother, wife and chef she may be, but there is good reason to believe she can wield that hefty tool like a veteran's war axe. Once Mr. Thatcher decides it is in his best interest to be on his way, Autumn would send him a wave and a smile as went about her own task.


Okay, please please please don't be afraid to message me if I played one of the characters incorrectly or something doesn't make sense or anything! With this starting off like it did I just kept feeling like something was wrong.

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<div class="hideborder"><div class="spoilertitle" style="margin:1px;cursor:pointer;padding:4px;" onclick="if (this.parentNode.getElementsByTagName('div')[1].style.display == 'none') { this.parentNode.getElementsByTagName('div')[1].style.display = '' } else { this.parentNode.getElementsByTagName('div')[1].style.display = 'none' }">My Split Personalities</div><div style="padding:4px;margin:1px;display:none;" class="hide2 postcolor"><div>
Leodel Degen
The Bloodied Hunter Looks to Clean His Soul
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Rodric Steiner
He Who has no Heart, Seeks Only to Rise
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Reva of Fough Place
The Orphan Travels to Rebuild Her Family
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Sir Eev
 Posted: Jan 4 2015, 04:11 PM
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That guy
*****
Members
Total Posts: 304
Member No. 1585
Joined on 5-May 14.


Characters:
Lucius Lancaster III "Lucky"

Awards: None


[Egg Count: 20! Yaaay dark-types!]

_

Miles grumbled loudly as the door begged for his attention. The rap rap rapping of bone against hard wood was obnoxiously loud in the drunk’s ears as he turned his back to the sound. Cheerful sunlight greeted him on the other side, welcoming him into a new day as it did most every morning. It irked him so. Whoever’s brilliant idea it was to put the window right next to the bed surely needed some sense knocked into them. Curiously enough, the act of simply moving the bed itself never seemed to have crossed his mind. Nevertheless, this was not the first time he had been in such a predicament. Faced with nowhere to turn, Miles did what any man would do. Pulling the sheets over his head, he drowned himself in darkness, ignoring whoever summoned him; Lily would have none of it.

Window shutters flung open while covers simultaneously jumped across the room, bathing the man in daylight. The soft knocking on the door became miniature explosions as the meditite amplified the sound in his head. Sure, he would probably have some harsh words for her because of it, but she didn’t care.

She didn’t care that she had only met this man the night before. She didn’t care that he was hung over (it was his own damn fault anyways). But most of all, she didn’t care for his lack of responsibility. And Miles was quickly becoming aware of just how much she “didn’t” care.

”ALRIGHT!” he screamed angrily at Lily, oblivious to the fact that the messenger might think that he was yelling at them. Groggily, he sat up.

Clutching desperately at his head, Miles tried to will away some of the pressure in his head, but it was no use… so he glared coldly at the meditate pokemon instead. She dropped the illusion as their eyes locked. He rose to his feet grudgingly. Unblinking, she did the same. The messenger knocked on the door persistently. Tension was thick as neither budged a step. Still, they stood unwaveringly. Finally, the door clicked open—Lily had used psychic to do so without breaking eye contact—to a little girl no older than six. Autumn immediately relayed her message.

Miles broke first. His gaze switched from Lily to Autumn, but not because of what she said, or even the fact that she was talking at all. It was how she said it. She sounded exactly like her mother. A smile broke out from underneath the drunk’s stern expression realizing that his favorite little girl was growing up, but it was gone just as soon as it appeared when he understood the implications of her message: today was his day to work… he groaned.

He could have ignored the girl and went back to bed but, then again, maybe not. Lily was all but guaranteed to make his life hell until he did as he was bidden and, even if she didn’t, Carline would make an appearance of her own and if she did… Miles shuddered at the thought. Jack’s wife could be sweeter than a bellossom’s scent but falling into her bad graces was a death wish.

”Alright, you little tyrunt,” he grumbled with a hint of affection, ”We’ll be right down.” After the girl had dashed off, he prepared himself—both mentally and physically—for whatever Carline had set aside for him today.

As always, he chose to wear solely black garments--a symbol of memories four years gone—before marching out the door. Barley, who had spent the night in his new pokeball, would be kept there for now. Miles thought at least someone should be able to get a full night’s rest.



On the way down the stairs, Miles found out how drunk he really had been, stumbling much to the amusement of Lily. Twice, he nearly fell and on the third time, he finally did, toppling down the remaining four or five steps in a ragged heap. He groaned painfully as he lay on his back at the bottom. Suddenly, he lurched on his side as last night’s shenanigans spewed onto the floor. Great, more shit I’m gonna have to do.

Lily calmly walked past him to Autumn, gifting the man with a smug “I told you so” look as she passed by. For a moment she thought that he might think twice about drinking from now on, but the notion was quickly dismissed. She knew this wasn’t the first time and it probably wouldn’t be the last.

While Miles picked himself up and staggered to receive instructions from Carline, the meditite would spend a little time with the girl. She would, of course, be completely aware of what was being said between the two, larger humans but she rather liked this little one despite having only spent sparing amounts of time together. Lily decided it was because the six-year-old made her feel like a kid again herself, back when she didn’t have to worry about responsibility or much of anything else. She liked that. Then again, she admitted, she couldn’t hardly remember anything about her childhood if last night’s meditation had shed any light on the matter but that was for another time.

”You look like something a poochyena coughed up, Miles. Good grief, clean yourself up a little before I send you out to represent this place,” Carline said as he sauntered towards her. Miles thought about a witty retort but thought better about it upon seeing the look on the woman’s face. Today would not be the day to ruffle her feathers. He chose to remain silent instead. Accepting the parchment and additional instructions, Miles grunted his understanding and made his way out the door with Lily following shortly after.

The hung-over man was forced to squint when the sunlight hit his eyes. At first he thought it must have just been an extremely sunny day, but then he realized… it was only him. Most of the alcohol’s influence had left him by now at least--so he could walk and talk normally if he needed to--but his head still hurt, noises were too loud and the blasted sun was way too damn bright. He was quickly regretting how much ale he had drank the night prior. Lily’s consciousness pressed up against his in obvious mirth at the situation. He could tell that she found it amusing but he ignored her. He was too tired for pointless banter at the moment so he put what strength he had into getting this over with as soon as possible. Using the list in his hand for guidance, he began to walk to the closest stand he could find that might have some off the items listed.

_

(OOC: I’m kidding! Lol the real egg count is 1. Oh, and it was perfect, Adel!)

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“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

Lucius "Lucky" Lancaster III
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Miles Ashford-Thatcher
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Khaleesi
 Posted: Jan 19 2015, 08:54 AM
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nerd hater
******
Banned
Total Posts: 934
Member No. 1506
Joined on 17-March 14.


Characters:
Elena "Ellie" Fletcher, Clare Everhart,

Awards: 2




[+0.7 EXP for Miles. Sup, Eev.]

---
    The sunlight might have been enough of a deterrent for the muddled brain Thatcher held between his shoulders, but the weather itself made everything more difficult. A recent icy rain made the streets nothing short of treacherous, as it did not appear that the Guardians had swept the main roads with fire-types yet. Keeping his footing would prove a task.

    His breath came out in steady wisps of white, which mingled with the growing morning crowd as they all made their way to the marketplace. The close proximity of other people and their pokemon helped to soften the worst of the cold, but the temperature that day could not be described as anything but bitter. The first stand Miles found was selling dairy products; bushels of combusken eggs, jars of near-frozen miltank milk, wheels of sharp gogoat cheese. The line was long, but the farmer had had the forethought to order his blaziken to sit beside the line, where a harmless Overheat was keeping away the chill.

    A good portion of his list could already be bought here, and he could at least stay warm while he waited around, so here was as good a place to start as any. Other people fell in line behind Miles as he found his place in the queue. As they moved steadily up, his boots sloshing over puddles of melted snow and ice, the blaziken would give Lily a long, curious stare before returning to maintaining his heat output.

    Four people from the front of the stand, Miles heard the man in front of him groan and say aloud, “What in Darkrai’s Realm is that terrible damn smell?”

    His companion, a man of a similar tall, bulky physique would give a loud chuckle, jam his thumb over his shoulder without looking at Miles, and answer, “S’at wretch behind us, John. Smells like ‘e made love to a trubbish all night.”

    The first man, John, turned around, his lip pulled back in a snarl. He had eyes like a parasect—beady, bulging, and pale—set beneath a heavy brow. Miles could see veins along the man’s jaw spasm as he cursed. “Ya look and reek like ya slithered right out between the legs of some whore grimer right inta a barrel o’ ale, ya filthy creature. Whattaya think yer doin’ in line wit normal folk?” John puffed out his chest and his shoulders rose up, drawing attention to their girth and the thickness of the muscles there and all down his arms. His friend had also turned around, to present Miles with the cocky tilt of his oversized lips, and crossed his arms. “I suggest ya leave these fine people to their errands. No’ne wants ta see some slime-coated stunky spawn in their marketplace, so go back t’the alley where ya stick yer knittin’-needle in a pile o’ sewage, y’hear me? Go!

    “Ye ‘eard ‘em! Get out!” parroted the friend, uselessly, as John drew himself up again in preparation to move Miles with all the force his blacksmith’s arms promised.

    Now, Miles was certainly no pushover. While alcohol had softened his appearance, he was nothing to scoff at, even considering his height alone. The two men—rather young adults, really—were shorter than Miles by a few inches, but they were thick. Beefcakes. Belligerent ones, too, clearly looking for a fight to brighten their dull, cold morning, carrying with them every intention of mobbing the questionably-sober Miles Thatcher.

    When it seemed John was about the throw the first blow, the fight was brought to a forceful and abrupt end before it began. A gallade materialized behind the blacksmith, pulling himself out of the floor where his Shadow Sneak had sent him. In one smooth motion, the gallade had hooked the long, tonfa-esque extensions on his arms under the John’s armpits and he twisted. John let out a sound like a strangled tepig as he was slammed into the icy cobblestones face-first. His friend jumped back, startled, dropping his bag of goods in the process. The sound of shattered groceries was drowned out by the screaming of a woman.

    “It isn’t ten in the damn AM and I have to break up a fight between a bunch of meatheads.” Her lucario-blue cloak snapped in the air as a woman in her late-twenties accosted Miles and the two men. Auburn hair had been pulled up into a tight bun on the back of her head, though curly strands framed a pretty, but far from beautiful, face. Her getup was decidedly Fough Guardian. Eyes like slivers of amber narrowed in on John’s stuttering friend. “Michael, I told your pa that if his nephew caused another scene, we’d keep him in a cell until he stopped cracking his fists over every creature that looked at him funny.”

    John struggled under the fighting-type’s grip, and a sharp pressing from the gallade forced a yell from him. Michael swallowed. “Y-yes, ma’am. I know. But…ye know how ‘e is…”

    “Guardian Summers!” hollered a seventeen-year old scrap of a Junior Guardian, whose shock of black hair bobbed in and out of his eyes and whose sword and armors made a horrific noise as he ran up to the group. A wooper bounced by his heels.

    If the Senior Guardian’s face was not enough to jog Miles’s memory, the announcement of her name probably was. Wiona Summers, a bright-eyed girl who had spent a lot of her time trying to catch the fancy of Bryce Dunlap. A man as charming as Bryce, as Miles knew, attracted a lot of her type, though Miles might remember her as being especially forthright with their group.

    The years had been kind to her, considering.

    “Hurry on up, Harry,” Summers said to her subordinate. “I need you and Ashwin to take this man to the hold.” The boy gave an affirmative over the objections of Michael. The stare Summers leveled on the protesting man was enough to turn his blood to ice. “You’ll go with them,” said she in a voice that brooked no argument.

    Once the men had been filed out, Summers turned to Miles. “Hope they weren’t too much of a bother for you, friend. Are you all right?”

    She did a double-take. Then her eyes went wide and her skin lost its color. “…Thatcher? Arceus, is that you? It’s been forever. Haven’t seen you in so long, not since—“ Summers stopped herself with an awkward cough. “Are you terribly busy right now? Let me buy you something hot to drink.”

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Sir Eev
 Posted: Jan 20 2015, 01:48 AM
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That guy
*****
Members
Total Posts: 304
Member No. 1585
Joined on 5-May 14.


Characters:
Lucius Lancaster III "Lucky"

Awards: None


[I think this is my first Leesi update o.o oh, and sup. Egg Count = 2]

_

After the initial burst of sunlight taken straight to his oversensitive pupils, Miles was not expecting the cold that followed shortly after. It hit him in a similar, but different, fashion. His first few breaths were pained. Not only did the frigid conditions seem to draw the air out of him, but the heavy heaves he was forced to take stung his throat. All in all, today was not looking to be the brightest of days for Miles… metaphorically speaking of course.

Perhaps it was also just as well that the grounds were slick with rain, a fact that the drunk would discover upon his first step out the door, almost losing his footing but saving himself a trip with as much grace as a rhyhorn; which was to say, none. Despite the foolish way he flapped his arms about like a bagon in its hopeless attempts to fly, he was at least able to keep his balance. Lily laughed. Unfortunately for Miles, however, it would be like this all the way until he came to the marketplace, where the steady hustle and bustle of the mid-morning had cleared away most of the wetness on the slippery cobblestone streets. It was here that he found what he was looking for, or at least a good majority of it anyways.

Miles grumbled unintelligibly. He found the line absurdly long for his tastes and he wished nothing more than to just grab the few things he needed and be on his way but, alas, Arceus was having his fun with torturing the drunk this day. Lily happened to hear his errant thoughts and responded in kind with an elbow in his upper, right thigh… hard. Until now, she had been mostly quiet, content with simply people watching, but she would not let anyone, let alone this man, slander her Maker without a retort of her own.

Doubling over in pain, Miles clutched at the “dead” leg before he answered with an off-balance punch at the pokemon. Lily had anticipated the move, however, and simply side-stepped the blow, causing the man to fall face first in the slush instead since. Dear Arceus, what did I ever do to deserve this? Miles thought dramatically as he rolled over on to his back. Hot anger at the meditite, however brief it may have been, seemed to physically evaporate from his cheeks with the icy slush, but he would be lying to say he wasn’t still upset at her. He just knew that any attempt for vengeance was liable to end in the same fashion as it then, especially in his current condition. Making a mental note to return the favor later, Miles resigned himself to getting back in line where, before long, things would heat back up again (and not only because the blaziken had returned to his Overheat).

”Ya look and reek like ya slithered right out between the legs of some whore grimer right inta a barrel o’ ale, ya filthy creature. I suggest ya leave these fine people to their errands. No’ne wants ta see some slime-coated stunky spawn in their marketplace, so go back t’the alley where ya stick yer knittin’-needle in a pile o’ sewage, y’hear me? Go!

Ye ‘eard ‘em! Get out!”

Miles had half-heartedly been eavesdropping on the pair’s conversation but, up until this point, he had not been inclined to make a comment. Usually, he didn’t care about what people had to say about him. He knew he probably smelt pretty bad, and he even smiled when John’s friend made a joke about him making love to a trubbish. It was funny. But now? When they were talking directly to him, much less ordering him about?

”Now John, I’m with you about being ‘some whore grimer’, I really am, but is that really any way to be talking about your mother?” Miles quickly countered with a grin. It was one of the oldest taunts in the book—invoking one’s mother—but there was a reason people still used it; it worked.

Lily, meanwhile, tensed faced with the prospect of a legitimate fight. While she whole-heartedly agreed with the two men about Miles’ personal hygiene decisions, she had made a promise a promise to a certain little girl to protect the drunkard. And she didn’t break promises.

But before either of them could make a move to defend themselves, a gallade appeared, settling the matter for them. ”It isn’t ten in the damn AM and I have to break up a fight between a bunch of meatheads.” a woman shouted. Something in the woman’s voice sounded faintly familiar in Miles’ ears, but he couldn’t place it. That is, until he caught a glimpse of whom the voice had come from.

Her auburn hair and amber eyes were unmistakably hers, but what was her name? ”Guardian Summers!” a dark-haired boy called out. Aha! Miles thought as realization dawned, Wiona! If he remembered correctly, she was one of Bryce’s many “admirers” before… then… When he had last seen her four years ago, she had still been working towards Senior Guardianship, just like Miles had been. The difference was, apparently she had succeeded.

Lily watched Miles watching the Senior Guardian. Something in the way he looked at her told the meditite that here was someone that was important to the man, or at least had been at one point in time. She was about to ask him about her when she decided against it. If her past attempts to get him to open up to her were reliable proof of what she could expect from him, then she would just listen. Watch… and listen.

”Hope they weren’t too much of a bother for you, friend. Are you all right?”

”Better than John,” Miles joked without humor. Seeing Wiona brought memories unbidden and made his head swim. It made him want to drink. Twice as much when he saw the expression on her face upon realizing it was him. ”Make it something cold and bitter and you got yourself a deal, Summers.”

--------------------
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

Lucius "Lucky" Lancaster III
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Miles Ashford-Thatcher
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Khaleesi
 Posted: Jan 26 2015, 03:48 AM
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nerd hater
******
Banned
Total Posts: 934
Member No. 1506
Joined on 17-March 14.


Characters:
Elena "Ellie" Fletcher, Clare Everhart,

Awards: 2




[ +0.7 for last post. What an insanely attractive ape. I am swoon’d. ]
---
    Wiona cast a gaze downward at Lily, polite and curious, before returning her attention to Miles. “Cold and bitter,” she said, in a voice that suggested numb acceptance rather than disgust or surprise, “cold and bitter, ten AM. Right, of course. Well, uh.” She coughed and wiped imaginary dust from the front of her surcoat. “You’re up next, so grab what you need and I’ll be right here.” Wiona nodded to him and Lily both with a tight smile, nodded again to the other patrons that had been witnesses to the brief excitement, and went to step off to the side.

    If Miles did not want to buy his groceries and leave with Summers directly, she would offer no objections. Either way, she would wait for him. From the stall, she took him across the street and down two blocks to an inn called The Cub and the Cat, a two-storey building attached to a General Store, made of timber and a half-wall crafted of stone masonry. A swinging sign depicted a houndour and a litleo on their hind feet with their front claws locked in battle. In the wind, it thumped loudly against a pole holding up the awning.

    Wiona sighed with relief when they got inside, rubbing her palms before unraveling her scarf and unhooking the leather gorget over her neck.

    “Mornin’, Miss Guardian.” The innkeep tipped his head at her from where he was swiping at the floorboards in front of his bar with a broom. His worn half-smile disappeared when he saw Thatcher. It was hard to find anyone in Fough who served alcohol and who also wasn’t at least a little familiar with the town drunk. If Summers noticed, she said nothing, and, with a hand on his shoulder, gestured for Miles to find a seat, saying she’d be back in a few minutes.

    A few citizens mulled over their breakfasts, in singles or in pairs, none of which seemed particularly up for conversation and would only offer glares if Miles chose a seat anywhere too close to them. There was an off-duty Guardian at a private table in one corner. He looked to be asleep.

    Summers came back with a platter of food and a wooden tankard. She set the plate in front of Miles and Lily, and the mug in front of Miles specifically. The ale was significantly watered down and spiced with something to make up for the lack of taste—but you couldn’t be a particularly picky alcoholic before noon. Summers picked at the cuts of cold meat and bread on the platter, waiting for either of her guests to start on their own food before eating or speaking herself.

    She did not have to ask what Miles had been up to, that much was obvious, so there was not much to catch up on. “Four years is a damn long time,” she started with instead, staring at the food. “Have you had any real work at all, since the Guard?” Summers cleared her throat, pulled her elbows into her side as she sat up and met Miles’s eyes. “Guard keeps track of its own, you know, past and present. Knows you live at that inn, in any event. I always meant to stop by, say…something. I guess I never felt it appropriate to say anything at all…” She trailed off awkwardly, unlike the level-headed Guardian from before, but the moment passed. “Tell me truthfully, Thatcher. I can’t believe all your brains have been addled by drink, not at your age. Can you hold a sword with any of your old skill? Does it ever yearn for poacher’s blood?”

---
Miles has leveled up! He is now level 2.
His pokemon all gain 2 levels and the following:

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Sir Eev
 Posted: Jan 27 2015, 03:57 AM
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That guy
*****
Members
Total Posts: 304
Member No. 1585
Joined on 5-May 14.


Characters:
Lucius Lancaster III "Lucky"

Awards: None


[Egg Count is no longer available due to having sold the egg. Also, Barley the turtwig is no longer, so we'll have to figure out how to spin that around but... hey. PM me if you have any questions http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/1.png]

_

Miles smiled casually as he stepped off to the side and made a sweeping gesture for Wiona to lead the way. ”Ladies first.”

Lily was beside herself. You selfish, irresponsible, negligible dolt, she hissed at the man as they started walking after the Senior Guardian. Are you daft, man? We were next in line! When do you plan on getting the supplies that girl’s mother asked for? I may not know her well, but I know enough to know she’ll have more than mere words for you if you don’t do as she asked. Are you just not going to-…

What was the man selling? Miles cut her off. Confused, she looked up at him, an impassive mask as they followed the woman. When he heard no answer forthcoming, Miles answered for her.

Dairy… almost everything I could get now would be dairy. And what do you think happens to dairy products when they’re not taken care of properly? Miles let the thought trail off for the meditite to sort out on her own. She was about to say something else, but it was Miles’ turn to have the last word. ”I will get it later,” he stated with finality. Lily couldn’t help but feel more than a little embarrassed for letting her emotions get the better of her training... again. Even worse, how could she let Miles out-think her? She made a mental note to do better.

Arriving at the inn did her no service to avail the meditate of her irritation as she was reminded once more about the kind of man she was in bonded service to. The look on the innkeeper’s face was not lost on Miles either, but he took the gesture in stride with a cheery, if not sardonic, smile. ”G’morning, Al! How’ve ya been?” he beamed, plopping into the first, empty seat available. He didn’t honestly care how the barkeep fared, but meant only to force the man to acknowledge his presence and fill the time until Wiona returned with a plate and a drink. Naturally, he reached for the spiced ale first.

”Not quite as bitter as I’d like considering the circumstances,” he divulged blandly before a hint of sincerity emerged, ”But I do thank you, Wiona, for the drink.” The honest, thankful expression would have been hard to miss on the Senior Guardian, although it would pass just as quickly when the drunk downed half the tankard in a single swig and attacked the plate of food. His hangover had left him with a hefty appetite. Lily just shook her head in disgust. Truly, you are a barbarian of a man.

Miles didn't look up at all while the Guardian spoke, but his expression quickly became stern as he became reflective. He let the first question pass by unanswered, letting her continue and, after she had finished, remained silent for a few minutes, thinking.

”Four, long years, Wiona…” he trailed off. Silence followed as both the Guardian and the meditite apprehensively awaited his response. After a few more minutes, he gathered himself and asked a simple question. ”What do you want from me, Wiona?” If she prodded, or asked what he meant, Miles would burst. ”In four years, I haven’t seen nor heard hide nor hair of anyone from the Guard. Do you know that they took Brandy? My sword? Everything, Wiona… everything… And yet here you are asking if I still ‘yearn for poacher’s blood’?” Grabbing the tankard, he downed the rest of his drink, slamming it back onto the wooden table.

Lily could feel the hurt behind his words due to their psychic connection and felt for him. If he was being honest, it was the most passionate and the deepest little outburst that he had publicly had since he had been excommunicated from the Guard. It was obvious that seeing Wiona had a part in that.

If Guardian Summers was taken aback by the outburst, Miles would collect himself once more with a deep breath and ask the question one more time.

”What do you want from me, Wiona?”

--------------------
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

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Flight
 Posted: Jun 6 2017, 07:30 AM
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{ 0.7 EXP for you. Please remember to update your Travels link for Miles so that it goes to the newest post! }

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Upon Miles's outburst Wiona had gone still, and her face blank. Professional, in other words. "After someone resigns," she said quietly, "You're no longer part of the Guard. We keep track of our own, yes. But we no longer dictate your life, as you are no longer sworn to a patron. I am sorry for your loss, Thatcher, I really am."

Then she shrugged, and it was an easy movement, loose-limbed. "I want to offer you an opportunity, Thatcher. Miles. Here you are, four years later and the town drunk, which means you haven't forgotten about that incident." Wiona didn't put any emphasis on her last two words, as if she were talking about any other incident. "Answer me again: can you still fight?"

She allowed a moment for Miles to think, and another for him to answer. Sitting up, she was slightly shorter than he was; but she no longer slouched, as younger men and women were prone to do.

Wiona did speak, at least, before the pause got too awkward, if Miles had spoken at all. She pushed back her chair to stand, leaning a hip against the table to look down at Miles. The way she pushed herself into the attitude of an on-duty Guardian was almost visible. "If you want some real work, stop by the barracks some time. You might have left the Guard, but we still do work with civvies from time to time. There's a case I think you might be interested in." Lily would be able to pick up an impression of the rest of Wiona's thought: If you can keep out of the drink long enough.

Then she nodded once to Miles, and was gone.

Miles would be able to finish his breakfast and tankard in peace, at least - Wiona had paid for both. The barkeep wouldn't offer refills on the drink, however, nor would he take too kindly if Miles loitered for too long in the tavern; he would glare when Miles wasn't looking, and would sweep the floors with more force than necessary when he was.

The morning was early enough that Miles would be able to retrieve the groceries for Carline, and perhaps visit the Guard Headquarters in Fough on the same day. Or he could stay here in the inn until he was kicked out, or bounce taverns after his errand. None in the room would interfere with the affairs of the town drunk, even if a few of them seemed interested in the offer that Wiona had made, and the Guardian in the back of the room was still asleep.

At this point, it was up to him.

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 Posted: Jun 6 2017, 01:49 PM
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”Dictate, shmick-tate,” Miles spat with bitterness. Nobody came, Wiona.. Is that what you call ‘keeping track of [your] own’? I'd hate to see how y’all treat an outsider.” His callous speech betrayed the hurt hidden in his heart from mistakes long since passed, and yet ever-present. Guardian Summers in her professional experience would have likely sensed that his caustic retorts were the result of nothing more than those deep-seated haunts seeping up to the surface in an undeniable way than he had had to deal with in the last several years, memories and unresolved issues alike. If, for whatever reason, she had let his remarks slip under her mask of professionalism, Lily was there to brush against the Guardian’s consciousness, assuaging Wiona’s suspicions that Miles’ venom was not truly meant for her.

Easy, Miles. She’s not your enemy. Her voice was calm in his mind, and steady—something he needed at the moment, for his head swam with emotion that was hardly induced by the watered-down spirits in his belly. With a blank expression, he stared through the empty tankard on the bar. He closed his eyes, drew in a large breath of air, then exhaled as if he were letting go of an immense weight. His tone was somber when he finally answered her. ”Aye. It may take a bit of greasing, but I still know how to swing a sword… problem is, I have none, nor do I have any armor. ‘Tis the price of abandoning the service, I suppose.” His last sentence was laced with regret, although it would be hard for him to place where that regret lied, if pressed. There was much for him to. Then, as quick as it came, his features hardened as he looked the woman in the eye. ”Why?”

"If you want some real work, stop by the barracks some time. You might have left the Guard, but we still do work with civvies from time to time. There's a case I think you might be interested in."

Although she didn't say it, Miles had heard it enough to hear what Wiona was apt to leave out, and it surprised him to be bothered by it. In any other circumstance, those types of sentiments slid off his back without a care, but... not this time. Not coming from an old friend…

Instinct buried the sting with sarcasm as he called her out on it on her way out the door. ”If I can keep my good-for-nothing muzzle out of a stout, you mean?” He didn’t expect her to respond.

”What are you looking at, Al?” he growled at the barkeep, catching his glare from the corner of his vision even as he returned to his duties.

I think you should hear her out, Lily advised.

”I think you should mind your own business,” he snapped back as he finished his breakfast in silence.

__

The walk back to the Cresselia's Dream came with it a gloomy atmosphere that had nothing to do with the weather, nor time of day. Miles trudged his way through the task of grocery shopping as if he were only half-there, a fact that Lily couldn't help but notice as she took the lead. The meditite, unsure of what to do or say to the man, kept the silence as she walked alongside him. She only had to guide him out of the path of oncoming traffic twice. He had a lot on his mind, she knew, but at least he was a man after all, she thought as she considered him. While they had only met the day before, she had known that there was more to this man, that the facade he put on in front of everyone was expressly that: a mask. That, more than anything, was what frustrated her most about him, it seemed.

Upon arriving, he made a bee-line for where Carline stored her wares and put them away without a word. He knew she was likely to give him grief for taking as long as he did to return, so he did his best of avoid her for the time-being while he secretly hoped for Autumn to come running up to him. If either of them found him before he had finished, he wouldn't engage in much conversation, only enough to apologize to Carline for his tardiness and/or hug Autumn before he asked a simple question:

"Where's Jack?"

__

The conversation was a short one.

"I think you should hear her out, Miles," was all he had to say on the matter, his voice telling him, then, that he fully expected to be heard.

But it was Autumn's reaction to overhearing the news that played in his mind like a broken record as he marched into the barracks, Lily in tow, ignoring all of the odd glances and stares from people who he had once called brothers-in-arms.

"Oh, Uncle Miles, I'm so proud of you! You're finally gonna be a Guardian again!" She hugged him in a way that made his heart sink. "You're going to be so great!" He didn't have the heart to tell her that it was only a one-time ordeal.

"Alright, Wiona, here I am," he would declare upon finding Guardian Summers. She would be keen to notice that he didn't smell as if he'd been drinking all day, regardless of the fact that that was exactly what he would have rather been doing at this moment. "Now what in heaven's blazes is this case you were talking about earlier?"

Hopefully, it was evident that his somewhat obnoxious approach was his way of letting out some of the frustration he felt towards the situation; however, he couldn't deny that he was at least a little bit curious... but he still wanted a drink.

--------------------
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

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 Posted: Jun 16 2017, 01:23 PM
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When Miles bulled his way into the barracks, Wiona looked up from her lunch with an ill concealed expression of surprise, though several other guardians whom Miles did not know personally scowled and some of the younger ones snickered. His reputation preceded him. If he cared to look, he might spot one or two guardsmen he had served with, though had not known well. They, at least, kept their faces mostly impassive out of respect. Wiona stood, took one look at him, and offered him a cup of the strong black guards' pan-and-simisage tea -- after adding an extra pinch of the leaf mix. He might notice that she did not, however, add any of their sugar ration.

"I didn't expect you so -" early, at all "- soon, Miles. Have a cup... I can't remember whether you loved or hated the stuff, but it might do you some good." She lowered her voice, pitching it for his ears and in the tone of a superior as she walked over to hand him the cup. "Mind your manners, Thatcher, you're trading on my reputation here. This isn't the pub."

Nevertheless, she gestured to a squire for him to hastily vacate a seat before offering it to Miles and introducing him to the room by way of explanation. "For those who don't know him, this's Miles Thatcher. Time was, he was one of us. He made better enemies than friends in his tenure, though, no two ways about it. He might've retired, but I expect you young ones to treat him with basic respect, since he'll be joining us on our hunt going after those poachers we think Sneed either trained or partnered with for a time. He's got a personal interest in the scum, and that poaching camp has been interfering with the naturalization of those new pokemon from the mage guild."

Someone spat. Whether because of the mention of mages or at the idea of working with Miles wasn't clear, but Wiona ignored it either way. Luckily, no one had the cheek to ask how, exactly, Miles could provide them any value at all. The tale had likely gone around, and as many as were disgusted with him or mocking of his habits were also, no doubt, just a little bit afraid they would meet a similar fate.

"Someone go fetch him some of our spare gear and drag him out into the yard and have a go at him, see how well his sword arm holds up." Summers flashed him an only vaguely apologetic smile that said she was not at all sorry. If he tried to leave, he'd find the door locked behind him. Whether he liked it or not, it looked like his old Corporal was going to try and hammer him back into shape before sending him out in the field now that she'd got her claws in him. Her eyes were every bit as keen as the staraptor he knew she had.

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 Posted: Jun 17 2017, 11:02 AM
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Sup, Rosa.

Once upon a time, Miles may have received a very different reaction from the group of soldiers in the hall. He recognized a couple of them, noting their impassive stares while the other handful let their distaste wear on their sleeves, and found the small gesture of respect refreshing. Few seemed to remember him from his days as a Guardian, memories long since replaced with images of a failure and a drunkard, but they knew he hadn't always been this way. After all, he was one, bullheaded mistake away from graduating to the Senior Guardian rank. Things would have been much different if it hadn't been for that ill-fated day... much, much different.

He caught the tone in Wiona's voice as he accepted the cup and took the squire's seat with a flat, "Thanks," reminded that they were no longer equals, though they once were. Still, he understood. Respect made up the backbone of the Guard's ranking system, and if she let him--the town drunk--trounce all over her, it would be an uphill battle to earn it back. Lily, meanwhile, was content to be silent as she stood next to the drunkard of a man. She knew that even fools were thought to be wise when kept silent, though she was far from the fool. So she listened, keen to pay attention to everyone's reactions to her recent handler who seemed to handle himself with poise in light of the situation.

Then the woman mentioned Sneed.

Miles spat mid-sip along with the rest of them and shot a black look at the Senior Guardian, feeling betrayed. Bryce's ghost appeared before him from simply hearing the poacher's name, his deceased friend's smile as charming as ever. It took a firm grip on his forearm from the meditite to keep him from jumping out of his seat, but she couldn't stop him before he burst out of turn. "Sneed's rats!?" he hissed, "That's what this is all about?" Memories of the ill-fated event threatened to drown him as Miles huffed, shaking with anger. Then, a wave of calm. Lily.

It was undeniably her. He could feel her presence holding overwhelming emotion at bay like a sort of mental dam and replacing it with an old memory he had with Autumn--it



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“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

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